Best 1xAA under 30$

You’re welcome! I like my Tool AAA and have been thinking of buying the Tool AA as a gift.

The SP10S looks like a bargain. I don’t have one but I’m very pleased with the other Sofirn models I own.

Be sure to read the specs carefully for lights that use both AA and 14500 cells. Manufacturers tend to emphasize the maximum output with a 14500 lithium ion cell.

With an AA cell, the SP10S is 120 lumens on high and 255 lumens on turbo. The specs say that turbo steps down after 3 minutes, but don’t specify if that occurs with both AA and 14500 cells.

BTW, welcome to BLF! Do you own other flashlights already?

When I first got into flashlights, AA was my favorite cell. Now I’m an 18650 fan. I particularly like ZebraLights for EDC. The 18650-powered ZebraLights are smaller than many AA lights, which is what got me to switch.

Oh yes, you are right. I mainly look and the AA modes but more at the turbo, and yes Fenix is 10 lumens more than the SP10S.

I don’t own any flashlight but i’m searching a lot. My goal is not only AA, but AAA, 18650 and headlamps too. For me, to recomend or for a gift. Is good to know what are the best in every category, at the moment only under 30$, maximum 40$ if i could get a discount to get it under 30$.

So in this category i just see Lumintop EDC05 and Manker E11.

Thank you for your help!

I forgot to mention this excellent site by BLF member ‘Parametrek’ for finding flashlights based on many criteria.

Here is a list of all 1xAA lights in the database.

You can further narrow down the selection with the filters at the top of the page.

As a gift, I think the Tool AA 2.0 is a good choice. The user interface is simple and the clip is easily reversed for fastening to a hat.

I think a tail switch is more intuitive for most users than a side switch like on the SP10S. The SP10S also requires a ‘hold’ to turn the light off, which can be confusing and is usually disliked among flashlight enthusiasts.

BTW, humans do not perceive brightness on a linear scale. The general rule of thumb is that a light requires four times the number of lumens to appear twice as ‘bright’ to us.

There is no best in each category ....there is no best . Only lights you like , lights I love and ones he hates but you like ...and so it goes .

I’m a big fan of the DQG Slim AA.
By default, it comes in a size for 1/2AA, so it requires an extension tube for full AA size. Accepts Alkaline, NiMh, and Lithium Ion.
It doesn’t compete on lumens with the others. What I like about it is that it’s so incredibly small. It’s both much thinner and a fair bit shorter than other AA-sized lights I’ve used: Thorfire TG06S, Jaxman E3, Terralux Lighstar 100, Streamlight ProTac 1AA, etc.
That said, it’s getting hard to find lately, and even harder for under $30.

My suggestion for the Jaxman has mostly to do with it robustness, the 3 levels with a good moonlight mode and the possibility to choose different LEDs.
Also, because it will give you long runtimes on the low settings in case you need it.
It is not the brightest AA flashlight you will get, but it is reliable.

About the other options you mention and some of the ones mentioned in this thread:
Lumintop EDC05:
I don’t have one, I guess the first batches had issues with the switch, but I don’t know much about it.

Manker E11:
It was my first serious AA light. What I can tell is:
-it has a good output even with Ni-MH/AA batteries, but it will shine immensely more with 14500 cells;

- it is quite small and pocket friendly;

- it has Cool White tint;

- it has 4 regular modes that can be configured in brightness;

- it has a direct access to the lowest mode, to the last used mode and to strobes/special modes; -

- it DOESN’T HAVE Reverse Polarity protection (meaning: never put an inverted Li-Ion cell onto it otherwise it may cause serious damage to the light, the battery and eventually the people around, in case it explodes - I am speaking with own experience);

- it will not give you access to the highest mode when the AA/Ni-MHbattery levels are lower than IDK what voltage;

  • it is a reliable light, overal.

Lumintop Tool AA V2.0:
It is probably one of the most successful AA lights out there due to the price, the size and the output. You can find a great amount of reviews out there. In mine I showed the differences between AA, Ni-MH and 14500 cells: "DOUBLE REVIEW": Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 & Lumintop Tool25 [Pic Heavy]
What can I say:

- it has 4 modes with memory for the last used mode + strobe (hidden, click 6 times):

- it is small and lightweight;

- it is reliable;

- it has Cool White tint;

- it has a good output even with AA/ Ni-MH cells, but far from the max it gets with 14500 Li-Ion

  • it is probably one of the best deals you can get for a good small light.

Sofirn SP10 “X”
I only have/had the SP10A and B versions, so I can compare with the SP10S.
I can tell it is a good light, but careful if it falls to the ground. For 2 times (the second one was definite…) one of those lights fell to the ground and stopped working. So…if you opt for it, take it into account.

Other lights you may consider, with pros and cons:
Skilhunt M150: good flashlight, better to be used with 14500 but can also be reliable with AA/Ni-MH (these cannot be recharged inside, if I recall correctly), but has 2 issues: high parasitic drain while locked up electronically, and a “weird” UI. Still, it is a good flashlight.

Convoy T2: robust flashlight, good ouput, has 3 or 4 modes with memory and double click for strobe (which is turned on very often due to the fast clicks when changing modes)

DQG Slim Ti : by far the smallest AA light in my collection, it is reliable, has 3 modes only without memory, has a more or less nice beam pattern with the original TIR lens, but it looks better with a more floody lens, it is lightweitght, but it is more expensive eventually.

Wuben E05 : seen as a very good light, with long runtimes and good output. It has 4 modes with memory, and shortcut to strobe (from ON) or turbo from OFF, it will have bigger output with a 14500 battery (USB rechargeable, included), has a strong magnetic tail, has a stock Cool White XPL-HD Led.

Here’s a glimpse at their size:
Sofirn SF10 > Sofirn SF14 > Convoy T2 > Jaxman E3 > Lumintop Tool (V1) > Nitefox ES10K > Nitecore D10 > Wuben E05 > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 > Amutorch S3 > Sofirn SP10B > Manker E11 > DQG Slim ti

Please note that some lights were modded so their size or colour may not be the original ones.

Hope this helped and good luck with the search :+1:

My favorite is still the Jaxman E3. I prefer tail clickies and no memory. The fact it is L-M-H is just a bonus. Tip: Get the 4000k 219c and I’m not so sure my 5700k sample is high cri. In fact I swapped it out with a different LED. My 4000k is very nice, though.

The Sofirn SP10s is nice, too. Excellent tint on my sample. I don’t care for the side switch, though that is a personal choice. And moon mode is kinda pointless to access since you have to cycle through high and turbo first.

I can’t find a light that beats the Ultratac A1 on NiMh for me. L-M-H, no mode memory, no blinkies, CW or NW XP-L. Good mode spacing. It’ll do 600 lumens on a 14500 but the low ends up too high and mid and high are too close together. It just plain works better with NiMh in my opinion. $16.48 on Amazon. I have a Nichia Tool AA and as much as I want to love it, that mode memory drives me insane. With Lumintops cold white emitter and mode memory, it’s over rated in my opinion.

The clip on both the Tool and the A1 are horrible. Clip on clips in general are horrible but, I have some bolt on clips, similar to convoys bolt on clips but, smaller of course and got them to fit on the A1. Now it’s got a deep carry bolt on clip. I have one with the stock XP-L NW, a 4000k 219c in another and a few with LH351’s in them. Besides a few Reylights they are the only AA lights I use most of the time. A copper S1A will find it’s way into my pocket on occasion though.

It looks nice, i’ll take a look.

The flashlights you mentioned, they are old or something? Every time i read another flashlight i put it on a list to see and compare later. But there are so many… So if they’re old and worst than actual ones, i forget about those as alternatives. So here in my list to see and compare are.

Lumintop Tool AA 2.0
Sofirn SP10S
Fenix E12
Jaxman E3

And many others i didn’t take a look yet. It’s like, i want to have max 5 good, top, best of the best AA flashlights under 30$ to have as alternative to me or as a gift, or any other things.

Thank you!

+1 a good bargain.

I have a coupla AA sized torches. Run then both on 14500 cells.

XANES 1600 (True 100mtr divers torch). Twisty On/OFF.
Perfect for a walkabout home. local. car etc.
Beam is around 500lum and 6000k Clean white light.
$24AUD del.

Jetbeam JET-1 MK Pro. (had since they first came out).
A bloody magic little torch.
also runs 4500cell.
Twistie again (I like) 3 levels. $17AUDel Special

Plus this month A Lumintop AA in mail., to go with my AAA.
They ugly little pricks but utilitarian and. Seemingly, reliable.

The first thing I do with ALL my torches.
Is take that farkin’stupid clip off the side.

I Usually (try to) run my Triple A’s with Li-Po cells.
They running 3.2v not the 3.5ish v.
That little bit off the top seems to make them usable?. NOT all.

They run some torches I’ve played with,
where the Li-Ion cells just cook them.
I have some Li-Po 14500’s on order too. A couple.
Just to try.

The Tool 2.0 will take a beating, have all versions of the Sofirn SP10 but would not trust it to be the flashlight I take on a long trip without some backups.

Also Amazon has a special set that includes magnetic tailcap and push button tailcap plus 14500 battery for only $23.99.
That is hard to beat.

Oh, don’t forget the L3 Illumination L10! Its a 3 or 4 mode twisty (depending on which you buy) with a Nichia 219 (C I think) emitter. Interestingly its a battery crusher design but it does have an anti-rattle washer on the B+ terminal.

The Tool AA 2.0 is pretty nice, looks like there might still be a couple spots out there to grab one with Nichia. Glad I was able to grab one of the “diy kit” version in Panda White with both emitters a while back. The mode memory is a bit of a drag.

If you’re in the US, Thrunite T10T V2 is on sale on Amazon with 30% off code 30T10TV2:

A 1xAA titanium flashlight under $30 with a decent UI.

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm content with using NiMH in the A1, which I prefer to the Tool AA 2.0 since I think the Tool's 4 brightness modes are unnecessary, and its low mode of ~3 lumens is too bright, especially compared to the A1's 1-lumen low.

I swapped the A1's inferior clip with a spare clip-on clip from a ThruNite T10. I used epoxy to secure the clip, which is what I've also done with other lights, so it's an effective way for me to install a clip on just about any light it fits.

L10C has clicky, 219B (some other models may have 219B or 219A). From what I can tell, they don’t have the best reputation for durability - many have died from short (<1 meter) drops

i still edc my orange L10 twisty. love it. the low is really low (0.09 lm), high is high enough (120lm). and i love the tint from the 219A. my other edc is olight i2, really old light, discontinued already. dont like the cold white tint but the construction is better than L10.

My orange 4-mode Nichia L10 (with Streamlight Stylus Pro clip) has been my pajamas light the majority of the time I’ve had it since getting it in December 2012.

I’m still hoping the L10s get clearanced, as mentioned at SBFlashlights Holiday Sales/Liquidation/ ALL LIGHTS MUST GO! Spark 60% OFF + More .

I have a bunch of flashlights but my EDC almost always defaults to the L10 or L11C. The size is just right for my hands. Both run well on an Eneloop Pro. For EDC purposes, I’ve been much happier with the ratio of light output to battery life on AA than with AAA. Of course, modes matter and these are about perfect. The mode spacing is good. I like the no-memory LMH of the 3-mode versions. I’ve found low to be fine for most things. Medium is enough more and still gets decent battery life. I rarely use the high mode but it’s nice to have it.

Of course, I have the Nichia versions. I think my L10 has a Nichia 219A. I don’t know if my L11C uses a 219B or C. Both are somewhere in the neighborhood of 4500K. That’s good for an “all purpose” light. For night use, I find myself wanting something warmer. I’m no tech wizard but the guy over at Sky Lumens can mod these for about the cost of a new one. Now that the Nichia versions are drying up, I’ve been seriously considering a regular model to send over for modification.

BTW, both of these lights have held up wonderfully. Both have been dropped multiple times, including on hardwood floors. Both are fine.