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Harbor Freight 3-1/2 in. 9 LED Mini Flashlight

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo:   Harbor Freight 3-1/2 in. 9 LED Mini Flashlight flashlight

More than adequate for anything I use a flashlight for. Cannot beat the price! Convenient and durable.


  • Cheap!
  • Light
  • Sturdy


  • Brightness/beam not adjustable
  • Could conceivably accidentally switch on.

This is a review of the "3-1/2 in. 9 LED Mini Flashlight" which Harbor Freight regularly has "free with purchase."

This is my go-to flashlight for camping, general home use, and I also use one as the headlamp on my bicycle (5-mile one-way commute in all but the foulest weather). I have (and have had) a bunch of these, and all have worked and lasted.

If you don't expect it to be what it is not, it's darn near perfect.

Range: Plenty for anything I do with it. It works just fine as a headlamp on the bike, though this is more for pothole/broken bottle dodging, as the streets are pretty well lit. Plenty for general camp stuff (reading, quick dead-of-night excursions, finding misplaced objects in dark corners of tents and lean-tos as night closes in); not suitable for jacking deer, and not ideal for really hiking at night, but I don't.

Beam: It is a simple on/off flashlight. The beam does not adjust for focus or brightness.

Power: 3 AAA batteries (included and replaceable). The ones on the bike light tend to last months.

Ease of use: It is extremely simple to operate, on/off rubber covered push button switch, on butt end of flashlight. It is a good size, and easy to operate, even wearing gloves. I have had lights where the button is smaller and has to be pressed just right. It certainly could be switched on accidentally, but this has never actually happened to me in either pocket or pack.

Weather: It is not marked as waterproof or resistant, but does just fine in the rain 

Construction/Durability: It is very lightweight (a bit less than 2 oz) but not at all flimsy. The switch has a nice solid feel, the threads where it screws open are neat and tight. This is true of all of these that I have had, as opposed to a lot of low-end stuff which is sometimes pretty good, and sometimes...not.)

Best for: 1) General use, if it suits your purposes. (For me, it is fine for reading, because I can hang it from a ridge line, and don't do a lot after dark). 2) Semi-disposable use. I am in charge of a Cub Scout pack. 

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Free with purchase from Harbor Freight)

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