The Most Common Flashlight Materials

By Derrick Ferrell
Updated on
Tactical flashlight with a cautionary warning on the surface
Image Credit: S and S Imaging

Materials out of which flashlights are made, play a significant role in their performance, durability, and weight. For high-quality EDC/Tactical flashlights, various types of metals such as aluminum and titanium are the most typical go-to choices.

These days, there are also many plastic EDC flashlights on the market; however, these are budget models that are not suitable for the more dedicated users as they do not offer a proper level of durability nor overall quality.

The most commonly used materials in the production of quality and durable flashlights are covered in this article. Each of them has its advantages and its disadvantages, which we explain in more detail below.


Aluminum is the most common material used in EDC flashlights, mainly because it offers a great combination of lightweight and durability. In up-scale options, aerospace-grade aluminum is used to provide even better durability.

Black anodized aluminum is the most common in tactical flashlights, enabling even models slightly on a larger side to retain rather low weight and offer that classic conceivable look.

However, aluminum flashlights tend to get scratches and look rather worn out pretty soon. Luckily, the performance of the light should not be affected by that.


This tough metal produces highly durable EDC flashlights. Their durability meets the highest standards. Flashlights made out of titanium carry some extra weight (compared to aluminum) but they are still much lighter than those made out of steel.

Titanium flashlights are suitable for users that want to throw their gear around carelessly. For that reason, keychain lights are very often made out of this material.

Titanium usually comes in a very wide range of finishes and coating, giving users a variety to match their style.


Copper is less commonly used. Nevertheless, copper flashlights tend to offer the best hand-feel experience due to this material’s thermal conductivity. Copper is just slightly heavier than aluminum, which adds that little extra weight that some users (especially those with larger hands) appreciate in those extra small keychain lights. It is also rather affordable.

Moreover, copper tends to change colors as it ages and can create quite interesting patterns of natural patina over time. If one is a copper enthusiast, this becomes a bonus feature. With this also comes the uniqueness- there are no two copper EDC flashlights alike after being used for a while.

Another extra feature of copper is its natural antimicrobial property. This makes copper light suitable for users that tend to use their mouths as a third hand.

Furthermore, copper requires no finishing.


Brass is also a rather common option. It offers great durability. It is also on a heavier side, which means that users that appreciate some additional weight in their flashlights will like it. Brass is very moldable and thus offers various shapes. Brass flashlights tend to offer threads that work extra smoothly.

Less Common Materials


Nickel is not all that common when it comes to EDC flashlights, yet there are still some models made out of this quality metal. It offers great corrosion resistance. It’s among the key elements in stainless steel.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also not that commonly used for EDC flashlights. However, thanks to its durability and corrosion resistance, there are some models made out of this metal. Stainless steel flashlights are on the heavy side, which can be an advantage in case of combat or self-defense.

Warning: Plastic EDC Flashlights

As mentioned earlier, there are also many EDC flashlights made of plastic these days. And we really feel the need to warn our readers about potential issues with these types of models.

First, some plastic flashlights might be of decent quality and could serve non-demanding users just fine. So, for users that are looking for extremely affordable flashlights and do not plan on exposing them to tough environments, plastic flashlights may be worth considering.

Note that it is hard to tell in advance whether a plastic flashlight will offer the reliability that users need or not. Thus, we believe it poses a risk that users in need of a quality EDC flashlight should not take.

Since the main purpose of the EDC flashlight is to serve you at all times, which demands a high level of reliability, we strongly advise users to limit their selection to models made out of the metal materials presented above.