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The 4 dollar budget tactical flashlight

I kept seeing this 4 dollar budget tactical flashlight, and finally decided to give it a try.

The 4 dollar budget tactical flashlight

A tactical light, is a flashlight that is normally used in conjunction with a firearm, to aid low light target identification, allowing the marksman to simultaneously aim and illuminate the target.

Tactical Flashlights are almost a necessity these days. If you are doing anything in the darkness, they are perfect for lighting up the area with an amazing amount of light, blinding an attacker or home intruder. I needed a budget tactical flashlight, but some of those “tactical” flashlights can cost a fortune.

I had seen the FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight in my Amazon searches numerous times, but didn’t give them much though. I finally kicked myself in my cheapskate pants and shelled out the $4 to buy one of these Mini Cree Led Flashlights! I mean really, it’s $4.

It seems that most of the Mini Cree Led Flashlights ship from China, so the waiting game began. I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived about 7-8 days after ordering.

I don’t place much stock in cheap Chinese mass produced items, so I was mentally prepared myself to accept that I had wasted $4 on a flashlight that probably wouldn’t last or measure up.

I was surprised by the heft and solid feel of this flashlight, once it was in my hands. It’s a nice looking flashlight, with a solid feeling aluminum housing. It looks like it should cost more than $4, but the proof is in the pudding, time to find a decent AA battery and fire this light up!

Testing Methodology

There is one initial test, that has accidentally become a standard in my flashlight testing. This test never happens intentionally, but does happen every time I get a new flashlight. This test is now referred to as “the retina scalding”.

“The Retina Scalding” happens when I am examining (aka: staring at) the bulb or emitter diode, then without thinking I activate the power switch. I don’t know what genetic defect causes this to happen, but it happens every single time…. and I’m always surprised.

Yes, I realize there must be something wrong with me.

Previously I had accidentally performed this test, in a Home Depot with the Coast PX25, causing quite a commotion, and as a result, many boxes were knocked from the shelves and onlookers were frightened.

The Test

I had located a brand new Energizer AA battery and stuffed it into the battery compartment. I was turning the Mini Cree Led Flashlight over in my hands and was intrigued by the lens covering the Light Emitting Diode (LED), it looked like it was a magnifying-type lens.

That’s when it happened. My fingers knew I was at my weakest, and they activated the power button. My brain was not involved in this movement at all, and appeared to be just as surprised as my eyeballs.

Arrrrrghhhhh! MY EYES! MY EYES! MY EYES! WHYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Another successful “Retina Scalding”. There, I’ve blinded myself in broad daylight with the FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight and it was stunning, I only saw blobs of color for quite some time after this. Keep in mind this is in broad daylight so at night, this blindness would be so much more disorienting. This would give you the advantage you need to gain the upper hand against evil doers!

The FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight is rated at a whopping 300 lumen. It is visibly brighter than the Coast PX25, which weighs in a 208-230 Lumen.

I had a project that I needed to do, up in our attic. There are no lights up there and this light lit it up like daytime. It worked like a champ the entire time I was up there (probably an hour). I’ve also used this outside at night and always seem to be surprised by how much light it can generate from a AA battery.

Budget Tactical Flashlight
Left: Cree Mini, Right: Crane PX 25

The Mini Cree Led Flashlight puts out a blast of searing light from one AA battery and is even brighter if you use the 14500 batteries in it. I recommend the Tenergy 14500 batteries, if you want to go that route.


It’s a nice looking flashlight, with a solid feeling aluminum housing. If I didn’t know better, I would swear it had cost way more than the $4 that I paid for it. It’s compact size makes it a breeze to toss in your pocket and forget about it, until you need to wield that blast of light!

I like this light enough, that it has earned a spot on my bedside table, where I can grab it in the dark of night, should the situation arise. I am suspicious of it’s long term durability, being that it’s from China (what’s not from China these days?), but I’ve been using it for about 6 months (as much as one can use a flashlight) and it’s still working fine.

If you need a budget tactical flashlight, but can’t afford hundreds of dollars, then I recommend the $4 FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight. You’ll be better off with the FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight, than with no tactical light at all.


  1. This is one of those times when more is better.. A dozen or so serviceable flashlights distributed thru out your home and field gear is just smart.. I have quite a few flashlights that cost in the hundreds of dollars…. Light laser combos etc…But I keep inexpensive (in my case Sam’s club 2 x $10 ) 120 lumen Cree jobs in every first aid kit . ruck sack, drawers bedside and vehicles we have. They are 3 AAA battery types.. I like the idea of one AA Battery as well.. so will have to try these little guys..

    One thing… Inexpensive items like these make great gifts to people you feel are worthwhile and run into in your daily routine.. Depending upon their response you may then consider discussing the need to “Be Prepared” further.

  2. My reactions to this light are completely different from yours. I also bought it… but as an experiment. First of all, on a standard AA battery, it’s only around 90 lumens. On a 14500 lithium, it’s roughly double that. In short…in NO WAY is it even remotely close to 300 lumens! Secondly, this light (IMHO) is not suitable for use on a bedside table. For THAT use, it’s TOO bright! For “middle-of-the-night” use, you want only around 5 lumens (or less) of light. There are dozens of flashlights on the market which feature multiple levels of brightness. I realize for that though, you MIGHT need to spend around $30. BUT, THEY ARE WORTH IT! Thirdly (if that’s a word) I’m not sure where you see that this light is tactical in nature. I have the SAME LIGHT, and mine is NOT tactical! Tactical means “momentary on” with the push of the tail switch. The CREE “300 lumen” light I have does not perform that function. You also fail to mention that the beam is focus-sable…meaning that it goes from a tight (SQUARE) spot of light, to a large round beam. While the beam of the CREE light is pulled back to full, it’s not as bright as another mini light I have, which is about 200 lumens.

    If you’d like to see video comparison of what I’m talking about, here’s a link — https://youtu.be/IPHPGqbZnb4


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