Best medical penlights for healthcare professionals

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There is nothing more unprofessional than pulling out your smartphone every time you need to examine someone’s pupils or throat. If you are a healthcare professional working with patients you need a medical penlight.

Not all medical penlights are created equal, they range from disposable ones to high quality light sources.

If you use a penlight frequently, I recommend investing in a durable and solid penlight like this one from Weltool (link to Amazon).

If the penlight is less important for your work, you can easily settle for a less expensive, yet effective penlight, like the ones from Risemark that is available in several colors (link to Amazon).

If you are hesitant to get a penlight because you have a tendency to lose them you can get a set of cheap and disposable penlights from Primacare (link to Amazon).

Continue reading below where I discuss and review the penlight recommend above to help you make an informed purchase.

Weltool M6-Dr Medical Penlight

Capturing the top spot, this penlight is ideal for medical examination.

It is made of durable aerospace aluminum alloy and is waterproof. This comes in handy if you are unlucky and drop it on the floor or that it falls out of your pocket while washing your hands.

Despite the tough exterior, it remains Small & Portable and comes equipped with a steel clip clip that makes it easily clip to any pocket.

The body measures 5.24″ long and 0.55” thick and it houses 2 AAA alkaline batteries fueling the LED light source with a runtime of 10 hours.  

What really sets this one apart is its no-glare LED flashlight that has a warm color temperature which is less intense to the patient’s eyes when examined, as well as its even beam that gives off a sharp, circular light area without any dark spots.

If you are in need of a medical penlight you should give this one serious consideration. You can check it out yourself by clicking this link to head over to Amazon.

Here you can check out some more specs and read tons of positive reviews from satisfied doctors, medical students, and nurses. 

RISEMART Medical Penlight

A less pricy option, well suited for those who don’t want to put too much money into their penlight, while still getting a solid product.

The aluminum alloy casing provides for a durable casing that houses 2 AAA batteries powering the LED bulb for up to 200 hours.

It is equipped with a practical clip for convenient carry in pockets, in which it easily fits measuring 5 inches long and 0,47 inches in diameter.

Unlike many other medical penlights, the end that houses the LED bulb is concave, which makes the bulb less exposed decreasing the risk that it breaks in case you were to drop it.

Another cool detail is the pupil gauge on the side of the pen.

What is really convenient with this option is that you actually get 2 pieces, which means you won’t tear your hair out if you lose one.

Also, it comes with a total of 4 light bulbs, 2 of which have warm light. This means that you can change those bright, uncomfortable white LED bulbs.

On the downside, the overall quality is not as good as the more expensive options, especially when it comes to the quality of the light that it casts which is more uneven.

Yet, they remain a customer favorite and are available in several different colors on amazon. You can click this link to check them out yourself as well as see the current price.

Primacare Disposable Medical Penlight

The cheapest option is a blessing for those who constantly lose their penlights. This set of 6 disposable penlights will enable you will have a constant supply of penlights for both yourself and colleagues at an affordable price.

They are made with a molded plastic body that measures inches long and 0,5 inches in diameter.

They are equipped with a convenient pocket clip which also functions as the on switch as it activates the LED bulb when pressing it towards the body. In addition, they also feature the neat pupil gauge on the side.

Obviously, the quality of these is limited, however, with regular use, they can last for a decent amount of time.

This is in part because the typical button switch is replaced with the clip activating the light when pressed. This way you can avoid draining the battery by putting it back into your pocket before turning it off.

All in it is a decent option which offers a lot for the price. You can head over to Amazon by clicking this link to check the current price along with vast amounts of reviews from satisfied customers.

What is a medical penlight used for

The most common use of medical penlight is to visualize the eyes and pupils (size, shape, etc) and test the pupillary reaction/reflex in response to light. This is the reason why many of the models are equipped with the pupil gauge on the side of the pen.

This is not its only application though. The penlight is great for visualizing skin rashes and wounds in a busy ER or other places where you don’t have access to an examination lamp.

Also, the penlight comes in really handy to visualize the oral cavity and throat for signs of ulcers, bleeding (posterior nosebleeds), oral candidiasis (oral thrush), tonsillitis, etc.

Finally, I found it to be helpful when checking urinary catheter bags for signs of blood or when checking in on patients in shared rooms during the night.

What features you want in your penlight

Most medical personnel don’t really offer this much thought. However, I can recall getting really annoyed when my penlight wouldn’t function properly when I was about to examine patients. This is the last thing you want to happen during a busy shift as even small things can really tick you off.

The most important features are reliability and light quality. In terms of reliability, I mean that your penlight will turn on once pressed as long as it has batteries to power it.

In order for it to be reliable, it has to be made of a solid material and have a sturdy, firm build. This will enable it to withstand getting dropped to the floor more than once.

I can’t tell you how many times my penlight was sent flying across the room or crashing to the floor as I flicked my coat off the hanger or put it over the back of a chair. This is where the metal clip comes in handy.

The second most important thing is the light quality. The cheaper the penlight the poorer the light quality. What I mean with poor light quality are blueish LED lights which are uncomfortable when for the patient’s eye and which also scatters very poor, giving off an uneven, non-centered beam of light.

Also, the light from bright LED bulbs makes it more difficult to get a proper impression of the color on the skin or in the throat, etc.

Final words

Bottom line is that all doctors and nurses should have their own penlight. It has become an essential and versatile tool that belongs in the pocket of any health professional in modern medicine.

I have used all of the options discussed above, and while I found some of their individual features useful, I believe a penlight like the Weltool M6-Dr or similar is the absolute best option.

That being said, I have yet to find the perfect model. The only thing I would change is to have a penlight that combines the on-switch of the disposable penlights with the quality of something like the Weltool.

If you know about something like this, be sure to let me know by contacting me though the email provided on the about page.