Nitecore makes handheld flashlights and their Li-ion battery chargers are the industry standard. Cloud Defensive uses their battery chargers for their OWL. Well, Nitecore offered up their MT10C for review.
Nitecore MT10C Is A Pocket Rocket
The MT10C is a single cell light. However, it is dual fuel just like the new Streamlights and SureFire lights. If you use a standard CR123 battery the MT10C has a max output of 480 lumens. But if you use their IMR 18350 the light ramps up to 920 lumens.
The 18350 is a little taller and wider than a CR123 so Nitecore included a battery sleeve to take up the slack if you use a CR123 primary battery.
The black and yellow IMR 18350 next to a Duracell CR123 and black battery sleeve.
There is a slight difference between the CR123 and 18350. First, the CR123 is not rechargeable and puts out 3v with 1700 mAh. The 18350 is rechargeable but puts out 4.2v-3.7v but only has 700 mAh. Surprisingly, the run time of the MT10C is not adversely affected by the low mAh of the 18350. At full brightness, the MT10C will run for 30 mins on a 18350 and 45 mins on a CR123. You can see the chart below. The top chart is for the 18350 and the bottom chart is for a CR123.
Max Output 920 lumens
Max Beam Distance 190 m
Max Beam Intensity 9000 cd
Max Runtime 170 h 0 m / 7.08 d
LED CREE XM-L2 U2
Battery 1 × CR123 ,1 × RCR123 ,IMR
Special Modes Location Beacon,SOS,Strobe
Length 91.2 mm / 3.59 in
Head Size 25.4 mm / 1 in
Weight 57 g / 2.01 oz
The tail cap is semi shrouded which allows it to tail stand. Tail standing a light allows you to shine the light up at a ceiling so the light bounces back down diffused and even.
One problem I have with the partial shroud is how narrow the tabs are. See the photo below. You can see how easy it would be for the MT10C to tip over.
The head has two buttons that allow you to change modes. The MT10C has 5 brightness levels for the white LED and two modes for the red LED.
WHITE: Turbo, High, Mid, Low, Ultra Low
Red: Light, Beacon
The buttons change modes sequentially. However, there is a shortcut. If you press and hold the up button while you press the tail cap switch, the light will turn on in Turbo mode. If you press and hold the down button while you turn on the light, it will turn one red LED. You can also press and hold either button while the light is on and the MT10C will switch to turbo or Red regardless of what mode you are in. The light also remembers the last mode you were in even if you turn the light off.
There is a series of hidden modes that involve holding the two buttons down when the light is off or on. When the light is off, press and hold both selector buttons simultaneously. This cause the red LED to turn on. It will blink to indicate battery voltage. Freshly charged a rechargeable Li-Ion battery is 4.2V. So the red light will blink four times pause then blink two times. Afterwards, it will blink slowly acting as a location beacon for helping you to find the light in a dark backpack or night time.
If you press and hold the two buttons when the light is on, you enter the following hidden modes; strobe, location beacon and SOS.
The red LED is offset which causes a bit of artifacts in the beam pattern but since this light is more low light use and administrative tasks, a clean beam pattern is not needed.
The white LED is centered in the orange peel reflector producing a great beam pattern.
The MT10C comes with a belt pouch but I have not been one to use them.
The Velcro flap does not leave much room for a tall belt but there is plenty of Velcro so the belt would overlap.
The pocket clip is detachable and reversible.
I’m not a fan of the pocket clip position. The bend of the clip is where your pocket will stop. Meaning a considerable amount of flashlight will stick out of your pocket. I prefer deep carry with the tail cap just below or at the level of my pocket.
Another issue with the pocket clips is this bend that pinches material. It is too close to the body of the MT10C making it a pain to slide the pocket clip all the way down onto my pocket. I often find myself having to bend the pocket clip out for thicker material like denim.
The light retails for $61.95 MSRP but is currently on sale for $39.95 on Nitecore’s webstore
. That price does not include the 18350 battery but you can add that with your order for just $7.19.
The MT10C is a bright light for its size and is reasonably priced. I like that it can use CR123 primaries or a 18350 IMR for more output. The pocket clip could use a redesign and the pouch seems unnecessary but that is just a personal preference.
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