Home Equipment Survival Gear Review: Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight

Survival Gear Review: Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight


In case you’ve been dwelling below a bridge or in an underground bunker for the previous 5 to 10 years, flashlight and different illumination expertise has been advancing like a blitzkrieging Panzer division in early WWII – swiftly and aggressively. I’m doubtless relationship myself right here, however it looks like only a couple yesterdays in the past that the 4-cell “D” Maglite I had below the seat of my Oldsmobile station wagon was one of the best gentle a person might probably ask for. A candy little crimson anodized AA-powered Mini-Maglite rode in a nylon belt pouch at any time when I ventured outdoor. If I wanted to pierce the nighttime darkness to discover a wily piece of hardwood for a cooking fireplace, or sweep the again garden after the solar went right down to establish the rationale the canine was barking, effectively, I had the world by the cojones.

By Drew, contributing writer to Survival Cache and SHTFblog

However time marches on, and the inexorable thirst for illumination progress and enchancment is relentless. I bear in mind the primary time I visited a pal – who was a West Virginia State Trooper on the time – and he confirmed me his Streamlight Stinger rechargeable obligation gentle. Correctly impressed by how promptly out of date my Magazine-Lite had develop into, I used my worker low cost on the gun store I labored at and acquired my very personal Streamlight Scion rechargeable, and relegated my Maglites to carry out uncared for sentry obligation – rolling round junk drawers and sort out containers with corroding batteries and fading reminiscences. That Streamlight served a few years as my main gentle with excellent success, however its incandescent bulb merely turned outdated at some point.

I don’t bear in mind my first LED flashlight – however I bear in mind being blown away by the power-sipping bulb with unimaginable, stark-white output. I’ve had a slew of LED lights since – from gas-station cheapies to torches that solely come into your possession after making a startling variety of useless presidents fly out of your pockets – and certainly, high quality varies wildly.  Typically, I’ve discovered that the extra feature-encrusted the sunshine has been, the extra vulnerable the sunshine has been to failure of types. A number of bulbs for “additional output” fizzled out. Multi-function switches determined to develop into uni-function (learn: “off solely”) switches. Circuitry failed and grounds corroded, leaving dim or simply plain drained, inoperable lights – turning flashlights into only a handy tubular encasement to carry your spare useless batteries.

It wasn’t up till actually the previous couple-three years that – in my expertise – there have been actually good lights produced which might be feature-rich, boast unimaginable efficiency (1,000 lumens plus), and land below the $100.00 mark. My first actual high-performance gentle was a Fenix PD35TAC. This workhorse of an EDC gentle launched me to inexpensive fashionable illumination with dependable variable energy output, rugged development, and average value. Although not with out flaws, it has been a private benchmark for my opinion on how a contemporary (as of Could, 2019) flashlight ought to carry out.

However none of those lights is what this text is about; they merely present a traveled pathway to feature-laden flashlight greatness…and right here it’s.

Enter Nitecore

Enter the Nitecore MH12GTS – a feature-crammed powerhouse of a flashlight – a lightweight whose finest characteristic arguably is the value tag that simply squeaks in below the $100.00 mark; there’s a killer efficiency:greenback ratio occurring with the MH12GTS. Let’s have a look.

The MH12GTS falls within the lower- center of the dimensions and energy spectrum of Nitecore’s versatile MH (Multitask Hybrid) lineup of flashlights – an enormous sequence of flashlights that covers numerous floor within the flashlight world’s functionality division, whereas providing the utility of being rechargeable through USB port to save lots of the price and trouble of frequent battery replacements.

The primary time you maintain the MH12GTS in your hand, the fast bodily attributes you acknowledge are its size of only a hair over 5 ½ inches (5.66 inches in the event you’re feeling notably meticulous), width of 1 inch, and not-featherlight but not-cumbersome weight of about Four ounces with all of the equipment on it. The knurling is finely machined, and the robust black anodized end is enticing and purposeful. The tailcap energy change is protected by two sturdy outcroppings, each of which provide a lanyard gap. Nonetheless, to me, the general first impression is that appearance-wise, the MH12GTS is similar to different comparable flashlights of the identical worth vary.

The Satan (Isn’t) within the Particulars

We’ll examine the included equipment first. I’d like to attract your consideration in direction of a number of fantastic accoutrements which might be all included with the sunshine, all are detachable, and could be added or subtracted to boost the person’s MH12GTS expertise.

The detachable pocket clip is black metal, and durable. The stress is substantial as soon as put in, and ensures the MH12GTS rides in your pocket happier than a chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse. In contrast to clips from different gentle producers, this clip didn’t have an annoying propensity to launch off into components unknown when drawing the sunshine from a entrance pants pocket. Retention on the flashlight is optimistic and appreciated.

Take heed to our podcast: Episode 5: Flashlights

The “tactical ring” is an anodized aluminum ring with curved notches machined into its outer ring, and the ring can thread onto the sunshine’s physique as soon as the tailcap is eliminated. The tactical ring offers a few features reminiscent of growing traction in your gripping hand and offering finger-grip space for a plunger maintain when utilizing along side a sidearm – however I discovered it handiest to simply hold the flashlight from rolling away when positioned on a flat floor.

The lanyard is a straightforward – although definitely not immensely sturdy – affair that attaches to the tailcap of the MH12GTS, however is a splendid inclusion to the bundle – having the ability to present additional safety by the use of retaining your  gentle bodily connected to your wrist is usually a Godsend if used round water, steep elevations, or moonless nights, the place in the event you drop your gentle with out it on, you could be relegated to a protracted night crawling in your knees, blindly probing the bottom and swearing.

The belt-mounted holster is a decently-made affair, constructed of nylon with a flap that folds excessive of the ensconced flashlight and retains issues using securely by the use of a hook and loop panel. It’s an effective way to maintain the sunshine in your physique or pack in the event you don’t like having numerous gear in you pockets – and the MH12GTS is kinda proper on the bushy fringe of being a bit too massive for EDC pocket carry, for my part – so the choice to belt carry is welcomed.

An additional rubber O-ring for sealing the sunshine’s tailcap and a chargeable NL1835HP 3500 mAH battery spherical out the suite of included equipment.

So far as the sunshine correct goes, when you begin turning the flashlight over in your arms and analyzing the design that derived the MH12GTS, nonetheless, you begin to discover a pair deviations out of your run-of-the-mill tactical-type lights. And these bodily deviations are effectively thought out with glorious execution.

The tailcap has grown two protecting ears that hold the tailcap from being engaged unintentionally, turning the sunshine on and depleting the battery or asserting your presence blatantly in a darkish setting. Nonetheless, these tailcap ears permit the MH12GTS to tailstand (arise vertically on a flat floor) and illuminate a room by shining at a white ceiling, brighten the underside of your BOV to restore a cracked oil pan on a path, or draw consideration to the world through the beacon flash perform. Many lights that seem just like the MH12GTS supply the safety of the metallic ears on the tailcap, however they aren’t designed with sufficient forethought to permit the sunshine to tailstand by itself. This dereliction of design obligation is a extreme ache within the posterior now and again if you simply merely want the sunshine to face at consideration whereas powered on. The tailcap’s rubber energy button permits momentary illumination by tapping the change; a full melancholy of the change leads to an auditory “click on” and the sunshine stays on till you flip it off or the battery runs out of juice. The tailcap change can be programmed to recollect the final setting it was used at and begin on the similar output when powered on once more.

The subsequent element that caught my eye was the facet change. A small round change, positioned on the facet of the flashlight’s barrel a couple of quarter means aft from the lens, is fabricated from metallic to reduce injury that’s positive to befall a worthy tool. This change is a multi-function change, and it stands happy with the contours of the flashlight – simply sufficient to be positively tactile to be used with gloves or chilly arms, however not sufficient to be obtrusive. When in comparison with my Fenix PD35TAC, which affords a change with comparable placement and performance however is flush with the flashlight sides, the Nitecore’s design is simply barely totally different sufficient to make a world of distinction. Discovering the button at midnight to regulate the sunshine’s output by braille is a breeze, and vastly appreciated.

Nonetheless, Nitecore didn’t cease with the tactile enchancment; one other step they took to make sure the operator might discover the change is straightforward but actually sensible – create an illuminated ring across the button so a fast look will let you know the place the change is positioned. A blue gentle flashes across the perimeter of the change solely when the sunshine is on, to information your consideration to the management. This illuminated ring additionally serves to show the present battery cost stage, in addition to the charging standing. It’s an awesome setup, and effectively thought out to supply an excessive amount of info on the sunshine’s standing – although an intensive research of the proprietor’s handbook is required to decipher the sample of flashes the MH12GTS communicates with.

Cost of the Gentle Brigade

That’s proper; this flashlight is rechargeable, through a small micro USB port within the tailcap that’s each waterproof in itself but additionally protected by an connected rubber plug. The MH12GTS is a dual-fuel gentle in that it may well use a pair of standard CR123A batteries or a single 18650 Li-Ion battery – or you possibly can, after all, use the included (and most popular) NL1835HP battery which affords in-light charging functionality; this implies you don’t have to take away the batteries from the sunshine itself to recharge – merely open the USB port and plug it in. You’ll discover that in the event you’re a fan of blasting out the extremely excessive output this gentle affords, you’ll be charging this gentle up on semi-frequent event, although the 3500 mAH NL1835HP batteries supply an unimaginable quantity of saved juice.

The power to recharge the battery cell via the physique of the sunshine is a superb benefit for a torch that gives efficiency of this stage; the peace of thoughts that comes with understanding the battery that powers your illumination is totally topped off if you head out the door can’t be overstated.

The in-house charging capabilities of the MH12GTS additionally signifies that so long as you’ve a photo voltaic panel or charged energy financial institution with USB outputs, you possibly can refill your battery within the discipline, whereas tenting, searching, or operating from invading Communist forces Wolverine-style.

Scorching Rod Flashlight

As said above, the MH12GTS is a brutal energy monster of a flashlight. Whereas different, bulkier lights supply extra sheer horsepower, the MH12GTS can supply 1,800 lumens of output in your illumination enjoyment. Marketed as able to throwing a crowd-pleasing beam of hand-held gentle 226 meters (roughly 700 toes), the MH12GTS affords efficiency merely mind-boggling when in comparison with the previous D-cell Maglites of my yesteryear.

Whereas this quantity of sunshine definitely has its functions, it generates numerous warmth and inhales energy from the battery at an alarming charge: in the event you might run the 1,800 lumen “turbo” setting constantly, you’d drain the battery in a couple of half an hour. Nonetheless, the sunshine is programmed to knock the ability output again after only a few minutes to reduce damaging warmth build-up. Additionally, worthy of word is that the 1,800 lumen Turbo setting is just obtainable with the correct batteries – Nitecore states that 18650 Li-ion battery of over 8v output will permit the turbo mode – CR123A batteries will solely present the decrease 900 lumen setting.

Additionally learn: Survival Gear Review – Surefire E2D and E1D Defender Flashlights

The Nitecore MH12GTS affords a number of energy settings, chosen from the spherical illuminated change on the facet of the sunshine. The bottom energy output is a mere 1 lumen output – helpful for studying maps, close-in work in a stationary location, or offering that contact of additional brightness in low-light conditions the place you don’t need to blind your self or passersby a block down the

Picture from nitecorestore.com

street. A fast sequence of faucets on the facet change will ratchet the ability output up accordingly to the subsequent output ranges of 70 lumens, 240 lumens, 900 lumens, then the scorching 1,800 lumen turbo setting. Clearly, the totally different ranges of energy use saved energy at totally different charges. The 1 lumen setting offers you about 250 hours of use from a completely charged 3500 mAH 18650 battery; 70 lumens is rated for 19 hours, 240 lumens will final for just below 6 hours, and 900 hours offers you about two hours earlier than the sunshine calls it quits. Time could also be cash, however lumens is energy and the tougher you push the gasoline pedal on this scorching rod, the extra gasoline it makes use of.

Together with the adjustable energy output, the MH12GTS affords 1800-lumen strobe functionality in a number of types. With the sunshine on, a fast double-tap of the facet change will carry the flashing into impact. The primary flashing mode is a random-pattern strobe, used for the sheer goal of complicated or disorienting a goal, whether or not it’s an intruder in your house or a fur-bearing predator in your camp at night time. Subsequent double-tap will yield you an S.O.S. beacon in morse code that repeats endlessly whereas the battery lasts; pair this with the tailstanding functionality whereas misplaced at night time and you’ll alert passing plane are anybody inside eyeshot to your plight and hopefully draw rescue. The final flashing mode is an easy beacon, with the sunshine flashing at a 4-second intervals to – just like the S.O.S. – entice consideration to the sunshine’s location. I do actually like the truth that the flashing settings require a distinct activation perform than swapping energy output; this ensures that if you must tone down the sunshine’s brightness, you don’t unintentionally kick a strobe on. It’s a small, thought out element that follows via your entire design of the sunshine.

The sunshine is, as any good gentle ought to be, IP rated – on this case, to 2 meters submersion depth. The double aluminum tube development ensures {that a} one-meter drop will probably be shrugged off with ease, and the CREE XHP35HD LED bulb ought to have a lifetime of over 50,000 hours – which is, in the event you’re counting, about 5.7 years of steady use.

The bezel is non-crenelated – which means non-scalloped on the lens edge – only a flat edge. It is a two-edged sword – the sunshine doesn’t have the flesh-gouging offensive functionality a crenelated bezel affords, which can make folks in uniform friendlier of their basic inclinations in direction of you in the event you’re stopped. Nonetheless, go away the sunshine powered on and set the sunshine bezel-down upon a flat floor, and also you would possibly simply overlook the flashlight is on and draining batteries – and, relying on the output setting, you is likely to be melting/scorching the floor the sunshine is positioned on…there’s some measure of warmth generated by a lightweight supply of this energy stage, and one should be conscious despite the fact that the sunshine is programmed to modulate output to maintain warmth down.

The Nitecore MH12GTS In Motion

Over the interval of a pair months, I put my standard EDC light within the drawer and carried the Nitecore gentle on my individual virtually daily. As I’ve talked about, the sunshine is a stellar piece of drugs for a lot of functions – simply sufficiently small to be carried most wherever in your entrance pants pocket. I introduced the sunshine on my carry-on baggage on a trans-border flight from Boston to Winnipeg – and the sunshine didn’t garner a second look in both flying course or both nation. The sunshine was innocuous sufficient that it wasn’t considered as a threatening machine – a pleasant characteristic for a lightweight you carry daily.

I did resolve to take away the Tactical Ring from the sunshine when carrying it in my pocket, because the ring was a bit obtrusive and added girth and extra sharp edges for the sunshine to catch or drag on and scrape – the ring did sit above the pocket line, although, so it didn’t intrude within the gentle’s retrieval course of once I wanted to attract the sunshine.

When the MH12GTS was seated in my pocket, I did discover that the uncovered portion of the sunshine that caught out of my pants – all the pieces north of the pocket clip location – was a great ⅜” – ½” taller in profile than my Fenix PD35TAC. This isn’t the top of the world – each lights are fairly straightforward to identify jutting out of denims pockets when carried with the clip – however that additional uncovered space was noticeable, and the sunshine positively caught on objects I discovered myself in shut proximity with now and again. The pocket clip’s retention – each on the sunshine itself and on the pocket material – was spectacular and optimistic; the sunshine was by no means extricated with out a good combat. Taking off jackets – a sure-fire methodology for me to unintentionally catch a pocket clip and produce and unintended empty pocket and misplaced flashlight – was by no means a trouble whereas I carried the MH12GTS with out the Tactical Ring. Once I purposely “caught” the clip with material or a finger and tried to tug laterally in an try to spring the pocket clip off the flashlight, the clip stayed put and snapped again with out bending. Kudos to Nitecore for a strong clip design.

I discovered that the Nitecore was immensely highly effective, and as much as each lighting job I wanted. The MH12GTS carried out sensible service when speaking my canine for a stroll at night time, going out tenting and letting my 5-year-old use the sunshine, or discovering my means round the home throughout an influence outage. I discovered myself retaining the sunshine at both 70 lumen or 250 lumen ranges most likely 90% of the time – the one time I actually used the 1,800-lumen Turbo mode (apart from to wow pals)  was to light up a far shore whereas in a single day tenting on the shore of a lake – the added horsepower actually stood out on this software. However actually, with daily use, you’ll discover that the decrease energy ranges are actually extra helpful – and don’t inadvertently blind you in the event you unintentionally wave your naked hand or a sheet of white paper in entrance of the sunshine whereas utilizing it. I’ll say, my expertise was 100% optimistic with the Nitecore MH12GTS – it all the time labored, and its USB charging functionality was very good and appreciated. I put the sunshine via the trials of daily carry, and it got here up an actual winner.

I’ll admit that almost all of my time with the MH12GTS was mundane suburban every day use – gentle up below a desk once I dropped a pen, look below a automobile to analyze odd drivetrain noises, that form of factor. So I gave the sunshine to my brother, who works at a rural working farm/zoo in central Maine, to check out. Eradicating rats, rodents, and coyotes at night time is a part of what he does across the place, together with tending to lions, bears, wolves, and so on. His every day routine is rather more rigorous than mine, and so he gave the sunshine an actual exercise with a perspective I couldn’t present. After a couple of weeks of utilizing the flashlight every day, he reported again through textual content message:

“To begin with, the sunshine is insanely vivid. Simply enjoying with it in the home, [my wife] threatened to cover it as a result of it was so vivid! It appears to carry a cost some time. My greatest grievance is the dimensions. I believe it’s somewhat massive for EDC, however perhaps it’s as a result of I wasn’t used to carrying one frequently. I do discover that in the event you slip it in a pants facet pocket like this [he sent a picture of the side pocket of a pair of Carhartts], you just about overlook it’s there. Total I really like the factor and it’s been very dependable.”

“Going exterior at night time and utilizing it on full blast, it’s really wonderful how a lot gentle it has.”

I ended up leaving the sunshine with him, since he loved the MH12GTS’s efficiency a lot greater than his normally-used AA mini-maglite. I actually kinda need it again now.

Wrapping it up

The Nitecore MH12GTS is de facto a wonderful gentle for individuals who want critical illumination each day. The sunshine’s dependable operation, ease of use (after perusing the instruction handbook), and ranging ranges of output make the sunshine an outstanding alternative for outdoorsmen, preppers, campers, or simply daily folks going about their lives. Whereas the circuitry required to load a lightweight up with this stage of helpful options might be lower than EMP-proof, I’ve no doubts that this gentle will serve these in search of a reasonably priced, option-laden flashlight very effectively certainly. The MH12GTS is a splendid gateway gentle to the great world of  excessive efficiency lights, and is a worthy LED improve to your getting older arsenal on incandescence.

Now, to go see if my brother will give it again…


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