One of Nitecore’s new entries for 2019, the P18 handheld tactical flashlight combines a futuristic outer body design with state-of-the-art technology and performance
The Nitecore P18 is one of the latest offerings from this well-known, Chinese manufacturer of utility, camping, professional and tactical lighting tools.
A handheld tactical and defense flashlight, and not a gun-light, the Nitecore P18 was mainly conceived for EDC and for duty carry by law enforcement, private security, and first responders – firefighters, EMTs, Civil Defense, and so on – and it is dimensioned as such, standing at 10,5 cm / 4.15” of overall length for a total weight of 103,5 grams (3.65 oz), which is by no means a burdensome mass to carry, but far from the heights of compactness that the market got us used to lately.
And nonetheless, the P18 is just as revolutionary and innovative, particularly in terms of design, as a Nitecore product can be – which is mainly what contributed to make this brand so popular to begin with.
The Nitecore P18 tactical flashlight sports a unibody construction: the single-piece, markedly futuristic aerospace-grade aluminum alloy body of the P18 is die-cast rather than machined, along the lines of what the aircraft and race car industries do with many key components.
Other than “just” providing solidity and rigidity, this allowed Nitecore to manufacture a flashlight that’s perfectly designed to fit precisely in a palm, offering a solid and slip-proof hold, light weight and optimum heat dissipation thanks to Nitecore’s patented ATR Advanced Temperature Regulation technology that allows the flashlight to adjust its output depending from environmental conditions in order to achieve a better management of inner temperature accumulation and prevent damage or loss of performance.
The Nitecore P18 features a CREE XHP35 HD main Led housed inside a smooth SMO metal deflector, patterned to maximize beam throw and protected by a crystal-coated front lens – all topped by the patented Nitecore PDOT technology. The head of the P18 light is totally embedded within the futuristic torch unibody, providing superior protection to this key component against impacts and elements; an aftermarket stainless steel bezel is also available for the P18, allowing use as an emergency self-defense instrument or glass breaker. The detachable pocket or belt clip, held in position by a single Torx screw, is also made out of steel.
The Nitecore P18 tactical flashlight is powered by a single rechargeable IMR 18650 Li-Ion 31,500mAh battery, hosted in a compartment accessible from the rear of the flashlight’s body through a screw-on cap.
Two controls are provided: a rear, silent button for the main Led located just under the battery compartment cap, quickly accessible with the user’s thumb, also allowing navigation between the available output modes; and a smaller side button for the independent activation of an auxiliary 10 Lumens red Led located just under the bezel, for map reading or tactical navigation in low-light conditions. The auxiliary Led also dubs as a power gauge: a constant pressure on the side button for over three seconds will cause the red light to flash, showing the battery voltage.
The main Led offers five output modes: an “Ultra-low” 1-Lumen mode with a 10 meters / 10,9 yards throw; a “Low” 65-Lumens mode with a 37 meters / 40.46 yards throw; a “Mid” 260-Lumens mode with a 73 meters / 79.8 yards mode; a “High” 850-Lumens mode with a 135 meters / 147 yards throw; and a staggering “Turbo” 1800-Lumens mode, offering a beam range of 182 meters / 200 yards. Depending from the selected output mode, the battery can offer a continuous runtime ranging between thirty minutes to a maximum of 220 hours.
A built-in mode memory system allows the user to access the last brightness level used. Three additional 1800-Lumens modes are also provided: a Beacon mode, an SOS mode, and a unique tactical strobe offering randomly changing frequencies which are non-adaptable to by naked eyes and thus increase the blinding and dizziness-inducing effect for when the situation is critical.
The Nitecore P18 is IP56-certified for resistance to immersion in water and against other elements, and is tested for impact resistance up to 1 meter (3.28 ft). Currently available on all commercial markets, its average price point makes it a sensible choice for whoever needs a compact high-power and high-tech flashlight to depend upon.