Can a flashlight be so powerful to output 10.000 lumen and yet be so compact to be carried all day long in your pocket, purse, or belt? the brand new Nitecore TM10K says "YES!"
We'll never say it loudly enough: the firearms, optics, and accessories industries must be driven by innovation, whether they focus on hunting products, sport shooting products, tactical/defensive products, or outdoor supplies. The market can no longer sustain concepts and designs that date back to years, or decades, while the needs, demands and tastes of users change every day. Particularly since the state of technology allows the industry to offer products that can meet and exceed those needs and preferences.
The Chinese Nitecore company is a prime example of constant innovation. Established in 2007, it is now a well respected manufacturer of multipurpose, multifunctional compact utility and tactical flashlights. The dedication of the company and its engineers to a spirit of constant improvement paved the way for the launch of products that can very well be defined as revolutionary.
One of the company's latest products, the Nitecore TM10K 10.000 lumen flashlight, is the summa of the entire concept: with not a single aspect that can't be considered absolutely "revolutionary" by the canons of the flashlights industry and market, the TM10K is a true concentrate of technology and can very well be described – as Nitecore itself does on the company website – as "a flashaholic dream come true".
The Nitecore TM10K is a rectangular, handheld flashlight, not conceived for gun-mounted use, whose only conventional feature is probably the Type III black hard-anodized, CNC machined, unibody die-cast aluminum alloy body. The squared body hosts all controls: a single tail-mounted button located on the rear and a couple of small top buttons right behind a multifunctional OLED display providing quick access to information such as system temperature, battery voltage and remaining runtime, remaining power and Turbo progress bar.
Despite the shape, however, the Nitecore TM10K flashlight is extremely compact: 10,99 cm / 4.33" long overall, 4,08 cm / 1.61" high and 3,09 cm / 1.22" wide (steel belt clip included), the TM10K weighs in at merely 246,5 grams (8,7 oz). This makes the Nitecore TM10K smaller than a smartphone, and the trascurable weight makes it comfortable to carry all day long with you.
The rectangular head of the Nitecore TM10K flashlights hosts six CREE XPH35 HD LEDs in two rows in a PDOT ("Precision Digital Optics Technology") SMO reflector with an optical glass lens that sports a double-sided scratch-resistant coating and a crystal-like treatment.
The XPH35 HD LEDs were chosen due to their high energy conversion efficiency and their capability to maximize the utilization rate of the electrical power and the efficiency of the reflector, and are embedded in a 4mm-thick copper cooling printed circuit board that integrates them organically to the body of the flashlight.
At the heart of the Nitecore TM10K flashlight is a complex – and costly! – MPS circuit fitted with an energy inductor, all powered by a single rechargeable, non-removable INR 21700 48G 4800mAh battery provided by Samsung SDI that's welded into the flashlight. This is Nitecore's very first use of a non-replaceable battery, and it recharges through a standard Type C USB port located right under the tailswitch.
Such a complex and highly powered system generates a lot of heat, hence why the circuitry and the battery are separated by a CNC-machined aluminum heat sink.
But was all of this really necessary in a handheld EDC flashlight? Yes, given how the Nitecore TM10K is capable of an astounding 10.000 Lumen and 20.000 Candela output in Turbo mode – one of the highest currently available on a commercial flashlight.
Offering a 288-meters (215 yds) throw, the TM10K's turbo mode will stun and confuse any opponent better than any strobe mode offered by the competition, giving you an edge in tactical and defensive situation, while also dubbing as basically a handheld floodlight for search and rescue operations.
Of course the powerful Turbo mode will drain the battery very quick, hence why it has to be activated manually, and it is automatically switched off after a maximum of 7 seconds.
The most powerful automatic activation mode – the High mode – is set from factory at 1.000 Lumen; pragmatically, Nitecore engineers made sure that the power is averaged and divided for each LED to achieve 50% higher energy conversion efficiency than a conventional single LED flashlight. This makes the TM10K able to achieve a durable runtime of two hours in High mode – twice as long as any other 1.000 Lumen flashlight.
The Nitecore TM10K offers three additional pre-programmed output modes: a 300-Lumen Mid mode, offering seven hours of battery runtime; a 100-Lumen, 14-hours Low mode; and an Ultralow mode for reading or navigation, with an output of mere 3 Lumen for 200 hours of continuous runtime.
What gives an edge to the High mode of the Nitecore TM10K flashlight, however, is that it is reprogrammable by the user, increasing or reducing its output level at 100 Lumen increments by using the side-mounted buttons on the flashlight body and ranging from a minimum of 400 Lumen to a maximum of 2.000 Lumen, twice the factory-programmed 1.000 Lumen output.
The Nitecore TM10K flashlight is impact-resistant up to 1 meter, IP68-certified water resistant against immersion up to 2 meters in depth, it's tailstand capable and compatible with a 550 Paracord lanyard.
It can also be set to two lockout modes if need be: a full lockout mode for longterm storage or transport locks out all controls, including the tail button, to prevent accidental activation; a half-lockout mode locks out the side buttons, preventing accidental setting shift, but keeps the tail button functional – perfect for carry.
There aren't many flashlights currently available on the commercial/EDC market that can match or outperform the Nitecore TM10K; much less are those that can provide a comparable level of workmanship, technology and performance at the same price level.