“REVIEW”: Nitefox ES10K (Stainless Steel) AA/14500 flashlight

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MascaratumB
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“REVIEW”: Nitefox ES10K (Stainless Steel) AA/14500 flashlight

Hi BLF!

This is my review of the Nitefox ES10K flashlight. The flashlight has been sent by Nitefox, for free, after a “call for reviews” opened here on the forum http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60416.

Thank you Nitefox for this opportunity Wink

Despite being “for free” I will present my honest and unbiased review!

This flashlight can be bought in Amazon. Recently Nitefox member published some codes and promos on this thread: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60863 .

Other BLF reviews for the Nitefox ES10K can be found here:
pc_light: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60569
– X3-: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60820
Boaz: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60743

Here are some reviews of the Nitefox ES10 (the non-knurled version):
Lick: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/61201
Dirty_Pierre: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60531

IMPORTANT NOTE: This light has been shipped with the body of the ES10K and the head of the ES10 (narrower). I was informed by Nitefox of this fact by PM some days after the light was shipped. Therefore, if you buy the ES10K, it will be slightly different and will have a larger head (see pc_light review to see the complete ES10K model).

__________________________________________________
GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

Body Material: Stainless Steel (User Manual mentions: aerospace grade aluminium alloy with durable Type III hard anodize coating/stainless steel)…
Emitter: XP-G2 (Neutral White)
Lens: AR Coated Lens
Reflector: Orange Peel (aluminium alloy)
Switch: Reverse Tail Switch
Beam distance: 60 meters
Waterproof: IPX8 (works in rain or shallow water, to 2 meters)
Impact resistance: 1 meter
Reverse Polarity Protection: Yes
Batteries: AA (Ni-MH or Alkaline) – other batteries (3.7V Li-Ion 14500) are not recommended

__________________________________________________
USER INTERFACE & OUTPUT vs RUNTIME

USER INTERFACE
From OFF, full click to turn ON.
Cycles through High > Low > Strobe with half clicks.
From ON, full click to turn OFF.

The light has no memory, so it always starts on High. If the light is turned OFF and the rapidly turned ON within ON really fast, otherwise it will always start on High.

OUTPUT vs RUNTIME
High: 180 lumens > 1.2 hours
Low: 20 lumens > 20 hours
Strobe: 180 Lumens > s/d

I think these specs are measured with AA batteries, but that is not specified.

I also want to say that I’ve been using and testing this light with a 14500 battery, but it indeed gets very hot soon after being turned ON. It is not recommended, though, by the manufacturer to use these batteries.

__________________________________________________
THE FLASHLIGHT AND ACCESSORIES

The flashlight was wrapped in a white plastic bag, inside a metal box and protected with shaped foam, to fit the flashlight and the accessories.
Inside the box I found: 1 ES10K flashlight + 1 white plastic diffuser + 1 spare o-ring + 1 spare pocket clip + 2 small screws for the clip + 1 L shaped hex screwdriver + 1 User Manual

________________////_________________
FLASHLIGHT
The flashlight has a nice finishing and feels good to the touch. It is well made and shows no visible imperfections at sight.

The Lens is AR Coated with a blue look (not purple). The Tailcap is metal (SS) as the flashlight body.

The pocket clip is sturdy and strong, and doesn’t allow the light to get out easily when “pocketed” Wink The pocket clip material appears to be different from the flashlight body or maybe it is just a coating difference.

As mentioned above, the sample I received has a different head from the “stock” Nitefox ES10K, being thinner than the “original” model. The bezel has some grooves vertical.

The battery tube is very well knurled with no scratches or imperfections. Despite it is not “aggressive” or “sharp” it may be a bit harsh in soft tissues due to the strength of the pocket clip and because it is not a soft surface.

PARTS
The flashlight is composed by 2 main parts: head and battery tube/tail.

The head is composed by: bezel + o-ring above the lens + lens + OP reflector + black gasket (that holds the reflector and fits in the emitter board + 9.7mm x 1mm aluminium emitter board with XP-G2 (NW, in my sample) + pill + driver + the rest of the head.

The driver is flat, having no spring or brass “button” (sorry, forgot the specific name…). Due to this, some flat top batteries (if you risk to use 14500 unprotected batteries) may not work properly. It is designed to be used with button top batteries.

The battery tube, that arrived slightly lubbed, has: an o-ring + the pocket clip screwed in on the outside with 2 screws + metal switch button + reverse clicky switch with spring.

The metal button can be unscrewed towards the tail’s end with some pointy tweezers, scissors or pliers. To remove it, the screws from the pocket clip must be taken out or unscrewed.

(BTW, I can remember, but I guess there is an internal o-ring in the tail… Facepalm )

SIZE AND WEIGHT

The Nitefox ES10K is not a big flashlight, but due to its construction, it ends being heavier than other AA flashlights. It fits well in a pocket, despite not being a “thin” flashlight (if compared with some thinner AA lights, of course).

As mentioned, its construction is very good, though, and it seems capable of being beat and to handle some bruises as it is a tank Big Smile

________________////_________________
USER MANUAL
Now a short look to the manual. It is written in English and Chinese. It contains information about: Specifications, Operation, Parameters, FAQ’s, Warnings (for users) and Warranty.

Among these I emphasized the 2 year warranty given by Nitefox under certain circumstances, of course


________________////_________________
DIFFUSER
The white plastic diffuser is a nice add to this flashlight, specially if one considers one spec: “high efficient constant current circuit”, that will probably provide “constant output, more brightness and longer runtime”. These specs are written in the user manual, but I am no specialist to confirm this.

What I know is that with this flashlight and diffuser we can use it in different situations as a “candle” or warning light (using the strobe).

________________////_________________
COMPARISON

Some size comparisons with other lights:
Sofirn SF10 > Sofirn SF14 > Nitefox ES10K > Sofirn S10B > Convoy S2+ (18350 version) > DQG Slim TI (AA version) > Olight S1R Baton

Stainless Steel AAA (similar to BLF 348) > Nitefox ES10K //////// Amutorch S3 (AA) > Nitefox ES10K

__________________________________________________
BEAMSHOTS AND TINT
Here are some indoor beamshots. Despite it seems that the light has some tint shift, it doesn’t have that much. A thorough appreciation with naked eye would say that it has a “whitish” hotspot, then the corona is white, the spill is not much noticed (against a white wall or against other surfaces) and then white again in the outer spill.

The beam is good, well centred and pleasant to the eye. Being and XP-G2 it isn’t either rosy or yellowish; it is white.

About the output, the High mode is “clean” but under the sight of a camera, the Low mode shows some PWM as seen in the photos.

Here’s a tint comparison between:
Nitefox K3 (XPG2 NW to CW) > Nitefox ES10K ////// Stainless Steel AAA (Nichia NVSW219BT) > Nitefox K3 > Nitefox ES10K

__________________________________________________
OVERALL APPRECIATION

What I liked the most
+ The tint and the beam. The NW tint is quite nice and has no significant shifts and the beam has no significant “artifacts”.

+ The tailswitch. It has been flawless and provides a nice operation of the flashlight.

+ The feel of the flashlight. It gives confidence that it may be used and abused due to its construction (despite I didn’t make and drop / impact test). It is probable that a drop test would prove me the contrary.

+ The box and accessories. A spare clip and a diffuser are good to have as accessories for this and other flashlights. And that metal box has the classy “bling” Cool

///////////

What I think that can be improved
- The user interface. As other reviewers also mentioned, H>L>Strobe is not a good UI, and should be improved. Nitefox has other good UIs in theirs lights so I hope they can improved the one in this flashlight.

- The tension in pocket clip <> knurling. Despite this can be improved with slight bend on the clip, it is probable that it provokes some damage in some thinner tissues.

- The weight. Well, its is stainless steel, it is heavy. It may not be so good for those that like “stealth” flashlights on the pocket.

- It doesn’t take 14500 Li-Ion batteries (by specification). And when it does (at our own risk) the head gets very hot really fast.

__________________________________________________
This said, I wanna thank Nitefox for sending the flashlight for review. I also wanna say that being a relatively unknown brand, they deliver high quality flashlights. I have 3 Nitefox lights all with good quality. So keep up the good work.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments or questions.

Best regards Thumbs Up

Edited by: MascaratumB on 06/29/2018 - 21:33
Lightbringer
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Kewl, but I think you need some pictures of spoons. LOL

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Lightbringer wrote:
Kewl, but I think you need some pictures of spoons. LOL

Ahah, and would it be that? Silly
What am I missing? Flat Stare
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MascaratumB wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Kewl, but I think you need some pictures of spoons. LOL
Ahah, and would it be that? Silly What am I missing? Flat Stare

From the greatest movie ever made, compared to “Citizen Kane”, even!

Big Smile

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MascaratumB
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Lightbringer wrote:
MascaratumB wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Kewl, but I think you need some pictures of spoons. LOL
Ahah, and would it be that? Silly What am I missing? Flat Stare

From the greatest movie ever made, compared to “Citizen Kane”, even!

Big Smile

EHEHEH xD Oh man, only you could say this Big Smile
I don’t have those spoons and I also don’t like this painting but it was on the house when I rented and I didn’t bother changing it SillyFacepalmTiredParty

BTW, at first sight that guy looked Peter Steele (RIP)!

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Thanks for your review.
The design looks great although smaller head seems uncommon for me, but still look nice.

www.lumenzilla.com

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lumenzilla wrote:
Thanks for your review. The design looks great although smaller head seems uncommon for me, but still look nice.

Thanks lumenzilla! Wink
Yeah, the head is very slim compared to the body, but as it was a mistake when sending it couldn’t do much more Big Smile
But I believe the “original” head will look much better here !! All and all, despite that and some points I mentioned, it is a nice and well built light Wink

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MascaratumB wrote:
EHEHEH xD Oh man, only you could say this Big Smile

It’s a classic… Big Smile

MascaratumB wrote:
BTW, at first sight that guy looked Peter Steele (RIP)!

Wow, that’s a name I haven’t heard in æons… but you’re right.

 

Anyhoo, I was wondering about the UI. The UT20 has a really nice one, sttrobe is out of the way, it’s a nice low→high mode order, etc., but I think this would drive me buggy. I got a nice Lumintop Tool that I don’t use because of the always-start-on-medium (vs low). Even with nomem, how hard is it to just 2click to get to high, vs blinding yourself first and then stepping down?

After some lardass parked himself on my holstered ’502, ripping the side of the holster, I’ve been EDCing the UT20 with a deep-carry clip made for the S2+ Fits like a glove. I just can’t bring myself to using the clip on any light if it ain’t deep-carry. I’m paranoid of having it squoosh out of my pocket when sitting down, and losing it. Even my EDCed Sanremu, which I could easily clip… nope, I gotta have it bouncing around in my pocket vs clipping it.

How’s the clip on this little critter? Snug enough for even non-paranoid use?

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Lightbringer wrote:
MascaratumB wrote:
BTW, at first sight that guy looked Peter Steele (RIP)!

Wow, that’s a name I haven’t heard in æons… but you’re right.

I was/am not a deep connaisseur of their discography but he was a figure on the metal scene and that voice simply WOW Shocked

Lightbringer wrote:
Anyhoo, I was wondering about the UI. The UT20 has a really nice one, sttrobe is out of the way, it’s a nice low→high mode order, etc., but I think this would drive me buggy. I got a nice Lumintop Tool that I don’t use because of the always-start-on-medium (vs low). Even with nomem, how hard is it to just 2click to get to high, vs blinding yourself first and then stepping down?

Well, this UI is not the best as I mentioned. It is quite “old fashioned” not in a good way. When using a 14500 battery, you blind yourself on the start as the beam is more intense than the pictures show. On AA, the highest output is lower, but it is not like starting on a Low or Moonlight mode.

It also annoys to have to pass through the Strobe to get the “regular modes”. In comparison, their UT20 and even the Nitefox K3 (twisty AAA) are more interesting! Both in mode order and output spacing!

Meaning, this light will be a candidate for a driver change Big Smile

Lightbringer wrote:
After some lardass parked himself on my holstered ’502, ripping the side of the holster, I’ve been EDCing the UT20 with a deep-carry clip made for the S2+ Fits like a glove. I just can’t bring myself to using the clip on any light if it ain’t deep-carry. I’m paranoid of having it squoosh out of my pocket when sitting down, and losing it. Even my EDCed Sanremu, which I could easily clip… nope, I gotta have it bouncing around in my pocket vs clipping it.

How’s the clip on this little critter? Snug enough for even non-paranoid use?

Well, the clip on this…it is really secure! It won’t get out of your pocket easily!! It really sticks to it strongly. For me, its probably one of the best of these screw in clips I got on a light. Even compared with Amutorch S3, Jetbeam RRT01 and all those Convoy clips, this one is much better. And it has a plus: it came with a spare one Big SmileParty

BTW, I gave the UT20 to my parents as it is simple to use and even to charge (they are not techy)!!

So, if you wanna go for one of these, maybe a driver change is good enough to make it a superb light Wink

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You guys have to learn which end of the light is which. Big Smile

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I love the feel of the light too. Like a big 348. If we remove the memory resistor it will be a single mode which isn't bad either. Anything other than strobe!

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Lick wrote:

I love the feel of the light too. Like a big 348. If we remove the memory resistor it will be a single mode which isn’t bad either. Anything other than strobe!

I guess I will prefer a driver swap Evil The light as a potential to be modded and to be carried in a more useful, if a new UI is implemented Wink
BTW, removing that resistor would it make turn ON in the “High” mode (only)?

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Mascaratum, good review and great idea compiling other reviews as an aid to readers. I always struggle with what to do when a light already has other multiple reviews.

I’m with you on a driver change. The body is built like a tank and really deserves to be carried.

Move towards the light.

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pc_light wrote:
Mascaratum, good review and great idea compiling other reviews as an aid to readers. I always struggle with what to do when a light already has other multiple reviews.

I’m with you on a driver change. The body is built like a tank and really deserves to be carried.

Hey pc_light! Thanks Smile

I always try to see what’s been said around, a review has facts and opinions and it’s good for people to know the several + and – Wink
About the driver, it really deserves something better, right? I hope Nitefox can change this on next batches as the light will become more attractive for enthusiasts and non enthusiasts!

This is really well built in every way so it’s use will probably be better with a new UI Wink

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Is that a 17mm driver? Unlike side-clicky lights, that should be easy to swap, if you’re okay with 14500s only, and no more eneloops or alkaleaks.

Otherwise, if you can kill the memory capacitor, yeah, crowbar it to full-on only.

That’s perhaps the only bennie of start-on-high.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Is that a 17mm driver? Unlike side-clicky lights, that should be easy to swap, if you’re okay with 14500s only, and no more eneloops or alkaleaks.

Otherwise, if you can kill the memory capacitor, yeah, crowbar it to full-on only.

That’s perhaps the only bennie of start-on-high.

Can’t remember exactly, but will confirm it later! Even if it is 15mm, Lexel and MTN have those sizer of drivers so it should be easy to swap it!

Although a 1 mode light would be nice (and still being able to use AAs and 14500s) I guess I’ll prefer a driver in which I can chose the amount of modes I want Wink And have lower modes Big Smile

I’ll try to take a picture of the driver later, as well! didn’t try to take it out yet FacepalmTired

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Just confirmed, it is a less than 15mm driver. My guess is that a MTN driver will do the work when I decided to mod it Cool
I won’t change the LED as I like the tint, but that plate… I should change it! Lets see how it goes Silly

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Wellp, if you can find the memcap, you can either remove it or “pencil-trick” it. Not sure which approach would work.

The pencil trick is easily reversible, though, so I’d try that one first. Silly

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Lightbringer wrote:
Wellp, if you can find the memcap, you can either remove it or “pencil-trick” it. Not sure which approach would work.

The pencil trick is easily reversible, though, so I’d try that one first. Silly

Never done the pencil trick. I’ve seen it around here, but never tried it. I was planning to use one of my favourite drivers / FW: guppy3drv from MTN.
I use it on my EDC Convoy S2+ triple. 3 modes + double click to turbo, always starting on FF mode. It is one of the best I found so far for tailclicky flashlights. Combined with a Forward clicky switch is just Love !!
Only problem is to order/ship it /receive it from MTN, as they are not cheap and importation fees are quite high Sad