[Review] Nitecore MH40GT ... awesome throw meets hybrid charging

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CivilGearReviews's picture
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[Review] Nitecore MH40GT ... awesome throw meets hybrid charging

(Mobile friendly review here)

Hi All! OK isn't it really easy to get sucked into trying to find a flashlight with the greatest throw? It's easy to say that it's "due to compensation" but I say NO! For those of us not in a search and rescue crew, there maybe a little lol, but when I comes down to it, besides some awesome lightsaber battles, there are some practical uses I found for myself on-the-job which I will describe toward the end of the review.

If you are looking for a rugged 1000 lumen search light, then say hello to the Nitecore MH40GT!


Spec sheet from Nitecore; notice that the 18650’s perform much better in this light. Also note that the 18650 run times is for two 3400 mAh batteries; I used two 2,300 mAh and I got a total run time of 1.5 hours on turbo.


Type: (1) CREE XP-L HI V3
Color: “White Light” description by Nitecore


Nitecore does not advertise the beam angle but using a protractor I measured the main spot to have a total angle of about 20° and a total spill angle of about 60° .


Because the MH series have integrated charging Nitecore provides only a 1-year warranty for free repair, so make sure you only buy from an authorized dealer (you can contact Nitecore’s customer service do find one) or you will waive your rights to the warranty . Also, take care to store your light properly, as the warranty does not cover damages caused by batter leakage. Check their website for their full terms of service.


I want to say up front that MH40GT’s operations (just like that of the other MT series) relies on the old-school method of tightening and loosening the head. Once you actually think about it, this is definitely a two-handed light, unless all you want it turbo. Turbo mode is tight, all the rest is loose. In my opinion, this light doesn’t have what most people nowadays would call “mode memory” which comes mainly from electronics. This list has what I would describe as a “physical memory” due to the twisting of the head. Since the there is only one option in the ‘tight’ position, this is how you “store” the mode you picked in the USER-DEFINED mode. A little hard to understand if you’ve never used a light like this but check out the below video and some step-by-step detail.



Turn ON Turbo Mode: twist head TIGHT, then single click
Turn OFF Turbo Mode: single click

Turn ON Turbo Mode: twist head TIGHT
Turn OFF Turbo Mode: single click



Turn ON Turbo Mode: twist head TIGHT, then single click
Switch to USER-DEFINED Mode: twist head LOOSE
Cycle Primary + Hidden Modes: single click will advance, H→M→L→SOS→Strobe
Switch to TURBO Mode: twist head TIGHT
Turn OFF Turbo Mode: single click

Turn ON Turbo Mode: twist head TIGHT
Turn OFF Turbo Mode: single click


The light has an integrated battery charger which is very helpful for those using a light everyday and can charge up the batteries without having to take them out all the time. I got a total charge time of about 3 hours for two 2,300 mAh batteries and using a wall outlet and the wall adapter supplied by Nitecore. The system uses a barrel pin connection and tiny indicator light for what the unit is in process or done with charging.
One quirk with the system is that once you plug in the power cable, you have to click on the light (the light won’t actually turn on) to start the charging. The power connection on the light is protected by a very robust metal screw around cover.


  • Suprising amount of throw!
  • Rugged head, can toss this in a tool box and forget about it
  • Can still be utilized even in ambient daylight
  • Doubles as tactical baton
  • Stays pretty cool on turbo
  • Custom belt clip actually works well on belts, and does not get hung up while taking the light out of the holster.
  • Integrated charging for serious daily and duty use
  • Holster has three attachment methods, one of which is a great metal D-ring


  • Only 2 modes mean that the “hidden modes” like SOS and Strobe cycle during the primary mode
  • Have to “lock in” your user mode by putting the light into turbo mode. Every time you turn the light on and you want it to remember your user mode, it has to turn on in turbo.
  • The holster flap is either too long, or the holster allows the light to sink lower than expected, which results in the potential for the light to fall out of the holster in extreme cases of movement.


Once I got this out and found some open spaces, I really found out how much throw this thing really has! After the initial awe I started using the light on the job and found out that I really needed flashlight for narrow spaces and for use during the day time, and this worked great for both!
All pics below are in turbo mode.

And yes, if you wanted to signal a crane operator … at night … you definitely could (~400 feet away, and ~300 feet high, making approximately 500 feet (~150 meters) along the beam).

Checking out the crane pad ~200 feet (~60 meters) away.

Inspecting bridge expansion/construction joint (~75 feet / 25 meters away). Small beam spot can be useful for reducing excess light light spill which might distract road users.

Inspecting manhole liner install; the concentrated beam can even be seen in moderate daylight, and is useful for directing attention during discussion.

Inspecting structural steel columns; again, the concentrated beam can be seen in moderate daylight.

Inspecting storm manhole, the tight beam angle allows for inspecting from a standing position vs hands and knees.

Checking electrical work in narrow drop ceiling opening.

Inspecting an 8-foot deep, 6-inch diameter sewer clean out. Again, the narrow beam angle makes seeing down clean outs a dream come true!

Checking the ocean for any signs of trouble.


  • Charging system uses a barrel pin connector to minimize charging time; however, I would prefer a USB port, like may of their other MH-type lights so I can charge it pretty much everywhere
  • I wish the clip was attached more as ring instead of clipping on. Since the light is so long and can have more leverage than normal, it’s not that hardest thing to pull the light off your belt incorrectly and have the clip pop off.



You can probably find this on amazon for around $110 USD, check the links below for current pricing.

Nitecore MH40GT CREE XP-L Hi LED Rechargeable Flashlight, 1000 lm




Nitecore 186650 Battery Bundle 2600 mah

Nitecore UM20 USB Dual Battery Charger


Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments or questions below. What is your favorite lightsaber?


CivilGear Reviews received this product from Nitecore for testing purposes and to provide honest feedback. 

CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com



2017-01-30 Added UI diagram

Edited by: CivilGearReviews on 01/30/2017 - 19:49
jescereal's picture
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Non-affiliated links for those who want them:



Really sucks that it has a barrel connector. I’d really prefer USB. Love that it’s a screwable part that makes it waterproof as opposed to a rubber flap though.

Nice review! Seems like a good light.

will34's picture
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Nice review! those “real world use” beam shots gives a good idea of the beam profile.

The Miller
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Location: Charente France

Thanks for the review.

It reads like an awkward operation
How does this compare to a Thorfire S50?
Heck a 1000 lumen big reflector makes me wonder about comparison with a Courui
Hmm I think I got a nice modding project putting a XPL HI in my Courui Wink

Threadneedle's picture
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Great review.

CivilGearReviews's picture
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Location: San Jose, CA

Thanks all for your compliments and comments!

jescereal: yeah I agree; something is better than nothing. Mainly becomes having to carry around 2 more cables, the outlet plug for at home or at the office, and a car charger for out in the field. I would easily trade charging time for the ubiquitous USB charging.

will34: thanks, lots of others have the technical reviews nailed but I try to help on the practicality side and try and use the light for stuff (which takes the longest part of the review, lol)

The Miller: I'm still a little bit of a newbie and not super familiar with those lights yet but the Thorfire S50 looks like Nitecore's other light called MH41 which has higher lumen and a little wider beam angle, which I would love to review. Cool idea with the modding project, you probably already know but all i know is that the xp-l hi v3 led dome-less so likely to be pretty different than the typical xm-l ones.

Threadneedle: thanks!



M4D M4X's picture
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Great pictures!

thanks for sharing

i do not work in "reviews, deals and codes" for the time being
maybe M4D M4X will return one day, but until then:


CivilGearReviews's picture
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I'm trying my hand at UI diagrams. Let me know what you think Smile

stephenk's picture
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I like your real-world beam shots!

CivilGearReviews's picture
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stephenk wrote:
I like your real-world beam shots!

Thanks stephenk! That's my one of my favorite parts smile