[Review] Nitecore MT42 (Tactical, 1800lm, 55400cd, 470m ANSI, XHP35 HD CW, SMO, ATR, 2x18650)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Nitecore MT42 (Tactical, 1800lm, 55400cd, 470m ANSI, XHP35 HD CW, SMO, ATR, 2x18650)

Hello to everyone laughing
Thanking them for the trust, today I will review the Nitecore MT42 which was kindly provided to me by Nitecore itself.


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CLICK HERE to go to the official product page on the Nitecore website.

I want to clarify that my reviews are made at an amateur level, so without the aid of science fiction tools or tests in secret and cutting edge laboratories. Therefore, among the lines that follow, there will be my humble observations and even my humble opinions.


Official features:

  - utilizes a CREE XHP35 HD LED to emit a max output of 1800 lumens
- integrated “Precision Digital Optics Technology” provides unparalleled reflector performance
- boasts a peak beam intensity of 55400cd and a max throw of 470 meters
- side switch controls 5 brightness levels and 3 special modes
- integrated power indicator light displays remaining battery power (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
- high efficiency constatnt circuit provides unwavering output up to 530 hours
- Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR)
- full metal tactical ring
- toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
- constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy with HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish
- waterproof in accordance with IPX8 (two meters submersible)
- impact resistant to 1 meter



Where to buy it

The Nitecore MT42 is available in the NITECORE STORE


The package and the accessories

The Nitecore MT42 has a pack of black cardboard with yellow ends like part of the lettering. On the front there are the name MT42 and its maximum power of 1800 lumens.
We also find the inevitable logo of Nitecore, the series to which the product belongs (the Multi-Task), the inscription "high intensity hunting light" (to indicate the great power and the main use of the flashlight, the "hunting") and a small list of some of the main features of the flashlight, accompanied by 3 photos of the salient details of the flashlight. As a background to all this information, we find part of a suggestive photo in which we see the beam generated (presumably) by MT42.

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On the back there are the features of the flashlight, a QR-code that refers to the page of MT42 on the Nitecore website , the CE and RoHS certifications, a barcode, information about the company with their website and the inevitable written "Made in China". There is also a disclaimer in which the company warns to refer officially to the information on its website because those on the box are only a market reference and can be changed at any time.

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On one side of the box we find a beautiful full photo of the flashlight (slightly smaller than its real size) and is repeated the name of its series, the Multi-Task.

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Repetition that also happens on the opposite side. Immediately below this we find summarized the main features of the flashlight and photos that show the fields of use in which the MT42 can excel.

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In the upper part, well highlighted with the red dot, Nitecore warns us of the 5-year warranty coverage (details can be found in the manual). Obviously we find the Nitecore logo again.

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In the lower part is attached a sticker that shows the name of the flashlight and its identification code.

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Once we have opened the package, we will find:

- the MT42 with the anti-rolling tactical ring attached to it, which is useful for cigar grasping
- a metal pocket clip
- 2 spare O-rings of different diameters
- a rubber spare cover for the tail switch
- a wrist strap
- Cordura sheath
- the warranty card
- the multilingual manual

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As I said, the scabbard is cordura

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and it is the first sheath in which I find a flap that facilitates its opening.

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The closure is entrusted to the Velcro, Velcro that also continues in the side of the sheath so, even if we close it in a hurry, there is no risk that it remains open.

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At the back we find a belt loop, a flap with Velcro closure compatible with any MOLLE systems and a metal D-ring.

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Under the belt loop we find also a flap with the company logo.

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The flashlight, due its conformation, can be putted inside the scabbard only with the head that pointing upwards. The presence of the anti-roll tactical ring, sometimes, entangles the flashlight at during the extraction and therefore it is necessary to pay attention during this operation.

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The manual can be easily viewed or downloaded from the Nitecore website on THIS page. I, for convenience, show you only the parts in English and Italian.

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The flashlight

The Nitecore MT42 is a thrower flashlight whose dimensions are not too generous and can only be powered with 2x18650 button tops in series (not included with the flashlight). Officially the 18650 flat tops are not allowed like the CR123A or the RCR123 (or 16340).
The flashlight body is made in aluminum alloy and is protected by a good anodization. Two switches, one on the side and one on the tail, take care of making it work.
It has no aggressive lines, on the body smooth parts alternate with knurled parts and we also find a pair of grooves for the included clip. Only in the head there are some deeper horizontal notches that have the task of eliminating the heat produced by the LED.
On the central part of the body we find on one side the name of the flashlight with the CE and RoHS certifications

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and on the other side there is the Nitecore logo and its website.

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In the head is placed the CREE XHP35 HD LED with a CW tint (which has a pure white spot but the spill, on the low levels, is slightly yellow), perfectly centered and surrounded by a very bright and wide SMO dish.

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An unmarked bezel protect the large ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflection treatment.

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On the side you could not miss the usual triangle that warns us to be careful because the surface can become very hot. Above him, all around the head, there is a small vertical knurling and beneath it there are the dissipating fins. Immediately below them we find one of the two switches, the electronic one, with which interact with the UI.

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The switch has a short stroke, is not very noisy and protrudes from the body just enough to make it easier to identify thanks also to its positioning between the fins that, partly, fall towards the center of the body and allow the flashlight to not roll when lying on a horizontal plane.

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The switch is also surrounded by a transparent ring that allows to the blue indicator light underneath to be seen.

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On the opposite side of the warning triangle there is the identification code of the flashlight. This writing and all those seen previously do not present imperfections.

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Before arriving at the tailcap, we find the tactical ring mounted. It work together with the particular shape of the head to prevent the flashlight from rolling away and also makes the cigar grip possible.
It has the hole for the lanyard and, if you really do not like the ring, you can remove it by unscrewing the tailcap and then unscrewing the ring itself (yes, it has a thread).
On the tailcap there is the second switch, the mechanical one, which allows us to turn the flashlight on or off. The switch has a slightly long stroke, emits a loud click and with it you can perform the momentary-ON.
It should be noted that the N of Nitecore is present on the rubber cover, placed to protect the switch.

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The switch is flush with the end of the tailcap, where we find 2 wings that allow the tailstand of the flashlight (you have to be careful because the aloft center of gravity and the large head can make it unbalance easily). They are pierced and, if desired, we can put the wrist strap in one of the fins holes in case we do not want to use the anti-roll ring.

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The flashlight is divided into three sections: head, body and tail. At the extremities of the body there is the thread (not interchangeable) with attached O-rings that ensure protection against liquids according to the IPX8 standard.

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Here you can see in detail the threading and the Oring in the part that is screwed into the tailcap

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and in the one that goes screwed in the head. It should be noted that everything is well greased and anodized to allow physical lock-out.

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In the tailcap there is the negative pole that consists of a double golden spring. The two holes on the sides of the spring allow, with a special tool or a fine-tipped pliers, to have access to the switch to replace the cover.

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In the head there is the positive pole, consisting of that golden contact (even if it does not seem) surrounded by a plastic disk (with Nitecore written on it) which constitutes the anti-inversion system of potarity (this is why you need the button tops but the flat tops do not work).
Below you can see the visible circuitry.

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And here there are two photos that show the flashlight held in the classic way

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or with the cigar grip.

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The batteries

As I said in the previous paragraphs, the 18650 does not come out of from the packange but Nitecore was kind enough to provide me with 2x18650 to try this flashlight. These are obviously two 18650 button tops with nominal 3500 mAh and have the NL1835 code.
From a test with Opus at a speed of 500 mA I found an average capacity of real 3477 mAh.

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Here are the battery poles in detail. The positive one is raised

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and the negative one where we can find the name Nitecore imprinted.

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Here are also the writings on the sheath.

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How does it work

The Nitecore MT42 has eight selectable levels, three of which are special levels (Strobo, Beacon and SOS).

According to official Nitecore data, normal levels have the following characteristics:

- Turbo -> 1800 lumens for 1 hour *
- High -> 800 lumens for 3 hours and 30 minutes
- Mid -> 280 lumens for 12 hours
- Low -> 68 lumens for 45 hours
- Ultra-Low -> 1 lumens for 530 hours

NB The declared duration was reached by Nitecore during laboratory tests using 2x18650 of 3500 mAh.
* the time has been reached by adding the duration of the Turbo before the step down intervention.

On / Off

A single press on the tail switch will turn the flashlight on or off . Since the MT42 is equipped with memory, the last level used previously will be remembered each time it is switched on. The mechanical switch in the tail allows the use of the momentary-ON by an half-pressure or TAP.

Change levels

A single pressure (with the flashlight on or in momentary-ON) of the side switch will cycle all the levels in ascending order.

Quick access to the Turbo

With the flashlight on you can quickly call up the Turbo level when you need it by pressing and holding the side switch.
Releasing the switch will return to the level from which we had activated the Turbo.

Access to special modes

With the flashlight on, the special modes (Strobo, Beacon and SOS) can be recalled by making a quick double click on the side switch.
The Strobe will always be activated and to switch between the special levels you have just to hold down the side switch for half a second.
A single press of the switch will make us return to the last normal level used while, if we turn off the flashlight with the tail switch, the LED will go off but when the power is turned on we will find the Strobe active. In fact, in addition to normal levels, this special level also remains in memory.

Charge indicator

With the MT42 it is possible to know, in approximate way, the remaining charge of the battery. With the flashlight off, press and hold the switch in the tail once (and fully) then keep the side switch pressed. When the two will be released, the indicator under the side switch will start to flash.
3 flashes indicate a charge between 100% and 50%
2 flashes indicate a charge between 50% and 10%
1 flash indicates a residual charge of <10%
At the end of the flashing the main LED will light up and we will have to intervene by switching off the flashlight.

ATR system

This is the Nitecore system to adjust the light output of the highest level of the flashlight depending on the outside temperature. More the conditions will be favorable to the flashlight (low temperatures / cool wind) and more, the high level, will emit light.


Weights and dimensions

The Nitecore MT42 measures 22.90 cm and has a minimum diameter of 2.22 cm and a maximum of 5 cm.
It weighs 228 gr with the whole clip and 326 gr with the two 18650 inside. The two batteries weigh 98 gr.

Next, here is the dimensional comparison with a big BIC lighter and a 18650,

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with a Nitecore P30

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and with the Olight M3XS-UT Javelot and the Klarus XT32.

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Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made with the two 18650 batteries supplied by Nitecore. Everything was done in a 24 ° home environment with and without forced ventilation.

The following values have been taken with the batteries charged and are considered to be peak .

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The following values have been taken with the batteries charged and are considered to be peak .

NB The discharge curves are obviously indicative, the result could vary in positive or negative depending on the batteries used by the end user or the conditions of use that may vary from mine during my tests.

Any slight discrepancies related to the tests carried out on the same level can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment in my tests.

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The following values have been taken with the batteries charged and are considered to be peak .

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All the following photos were taken with the white balance set to 5200K.

This photo was taken at a distance of 40 cm from the wall.

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Beam width

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Beamshot at the Turbo, High, Mid and Low levels. The tree line is 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts at about 90 cm from my feets.

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The cottage is located at 70 meters, used Turbo, High and Mid levels.

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The trees at the bottom of the road are about 150 meters away, levels used Turbo and High.

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I take this opportunity to attach a short video that makes the a better idea of the potential of the flashlight.




Personal considerations

This MT42 is a flashlight with a quite rich endowment, you only need to buy two good batteries to be immediately operative. We have already seen other flashlightes powered by two 18650 but in Nitecore they have worked hard to polish all the extra millimeters to create a compact, powerful product that have at the same time an excellent durability.
Not by chance I compared it with the Nitecore P30, the Nitecore's flashlight that work with a single battery and have an exceptional shot. They share the same head diameter but, due to the smaller depth and the use of an HD LED, this MT42 pulls less but, on the other hand, has more lumens and can boast a respectable runtime.
Aesthetically I like it a lot. It has a not inconspicuous line and I find beautiful even the grooves in the head, grooves that almost hide the side switch. Initially I had difficulty to find it in the dark, also due the length of the flashlight, but then I had no problems.
The UI is very easy to learn, I really appreciated the shortcut on the Turbo that comes in handy when needed.
For me it is fully promoted.

What do you think about it? Would you buy it? Let me know Wink .