[Review] Nitecore MH12GTS ... 1.8k lm + Waterproof USB Port + Tactical

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[Review] Nitecore MH12GTS ... 1.8k lm + Waterproof USB Port + Tactical

This is the updated MH12GTS featuring 1,800 lumens, internally water-proofed USB-charging, and a dual-switch interface.

Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight Review CivilGear 000

 Link to product page: https://bit.ly/2ODlynF



Overall, I like the new lumen upgrade and the higher friction grip and thrilled that a great cell is included! The on-board USB seems a little slow but is a good option if you don’t want to bring a charger. Also, there is a quirk in the UI where if you shortcut to ultra low, and then click the mode button, instead of going up one level to “low” it will instead go to the previously saved mode. 

Quick Specs






There’s a nice little collection of stuff including:

  • MH12GTS
  • 18650 cell!
  • Holster
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Ninja star, tactical ring
  • USB cable
  • Spare O-ring
  • Manual
  • Warranty card

Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight Review CivilGear 004


This is the only version for the GTS.



Current price is about $100 USD (see purchase links at the very end of the review)


Look & Feel


The knurling is cut a little more deeper than usual which provides excellent grip. Happy to see knurling on the tail cap for easy opening. Both switches have pretty noticeable clicks, the the switches are not in danger of accidental clicks.


The light is easy enough to open but it can be a little hard to close as the light has double springs, one for positive and negative side but this is great for heavy uses like gun mounting. The ninja star grip is made out of metal and is threaded for super secure hold but can be removed if desired.



The light comes with quite a bit of goodies including holster, pocket clip, charging cable, and the ninja star grip I refereed to earlier. The pocket clip is very sturdy and is almost too hard to get off the light. The holster design is a little better here than the usual, which has the hook and loop closure run down the whole front so you can make the flap as tight or loose as you want it. I mentioned the ninja star already. The USB cable is a nice touch and the micro USB cable end is a little more skinny which helps fit in tight spots.




LED specs

The light uses one CREE XHP35 HD.



Beam Profile

The light has a medium wide 15 degree FWHM beam angle (very narrow!). This is the angle at which light output has reached 50% of maximum. The total spill beam angle is about 90 degrees.

Currently, these readings are strictly sensor recorded, and are not adjusted based on human perception of light.


 Description of spill color and spot color

Nitecore TM10K Review CivilGear 043


Output Levels

 Any quick thoughts on the mode spacing?


Outdoor Beamshots

 All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.




The included battery is the Nitecore NL1835HP which is rated at 3500 mAh with a max current draw at 8A, which is needed to hit turbo in most of Nitecore’s 1,800 lumen lights. You can use flattop cells.


The power switch is illuminated blue for various power checks and the tail cap has an indicator for charging operations.

Quick Power Check

You can get a quick remaining power check by, starting in OFF, single, short-press of the mode switch; the light will blink 3 times for power greater than 50%, 2 times for power less than 50%, and 1 time for power less than 10%.

Full Power Check

When the cap is completely removed and put back on, the light will blink out the actual voltage of the cell by blinking, pausing, then blinking again (ie 4.2V, blink x4, pause, blink x2).

Low Voltage Warning

When the power gets very low, the indicator light will blink rapidly.


When charging, the tail light will blink slowly, and when complete will be constant on.

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Charging Operations

For me, it took about 9 hrs 20 min to charge the cell in the light from a laptop USB 3.0 power port. The current didn’t go too much over 0.6A. The rubber cover is very easy to move out of the way but is a little too easy disturbed through normal use. Perhaps a metal cover with a magnet would have been cool, especially since the port is internally waterproofed and you don’t need the rubber to waterproof it.

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TURBO holds pretty well for 45 seconds and decreases to 40% about 3.5 min later. I did a turbo reset @09:38 and the light output went to about 93% of initial output. The light output remains fairly constant. The output seems to drop a bit suddenly at the very end.



A max body temp of 124°F and out-the-front temp of 174°F was observed for starting in turbo with one reset. The body temperature is a bit warm but not out of control. The temperature regulation can be seen quite clearly after the TURBO reset, as the output falls below 20% then 10 min later, the output increases to about 27%.


PWM Check

There appears to be no significant PWM on any constant mode. For comparison, the second graph shows PWM varying from 0 to 120 lx on the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.


Strobe frequency varies but it’s not super random; more of alternating between fast and slow strobe.


User interface

The light has 2 switches, one forward tactical mechanical tail switch, and the other is a single-stage electronic side switch. This UI leans towards being a single task light where you set it where you want it and since the you have to change hand positions to adjust the light, there is a slight barrier to cycling the light. More thoughts:

  • Very interesting that you can use mode memory for strobe which means you can also half press the tail switch for momentary strobe, very tactical!
  • When you do the shortcut to ULTRA LOW, if you press the mode button afterwards, you go to the last memorized mode, instead of LOW, a bit confusing.
  • There is no physical lockout, which I don’t like but most serious tactical folks will appreciate.





  • Tactical feeling 
  • Memorizes strobe
  • Duty light oriented
  • USB port internally waterproof



  • Rubber USB cover gets opened too easy during normal use
  • After shortcut to ULTRA LOW, the next mode goes to memorized mode instead of LOW
  • Slow charging time
  • Would be cool to see a silent electronic tail switch similar to the very tactically oriented Olight M2T



The current price for the light is about $100 USD and if you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on NitecoreStore.com using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, but they give me very small % of their profit):

Nitecore Store Link: http://shrsl.com/196qe






  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the NitecoreStore.com Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to NitecoreStore.com