> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: Nitecore MH25 Night Blade - Retina Burning and Rechargeable



Review: Nitecore MH25 Night Blade - Retina Burning and Rechargeable

Nitecore's MH25 uses some of the latest in LED technology to turn out a retina blasting 860 lumens, making "Night Blade" an appropriate name. The MH25 can run on standard CR123A "primary" cells, or it can run on 18650 lithium ion rechargeables, like the one included in the box. There are lots of bright, double cell lights on the market though, but the MH25 separates itself from the pack with one very handy feature:

The MH25 has a built in micro-USB charging port, allowing you to recharge your 18650 batteries without needing a separate, bulky charger. It's plug-and-charge, the kind of functionality we're all used to with our smart phones and other electric gizmos.

The port is revealed by unscrewing a portion of the flashlight's body--a ring/cover that stays with the flashlight and is made of metal, not some cheesy rubber. This isn't going to get lost, fall off and break. The threads work well and the cover helps the recharging system live up to Nitecore's claims of water, dirt and dust resistance.

The port itself is micro-USB - very common on smart phones and small electronic gadgets these days. Nitecore includes a nice quality micro-USB cable in the package.

Plug into a USB port and charge away--computer, wall charger, car charger--USB ports are all over the place, and you've probably got a half dozen of 'em lying around. No need to buy a new, bulky charger and easy to replace if lost.

Nitecore's solution is miles ahead of the what Surefire has developed for their $455 list R1 Lawman, which has an exposed 12v port that requires an weird sized charger and separate, bulky wall and car chargers. Surefire, I like your stuff, but you can't be that far behind in terms of design and try to charge that much of a premium. Crazy.

Another benefit of using USB: you can recharge the MH25 with any of the backup many inexpensive backup batteries on the market, like the Anker Astro pictured above and reviewed here. Added benefit: the Anker Astro also uses a micro-USB to charge from, so you've got some redundancy there or could carry only one cord if you desired.

Aside from the very powerful 860-lumen primary mode--great for searching outdoors--the MH25 also has a variety of other modes--low, medium, strobe, etc. They're accessed by twisting the bezel and then partially depressing the clicky tailcap. If you want the primary mode, then just keep the bezel tightened--which means you won't be cycling through modes when you just want that wall of light. On the other hand, it's hard to just pick one secondary mode and stick to that--cycling through to the other modes is too easy to accidentally do. It's my only knock against the light, and not a deal breaker--if I'm trying to switch to low mode and get medium or SOS, it's not a big deal.

Build construction is excellent--it's a very sturdy, well-built and well designed light. If you needed to whack someone upside the head with the MH25 or if it rolled off the table, I would not worry about it snapping in half.

It's not a small light - probably more suited to belt carry than pocket. It ships with an ok quality belt pouch...it's functional, but something you'd probably want to upgrade. Nitecore sells other lights in their MH series with similar features if you'd like something smaller.

The Night Blade ships with a 2300 mAH 18650 battery, and runs fine and dandy on regular CR123As as well. You'll see a bit better performance with the 18650. I picked up a spare 3100 mAH battery for $20, which will give a bit longer operating time. Nitecore's batteries are fairly well regarded and reasonably priced. If you find yourself running through $1-$3 CR123As on a regular basis, the rechargeable batteries will pay for themselves in no time.

The price on the MH25? I paid $80 for mine and thought it was a steal. Amazon now has 'em for under $60 bucks, which is a screaming deal for a high quality light jam packed with so many features.

Having a handheld, eye-searing tactical flashlight is pretty much a must-have for your kit, and the MH25 would be hard to beat at two or three times the price.