The choice of a flashlight is not as immediate as one might think, there are many parameters to take in consideration: light intensity, radius of action (through or floor), need for rapid intensity changes, strobe direct access, etc. Another fundamental element of evaluation is the availability of the selection button; by holding a cylindrical body it is not so rare to lose buttons position, an handicap that becomes more evident if the user wears gloves.
Nitecore, the Chinese leading company in the production of flashlight, has found a solution with the P18 model. The body of the Nitecore P18, made in aeronautical aluminum, has only one rounded side while the other part is totally square shaped. This shape gap allows instinctively to orient and position the flashlight in the correct way. The particular texture increases even more the tactile confirmation and guarantees a good grip, the flat sides naturally ensure the anti-rotation of the flashlight body. Another interesting feature is that the body is made in one solid piece; the insertion of the battery takes place through a cap placed at the top of the P18.
With only 105 mm in length, 23 mm in diameter, and a body of 34 mm and 25 mm per sides, the P18 is placed in the most compact tactical torches of the Company.
The switching on and selection of light intensities takes place through the tactical tail switch, completely silent, with the possibility to use the momentary switch or constant. The levels range from 1 lumen to 850 lumens while in "turbo" mode it reaches 1800 lumens. Thanks to the "Mode Memory" function when the flashlight is switched on again, the last selected intensity will correspond.
As Nitecore has already accustomed us to, we find by default the S.O.S. function, position indicator and Strobo, the latter with random frequency change, such as to ensure greater disabling of the illuminated subject. The LED used is a CREE XHP35 HD LED, glass and antireflection treatment, crystal coating and PDOT (Precision Digital Optics Technology), the maximum light intensity of 8360cd. and a maximum distance of 182 meters. There is also a red 10 lumen LED which is lit by a dedicated button on the side of the torch. The red light is optimal both for reading documents and for moving as it is less stressful for the eyesight than for white light.
Placed on one side we find a sturdy metal pocket clip, also in this case, the square shape and the reduced dimensions greatly facilitate the carry so as to be comparable to that of a medium-sized knife. The flashlight weight is of 103.5 g.
The P18 is resistant to 1 meter falls in height and meets IP56 standards (rain and water jets). The battery, included in the package, is a 3.6V rechargeable IMR 18650 but if necessary can also work with 1x 18650 Li-Ion 3.7V and at least 8A discharge power or 2x CR123 3.0V. The package also includes a sheath, a lanyard and a spare o-ring.
This compact flashlight by Nitecore is actually the result of a careful study, especially on one-handed handling. The critical points are in the selection of the brightness levels through the power button: as we had already noticed with the NPL10 (gun flashlight) the adjustment takes place, once the torch is turned on, through short and fast presses of the switch. Such a system might seem simple, but it is only conceptually in fact it requires a certain familiarity and a good number of repetitions.
For example, the use of gloves increases difficulty in adjustment. In our opinion, the insertion of a selection key placed near the tail cap, leaving only the switching on and off to the latter, would have easily solved the problem. As far as shape and size are concerned, the P18 is very apt for everyday use even if it could be a bit too small as an impact tool.
The MRSP is of 105 euros.
Compact, lightweight and with an innovative design, the Nitecore P18 convinces with its ease of use. The totally silent button is a considerable plus. The possibility of managing the selection of light intensities with one finger is certainly the characteristic that best enhances this flashlight. The quality / price ratio is very good.
Led: 1x CREE XP35 HD LED with a life cycle of 50,000 hours
Operating Modes: 5 electronically regulated light powers - 1 red light - 3 special modes
Powers and Durations: 1800 Lumens (30min.) -> 850 Lumens (2h.) -> 260 Lumens (4h.) -> 65 Lumens (18h.) -> 1 Lumen (220h.) -> Strobe -> S.O.S. -> Location Beacon
Maximum Peak beam intensity: 8360 candles
Maximum throw: 182m.
Multifunction silent tactical tail switch
Head: aeronautical aluminum
Body: unibody aircraft aluminum
Finish: anodized, Type III
Lens: ultra clear hardened glass with anti-reflective treatment
Battery (included in the package): 1x IMR 18650 rechargeable 3.6V - If necessary it can also work with 1x 18650 Li-Ion 3.7V and at least 8A of discharge power or 2x CR123 3.0V
Size: 10.5cm (L) - 2.46cm (D stem) - 2.30cm (D head)
Weight: 103.5g. - batteries excluded
Impact resistance: withstands falls from 1m in height
Water resistance: IP56
Note: red light - to produce 1800 lumens of power it is mandatory to have a 18650 3.6 / 3.7V battery with a current output higher than 8A.
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