Nitecore MH25GTS

NITECORE MH25GTS review

Brand/modelNitecore MH25GTS
LEDCREE XHP35 HD
Lumens1800 lm
Beam intensity23,100 cd
Battery config.1*18650 / 2*CR123
MaterialAluminum
Modes5
BlinkiesYes
ReflectorSmooth
WaterproofIPX8

Introduction:

Since I was going to list the best Tactical Flashlights currently available, I wanted to buy one of the best tactical flashlights currently on the market. I bought my copy on Aliexpress, but it looks like I received the Chinese version of the packaging instead of the English version. Fortunately, the manual is still in English. The parcel was a little damaged, and I received the cool white version.

What you’ll get:

  • Simple carton box
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-ring
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Card
  • Nitecore 18650 button top protected battery (NL1835HP 3500mAh)
  • Holster
  • Belt clip
  • USB charging cable

Handling of the light

Compared to the Jetbeam TH20 I reviewed earlier, the Nitecore MH25GTS is quite a bit smaller, about the size of the old Sunwayman V20C. I will show some comparison pictures below. It’s still rather a long flashlight compared to my other 18650 flashlights. These days, manufacturers tend to make shorter and shorter flashlights, but this is still quite long. The mechanic tailcap switch is a forward clicky (like all tactical flashlights should have) and besides the button you can find the USB port for the built-in charge function. The switch isn’t sticking out as much as the Jetbeam TH20 which makes it more difficult to use with gloves.

Holster:

The first time I tried to insert the MH25GTS into the holster it felt like it didn’t go any deeper, so I took of the pistol-grip ring, but then it went too deep. So I tried it again with the pistol grip ring attached, and pushed a little harder.. then it worked. But when I did that, I cut the thread that attaches the velcro part to the holster.. I don’t think it was supposed to do that. So that was way too weak! At the moment it happened it felt like it was a magnet attaching both ends.. but it wasn’t I snapped the string that kept both sides together. See the picture below for more clarification. Should the middle flap be attached to the holster??

Tailstanding?

  • Yes, but not very stable!!! I don’t recommend using it tail-standing.

Build Quality, knurling, prints and Anodization

Anodization is the coating of a flashlight, and the MG25GTS has a proper coating all over the flashlight. No color variations or missed spots.

The build quality is great. Unfortunately, though, the parts of the flashlights seem to be glued. I couldn’t unscrew the head from the body. So if I ever had to change the driver, that could become a nightmare. So I hope I never need to replace the LED, though. The edges on the flashlight are rather sharp, not cutting sharp, but still unpleasantly sharp. It should help with the grip though.

The knurling is done well and a bit rough, meaning the edges are a bit sharp. Again, this could be a Pro in some situations where you want the maximum grip! And on one side I think that is a good decision. The prints on the MG25GTS are also crisp and clear, no complaints there either.

Threads 

I can only check the threads near the tailcap. These threads are bare, with lots of lube. When the battery is inserted the tailcap needs to be pushed down quite a bit in order to catch the threads of the body.

LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector

The reflector is probably made of aluminum and has a smooth finish. This means that the reflector has a tight beam that throws farther than an orange peel reflector, where the beam tends to be wider and has a less obvious hot spot in the middle.

The MH25GTS includes a strike-bezel that, according to their explanation, can break windows and help as a self-defense ‘weapon’.

THE LED

The Nitecore MH25GTS uses the CREE Xlamp XHP35 HD LED. The XHP35 LED is a 12V LED but with the same size footprint as the XML and XPL LEDs. This HD LED has a dome (that’s probably where the D comes from). The HI version of this LED has no dome but a flat silicon layer on top of the LED. HI probably stands for High Intensity. The one I received has a cold white emitter. It’s not my favorite! But I couldn’t choose a tint when I ordered it.

Check out the pictures below.

Dimensions and weight:

  • Length:   150 mm
  • Diameter head: 34 mm
  • Weight empty: 124 grams

User Interface:

The Nitecore MH25GTS flashlight has two types of switches: the main switch at the tailcap and one side switch for changing modes. The main switch turns the flashlight on and off, and the side switch changes modes. When you use it as a momentary on, you can change the modes, so the Momentary on works with all modes, including strobe.

Modes: 

Ultra low-Low-Medium-High-Turbo 

It’s not really a Turbo, meaning that it is accessible by a double click or anything. However, it does have the highest output. Check out the details below.

From the OFF position with the mechanic tail swtich:

  • 1 full click: On
  • Half click: momentary-on (for morse coding etc)

From the OFF position with the side switch:

  • Nothing!

Tip: when you press and hold the side switch +click the tail switch, the light will be in ultra low mode.  

From the ON position with the side switch

  • 1 short click: changes output from ultra-low to high
  • Double click: Strobe (now press+hold side switch to cycle through Strobe, Beacon, SOS)
  • Long pressed: Turbo (highest output)

Momentary On:

  • If you press the main switch, you can use it as a momentary on. This means that you can use signals such as Morse coding. The output of this setting depends on the last used mode (mode memory).   So if he was in turbo, then the momentary-on will be the same as turbo, including strobe! Not SOS or Beacon!

Mode memory:

  • Yes. This setting is also used when using the momentary on setting. (half press when turned off).

Lock out:

  • No, and it’s not necessary because of the mechanical tail switch!

PWM:

  • Not that I could detect. See picture below.

Batteries and charging:

Nitecore included a 3500mAh button-top battery (protected!). It’s an NL1835HP 3500mAh 8A. Which means it should be able to deliver 8A continuously. Unfortunately, I can’t test that. Flat-top batteries will work as well because, on both sides, there are springs.

The included USB cable lets you charge the battery within the flashlight, so you don’t need to buy a separate charger. This could definitely be a PRO when you gift it to someone. The port is a micro-USB port. And according to my little XTAR USB voltage meter it charges at 0.6 Amps, which means it would take 6 hours to charge a depleted Nitecore NL1835HP (included) battery fully. The specs, however, say it takes 8 hours to charge, so I guess it will reduce the charge current towards the end of the charge.

Charge level indicator /battery level indicator:

  • When you insert a battery and screw back the tailcap, the side switch will flash to indicated the Voltage. It will flash a few times for the single Volts, a short break, and then flashes again for the tenths so if it blinks 4 times… a break and then 1 blink, it’s 4.1 Volts.
  • The side switch will show a quick continuous flash when the battery is at low voltage.

Parasitic drain:

  • The Nitecore MH25GTS has no parasitic drain due to the mechanical rear switch!

Performance:

I couldn’t get any readings on the tailcap, and I don’t really know why. Also, since the head is glued, it’s impossible to measure the Amps at the LED.

Runtime:

For this runtime test, I used the app Ceiling Bounce, which was made by a BLF member to measure throw, ceiling bounce, and runtime. It’s a great little app for Android! After the runtime test, the battery was 3.07 Volts (10 seconds after taking it out of the flashlight).

The runtime below was taken with a Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh (unprotected) battery.

After exactly 3 minutes, the light starts dropping its output to about 700 lumens, until it runs out of juice after 113 minutes, which is close to 2 hours of runtime out of 1 battery.

Lumens:

Measured in a homemade integrating sphere, numbers calibrated with a Convoy S2+ at 137 lumens. Nitecore claims and my measurements are rather close.. See all the details on Nitecore’s website.

Test of Nitecore MH25GTS and included battery.

ModeI measuredSpecified
Ultra Low0.941
Low8070
Medium208240
High890950
Turbo1669 lm1800

1669 lumens is quite impressive for this size of light. Although the claimed 1800 couldn’t be reached.

Beam:

The Nitecore MH25GTS has a rather small diameter reflector, so it will never awe anybody concerning its ‘throw’ capabilities.

Low Voltage warning:

When the Voltage drops to a certain point, the light behind the side switch starts blinking rapidly and turns into its lowest output mode.

Throw:

For the throw measurement, I used the SkyTronic LX101 lux meter. The battery I used was the Nitecore 3500mAh NL1835HP, which was included in the package when I bought it.

Measured at 10 meters:

  • 10 meters: 29000cd (341 meters)

29000cd is still more than the manufacturer claimed at 23000.

Some of the best Tactical Flashlights we reviewed: These numbers are NOT from the specifications but are measured by our team. I removed the LEP flashlights that could fall into this category but aren’t comparable.

FlashlightMax. Output (lm)@30sec (lm)Candela (cd)Distance (m)
Acebeam T351555142725,250318
Armytek Dobermann Pro1071106831,606356
Armytek Predator Pro1206119340,850404
Armytek Viking Pro1999195829,069341
Brinyte PT18 pro1981192545,675427
Brinyte PT281705163617,800267
Cyansky P201740166514,405295
Fenix TK11 Tac1556148827,600332
Malkoff MDC Bodyguard8722112,650113
Nitecore P20 v289389313,900236
Olight S2R Baton 2131812897,500173
Olight Warrior Mini 21721165812,250221
Olight Warrior Mini 31724164314,075237
Powertac E5R-G41718160221,700295
Speras EST MAX240055517,250263
Streamlight Stinger 20202183214125,450319
Thrunite BSS v42336219014,775243
Weltool T1220001846 126,500711
Weltool T2R1589148641,750409
Wuben E12R1426120010,575206

Here’s an interactive comparison graph with some of the best 18650 tactical flashlights I reviewed.

Mobile phone? Hold your phone horizontally for a full graph. If still not clear, click this link to open the interactive graph in a new window.

And here is the same comparison, but then focused on the first 10 minutes. (Max. output only). Or open this link for a closer look at the graph.

Beamshots

Camera settings: Canon EOS 5D markII 50mm, ISO 1600, F4, 1/4 second shutter speed, 5000K. The lumens written below the pictures are my measured Lumens and not the claimed Lumens!

Overall conclusion of the Nitecore MH25GTS

Pros:

  1. Very grippy (enough grip)
  2. Great runtime (almost 2 hours at 700 lumens)
  3. Shortcut to Low
  4. Built-in charging
  5. Includes a high quality battery

Cons

  1. Parts are glued together so difficult to mod
  2. Cold white emitter only

Author: Marco

Conclusion: 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆ Excellent

Giving a low score to such a great light is pretty hard. 1 thing you must remember is that I don’t use most of my lights that often. When I notice any negative points I tell them in the Cons section. The MH25GTS is a good performer, but it is a little expensive. 

Where to buy Nitecore MH25GTS:

Unfortunately, the Nitecore MH25GTS is discontinued. You better look at one of its siblings. Check out all our Nitecore flashlight reviews.