Nitecore NM01 Flashlight review

REVIEW – I’m what can be politely described as a “flashlight aficionado” or as my wife like to say, “you have too many flashlights.” Well, what’s one more? The Nitecore NM01 Flashlight is an excellent addition to my flashlight zoo. It uses an LED emitter, features multiple power levels, and is long running and rechargeable. It is also water-resistant.

What is it?

The Nitecore NM01 Flashlight is a compact, metal-bodied, rechargeable LED flashlight that features multiple power levels and a water-resistant body.

What’s in the box?

The Nitecore NM01 is packaged in a window-front box that showcases the flashlight and provides basic information about the flashlight.

Packed inside the box are

  • NM01 Flashlight
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Instruction sheet
  • Pocket clip
  • Wrist lanyard
  • Nylon holster

Hardware specs

The NM01 is a compact 115.3 mm long and 24 mm in diameter at the ends. The middle faceted ring is approximately 26 mm. The light weighs approximately 100 grams. The NM01 is powered by a built-in 18650 Li-ion battery. The light source is a CREE XP-L HD V6 LED module. The NM01 is rated IPX8, 2m which means that it is waterproof and submersible. The power controller, battery, and LED are protected by thermal overload cut offs that reduce power levels if the flashlight gets too warm.

The NM01 has three brightness settings

  • Low:  5 lumens (approximately 245 hours run time)
  • Medium:  200 lumens (approximately 6.25 hours run time)
  • High:  1000 lumens  (approximately 1.75 hours run time)

Design and features

The NM01 features a machined metal body with an anodized finish. The flashlight is round on the ends and features a roll-prevention faceted barrel with a knurled center section. The optional pocket clip snaps around a narrow portion of the body near the rear of the light.

The front bezel features strike crenelations that serve as both a weapon and as protection for the lens.

The rear of the flashlight has a single button that toggles the light on-off (long press) and between illumination levels (short press) and a waterproof cover for the charging port (see below)

Setup

The flashlight should be fully charged before first use. This is simply a matter of plugging a micro-USB cable into the charging port and waiting for the light to stop blinking.  This took about 2 hours. I have not run the light down fully to test a full charge cycle time, but the documentation says that a full charge should take less than 4 hours.

Performance

Since I don’t have ready access to a calibrated luminosity meter, I used my un-calibrated shower lighting test rig to test the flashlight. Because of the intensity of the beam, I bounced it off of the white textured ceiling rather than aiming it at the shower wall. This is an excellent test of its ability to light up a room in the event of power failure. You can see the results below. I can attest that on high power, the flashlight is brighter than the over-shower light in my bathroom, the overhead lights in my library, or my desk lamp.

no lights

low

medium

high

I tested the thermal protection circuitry by turning the flashlight on high and leaving it running propped up in a ceramic mug on my desk. I left it on for about 90 minutes and during that time the front of the barrel never got hotter than the outside of a very hot cup of tea. I did not attempt to touch the lens, but the barrel could still be handled. It was uncomfortable, but I was not immediately burned, something that I cannot say about some of the lights formerly in my collection.

The thermal protection circuitry switched the light down to medium after approximately 30 minutes, and the barrel cooled slightly. I turned the light off after 90 minutes and waited for the whole flashlight to cool to room temperature before recharging.

What I like

  • Good power-to-weight ratio
  • Easy to use
  • Rechargeable
  • Bright

What needs to be improved

  • It would be nice to have the option to use the flashlight as an emergency power source for charging phones

Final thoughts

The Nitecore NM01 is an excellent flashlight for the money.  It compares favorably to my small Steamlight flashlight as far as projected lumens and light throw distance and the use of rechargeable batteries makes it much cheaper to operate. It has become my go-to flashlight for working around my office (usually trying to find something that I dropped under my desk), while my Streamlight has been relegated to camping duties where I don’t necessarily have access to USB outlets to charge a flashlight.

Price: $39.95
Where to buy: Nitecore Store and Amazon.
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Nitecore.

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5 thoughts on “Nitecore NM01 Flashlight review”




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  2. All these USB-powered flashlights are great, until the power goes out and you need to charge one to use it – especially if it’s carried in a car for emergency purposes. Personally, give me batteries, or give me nothing. I change them regularly, used or unused, and make certain I have spares in the vehicles.

    1. Everything’s got pros & cons, pal. Your comment is no-nonsense. Flashlights running on rechargeable batteries make more sense if you use the thing on a regular (and daily) basis) and you always got a power source at hand to plug into. FWIW this is not the focus of an emergency flashlight, that you could store indefinitely & which should run on batteries that you can easily avail. If you wished to reconcile both “terms of use” (haha), you should get yourself a flashlight that can both run on rechargeable or disposable batteries.

    1. Micro USB means I can charge my phone, cameras and Kindle at the home of any of my friends. I am in no hurry to start buying a different cable which I would have to take with me.

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