Nitecore MT42 Flashlight Review

Nitecore has a new offering in their Multi-Task (MT) series.  This time it’s the MT42, a 18650×2 light, with a dual switch interface, and a rated 470m throw.  Here are my measurements and thoughts on the MT42!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There’s only one version of this light.

Price

NitecoreStore has this light for sale at $89.95.  They also offer two cell options.  Since these are in-series cells, I’d recommend grabbing a set there so that you know you have married cells!


Short Review

This is a solid light in a fairly niche category.  Since the light has only a 2-up  cell configuration tube (and no single cell tube), it’ll always be a long light.  But it hits it’s throw numbers, and works well.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore MT42
Emitter: Cree XHP35 HD
Price in USD at publication time: $89.95
Cell: 2×18650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Warning
Switch Type:
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1800
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1994 (110.8% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 470
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 1338lux @ 6.903m = 63758cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 505.0 (107.4% of claim)*
All my Nitecore reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

20180622-IMG_4210

  • Nitecore MT42
  • Nylon pouch
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket clip
  • Tactical ring
  • Spare o-ring
  • Spare rubber boot
  • Paperwork

Package and Manual

Quite a long box, but still Nitecore standard black and yellow.

Here’s a pdf link to the manual.  Again, standard Nitecore fare here.  It’s a good manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The MT42 has the usual solid Nitecore feel.  Nothing about it stands out as bad but otherwise it’s a fairly standard Nitecore MT series light.
20180622-IMG_4223
Make no mistake, this is a long light.  But it’s thin, too, and easy to handle.

As I said above, the cell tube is dedicated 2x 18650.  There is no option for a single 18650 cell.  That’s not a problem, and makes sense since the emitter is a 12V emitter.
20180622-IMG_4235
The bezel unscrews easily, and the emitter is accessed thusly.  All the threads are well lubed, to the point of being a little too much lube.

Size

Officially the dimensions are 228mm x 50mm x 25.4mm, and the light weighs 231.5g.

It’s a long light.
20180622-IMG_4226

Retention

There are a few ways to carry this light.  Based on it’s use scenario, the most often chosen method will probably be the nylon pouch.  It’s a standard pouch, with the light fitting in only one direction (bezel up).

There’s a pretty massive conflict on this pouch.  With the tactical ring attached, the light is very hard to get out of the pouch.  I’m not a tactical user, but my guess is getting the light out of the pouch, in a tactical-needs situation, having the light stuck in the pouch is the absolute last thing you’d want.  Now, removing the tactical ring for pouch-use is easy, but then you lack the tactical ring for tactical needs.  The pocket clip also doesn’t work in this scenario….
So you’re left with not using the tactical ring or pocket clip if you want to use the pouch.
The next option is the pocket clip, which attaches only on the tail end.  It’s a friction clip.  See below how large the clip is.
20180622-IMG_4227
The last option is the lanyard, which can attach on the tailcap, and also through a hole in the tactical ring (seen below).  The pocket clip also has two little holes through which the lanyard might be attached, but I typically don’t trust friction clips in this way.
20180622-IMG_4231

Power

The MT42 is powered by two button top 18650 cells.  There is no short tube for a single 18650, and a single 18650 wouldn’t work with the driver anyway.  The emitter has a forward voltage of around 11.3 (let’s call it 12V) and the boost driver in this Nitecore needs around 6V.
Button top cells are absolutely required – many of Nitecore’s new lights (including this one) have a rubber ring around the positive connection that prevents use of flat tops.  Probably more intended to prevent reverse polarity damage.
Below is a runtime on Turbo.  Output is fairly steady for the first 4 minutes or so, and I measure the 30 second output at around 1950 lumens.  I stopped the test when the indicating side-switch was fast blinking blue.
Turbo1
And another runtime on High.  Note that the Turbo mode (above) is generally stable for over an hour, at a much higher output than High.  High is around 900 lumens.
High1

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the MT42.  Primary is the tail mechanical clicky.  It’s a forward clicky.
20180622-IMG_4225
Second is the side switch, which is an indicating e-switch.  There’s a blue led behind this metal switch, for indicating certain things.
20180622-IMG_4221
Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Last used mode, including Strobe, excluding Beacon/SOS)
Off Any Action, Side Switch (SS) No Action
On Click TS Off
On Click SS Mode advance (L>H direction)
On Hold SS Momentary Turbo
On Double click SS Fast strobe
Strobe Hold SS Strobe>Beacon>SOS
Off Hold SS, Click TS Battery indicator*, then On (mode memory)

* Battery indicator indicates as follows:
3 Flashes represent battery level above 50%
2 Flashes represent battery level below 50%
1 Flash represents battery level below 10%

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1800 1h 1994 1.96
 High 800 3h30m 915 0.65
 Mid 280 12h 318 0.17
 Low 68 45h 92 0.04
 Ultra-low 1 530h ~ 0.00

LED and Beam

This thrower has a Cree XHP35 HD, and a smooth reflector.  Notably it hits the claimed throw numbers.  I’d really rather see this light with the HI version of that same emitter – I believe it’d throw better.
20180622-IMG_4224
The beam is a very even spot, with a very small bit of spill right around the spot, and not much spill otherwise.  It’s a great beam profile for the use case of this light.

Tint vs BLF-348

20180630-IMG_4269.jpg

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  There’s not a whole lot of competition in this 2×18650 realm.  In fact both of the other similar lights are iterations of a light from Armytek.  And aren’t really “throw” lights.  So if this is the kind of light you need, then this one is de facto your best choice.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Hits throw numbers
  • Build quality is standard Nitecore fare
  • Dual switch UI
  • Indicating switch
  • Battery check!

What I don’t like

  • Battery check goes to “on” … I understand it but wish it could always go Battery Check> UltraLow
  • Tactical ring and pouch conflict

Up Next

I have many more lights upcoming, but the most-next-est light will be a Lumintop. I have been on vacation and I’m still getting back around in to the swing of reviewing.  But I hope to fill this week with reviews!

Notes

  • This light was provided by NitecoreStore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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