Nitecore has released a new version of the MH12 series of lights. The MH12S is a 21700 tactical, dual switch flashlight, and offers USB-C charging! Read on for some thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
There are a bunch of different lights under the “MH” name. The MH12 also has the MH12 V2, MH12 GTS and likely many others. But of this specific light there are no versions or options.
These are listed at $89.95 and you can buy yours now at nitecorestore.com (affiliate link). That includes the cell, too!
This is another good entry inthe MH12 series by Nitecore. The emitter being used (Luminus SST-40 is good, and overall things perform well.
The Big Table
|Price in USD at publication time:||$89.95|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||–|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1800|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1489 (82.7% of claim)*|
|Candela per Lumen||14.9|
|Claimed Throw (m)||294|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||683lux @ 5.926m = 23985cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||309.7 (105.3% of claim)*|
|All my Nitecore reviews!|
- 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).
- Nitecore MH12S Flashlight
- Nitecore 5000mAh 21700 cell
- Spare o-ring
- Friction fit pocket clip
- Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
- Hard belt holster
- 21700 to 18650 adapter
- Manual and paperwork
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
Build quality is good – this light is basically like the MH12 V2 that I reviewed previously. Pretty standard Nitecore fare here. The main/first thing you’ll probably notice here is that this light is long. Maybe it’s to be expected and it’d certainly be ok in the belt loop, but this isn’t a light you’re going to pocket.
The tailcap has adequate knurling for good grip when removing.
The body has three big blank rings – more on those later.
The head end has some knurling too, but doesn’t come off.
The clip has some lanyard holes also, but I’d prefer the tailcap loop.
There are minimal cooling fins on the light, but this is really designed as a tube light.
The threads on the tail end are fairly fine but square cut, anodized and well lubed.
The tailcap has a beefy and long spring.
The positive end also has a spring, too.
With the light headstanding, light can be seen because of the crenelations in the bezel.
Size and Comps
25.4mm head and tube diameter
27.2mm tail diameter
If a light will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If a light will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
There are a number of ways to carry the MH12S. First I’ll mention the pocket clip. It’s a fairly standard friction fit clip.
The clip can attach in any of these three smooth spots on the body. And it’ll work in either orientation in any of those three grooves.
It’s not really a deep carry clip but the light is so long that the balance is fine with the clip in the position shown below.
There’s also a lanyard hole in the tailcap. It’s a nice large opening, and allows easy attachment of the lanyard.
Finally is the hard plastic belt holster. I couldn’t get the MH12S to fit perfectly in this holster. It’ll fit securely but not all completely into the holster.
Both switches are still accessible, and the light may be operated while installed.
Power and Runtime
A single lithium ion cell powers the MH12S, and that cell is included. It’s a 5000mAh standard 21700 cell, with a button top.
The cell fits into the light in the usual way – positive end toward the head.
Also included is an adapter which allows the use of a single 18650 cell or two CR123 cells.
Here are a couple of runtimes. Output does initially peak well above the claimed 1800 lumens, but drops off steadily to settle at around 1100 lumens.
The output on High is much more stable.
Both low voltage warning and low voltage protection were observed on the MH12S. At around 3.2V the switch blinks slowly blue. Then around 3.0V, the switch blinks fast blue. And the light finally shuts off at around 2.8V.
Onboard charging is included on the MH12S. This is by way of a USB-C port in the head. An appropriate cable is included.
The charge port has a press-in cover, and it’s quite secure.
Charging looks a little funny here, but this looks just like it did on the MH12 V2, so I suppose this is just Nitecore’s charge circuit.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
Two switches control the MH12S. First is the mechanical tail switch.
The switch is very proud, as you might expect on a tactical light. This does prevent tailstanding.
Next is the indicating e-switch on the side of the head. The indicating portion is right in the center.
There are two mode groups. Daily (default), and Tactical. Here’s a UI table for Daily!
|Off||Click Tail Switch (TS)||On (Mode Memory*)|
|Off||Hold TS||Momentary Memory|
|Off||Click Side Switch (SS)||No action|
|On||Click SS||Mode Advance (Daily: Low toward High)
(Tactical: High toward Low)
|Off||Holt SS and Click TS and continue holding SS for ~5s||Mode group change (indicated by fast blinking switch)
Upon release, the light will turn on.
|On||Hold SS||Daily: Strobe then Beacon then SOS (then back to Strobe)
Tactical: Strobe (only – no other modes in this group)
|Any Strobe||Click SS||Return to previous steady output|
|Off||Hold SS and Click TS – release both||Battery indication (Blinks ones digit, then pauses, then blinks tenths digit).
Upon release, the light will turn on.
- Four main modes plus strobe can be memorized in Daily. In Tactical, only High and Strobe can be memorized.
LED and Beam
The emitter is a Luminus SST-40. Nitecore calls it the SST40-W. Despite us being able to wish this “W” indicated “Warm,” it seems the W actually indicates that the emitter is 6500K. I find that reasonable.
The reflector is smooth and relatively deep.
The bezel allows light to show even when headstanding.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Nice build quality
- Dual mode group user interface
- Good and very simple user interface
- Complete package
- Utilizes USB-C charging
- Charging is not proprietary!
What I don’t like
- 6500K emitter
- Light is very long
- This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
- For flashlight-related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
- Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!