Nitecore TM9K Review
This is probably the most impressively small 21700 light I've used so far, especially when you consider the massive output. It's also the first light I've used that can charge with a USB-C to USB-C cable, and one of the fastest charging lights I've tested. The UI is great as well.
I'm not a fan of the tint chosen, but for the 'tactical' market this is aimed at it probably won't matter to most buyers. Likewise, I wish the cell wasn't sealed inside the light and that turbo was a bit more conservative (or had a more moderate setting it could be configured to for longer lasting bursts).
Overall if you want 9000 lumens with built in charging that can fit in a pocket, this is probably one of the better options on the market.
Physical DimensionsThe TM9K measures 129 mm long including the switch, which protrudes from the tail. The widest part of the head is 39.5 mm across, and the body is 26.0 mm wide. It weighs 226 grams.
Convoy C8+ and smaller in diameter at the head, though it's slightly longer than the Convoy S2+ and Nitecore P18.
What's IncludedGood question! This is a pre-production sample, so I don't have a good idea of what the final packaging will look like. Nitecore lists it as coming with the following on their site, in addition to the light istelf:
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
Ergonomics and Retention
This is a small light, but it fits great in my hand. There isn't too much weight at the head, and both switches are extremely easy to locate and identify.
Modes and Interface
The UI is as follows:
- From any mode, the mode switch is momentary turbo (9500 claimed lumens)
- From off, the FC switch can be used to access the last mode, either momentary with a half press or constant with a full click
- When on, the mode switch cycles through ultralow (30 claimed lumens), low (130), mid (460), and high (1900)
- From any mode, double press the mode switch for strobe
- When on, hold the mode switch while turning off to lockout the light
- Triple press the mode switch to exit lockout
With such massive output, lockout is borderline a safety feature so I'm glad to see it implemented here. I've long been a fan of lights that give momentary access to turbo when on in another mode, so I'm glad to see that here too - I find a short burst of high output great for taking a look in the distance outside without having to fiddle with double clicks or cycle through all the modes to get back to the one I want. Overall it's a great UI, and there's nothing about it I wish I could change.
Light Quality and Beam
Power and RuntimeThe light is powered by an internal 21700 cell that isn't readily replaceable.
ChargingTo charge the light, just plug in the included USB-C cable to any power supply you have on hand. I don't love that it relies on a rubber flap to keep moisture out, but it should do the job just fine. The indicating LED flashes while charging, flashes quickly when quick charging, and turns solid when charging is done.
I want to talk about that built in battery for a bit. It's annoying that the user can't replace the battery, but I get why this decision was made. There are a few "enthusiast" lights on the market that require certain high powered lights to work, and are available from only two online stores in the world. Both of those stores sell the required battery. Somehow people manage to find out about these lights, find the stores they're sold in, order the light - and then pick up a protected cell that doesn't fit and can't support the high current draw. The end result is frustrated customers and potentially dangerous combinations.
That isn't to say I want more lights with built in cells - I think shipping a light with a cell included is enough, or maybe requiring a tool to change it. But I get why this decision was made, especially for a light that is widely available to consumers on Amazon and other mainstream vendors. I would be much more bothered if it wasn't for the extreme output this light is capable of, and even the extreme rates it charges at.
TeardownThe wording for this section was chosen very carefully - this is a teardown, not a guide. If you do this, you could very well break your device and will definitely void your warranty. I do this to show you what's inside and learn how the device works.
- High output
- A complete kit - a light, a cell, and a way to charge it
- Built in charging is fast, and supports PD
- Great UI with momentary access to turbo
- Battery is not user-replaceable
- Tint could be improved
- Not a fan of relying on rubber flaps for water resistance
- Turbo is not at all sustainable
Notes and LinksThis product was provided free of charge from Nitecore. I was not paid to write this review, and have tried to be as unbiased as possible.
Nitecore TM9K listing on Amazon.
Official product page.