Choosing the best flashlight for the environment you’re in often means balancing size and output. The Nitecore MH12 Pro Flashlight has something to say about making trade-offs between the two. We go our hands one to see if this compact yet strong light should be on your EDC list.
Nitecore MH12 Pro Flashlight Output
There are eight modes on the light, ranging from 1 to 3300 lumens. Three of those modes are fairly standard with Low (50 lumens), Medium (300 lumens) and High (1200 lumens) covering the most typical applications. Ultra-low (1 lumen) and Turbo (3300 lumens) expand the capability compared to typical flashlights.
From there, Strobe, Beacon, and SOS modes (all 3300 lumens) offer signaling and defense capabilities.
As for the throw, the MH12 Pro reaches from 8 to 505 meters. On the intensity side, it ranges from 16 to 63,500 candelas.
Most of the light concentrates into a nice round, even hotspot with a noticeable corona surrounding it. There’s also a generous 90° sidespill that broadens the scope of your vision beyond what’s in the center of the beam.
For power, the light uses a 21700 lithium-ion battery with 5300mAh of capacity. Depending on the mode you’re running, the runtime ranges from 30 minutes to 650 hours. One thing to note is that there’s a temperature sensor built in. If the light gets too hot in Turbo mode, it will automatically downshift the output for protection. This can happen pretty—in some cases, as fast as 30 seconds. So think of Turbo as a short-duration mode to use, with High being your primary steady-state high output level.
Here’s a full breakdown of the performance specs:
When you’re ready to charge the battery, simply plug in the included USB-C cord to the charging port, or use one you already have lying around.
Cycling from Low through Turbo modes is easy. Click the light on using the tail switch and then click the mode button near the front to change output levels. To shift into the three special modes, turn on the light, and then press and hold the mode button until you get to the one you want. If you want to use Ultra-low mode, press the mode button and click the tail switch on at the same time.
For the standard modes, the light remembers what mode you were in last and returns to it the next time you click it on. If the last mode you used was one of the special ones, it returns to the low setting.
There are also two operating modes to work in—Daily (default) and Tactical. To switch between them, enter into Ultra-low mode (mode + tail switch), and keep holding the mode button down for five seconds. A light will flash once to let you know you’re in Daily mode, or twice for Tactical mode. Click the light off, and you’re ready to go. Here’s the difference between the two:
- Press Mode: Low → Medium → High → Turbo
- Press Mode and Hold: Strobe → Beacon → SOS
- Press Mode: Turbo → High → Medium → Low
- Press Mode and Hold: Strobe
I realize some people don’t care for having separate power and mode buttons. Personally, I prefer it. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, keep in mind that this model is a two-button system.
As you switch modes, notice the blue light indicator to the left of the mode switch helps you keep track of where you are in the cycle. The green indicator to the right shows a measure of home much battery capacity is remaining.
Like most modern rechargeable flashlights, the tail switch is good for momentary light with a half-press.
Nitecore MH12 Pro Flashlight Design Notes
Physically, this is a small flashlight despite its impressive output. It measures 5.5 inches long and has a head diameter of 1.1 inches. With the battery, it weighs just 5.4 ounces. It’s small and light enough to easily carry in your tool box, clip onto your belt, settle into your pocket, or take up residence in your glove box.
On the construction side, the body is made aerospace-grade aluminum alloy with an HA III military-grade hard anodized finish. Aggressive knurling offers excellent grip, even with gloves or sweaty hands. Combined with excellent seals, it earns an IP68 ingress rating, allowing it to be submerged in water up to 2 meters deep. It’s also drop test rated to 1 meter.
Nitecore MH12 Pro Flashlight Price
Considering the performance and design, Nitecore’s $89.95 price tag for this flashlight is on point compared to the competition. The light comes with a battery, holster, tether strap, removable clip, charging cable, spare o-ring, and a 5-year warranty.
The Bottom Line
Considering the full picture of performance, design, and price, NItecore’s MH12 Pro is an excellent EDC flashlight that’s content to serve in nearly any environment. The big thing to keep in mind is that the 3300 max lumen output is good for short durations, signaling, and defense rather than steady-state use.
|Output||1 – 3300 Lumens|
|Throw||8 – 505 Meters|
|Intensity||16 – 63,500 Candela|
|Runtime||30 Min – 650 Hrs|
|Battery||21700 (5300 mAh)|
|Head Diameter||1.1 Inches|
|Drop Rating||1 Meter|