Nitecore MT1C LED Flashlight Review

After attending my first low-light fight focused training class years ago, one thing became very clear: a flashlight is an important safety tool.

After attending several low-light fight focused training classes, I learned two additional lessons:

  1. Have more than one light.
  2. Lights that seem too powerful indoors seem too weak outdoors.

My main EDC flashlight is an Olight M18 Striker LED flashlight. It is powered by a 18650 rechargeable battery and throws out 800 lumens. It is very bright, and I know it can blind aggressors in lowlight conditions.

However, the M18 is very big, and looks very “tactical.” I wanted a backup flashlight that fit in my pocket, didn’t look scary to the uninitiated, yet was still powerful enough to be useful outdoors.

After doing some research, I decided on the Nitecore MT1C flashlight.

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Product details

  • Length: 3.5″ long
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Lumens: 345 (claimed)
  • Battery: 1 CR123A or 1 RCR123A (rechargeable)
  • Brightness settings: low, medium, high and turbo intensity
  • Modes: on/off, strobe, SOS
  • Activation mechanism: tailcap
  • $40 or less from Amazon Prime

I wanted a light that was small, powerful, and activated via a tail cap switch. The latter is important to me for one handed use; a twist cap requires two hands to turn on and off reliably, and it’s easier to find a rear-mounted switch than one on the side of the light.

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We are taught to turn the light on as little as possible. Leaving the light on will reveal your position to aggressors. I don’t like lights that have multi-mode switches where the first press is low light, second press is brighter light, third is strobe, fourth is popcorn maker. On and off is all I wanted, and that’s what the Nitecore MT1C has.

You can set the brightness and mode of the MT1C to strobe or SOS by twisting the head of the flashlight to certain positions. Turbo brightness and on/off is set by default.

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I’ve been carrying the MT1C for about a month and a half in my left pocket. I keep my keys and a Zebra all steel pen in that pocket, and so far the finish of the MT1C has held up. Eventually the keys will wear off the finish, but so far so good. I know that finish isn’t the best quality indicator, but if you buy a cheap Chinese knock off the finish will wear quickly. Who knows what else will crap out.

At 345 Lumens, the MT1C is not nearly as bright as my main Olight M18 Striker. However, it is still bright enough for use outdoors, and is bright enough to potentially dazzle an attacker. The flashlight it replaced was a ~100 Lumen light and the difference is astounding.

I recommend the MT1C. It’s a great value for the price, especially compared dollar for dollar to other popular manufacturers such as Olight, FourSevens, StreamLight and Fenix. It’s possible to find equivalently sized (or smaller) flashlights from competitors, but they aren’t as bright or don’t have tail cap switches. It’s possible to find lights that are the same brightness, but are more expensive and/or look too tactical for my tastes.

The MT1C is a Goldilocks flashlight for pocket carry, at a price that won’t bust your wallet.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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