Product Review: Nitecore MT21C Flashlight

The MT21C is one of Nitecore’s recent releases from the “Multi-Task” range of flashlights. It has a unique, angle-adjustable head. As with all Nitecore products, the threads are well-lubricated, which makes screwing / unscrewing the tail cap or battery tube a smooth, easy process. Thanks to the magnetic tail cap, the gold-plated spring is partially magnetised. If you want to remove the battery, when you unscrew the tail cap, the battery is stuck to it. This lowers the chance of the battery accidentally falling out when removing the tail cap.

What’s in the Box?

The unboxing of the MT21C
The unboxing of the MT21C

In the box, you get:

  • Nitecore warranty card
  • Multi-lingual instruction manual
  • Two spare O-rings
  • Durable Nitecore lanyard
  • Heavy duty nylon holster
  • Black anodised titanium plated carry clip (reversible)
  • Nitecore MT21C flashlight
Moisture absorber insde MT21C
Moisture absorber inside MT21C

The MT21C comes with a water absorbing packet inside the battery tube, which prevents a build-up of moisture while in transit.

The Head

 

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The main feature of the MT21C is the angle-adjustable head (shown above). Now, many companies make flashlights with the head set to 90˚, so that they can be attached to a headband. Obviously, many companies make flashlights with the head pointing forward. Very few, if any, have an adjustable head, so that you can choose the angle that best suits your needs. This, partnered with the magnetic tail cap, makes the Nitecore MT21C particularly innovative, as the designers of this flashlight have taken into account the fact that some people may need a work light that can stand on the tail cap or stick to any metal surface.

You can position the head at a 0˚, 22.5˚, 45˚, 67.5˚ or 90˚ angle. It is easy to adjust with one finger, but stiff enough to stay at the angle you need. I believe this is due to a spring-loaded pin, which then moves down into each “dimple” shown here:

The back of the MT21C's head
The back of the MT21C’s head

The MT21C can be stuck to any metal surface (thanks to the magnetic base) or it can be hung up using the integrated metal loop.

This makes the MT21C ideal as a work light, for example for mechanics who need to work at something with both hands, as it can be easily attached to metal.

However, this light would also be ideal for hikers and campers, thanks to the titanium plated clip. Instead of using a regular flashlight, why not clip it to your backpack and angle the head to 90˚? Now you have a perfect, bright flashlight that illuminates everything in your path with the fantastic, neutral white flood?

 

The Lanyard

The lanyard is black with the word “Nitecore” stitched on in yellow thread. It has a little black plastic slider, which allows the user to adjust the length, so it fits the user’s wrist perfectly.

The Holster

The black Nitecore holster can be attached to a belt via the strong belt loop, or it can be attached using the strong plastic D-ring.

A non-slip rubberised material lines the interior of the holster, which prevents the MT21C from falling out if running or jogging.

Features

Now, there are quite a few flashlights available on the market that boast a two metre waterproof rating. What better way to test this than to go for a swim with the MT21C? Will it pass the test or will it fail? Spoiler alert: it passed!

MT21C underwater
MT21C underwater

The MT21C is also drop resistant up to falls of one metre. Measuring 131mm long, 25.4mm wide and weighing 103.5 grams (unloaded), you hardly notice the MT21C in your pocket.

Battery Indicator? Yes

MT21C battery indicator
MT21C battery indicator

The flashlight features reverse-polarity protection, which means that if you insert the battery the wrong way, it won’t damage the circuit.

Inside the MT21C battery tube
Inside the MT21C battery tube

When the battery is inserted, it flashes to let the user know how many volts remain, for example, it will flash three times, stop for two seconds then flash seven times. This means that there is 3.7V of power left. The working voltage is between 3.5V – 4.2V (inclusive) with an 18650 battery or 4.8V – 6.4V with two CR123 batteries. When the battery level is below 50%, the blue LED will blink once every two seconds.

Anti-Roll and Anti-Slip Features

MT21C diamond knurling
MT21C diamond knurling

The body and tail cap features diamond knurling, which is deep enough to be effective in wet conditions, but not too aggressive so that it doesn’t catch and snag on clothing.

There are cooling fins near the head of the flashlight, which allows the heat to dissipate. There is also an anti-roll ring below the cooling fins. The head of the flashlight is bevelled, which, in a worst-case scenario, could be used to break glass.

MT21C anti-roll ring and cooling fins

The MT21C also utilises an ATR (advanced temperature regulation) module, which protects the electronic components from being damaged by the heat produced on “high” or “turbo”.

Output and Modes

Utilising a CREE XP-L HD V6 LED sunk into a smooth, coated, shiny aluminium reflector, the MT21C has a maximum lumen output of 1,000 lumens, peak beam intensity of 8,500 candelas and maximum throw of 184 metres. The beam has a good spill and a fantastic throw.

MT21C reflector and LED

The hotspot makes it easy to identify a target at range (thanks to the throw), with the spill illuminating the surrounding area.

There are five brightness levels and also three special modes. I have tabulated the output modes below:

FL1 Standard Ultralow Low Mid High Turbo Strobe Beacon S.O.S.
Output (lumens) 1 50 190 400 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Run time 700 hours 25 hours 7 hours 30 minutes 1 hour 25 minutes 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour
Throw (metres) 6 42 85 122 184 184 184 184
Intensity (candelas) 10 450 1,800 3,720 8,500 8,500 8,500 8,500

 

There doesn’t seem to be a memory function, as when the flashlight is turned on, it always comes on at the “ultralow” setting.

 

Improvements and Suggestions

To improve the Nitecore MT21C, I would add a memory function, as it would make finding your desired output level faster, especially if you are wanting to conserve battery power. I think knurling on the head would be perfect, as it would allow the user to move the head easier in wet conditions, however this is not a vital improvement.

If it was possible, I would also like to be able to remove the metal loop and then reattach it when needed. Another interesting feature that I think would be useful is the ability to lock the head into place, so it stays at whatever angle you require, no matter how much force is applied. This would also come in useful if you needed to use the bevelled head to break glass or in a self-defence situation. All in all, this is a bright, streamlined light that is perfect for everyday carry. This light will be a perfect companion when I go hiking.

Here are some beam shots.

 MT21C beam shot

The tree in this photo (near the lamp post) was approximately 100 metres away. The lamp post illuminated beside the tree was damaged and therefore was not affecting the shot. The light pollution was virtually non-existent.

 

If you would like to view or buy this product, please click on this link if you live in the United States:

http://www.nitecorestore.com/NITECORE-MT21C-tiltable-head-flashlight-p/fl-nite-mt21c.htm

Or this link if you live in the United Kingdom:

https://www.nitecore.co.uk/Shop/Torches/MT-Series/13701-Nitecore-MT21C.html

 

Thank you for taking time to read this review. I hope you find it useful and informative. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me here: productreviewsbymatt@gmail.com

Written by Matthew Crozier.

Sample provided by Nitecore for testing in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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