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on December 1, 2012
This NITECORE - MT26flashlight has a great size-to-performance ratio. It is relatively small at 6 inches long and 1.25 inches thick at its thicker end. The listing says "750" lumens, but the packaging actually reads "800 lumens". Using 2 short "CR123" specialty lithium batteries it can delivery those 800 lumens for 1 hour and 40 minutes ... and using 1 long "18650" specialty lithium battery, it can deliver those 800 lumens for slightly longer: 2 hours. Being able to use either of the two most popular specialty-flashlight-battery sizes (CR 123 or 18650) is a nice and versatile feature.
The use of these specialty batteries (available easily online, but hard to find at local stores) is what enables this flashlight to reach the spectacularly bright level of 800 lumens, while maintaining such a small size. Those specialty batteries are more "power dense" than typical household alkaline batteries. Nevertheless, for those of you who stubbornly refuse to consider flashlights that use these specialty batteries, but still require an 800-lumen flashlight, you should consider the "FENIX - TK41" (which I also purchased on Amazon, and I also reviewed on Amazon). That flashlight produces a comparable 860 lumens, (which it can do for 2 hours and 20 minutes) using standard household alkaline (or lithium) "AA" batteries, which are commonly available at stores anywhere.
But there's a trade-off. Your unwillingness to use ONE (18650 size) or TWO (CR123 size) lithium specialty flashlight batteries, in a great flashlight like this small NITECORE - MT26 ... means that you must then use EIGHT standard alkaline or lithium "AA" size batteries to achieve that level of light output in the FENIX - TK41. And another thing... that FENIX flashlight is twice the diameter, and a couple inches longer, than the NITCORE... in order to fit that big pack of 8 "AA" batteries in it. It's larger and heavy form makes the FENIX - TK41 far less appropriate for carrying in a jacket pocket, than the NITECORE - MT26, which would easily fit in a jacket pocket.
Both are very impressive flashlights. Both are relatively small. The question is whether or not you are willing to buy some specialty batteries online while you are buying the flashlight online (easy enough to do)... in order to get that same amount of power in a significantly smaller size... like this small but super-powerful NITECORE - MT26.
It's a personal decision... either way, you are getting a fabulously impressive flashlight,
with the very small NITECORE - MT26 using 1 or 2 specialty batteries,
or the significantly larger, (but still relatively small) FENIX TK41 using 8 standard AA batteries.
I own both, and I am very impressed with both.
77 comments37 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 13, 2013
I bought this light to replace my TerraLux Lightstar 220. I have carried the Lightstar 220 for about two years, as it is a great light. However, I decided that it was time to find something brighter for every day carry. I had my choices narrowed to this light, or the Klarus XT11. Both the Nitecore MT26 and the Klarus XT11 are about the same length as the Lightstar 220, but noticeably thicker. (The dimensions are false on the Lightstar 220's product page for some reason.) I was willing to accept the size increase to get the considerable upgrade in light output. Both tactical lights are powered by two CR123 or one 18650 battery. Both tactical lights offer multiple modes including a strobe. Both include a crenelated bezel. I settled on the Nitecore MT26 because it was $30 cheaper, with 200 more lumens.

This flashlight is very sturdy with fine machining and no exposed surfaces, rough edges or burrs. The flashlight screws apart into three pieces, and does not cross-thread. The motion is very smooth, with the tail section much tighter than the head. There is checkering on the tail and body about where my fingers naturally grip the light. The light can stand on its tail for use as a candle, but tips over easily. I tried using the tactical ring that comes with it, but it just gets in the way since the light is already so large. The ring also prevents the light from fitting into the included belt pouch, or my Nite Ize LHS-03 holster. Without the ring, this light fits (tightly) and wears well in my Nite Ize holster. Since I use a holster, I removed the ring and didn't even try the removable clip.

The lens is flat with super-clear glass, and a smooth, shiny aluminum reflector. The crenelations prevent most things from contacting the glass, even my hand when pressed firmly against the head of the light. The beam/throw distance is (disappointingly) roughly the same as the TerraLux Lightstar 220, but the amount of light delivered is not even comparable. The beam of the MT26 is about 4x wider, and completely obscures the beam of the Lightstar 220. The flashlight I carry in my pocket produces 300 lumens, and actually has a farther throw than the Lightstar 220 or the Nitecore MT26, but it is also completely obscured by the MT26's Turbo mode. The MT26 is very comparable to a single low beam car headlight. The color of the light is a pleasing, nearly pure-white light with a slight purple ring around the center spot.

It took me a while to get use to switching modes with this flashlight. To access the "Turbo Mode" (full 800 lumen beam), you tighten the head all the way. With it fully tightened, it will always turn on with full brightness. The manual states that after three minute's run time in Turbo Mode, the output will be automatically lowered to prevent over-heating. My own test revealed that it does not seem to lose brightness even after four minutes on Turbo.

To access the "User-Defined Mode" (SOS, Strobe, High, Medium, & Low settings), you simply loosen the head a bit. You then switch modes by clicking or half-pressing the tail-switch. If you wait three seconds after a press/click, the light will remember the last mode you left it in. Even if you tighten the head and use turbo mode, the light will remember the last "User-Defined" setting. However, if you don't wait at least three seconds after using Turbo mode before you press the tail-switch in User-Defined mode, it will cycle to the next setting. This seems pretty simple once you see it in practice, but I've already found that it is unreliable. At least three times now I've had my User-Defined mode set, only to press the tail-switch and have the light weirdly flicker and then restart the User-Defined cycle all over again. This would not be a good thing if I had it set to Strobe mode and needed it. I also personally do not feel that the mechanism for switching between Turbo and User-Defined mode will remain reliable, though only time will tell.

At the same time I purchased this light, I also purchased these batteries to go with it, and this charger to charge them. The batteries had mixed reviews, as it seems they are made to different specs by many different Chinese factories and sold as one product by several different sellers. I ordered mine from intsun E Supermarket, and they work perfectly, having charged them each twice so far. The charger I ordered has no issues and works great with the batteries I ordered.

Overall, I am quite pleased with this light. It is larger than my old flashlight, but it is astonishingly bright. Having to deal with yet another charger and type of battery isn't that much trouble for me, considering the benefits. The "Turbo" and "User-Defined" modes work great in theory, but the User-Defined mode does not reliably remember your setting. Such would preclude this flashlight from use in life-or-death situations, but it's fine for general use. If you're considering upgrading to your first "Tactical" flashlight, I think the MT26 is an excellent value, even with the additional cost of new batteries and a charger.
0Comment11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 26, 2013
In searching for a tactical light for my Mossberg 590 build, required a light with quality features to handle shotgun recoil - dual springs head assy and tail switch assy, High lumens / Strobe, min length of 6 inches.
The NITECORE MT26 meet all of the requirements at a value price of less than $60. Paired the MT26 with the
Elzetta Flashlight Mount for Tactical Shotgun, Remington 870, Mossberg 500, Quick Release Thumbscrew model. Great combination for less than $100. Check out LIGHT-REVIEWS.COM of Nitecore MT-25, little brother (different led, less lumens, shorter length) to the MT-26. After reading this review, decision to go with the MT-26 was easy. Recommend the Panasonic 3400mAh NCR18650B ( alien green color) battery or the Orbtronic Two 18650 Protected 2900mAh Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries Button Top with PCB - NEW Dual Protection Version Panasonic 2900mAh cell inside from ORBTRONICS. This light replaced a Streamlight 88860 Polytac Flashlight LED HP with Lithium Batteries, Black which is now my EDC.
At the range under recoil conditions ( buckshot & slugs) - ( 1100 - 1700 fps) the MT26 performed fantastic in all the modes ( turbo, high, med, low and sos & strobe)
Very satisfied with both MT26 & ZSM. Highly Recommended. JD590.
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22 comments11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I have a bunch of different lights in all price ranges, sizes and lumens. The short version is you could slap the name Surefire on it and charge $150 and no one would say a thing its that good. Whats more you dont have to pay that for a light of such high quality. I have two now (always have a backup of the things you really like and appreciate in case some corporate genius decides to stop making it), and I paid between forty and fifty dollars right here on Amazon.

The flashlight is tough as nails. Bright as the sun, well almost, and is at home in your jacket pocket, vehicle, or mounted on a firearm as it has shock springs for recoil. They also make a remote switch for shotgun and AR mountings.

Has several programable settings, just cycle thorugh the one you want to come on first then turn it off and you are good to go. I used to have it on the turbo 750 mode first, but after a few times of looking for my glasses or shoes in the dark and blinding myself, the wife, and all nearby animals, I have changed to the lowest setting. It takes just another tap of the rear tactical switch to hit the blind the idiot in front of you mode.

Cant reccomend this enough, and in a pinch you can pummel the crap out of an attacker with the mean bezzle.
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on November 21, 2012
This kills my service light that I used to use up until this light. I had a stream light stinger incandescen. It was rechargable but after a few month service it needed the bulb changed, after multiple charger issues, replaced battery pack, and countless bulb changes I'm retiring this little light. I also own another light from Sysmax it's the Jetbeam BC 40 rated a 800 lumens another great product with almost twice the throw of this smaller tactical light. For a duty/tactical light the MT-26 will be my first choice!
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on May 31, 2013
I compared this to a Fenix PD32 UE and Fenix TK35.
This has a longer throw than the PD32 but not as much as the TK35. You cannot tell the difference between this and the TK35 if your shinning it 5-12 feet in front of you in a hallway or room.
Great light for the size. 800 ANSI rated lumens which is up to par with the 820 ANISI rated lumens of the TK35. I will probably get another one of these or the upcoming PD35 950 lumens.
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on May 22, 2013
This light turns night into day. I kid you not. This flashlight is that powerful. It has a great beam focused in a long beam the wide section of the beam lights everything up in front of you and in the distance you can see for a good 100 yards or longer. I tested this against a scorpion led, a lux pro and a led lenser it blew them all out of the water. For the money you can not get a better light. I use this as my duty flashlight and it will blind a bad guy temporarily and allow you to get away if you have to. It is a great personal defense light.
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on April 9, 2013
You know those flashlights that they use in those cop shows where you say, "they've got to be using stage lighting, no way a flashlight can light things up that well!" Well, this is one of those lights. No matter where I am, I have a little daylight in my pocket. The strobe feature is absolutely blinding at 10 feet, even in the daytime. It would be a perfect non-lethal way to temporarily disable an attacker or home intruder. If you love flashlights, you will love this.
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on September 21, 2013
I gotta admit, I've been skeptical of the tons of Chinese-made flashlights available in recent years...I have been impressed with brands like Fenix though, for the quality, & overall value. I took a chance on this MT26, after hearing some good things about Nitecore. Surefire's lights are good, but IMO, overpriced, even the price of their brand of batteries has risen, & Surefire has super-strict retailer price guidelines. Many of Surefire's newer products are made IN the USA but now with foreign components. I usually "buy American", but I'm REAL impressed with this Nitecore light. Some people will say that comparing Surefire, with any other brand is apples 7 oranges, but IMO, a flashlight is still a flashlight, so I'll compare directly. On high/"turbo" mode (800 alleged lumens, according to the package) the MT26 does suck batteries dry. I'm inclined to believe this Amazon product description that says "750" lumens. On the SOS, strobe & 3 lower settings, the battery life is pretty decent, but if you plan on running around blinding people, buy LOTS of extra batteries. I'll probably invest in a pair of rechargeable packs, as I can use them with my older Surefires & Streamlights as well. Anyhow, construction is really good, & the included accessories are a nice addition. The "tactical ring" & clip work well when facing each other from opposite ends of the body barrel. The sheath seems decently made, but nothing to write home about. It would be nice if this product came with batteries, heck, even a cheap pair, I'm glad I keep CR123s on hand, no big deal. If you're used to single setting lights, the operation of this light can be initially a tiny bit confusing, but I like that you can cycle the modes with either a full click of the button or a half-press...& to melt somebody's eyes out with "turbo", an easy rotation of the head/bezel is very clear-cut. LED tech has come a long way in the past 20 years. I thought I was hot sh!* when I got my original Surefire 6P back in probably 1998...those original incandescent tactical lights look like bad jokes compared to this new crop of super CREE & Nichia LED lights that China is producing. Back to task; I'd recommend this even if it cost $20 more...the Nitecore MT26 is well-made, bright (overkill maybe) & the features & accessories make it stand out as a better value than many comparable lights from more established companies.
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on July 15, 2013
I chose this light as my weapon mounted light because it is very bright and very light weight for the price. It is also a quality product that seems well made and very durable.
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