Nitecore MH10S | Expert Review by Koen van der Jagt
If you're looking for a flashlight that falls in the middle range in terms of size, you have dozens of models to choose from. Which doesn't make choosing any easier... The Nitecore MH10S is one of the options available. What makes this torch special, and who is it a good choice for? Time to find out!
My first impressions:
The torch comes in the familiar packaging: a colourful box containing the torch plus quite a few accessories. As is usually the case these days, no charger is included, but otherwise the set is more than complete, including a tactical holster.
The abbreviation MH stands for Multitask Hybrid and you can certainly see that with the MH10S: the torch is so compact that its length fits between my thumb and index finger. This is partly because the switch is located on the side and the reflector is not very deep. Nitecore has succeeded in making the 3rd version of the MH10 the most compact and the most powerful. Furthermore, the design fits seamlessly with the rest of the Nitecore family. Distinctive structures give the MH10S a tactical look and also provide improved grip; this also means it's virtually impossible for it to accidentally roll away. You can attach the carrying clip both upwards and downwards. The torch can stand up firmly on its end, so you can use it (possibly in combination with a diffuser) as a beacon or a tent lamp, for instance. In the lamp head we see a smooth reflector with a neatly centred SST-40-W LED; this combination provides a good mix of reach and output. The metal switch (which lasts longer than rubber) has a battery status indicator light.
In terms of finish, everything's in order: the parts fit together well, screw threads run smoothly, and the torch shows no visible irregularities.
When and how:
The MH10S is a hybrid, so it can be used in many situations. The size is still just right for carrying in your trouser or jacket pocket without it weighing you down. The carrying clip and supplied tactical holster allow you to easily carry the torch with you on your clothing or gear. In my opinion, the MH10S comes into its own in everyday use, so it's a real EDC torch. Thanks to the economical lowest setting, you can easily leave it on overnight in your tent, while its highest settings give you a wide beam of light with a good reach. The MH10S can also be used tactically, but lacks a switch on the back, so in my opinion it's not the torch for security guards and the like. Incidentally, the strobe function (which is super dazzling) is available very quickly; good to know if you have to go out alone in an unsafe area.
In summary: The MH10S is most suitable for everyday use, but can also be used tactically when needed.
How does the MH10S perform in terms of controls and comfort:
Charging is a breeze, as with most modern torches, thanks to the USB-C port which is sealed with a rubber cover. Make sure you tighten the battery cover well (I often loosen it to prevent it accidentally switching on) because otherwise the torch won't charge. The blue indicator light flashes at a slow rate when successfully charging and quickly when something is wrong. When the battery is fully charged, the light stays on continuously. Personally I think a red/green indicator is clearer. This Nitecore also has the great option that you can check the voltage of the battery to the nearest 0.1 volt.
The MH10S is very easy to operate because it has no special operating modes and you can control all modes via the single side switch. Switch the light on and off with a single click; if you want to choose one of the five strengths, press and hold the switch. From standby, you can immediately switch on the lowest setting by long-pressing the button. You activate the defence mode with a (quick) double click; the light flashing in different frequencies will disorientate your attacker. From stroboscope mode, you can activate the other special light modes (beacon and SOS) by long-pressing the switch. The MH10S only remembers the last normal light mode used. It's worth mentioning the extremely long runtime that the torch achieves in the extra low setting: it can go for weeks! The balance in light intensities is good, although I would have liked an extra setting between 1 and 50 lumens. The highest mode demands quite a lot from the battery (this mode is not available with CR123As) and you have to take a step down after a few minutes to prevent the torch from getting too hot. Incidentally, thanks to ATR, the torch automatically switches back in brightness when it overheats. I find the high mode of around 1000 lumens is more suitable for long-term use and plenty of luminosity. The light is a pleasant colour, is nicely even (without rings or spots) and the MH10S has an excellent reach for its size. You'll find the beamshots a little later in this review!
There is little to fault in the controls, although I find the switch a bit on the small side. Personally, I prefer a clicky torch (with a push button on the back) because it can be controlled more directly. Noteworthy detail: the only way to protect the torch from accidentally switching on is by slightly loosening the battery cap.
What I like about the MH10S:
I'm always happy when an EDC torch has a low and energy-efficient light setting, and the MH10S certainly has that! With the (optional) 5000 mAh battery, you could have the torch on continuously for up to two months on a single battery charge! I think the compact size for a “21700 flashlight” is a strong point and the MH10S is very versatile.
What could be better:
I find the control button a bit on the small side; you sometimes have to search a little longer in the pitch black before you find it. Checking the battery status takes some effort and is only possible after the torch has been switched on. You have to loosen the battery cover slightly and then tighten it again.
Value for money?
The MH10S isn't super cheap, but you do get a complete package for your money, including a tactical holster. And that changes things again... There are similar models from other brands that also fall in the same price range. I find the price acceptable, especially since the MH10S has a lot of good features.
The MH10S is a good all-rounder with excellent features, especially for users who prefer to operate a torch via a side switch. Leaving it on overnight as an orientation light in a campsite is no problem thanks to the powerful battery, and the torch also lasts a long time on the second highest mode. The controls work smoothly and there's nothing to complain about in terms of the build quality and finish. In my eyes, it's only in tactical applications that this torch doesn't offer enough, because it lacks a rear switch. Nonetheless, this hybrid torch offers enough options to provide you with the right light in the most diverse situations.
I always recommend an extra battery: the price isn't that bad, and the idea that you always have reserves in case of an emergency provides some security when you go out.
Last, but not least: the beamshots!
The light this torch generates is also “hybrid”: a fairly wide beam with an excellent reach. The location is a dark park. The effect of the lowest light setting is clear: it's only for very close range.
Koen van der Jagt
Ever since he could walk Koen has been interested in lights, wires and batteries. As a child he was always working with dyno torches, bike lights and electrical boxes. The krypton and halogen lights were replaced by LED lights. A couple of years ago he discovered the ‘professional’ stuff. His first brands were Led Lenser and Fenix. Photography is also one of his hobbies. In addition to nature and meteorology Koen loves to show others what a light can do and what its beam looks like at night. Koen’s reviews can often be found on forums such as candlepowerforums.com and taschenlampen-forum.de. Throughout the years Koen has collected lights in practically any category: from small and compact to enormous powerhouses.