Nitecore TM9K Pro review - 3 x UHi 40 MAX - 9900 lumens

Dec 3, 2012


The Nitecore TM9K Pro was sent to me directly by Nitecore for review.

For product specifications and purchase: Nitecore TM9K Pro 9900 Lumen Fast Charging USB-C Flashlight

In these days Nitecore, in collaboration with NiteLab, has put on sale the updated model of the TM9K with LUMIN SHIELD (floodlight) and SEARCH (spotlight) technology, or the **TM9K Pro **.
The TM (Tiny Monster) series is at the forefront of exploring the ultimate performance of NITECORE flashlights. This new tactical EDC model brings some new features, continuing Nitecore's update towards this LED technology with a high light density and intensity of the light beam.
The Nitecore TM9K Pro offers 6 total light levels managed by two switches in the rear and has a double electronic block in addition to the protection sensor for use in complete safety. The light part is composed of a new LED layout with three innovative UHi 40 MAX LEDs (for a total of 27 LEDs) which offer both high brightness and long-range tactical capabilities. The maximum distance covered by the beam is now 510 meters with 6000 lumens (SEARCH) while the maximum brightness reaches 9900 lumens (LUMIN SHIELD) offering a protective shield of light for a solid defense against attacks.
The Nitecore TM9K Pro is powered by a built-in 21700 5000 mAh rechargeable internal battery. The USB-C format fast charging port uses QC technology with 18W charging power.
Nitecore TM9K is IP68 certified with impact resistance of 1m.


Main features:
• Uses 3 x 9-core UHi 40 MAX LEDs with a maximum output of 9,900 lumens
• Maximum peak beam intensity of 65,400 cd and maximum range of 510 meters
• 4 brightness levels to scroll through; SEARCH and LUMIN SHIELD™ available
• A combined optical system with crystal coating and "Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
• Built-in 5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery; Intelligent lithium-ion battery charging circuit with USB-C port
• Highly efficient constant current circuit provides stable output for up to 65 hours
• Dual tail switches enable intuitive operation for tactical applications
• Power indicator indicates remaining battery charge and displays battery voltage (±0.1V)
• Tactical ring design for multiple tactical applications
• Optical lenses with anti-scratch coating on both sides
• Constructed of aircraft quality aluminum alloy
• HA III military grade hard anodized finish
• Waterproof and dustproof rating according to IP68 (2 meters submersible)
• Impact resistant up to 1 meter

Length: 133.0mm (5.24")
Head Diameter: 40.0mm (1.57")
Tube Diameter: 26.0mm (1.02")
Tail Diameter: 28.0mm (1.10")
Weight: 227 g (8.01 oz) (accessories not included)

All NITECORE® products are guaranteed for quality. Any DOA/defective product can be exchanged for a replacement product through a local distributor/reseller within 15 days of purchase. Subsequently, all defective/malfunctioning NITECORE® products can be repaired free of charge within 24 months from the date of purchase. Beyond 24 months, a limited warranty applies which covers the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.

Technical Data
Note: The data shown is measured using the built-in Lithium-ion battery (5,000 mAh) under laboratory conditions.
Data may vary in real world use due to differing environmental conditions.

Nitecore TM9K Pro arrived in a nice hard box protected by soft foam. Some features of the new model are shown on the top and bottom. Internally, in addition to the Nitecore TM9K Pro, we find some useful accessories for transporting and charging it. The accessories included are the Clip, Lanyard, USB-C charging cable and case. Of course, the excellent multilingual manual and warranty are also present. The glass arrives protected by a transparent blue plastic.


The holster found in the package, made of excellent quality and thick cordura, has a hook and loop closure.
At the rear we find the D-ring at the top and centrally a double loop including a tear-off loop. The holster is made to measure and the TM9K Pro must be inserted head up.

Nitecore TM9K Pro has good build quality, without sharp edges and with good thicknesses.
The dimensions of the torch are similar to the previous "TAC" version and therefore remain compact, making the torch easy to handle despite the weight of 227g and the decently sized head (40 mm). You can close it completely with your hand by holding it perfectly. The line is always beautiful where the numerous cooling fins stand out which allow a discreet heat dissipation. It is made of aluminum alloy with anodized finish, black in colour; the covering is very good and robust. The TM9K Pro has a CNC machined unibody design and as the built-in battery has no unscrewable parts.
Nitecore TM9K Pro has IP68 waterproof rating (submersible to 2 meters) and withstands impacts up to 1 meter.


On the head of the Nitecore TM9K Pro we find the new LED layout composed of a triple LED system (NiteLab UHi 40 MAX, 3 groups) with OP projectors and 27 total cores. The newly developed NiteLab UHi 40 MAX LED offers improved efficiency, output and beam profile.
NiteLab's triple LEDs with 27 cores in total offer a more uniform beam distribution, with 4 power levels, beyond the "Search" level (6000 lumens) with a more focused beam and range of 510 meters and the "Lumin Shield" level with 9900 lumens and a total range of 450 meters.
The Steel Bezel is slightly crenulated and protruding for discreet glass protection.
In the upper part of the projector there is a proximity sensor. With the flashlight off, if accidentally turned on at HIGH / SEARCH / LUMIN SHIELD™ levels, with an obstacle close to the flashlight head (e.g. in a pocket or backpack), the brightness of the flashlight automatically decreases to 500 lumens to avoid overheating and damage. The sensitivity of the sensor may vary depending on the color and material obstructing the flashlight and that once the obstacle is removed, the flashlight returns to the previous brightness level deactivating the sensor protection function.
When the HIGH / SEARCH / LUMIN SHIELD™ level is voluntarily turned on, the light output cover does not activate the sensor protection function and the brightness remains unchanged. In my tests with the flashlight in my pocket, the sensor seems to work well, avoiding unwanted burns.


Also on the head, on the side, we find the USB-C charging port protected by a fairly thick rubber door.

Nitecore TM9K Pro has an integrated non-user replaceable battery in 21700 format of 5000 mAh. Non-replaceable batteries are always a downside to a flashlight; I think that one of the reasons for this choice by Nitecore, for the TM9K Pro, is due to the desire to use an unprotected battery, even if not replaceable, which performs better than a protected one but is more dangerous if used inappropriately.
The USB-C port provides a charging power of 18 W with the possibility of charging up to 80% of the battery in just 1 hour and 45 minutes (using a QC (Quick Charge) adapter). In my tests for a charge fast, 100% complete, it took me about 2h50min. While charging, the TM9K Pro does not turn on and therefore cannot be used. The TM9K Pro has a maximum battery life of 65 hours.
When charging is fast, the blue LED placed at the end will flash quickly, while if we recharge in Standard mode the flashing will be slow. According to Nitecore, the fully charged flashlight can remain on standby for an approximate time of 12 months.
On the central body of the TM9k Pro we have two knurled circular strips and space to insert the supplied clip. Before the tail we find the tactical aluminum ring, non-removable, while at the tail we find the two switches, the Power Button and the Mode Button as well as a status LED.
It is possible to insert the lanyard that we find in the package on the tactical ring.

The power switch (Power Button) is embossed and is easy to find and operate although it prevents the TM9K Pro from being stood upright. The Power Button (Tactical Tail Switch) allows you to turn the flashlight on and off and manage levels (excluding the temporary LUMIN SHIELD and SEARCH).
The Mode Button, a double-stage switch, allows the momentary activation of the SEARCH level (first stage) and the LUMIN SHIELD level (second stage) simply by pressing the switch halfway or all the way down.

Once the TM9K Pro is turned on with the Power Button the blue status LED indicates the level of residual charge in the internal battery. With the flashlight turned on and the battery level near 50%, the charging indicator will begin to flash every 2 seconds to inform the user. With the flashlight turned on and the battery level close to empty, the charging indicator will begin to flash continuously to inform the user to recharge the flashlight as soon as possible.

Nitecore TM9K Pro close to other flashlights and EDC35 only.

BEAM and Runtime:


The beam of the Nitecore TM9K Pro has a particular geometry due to the three groups of UHi 40 MAX LEDs. Of course when we shine light in the distance this feature is barely visible.
The beam is alluvial in nature and covers the walk well with a spot still present and a discreet beam depth, in particular using the "SEARCH" level, to illuminate up to medium/long distances.

The CCT (color temperature) and Ra (color rendering) values measured with the OPPLE Light Master Pro, one meter away from the sensor (2 meters for SEARCH) show a low CRI index (Ra ) and the greenish color especially in the lowest brightness. The SEARCH level values are approximate as the brightness is not constant. I can't see PWM by eye.
Level ULTRALOW 30 lumens, CCT= 5395 Ra= 63.4
LOW level 130 lumens, CCT= 5424 Ra= 63.5
Level MID 500 lumens, CCT= 5527 Ra= 64.3
HIGH level 2000 lumens, CCT= 5700 - Ra= 68.8
Level SEARCH 6000 lumens, CCT= 5939 - Ra= 68.8 – Duv: 0.0089



In the table below are the CD values taken by me with the Luxmeter, at 3 and 5 meters, 30 seconds after switching on. The values are slightly lower (except Ultralow) than those declared by the parent company. The SEARCH and LUMIN SHIELD level values are calculated at startup (peak) with the maximum duration being approximately 7 seconds.


The Runtimes were done in a closed environment with a temperature of approximately 22°C using the fully charged internal 5000mAh battery.
I would like to point out that the values expressed by the graphs must be taken, above all, as a reference because they were made with means and environmental conditions different from those used in the laboratory. Furthermore, the values taken by me with the LX1330B Luxmeter refer to the CD (candela) of the beam and not to the lumens found.
The first test with the "HIGH" level of 2000 lumens was done with and without forced ventilation. As can be seen from the graph, the curve in the two tests is similar, with a timed step down occurring approximately 3 minutes after switching on. After the drop, the brightness stabilizes at around 500 lumens for around three hours before starting a slow descent until switching off shortly after four hours from start-up.
With the "MID" level of 500 lumens the brightness trend is constant for approximately three hours and 15 minutes before starting the slow decline due to battery exhaustion.


The first 10 minutes:

The "SEARCH" level with light output at 6000 lumens is limited to a maximum of approximately 7 seconds to avoid overheating or problems with the flashlight. The graph below shows a test with continuous and close activations in search mode including a photo taken with a thermal imager of the torch body after approximately ten activations. After numerous continuous switches on, the duration and brightness are reduced until it is no longer possible to activate this brightness due to the high temperature reached.

VIDEO Unboxing e Uso:

Nitecore TM9K Pro Unboxing and Use

Nitecore renews its TM9K with a new version similar in design and dimensions but updated in the optical department with the adoption of the new NiteLab UHi LED system with LUMIN SHIELD (floodlight) and SEARCH (spotlight) technology, i.e. the * TM9K Pro*.
The construction remains excellent and now, with the new TM9K Pro, Nitecore offers a significant improvement in range and improved security thanks to the new proximity sensor.
The TM9K Pro grips well, despite the non-removable tactical ring, and does not roll while the weight makes itself felt, making the TM9K Pro pocketable in trousers and a little less so if placed in a jacket pocket.
I find the color of the beam improved, particularly in the higher levels without visible greenish casts. The buttons are ok, easy to find and with the right feedback while I am not convinced about the available levels to which I would have added an intermediate one with 1000 lumens given that using the High one with 2000 lumens after less than 3 minutes there is a step down which brings the brightness at a quarter of the initial one.
In conclusion, Nitecore TM9K Pro positively updates the previous TM9K with the new NiteLab UHi technology, increasing performance and safety in a product recommended in particular for personal defense, emergency services, search and rescue and for law enforcement .
Thanks for reading the review.

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