Review NITECORE MH12SE - 21700- 405m.

Dec 3, 2012
Nitecore MH12SE was sent to me directly by Nitecore for the review.

For technical details and for the purchase of the flashlight: is external)

Nitecore MH12SE is the sixth generation of Nitecore's MH12 (Multitask Hybrid Series) series.

MH12SE renews the previous MH12S bringing better performance with a 38% longer maximum beam range and a maximum peak beam intensity of 41,000cd.
MH12SE features the new Luminus SFT-40-W LED, with a maximum output of 1,800 lumens, ideal for emergencies, self defense, outdoor activities, maintenance checks, patrols, law enforcement and more.

MH12SE is sold with a 5000 mAh lithium battery in 21700 format (it is compatible with 1 18650 battery or 2 CR123 / RCR123 batteries) and is rechargeable via the USB-C port with a maximum autonomy of 1500 hours (measured over 9 hours at 260 lumens).
Nitecore MH12SE has two switches, one in the tail and one on the side in metal, it has two modes of use for daily or tactical use with 5 light levels (over 3 special) ranging from 1 lumen to 1800 lumens. It has an IP68 waterproof rating (2 meters submersion) and has shock resistance up to one meter.
Nitecore MH12SE is compatible with optional tactical accessories already available such as, for example, the Tactical Ring Pro NTR10.


Note: Data shown is measured in accordance with ANSI / PLATO FL 1-2019 international standard torch test, using 1 x 21700 (5,000mAh) lithium ion battery under laboratory conditions. * TURBO running time is tested without temperature adjustment.

Main features

  • Uses a Luminus SFT-40-W LED with a maximum output of 1,800 lumens
  • Maximum intensity of the peak beam of 41,000 cd and maximum throw of 405 meters
  • A combined optical system with crystal coating and "Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
  • Powered by a high-capacity 21700 Li-ion battery compatible with 18650 e CR123 batteries, to provide autonomy up to 1,500 hours
  • Tactical mode and daily mode available
  • Tactical tail switch and mode button control 5 brightness levels and 3 special modes
  • STROBE mode uses randomly changing frequencies for stronger dizzying effects
  • A power indicator below the mode button indicates the remaining battery charge
  • The power indicator can display the battery voltage (± 0.1V)
  • Intelligent lithium-ion battery charging circuit with a USB-C port
  • NITECORE 21700 lithium-ion battery included (NL2150 5,000 mAh)
  • Highly efficient constant current circuit provides stable output
  • Incorporated ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) module (patent No. ZL201510534543.6)
  • Electronic protection against polarity inversion
  • Optical lenses with scratch resistant coating on both sides
  • Made of aircraft grade aluminum alloy
  • HA III military grade hard anodized finish
  • Waterproof and dustproof classification according to IP68 (2 meters submersible)
  • Shock resistant up to 1 meter

Length: 141mm (5.55 ")
Head Diameter: 25.4mm (1 ")
Tube diameter: 25.4mm (1 ")
Tail diameter: 27.2mm (1.07 ")
Weight: 80g (2.82oz) (battery not included)


All NITECORE® products are warranted for quality. Any DOA / defective product can be exchanged for a replacement through a local distributor/dealer within 15 days
of purchase. After that, all defective / malfunctioning NITECORE® products can be repaired free of charge within 60 months from the date of purchase. Beyond 60
months, a limited warranty applies, covering the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts


Inside the package we find, in addition to the Nitecore MH12SE with the 5000 mAh 21700 Lithium battery inside, the Clip, the USB-C charging cable, the NTH10 tactical holster, the 18650 / CR123 adapter, the lanyard, an spare O-ring, manual and warranty.



The NTH10 Tactical Holster is made of rigid black plastic. Once inserted in the belt, it allows the quick insertion and exit of the flashlight without any jams.
The stainless steel Clip, included in the package, allows easy insertion into the jeans. It can be inserted on the flashlight in multiple positions even with the Nitecore MH12 V2 inserted in the NTH10 tactical holster; it also allows you to insert a lanyard in its two slots. The Clip remains firmly in place once inserted into the flashlight.

The battery included in the sales package is a 5000mAh 21700 lithium protected Nitecore (NL2150). Nitecore MH12SE can also be used with other 21700 batteries or via the adapter with 18650 or CR123 / RCR123 batteries.


Nitecore MH12SE has good build quality, good thicknesses and no construction residues. The new tail design and the two circular knurls on the flashlight body are very nice. Also the MH12SE has compact dimensions with the length of 141mm and the weight of 151gr (with the battery inserted). Excellent grip and handling.

In the Nitecore MH12SE the coating is very good, it is difficult to scratch it (which sometimes happens when putting on or removing the clip) if treated in a normal way. MH12SE consists of two parts: head with body and tail. Well made and clearly legible the writings on the flashlight.




On the head of the Nitecore MH12SE we find a SMO dish with the Luminus SFT-40-W LED in the center, well centered, much used lately for its excellent characteristics.
Glass and parabola have anti-reflective, crystal coating and PDOT (Precision Digital Optics Technology) treatment. The bezel is slightly crenulated.


The metal side button (Mode Switch) allows us to manage the levels available with the Nitecore MH12SE. The button is slightly raised and has a quiet click.
In the center it has a notification LED that lights up blue to indicate the state of charge of the battery.
Note: With the flashlight off, keep the Mode button pressed while pressing the rear power button. By releasing them, the luminous charge indicator will show the remaining voltage.


On the opposite side of the side button we find the USB-C charging port protected by a very thick rubber flap. During the charging process, the indicator light will begin to flash slowly. When the battery is fully charged, the MH12 V2 will stop the charging process and the indicator light will stay on statically.
The average charge time of a 21700 Li-ion battery (5,000mAh) is approximately 4 hours (using a 5V / 2A power supply).


The central body of the Nitecore MH12SE has two rings with rhombus knurling to facilitate the grip of the flashlight.
In the rear part of the tube we find the threads that arrive well lubricated. Being anodized they allow, by slightly unscrewing the tail, the mechanical locking of the flashlight. There is also a sealing O-ring for protection against water and dust. Nitecore MH12SE has waterproof and dustproof classification according to IP68 (2 meters submersible).
At the two poles, for contact with the battery, we find a double plated spring on the negative and a single one on the positive. The Nitecore MH12 V2 has electronic protection against reverse polarity.



The only unscrewable part of the Nitecore MH12SE is the tail cap. The tail cap has a different shape from Nitecore's previous Multitask Hybrid, such as the MH12S.
On the cap it is then possible to insert the cord supplied with the torch.
In the queue we find the mechanical tactical button to turn the flashlight on or off. The button also has the Momentary On function.


Nitecore MH12SE near the previous MH12S and other flashlights.



From left: Nitecore NL2150, Nitecore MH12SE, Nitecore MH12S, Fenix TK11, Lumintop FW21 Pro and Sofirn SD05 battery.



Nitecore MH12SE has two switches, one side and one tactical (in the tail).
With the Nitecore MH12SE we have 2 Operating Modes: Daily Mode (factory selected) and Tactical Mode.

In Daily Mode, the user has access to 5 brightness levels and 3 special modes (STROBO, BEACON and SOS). After switching off, MH12SE will remember the previously set level of the 5 brightness levels and the STROBE (BEACON and SOS excluded) and will propose it to the user during the start-up phase.

o Ultra low: 1 lumen / 1500 hours / 7 meters
o Low: 45 lumens / 47 hours / 67 meters
o Medium: 260 lumens / 8 hours and 45 minutes / 102 meters
o High: 1050 lumens / 3 hours and 15 minutes / 202 meters
o Turbo: 1800 lumens / * 45 minutes / 405 meters
o Strobe: 1800 lumens
o Beacon: 1800 lumens
o SOS: 1800 lumens

In Tactical Mode, the user has access to only 5 brightness levels and the STROBE. After switching off, MH12SE will keep in memory only the TURBO and STROBO levels previously set and will re-propose them to the user during the start-up phase.

o Turbo: 1800 lumens / * 45 minutes / 405 meters
o High: 1050 lumens / 3 hours and 15 minutes / 202 meters
o Medium: 260 lumens / 8 hours and 45 minutes / 102 meters
o Low: 45 lumens / 47 hours / 67 meters
o Ultra low: 1 lumen / 1500 hours / 7 meters
o Strobe: 1800 lumens

* TURBO running time is tested without temperature adjustment.


Momentary Tactical Lighting
To temporarily turn on the flashlight or to make signals, partially press and hold down the rear power button. Release it to turn off the flashlight.

Power on and off
Switching on: With the flashlight off, press the rear button completely until you hear a click.
Turning off: With the flashlight on, press the rear button completely until you hear a click.

User Mode Selection
1. With the torch off: Click the tail switch while holding the Mode button.
2. Hold down the Mode button for approximately 3 seconds and the main LED of the flashlight will indicate to the user the selected Mode by flashing once for the Daily Mode and twice for the Tactical Mode.
3. Release the Mode button to confirm your selection. The flashlight will turn on automatically.

Selecting Levels of Brightness
• Daily Mode: With the flashlight on, quickly press the Mode button to cycle through the levels: ULTRALOW - LOW - MID - HIGH - TURBO.
• In Tactical Mode: With the flashlight on, quickly press the Mode button to cycle through the levels: TURBO - HIGH - MID - LOW - ULTRALOW

Special Modes (STROBE / BEACON / SOS)
• In Daily Mode: With the flashlight on, keep the Mode button pressed to cycle through the modes: STROBE - BEACON - SOS. Release to select the desired mode.
• In Tactical Mode: With the flashlight on, hold down the Mode button to activate STROBE.
• With one of the special modes active, press the Mode button to return to the previously used brightness level or use the rear button to turn off the flashlight.

The beam of the Nitecore MH12SE has good uniformity with a nice tint and no visible artifacts. With the lighting test near the wall, a small and bright white spot is noticed while the crown that surrounds it is tending to yellowish. I can't see any significant PWM in any of the five modes by eye. The start of the spill from the walk is over one meter.


The CCT (color temperature) and Ra (color rendering) values taken with the OPPLE Light Master Pro, two meters away from the sensor, vary according to the selected light level.
In TURBO I measured 6091 CCT and 68.6 Ra.
In LOW I measured 5668 CCT and 66 Ra.


It is interesting to see the difference in the beam, thirty centimeters from the wall, between the previous MH12S with the Led Luminus SST-40-W and the new MH12SE which has the Led Luminus SFT-40-W. The new MH12SE has a smaller and more concentrated hotspot that with the same brightness of 1800 lumens allows the beam to reach a maximum distance of over 400 meters.


The new MH12SE has a smaller and more concentrated hotspot that with the same brightness of 1800 lumens allows the beam to reach a maximum distance of over 400 meters. The greater "shot" by adopting this Led is really interesting.



The peak values in candela (cd) taken with the Luxmeter at 5 meters roughly reflect those declared by the parent company.
ULTRALOW = 18cd - 8.48 meters
LOW = 1080cd - 65.73 meters
MID = 6687cd - 164 meters
HIGH = 23040cd - 304 meters
TURBO = 43110cd - 415 meters

With a FLIR thermal imaging camera I detected the hottest areas of the MH12SE in the brightest mode (Turbo 1800 lumens) after: 5min, 10min and 20min from switching on. The hottest part is the head at the height of the LED (as you can see from the photos) which nevertheless never reaches excessive temperatures that affect the hand holding without burning.


The Runtime were done outdoors with a temperature of about 15 ° C using the Nitecore 21700 5000 mAh battery, found in the sales package, fully charged.
I would like to clarify that the values expressed by the graphs must be taken, above all, as a reference because they are made with means and environmental conditions different from those used in the laboratory.

Note: Nitecore MH12SE, with the ATR module, adjusts its output power adapting to the surrounding environment, maintaining optimal performance.

The tests were done outdoors and therefore in the presence of ventilation (more or less strong). The discharge times of the Nitecore NL2150 battery reflect those declared by Nitecore.

- In "TURBO" mode with low ventilation there is a descent from the start, more accentuated at the beginning, up to minute 20 where the curve stabilizes at about half of the initial value. Subsequently, the curve has small variations due to the adjustment of the flashlight up to minute 157 (2h37min.) Where the decrease in brightness is sudden due to the next battery depletion. After 190 minutes MH12SE drops to 1 lumen for a few hours before shutting down.
- In "HIGH" mode, two tests were carried out, one with low ventilation and one with high ventilation.
The greater ventilation brings greater light intensity but a lower runtime.
In the low ventilation test, starting from 1050 lumens, after an initial drop the curve continues with small variations up to minute 163 (2h43min.) Where, again, battery exhaustion begins.
- Finally in the last test in "MID" mode the curve is stable until minute 555 (9h15min.) Where the battery runs out.

When the battery is low, the blue LED in the center of the side button (mode) flashes quickly to warn the user of the exhaustion of the battery.


The first 50 minutes.

VIDEO Review


In the Nitecore MH12SE we find the quality that has distinguished Nitecore up to now. This sixth generation brings a new design and improved performance thanks largely to the Luminous SFT-40-W LED.
I liked the compactness of the new MH12SE and the intuitive user interface with well-spaced levels. The sales package, also in this case, is complete with a tactical holster and battery for immediate use of the flashlight.

Is this MH12SE better than the previous MH12S?
The difference is not so much, the new MH12SE has more "extension" in the light beam while the previous but still valid MH12S has a more homogeneous beam.

Thank you for reading the review.


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