Review: Nitecore TM10K: palm-sized, 10000 lumens, 6 x XHP35 HD, USB-C, beamshots


Sep 10, 2012
The Netherlands
Recently, something special and for me unexpected made by Nitecore popped up on social media: the next Tiny Monster, called TM10K. This is the first flashlight that is shorter than an average smartphone, but that produces 10000 lumens. This is possible because both the current generation of leds as batteries become more and more powerful. Thanks to that, the TM10K could be equipped with six! powerful XHP35 leds. Together with a lot of enthusiasts I wondered how it's possible to get so many power out of such a compact torch. And how will it handle the heat? How does it the beam look in real-life? Above that, the light has a bunch of nice features, like the informative screen and programmable mode. So, I was happy that the light arrived so I could try it out. In this review I'll describe the TM10K, give my opinions about it and show you how it works. After that, I'll show you the output by indoor- and outdoor-beamshots. Enjoy reading and watching!

Nitecore really has surprised the flashlight-world by releasing this one!

the TM10K

six XHP35 HD leds for stunning output

compact enough for everydaycarry

with informative screen and equipped with a lot of features

Here's the description of the TM10K; all specs given by manufacturer:

And the output and runtime specs:


The TM10K arrived in a luxury "closed-top"-box. As I said earlier: Mostly the big lights come boxes with little pictures and text. On the black box we only see the type, the maximum output, a very short description and a photo of the TM10K. In the box we see the TM10K in a foam casing; in the other compartment (that is covered by a flap) we find back the spare parts, the accessories, warranty card and manual. I'm happy with a box like this one, it doesn't take effort to restore your light because there's enough space for it. Except a power-source to recharge the TM10K all we need is in the box; you don't have to look after spare rings or a battery because the cell is built-in to the light, so it can be opened. So, we can start almost directly; only this is that we firstly need to charge the light. A nice box in contemporary style. Scroll down to see some pictures that show the box and what we find inside!

a nice, black carton with little prints on it

big enough to restore the light and the parts without problems

main colors are black, yellow and silver

two compartments: one keeps the TM10K, the other is for the accessories

inside: warranty card, strap, holster, TM10K, manual and charging cable



First impression: Wow, this lumens-monster is more compact than I expected! It only has the length of a compact smartphone and about half the width. The TM10K has its own looks with details that I never saw before on a Nitecore. Some striking details that you can't miss: The big clip, the print a the side with 10000! lumens and the head with six! leds placed near to each other in the head. Like I mentioned on other recent released Nitecores, the TM10K shows also that the manufacturer still improves their overall quality: The fit and finish on this flashlight is very good. The light comes in matte black and the job on the anodizing is done well. Same for the engraving; but personally, I'm not a fan of the big "screaming" letters on the side. Thanks to its shape, the TM10K can be put on each side without toppling, and will never roll away. One side on the TM10K has knurling for good grip, at the opposite we find back two metal switches that have nice "titanium" looks and design, and a compact screen. The screen is cover by plastic and therefore unfortunately not scratch-resistant. The OLED-screen gives a lot of information to the user, I will come back on this feature in the interface-paragraph. The TM10K has a big and strong clip that only can be removed by unscrewing the torx-screws. Looking in the lights' lens we see rather shallow reflector that hold the six XHP35 HD-leds. The emitters are well-centered, the reflectors are clean. In my sample, I detected some some glue on the edge between glass and reflector. By the way, this did not hinder the output. Looking at the back, we see again a metal switch with an integrated blue led. Next to the switch, we find the first USB-C port on a Nitecore-light, covered by a well closing-rubber. Close the the switch, there's a little hole on the side to add the lanyard or a paracord. Adding the strap requires a lot of effort, fortunately Nitetore provides a hairline which helps you to fix the lanyard to the light. For technical reasons, the manufacturer decided to bring out the TM10K with a built-in 21700-battery, so the light can't be opened.

At the end of this paragraph, my overall impressions of this light are good. The TM10K is built very well; the finishing is ok. Some parts, like the screen and the clip are sensitive to user-tracks; but some user will like this.. Please have a look at a lot of pictures below that show more about the TM10K and its details!

this lumens-monster is more compact than I expected!

fine texture at one side for good grip

stable standing on each side

six powerful XHP35 HD leds close to each other

in a hands' palm you can see how compact the TM10K is

nice metal switches with titanium looks

the tail with USB-C port and the third metal switch

you can't miss the maximum output of the TM10K..

shallow reflectors, so we can expect a floody beam

a close-up to the side

the informative screen gives all information you need

the LEDS are well-centered

good job on the anodizing

the tail switch has an indicator built-in

in ultralow-mode only the middle LEDS will light up

a close-up the the USB-C port

a hard job to fix the lanyard or a paracord


the indicator in action

thanks to the big clip you can attach the TM10K almost everywhere

the TM10K in the pouch

that closes perfectly

some glue / kit rests in the reflector at the right

the build-quality of the TM10K is very good

User interface:

As I showed you on the pictures, the TM10K is a very compact torch. It almost fits in your hands´ palm and it's not too heavy to carry in your coat or to clip it on to your clothing or luggage.The TM10K is not too bulky to have good grip on it and can fully be controlled by one hand.

The TM10K is the first Nitecore flashlight that comes with a USB-port. Most of my actual chargers have micro-USB, so I must beware that I don't lose the dedicated cable. Advantage of USB-C is that the charging job should be done much faster. In practice, fully charging the cell (from 2.9 volts to 4.2) took about 3.5 hours. In my eyes, manufacturers should supply also a good powersource, not only a cable. By the way, Nitecore refers in the manual that you need a Quick Charge adaptor. You can see this a the display, it will show Q-charge than. Charging within an hour by using a powerful source should be possible; In my collection, I couldn't find such a charger, my maximum output rate is 2A. If you use a "slow" source, the screen only will show "charging". During the charging, the informative screen shows the actual voltage and also a notification if the job is done. It takes some effort to recover the port with the rubber, but this a good point in my eyes because is will protect the port well.

What I mentioned on the TM10K is that the metal side buttons really need a secure press to activate them. If you press "too soft", you'll hear a click but the TM10K won't react. On the one hand, this is a good protection against accidental activation. Personally, I would like to have a clearer pressure point on the switches.

The TM10K has an informative screen, that gives you a lot of information. In standby, you can check the actual voltage by clicking the mode button. If you turn on the TM10K, the display shows consecutively the lumens and level, current voltage, battery symbol, remaining runtime and the actual body temperature. After that, the screen goes off until you choose another level or when you turn off and again on. Also information about lock-out, charging, beacon mode and a "7-seconds-bar" is displayed on this screen. I'm happy to have to information on a flashlight and would like to have such a screen on more flashlights.

I'll describe the interface now. You can use all of the buttons to turn on the TM10K. The lower side switch is the "main/power" button: You have to use this one to turn on the light in last used mode and to turn it off. Press and hold the power button for direct-low. The upper of the side buttons ("the mode-button") is to turn it on in direct-high; the tail-switch is only for turbo. If the TM10K is on in any mode except turbo, you can cycle through the four levels by using the upper side button. Pressing and holding the upper switch will activate the "7-seconds" turbo (or less if released earlier). The tail switch works at same way like this one: Momentary turbo for maximum 7 seconds per turn. It's a good point that Nitecore has set this level for maximum 7 seconds; the TM10K get hots very soon. Not a surprise with six big leds that are placed so close to each other. The turbo-mode or 10000 lumens worked also without problems with a lower battery voltage. The TM10K has ATR built-in, like most Nitecores. This means that the output of the light will be adjusted to the temperature of the body. On turbo, you won't notice this because it's for so short time; and on high it won't turn the light a full step down. So, in practice, you will barely notice this.

The TM10K has a bunch of "high-tech" options. One of them is the adjustable high-level. The output can be set and stored in the range of 400-2000 lumens, by steps of 100. If you are in high, press and hold both buttons until the output flickers. If that, choose the desired lumens between 400 and 2000 lumens with one of the buttons, the factory setting is 1000. Double press and hold both button to confirm your choice. A nice option, which I would like to have seen also on the turbo mode. I know that the 10000 lumens is the special feature of this light, but if the light could be set to a maximum between for example 3000 and 10000 lumens, it would please many users. You would get better runtimes and even an impressive output. But Nitecore made this choice. Another feature is the beacon / location indicator: Shortly after turning the light off, press and hold both the power- and the mode-button. The display will show that "beacon on" or "beacon off" which means that the indicator will light up every two seconds to show the location of the TM10K in the dark. Good option to find it back if needed. The TM10K has two lock-out options that are displayed with "lock-out 1" or lock-out 2". Press and hold the power-button if the light is activated until the screen shows "lock-out" and later again "lock-out" for the second option. In option 1, the side buttons are locked and the tail switch is still active; in option 2 are all buttons locked. Good feature, but maybe a third option (only tail button locked) should be a logical addition. The TM10K is equipped with ATR; an option that Nitecore used for a couple of years of already. If the lights get too hot, the output will adapt to have maximum performance. It's possible that you will miss this in practice, because the light will not decrease by full steps.


The TM10K has five output levels and no special modes. The order of the levels is: ULTRALOW > LOW > MID > HIGH > TURBO. Good to have a real low on this light, but the spacing could be better in my eyes. In default setting the steps between MID and HIGH and TURBO are too big. Luckily you can adjust the high mode of the TM10K. Three direct modes on this light: direct-ULTRALOW, direct-HIGH and direct-TURBO. Like I said, no special modes on this torch; we seldom see this on a Nitecore. The TM10K shows actual VOLTAGE accurate to 0.1 volts, at any time you want. The light has a double LOCK-OUT too, both electronically. Either the TM10K has LOCATION-indication. So, except flash-modes, the TM10K is equipped with most we need.

Size comparison:

For comparison, a picked a larger light this time. This torch has also a "five digits"-output, but uses different leds. Despite of that, I found it interesting to compare both lights. Next to the Olight X7R Marauder you can see again how compact the TM10K is. Later in this review, we'll see both lights back in the beamshots-chapter!

18650-cell, Nitecore TM10K and Olight X7R Marauder

Nitecore TM10K and Olight X7R Marauder

Nitecore TM10K and Olight X7R Marauder

the heads: six XHP35 HD's and three XHP70's

the backs: Nitecore TM10K and Olight X7R Marauder


The TM10K has, like most flashlights, a cool-white tint which you can clearly see if we project the beam on a white wall. Next to the Olight X7R you can see the tint of the TM10K has less green than the Olight. For a cool-white tint, it's good to me; a neutral option would be nice for some users.



Six HD-leds in undeep reflectors will create a floody beam. That's what the TM10K has. A broad hotspot, a big corona and medium spill. The TM10K creates a wall of light up to 75-100 meters in high and turbo mode. Nitecore added a good low to the light, (which is a good feature) by a nice find: Only the middle leds will turn on in the 3-lumens mode, this is really innovative! No donut-hole visible in the beam, neither artefacts or PWM. No comments further here.


Highest time to have a look at one of the main-things of a flashlight: the output. Starting indoors, like always, by pointing the TM10K to a white wall in a dark room. I'll show you the five output-modes here with the light on factory settings. The distance to the wall is about one meter.

Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 1/125 sec, 35mm






I'd like to show now some steps of the adjustable high-mode. Starting from 500 to 2000 lumens; a GIF here because otherwise I will make this chapter too long.

the adjustable High in four steps:

How does the TM10K perform outdoors? Highest time to have a look at that! I took the light with me to a grass field near to a river with a couple of big trees at about 50 meters away. Starting by showing the five levels with high-mode on factory setting; after that a GIF.

Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 4 sec, 35mm






Here's another GIF that shows the modes from ultra-low to high with this level set to 2000 lumens.

from ultra-low to high, from 3 to 2000 lumens

Although I know this comparison isn't completely fair, I'll show you a shoot-out of the TM10K next to another light that has an turbo-output of "5 digits", the Olight X7R Marauder. On the other hand, this pictures show the impressive output of the TM10K to its size!

the Nitecore TM10K against the Olight X7R Marauder, both on highest level

Also because these lumens-monsters will give overexposed pictures (in combination with the standard setting that I always use for my beamshots), I put my tripod with camera a couple of meters further away. Below a picture with the TM10K in hand on turbo. See that it really lights up a wide area.

the TM10K on maximum output

I did the same with the Olight X7R Marauder. This light has deeper reflector which you can see back in the beamprofile. The TM10K does also a good job and has a better tint to me.

the Olight X7R Marauder on highest level

Here's a picture with the TM10K in hand with a full-moon at the opposite. Nice to see the difference in tints here and the wall of light that the TM10K puts out.

the TM10K on maximum output

Another location: A road with a tree-line starting at about 75 meters. This picture shows that the TM10K can light up a big area.

the TM10K on maximum output


The most impressive fact of the TM10K is the amazing output to its size. Although the turbo is (so) short, people will be amazed. It's usable for a quick check, self-defense or to impress. If you need good output for longer time, you'd set the high output level to 2000 lumens. I would like to see this option for turbo too, adjustable from 3000-10000 lumens. Maybe in future? The overall quality of the TM10K is very good; the informative screen is a useful one. The interface works easy and doesn't take exercise. The fixed battery is not the ideal option, but was needed according the information the manufacturer gives. What to do if it dies? I hope, that like other Nitecore-products, the TM10K will last for long time.

My ideas for the future? A thrower that reaches 1000+ meter that has about the same size and a lumens-monster that can better handle the heat. I look forward to a new spectacular release like this!

The TM10K was provided for testing by Nitecore, thanks for the opportunity!

Last edited: