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Thread: Has Nitecore quality improved?

  1. #1

    Default Has Nitecore quality improved?

    There used to be at least occasional bash threads. I owned a couple that either had failures or were a far cry from meeting my expectations. I'm into a lot of Olights and zebralights these days, but keep thinking I'd like to try:

    1) R25 rechargeable with paddle mode switch, just looks interesting

    2) LA10 AA Lantern

    3) another EC4S. I can't remember why I sold the one I had, but they can be had pretty reasonably.

    i know a lot of people like them, but are they pretty solid these days?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Was wondering too if they are picking up their act as of late short of got my eye on the new (when it comes out) SRT9.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    I tried a couple of their models last year and was not that impressed overall. I had troubles with one of them and was not impressed by their customer service either. There also seems to be a fair amount of reports from other people on here as well, here is one from last week...

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-Nitecore-HC30

    As for the models you are considering, there are known problems with 2 of them(that I know of). The EC4S(nw and cw) have been shown to often have very high parasitic drain that will drain your batteries if you don't remove them when not in use for a while. The LA10(regular and CRI), while fairly nice overall, showed poor QC in both samples I had. Here is the tailcap off the first one I received...



    Not only was the spring soldered way off center, but 2 of solder joints weren't fully attached and one was cold soldered. The replacement I received, after quite a hassle, was better but still wasn't centered properly.

    Most companies have occasional QC issues from my experience but, my experience with Nitecore's customer service was sub par compared to some of the other companies I have dealt with. I can not recommend them based on my experiences and plan to stick to other companies in the future.
    Last edited by Tachead; 03-06-2017 at 09:11 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    i have such a horrible track record with almost all chinese lights. My fenix lantern is being replaced for the 2nd time. My zebra turns itself on when setting it down. My nitecores have massive parasitic drain. I think I have about an 80+% failure rate with CCC (cheap chinese crap).

    My surefires are still running 10 years later but they have small bores and low voltage so I cannot use 18650's.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    The EC4S(nw and cw) have been shown to often have very high parasitic drain that will drain your batteries if you don't remove them
    I thought they were a strange shape so I didn't buy one when they came out but when the price came down I got one that kept stepping down to low after one min, cost too much to send back - got another that went poof! And does nothing now so yeah disappointed in them too. I get the feeling that from what I've seen is that it's not so much a design flaw (tho parasitic drain is) is the fact that the poor people with no experience they pull in from the street in their sweat shops to make them cheap then poor QC on top of that ruins a brand.
    My wife has two SRT7's (one spare) and loves them as they just work well and been dropped 1000 times and beat up but just keeps going, maybe they have grown to big too fast.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Wow. I've had great luck with Chinese lights. 8 zebras and dozens of Olights. I'm a side switch guy, I hate clickies. My biggest disappointments were the Nitecore. I had 1 olight s1 that the rubber switch boot popped off. Rest are still going strong.

    Ive tried more 3-4 klarus, I hate push and hold to turn off. Some Jetbeams were ok. Sunwayman, meh. No failures, just not right for me.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Mercyfulfate1777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    i have 5 Nitecore lights, all is well so far.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Over the past 3 and a half years NC quality has taken a huge step up in my opinion. Five years ago NC had a horrible reputation for putting out lights put together as cheaply as possible. Fast forward a couple years now all the sudden we have lights like the NH20 series, the P12GT and the amazing EC4S and more. Thermal regulation, better anodizing, better light designs all together. Of course some lemons will get through any mass light manufacturers QC but I personally believe NC has finally taken a much higher code of quality and design and I hope it continues.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    No qualms with their RCR's or chargers by this user.

    Never owned their lights. Not because of quality etc, just don't make any I'm interested in.
    John 3:16

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    I have half a dozen larger Nitecore lights, starting with the TM11 when it came out. I also had close to a dozen Tubes I used as givaways, a couple of Tip CRIs and a couple of LA10 CRI lights. I have not had any problems with any of them. I also have a couple of MT06 2 AAA penlights that are very nice. I gave one to my GP last year for Christmas, and kept the other one. I am really looking forward to the MT06MD with the third mode and Nichia emitter, and have just ordered a P30.

    I think part of the current problem is perception. As the saying goes, if you sell a product that someone likes, they will tell two or three others, but if the have problems with it, they will tell ten or fifteen. Add in the increased audience offered by places like here at CPF and/or some of the flashlight forums on Facebook, and one can get a skewed perception of what is reality. I'm not saying they are perfect, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of a product, a few bad ones are going to slip through. And if some poor soul who buys multiple lights will get more than one of the bad ones. Then they see someone else complain about the problem they had and they chime in as well.

    Nitecore does have some problems. Look at the EA4 switch cap issue, the high parasitic drain on the EC4S and EC45S series and you can find areas that could and should have been done better. But the parasitic drain issue is not a quality issue but a design issue, and one can make an argument that the switch cap issue was also a design issue as well. All told, I think most of us are very happy with our Nitecore lights.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    ...I think part of the current problem is perception. As the saying goes, if you sell a product that someone likes, they will tell two or three others, but if the have problems with it, they will tell ten or fifteen. Add in the increased audience offered by places like here at CPF and/or some of the flashlight forums on Facebook, and one can get a skewed perception of what is reality. I'm not saying they are perfect, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of a product, a few bad ones are going to slip through. And if some poor soul who buys multiple lights will get more than one of the bad ones. Then they see someone else complain about the problem they had and they chime in as well.

    Nitecore does have some problems. Look at the EA4 switch cap issue, the high parasitic drain on the EC4S and EC45S series and you can find areas that could and should have been done better. But the parasitic drain issue is not a quality issue but a design issue, and one can make an argument that the switch cap issue was also a design issue as well. All told, I think most of us are very happy with our Nitecore lights.
    +1 to this
    Especially knowing that Nitecore likely sold the most lights compared to other manufacturers

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Ryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    ...I think part of the current problem is perception. As the saying goes, if you sell a product that someone likes, they will tell two or three others, but if the have problems with it, they will tell ten or fifteen. Add in the increased audience offered by places like here at CPF and/or some of the flashlight forums on Facebook, and one can get a skewed perception of what is reality. I'm not saying they are perfect, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of a product, a few bad ones are going to slip through. And if some poor soul who buys multiple lights will get more than one of the bad ones. Then they see someone else complain about the problem they had and they chime in as well.

    Nitecore does have some problems. Look at the EA4 switch cap issue, the high parasitic drain on the EC4S and EC45S series and you can find areas that could and should have been done better. But the parasitic drain issue is not a quality issue but a design issue, and one can make an argument that the switch cap issue was also a design issue as well. All told, I think most of us are very happy with our Nitecore lights.
    +1 to this

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    I think part of the current problem is perception. As the saying goes, if you sell a product that someone likes, they will tell two or three others, but if the have problems with it, they will tell ten or fifteen. Add in the increased audience offered by places like here at CPF and/or some of the flashlight forums on Facebook, and one can get a skewed perception of what is reality. I'm not saying they are perfect, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of a product, a few bad ones are going to slip through. And if some poor soul who buys multiple lights will get more than one of the bad ones. Then they see someone else complain about the problem they had and they chime in as well.
    Very true, but why is it our problem to have to make a youtube proving the problem then pay post back to the supplier (at at least half the cost of the light) then to have to wait a month and a half for replacement and so on...... If they are making hundreds of thousands of units then $ shouldn't matter so much as reputation IMO - NC should go whoops sorry here's a new one free and if possible can you send the dud one back (making a note of buyer so as to stop dishonesty) that's how I would run a business. especially us from CPF as we helped them start a business way back when......

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* the0dore3524's Avatar
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    Default Has Nitecore quality improved?

    I mostly agree with you, too, Timothy. But there are other manufactures such as Fenix that have have probably sold close to the number Nitecore has without nearly as many complains.

    I had an MH20 and can comment on the quality control. The bezel was not glued on all the way; there was a very noticeable gap. I also noticed that the anno chipped off faster than any other light I've owned. The light worked fine, but definitely some issues with QC. That said, I use Nitecore's batteries and chargers and have had zero issues...love them in fact.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    BTW saying Chinese made lights are all buggy is not true in my experience, I have bought probably 15 klarus lights for myself and work mates with zero probs, and I work in security and we hammer our lights as bouncers. Out of interest, I'd like to hear if anyone knows of any American made lights that don't have any Chinese parts?

    Just my experience, I've had no problems with and have had more than two of Armytek/Acebeam/Jaxman/Imalent/manker/Noctigon/Microfire/Niteye/Solarforce/Jetbeam/Foursevens/llumina there are others I can't think of just now - I've had multiple of these too and had trouble with Rofis/Nitecore/xtar/Eagletac/Sunwayman/Olight and maybe others can't think of just now.
    Last edited by Glenn7; 03-06-2017 at 11:49 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Here are a couple of other pictures of Nitecore's handy work posted on here in the last year.

    This one is the of the circuit board on the new HC60. Notice the terrible hand soldering and burn marks on the circuit board on the right side. Clearly done by a Chinese laborer with little soldering experience.



    This one is of the EC4SW. Notice the broken tab that some careless worker in the factory chose to let go to an unsuspecting customer. The piece was found rattling around in the lights head. The soldering work also doesn't look very clean.



    And, once again here is the tailcap from my first LA10 CRI. I wish I took a picture of the replacement as it wasn't great either.



    These are only a few examples I remember coming across in the last year and I am sure more can be found if you look around. I suspect if more people took their Nitecore lights apart they would find similar craftmanship. I think a lot of Nitecore's look great on the outside but, if people looked inside they would be shocked. You just don't see this kind of thing with some of the other Chinese brands in my experience. Here is a Fenix HL60R for comparison. Notice how everything is perfectly soldered and assembled.







    Nitecore's are ok but, I personally think that you can get better quality and customer service from some of the other similarly priced Chinese brands.
    Last edited by Tachead; 03-07-2017 at 07:27 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    I have half a dozen larger Nitecore lights, starting with the TM11 when it came out. I also had close to a dozen Tubes I used as givaways, a couple of Tip CRIs and a couple of LA10 CRI lights. I have not had any problems with any of them. I also have a couple of MT06 2 AAA penlights that are very nice. I gave one to my GP last year for Christmas, and kept the other one. I am really looking forward to the MT06MD with the third mode and Nichia emitter, and have just ordered a P30.

    I think part of the current problem is perception. As the saying goes, if you sell a product that someone likes, they will tell two or three others, but if the have problems with it, they will tell ten or fifteen. Add in the increased audience offered by places like here at CPF and/or some of the flashlight forums on Facebook, and one can get a skewed perception of what is reality. I'm not saying they are perfect, but when you are making hundreds of thousands of a product, a few bad ones are going to slip through. And if some poor soul who buys multiple lights will get more than one of the bad ones. Then they see someone else complain about the problem they had and they chime in as well.

    Nitecore does have some problems. Look at the EA4 switch cap issue, the high parasitic drain on the EC4S and EC45S series and you can find areas that could and should have been done better. But the parasitic drain issue is not a quality issue but a design issue, and one can make an argument that the switch cap issue was also a design issue as well. All told, I think most of us are very happy with our Nitecore lights.
    +1 more to this.

    I have a slew as well. One had a driver fail 1 week in and replaced under warranty (in under a week). Would prefer to say no failures but overall not a terrible record.

    Tachead has shared some bad examples. I haven't experienced one of those, but they seem like outliers. But problems, any problems, make people "passionate".

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn7 View Post
    Very true, but why is it our problem to have to make a youtube proving the problem then pay post back to the supplier (at at least half the cost of the light) then to have to wait a month and a half for replacement and so on...... If they are making hundreds of thousands of units then $ shouldn't matter so much as reputation IMO - NC should go whoops sorry here's a new one free and if possible can you send the dud one back (making a note of buyer so as to stop dishonesty) that's how I would run a business. especially us from CPF as we helped them start a business way back when......
    That's on you, not Nitecore. If you buy from a local official distributor, you'll not only get a legit product but local service. Nitecore has been copied with knock offs (particularly chargers), and Nitecore has made it clear that service must be done where the light was sold from. The one I referenced above having a failure came from the US distributor and was serviced (replaced) by that distributor in a week. I'm aware that when I buy from Bangood or Gearbest I will save $ up front but will eat it if there's an issue. You should be aware of that, too.
    Fenix is no different in their service policy:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=420101

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdm82 View Post
    That's on you, not Nitecore. If you buy from a local official distributor, you'll not only get a legit product but local service. Nitecore has been copied with knock offs (particularly chargers), and Nitecore has made it clear that service must be done where the light was sold from. The one I referenced above having a failure came from the US distributor and was serviced (replaced) by that distributor in a week. I'm aware that when I buy from Bangood or Gearbest I will save $ up front but will eat it if there's an issue. You should be aware of that, too.
    Fenix is no different in their service policy:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=420101
    Okay point taken and fair enough! - I'm glad for you being a fanboy of NC - but it still doesn't excuse NC's dodgy workmanship and failures, sorry.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Has Nitecore quality improved?

    I think they have some really interesting stuff. For example my LR30 lantern is very UL and works great. I got a Winter TIP for a crazy low price and so far it's a wonder. Makes the SF one look like a joke based on the numbers and features. Also the NU20 is a bit of a marvel for it's size etc etc. Nitecore also seems to be putting 219b in some of their models as options. I had good luck with Nitecore chargers and still have an EX10. Have some other stuff as well. To be honest often I pack a Malkoff and this allows me to use everything else without concern. If they fail the malkoff will get me out of the field. I actually have not had many lights fail. My two iTPs are now dead. The 1XAA died a few weeks ago for no reason. Horrible PWM so no real loss. iTP was taken over by Olight. Occasionally I hear of Olight failures as well. Had two Fenix lights die but they were rebranded LODs. Also seen another person who had a dead LOD in his pocket to complain about. I remember when ZL had quality control issues. They leaked, they died and they broke their necks from 2 foot drops. People seem happy today. Never looked inside an Nitecore so don't know. Doesn't really matter anyways as there is often a malkoff in the pack.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

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