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Thread: Tear down -Nitecore Tip and Long term review.Share your thoughts and experiences.

  1. #1

    Default Tear down -Nitecore Tip and Long term review.Share your thoughts and experiences.

    Hi everyone, I have been planning to do a review on my favorite edc Nitecore TIP, for a very long time.
    But due to some work related problems I couldn't complete my review.So this kind of is a long term user review .
    I know this light has been around for a while but still it would be good to mention it's basic manufacturer specs here before starting.

    LED: CREE XP-G2 S3
    Runtime:Turbo: 360 Lumens /30 min
    High: 150 Lumens / 1 hr 30 min
    Mid: 35 Lumens / 6 hr 30 min
    Low: 1 Lumens / 46 hr
    Beam Distance: 81 Yards (74m)
    Beam Intensity: 1400cd
    Waterproof: IP54
    Dimensions: 2.39” ×0.96” ×0.53” (60.8mm×24.5mm×13.8mm)
    Weight: 0.75oz (23.5g)(with battery)

    Metallic keychain lightIntegrated “Precision Digital Optics Technology” provides extreme reflector performance
    Built-in Li-ion batteryUSB rechargeable with onboard charging circuit
    Dual switch design4 brightness levels with direct access to ultralow and turbo outputsMemory function
    Advanced temperature regulation (ATR)Built-in power indicator (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
    Rear suspension ring capable of sustaining 30kg weightHAIII military grade hard-anodizedImpact resistant to 1.5 meter

    Content in Package: TIP keychain light, key ring

    So to start with , this has been my everyday go to edc,from the very first day I bought this,around 2 year before. It replaced my broken Nitecore tube .I got this at around 24$ back then, but now it's going really cheap at around 16$.

    Iam currently having the 2016edition of the NC TIP, in metallic gray finish.
    As you can see in the picture it has held on well to its metallic finish even after daily pocket carrying.
    Of course I take good care of it and doesn't keep it in pocket along with other keys.I haven't attached anything to its key ring, as I prefer carrying it without any additional attachments.
    The runtimes at medium is just sufficient for occasional night trips to my garage at night.I usually charges once in a week ,after atleast 10 min daily on medium and high together.
    The light itself is very attractive and durable.
    It has the most user friendly and tactile switches, I have ever used in any key chain lights.The mode separation and short cut to high and low are brilliantly put together in this light by the Nitecore's engineers.Also the way in which turbo is separated from normal mode group is well planned and helps in unwanted brightness while cycling through modes.Its simple battery indicator also comes in handy ,to analyse how much power left at any time and thus saving you from unexpected blackouts during night walks.
    The highlighting feature which attracted to this light was the 360 lumens and big 500mah battery.This much brightness and battery power in such a small light ,that too at this price point is just wonderful.After getting this light ,I couldn't get a reason to try or buy another edc light.

    After having this for around 2 years my favourite and my most useful feature is the moonlight mode. It comes in handy to find my phones charging cable or to find my water bottle at night without turning other lights disturbing others.
    After all these years I didn't had any trouble ,so that I needed to open it.But today
    I was just curious to check what is inside and was happy about the overall built quality.

    It was not easy to dismantle,like the Nitecore tube since everything is so closely and tightly packed.
    The light is held up by a strong plastic frame surrounded by two metallic plates held together by 8 screws.
    The screws are not fully stainless steel and I could notice that some screws have started rusting at the top.
    The two switches underneath the rubber boots are copper and noticed slight sulphation on those ,which is normal since it's not 100% water proof and little bit water or moisture can get in.But both switches have never malfunctioned until now.

    The LED in my light was not exactly centred, but still no artifacts were observed on the light beam.
    I took apart the reflector, and pulled the xpg2 LED out from the plastic frame.
    I was happy to see Nitecore branding on both LED board and driver board.

    There was lot on heatsink paste around the reflector.If my belief is correct, the reflector also seem to serves as a heatsink for the LED,and which further transfers the heat to the mettalic outer plate.Nitecore claims to have automatic temperature regulation, but I didn't have had a chance to test it.
    Anyways when using at 150 lumens for around 7mins continuously, the flashlight becomes pretty warm.So I assume the heat transfer path is good from LED to the metallic outer plate.
    Talking about the quality of internals, everything is made of quality materials.The plastic frame that holds together everything is pretty strong and is not flimsy.The reflector is actually made of metal and seems to be a single piece.Everything inside is tightly and neatly packed.Infact the battery is so tightly packed, you can see the Nitecore letters of the mettalic plate pressed against it.

    The battery is as stated 500mah lithium polymer battery.It's good to know ,that Nitecore have used the biggest possible battery in this.
    Battery has a separate circuit board which prevents short-circuit and overcharging.Even after 2 years of weekly charging, I haven't noticed any degradation in battery capacity
    While dismantling I noticed that the battery is held to the body by some kind of glue.The keychain is also locked in position by this gel type transparent glue.

    Now talking about the beam quality, it's a floody one with a good throw due to its bright turbo.The xpg2 in a small textured reflector forms a beautiful floody beam without any artifacts.The beam is very useful for close-up work, like jump-starting your car, finding key holes,soldering etc.The light I have is not a high cri version, but Iam happy with its beam colour and tint.
    The light itself could not tailstand ,which I would have loved to have in this light.The light when pointed to ceiling at turbo or high can easily fill a room with plenty of light.I have surprised many of my friends showing this flashlight's power.All of them were accustomed to their cell phones dim camera lights and was surprised to see such a small light creating twice their brightness.

    To show the brightness, I have taken a picture of a tree both in sunlight and at night time with Nitecore Tip.

    The light also has a AR coated glass which transfers almost all the light.The glass is perfectly recessed inside the reflector to prevent any scratches.
    On a fully charged light ,I always get useful light for more than the stated runtime.I mostly use it on high mode and easily get around 2 hrs of useful light.While the battery is almost drained, the switch illuminates red led every 2-3 seconds.Its to warns the user about a depleted battery.But this small light keeps on blinking every 2 sec even if the light is off, resulting in further battery drain.A fully drained light won't turn on the light to prevent overdraining of battery.The light can be used even while it's charging, even though I don't prefer or recommend it as to prolong the battery life.
    I carry my light in my cargo pockets.I have accidentally activated the light once or twice while carrying it in my jeans pocket.The light has a lockout feature which I find useful when carrying this light in my backpack with other items.Once I have forgotten to activate the lockout mode and found the light to be running in high mode getting very hot inside my backpack.The light is highly prone to accidentally getting activated if carriend in tight clothes or bags.
    Another thing that ,I had trouble with was the USB port.Since it doesn't have any rubber boot like Nitecore tube, plenty of dust gets stuck inside.Once a slight cotton piece got stuck inside and I had trouble getting it charged since the USB cable was not getting connected properly. Now Nitecore lauched Nitecore TIP with a pocket clip accessory which claims to prevent accidental activation and unwanted dust particles entering USB port.
    To sum it up I have made a list of its pro's and con's
    The things that I love in this light
    1- Bright turbo and moonlight mode
    2-User interface.Instant access to turbo and low from off.Well spaced modes.
    3-Higher battery capacity.
    4-Tactile,responsive and well spaced switches.
    5-Good Power to size ratio
    6-Built quality.Mettalic finish
    7-Usb rechargeable
    8-Lockout mode
    9-Floody beam.AR coated glass
    10-Strong keychain link.
    11-Low battery indicator
    12-Good value for money.
    13-Good quality internals.

    14- Light weight.
    And here are the things that I would have preferred to have in this light
    1-Covered USB port
    2-Ability to tail stand
    3-UV secondary LED
    4-Better waterproofing
    5-rustproof screws

    Anyways to sum it up Iam pretty happy with this light ,and would love to hear from other Nitecore Tip's Fans

    Last edited by jjp888; 04-21-2018 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review


  3. #3

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    Heared some feedbacks about the plastic clip of the newer version TIP, breaking down.Any one here has had the same experience ??

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    The great state of Iowa

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    Quote Originally Posted by jjp888 View Post
    Heared some feedbacks about the plastic clip of the newer version TIP, breaking down.Any one here has had the same experience ??
    Do you mean the belt clip/switch cover piece?
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    Yes, the plastic clip supplied seems to be fragile and prone to easy breakings.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    I EDC the 2017 TIP CRI. Fantastic light, and they added a 1-minute mode that limits battery drain from unintentional activation in your pocket. I have it on my keychain with the lobster claw supplied, and never bother with the clip (if I wanted a clip, I’d use an Olight S1R instead).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tear down -Nitecore Tip and Long term review.Share your thoughts and experiences

    Cheaply made.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    The great state of Iowa

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    Quote Originally Posted by jjp888 View Post
    Heared some feedbacks about the plastic clip of the newer version TIP, breaking down.Any one here has had the same experience ??
    Yes, I EDC a 2017 TIP CRI on my keychain, and recently discovered that one side had broken off the clip, rendering it useless. Luckily, the Nitecore store sells replacement clips for a very reasonable price. I would suggest ordering two or three at once, so that the shipment cost is spread across more items and thus becomes less of impact on the cost of each clip.

    I will also add that this is the first time it has happened in the almost two years I have carried the TIP in my jeans pocket.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* xevious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hudson County, NJ

    Default Re: Nitecore Tip Long term review

    jjp888, thanks for the thorough tear-down of the Nitecore TIP. I was curious to know how it is assembled.

    How is the fitment on yours? Meaning, do the two metal sides fit together flush on all sides/corners? On my TIP CRI, the front edge of the top overhands the bottom half by a little, allowing for a slight edge to be felt. But at the corners, it actually feels a touch sharp. Alignment seems fine everywhere else, so it doesn't seem to be a case of the two metal halves not lined up. Still... I wanted to be sure so I removed all 8 screws, but the two halves didn't want to separate much. I couldn't see what was holding it back... thought maybe it might be the thermal paste. Anyway, I didn't need to fully separate, but re-seating the 2 halves didn't change anything.

    I wrote to Nitecore about it and haven't heard back (several days now). I didn't want to fuss with it and introduce any unsightly markings. If this is sort of within "normal deviation" and not meriting a return, then maybe I'll take it apart again and file down the edge.
    Lights in my rotation: Olight i3E-CU, S2A, S1Ti, i1R EOS | Zebralight SC52w | Nitecore EC4GT, EA4 | Sunwayman D40A | Jetbeam RRT-01| Fenix L0D

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