Portability! Nitecore TIP Review [Powerful]

Are you in the market for a keychain light? Do you feel like you have to sacrifice power for portability? If you are in the market for a keychain light but don’t want to sacrifice power? Look no further than the Nitecore TIP 2017 edition. When it comes to output this small, portable light can give some ordinary flashlights some competition. Keep on reading to find out what else the Nitecore TIP has to offer.

If you are particularly interested in Nitecore check out our Nitecore Buyers Guide that has the history of the brand and some of their top current lights. We also link out to all of our other Nitecore light reviews from there.

Before You Buy

Keychain lights are a smaller version of an EDC light. These lights offer a lightweight and compact design to optimize portability. As the name suggests keychain lights hook to your keys via a metal key ring. Some will include a stainless steel key ring others will require you to supply your own. Weight is an important factor when choosing a keychain light, the lighter the better as you will be carrying the light with you. Durability is another thing to consider when purchasing a keychain light. These lights are used a lot, they will also be banged around some with your keys. You want something sturdy, something that won’t shatter upon impact. The last thing you need to consider is the maximum amount of light emitted by the flashlight. You need to make sure it has enough light to get the job done.

Nitecore TIP

Nitecore TIP 360 Lumen USB Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight with LumenTac USB Charging Cable (Black, More colors in Options)

The new Nitecore TIP 2017 is the updated edition of the original Nitecore TIP. The new edition is just as small and powerful as the model before it but includes a few extra features. One of the extra features included with the new Nitecore TIP is the removable clip. The clip allows you to quickly and easily attach the light to stationary objects for hands-free use. The clip can be turned around to prevent accidental activation of light. Daily and Constant-On Modes have been added to the Nitecore TIP. Daily turns the light off after 30 seconds of use, while Constant on puts full control of the light in the hands of the user.

Using a CREE XP-G2 S3 LED the Nitecore TIP emits a maximum of 360 lumens in Turbo mode making it one of the brightest keychain lights in the industry. Powered by a built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery the Nitecore TIP offers four brightness levels with an 81-yard maximum beam distance. Recharging the Nitecore TIP is quick and easy with its built-in micro-USB charging port and charging indicator light.

Pros:

  • Removable Clip
  • Daily & Constant-On Modes
  • USB Rechargeable

Cons:

  • Finish rubs off easy
  • Hot to touch

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 2.39 inches long with a 0.53-inch diameter
  • Weight: 0.75 oz with battery
  • Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 46 hours
  • Highest Setting: 360 lumens for 30 minutes

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Nitecore TIP Features & Benefits

 nitecore-tip-2017User Interface

The Nitecore TIP offers a dual switch user interface. The bottom switch is to simply power the light on and off. The top-bottom is used to switch between the various modes offered by the Nitecore TIP. The dual switch user interface allows for easy one-fingered operation. Raised buttons allow for easy operation in the dark. With the Nitecore TIP, you have direct access to both Turbo and Low modes when the light is powered off. Switching between ordinary brightness levels requires users to click the mode switch when the light is powered on.

Rechargeable

Powered by a high capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery the Nitecore TIP can run for about 46 hours on its lowest setting. For maximum convenience, the Nitecore TIP is USB rechargeable. While actively charging the power indicator light will flash red. Once charging is complete the light will turn green and the battery will stop charging. To protect the battery Nitecore uses an Intelligent Protective Circuit. This technology protects from overcharging and over-discharging. The Nitecore TIP also comes with a built-in power indicator to alter you to the light’s battery life. The indicator works when the light is in the off position and the mode switch is pressed. The light will flash a specific number of times based on battery level.

Overheat Protection

With this compact light having the ability to emit 360 lumens on Turbo overheating should be a concern. To prevent the light from overheating Nitecore utilizes something called Advanced Temperature Regulation or ATR Technology. With this technology, the Nitecore TIP regulates its output to prevent the light from overheating. The technology also allows the light adjust its output based on the ambient environment which optimizes the light’s performance.

Social Proof

Nitecore-tip-2017-led

For those of you looking for a small, but powerful keychain light you need to seriously consider the Nitecore TIP. The Nitecore TIP 2017 Edition is the newest version and outshines the original. I have spent several hours reading through reviews online. What I have discovered is my opinion about the Nitecore Tip is shared by several others.

While the Nitecore Tip is an excellent light and receives plenty of praise, such as the lockout feature and brightness ability, it does have its flaws. One of the biggest concerns people had is with how hot the light gets while using Turbo mode. Another flaw would be with the flashlight’s body design, as it has some sharp edges along the charging port. The other issue reviewers have with the light is the IP54 rating, which means the light is not waterproof.

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Alternatives

Surefire Sidekick

SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Triple-Output Keychain Light, Black

The Surefire Sidekick comes in at 2.5 inches long and 0.58 inches wide. Designed to fit on your keychain the Surefire Sidekick looks and feels like an ordinary key fob. An optional retractable cord gives users, even more, freedom when using their Sidekick. Using a high-performance LED the Sidekick can emit a maximum of 300 lumens for up to 164 feet. At 5 lumens on its lowest setting, the Sidekick is brighter than most Smartphone flashlight apps and won’t drain the battery. The micro-USB charging port works with any micro-USB charging cable and allows for quick and easy charging even while on the go.

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MecArmy SGN3

MecArmy SGN3 160 Lumen Micro Sized LED Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight with UV and Red LEDs for Everyday Carry (Black)

The rechargeable MecArmy SGN3 utilizes three separate LEDs to provide users with several different output modes. The main LED is a CREE XP-G2, the side LEDs are simple 3 mm LEDs. The CREE XP-G2 operates ordinary brightness modes: high, medium, and low. The LED can emit a maximum of 160 lumens for one hour. The smaller side LEDs are used for special modes. One LED operates the red emergency signal. The second LED provides a UV light mode. The waterproof charging port is compatible with any micro USB cable. The light will fully charge within 90 minutes. Charging indicator light is red while charging. Once fully charged light will turn green.

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Nitecore Thumb

Nitecore Thumb 85 Lumens USB Rechargeable White & Red LED Keychain Light - Tiltable Work Light with Clip and a LumenTac USB Charging Cable

If you need something a little less powerful, but want to stick with the Nitecore brand the Nitecore Thumb is an excellent choice. The Nitecore Thumb is a durable keychain style light with a compact and lightweight design. The Nitecore Thumb offers three brightness levels with a maximum output of 85 lumens. The Thumb features a tiltable head that can be adjusted to various angles over 120 degrees. Quickly and easily clip the light into place with the accompanying clip. With a rechargeable Li-ion battery, the Nitecore Thumb will last 45 minutes on its highest setting and up to 22 hours on its lowest setting. Using the included Lumen tactical USB charging cable you can quickly recharge your light even on the go.

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Nitecore TIP Review Final Thoughts

Keychain lights are an excellent choice when you need something you can easily carry in your pocket. With the Nitecore TIP don’t let its compact and lightweight design fool you, it is quite powerful too. With the ability to emit anywhere from 1 to 360 lumens the Nitecore TIP provides you with the right amount of light regardless of the task at hand. Now that you know what the Nitecore TIP has to offer head on out and pick one up today.

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