Think Small! Nitecore TM03 Review [Compact]

Nitecore TM03 Review

Are you looking for a super compact light? Do you need a light that you can easily conceal? Don’t want to sacrifice output for size? If this sounds like something you are after you need to consider the Nitecore TM03. Using just a single 18650 battery to emit up to 2800 lumens the Nitecore TM03 is quite powerful for its small size. Keep on reading to find out what else the Nitecore TM03 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.

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Before You Buy

If you are going to purchase a flashlight you want to make sure it is the right one for your needs. The problem is how do you know which is the right one with so many choices. When purchasing a flashlight you want to consider the primary use of the light. Do you need something small enough to fit in the palm of your hand? Are you looking for something for a tactical situation? How you plan to use the light will determine what style of light you should be looking for. Brightness is another factor to consider. Again how you plan to use the light will play a role. Durability is something else to look at. You want a light built from quality materials. A light that will not shatter and break the minute it hits the ground when dropped.

Nitecore TM03

EdisonBright Nitecore TM03 2800 Lumen CREE LED Tiny Monster Flashlight/Searchlight, 18650 rechargeabe Battery USB Reading Light Bundle

The compact and powerful Nitecore TM03 features a CREE XHP70 LED that is powered by a single 18650 battery. The Nitecore can emit a maximum of 2800 lumens making it one of the most powerful tactical lights to run on a single battery. The 18650 included with the light is specifically made for the TM03 to give it a high output power. Almost all smart chargers can be used to recharge the battery, but Nitecore strongly recommends the Nitecore UM10 for charging.

The Nitecore TM03 is made from 4.5mm thick aero grade aluminum alloy. The light is extremely rugged and features an IPX-8 rating and is impact resistant up to 4.92 feet. The ultralight and compact light are ideal for people who are looking to carry a concealed light. The stainless steel bezel provides two functions. It can act as a striking weapon in emergencies and serves as a retaining ring to protect the components of the light.

Pros:

  • Dual Switch
  • Suppressing Light
  • Dual Modes

Cons:

  • No lockout mode
  • Hot to the touch

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 6.25 inches long with a 1.57-inch diameter
  • Weight: 7.52 oz without batteries
  • Lowest Setting: 40 lumens for 30 hours
  • Highest Setting: 2800 lumens for 15 minutes

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Nitecore TM03 Features & Benefits

User Interface

Nitecore-TM03-ModeSwitchThe Nitecore TM03 uses dual switches to provide power and access to the various modes. Both switches are located on the tail end of the flashlight. The main tail switch is used to power the light on and off. To perform either task simply push the switch until you hear a click. The Nitecore TM03 offers four brightness levels. Users can cycle through the levels via the Mode switch when the light is powered on. Intelligent memory function recalls the last brightness level used when the light is turned back on. Two special modes: Suppressive Light and Strobe Ready. Only one mode can be selected at a time. Switching between these special modes requires you to remove and replace the battery.

Battery Power Indicator

The Nitecore TM03 features a battery [power indicator light that alerts you to your current battery status. The red indicator light is located on the tail switch. The light begins working on the installation of the battery. The light flashes various patterns to indicate battery status. Three flashes indicate the battery power is above 50%, 2 flashes indicate battery power is below 50%, and one flash indicates the battery power is below 10%.

Overheat Protection

tm03-flashlightWith the ability to emit a maximum of 2800 lumens overheating is a very real possibility for the Nitecore TM03. To prevent any damage from occurring inside the light Nitecore utilizes temperature regulation and protection. This technology is able to detect the body temperature of the flashlight. If the temperature is too hot the Nitecore TM03 will automatically adjust the current output to ensure the light doesn’t overheat.

Social Proof

I have spent several hours reading through various online reviews of the Nitecore TM03. What I have discovered in my research is this light is extremely powerful for its size and battery requirements. It really does live up to its reputation of being the most powerful light operating with a single 18650 battery. Most of the reviews that I read through were positive in nature, but as we all know nothing is ever perfect. One of the most notable things about the Nitecore TM03 is its head size compared to its body. The head size has to be bigger because of the LED inside.  Another downfall to the TM03 is tail-standing is not possible due to the tail cap switch.

Budget

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Alternatives

Klarus XT11GT

Klarus Upgraded XT11GT 2000 Lumens Super Bundle with LED Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight, 18650 Battery, USB Cable, Lanyard, Holster, Pocket Clip, Car Adapter, Wall Adapter, and USB Mini Light

The Klarus XT11GT utilizes a CREE XHP35 HD E4 LED to deliver a maximum of 2000 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 1,036 feet.  With a dual tactical tail switch, the light is ideal for one-handed operation. A side switch is used for more advanced operations. With the Klarus XT11GT users have the choice between three operating settings: Tactical, Outdoor, and Advanced Tactical.  Advanced Tactical Setting inactivates the side switch for real tactical situations. With a Direct Recharging Function, the 18650 battery can be recharged without leaving the light.

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Olight R50

Olight R50 Seeker 2500 Lumens CREE XHP50 Rechargeable LED Flashlight with LumenTac Holster

The Olight R50 offers users the best of both types of light, amazing flood and an excellent throw. The R50 uses a CREE XLamp XHP50 LED to emit up to 2,500 lumens. The Olight R50 is powered by the built-in rechargeable 26650 battery, which can be charged via the charging cord that comes with the light. The Olight R50 features three different brightness modes, plus a strobe and turbo mode. The built-in memory function of the R50 allows you to return to the last brightness level used.

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Fenix TK35UE

Fenix TK35 Ultimate Edt. 2015 LED Flashlight, Black, 2015 Edition

Using a CREE XHP 50 LED the Fenix TK35UE offers 2,f000 lumens of light. The Fenix TK35UE can be powered by two 18650 batteries or four CR123A batteries. The Fenix TK35Ue features a digitally regulated output to ensure brightness levels remain constant with all of the 5 brightness levels offered. For emergencies, the TK35Ue also offers Strobe and SOS mode. An intelligent memory circuit recalls the last setting used when the light is powered back on.

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Nitecore TM03 Final Thoughts

For those of you looking for an ultra-compact light, one that can fit in the palm of your hand the Nitecore TM03 has everything you need. Coming in at just over 6 inches the Nitecore TM03 can easily be concealed in the palm of your hand. The TM03 has the ability to emit a maximum of 2800 lumens in addition to three other brightness levels. Now that you know what the Nitecore TM03 has to offer, go on out and purchase one today.

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