Are you looking for a light that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand? Do you need a light that is powerful enough to be used for search and rescue? Are you looking for a light that you can rely on in extreme emergencies? If this sounds like the style of light that you are after you need the Nitecore TM26. The 2015 version offers more power than before allowing the light to really live up to its name. To find out even more about this “tiny monster” keep reading.
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
When buying a flashlight you want to make sure you pick the right one. How do you know what the right one is though? Before you buy any flashlight you need to think about the primary use of the flashlight. You also need to consider overall brightness. How bright the light needs to be will depend on what your plan to use the light for. For example, if you need a light for camping trips you want something bright enough to search the darkness in front of you. You also need something low enough to preserve your night vision. With the powerful Nitecore TM26, you have more than enough power to light up the darkest trail with the ability to lower the lumens to preserve your night vision.
Coming in at 5.59 inches long with the ability to emit up to 4,000 lumens on Turbo Mode, the Nitecore TM26 is truly a “Tiny Monster.” The TM26 is the smallest light with the ability to emit that many lumens. Updated in 2015 to provide a maximum of 4,000 lumens, the Nitecore TM26 utilizes 4 CREE XM-L2 U3 LEDs. A toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating enables the TM26 to provide a maximum beam distance of 1,489 feet.
Made from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy the Nitecore TM26 offers a stainless steel bezel ring to protect core components from damage. Gold plated circuitry contact points allow for better conductivity and durability. With an IPX-8 rating, the light can be fully submerged in 6 ½ feet of water for 30 minutes without suffering any damage. To ensure total protection the charging port is dust and water resistant.
- OLED Display
- Flat Tail Cap
- Dual tail switches
- No instructions to attach lanyard
- Can get hot to the touch
- Dimensions: 5.59 inches long with a 2.24-inch diameter
- Weight: 15.45 oz without batteries
- Lowest Setting: 3 lumens for 750 hours
- Highest Setting: 4000 lumens for 1 hour
Nitecore TM26 Features & Benefits
The Nitecore TM26 provides a user-friendly interface with its patented single button two-stage switch. The two-stage switch is designed for one-handed use and is similar to using a camera shutter button. The function selected will depend on how hard or light you press the switch. The TM26 features Turbo Mode and Daily Mode. Each mode offers different brightness levels. Activating Daily Mode requires partway depressing the switch. Activating Turbo Mode requires the switch to be fully depressed. To switch between brightness levels in each mode partly depress the switch. Brightness level will be memorized as the light is turned off.
The Nitecore TM26 is compatible with CR123 and 18650 Li-ion batteries. The light runs on either 4 18650 Li-ion batteries or 8 CR123 batteries. The runtime will vary based on what batteries are being used, but both styles offer extremely long run times. With an intelligent charging circuit the Nitecore TM26 offers rapid and safe charging thanks to voltage detection. If you are ever faced with an emergency situation and are running low on batteries the TM26 has the ability to run on a single 18650 or 2 CR123 batteries. To charge 18650 batteries use the charging cord and A/C adapter that comes with the light. Fully depleted batteries will take 7 hours to recharge.
Multifunctional OLED Screen
With the Nitecore TM26, all operating information is clearly displayed on the OLED screen. The OLED screen will allow you to easily see the brightness level the light is currently using along with the lumen output. Battery information is also displayed via the OLED screen. Battery information includes approximate runtime, battery voltage, and battery status. The flashlight’s temperature is also displayed on the OLED screen.
I have spent several hours reading various reviews on the Nitecore TM26. After everything that I have read, I can say that the Nitecore TM26 is a favorite. Most of the reviews of the Nitecore TM26 were positive. Reviewers mentioned how powerful the light was despite its small size. Reviewers also noted how the light is one of the most technologically advanced lights on the market. Specifically noted was the new OLED multifunction display. The one downfall to the Nitecore TM26 has to do with how powerful the light is. You cannot expect a light that can emit up to 4,000 lumens to not generate heat. The light can become hot to the touch, especially after prolonged use.
If you are looking for a light that provides everything that the Nitecore TM26 provides, but with a little less power the Nitecore TM26GT should be on the top of your list. With the Nitecore TM26GT, users can expect a maximum of 3500 lumens with a runtime of 1 hour. Beam distance also differs between the two Nitecore lights. The TM26GT offers a beam distance of 2309 feet with a peak beam intensity of 124,000 candelas. The Nitecore TM26GT utilizes 4 CREE XP-L HI V3 LEDs, which offers double the intensity of the TM26. The two-stage switch also features a blue indicator light to aid in operation.
The Fenix TK75 that was upgraded in 2015 is an excellent alternative to the Nitecore TM26. Like the Nitecore TM26, the Fenix TK75 offers a maximum of 4,000 lumens. Unlike the Nitecore TM26, the Fenix TK75 only offers four brightness levels with the addition of Burst and Strobe modes. The Fenix TK75 can operate on 4 18650 Li-ion batteries or 8 CR123A batteries but requires an extension tube that must be purchased separately to house the CR123As. The Fenix TK75 is not as compact as the Nitecore TM26. The lowest level of lumens available with the Fenix TK75 is 35 lumens with a 270-hour runtime.
If you need something that is about the same size as the Nitecore TM26, but something with a lot more power the Thrunite TN36 is the perfect alternative. The Thrunite TN36 utilizes triple CREE XHP70 LEDs to provide you with a maximum 10,000 lumens. Thrunite offers something called Infinite Brightness Adjusting with the TN36. This feature adjusts the output of the light with a long press of the switch to circle you through infinity high and low. The light also offers a turbo, firefly, and strobe mode. Infinity High mode offers 7,000 lumens of light for up to 90 minutes, while Firefly mode offers 2 lumens for 28 days.
Nitecore TM26 Review Final Thoughts
If you spend time outdoors you need a compact, but powerful light. A light you can rely on during the day, night, and in the face of an emergency. The Nitecore TM26 provides users with just this kind of light. The small light easily fits in the palm of your hand, but powerful enough to provide you with up to 4,000 lumens on a dark night. With the ability to run on minimal batteries in an emergency the Nitecore TM26 is something you want on your side. Now that you know just what the Nitecore TM26 has to offer, go and purchase one today.
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