In this review article, I’ll give you the rundown on a trio of tools from Nitecore including the general-use EA21 flashlight and the EDC-focused MT06 flashlight and NTP10 Titanium Pen.
I’ve had these tools for several weeks now, and have had plenty of opportunities to put them through their paces. The MT06 EDC light and NTP10 tactical pen have been riding with me daily as part of my EDC gear. Meanwhile, the EA21 has served me well on home duty and on a few camping trips.
Read on to see how I tested them and what I thought!
EA21 Nitecore Flashlight Review:
The EA21 has proven to be a very useful, versatile light. As mentioned, I’ve used it primarily as a general-purpose light for both around the house chores and camp duty. Before we get to the real dirt, let’s hit some quick points:
- All the output options you could ask for: 5 brightness settings ranging between 1 and 360 lumens plus Strobe, Beacon, and SOS modes.
- Handy 5” x 1” size makes for easy storage in a bag, cargo pocket, or glove box.
- Drop-proof LED for those all-too-common impacts.
- Built to withstand dunking in a deep creek with IPX-8 water submersion resistance.
- Light, sub-4oz weight including 2x AA batteries.
- Multi-position metal clip to suit every carry option.
- Includes a carry pouch, spare o-rings for backups or maintenance, and a lanyard attachment option.
So Many Options . . .
I’m not ashamed to admit that after pulling this light out of the box I had to look over the instruction booklet to figure out how to use all its modes. After getting used to it, I’ve found I really like the functionality of the unique dual button setup, which became intuitive after a short learning curve.
I can easily go into Turbo mode (a blinding 360 lumens) or Ultra-low mode (1 lumen) or just turn the unit on and off without cycling through all the other brightness and strobe settings. If you need them, however, these emergency modes are quickly accessible. The buttons also provide a nifty locking function that keeps the light from being accidentally turned on when it’s packed in your bag.
A neat function that I haven’t seen often is the inclusion of a battery power indicator. A simple battery uninstall/reinstall procedure will key a secondary red LED light to let you know how much life the installed batteries have left.
On that note, the EA21 has got enough smarts programmed in it to automatically adjust brightness after twenty minutes on the high setting to keep from killing the batteries or overheating. As an aside, that red LED is also available as a secondary illumination option for low light needs such as map reading and other situations where you want to preserve your night vision.
In my real world use of the EA21 I got to search around for my breaker panel after a power surge at my home. A week or so later I had some furry night creature digging around in my campsite. When the little critter got close to blindness after I shined the full Turbo setting on him, he went scurrying on his way. I was able to follow him with the light while he ran across a field and disappeared into some trees a hundred or so yards away.
One thing to note is that as with most intensely bright LED lights, the EA21 gets pretty hot after about ten minutes on the high output setting. I’d be hesitant to stick it right back into a pack or touch the business end of it with my bare hand after extended use. It’s also a little big to be carried in a jeans pocket. I would say that the Nitecore EA21 is best suited to keep in a pack, vehicle, black out kit, or medium to large sized EDC bag.
My Thoughts on the Nitecore EA21
The Nitecore EA21 is a great general purpose flashlight with some useful extra features for those who demand more than a basic light. The handy size, battery familiarity (who doesn’t have extra AAs?), and plentiful modes allow for excellent usability in lots of settings.
The extremely bright Turbo mode can certainly disorient would-be attackers, while the Ultra-low mode can be used without giving away your position in sensitive settings. As an addition to a BOB (in the locked-off setting, of course), on car trips, or as an at-home night security tool, the EA21 is great choice (CLICK HERE to see the EA21 on Amazon).
NTP10 Nitecore Titanium Pen Review
This part of our Nitecore review isn’t for a flashlight; it’s for their Titanium tactical pen. In the world of tactical pens (see our guide on tactical pens HERE!), there’s a full range from simply obscene to obscenely cool. The Nitecore NTP10 definitely fits in the latter category. Here come the bullet points:
- Built from CNC milled titanium, the body of this pen is indestructible.
- Designed as a standard-sized pen at 4.25”, but a crazy light 18 grams.
- Equipped with a Fisher Space Pen cartridge for smooth writing anywhere.
- The cutout body makes for a superior positive grip during writing or defense use.
- Extra strong replaceable tungsten tip for busting windows or bad guys.
- Included storage/gift case to keep a low profile or impress friends.
Writes and Fights
In the month that I’ve been carrying around this titanium pen I’ve used it to write notes, sign forms, and punch massive dents in seasoned old pallet wood (no bad guys could be found to test the tungsten tip out).
I’ve also received several compliments on it; the NTP10 looks really cool with its spiral cut styling and matte titanium finish. Besides looking good, those spiral cutouts provide excellent grip for the occasional smashing the pen is designed to endure.
In use, the NTP10 is smooth and functional. The Fisher Space Pen ink cartridge works every bit as well in your exciting cubicle as it does in the dull confines of outer space for which it was designed. The pen itself is quite comfortable in the hand whether in writing mode or held ready for battle.
My Thoughts on the Nitecore NTP10
The NTP10 is as functional as it is cool. The only drawback I found during my evaluation was regarding its super sharp window-breaking carbide tip. It’s a dead giveaway to airport security screeners; getting onto a plane with this pen might be a difficult proposition. That same tip can also damage pants pockets or cloth bags if not properly secured.
I’d suggest keeping it clipped into a jacket pocket or proper pen slot in a bag. Alternatively it can be stored in its included aluminum case; though that significantly reduces its readiness factor. Also, it’s a nice size (about the size of a standard Bic pen), but might be a bit small for those with very large hands or while wearing gloves.
In short, the NTP10 is a really cool, unique, and functional piece. If you’re looking for a unique daily carry item with multiple uses, this titanium tactical pen should be an intriguing option. For more information on the NTP10 you can CLICK HERE to check it out on Amazon.
MT06 Nitecore Flashlight Review
I have been very pleased with the MT06 over the past month or so of carrying it. I’ve kept it in my every day carry bag, and it has shined in every test. First, here are some highlights:
- Two simple no-hassle brightness settings: 165 lumens and 32 lumens.
- Extremely light at just 1.58 oz. with AAA batteries.
- The 5” x 0.5” size is perfect for clipping into a pocket or small EDC bag.
- Powerful 92m max beam distance for those long shots.
- Proprietary LED is resistant to impacts from waist-high drops onto pavement.
- Water won’t be a concern due to an IPX-8 water submersible rating.
Form & Function
One of the big advantages of the MT06 in my view is that it doesn’t have that suspicious tactical look to it. There’s no “skull smasher” crown and no crazy knurling. This light is designed to be carried anywhere with a low profile and simply meet a utilitarian need for a dependable quality light.
A bit thicker than an average pen, the size is just right for clipping into a pocket or EDC pouch. Its standard rear-mounted button makes for easy on/off toggling with one hand.
The two light modes come in pretty handy. Navigating through a dark car lot at night I was thankful to have the 165 lumen high mode. Then when I had to search around for the keys that my sweaty hands had just dropped between the seat and the console, the low 32 lumen setting was bright enough without causing a blinding reflection.
Like the EA21, if you leave this light on high mode for too long it will switch to the lower setting automatically to maximize battery life and minimize heat. High mode can be easily reactivated by clicking it back on.
My Thoughts on the Nitecore MT06
While it’s refreshing to have a good EDC light that doesn’t look like it belongs mounted on a SWAT weapon, Nitecore might also have done well to incorporate some form of EA21-style lock setting on the MT06. With the easy-to-tap rear button there’s a small chance of the light being turned on if it’s left to bounce around in a bag.
Otherwise, this little light is an awesome companion to the rest of your EDC gear. The MT06 packs convenience, performance, and easy utility into a modestly priced (see the best price for the MT06 HERE on Amazon) flashlight.
Really, all three of the tools in our Nitecore review were useful and practical. The two lights are incredibly efficient; just a few years ago flashlights like these would have cost a fortune.
All three items seem to be of very high quality. I had no problems with them, and can’t see them failing or falling apart in hard use. Each tool had its job to do, and each fit the bill. In spite of the minor drawbacks for each I can definitely see all three of these pieces serving me well for years to come. If you want more in formation about these 3 tools you can see them each on Amazon by clicking the links here:
|Nitecore EA21||Nitecore NTP10||Nitecore MT06|
Nitecore has been around since 2004 and is a well-respected brand in EDC and preparedness circles. A member of Portable Lights American Trade Organization (PLATO), each of Nitecore’s offerings are independently tested and rated (For the unaware, PLATO is the organization responsible for the handy lumen/runtime/beam properties charts on the packaging of all those fancy flashlights you’re always playing with at REI.). Since their introduction, Nitecore lights have gained favor with outdoor enthusiasts, members of the military, and others looking for high quality handheld lighting solutions.
Have you used the EA21, NTP10, or MT06? Do you have another Nitecore flashlight that you like? Want to see another Nitecore flashlight review? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!