Nitecore P18

4 years ago written by

I received the Nitecore P18 from Nitecore for the Review.

The P18 comes in this box

Inside the box: the P18, a Nitecore 3100mAh IMR 18650 battery, manual, lanyard, spare o-rings and cordura sheath.

The P18 is a light with a different shape than most lights I’ve seen.

The light in medium hands. The shape and size resembles the one of a fat pistol magazine, or a train scale model: 106x23x34mm. The major part of the P18 is made of a single cast aluminium piece. There are is a lot of knurling on the light, making it very secure in the hand when in use.

At the front end of the light, we have an XHP35 HD emitter (under an AR coated glass), and a red LED. They are each controlled by their own switch.

Here you can see the one for the XHP35 HD (the one at the “tailcap”), and the one for the red light (on the body). Despite its look, I don’t believe the red LED is a 5mm one, because I can clearly see a bigger LED die when looking directly at it at close distance.

The tailcap of the light screws off like any other tailcaps. It is flat so the light can tailstand.
The threads are not anodised so physical lockout is not possible.

The clip is secured to the body by a screw and can’t rotate because it sits in a recessed position.

The sheath in cordura has a D-ring and is MOLLE capable

The 2 switches are very easy to use, as long as you hold the light in the “tactical” position.


Beamshots at 0.5 m
The big die of the XHP35 HD in a relatively small reflector gives a beam best suited for close to medium distances, around 100 meters of maximum throw.

The red LED emits more than enough light to move in a room and has a beam close to the one given by a TIR optic, but with more artifacts in the beam.

Output and runtime
Both tested with the provided battery.

The RED output has not been measured because my luxmeter is calibrated for white light.

My thoughts
The light is well built and finished.
I believe that in order to be fair, I have to take in consideration that this light is made for tactical applications (for example: this light has a completely silent switch and an almost silent one… and while for me it is not a big advantage, I get how important it is in a tactical scenario).
I like that you can use both emitters at the same time. I like that each emitter has an independent switch, and the shortcuts for minimum, maximum, red and strobe mode.
The levels are spaced enough (you could argue that there is a big jump from the ultralow and low output, but consider that there is the red output in between them), and the regulation is fine, especially considering that this light is relatively small and the die cast unibody construction is among the best passive solution for the heat dissipation: just consider how long this relatively small light can run at high-turbo level in absence of cooling fins.
The switch at the tailcap has a longer run and is a dual stage switch, but it doesn’t have a tactile feedback unless you press it all the way down. So, it doesn’t give you that mid-press feeling that you have on cameras, for example. This means that you need to get yourself accustomed to.
But after a bit of use, even with gloves on, I could operate it fine.

The price for the 2 electronic switches is a reduced waterproof capability (IP67, instead of the usual IPx8 of most Nitecore lights), IMHO a small price to pay.

This review will be updated with additional beamshots, thermal video.

Thanks to: AntoLed, Zampa, Won.

Article Categories:
18650 · NITECORE · Reviews · Tactical