Nitecore R40 Flashlight Review

Hi all! Welcome to CivilGear where I take a practical “on-the-job” approach to reviewing all sorts of neat gear!

Are you tired of only getting an hour-long runtime on turbo? Are you constantly traveling between home, car, desk, and a second desk? Would you like to never have to carry around your battery charger again? Well say hello to the Nitecore R40!

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Look & Feel

The R40 has a very smooth and rounded shape making this light easy to use in everyday activities. The larger barrel diameter lends to a greater sense of security means good news for big hands like mine as . Because this is more of an “Explorer” type light, there is less anti-roll features. Of course it also has high quality aluminum with hard anodizing.

Other Accessories

The R40 comes with a basic nylon holster which has 3 attachment options. Typically my favorite type is the hook & loop (velcro) style but because of the increased weight and a smaller hook & loop area, the holster tends to pop off my belt when trying to get the light in or out.

I suggest always putting the light into lockout mode before holstering as the on switch is easily pressed. This light would be a good candidate for a new plastic quick connect holster, similar to the NTH30B which is available for the Nitecore R25. I’m also happy that the wrist lanyard connects directly to the flashlight body.

Quick Specs

Specs provided on Nitecore’s website.

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Max Output 1000 lumens
Max Beam Distance 520 m
Max Beam Intensity 67700 cd
Max Run time 1000 h 0 m / 41.67 d
LED XP-L HI
Reflector SMOOTH
Battery 1 X 26650
Special Modes Location Beacon, Rapid Flashing, SOS
Beam color White light
Length 151.3 mm / 5.96 in
Head Size 40 mm / 1.57 in
Weight 194.5 g / 6.86 oz
Feature Rechargeable
Activity Gear, Outdoor/Camping, Search

Beam Profile

The beam angle is not advertised but using a printed protractor I measured the main spot to have a total angle of about 10° and a total spill angle of about 30° . This seems to be more of a spot light than a floodlight. Also, if the light is held parallel, and just away from, a wall, a purple color is seen, likely comes from the anti-glare coating on the high strength mineral glass lens.

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Nitecore MH40GT left, Nitecore R40 right
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Nitecore R25 left, Nitecore R40 right

WARRANTY

Nitecore provides only a 5-year warranty for free repair (cost of parts not included), so make sure you only buy from an authorized dealer (you can contact Nitecore’s customer service to find one) or you will waive your rights to the warranty . Also, take care to store your light properly, as the warranty does not cover damages caused by batter leakage. Check their website for their full terms of service.

User Interface

I’m still a novice youtuber, but here’s a quick video review and a walkthrough of the user interface. Staying with Nitecore’s traditional UI, the primary brightness modes ascend starting from low to high. The UI is pretty straight forward and excatly the same as many lights in the “Explorer” (or E for short) Series. In addition to the primary mode, there are 3 hidden modes: strobe, beacon, and SOS. Additionally, you can turn on the light in low or turbo. The light also has electronic lockout mode and a battery indicator. Also, see my new UI diagram below.

 

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Battery

The R40 utilizes a special performance 26650 called the NL2650DW which is recharged inside the main body of the flashlight, using three different options (see the next section). Weighing in at 5,000 mAh is a nice upgrade to the 3,400 mAh 18650 batteries Nitecore carries. Both the cradles and the USB option only take 6.5 hours to charge the light! (which is much less that I was expecting) and I’ve gotten complete discharge times over 8 hours with the light left on in turbo mode the entire time.

The R40 will definitely not charge regular 26650 batteries, so don’t even try. This battery takes the special R25 battery and ups it by 2, having the BOTH ends of the battery with BOTH polarities (+ and -); my guess as to why is because of having induction charging in the tail, and the controls in the head, and for a more complete reverse polarity protection feature. Besides that, I’m no battery expert so my knowledge end’s here 😉 .

Integrated Charging

The headline here is true wireless charging! I’m curious if you can charge this at Starbucks now, lol. july_9_-_starbucks_promotion

The three different charging options are: a desktop cradle (my fav), wall mount “stand”, and USB. Amazingly, Nitecore has included the accessories for ALL THREE  with purchase of the R40! When I first heard the rumors of the R40, I thought for sure one of them would have to bought as extra but I’m happy to be wrong. Also, historically Nitecore hasn’t been including any USB cables in their offerings, likely assuming they are ubiquitous (which I believe is correct but never the less), but they have gone the extra mile to include one with the R40.

While the flashlight is charging, a blue indicator light, behind the power button, will blink. Once the charging is complete, the blue light will remain on. Unlike the R25, the blue light is much more diffused so it won’t light up a dark room like the R25 does; additionally, the blue light is also still easily visible in day light.

Both Cradles

Both of the cradles use a wall charger and use alternating magnetic fields to ‘induce’ voltage to the flashlight body, therefore called inductive or “wireless” charging. The cradles are rated for 5 to 12 volt input @ 1 amp, and the battery experiences  5 volts @ 1 amp (according to the bottom of the chargers, I have not verified).

Both the cradles and the USB option only take 6.5 hours to charge the light!

The only bummer is that unlike the R25, you cannot run the light while resting in any of the cradles. If the light is on and placed in a cradle, the light will turn off automatically.  Additionally, if you put the light in the cradle while on, it will turn off, and then when taken out of the cradle, the light will proceed to show you a battery voltage check, and afterward, will turn back ON the light automatically. If you do not wait for this to happen, and take the flashlight out of the cradle and immediately push the power button, the light will blink on for a second and turn off immediately after, or if the mode button is pressed instead, it will go immediately into the next primary level and remain on; this also applies to the USB method.

Desktop Cradle

This one is my favorite because of how easy it is to mount the light, and it’s surprising tipping resistance. Because the battery is closer to the tail end, it does very well to lower the center of gravity. I’m also pleased that there are screw holes for  mounting as well.

Wall Stand

I’m happy to see that they kept the same pinch-arm mechanical design which uses real spring mechanics and not just plastic bending. I’m also happy to see the scree holes are more centrally located and that the body is much thinner than the R25’s cradle.  It this is really a ‘wall stand’ then I think the AC input plug should come from the bottom of the cradle, and not the side.

USB

The light can also use a micro USB cable to charge. The micro USB socket is on the tail end of the light and is protected with a dime-sized rubber cap which is also attached to body to keep you from loosing it. I like that it’s not just a flap, but you can pivot the cap away once you open it.

Pros

  • Wireless charging!
  • 3 options to charge, and ALL are included with purchase, and charges pretty quick
  • Great throw but still has good spill with a buttery corona
  • Fantastic tail standing
  • Very easy to use battery indicator
  • Surprising throw for a smaller diameter head
  • Longer runtimes than a single high capacity 18650
  • Easy UI
  • Increased body diameter
  • Comfortable body shape
  • Electronic lockout
  • Temperature controlled output
  • Blue power light isn’t too bright
  • Uses direct current instead of pulse width modulation, means a steady output and now buzzing noises

OBSERVATIONS / WISH LIST

  • Can’t operate light while being charged on either cradle or with USB
  • Not easy to operate with thick gloves
  • Regular 26650 batteries can’t be used
  • No physical lockout
  • Because the 26650 is larger  than a normal 1X18650, the light is a bit heavier.
  • Light can operate without the tail cap on
  • USB rubber cap is a little hard to open with short fingernails
  • Lock-out mode, I would have preferred the blue light to blink 3 times, to indicate that the lock out was toggled, instead of the primary light doing a blink when locked or to turn on when lock-out is disabled.
  • Not enough hook and loop material for the belt loop on the included holster.

In the Field

While using the light in the field, the light performed well at mid range distances as well mid to far. Worked well for indoor work as well but not as well suited for hands-on type work. I also experienced that the light is little too big for pockets but will work in a pinch but you run the risk of turning on the light in your pocket; you’ll want to find a good holster or tool belt pouch to carry this one. Also, it’s difficult to hold the light plus anything else with the same hand. Most of the pictures below are with the light in Turbo Mode (1000 lumens).

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Fire rated wall penetrations in, power transformer room, in parking garage.
Turbo in ambient day light conditions in a parking garage.
Turbo in ambient day light conditions in a parking garage.
Rebar reinforcement for new cast-in-place concrete girder for parking garage modification.
Rebar reinforcement for new cast-in-place concrete girder for parking garage modification.
Plastic concrete spacers attached to rebar for new cast-in-place concrete girder for parking garage modification.
Plastic concrete spacers attached to rebar for new cast-in-place concrete girder for parking garage modification.
Tracing high voltage conduits in a central utility plant.
Tracing high voltage conduits in a central utility plant.
New apartment building, (turbo mode).
New apartment building, (turbo mode).

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Price

The whole kit comes in at about $150 USD but feel free to check on amazon links below for current prices:

Nitecore R40 1000 lumen Inductive Charging Flashlight

THANKS FOR READING!

Disclaimers:

  • CivilGear Reviews received this product from Nitecore for testing purposes and to provide honest feedback
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
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