Nitecore TM9K Review (9800 Lumen Tiny Monster)

Today I have Nitecore’s newest pocket rocket the TM9K TAC part of the Tiny Monster series of lights. It has 9X Cree XP-L2 LED’s that produce up to 9800 lumens in it’s turbo mode, USB-C charging and an internal 21700 battery. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this for me to check out and review. 


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Pickup the Nitecore TM9K TAC from the Nitecore Store and get free shipping with


Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is a nice black box, I would even call it kind of elegant with the light on the front and minimal information around it. The rear has a few stats and high points. The light does include a 5000mAh 21700 battery that non user replaceable (Sealed). Other accessories include a pocket clip, lanyard, lanyard threading tool, paperwork and nylon case for carrying on your belt. The case is the odd ball here as it doesn’t seem like it’s designed to fit this light but it does, it’s als0 feels lower quality then I was expecting when compared with everything else.


Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized black. Machining here is good quality with no sharp edges, and all the finishes are even. All the fins, angles etc mean the light won’t slip out of you hand and doesn’t roll on a table easily. It will not tail stand, but will stand on it’s face. The tail switch has dual buttons, a mechanical on/off switch that is rubber coated and stands proud and then a flat paddle switch that is the mode button for the light. It’s got a nice texture to it but is a little hard to find, especially with any type of gloves. The tail cap has light knurled more for style then grip and is glued to the battery tube.

The battery tube is lightly knurled with flats. Given the size of the head I think it looks short but is long enough to fit a 212700 inside. One note here about the battery tube, it is sealed from the factory. My guess is they did this for financial and liability reasons, as well as to limit complaints if someone was to put in a protected or non high drain battery to prevent the light from reaching it’s claimed performance.

The head is a one piece design with the body tube, which is better for thermal transfer and this light will take anything it can get. There are heat fins, the usual markings etc. The front bezel I believe is stainless steel but finished in a smoked finish. It allows for light to escape out the side, and could be used for striking. The lens below is glass, AR coated. Below that appears to be a custom optic to fit the 9 LED’s. 

Warranty here is typical of other Nitecore higher end lights. 15 day DOA/Exchange policy, and a 5 year warranty for manufacture defects, I assume this does not cover normal wear of the battery.


Size & Weight

I measured the weight as it is out of the box at 219g, length at 127mm long, minimum diameter at 24.3mm, maximum diameter at 42.2mm. The light is IPX 68 rated. Here are a few photos with similar multi emitter lights that I own. 



The lights has two retention options that it ships with. First is a pocket clip. It attaches near the top of the battery tube but about 1” down. I think it’s a generic clip that just happens to fit this light, since it doesn’t make great contact with the body. Not super practical to actually use as a pocket clip in my opinion due to the head diameter, but you could clip it onto a vest or something. 

The second option is a generic lanyard that attaches via a hole in the tactical ring. Nitecore has included a piece of floss to make threading easier. The hole is incredibly small though and I had to use dental floss to get the lanyard installed.


LED & Beam

The TM9K TAC has 9X Cree XP-L2 emitters inside. No official tint data is given but it’s more neutral than I expected, other reviewers have reported in the neighborhood of about 5600k which is a nice change over the typical very cool white. It should be no surprise that this is a very flood light, it has no defined hotspot, and when bounced off a ceiling or wall in turbo it’s almost like it has a diffuser inside. 


Official Outputs

  • Turbo – 9800 Lumens – 280M
  • High – 2000 Lumens
  • Medium – 500 Lumens
  • Low – 130 Lumens
  • Ultra Low – 30 Lumens


Runtime & Heat

The big story here is how long turbo lasts. While the light is rated for 9800 lumens, it only produces this in Instant Turbo, and it does so for about 5 seconds before starting to stepping down. So not FL1 standards to get to that 9800 lumens. This is due to heat, as it gets warm very quickly. Just some informal measuring, the light got to 114F exterior temperature with a non contact thermometer in 2:30 while running through turbo and step down via momentary mode before shutting off, . 

I also ran a runtime in the highest mode the light will stay in for about 6 minutes before stepping down massively to about 25% relative output where it runs for 2:45:00, the remaining runtime is pretty linear out to 4 hours. From here the light runs in it’s lowest mode of just a few lumens a total of about 24 hours. This is below 1% relative output and not graphed. Max heat during the High runtime was at about 45C at the 7 minute mark. 



The basic UI here is simple, The large round mechanical button servers as the on/off for the light. Once on your paddle is your mode selector. The light progresses from low to the higher modes linearly. It has memory to remember where you were previously. When on you can triple press it quickly to get to strobe, or long press to get to turbo. When off you can also long press to go to turbo. There is a lockout here that I won’t go into detail on but it would probably be a go idea to use when transporting the light. 



As mentioned before the light ships with an internally sealed 21700 battery that’s not user replaceable. Recharging is accomplished via a USB-C port on the side under well fitting silicone cover. It will charge via USB-C to C or PD chargers. Nitecore says it charges in under 5 hours via USB-C PD, and in my experience that came in at 4:16:00 to charge. You can charge even faster if using a QC compatible charger, in right at 3 hours. When recharging you get a blue LED on the tail cap that flashes, and it goes solid when charged. It’s not possible to turn on the light when recharging.


Final Thoughts

The Nitecore TM9K TAC has a ton of output for it’s small size but it’s drawbacks make this one hard for me to recommend without serious reservations. The main two being the very short duration of turbo output, and built in non replaceable battery.

Other then those, it’s a pretty good, pocket rocket of a light, when not in turbo the runtimes and temps are reasonable, and build quality/machining are what I would expect in this price range. Reasonably neutral tinted LED’s are a nice change here too but a low CRI. UI is easy enough to use too. I like that it works well with USB-C but would have liked them to go with USB-C PD for faster charging rather then the QC standard. Ultimately this one is geared to a more mainstream non flashaholic audience, and for that segment of the market I would think most people would be happy with it and amazed at how much light it puts out in Tubo, however short that may be.

Pickup the Nitecore TM9K TAC from the Nitecore Store and get free shipping with