The Olight M2T is a brand new tactical model introduced in late January 2018 at Shotshow 2018. It shares many things with it’s more expensive brother the Olight M2R. I reviewed it a few months ago and if you have not watched or read that review I recommend doing so. Thanks to Olight for sending the M2T to me to look at.
Full Image Gallery for this review: https://imgur.com/a/LaFOs
Video version of this review:
The Olight M2T shares a lot in common with the M2R. During this review I am going to compare the two alot. The easiest way for me to summarize this is to use some car analogies. Hypothetically let’s say the following. The M2T and M2R are the same model at their heart. The M2R is the fully loaded model, it has all the optional features, extras, and costs the most. The M2T is a mid range trim level model. Its performance is very similar but it has a few differences to reduce costs, such as the removal of the recharging system, and different tail switch, only one choice in emitter, etc. This is going to be a longer review, so grab your popcorn and let’s get at it.
Olight has excellent fit and finish for production lights in my opinion and this one is no different. Apart from the new tail cap on the M2T, the light is very similar in aesthetics and build quality to the M2R. The anodizing is a smooth high quality gloss black Starting at the top you have a signature blue Olight bezel with some mild crenelation in it. Below that you have the aluminum head and body. There are tier drop cuts in the head for heat dissipation and design. It has a nice hex edges to help it keep from rolling away on a flat surface. It’s a slightly different style then the M2R has, with fewer cuts. It does still have a completely milled flat edge opposite the button to serve as a locator. On the front side you have an electronic switch surrounded by a nice blue bezel with an LED in the center that is used for Low battery notification, lockout notification. Below that you have large square cut grip panels on the body of the light giving added grip and something a little different from traditional knurling. You can attach the two way clip at either end of this main body tube for head up or down carry.
M2T on Left
At the tail end you have a new version of the switch that’s in the M2R. On the M2T this tail switch loses its recharging and magnetic features as well as its ability to tail stand. It’s replaced with a proud black rubber boot that has a dot pattern on it for texture. It still has the half press for momentary turbo and full press for lock and is silent. To full lock it does take some definite pressure. This switch operates and programs the same as the M2R. More on that in a minute. The tail cap of the M2T will fit on the body of the M2R and operate normally but not the other way around. Labeling is kept to a minimum, with branding near the head is always done so it can be read from left to light not as you rotate the light. The branding is at 2 and 10 positions when looking head on. The CE mark is opposite the button.
This light is rated IPX8 for moisture and dust and rated for 1.5M drops. I measured it’s length is 130mm it’s with at its narrowest point is 24.5mm and 27mm at its widest point. Weight was measured with an 18650 battery at 146.2G.
Inside this light uses a dual tube design which allows for the use of the two electronic buttons and the non proprietary battery. Do not remove this inner tube, it’s held in with an O ring and is hard to impossible to put back in place. Threads on the tail are a nice stout square cut.
LED & Runtimes
The Olight M2T uses a Cree XHP35 HD LED in cool white, this is the only LED and tint offered at this time. While I prefer a neutral white this isn’t so cold in tint that I dislike it. I did notice a little tint shift in the outer edges, but I think that blue bezel of the light also might be a factor in that. Depending on your power source maximum output (depending on your mode) is 1200 lumens compared with the 1500 lumens on the M2R. My M2R is neutral white so it doesn’t reach that full 1500 lumens and to me the two lights look the same brightness and the biggest difference is the tint. The beam is pretty even in shape. It has a smaller hot center and the spill is bright. At a distance it’s more like a flood then thrower, however for it’s narrow size it goes a good distance. It’s a very useful beam I find out to 100 yards.
I ran my tests with an Olight HDC battery that had a 3500mah capacity and a maximum continuous discharge of 10A. The M2T only ships with 2 CR123A batteries in a spacer tube instead of the high drain non proprietary Olight 18650 battery that was in the M2R. This is disappointing to me as to receive the best performance and longest runtimes, an 18650 is required. The light is also compatible with Flat top batteries, I had no issues with a Sony VTC6. Runtimes were good and what Olight is advertising. The light still has a timed Tubro mode which is 3 minutes. It then runs on high for 127 minutes before stepping down and running on moonlight mode. The graph tells the story. This light will also run safely on 2× 18350 batteries. I confirmed this with Olight that 8.4V is safe for the driver and that the batteries physically fit. I was unable to get a full working voltage for the driver though.
Like the M2R the M2T has a rear button that provides momentary and full lock operation as well as a button up front for the full range of modes with shortcuts. One of the complaints I had about the M2R was that in normal mode you were limited to Turbo1 and not the brightest turbo which was only available in Tactical mode. The M2T fixes that by only having one turbo mode which is how it should be. The rear momentary switch was also slightly reprogrammed for an improvement. Now you have momentary on with a soft press, release and it will turn off. A firm press on this button will lock the light on in turbo for 3 minutes before it timed step down kicks in. You also have access to momentary strobe if you press in and keep holding the light goes into strobe at it’s new 13 cycles per second rate. The button up front has a total of 5 modes from Moon to Turbo with shortcuts to Moon (From off Press and hold) to Turbo (Fast double click), or Strobe (Triple click from off). Press and hold to advance in modes and there is memory. Pretty standard for recent lights from Olight. It’s an interface I like. Lockout is available but personally I just unscrew the tail cap ever so slightly to achieve the same thing. I thought the mode spacing is pretty good on this light.
As a Tactical and EDC
This is designed with tactical use in mind and it certainly could be used for that but I think it makes a good EDC option too. The proud tail button is easy to turn on if it gets any pressure. Given that the light comes on in Turbo when this happens I don’t recommend taking any chances, and I use mechanical lockout with just a quarter turn of the tail cap. It also offers an electronic lockout if you want to use that. The new clip is the same that is on the M2R and I like this dual clip. It can go on either end of the light and can be used either way. It allows for ultra deep head down carry which is what I like. For tactical use the strobe mode has been adjusted to 13hz and is now more easily accessed if you want it but not accidentally by holding the tail button down in the locked position for about 1.5 seconds. You can also get to it by triple clicking the front button. The bezel isn’t aggressive which is the way I would prefer it personally as it makes a better EDC and is less threatening in most situations.
Packaging & Accessories
Packaging on the M2T is now a bit smaller and less intensive to the M2R. I suspect this is to reduce overall costs and also make it easier to open. It is still very high quality but is now a white box with a pull through design. Inside the light sits in a nice tray, underneath it is a read before first use card, manual, lanyard, and holster . The holster design is different on the M2T. It’s less premium holster then the M2R. Gone is the latching clip, and extra padding, and metal grommet drain holes. Instead a heavy duty weaved nylon, with a velcro flap is the main holster. It still has a plastic D Ring and nylon belt loop. This is a more standard quality holster you see from other brands.
The Olight M2T is a still nice but lower cost version of the M2R. While it doesn’t have all the features of the M2R like magnetic recharging, it does have a few improvements in my opinion like only one Turbo mode, the melding of Tactical mode into normal operation. The new tail switch in the M2T is good, it’s a bit too easy to activate in the pocket so lockout is necessary. I do wish Olight would have shipped the light with an 18650 battery even though it doesn’t come with built in recharging. I guess that’s against what they do with their R series but it’s how the light gets the best performance in both output and runtimes I think it’s sub-optimal shipping it with CR123 batteries instead.
So which one do you pick? If you want Neutral white, recharging or a magnetic tail cap the M2R is the clear choice. If those are not important features or you want to save a little money the M2T is a good choice then. I do recommend running the M2T with a higher drain 18650 battery so make sure you have one of those too. I think the M2T will make a good choice of rifle light as well. I plan to test this when I get a mount that works for the light. Until then I think this might be the light that goes in my go/Tornado bag along with a few spare 18650 batteries. Let me know how you would use you your M2T. You can pick up the M2T on OlightStore.com.