Nitecore EX11.2 Flashlight Review

I've been using my Nitecore EX11.2 for some time now.  I carry it daily and have used it extensively.

It was a light that I fawned over for quite a while, as I do with most of the things I buyAfter finally finding an excuse, I picked one up and it's served tirelessly since it was received.

I'm using the template found here to review the Nitecore EX11.2.

Design Concept:  2

In the spirit of full disclosure, I pined over this flashlight for the longest time.  I love its design.  The stainless steel bezel looks great against the anodizing of the body.  It's clean without any superfluous features.  Just the way gear should be put together.

From a functional design perspective it's well-designed.  There aren't any superfluous features on this light.

Materials:  2

The barrel of the light is predominantly aluminum.  The piston mechanism is machined from aluminum, too.  The bezel of the light is manufactured from stainless steel.

These materials are exceptionally common in the mid-range flashlight world.  They're durable, relatively lightweight, and look good.

I can say that the flashlight, as constructed, survives a decent beating.  After a few unintended trips from my pockets to asphalt it still functions flawlessly and only has slight cosmetic damage character.

Fit of Parts:  2

The EX11.2 is well-fitted.  There is no play between any of the constituent parts.  There isn't anything to complain about in terms of how the light goes together.

Output:  2

200 lumen from a single-cell pocket-sized light is exceptional.  Moreover, the "moonlight" setting of 5 lumen is incredibly useful in low-light situations for reading or other such tasks without obliterating night vision.

The infinitely variable output is interesting, but I can't say that it's the greatest system around.  Sometimes having too many choices is detrimental.

Runtime:  2

The light runs at 200 lumen for an hour and at 5 lumen for approximately 80 hours.  In terms of a single-cell light that's not too shabby. 

The CR123a is a great battery for an EDC light, in my opinion; it's relatively compact and is pretty versatile.  The EX11.2 makes good use of the CR123a, offering average runtime for the output levels available.  Given that the low- to mid-range output levels are adequate for most applications, the battery will last for quite some time.

Beam Pattern and Quality:  2

The Nitecore EX11.2 uses a CREE R5 LED with an orange peel reflector.  It has great throw for a single-cell light with a relatively shallow reflector.  It pushes useful light out to an adequate distance for an EDC light (probably somewhere between 50 and 75 meters; I'll work on a more accurate number in the future).  Flood isn't bad, either.  It's a good light for everyday, general purpose use.

Also, the beam has a nice hotspot that transitions cleanly into the corona.  Moreover, the beam is free from artifacts.

User Interface:  1

The Nitecore EX11.2 has an infinitely variable output that's controlled by the piston mechanism.  A single press turns the light on; then, pressing and holding the piston ramps up or down the brightness.  There are shortcuts to the lowest and highest settings once the light is on.  Additionally, when the light is off there are shortcuts to the SOS beacon and strobe settings.

Infinitely variable brightness is neat but not as useful as it might sound.  If anything it complicates access to mid-range brightnesses.

Inconveniently, the piston mechanism can be a bit touchy.  On many occasions I've accidentally accessed modes that weren't intended.  I think it has something to do with the fact that the piston drive is capable of recognizing "pushes" that occur in very quick succession; pushes that are unintended and practically imperceptible by the operator.  This can lead to some frustration on occasion.

Grip: 2

A lot of single-cell lights don't offer enough surface area to facilitate comfortable use.  The EX11.2, however, is large enough to use in a hammer grip without obscuring the bezel or placing the button too far into the hand to easily access.

It is also quite possible to use the EX11.2 in a cigar hold.  I find myself pinching the light closer to the bezel than I might with two-cell lights.  Nonetheless, it's quite possible to use in such a fashion.

It should also be noted that the EX11.2 can tail stand.  It's a very useful feature allowing it to be used as a candle.

Carry Method:  1

There is an optional pocket clip for the EX11.2.  I chose to purchase it but am not using it for purposes of this review.

I've been carrying the EX11.2 vertically in my back pocket with a short lanyard.  It's easy to retrieve either with or without the lanyard.  Of course, anything loose in a pocket will eventually find its way to the bottom.

Carry Comfort: 1

The EX11.2 is pretty comfortable to carry.  In the configuration mentioned above it's no thicker than my wallet so it's practically imperceptible.  It does use CR123a batteries, so it's a bit more bulky than other single-cell options on the market.  Also, without a clip the flashlight can find its way to uncomfortable positions.

Total:  17/20

In sum, the Nitecore EX11.2 is a great little light.  The UI is a bit clunky, but is overall functional.  It can be carried well and works hard; really that's all you can ask from an EDC light.


  1. Do you still prefer this light? I cannot and will not go back to a light that uses a cr123.. I had a xenon one for years (before led) and they are way hard to find out and about. So i stick with lights that use AA or AAA.. They are making leaps and bounds nowadays with the LED diodes, output on quite a few AA and even AAA lights hit or exceed the 200lm ratings. 100lm is effective for a pocket light in my opinion.. I thought about a light that had the recharge station for when you got home, but i like the idea that AA batteries are everywhere and AAA work with some foil in a pinch...

    1. I still prefer it insomuch as it's still in my work bag that I commute with daily. I don't have the need for it often so the limited availability of batteries (and their comparably high expense) hasn't bothered me enough to make a switch.

      My next light will likely be either an AA or AAA light, though, as they're always slimmer and, as you noted, are usually more than adequate for everyday use.