The Nitecore EDC27 is a superb EDC flashlight, with a host of modern features that will change the EDC flashlight game for you.
“EDC” is a fascinating concept, especially when mind-surfing the idea with a prepper or survivalist’s mindset. If you surf Instagram and the great online web for the term “EDC dump”, you’ll find myriad self-congratulatory cellphone pics of what people deem necessary to carry with them every day. For the ones of you who are on the internet for the first time, “EDC” is an acronym for “Every Day Carry”, or the kit that one has on their person every day.
These EDC dump pictures always draw my attention for a bit; while there are certainly those EDC pistol hipsters who took out a second mortgage to impress others with the shiny, barely-used gear they get to post online for posterity, there are also those who have thought the concept through, and have genuinely useful gear in a well-sorted package. Usually, some will have multiple gearsets for their perceived needs in different day-to-day situations.
Well-sorted, quality gear is always the name of the game I strive to win – or at least get a participation ribbon in anyway. One bit of EDC gear I learned a long time ago to always have on my person is a dependable, high quality flashlight – this accompanies a solid folding knife and a lighter as my minimum out-the-door payload.
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EDC Flashlights from a Survivalist’s Perspective
I always have a small-to-smallish sized flashlight on my person when I head out the door, and a larger, more robust tactical flashlight in a pack or in my truck nearby. While my tried and true Streamlight Microstream is the usual companion, its tiny rechargeable AAA battery really doesn’t have the capacity to handle long-term illumination events without needing a replacement battery or recharge session.
There’s no free cake; its delightful slim profile is great for EDC but small packaging means small battery means small runtime. To that end, I usually have an extra battery taped to the light or a powerbank I can use to charge the light if needed. Since there is no charge indicator, I am hampered by only being able to guess at the available charge after using it a few times over a couple of days. And once you have an EDC light, it gets used a LOT.
EDC flashlights have always proven to be a guessing game for me – and I’m assuming you as well. Do I keep carrying a small flashlight with minimited output and capacity, knowing it is unobtrusive and fulfills almost all daily light requirements – yet knowing that if there was a dedicated disaster with a grid-down situation, I’d better have a better option or a plan B in the illumination world ready to roll nearby.
So there it is – carry a small flashlight with low(er) output and low runtime and low profile for convenience, or be dragged down by carrying a more powerful, longer-lasting flashlight and dealing with its specialized batteries and larger dimensions? Aye, there’s the rub.
Or, rather, aye, that WAS the rub….
The EDC Flashlight Revolution – Enter the Nitecore EDC27
At SHOT Show 2023, I saw a lot of flashlights. So many that indeed, they ran together in blurred black barrels in my memory and almost none of them stood out. However, one truly did, and I saw it at the Nitecore booth.
The lovely ladies at the SHOT Nitecore booth saw me scanning their very innovative selections – mostly I was looking at their new big power banks which looked great, but after talking to me and asking me what interested me in the flashlight world, they steered me over to the flashlight area and handed me a game changer of a flashlight.
- SUPER BRIGHT FLASHLIGHT- The Nitecore EDC27 is a high performance EDC flashlight capable of a 3000 lumen max and a max beam throw of 240 yards.
- ULTRA SLIM EDC FLASHLIGHT - Designed to easily carry in pocket, the EDC27 is only half inch thick flat shape with a strong clip
The Nitecore EDC27 they slid into my palms was so drastically different that it stuck in my mind, and I didn’t really have any time to really look at it and appreciate all it had to offer. I exchanged cards with the NItecore crew and touched base with them via email several weeks later.
We had a few very cordial emails back and forth, and soon a new Nitecore EDC27 was in my mailbox. In the weeks after I left SHOT, I’d kind of forgotten what the EDC27 was about. Just a moment with the sleek EDC27 in my hands and it all came rushing back: the EDC27 is an absolute game changer of an every day carry flashlight.
Let’s dig into what makes the Nitecore EDC27 well worth your consideration.
The Nitecore EDC27 and Its Features
Two features of the Nitecore EDC27 fly in the face of standard flashlight convention. The first feature one appreciates while holding an EDC27 is the size and shape. Where most tactical or EDC flashlights are round in the body to accommodate tubular batteries, the EDC27 is wider and flat on its sides, with a fixed internal battery with a capacity of 1,700 mAh.
The main portion of the EDC27’s PVD titanium-coated body is just over a half-inch in thickness (0.56”), making it substantially less substantial than most tactical flashlights, which routinely run 1”-1 ⅛” thick bodies to accommodate chonky CR123 or 18650 batteries.
My handy Stanley tape measure says the EDC27 is a shade over 1 ⅛” wide, and about 5 5/16” long from the two tail-mounted button controls out back to the impact-resistant lens that protects two Luminus SST40 LED emitters out front. The rear end of the flashlight does get thicker out back, about ⅞” thick when you take into account the very sturdy removable pocket clip and the extra bulk required for the real-time OLED Display.
Yep, I said display, which brings us to the second game-changing feature of the Nitecore EDC27: it has a display built into the side – the wide flat body of the light makes a perfect location. At roughly 1/2” wide x 1/4” tall, you’re not going to be watching the Bruins game on this little display. However, the display provides you all the knowledge required to keep you up to date on the performance of your Nitecore EDC27.
Perhaps the greatest addition to an EDC flashlight since the pocket clip, the OLED display of the Nitecore EDC27 keeps you absolutely updated on your flashlight. While you can’t select between the functions via a dedicated switch, as you use the features of the EDC27 the screen instantly updates.
The tiny screen will provide the following information: lock status, output level status, battery charge level via both a small picture of a battery (very much like a cellphone) as well as the available voltage of the battery. As you switch between the output settings, it will also let you know the output level displayed in lumens, as well as the total runtime left in the flashlight at the current output setting.
A simple display device provides an incredible amount of information about your flashlight; before you walk out the door for the day (or eternity) you can know if your battery needs a top-off or if it has sufficient juice left in its cell to keep you running for your day.
Absolute genius! As you flip through Nitecore’s website, you’ll notice that several of their flashlights are starting to boast these displays; I predict as time goes on you’ll see this feature crop up on new designs of flashlights everywhere; it’s that good.
Aside from the OLED screen revelation, the other favorite feature of mine is the Nitecore EDC27’s controls. Many tactical/EDC flashlights bestow upon its users a multitude of switches, tail caps, buttons, multiple taps, and bezel twists to provide a light’s various features.
Long ago I gave up on ever buying lights with multiple control locations – for a light that can be used with gloves on and/or in high stress situations, one location and utter simplicity is the name of the game for me.
Nitecore must have been reading my mind, for they offer two buttons – both located on the tailcap. The main button, which protrudes out of the body about an eighth of an inch, provides the user with the main functionality of switching the power on and off, as well as the output selection.
With the light off, a full push down turns the light on and off at the last remembered output setting. A half-push of the button (there is a noticeable “hitch” in the button’s movement) cycles the output levels – 15, 65, 200, and 1,000 lumens.
The second, flush-mounted button is a bit larger, and provides the specialty options: If the light is off, a full push will activate the dizzying 3,000 lumen strobe. A half-push will activate the “Turbo” 3,000 lumen mode.
You must keep holding the button down to keep this output level running – and the screen shows a bar-type timer – when it runs all the way out, the light automatically throttles back output to the 1,000 lumen level in an effort to preserve battery life and combat heat buildup.
The Nitecore EDC27 also offers two excellent lockout modes to ensure the light won’t accidentally activate while being carried in your pocket. Lockout one still allows you to activate the strobe and turbo functions if needed, while the second lockout completely deactivates the buttons and the light is not accessible to use without going through the unlock procedure. It’s a slick setup and welcome in an EDC light.
The Rest of the Details
The Nitecore EDC 27’s list of features after the above are relatively standard fare EDC light additions: a sturdy (and detachable) stainless steel belt/pack/webbing clip, IPX4 water resistance rating and 1m impact resistance, lanyard loop (part of the clip), covered and sealed USB-C charging port, and sturdy casing with ample knurling for traction in wet, muddy, or bloody circumstances.
The advertised runtime of the light at its various output levels is as follows, all assuming a full battery charge, used only at that level:
|15 Lumens/55 Candela:||37 hours|
|65 Lumens/270 Candela:||11 hours|
|200 Lumens/840 Candela:||3 hours, 45 minutes|
|1,000 Lumens/4,340 Candela:||1 hour, 45 minutes|
|3,000 Lumens/12,200 Candela||not listed, personally but timed at 10 seconds before throttling back output|
I timed the 1,000 Lumen output setting from a full charge and got 1 hour, 34 minutes, for what it’s worth. The small-ish 1,700 mAh battery (3,000 mAh and up is starting to be standard for tactical lights with 18650 batteries) limits overall life but if you can live with keeping your luminescent levels low, it has a very useful lifetime – and remember, you can check at the tap of a button how much juice you have left remaining.
The Nitecore EDC27 is advertised as having a 220 meter throw distance at the full 3,000 lumen setting. At a local 200 yard sandpit test, I can say that you CAN illuminate at that range, but the light’s wide, flood-type beam isn’t going to do you any favors in the target identification department – it’s meant to be more of a local area light, which it is very good at.
The Nitecore EDC27 in Action
Nitecore was generous enough to let me have the EDC27 for an extended period of time before I wrote this review, so that I could use the light as my primary carry light and really dig in to its usefulness. Here’s my review after four months of EDC carry with the Nitecore EDC27.
From the moment you grab the light for the first time, you really notice and appreciate the light’s wide, flat profile. The light orients itself in your hand naturally in the flesh between your palm and the second knuckle, and its texture and design characteristics means it stays there with no issues, even when wet.
The flattened design lends itself very well to an EDC front-pocket carry – the method I primarily used. Going from a diminutive Streamlight Microstream to this larger light definitely took some getting used to, but since it is no thicker than the Streamlight the transition was easy. The real issue I had with the light for every day carry was the length.
[amazon box =”B07DLZXZV1″
The light itself took up a lot of real estate deep in the pocket and printed when sitting, which is really no big deal. However, the light rides high and sits out of the pocket a solid inch. The buttons are fully exposed and easily bumped on – so the lock feature was handy and a good idea.
However, when you have to unlock the light just to use a low power setting, the process can be a bit tedious – though it doesn’t take long. Sometimes you don’t need a strobe or 3,000 lumens just to pick your dropped car keys up off the ground on a dark night.
However, in chatting with the Nitecore rep, I was assured that they are introducing out a shorter version of the Nitecore EDC27, which I would absolutely relish – hopefully the pocket clip mounting location can be moved a bit to allow lower, more protected carry.
The Nitecore EDC27 certainly attracted its fair share of attention, mostly good but some bad. I was in an art museum and a security guard stopped me because he thought it was a folding knife in my pocket, when weapons weren’t allowed in the building. Once I showed it to the officer I was obviously cleared, but just know it’s a possibility going in; people aren’t used to seeing wide, flat lights.
My flashlight nerd buddies loved the EDC27, especially the flat profile and the control setup and the minimal amount of hassle to actuate the light. A state trooper friend enjoyed the traction of the flat design, and noted it was a perfect shape, size, and design to allow for kubaton-style wrist holds.
It was a thought that hadn’t occurred to me, but he’s absolutely right. The light isn’t, in my opinion, a tactical or defensive light, with no crenellations or protected lenses for bezel strikes – but used properly in a manner that protects the lens, its stainless steel construction and carbon fiber interior chassis are certainly up for a little rough-’n’-tumble time.
As I stated before, the beam generated from the two LED emitters is focused for a large, wide area of illumination. There are no appreciable hot spots, just a well-designed flood beam that is excellent for close-in duty. Walking my dogs down an abandoned railroad trail at night, the EDC27 provides more than enough light at its 200 lumen setting to keep the area around you well lit.
The EDC27 also was aces while working on a transmission under my car – its flat profile meant the light wasn’t rolling away anywhere, and the knurling on the sides of the body provided adequate grip when my hands were covered in transmission fluid.
How Has the Nitecore EDC27 Held Up?
After several months of serious EDC use, I can say that the Nitecore EDC27 has earned my respect. I am very hard on gear that comes with me everywhere – I don’t baby functional tools – and the EDC27 has plenty of scratches and scuffs but still comes up swinging. The light has been dropped in water, dropped down stairs by my 9-year-old boy, dragged across asphalt while I was underneath cars, left on a hot stove accidentally, and it has been a camping light on a couple trip occasions.
The Nitecore EDC27 has stood up to the abuse and has earned my respect. So much so that I misplaced my old Streamlight Microstream – my previous standard against which I hold all EDC flashlights – and I don’t even care. The Nitecore EDC 27 is a winner.
I’ll be looking on Nitecore’s website to keep an eye open for a smaller version of the EDC27, but for me, this light is now my go-to flashlight. Its innovative design features, blended with an excellent ruggedness mean that I don’t need to compromise on the EDC light choice. I can grab the Nitecore EDC27 and be confident that almost all my bases are covered in the hand-held flashlight world, and that truly means a lot to me.
A Nitecore EDC27 retails for about $90 USD, and I will tell you without hyperbole that this light is worth every penny. Get you one. If you don’t like it I’ll buy it off you.
Now…how do I get a pressure switch and mount it to an AR?