Nextorch TA40

Nextorch has long been pushing innovation as its premier product. The TA40 tries to capture some of that innovation and inject it into a more tactical torch than is normally seen in this lineup.

A sleek looker.

Nextorch TA40

Meat and Potatoes

Generally speaking, the lights from Nextorch I have seen have been interesting to say the least. With the exception of the WL10, a dedicated Weaponlight, none have presented themselves as particularly durable or heavy-duty, preferring instead to offer customization as their primary feature. Nextorch has taken initiative with the TA40, aiming for a more traditional market. Physical build quality is where the different target proves most apparent.

Fit and finish of the TA40 far exceeds that found on the MyTorch line of lights. I didn’t find those to be particularly lacking, rather instead finding the TA40 to feel exceptionally well put-together. Intentionally thought out grooves, plenty of bevels and chamfers, and a subtly aggressive steel bezel display a polish not seen on the previous models I’ve tested. The light feels good in hand. It’s weighted well and balanced right.

Sitting behind the anti-reflective coated window, at the base of a smooth reflector, is a Cree XM-L2 that’s being driven to output 800 lumens on high. There’s no question that this torch is capable of producing a lot of light. It’s middle ground focus leaves you with a beam that’s well balanced between flood and throw and thereby useful in most situations. There are some slight artifacts in mine, but they are very minor and only noticeable under careful examination on smooth surfaces. The mottled textures and inherent variability of real-world usage remove this from consideration at all.

This end toward enemy.

Cree XM-L2

The TA40 is powered by either a pair of CR123A cells, or the increasingly common 18650 Li-ion, with the advantage being given to the rechargeable option. The TA40 joins the growing ranks of lights that have onboard charging capability. This time the needed cable only uses the standard USB on one end, with a unique round plug to connect to the torch. I don’t know if it’s officially a proprietary design, but good luck finding another one except direct from Nextorch if ever it gets misplaced. Thankfully you aren’t required to use any particular type of 18650. Any of the ones you already have laying around will work.

Disposable, or rechargeable?

Power options

Constructive Criticism

The brighter lights become, the more necessary it is to have multiple output modes available. There’s many a time when 600, 800, 1000 lumens is simply too much light for a given situation. Times where high output becomes more of a hindrance than a benefit. It’s always nice to see how multimode output is implemented. In the TA40, Nextorch had again used their brilliant Dual-switch technology that functions both with the momentary-on capability of a forward clicky, but retaining the usefulness of a reverse clicky when it comes to power cycling to change modes. I cannot say enough good about this design. Why this comes up here is not the method of switching modes, but rather the modes themselves. Each of the three lower-lumen modes comes with its own distinctive pitch of electronic whine in decibel levels I haven’t before associated with flashlights. These are unacceptable levels of sound in my opinion. I have only been able to thoroughly test longevity and usefulness of the lower outputs (which are great, by the way) in my already loud work environment where the squealing is drowned out by incessant machine sounds. My dog even perks his ears up, from the other side of the house, whenever I fire up a low mode. Admittedly, it’s a little quieter on 18650’s than on CR123A cells, but the whine is still present.

Once again a company tries to make a tailcap both accessible and capable of tailstanding. Nextorch’s attempt however may just be the most comical of any I’ve tried so far. Because of the location of the charging port, the go-pedal on the TA40 is located dramatically off-center. Nextorch used this as a reason to only provide the cutout in the tailstanding ring on one side. They are making the assumption that this flashlight will only be held and used one way which works out as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now that the light has been designed that way, there is only one direction where it is comfortably possible to access the switch. If you happen to pick it up in some other orientation, you must first spend a moment shuffling the light around in your hand until the switch presents itself to your hand. This is a poor design that directly affects usability.

Now there's your problem...

TA40 Tailcap

Conclusions

I’ve used better. There are some real things to like about the Nextorch TA40. The output is stellar, the beam focus is great, and the physical build quality is reminiscent of the best I’ve seen. The problems come in though with that tailcap that is only accessible from one direction and the potent electronic noise. Maybe other individual units won’t suffer nearly as badly from that, but my sample has serious issues.

Sleek and beautiful.

Nextorch TA40

Provided for review by the kind folks at Nextorch.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve had some issues with using some 18650 rechargeable batteries in mine. Where the + side of the battery contacts a spring at the front of the flashlight, it doesn’t always seat properly. The spring wants to slide off of the small + side contact when screwing the tail piece on. Sometimes when it does make good contact, you can smack the flashlight against your hand and the spring will slide off of the + contact. This seems like a huge design flaw and needs to be corrected. I really liked the flashlight until that happened. It doesn’t do it using CR123 batteries. Maybe it’s the added pressure on the spring of the bigger 18650 batteries?

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