ThorFire TK18 Tactical LED Flashlight Review

Today I’m reviewing the ThorFire TK18. As a company, ThorFire has produced some nice flashlights, and the TK18 is now one of several that I’ve tested. So far I’ve been quite pleased!

Non-descript Packaging

ThoreFire TK18 package

Everything comes in a plain brown box with a simple label to describe the contents. The flashlight is bubble-wrapped, and accompanied by a pocket clip, spare o-rings, a 3000mAh 18650 battery*, a USB charging cable, and a single bay battery charger.

* battery and charger accessories are included in the “full” package only

Specifications 

Cree XP-L2 LED

  • Weight; 4.79 oz
  • Length; 5.2″
  • LED; XP-L2
  • Reflector; orange peel
  • Impact Resistant to 1 meter
  • Runs on either ‘one’ 18650 rechargeable, or ‘two’ CR123 disposable, or ‘two’ 16340 rechargeable, or ‘two’ 18350 rechargeable
  • Waterproof to 2 meters (IPX-8)
  • Working voltage to 8.4

Features

  • Mode memory
  • Two selectable operating platforms; standard mode and ramping mode
  • Voltage indicator
  • Scratch resistant, A/R coated lens
  • Tail stand capability
  • Separate mode selector switch
  • Tactical operation via the tail switch

Modes and Output

Under the standard mode setting, there are five modes;

  • Low – 3 lumens
  • Medium – 100 lumens
  • High – 500 lumens
  • Turbo – 1200 lumens
  • Bike strobe – 1200 lumens

Under the ramping setting, any output between 3 lumens and 1200, can be selected.

Operating the ThorFire TK18

Good battery

Weak battery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the tail switch to activate the light. In the regular mode setting, short-press the side switch to change the mode. Once either ‘turbo’ or ‘low’ has been reached, continuing presses will go in the OPPOSITE direction… i.e ‘turbo to low’, then ‘medium to turbo’. Make sense?

To activate ‘bike strobe’ quickly press the side switch three times in succession. One click returns to the previous mode.

Changing the Operating Platform

While the light is on, quickly click the side switch FOUR times. A short ‘blink’ will confirm the change. If you were previously in the regular modes, you’ll now be in ‘ramping’ mode. To change output from here, press and hold the side switch, until the output you want is reached. During the ramp, a blink confirms when the lights output has reached either the minimum or the maximum.

Beams, Glorious Beams!

On low

Medium

Thorfire TK18 on high

High

On medium

Thorfire TK18 on high

On high

Thorfire TK18 on turbo

On turbo

Thorfire TK18 on turbo

Turbo

On high mode

ThorFire TK18 on turbo

On turbo mode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voltage Indicator & Stepdown

When the flashlight is switched on with a battery that’s 3.4v or higher, the center of the side switch will illuminate in green. As voltage drops, green will change to orange. At 3 volts or lower, orange becomes red… and the indicator will flash, until the light itself shuts off.

To prevent overheating, a thermal stepdown takes control of the light after three minutes on turbo… knocking it back to high mode. Meanwhile if it’s on ramping, it’ll drop to 50% power, after three minutes.

Using the Single-Bay Charger 

The charger

Using a USB connector, insert an 18650 battery positive end up into the bay. The green LED on the charger will turn red once the battery is seated, then return to green when finished.

So, What’s the Final Word?

The ThorFire TK18 is pretty good budget flashlight. For the price it’s sold at, it has some decent credentials. Having the ramping option is nice, but I think I prefer the regular modes. And because it’s a cheaper light, there aren’t any “on demand” modes except for bike-strobe.

The beam is nice too, with good color temperature and uniformity. And virtually no artifacts can be seen either.  This is partly due to the orange peel reflector.

Accessories that come with the full package are good. The charger, although very basic, seems to run at a relatively high current… which is good, and the 3000mAh battery is of acceptable quality as well.

For a chance to own the ThorFire TK18, click here to see their product page at Banggood.com. You can also save a few bucks by entering code “6a3b6a” at checkout  😉

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2 Comments:

  1. Excellent article – detailed and highly descriptive. I ordered one after reading the review. Keep up the good work.
    One question – what is the date (month/year) of this article? If the date is listed I cant
    find it.

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