Review: New Thorfire TK4A 4xAA Flashlight (2016)

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tru3s1lv3r
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Review: New Thorfire TK4A 4xAA Flashlight (2016)

Hello all,

Thorfire has asked for a review of their new TK4A flashlight. It is a single XP-L light that runs off of 4x AA batteries.

According to the User Manual, the light on turbo puts out 1100 lumens. I find this to be pretty close by my comparison to some other similar rated output lights.

This is the box the light arrived in. Pretty standard packaging from Thorfire.

The light came protected by some foam in the box. Inside, there was the “Happy” card that Thorfire sends with each of its flashlights, a small bag with a lanyard and some spare o-rings, the light itself in a bubble wrap bag, and a holster.


User Manual

Here is the light in my hand. I have fairly large hands, but the light feels good to hold. Not too big, not too small. Good knurling on the battery tube ensures a decent grip.

A closeup of the XP-L emitter. As you can see it has the dome on so it isn’t as throwy as the XP-L HI. It makes this light more of a general purpose light opposed to a dedicated thrower. The lens also appears to have an AR coating on it.

Here is the battery end. As you can see it has four round areas to fit the four AA batteries. Be careful inserting them as each slot doesn’t hold the battery tight and they can slide out of alignment as you are putting them in.

A size comparison to my other multi-AA lights. On the left if the Thorfire, then a Blackshadow Padme, followed by the Nitecore EA41 Pioneer. The light is a biot shorter than the other two. I measured the diameter of the light to be 1.610”, and the length at 4.415”.


(Some more close ups)

Operation reminds me of the Skillhunt headlamps, it has a momentary switch on the side. One press turns the light on. It has last mode memory, so if you leave the light on in one mode for >3sec, then the light will come back on in that mode. When ON, one short press will cycle through the 4 normal modes, low, med, high, and turbo. A double click from ON will put the light into strobe mode, another short click will return to the previous mode. Hold the switch from ON for 2 sec and the light will turn OFF. From OFF, hold the switch and the light will go into a moonlight mode. One more short press will turn it back off. The UI is fairly intuitive and easy to use. There is a little light inside the switch that activates when the light is turned ON and blinks twice when the light is turned OFF. I am not sure if it is a battery indicator light or not as I have no other batteries to test with. Edit: I put some fresh AA’s in the light and now the switch lights up green instead of red. It is a battery indicator.


(The little light in the switch)

I will take some beam shots tonight after it gets dark to show the profile a bit more.

I don’t believe this light is available for sale yet, but I will update this review when it does list.

I had a bit of trouble with the light after using it a little bit. I noticed when setting it down on the counter with the LED facing up, it would blink. I am thinking that there is an aluminum reflector and it is possibly coming into contact with the lead wires from the shock of being set down. The head is sealed unit and I cannot access the internals. Thorfire does state the light cannot be disassembled by the user in the manual. It is pretty solidly glued in place. This may just be a review sample and there won’t be this issue on the final run, but I am contacting Thorfire to let them know of the issue.

Overall, this light is a winner in my book, even with the issue. The modes are very well spaced and the user interface is easy to learn and use. I do not know how much the lights costs as of yet, but I will post here as soon as I know.

Thanks for looking!

-Tru3s1lv3r

Edit: Thanks to RobertB for some investigative work who found the light on Amazon.com for list price of $99.

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Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:48
The Miller
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Ha Barry from Thorfire send me this one as a surprise.
I like it. Even so much I ordered eneloops for it.
Love the feel and power from humble AA cells, very cool.

The tail has a rotating PCB and can only be screwed on when two alingment pins have to proper orientation, smart solution

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Great review Thumbs Up
I really like the battery indicator.

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Please don’t glue the lights…that’s how your brands get noticed anyway…from people here modding them!! Too all manufacturers…not that you all will see this any way, lol.

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djburkes wrote:
Please don’t glue the lights…that’s how your brands get noticed anyway…from people here modding them!! Too all manufacturers…not that you all will see this any way, lol.

Yea, I thought this too, but after taking apart my nitecore ea41 to mod it, I understand why they would. Once everything is oriented inside the head, they glue it to keep it in place. When I went to disassemble mine, all of the wires to the switch pcb tore off. It is very difficult to mod these style lights, at least in my experience. But, in Thorfires defense, this is the first light of theors that I’ve had that was glued. All my others from them have been easy to take apart,of course YMMV.

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The Miller wrote:
Ha Barry from Thorfire send me this one as a surprise.
I like it. Even so much I ordered eneloops for it.
Love the feel and power from humble AA cells, very cool.

The tail has a rotating PCB and can only be screwed on when two alingment pins have to proper orientation, smart solution

It makes for a good solution to get more voltage overhead for the driver. A whole lot easier to buck 6v to a 3v emitter than boost 1.5v. Nitecore does this and I’m sure there are others. Rather ingenious if you ask me.

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I know we don’t even have a price to compare to yet (which I find quite curious….doubly so since I just received, to my surprise, the Thorfire TD26 diving light they were asking for a review for in the same thread as the TK4A….and NEITHER shows up on any Google search for me outside of these forum posts)…..BUT….would it be possible to get at least a minimal comparison the the Nitecore EA41? I’ve considered getting one of these for my father-in-law because he works with EMT’s, volunteer fire rescue etc, and he has somewhat of an objection to rechargeable and non-typical battery types.

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

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Wonder how this will compare price wise to the Thrunite TN4A? The TN4A is one of the cheapest 4x AA lights I know of with pretty reasonable performance. I like the looks of this light.

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cdjaney wrote:
I know we don’t even have a price to compare to yet (which I find quite curious….doubly so since I just received, to my surprise, the Thorfire TD26 diving light they were asking for a review for in the same thread as the TK4A….and NEITHER shows up on any Google search for me outside of these forum posts)…..BUT….would it be possible to get at least a minimal comparison the the Nitecore EA41? I’ve considered getting one of these for my father-in-law because he works with EMT’s, volunteer fire rescue etc, and he has somewhat of an objection to rechargeable and non-typical battery types.

TK4A Shows up on an Amazon search

Quite surprised at the $100 price tag. Was expecting more like 40 to 60 dollars.

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RobertB wrote:

TK4A Shows up on an Amazon search

Quite surprised at the $100 price tag. Was expecting more like 40 to 60 dollars.

Thanks RobertB, added to the OP.

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cdjaney wrote:
I know we don’t even have a price to compare to yet (which I find quite curious….doubly so since I just received, to my surprise, the Thorfire TD26 diving light they were asking for a review for in the same thread as the TK4A….and NEITHER shows up on any Google search for me outside of these forum posts)…..BUT….would it be possible to get at least a minimal comparison the the Nitecore EA41? I’ve considered getting one of these for my father-in-law because he works with EMT’s, volunteer fire rescue etc, and he has somewhat of an objection to rechargeable and non-typical battery types.

I could compare it to my nitecore ea41, but it would hardly be an equal comparison. My nitecore has been modded to use an xhp35 led. Before the mod, however, I would consider these lights to be about equal. The Nitecore has a different UI utilizing two buttons, one for mode changes and one for turning the light on/off.

I will say though, the Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries will give better runtime and output on these lights without all the dangers of lithium secondaries. I know some people have an aversion to rechargeables, but eneloops are a good way to get introduced to them.

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RobertB wrote:
cdjaney wrote:
I know we don’t even have a price to compare to yet (which I find quite curious….doubly so since I just received, to my surprise, the Thorfire TD26 diving light they were asking for a review for in the same thread as the TK4A….and NEITHER shows up on any Google search for me outside of these forum posts)…..BUT….would it be possible to get at least a minimal comparison the the Nitecore EA41? I’ve considered getting one of these for my father-in-law because he works with EMT’s, volunteer fire rescue etc, and he has somewhat of an objection to rechargeable and non-typical battery types.

TK4A Shows up on an Amazon search

Quite surprised at the $100 price tag. Was expecting more like 40 to 60 dollars.

That’s crazy….it still doesn’t show up on a Google search for me…even putting in amazon with the search. The only way i get there is with your link or searching for the light specifically on amazon store. Google got some catching up to do i guess.

$100 Shocked I was hoping for $30-$40, hence, a reasonably priced alternative to the Nitecore EA41, especially after I got their PF04 penlight that was quite impressive for $20 (compared to my $50 retail 4sevens Preon P2……mind you I did NOT pay $50 for that light).

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

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tru3s1lv3r wrote:
I could compare it to my nitecore ea41, but it would hardly be an equal comparison. My nitecore has been modded to use an xhp35 led. Before the mod, however, I would consider these lights to be about equal. The Nitecore has a different UI utilizing two buttons, one for mode changes and one for turning the light on/off.

I will say though, the Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries will give better runtime and output on these lights without all the dangers of lithium secondaries. I know some people have an aversion to rechargeables, but eneloops are a good way to get introduced to them.

Oh well…thanks anyway! And i totally understand the eneloops direction…got many myself (and Amazon re-brands), but there’s just some topics you learn aren’t worth trying to change a father-in-law’s mind about…..ya know?

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

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cdjaney wrote:
tru3s1lv3r wrote:
I could compare it to my nitecore ea41, but it would hardly be an equal comparison. My nitecore has been modded to use an xhp35 led. Before the mod, however, I would consider these lights to be about equal. The Nitecore has a different UI utilizing two buttons, one for mode changes and one for turning the light on/off.

I will say though, the Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries will give better runtime and output on these lights without all the dangers of lithium secondaries. I know some people have an aversion to rechargeables, but eneloops are a good way to get introduced to them.

Oh well…thanks anyway! And i totally understand the eneloops direction…got many myself (and Amazon re-brands), but there’s just some topics you learn aren’t worth trying to change a father-in-law’s mind about…..ya know?

Haha, I know that one for sure!

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Nope I’m out at 100 buck

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RobertB wrote:
cdjaney wrote:
I know we don’t even have a price to compare to yet (which I find quite curious….doubly so since I just received, to my surprise, the Thorfire TD26 diving light they were asking for a review for in the same thread as the TK4A….and NEITHER shows up on any Google search for me outside of these forum posts)…..BUT….would it be possible to get at least a minimal comparison the the Nitecore EA41? I’ve considered getting one of these for my father-in-law because he works with EMT’s, volunteer fire rescue etc, and he has somewhat of an objection to rechargeable and non-typical battery types.

TK4A Shows up on an Amazon search

Quite surprised at the $100 price tag. Was expecting more like 40 to 60 dollars.

I’ve just bought a Nitecore EA45S for $40 including shipping, so I can’t see myself buying this light. Shame as it looks nice. I wonder what the regulation is like?

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Say what?!? $100 !?
Ah yeah there it is (the monkey is coming out of the sleeve Wink for us Dutchies Big Smile )
“From 99 for only 49”
Sigh one just got to love Simon who puts a fair price on his lights and that is it.
But OT with another Dutch saying “the soup is not eaten as hot as it is being served”

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The price is more inline with Crelant’s XPL-HI version of the 4 AA

http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_432312.html

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If I were purchasing this light, I’m of the opinion that $49 is a tad on the premium side. I guess Thorfire is aligning it’s prices with manufacturers like Nitecore and Olight.

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I really like 4AA lights… love my EA41.

Hope this comes into the 30 dollar range. I’d definitely pick one up…

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There just aren’t enough budget 4xaa lights out there. Hopefully this settles down to $35 eventually.

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tru3s1lv3r wrote:
If I were purchasing this light, I’m of the opinion that $49 is a tad on the premium side. I guess Thorfire is aligning it’s prices with manufacturers like Nitecore and Olight.

I think it is quite reasonable if, and only if, the regulation is good. The current reviews are pretty sketchy being at the “Wow, this is good” level.

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Mine is now using 4 alkaline AA cells. They were dirt cheap, €0.65 for 8
Awaiting the Eneloops.
I use it a few times a day for no longer then 5 minutes and first day a bit more, even during the day to see if and how it worked.
So it is used for about 2 hours now and I do not see it get dimmer, the trees at 50 meters are nicely lit and the owl screaming his/hers lungs out at night still chooses another tree much further away when I shine on him/her
Will do actual run test with rechargeable cells as soon as they are in Wink
BUT 1 with the Q8 we work with Thorfire and 2 they send it for free, giving two strikes in terms of objectivity so only if I also would have commercial interests I would be a worse person to “review” it then I am now.

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Beat me to it lightx. Also, the Amazon price is down to $45. It’s still not yet listed on the thorfire direct site. I might need to pick up some eneloops.

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tru3s1lv3r wrote:
If I were purchasing this light, I’m of the opinion that $49 is a tad on the premium side. I guess Thorfire is aligning it’s prices with manufacturers like Nitecore and Olight.

It was a bit premium at 42.99, but decided to buy. It seemed like the best option in its segment, AA powered high output lights(all 4*AA). No complaints except a very misaligned emitter, worse than I ever saw in a $5 light. Overall this makes me rate it one out of five at that price despite otherwise functioning flawlessly. Embarrassing as any AA light I buy is not for my own personal use. Big Smile
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I don’t know if the code is still active but there was 20% coupon code which had brought the price on Amazon to $32.

PeterRamish wrote:
1/2 Power NiMH 18 140 355 1055

Why not check the brightness using freshly charged NiMH? I guess either way it shows that the output is still great with depleted batteries.

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This light can be bought as ThorFire or Sofirn on AliExpress for around 23 Dollars.
You don’t even get half a DQG ‘fat tiny’ for that. Smile

I think it’s an interesting light for those who don’t want to go Li-Ion.

2Q19

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PeterRamish wrote:
EDIT II: Well, I have done a few run time tests. To jump to the bottom line here, without a lot of fancy graphs or numbers to clog up this post: Here is the deal: I am disappointed in the result. The issue is not really this light, but the engineering limits of 4x NiMH. It is just yesterdays technology, and there is no getting around that. Watching this light run for 4 hours on NiMH reminds me of the old Incandescent Streamlight Days, in other words, it starts out dim and just gets dimmer in a linear progression to Zero.

Hmmm… WalkIntoTheLight did long runtime tests and his results show that the output is nearly flat and ~11 hours on Medium.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54217

I only did a runtime test for 45 minutes starting from Turbo but the <15 minutes on Medium were flat.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54434

This light does have timed stepdowns from Turbo and High though.

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Here is my TK4. Definitely more compact than Thrunite TN4.
Tint is 5500K which is quite acceptable, considering price I paid.
Modes are changin little bit slowly. Glass looks strange, like it is plastic.
Anyway, perfect flashlight for my car glove compartment.

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