Review: ThorFire TK4A 4xAA Flashlight 1100 Lumens XPL (Mother Approved)

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WillyD
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Review: ThorFire TK4A 4xAA Flashlight 1100 Lumens XPL (Mother Approved)

ThorFire sent me this TK4A 4xAA XPL flashlight for review.
Link to TK4A on ThorFire’s Amazon store (non-affiliate).

There are several other very nice reviews of this light on BLF. Going to reference ImA4Wheelr’s review a couple of times.

Overview/Specs/Facts

Product description from Amazon:
With up to 1100 lumens maximum output and 6 modes to choose from, ThorFire TK4A could be on of the most powerful and versatile AA flashlights. Furthermore, this powerful AA light also has mode memory for easy operation, it remembers the brightness level you use most (you need to stay at the mode for longer than 3 seconds ).

Specifications
Modes: Low/Mid/High/Turbo, hidden Strobe and Moonlight
Lifetime: with a lifespan of 20 years
Battery: Uses 4*AA Ni MH / Ni Cd/Alkaline(Not Included)
Material: Made of Aircraft-grade aluminum
Size:approx 115mm(Length) * 41mm(Body Diameter)
Weight: 178.5-gram weight (Excluding the battery)
Water resistant: IPX-8, underwater 2m
Impact resistant: 1m
Intensity: 11600cd (Max)
Distance: 460m (Max)

Battery Capacity Display
The switch button have a battery indicator light. The light will displaying “Green”, if the battery capacity is higher than 50%. If it is lower than 50%, it will turn to “Orange”. When it less than 15%, it will changed to “Red”.

Operation
Click the side switch to turn on, keep on clicking to change brightness levels from Low-Medium-High-Turbo, double click to activate Strobe mode, and another click goes back to the previous brightness level, press and hold the switch to turn off. When the light is off, press and hold to activate Moonlight mode, click to turn off.With the light OFF, press and hold the side switch for 1 second goes to Moonlight.

Intelligent Memory Circuit
The flashlight will memorize the last used (more than 3 seconds) brightness level. The next time you turn the flashlight on, it will activate on the last used output.

Package includes
> 1 x ThorFire TK4A flashlight
> 1 x Use Manual
> 1 x Lanyard
_> 1 x Carry Pouch _
> 2 x O-ring

To get an idea of the size, here it is next to a ThorFire C8.

TK4A on right. Outer diameter of reflector is 36.4mm and inner diameter is 29.7mm. AR coated lens is 36.4mm and pretty thick at 2.1mm. Reflector is about 3.5mm thick at the outer edge, so ID seems significantly smaller than OD.

4 AA batteries slide in the back. All pretty standard with the alignment posts.

All my testing was done with a brand new set of regular old Energizer alkaline batteries.

(Switched to phone camera in remainder of pics. Sorry for any blurriness, but it’s difficult at times to get in decent pics while running tests.)

The modes include Low, Med, High, Turbo, and hidden Moonlight and Strobe. Driver does have memory mode. Both ML and strobe are easy to access. With light off, hold button for 1 second and ML is engaged. Double-click with light on to enter strobe.
ImA4Wheelr mentioned the slow-mode changing and another review referred to it as a delay. This is definitely noticeable. I wouldn’t call it a delay. The VG15S is what I would refer to as a delay. On that light there is an actual pause after the button is pressed before the mode changes. The TK4A has more of a ramping effect to the next mode when the button is pressed. There is no actual delay to the start of the ramping when the button is pressed, but this does cause a noticeable transition to the next mode. I personally find it to be very smooth, but I do understand the concern it could cause. It does indeed take longer to scroll through the modes which might be annoying to the user and others around. We are only talking a fraction of a second here, but does slow down one’s ability to quickly scroll through the modes.

After my 4th attempt to disassemble this light, I finally got it open to where I could do some readings directly at the LED. I opened a Harbor Freight DMM and soldered the leads directly to the board.

With new Energizer AA Alkalines:
Moonlight 0.00A
Low 0.05A
Med 0.50A
High 1.28A
Turbo 3.04A

According to my readings directly at the emitter, this light should certainly put out 1,100 lumens. ImA4Wheelr referenced djozz’s XPL test which rates the XPL at over 1,200 lumens at 3A.

The manual and product page both list the throw at 11.6kcd. Before even measuring, I knew this was way off. The throw was more C8 level…especially with this size reflector. I measured 25kcd at 3 meters and the same (25,470cd) at 10 meters. Two other reviewers measured in the same ballpark as me, so ThorFire, you’re incorrect…in a good way.

The XPL seemed to be on the lower edge of CW, so it’s not bad.

The button has a light which indicates battery level.
Higher than 50% = Green
Lower than 50% = Orange
Lower than 15% = Red

I can confirm with pictures green and red work. I’ll be darned if I missed the orange indicator twice waiting around to drain batteries for a pic of it. Rather than running through another set of new AA batteries, I was using AAs from remotes, etc., but just couldn’t time myself right to catch that orange light.

I much prefer this way of lighting a button. I like the single solid dot in the middle. Maybe it’s just me, but some of the colored/smoked buttons with an internal led off to one side just looks sloppy and uneven.

The XPL emitter is mounted on an aluminum board held in place by 2 screws on an aluminum shelf/pill.

Once you pull the ‘shelf’ out, the 35mm driver is visible and held in place by 1 screw to the body.

Here’s a look at the threads. I received the light unlubed, and it felt it when unscrewing. Easily fixed by applying some lube. They are square. The typical TF threading has always been thicker from my observations. These are thinner…almost like fins. Maybe they were designed that way to grip the insane super glue they used to glue this thing shut.

Conclusion/Opinion
So why is this flashlight ‘Mother Approved’? Without going into too much detail, my mom is nuts. Since I was a child she thought she was invincible and could do whatever she wanted without consequence. She’s 4’11” tall and I recall her pulling off the side of the road as a kid while she would confront anyone who cut her off (even though it was probably her fault). I remember her slugging some Brazilian guy right in his face when he and a group of his friends cut in front of us at Disney World. She has totaled 3 cars and taken out 1 pole barn in the last 10 years. She has at least 10 cats. If you or anyone warns her not to do something, she will do it directly out of spite. “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do!” That being said, I made the mistake of looking for something in my yard one night using my modded S70. My mother was there, and of course, she had to have one. I explained the dangers of lithium batteries, and that you can’t just throw these things around however you choose. She didn’t like that answer and kept bringing up a flashlight every time I saw her. I tried selling her on some smaller single AA lights, but she wasn’t buying.

Thank you ThorFire! I gave her a TK4A and she seemed quite content. Seriously…thank you…she was driving me bonkers asking me for a flashlight every time I saw her.

I really like this AA light. Serious output using AA batteries. Huge pain in the rear if you want to open it up. I don’t really see any need to ever open it unless you want to change out the emitter. I tried heating it up several times with a propane torch, but it wouldn’t budge. I finally went past my comfort level with the torch and inserted a pair of rubber coated channel lock handles into the body. I wedged a prybar in between the handles and used a pair of rubber gloves to grip the head and twist it off. I have no idea what kind of glue this is, but it’s very good glue!

I compared this driver to the one Intracloud pulled from his unlabeled version. At first I thought they were the same, but there are some differences, so I’m not sure if they are the same light or not. Either way, I do think this is a quality AA light. The smooth reflector would probably work well with an XPL HI. I personally would like to find an OP reflector for this host and keep the XPL. Also, no crazy tiny wires going from the switch to the driver which is nice if you ever plan to open it up.

As stated, I used regular AA Alkalines. I’m sure better performing batteries could be used, but going by the amp readings, I only think run times would benefit. You can actually get max performance from the driver using normal AAs.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:48
ImA4Wheelr
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Excellent review and info WillyD.  Dig your pictures too.  This review really helps round out the knowledge base on this light.  Thank you

 

Based on the amount of residue in your pic, they glued your light down real good.  Congrats on cracking that baby open without hurting it.  I just wish Thorfire would use a weaker glue.  That way it will stay shut, but one could open it without risk of destroying the finish.

 

Thanks again Smile

Beachlogger
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Thanks for the review, does anyone have the crelant v4a and this light to compare both?

alphazeta
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thx 4 the review WillyD Thumbs Up

I enjoyed reading the tidbit on your mom too. Hope you have a great mother’s day with her next week.

Jensen567
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Thanks for the review! Been looking for someone that actually got this sucker apart. What are the reflector measurements? I too would like an OP reflector option. Really just prefer OP all around aside from a couple of dedicated thrower lights.

ezarc
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Just letting you know the images are broken. Imgur is probably the best for free hosting at the moment.

firedome
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It’s a shame the amount of excellent reviews that are now broken because of the new policy of Photobucket.

<p>“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.</p>
<p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato">Plato</a></p>

fran82
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99% of my reviews (since 2010) have lost the images. Not only photobucket suffers from this. Pity

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar