Review of the ThorFire 15 18650 flashlight

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SIGShooter
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Review of the ThorFire 15 18650 flashlight

Review of the Thorfire TK15 flashlight.

Disclosure: I was given a code to purchase the flashlight at a 99% discount. While some may feel that this will influence my review I don’t believe that to be the case.

Thorfire asked that I include a 20% off code for the TK15 when purchasing it from Amazon which I feel is reasonable since anyone interested in buying it can save money using it. Keep in mind that I am not getting anything for clicks or purchases using this link.

20% off code: VDZN5SKU
Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2uOG4aE

Packaging:
The flashlight arrived in a sturdy well packaged cardbox box held together by a sticker with the Thorfire label. Included with the light is a manual, an attached clip and 2 spare o-rings.

No lanyard was provided but this is not an issue for me since I never use them.

Official product description:
Product description

Operation:
The side switch controls all functions: click to turn on, click again to change brightness levels in order: Low/Mid/High/Turbo, Double click to activate hidden strobe mode; press and hold for 1 second to turn off. When the light is off, press and hold side switch to activate hidden moonlight mode.

Specification:
Cree XPL-2 V6 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years
Working voltage: 2.8V-8.4V
Reverse Polarity Protection to protect from improper battery installation
When voltage is above 8.4volt, circuit triggers high voltage protection
Low voltage indication: 2 blinks per second when voltage lower than 2.8V
IPX8 waterproof standard
Aircraft aluminum material with premium type III hard -anodized processing
Smooth reflector and lens made of anti-glare coating with high penetration durable glass

Package:
1* ThorFire TK15 flashlight with clip
2* spare o-rings
1* user manual

Warranty:
ThorFire promise to offer 18 month worry free warranty and helpful customer services, if you encounter any question, please feel free to contact us, we are glad to serve you and earn your 100% satisfaction.

Batteries:
All my flattop and protected batteries (Panasonic 3400 and Samsung 30Q) fit without issues.

Initial impressions:
Out-of-the box it is looks to me that it is a well made high quality EDC sized flashlight. There were no visible flaws in the black anodizing and the knurling and diamond patterns on the body make it easy to grip. The attached clip feels solid and durable and for me the tension on it is perfect for clipping it to my pants pocket or belt. And of course it makes the flashlight row resistant. Without the clip it is definitely not roll resistant but this is no different than other lights in its size and class and shape.

The square cut threads came lightly lubed and are anodized so the light can be physically locked out.

There are several dings and imperfections at the very top of the reflector but none of them show up in the beam.

The bezel is not glued so it’s easy to unscrew it to get access to the reflector and the led.

A reversed thread retaining ring holds the driver in the head. The 2 holes in the retaining ring are not centered correctly.

A thin o-ring fits into a reflector groove to keep water out of the light.

It’s possible to screw the tube in backwards but the threads at both ends are not the same length and the flashlight will not turn on.

The size of the TK15 is virtually the same as the Convoy S series lights and in my opinion is targeted at the same market.

Any holster that fits the Convoy S series lights will also fit the TK15.

Shown below left to right are the TK15, Convoy S2, Convoy S2+, and Convoy S6. As you can see the TK15 and Convoy S2 are virtually the same height and same width (5.05 × .98 vs 4.857 × .945 as measured using my analog calipers).

Switch:
The TK15 has a side switch while the Convoys of course use a tail switch.
- A short press will turn the light on in the last mode used
- Each additional short press cycles though L-M-H-T in that order
- A long press turns the light off
- A quick double press when the light is on will turn on the strobe/bike mode and a short press will return you to the last mode use. A long press turns the light off.
- A double press while in strobe/bike mode does nothing.
- From off a double press will turn the light on in strobe/bike mode. However you cannot get out of this mode unless you turn the light off (short press)
- A long press from off turns the light on in moon mode. Once in this mode you cannot get to the other modes until the light is turn off with a short press
- The switch is slight recessed so the flashlight is less likely to be accidentally turned on (which never happened to me).

Pros:
- Strobe/bike mode is hidden and easily accessible
- Moonlight is easily accessible without the need to cycle through the modes

Cons:
- If you start blinky mode from off you have to turn off the light in order to access the normal modes. Some may like this but I don’t.
- Moonlight cannot be accessed when in the normal modes.
- When in moonlight mode you have to turn off the flashlight to access the other modes.

Flaw in the switch/driver?
I noticed that when the head/tail is loosen for any reason that the light starts up in slow and constant blinks in either moonlight or normal mode depending on a short/long press of the switch. An additional click does stop the blinking. I’m not sure if this is intentional or not but for me it’s irritating since it requires an additional click to turn off blinking if you physically lock out light when carrying it. At least the blinking is constant and not in strobe/bike mode.

I wonder if this is tied in to the low-voltage protection since it blinked twice about every second?

Carrying the light:
Pros:
- The clip provides enough tension and is high enough to allow me to comfortably carry the light in my pocket or belt. Unlike some clips it feels secure enough that I didn’t find myself worrying about losing the light.
- As with the Convoy lights the size of the TK15 is about perfect carried in my pants pocket without using the clip and weigh-wise it is no heavier than the S2. No surprise there give the similar sizes.
- I carried the light for several days in my pants and jacket pockets and it never came on inadvertently.
- The switch had a nice tactile feel to it and was easy to use without inadvertently changing modes or turning it on by accident

Cons:
- The bezel is scalloped which provided the benefits of…….? I guess that makes it a better impact weapon or allows you to see if it’s on when it’s head-down on a table but I prefer un-scalloped lights like the Convoy S series. The scalloping does make me concern that carrying the light head-down in my pants pocket will eventually wear a hole in it, especially wearing shorts with mesh material pockets. Whether this is a valid issue or not others might be able to comment on.

Output comparison:
I did not take tail cap amp readings because in my experience they are rather meaningless without taking into account different leds, drivers, reflectors, etc. Instead I took lux readings using a phone app that while not providing lumen readings allows me to compare brightness levels between the TK 15 and a Convoy S2 with a Nanjg driver with 8 7135 chips flashed with Biscotti and configured to mode 2 (0.1%, 1%, 10%, 35%, 100%).

On the 3 highest modes I measured these lux values in my ceil bounce tests:
- TK15: 9.37 / 33.95 / 94.60
- Convoy: 7.65 / 26.56 / 57.75

The TK15 does look brighter than the S2 but not noticeably so. For all intents and purposes there is no practical differencesbetween the 2 lights on the 3 highest setting in normal usage.

Moonlight on both lights were comparable and I would not be able to tell a difference without a side-by-side comparison.

Tint:
The flashlight has a nice neutral white tint which I liked very much. But of course preferences vary from person to person.

A few run-time notes:
- The light automatically steps down from turbo to the next highest mode after 3 minutes
- Like all small lights the TK15 gets hot on turbo but not anymore than the Convoy S’s.

Drop test:
Flashlights are tools and I occasionally drop tools when using them. To test how impact resistant the TK15 is I dropped it several times from chest high at different angles onto our entryway’s fake marble floor with a battery inside of it. I didn’t see any sign of external damage and the light worked perfectly fine afterwards.

Water test:
According to Thorfire the TK15 is rated IPX-8 so should be waterproof up to 8 meters. I tested this by submerging it in a bowl of water after putting it into the freezer with the tail cap off for 15 minutes (to make the air denser inside after screwing the tail cap back on). It’s probably difficult to see from the picture but a few bubbles started appearing where the bezel screws into the head almost immediately after I submerged the light. To me this indicates that the light is not airtight at that point so water can possibly get into it in rain or if it is dropped into a body of water. However the bubbles stopped appearing after about a minute.

After 15 minutes I took the light out and disassembled it and did not see any moisture inside the light so perhaps this isn’t a real concern. However I would like to see a thin o-ring placed between the lens and the lip inside the bezel. This in my mind would make the flashlight waterproof.

I also took the TK15 for a test drive when I was taking a shower to simulate using it in the rain. After a leisurely shower I disassembled the light and did not find an moisture in it.

Low voltage indicator:
Although the official specs say that TK15 will blink twice per second when the voltage is lower than 2.8v I did not find this to be the case. I left the light running until it was very dim and at no time did it do that. The battery voltage taken immediately after I took it out of the flashlight was 2.6v so it was probably slightly lower when I turned the light off.

Reverse Polarity Protection:
Worked fine when I put a battery in backwards, clicked the switch to turn it on (nothing happened), then reinserted the battery correctly and pressed the switch to turn it on (it came on).

Conclusions
What I liked:
- The TK15 is clearly a well made light that feels good in my hands. Quality-wise it is on par with the Convoy S series and would serve just as well under the same types of usages for most people.
- I liked the feel of the side-switch and being slightly recessed it is less likely to come on when carried in a backpack or in a pocket.
- Beam pattern is basically the same as my Convoys
- I liked the neutral tint and the light output is sufficient for nearly all activities (realistically anything over 500 lumens is probably enough for normal usage).

What I didn’t like:
- The scalloped bezel but that’s more of a personal like/dislike
- Lack of a thin o-ring between the lens and bezel lip. The air bubbles appearing on my water test is a bit concerning to me but again there was no moisture in the light after I removed it from the water and eventually the bubbles disappeared. However it can’t be that expensive to add a thin o-ring between the bezel and lens.
- The slow blinks after loosening the head/tail cap
- Low voltage indicator not working as described. To be honest one can easily tell when the battery needs replacing since the light is very dim at the point where the blinking should come on. And some might like the fact that it doesn’t go into blinking mode or turn off when the battery is low because they want their flashlight to work as long as possible. However if it is advertised to do something then it should do it.

My opinion is that the Thorfire TK15 compares favorably with the Convoy S flashlights but is a tier below due to the points mentioned above. None of these should be difficult for Thorfire to fix and perhaps the slow blinks and LV indicator are not present on other TK15s.

Clearly these issues (slow blink and lack of LV indicator) don’t affect usage of the flashlight but they also shouldn’t be present in a light that looks to compete with the Convoys.

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