Quick Look Review of Thorfire TK15S

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DavidEF
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Quick Look Review of Thorfire TK15S

The Thorfire TK15S is a single 18650 hand-held general purpose flashlight. Thorfire asked me to review the newest revision and they gave me a link to buy the light on Amazon. I received a small, tan colored cardboard box with a product label on the outside. Inside the box I found a TK15S flashlight, a user manual, and a pair of replacement o-rings in a small Zip-loc style bag. The light was itself wrapped in a sleeve of bubble-wrap and there was a piece of soft foam in the bottom of the box. The light has a clip already installed, clipped around the battery tube. There is no lanyard included with the light.

The Thorfire TK15S is listed as being a 1050 lumen flashlight, utilizing a CREE XP-L2 V6 emitter, with up to 150 yards of throw. The emitter is neutral white, but I don’t know exactly what bin. The listing also says it has type III anodizing and IPX8 waterproofing. The anodizing certainly looks nice, with a matte finish and a good feel in the hand. The knurling on the tube is not very aggressive. I’m not sure how much it would help your grip if you had something slippery like soap or oil on your hands. But it feels nice. Under normal conditions, it should be easy enough to keep a hold on. I haven’t tried using the flashlight under water but there’s a decent looking o-ring on both ends of the battery tube, and the anodized, square-cut threads are lubed at least on the tail-cap end, where the light is meant to be opened for changing the cell. The TK15S has low voltage warning, but it doesn’t claim to have any low voltage protection. So it will be up to the user to replace the cell when the light begins to blink. This is a tube-style flashlight, similar to a Convoy S2 in size and shape. But, the Thorfire TK15S has both a reverse-clicky switch in the tail cap for on/off operation, and a metal e-switch button at the head to handle mode changes. The tail-cap has thumb cut-outs so that the button is easy enough to press while wearing gloves. But, it has enough of the metal rim left around the button to be stable while tail-standing. There is a groove in the battery tube for the belt clip, which works very nicely. The mode changing button is small and just barely protrudes above flush with the opening, which makes it hard to feel for. But, the tube is flattened where the button is, so at least indexing to it with your thumb shouldn’t be a problem. Still, I’d rather have had a larger diameter button to press.

The UI is quite simple. The tail clicky must always be used for on/off operation. The TK15S doesn’t have a soft off option at all. There are four ‘level’ modes in a simple up-down sequence. Moving through the modes takes a simple short press of the side button. The modes progress upward until reaching the highest mode, then continue progressing back down until reaching the moonlight mode, then back going up again, etc. The light does have last mode memory, which seems to also remember the direction you were going in the up-down loop, so that your next e-switch press continues in the same direction. There are two hidden strobes available. These are also very simple to operate. The ‘normal’ strobe is accessed by a double-click of the e-switch while the light is on in any ‘normal’ mode. A single press will then return it to that ‘normal’ mode. With a long-press of the e-switch while on, the TK15S will switch to bike strobe, which is a constant brightness with a ‘stutter’ of turbo every little while. Any e-switch press will also send the light back to the last used ‘normal’ mode. If you turn off the light (with the tail clicky switch) while in strobe mode, then when the light is tuned back on, it will still be in that strobe mode that you left it in.

The TK15S doesn’t have a tight hot-spot, since the reflector isn’t very large. But it’s tight enough for general use, and much tighter spot than my Olight. The reflector is shiny, but not perfectly smooth. There are rings visible in the reflection, and the light output has rings in the spill as well. This is only noticeable while white-wall hunting, though. With normal use in the real world, the beam appears fine. Overall, I have to say that I’m not picky with beam profiles, and I generally prefer a slightly larger hot spot for EDC use. So, maybe I’m not the one to ask about this feature. Since the TK15S is rated for 1050 lumens MAX, it’s apparent the XP-L2 is under-driven a bit. So, it shouldn’t get too hot on High mode. Well, it depends on what you consider ‘hot’ to be. The head of my TK15S does get quite warm to the touch if left on High for a while. I wouldn’t recommend giving it to small children to use. Even adults that are not accustomed to using high-output flashlights might not appreciate the heat build-up in the head of the TK15S on High mode. For those of us who are using high-output lights pretty regularly, it’s not so much a problem. The light feels hot to the touch, but it’s not going to get hot enough to hurt itself.

I think Thorfire have made a nice hand-held tube style flashlight here. This is my first ever dual-switch flashlight, and I’m not yet accustomed to it. I’d certainly prefer a slightly more “findable” side switch button, whether that means making it a slightly larger diameter, or making it protrude a bit more (or sink the trim ring around it to give the same effect). The UI is quite simple and intuitive. Most people won’t need or want more than the available four lighting levels plus two hidden, yet easily accessed strobe functions. The belt clip seems to do its job well in my short time testing it so far. I think they’ve pretty well ticked all the boxes!

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