Review: Thorfire TK18 - Ramping UI, single 18650 light, 20% off code also

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Review: Thorfire TK18 - Ramping UI, single 18650 light, 20% off code also

Review: Thorfire TK18 – single 18650 LED flashlight

——appearance and build quality————————————————————————-

the outside styling is attractive, and not overdone.

it seems very well built and likely to be waterproof. (though i didn’t try it)

anodizing is nice and black, though i scratched it when i removed the clip.

i like the front ring styling, it is also useful. by not being solid, you can set the light on its face and light still can get out.

——user interface————————————————————————

it has 2 major mode groups: Stepping (4 preset levels) and ramping (continous ramp up or down light levels)

ramping is a very nice and uncommon feature.

mode spacing is OK, though i am used to 7 levels, in a different light that i most commonly carry.

the lowest mode of the 4 preset levels, is good but too bright to be a moonlight.
the ramping mode has a lower low than the stepping interface, it is a good moonlight, probably 1 lumen.

it has no blinking modes, other than bike mode, which is a good thing.

the bike strobe mode is nice. it is sort of a bi-level strobe. also it is hard to enable, which is actuallygood, it is annoying to turn blinky modes on accidentally – you can;t do that here, which is again, good.

this is the only light with 2 switches that i own. that takes some getting used to. what always happens is, i switch it on and usually want to change modes. my thumb is still on the rear switch so i hit it again expecting something to happen, like every other light i have. but then nothing happens, and i have to go grope around the other end of the light for the side switch.

the tail switch is a ‘forward clicky’. this means that – if the light is off – you can just touch the rear button, and it comes on momentarily. the mode is whatever was used previously. you could flash out morse code – which is impossible on the more normal ‘reverse clicky’.

ramping seems to have multiple speeds, i cannot figure out how to control or predict them. i would rather have it all fast ramping.

side switch is hard to find by feel. if it is dark, though, you can see the status LED in the button.

the stepping mode, goes from low to high then back to low. sometimes this is nice but sometimes i want to know what direction it is going to go. more usual light goes low to high, then back to low again. predictable. this light’s up-then-down operation is unpredictable, to me.

the ramping uses a time delay to decide whether to change directions or not, if you press, release, then re-press. i can;t really figure it out reliably.

i would like the ramping to be faster. and consistent.

when you switch modes (ramping / stepping mode), it starts over at HIGH – it should start at current light level. or low. i REALLLY REALLLY REALLLY hate this feature.

the battery level LED in the side switch, is a little odd. if you use the high mode, the LED might drop a level, say from green to yellow. it just stays there, until you power cycle. but then it will probably come back on as green. so what is the real battery level, green or yellow?

mode switching takes 4 quick presses, why not 2? or ‘long press’? they are not used otherwise. this just requires unnecessary button presses.

switching to bike strobe mode requires switching out of bike mode before it will do anything else.
i would rather have direct access to turbo from bike mode, but in bike mode, the only choice is ‘return to pre-bike mode’.

——light color, pattern, and tint————————————————————————-

light color is good some color options for light output would be nice – specifically a warmer option.

the light pattern is very useable, a wide-ish center hot spot then gradual taper off to the sides, still useable as much as 30 degrees off center.

it has no PWM, which is good. (cheap lights actually flash at a high rate, to do their dimming, this is a bad thing and this light is free of it.)

i have no doubt that the max level is 1200 lumens, it is very bright.

——misc comments:——————————————————————

it can tailstand. this is good.

you an attach a lanyard.

the clip is ok though it is not reversible.

the battery rattles a little (18650). this may not be noticeable to you.

i like a short light, this thing is VERY long. at 137mm, it is a lot longer than the shortest 18650 light you can get, which is about 87mm. if it is going to be long, it should at least have more features, like better heat sinking, or a charger built in. but it doesn’t. its floody light pattern is nice, but the light could be shorter by using a TIR optic, which could retain or improve the light pattern.

it can use 2 CR123 batteries though i would not do that. they are expensive, not rechargeable, and hold way less energy than a single 18650. not sure if you can put in 2 16340 (rechargeable) cells or not, they would fit but voltage [2×4.2] might be too high.


i like it.

some of the things i don;t like are just personal preferences, or they are different from what i am used to

what i like:
bike strobe,
forward clicky

what i don;t care about:
cr123 capability,
2 switches

what i don;t like:
switching from ramping to stepping goes to HIGH every time, would rather it remain at or near current light level, or start on LOW
i would like it to be a lot shorter in length.
ramp times need to be faster and consistent.
would like at least one more mode, moonlight, 1 lumen

thorfire provided the light for review.
but now that you’ve read this far, i hope you can see i’m not playing favorites for that.
here is a link and 20% off discount from them – not sure how long it is valid (this is 01/16/2018)


20% off promo code for TK18: 3VSIRROL


Edited by: wle on 01/18/2018 - 10:51