[Review] Thorfire TK18 ( XP-L2 NW, 1 x 18650) ~ A dual switch tactical EDC

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bilakos10
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[Review] Thorfire TK18 ( XP-L2 NW, 1 x 18650) ~ A dual switch tactical EDC

The flashlight was provided by Thorfire for review.
Here's the product's link: Thorfire TK18

The flashlight comes in a simple cardboard box.
Two replacement o-rings and a user manual is also included.


The TK18 comes with a satin black anodization and diamond cut knurling around its body.
As advertised, the flashlight is operated through two switches, a mechanical and an electronic one.


The head integrates some wide heatsink fins, while the flat spots both on the tail and head are used for anti-roll.
The included pocket clip is thick and provides great clamping force.


The threads of both sides are square cut and anodized, so a mechanical lockout is possible.
As you can notice, they arrived nicely lubricated.


The NW tinted XP-L2 emitter is seated inside a heavily textured orange pill reflector.
The front lens is AR coated and it's protected by the thick metal bezel.


The head can be disassembled quite easily, as the bezel isn't glued.


It seems that Thorfire has gone with a dual o-ring setup.
The first o-ring is placed between the lens and reflector, while the other one sits between the reflector and a groove in the inner portion of the head.


The emitter is mounted on a 20mm copper star.
A couple of screws are used to secure it into place and keep it from rotating while installing the reflector.


Here's a look at the rear switch.
The BATT- spring is made out of brass and it's quite thick, while the assembly is held in place via a retaining ring.


Provided that you have a pair of snap ring pliers, taking the tail apart is quite easy.
Keep in mind that the retaining ring is reverse threaded.


Despite being quite large, the total weight of the TK18 is around 91gr.


To better understand the size of the light, here's a side to side comparison with other flashlights.
From left to right: Klarus Mi1C, Klarus Mi7 Ti, Sofirn SP32A, Thorfire TK18, Convoy C8



User Interface

Following the latest trend, the Thorfire TK18 comes with a dual UI (regular mode & ramping).
It's operation is accomplished through the dual switch setup. The rear switch is electronic, while the tail one is mechanical and hence it's only used for controlling the power on/off of the light.
Here's a quick description of the flashlights UI:

Turn on/off: Single press of the rear switch.
Momentary on: Half press of the rear switch.
Mode Cycle (While in Regular mode group): Single press of the side switch ( Low - Mid - High - Turbo - High ... )
Ramp up/down (While in Ramping group): Long press of the side switch for ramp down. If the switch is released and pressed in 1.5 seconds, the ramp goes upwards. 
Bike Flash: Triple press of the side switch.
Mode Group Change: Quadruple press of the side switch.

It's quite odd that the flashlight doesn't have a real strobe mode even though it's advertised as tactical.
A full ramp from Low to Turbo takes around 7.5 seconds which means that the ramping is relatively slow.
It's worth noting that the ramping is notably faster from 1-30% while it slows down from 30-100%


Performance & Beamshots

In order to get my measurements, I used a clamp meter and a fully charged 25R 18650 cell.
Here's the results of my ceiling bounce test and the corresponding current draw.



And here's the TK18's Turbo mode compared to my other flashlights.


Provided the data I was able to record, the TK18 should be pushing around 1030 Lumens OTF.
Of course, Turbo mode isn't sustainable as the flashlight will step down to 50% after sitting 3 minutes on the brightest setting.

For the last part, here are a few wall beamshots to help understand both the tint and mode spacing.
Low


Mid


High


Turbo


All in all, the TK18 is a respectable choice in the < $30 price range.
My only complains wrap around its slow ramping and the lack of shortcuts to Turbo or mode.


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Lightbringer
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Looks nice, especially the “pineapple” knurling.

Think the UI would drive me crazy, though. Ain’t a fan of the up/down/up/down/… stepping. If you’re in turbo when you think you’re in regular high, the next click takes you down a step, not up, and you got twice as many clicks to get back up there. The original Sofirn SP31(?) had that, and it bugged me enough that I gave it to my sister. Big Smile

Some people like that, though, so…

Love the forward-clicky, though. Momentary-on is awesome, and too few lights have that.

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