Review: Tank007 TK-737 rotating zoom 5-mode

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sb56637
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Review: Tank007 TK-737 rotating zoom 5-mode

Tank007 TK-737

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 1x18650 or 3xAAA
Switch: Rear Clicky
Modes: High > Med >Low > Strobe > SOS
LED Type: Cree XR-E
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Not out of the box (can be easily modified)
Price Payed: $16.20
From:BestOfferBuy.com
Date Ordered: 02-APR-2011

 

Pros:

  • Attractive, practical, clean design
  • Rotating zoom can't be changed by accident
  • Perfect mode memory
  • Good build quality
  • Affordable price
  • Pretty good runtime on low
  • Compatible with AAA batteries in a pinch

Cons:

  • Worthless flashing modes
  • Outdated emitter

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

I've had my eyes on the Tank007 TK-737 ever since a user here asked where to buy it at the best price. To me, the design is extremely attractive and practical. And it features a relatively rare rotating zoom. So, I spent several evenings looking for the best price. It should be noted that there are several versions of the TK-737 floating around out there. There is a 3-mode version which usually costs a bit less, but I wouldn't recommend it because it doesn't have a low mode. The 5-mode version is quite hard to find. After ordering it from a store who later realized that it was no longer in stock, I decided to try BestOfferBuy.com for the first time. The BestOfferBuy.com experience was rather slow, but I finally have in my hands the 5-mode Tank007 TK-737. And as an added benefit, BestOfferBuy.com sells it at by far the best price. The TK-737 arrived with a spare red switch boot and some spare O-rings, which is a nice touch. I was very glad to see that it has perfect functioning mode memory. After quickly turning it off and on again with less than 1 second of delay, it remembers the last mode. Very well done. This is hard to find in budget lights, and even more so in a zoomer. Unfortunately, it includes the ubiquitous annoyance of strobe and SOS modes. But at least the perfect mode memory means that the user doesn't have to tangle with those modes as often. The mode order goes from highest to lowest, which some might prefer but which I do not. The TK-737 doesn't tailstand out of the box, which is disappointing. However, I was able to modify it with a considerable amount of hand-holding from our excellent members here. The Tank007 product page doesn't mention anything about the lens, but it appears to be good quality glass. The emitter appears to be an XR-E:

It also comes with a nicely labelled Tank007 carry strap. Apart from this, there are no other unique features. The useful low mode, the rotating zoom, perfect mode memory, and the relatively low $16.20 pricetag are major strong points for the TK-737. The outdated XR-E emitter is less than impressive, though. Overall, I would declare this to be the current best value in zooming 18650 lights. It receives a strong 4-star rating for Value.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The Tank007 TK-737 impresses with very good overall build quality. The threads are silky smooth. The rotating zoom mechanism also feels pretty good, although there are a few degrees of turn that feel a bit coarse. The glass lens is crystal clear, and there is no grime inside or out. Tank007 claims HAIII anodizing, which I personally doubt. But at any rate, the finish is good, with only one tiny nick visible in the finish. The barrel is entirely crosshatched. I would have preferred a diamond knurl. But to my eyes, this overall design is extremely professional. Like a nice pair of classic shoes, this design will continue to look good for a long time. It's even marked with a serial number on the head. Mine is S/N102370033. The head is also marked with numbers around the lower edge, which correspond to a vertical scale on the body.

Quantitatively speaking, I can't imagine that these numbers represent anything. But they are helpful for setting it to a precise zoom level. Humorously, the "ZOOM IN   ZOOM OUT" label is backwards. Rotating to the left makes it zoom out, not in. But I must say that I greatly prefer a rotating zoom to a push/pull zoom. The rotating mechanism just feels more precise, and it prevents the zoom level from changing by accident if the light is stored in a backpack or duffel bag. Another small detail that contributes to the quality feel of the TK-737 is the small accessory bag that contains a spare switch boot and some O-rings. This is very rare to see on a flashlight under $20. The clicky switch feels very nice, making a high pitched moderately loud click. There are no signs of flickering so far. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the switch boot protrudes slightly from the end, preventing it from tailstanding. However, by inserting some rings of metal wire before inserting the switch, I was able to raise the switch up enough to make it tailstand perfectly. The TK-737 has one strange feature, which, albeit uncommon, works well. As can be seen in the first picture of this review, there is actually a short 12mm tube extender for use with an 18650 battery. This segment must be removed to use it with the 3xAAA battery carrier. At first I thought that the light was damaged when it didn't work with the 3xAAA configuration, but then I noticed that the extender was present. I don't know why they didn't just make the 3xAAA carrier longer, but at least the light is appreciably shorter with the 3xAAA configuration. I personally won't make much use of the 3xAAA option, but at least in a pinch AAA batteries are easier to find than an 18650 battery. On paper the extender sounds like a bit of a hack, but the final product is very well assembled so that the extension is hardly even noticeable. In fact I though it was all one single tailcap unit until I discovered this. It should also be noted that the TK-737 is compatible with the slightly longer 18700 battery style. The tailcap screws down flush. Overall the TK-737 is worthy of a 5-star rating for its excellent build quality.

 

Battery Life: ★★★

Battery life with the Tank007 TK-737 is quite good. The product page advertises 50 hours on the 12-lumen low mode. I tested mine on low with a good XTAR 18700 Sanyo-inside battery, and I would say that figure is approximately correct. After about 40 hours the output started to fade a bit. At 50 hours it was almost completely dead. So we can safely say that the TK-737 gives a solid two-day battery life with a decent Li-Ion battery. This is good, but not earth shattering. Two days is probably longer than most people would ever use it without charging, but it might not be the best option if you plan on being trapped in a coal mine. On the 3xAAA configuration, the TK-737 managed a fairly impressive 12 hour runtime with some truly awful AAA cells that cost me $0.50 for 4. I imagine it would be considerably better on AAA Eneloops or decent alkalines. I'm pretty happy with runtime on the TK-737. It receives 4 out of 5 stars on this important criterion.

 

Light Output: ★★★

Despite its dated XR-E emitter, the Tank007 TK-737 puts out a lot of light on high. This combined with several very useful zoom levels combine to produce a very useful flashlight. On high with an XTAR 18700 cell, it appears to be at least twice as bright as my reference Trustfire F20 on an Eneloop. The full brightness can really be appreciated on full zoom, which produces a painfully bright 25mm hotspot at 80mm away from a white wall. This same zoom level throws effortlessly to a great distance at night, albeit an extremely limited field of view. The hotspot is clearly defined, but it does have a lot of much dimmer auxiliary rings. To the other extreme, when fully zoomed out, it produces a 105mm circle of light at 80mm from the wall. This floody setting is wonderful for illuminating an entire room or for walking around outdoors. In between these two extremes, there are several other zoom levels that also produce a good combination of flood and throw. Although the TK-737 is outshined by the mighty XM-L lights for almost the same price, it still holds its own against them and even bests them by being much more flexible thanks to its superb rotating zoom function. Taking into account all these factors, it receives a strong 4 out of 5 star rating.

 

Summary: ★★

In summary, I really enjoy using the Tank007 TK-737. It impresses with its fashionable clean styling, smooth operation, useful runtime, and flexible zoom configurations. All for a very reasonable price under $17. I highly recommend the TK-737 as the best 18650 zoom light in the budget repertoire. It receives an average overall rating of slightly better than 4 out of 5 stars. My only regret is that by publishing this review, there will probably be a run on this product at BestOfferBuy and they will either run out of stock or raise their price. Wink

 

Do you own the Tank007 TK-737? If so, please give it your own star rating below!

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:22
e10sno
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Seem like good quality for TK-737....Hopefully our customize version will be much better...Cool

sb56637
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Yes, I have high hopes for the BLF customization.

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Foy
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This is a very handsome light.  I'm not sure I agree with the XR-E being an outdated emitter, however.  The WC-R2 with the right reflector can be an amazing performer.  The ubiquitous Q5 (XP-E) is certainly outdated but I think the XR-E still has game.Smile

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sb56637
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Be-Seen Triker wrote:

Do you have a shot of just the lens?

You mean of the lens disassembled? I don't usually take lights apart if I can avoid it. Smile But would you like to see it from a different angle maybe?

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raccoon city
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Nice review, Mr. Admin.  I also look forward to the BLF customized version.  It might be the best budget XM-L flood-to-throw available.   Wink

xxllmm4
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I just got my Tank 737 today thanks to this review Smile and I'm impressed. Its built really well for the price range and its pretty bright, the only other "Hobby" lite I have to compare it with is a cheap $10 UltraOK zoomie I got off Ebay, but honestly its not much brighter. You really have to go back and forth to see what one is brighter.

The quality is way better than the UltraOk. This flashlight feels nice in your hands and has a very solid feel. This one is actually a late fathers day gift so I may need to buy another for myself.

okyeung
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 Hi xxllmm4, does your 737 support 18650. Seem the site says it support 3aaa?  

3

xxllmm4
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okyeung, it uses both. I bought it off the same website as the one reviewed. http://www.bestofferbuy.com/tank007-tk737-floodtothrow-zooming-5mode-120lumen-led-flashlight-3aaa-p-28927.html

It comes with a 3 battery adapter but the base of it is machined for a 18650, its a cool idea how its set up and it works perfectly with a 18650.

okyeung
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Thanks xxllmm4

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sb56637
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Even works with a longer 18700. And they put an inner diameter-reducing feature inside that prevents battery rattle. It feels very solid.

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agenthex
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I had one on the way. Hope the screw mechanism is better than the romisen one, which is quality but takes 3 turns to go from zoom to flood, so lazy people like me just leave it on flood and squint for zoom.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

raccoon city
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agenthex wrote:

Hope the screw mechanism is better than the romisen one, which is quality but takes 3 turns to go from zoom to flood...

My Romisen RC-29 has to be twisted about 1035 degrees to go from flood to throw, which is a pain.  Meanwhile, my Tank007 TK-737 only has to be twisted about 432 degrees (which is about 42% of the Romisen, and my Tank007 twists way more smoothly than my Romisen.)

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Tank007 wrote:

SmileHi,

It is our pleasure that you are like TK737 very much.Below is our official online-shop  www.tank007store.com

Sincerely hope that every friends loved Tank007 will visit our store

Smile

 If you are tank manufacturing... than selling thru dealers would always be the best way for a retail customer to buy your product ..you would have to jack up your prices hugely so as not to compete with your wholesale customer and not make him mad by stealing customers from him by selling at a reduced rate ..Seems to me you're selling at the suggested manufacturers retail price ..A highly inflated suggested retail price.

Many of us are looking forward to the tank / BLF light  and it will probably increase tanks business overall..Great brand , great lights , just easier to buy them from  the normal retailer...and cheaper Smile 

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

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janko.hrasko
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i really liked and wanted this tank.. but it is bulky and i won't be using 3aaa anyway Smile and xr-e with aspheric is too weak, you can have both the throw and the flood with slightly bigger reflector at the same time

saypat
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Hello. It is only $17 at this site you bought from? And the other site mentioned in here it was $78! How long did it take before you received it from China, please? Thank you.

 

patrick

sb56637
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Yes, I only paid $16.20 at BestOfferBuy, definitely the best price around. Shipping was very slow, both for BOB to ship it out of their office and for it to finally navigate the globe to my location.

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amraspalantir
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Nice review . saw this light (5-mode model) while i was buying a TK - 703 which i happily found a review here at BLF. I have the 3xaaa version of the X2000 and was really wanting an upgrade to it. Looks like another light is lined up for the next pay day.Smile. Btw can this light be modded to take a newer LED?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W30,K70,sc600w, Aspheric DBS V3, Sanmak 5500 HID,Costco HID, TK-40 and my reliable FJ-40. 

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I think the zoom in and zoom out terminology can mean different things to different people. Zoom in can mean that the lens physically zooms in toward the body (flood) or it can mean that the beam is zooming in on the subject (spot).

To me memory isn't a good thing with disco modes. If it always starts on high (or low) then you never have to go through the strobes. With memory if you used it on medium last time and want high this time you have to cycle through the strobes.

It looks like a well build light and I like the twist action rather than push-pull. I've noticed as Be Seen mentioned that zoomies seem to like to use aspherics with wide flanges thereby reducing the effectiveness of the throw mode since it has a smaller effective diameter.

I like the emitter as well if someone is interested in throw XR-E isn't outdated.

Nice review!

Boaz
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This light was

              a purchase that always  got put off .

                                    BOY was that a BIG mistake

As soon as i recieved mine in the mail from Dino Direct .....I ordered 3 more

With a 26% discount coupon (18$ off 80$)  they were 11.25$

**Boaz recommended

their start price at 15$ was already cheap ...BUT the quality of the light immediately said "precision  instrument "...OK OK I'm lying.... I've been around too many lights to say that ....but it's surprisingly well built , a well thought out flashlight that people would assume cost twice what you paid for it..it's  a "No-Brainer " "just buy it light "

 

proves to me one thing ...

      Mr. Admin . has a great eye .. His wife must be stunning.

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BG@
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Please tell me he has a waterproof housing?

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rule 31: beamshots or GTFO!

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

raccoon city
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Welcome to the show, BG@!

Best0270

Begat

BG@
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Thank you! I hope to be helpful in the future!

WalterK
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I have two, both with plastic lens. But overall a nice light with sturdy feel. Works on AAA (spacer ring) and 186500.

My mods in my flickr sets

BG@
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WalterK wrote:

I have two, both with plastic lens. But overall a nice light with sturdy feel. Works on AAA (spacer ring) and 186500.


You ordered from the same site as the topic-seller, or both?
yohandsome
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Does it have a temporary tactical on?

Flashlight noob

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Does it have a temporary tactical on?  No - straight reverse clicky

 Has anyone mod'ed or looked into mod'ing it? I got a couple, bought and gave out about 10 more of them 2 years ago. Still love the quality and beam, but would like to upgrade it with a better driver, maybe U3 LED. I may have to do a few of them. I can easily unscrew the reflector but the pill won't budge. Maybe it's glued, maybe it's pressed in  -- can't tell. It's got the typical 2 holes which I over-drilled to use a heavier needle-nose in, but still, won't budge.