REVIEW: Thorfire PF04(July 2016) Worthy of gift giving?

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alphazeta's picture
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REVIEW: Thorfire PF04(July 2016) Worthy of gift giving?

Foreword: Having owned a few prior lights from Thorfire I was quite excited for them to send me their updated PF04 (as of July 2016) to review. As I am not in the market to own a penlight for my own personal use this review will be geared to my intentions for a penlight -> to give out as a gifts in its stock form zero no alterations on my part (i.e. – lubing threads, cleaning contacts, etc.)

After carrying this light for a day here are a few points:


  • The modes feel well spaced. The moon mode is excellent. High & low modes are spaced noticeable visually apart. The sequence feels right to me for THIS light. I personally think moonlight mode is probably used the most in a penlight & then high is probably next frequently used. For me a penlight is not what I want to use/grab for max output & throw. The PF04 has a floody beam with no discernible hotspot. IMO the ideal beam for a penlight to have.
  • The clip tension feels to have been slightly relaxed from my example of their PF03 (2015.) It now slips on one-handed onto dress slacks with ease. Yet there should be enough tension to retain the light after vigorous movement.
  • The clip serves well as an anti-roll device
  • I feel if Thorfire has also taken our critique of an overly stiff tail switch seriously. It now feels as if it too is not as stiff as its prior iterations. It is still stiff enough to prevent accidental activation but it feels much more pleasant to use now. In fact I like it’s feel quite a bit.
  • Visually the light is nothing to write home about BUT it does not seem out of place to be EDC’d in an office environment.
  • Well centered emitter


  • While still not very common I now see other light manufacturers offer penlights with a neutral tinted LED available. It’s my understanding that cool-white LEDs generally sold better than neutral tinted ones (as of a few years ago.) Still I wish Thorfire would look into this option (do the projected sales #s for neutral tinted lights really lag behind that much?) In any case, I know that if I was in the market of a penlight then it would definitely have a neutral tinted LED. But hey I know a bunch of doctors & the POS penlights they currently carry around. A PF04 would be leaps & bounds better to carry as is but I digress.
  • Slippery. This con is not limited to this penlight but many(most?) penlights on the market. Perhaps this might be more of a con for me but not what most of market wants in a penlight.

Despite my desire for the a PF04 to be available to purchase with a neutral tinted LED this is still a good penlight to gift out. I would have my concerns that a mechanic with gloves on might find this light too slippery. Or if the cool white LED might wash away the color difference between the wires he/she needs to work on. However I do know that the PF04 fits my desire for a good penlight to gift out as it will aid many because many times just having enough light on something makes a world’s difference. Still I know how much better this penlight could be with a neutral tinted LED (& hopefully a higher CRI but that is unfortunately still not a definite with a neutral tinted LED.)

P.S. here’s a quick pic of the closest comparable pen light I could find

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:07
Henk4U2's picture
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alphazeta wrote:
Visually the light is nothing to write home about BUT it does not seem out of place to be EDC’d in an office environment

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also known as a personal thing. So I disagree. I’m a retired thermo/mechanical engineer who dreamt of building powerplants, those big bad boys with those giant chimneys. But after the introduction of CHP I ended up behind a desk, sourcing countless TWh’s for people who did not care a bit except when I could do it 0.01 c/kWh cheaper.

Form follows function. A pen is mostly used in a well-lit dry surrounding, where as a penlight is ment to bring some light into the darkness. It is imperative that you can hold it in your hands without slipping in all directions. In my book that is cylindrical, preferably NOT the same size on the whole light. And certainly not smooth and curved. The Thorfire is a fine example of how a penlight should look/feel. That is: out in the real world. For me the pink object is quite the opposite.

Nice review, BTW.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.