Review of Thorfire PF04

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BrianK
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Review of Thorfire PF04

I received the Thorfire PF04 today for review. It should be noted that I obtained it at no charge and that it’s expected that I write this review. Despite that, this review won’t be swayed. If the light is junk, I’ll be sure to let everyone know and if I think it’s good I’ll also mention that. It’s also my first review ( I warned Thorfire Smile ) . I see that there are other reviews of this light and I must say that I did read them. But I didn’t change any of my review before copying it and pasting it here, other than to add these last 2 sentences.

This is the first penlight I’ve ever owned. My other small lights have been an inexpensive lensing light and the Thorfire TG06.

It was packaged in a tough polymer envelope and inside that was a corrugated box far larger that required for the actual light. The light was sandwiched between 2 sheets of approx’ ½” thick foam, so it was going to take a deliberate action on the part of the shipping company to hurt it. Mine arrived with no damage whatsoever. Inside, the light is in a bubble wrap sleeve, and comes with 2 extra o-rings, a card requesting a review and websites to go for service if required, and a brief owners manual/instruction sheet.

Initial impression of the light is that it’s a quality build. The LED end unscrews to allow one to insert 2 AAA batteries, and the threads are well cut and the tube appears to be anodized completely on the inside, including both the male and female threads. In keeping with it’s function (a penlight) it has a spring clip that appears to be able to do it’s job of clipping onto a shirt pocket. Not having a shirt pocket today I clipped it onto the neck of my shirt and it goes on easily and appears to hold sufficiently. The end cap that the clip is connected to has a nice spiral knurling it’s the end that would stick out of a shirt pocket, so it will look attractive as it sits in a pocket. A nice touch. The clip also acts as an anti-roll device and is sufficient for that. There is no provision on the light itself to attach a lanyard, but the clip has holes where a lanyard could be fed through for attachment. I don’t know why one ever would want a lanyard on it though. Maybe to prevent it from falling into machinery.

Physically the light is (all measurements approximate) 17/32” (14mm)at it’s widest point, at the tailcap (which isn’t removable that I could find). It’s 5 1/4” (133mm) long and it’s weight empty is 0.840oz or 23.8g. It’s a penlight and is about the same size as a pen.

I had some recently charged NiMH AAAs and opened the light up to put them in. The LED end unscrews and is approx’ 1 1/4” long (32mm). The O-ring was seated properly and the threads were lubed. The inside of the light tube is completely anodized, or at least as far as I could see into the tube, and I did shine a light in there to see. The LED end is the only end that screws off, and the fine threads appear to be nicely cut and the male and female threads are both anodized. The color of the anodizing is a satin black. It’s actually quite attractive and doesn’t appear cheap. The Thorfire logo and model number is printed on the side of the light as well as a symbol indicating that the led end can get hot. I intend to try it and see.

The LED is well centered and the reflector is smooth and shiny. The beam has a hot spot, but it has a very smooth transition into a flood type beam. I like this sort of beam for a working light. The tail cap contains the reverse clicky switch and the light has 3 modes, Low which is really low (1 lumen), medium (50 lumens), and high (210 lumens) in that order. The light will go to medium mode after the light has been on high for a few minutes (as I discovered). The switch has just the right amount of resistance to being pressed. If it turns on while in a shirt pocket you’ll never see it and you’ll run the batteries down.

As I write I have the light on high (but it turned itself down to medium unbeknownst to me). The light is warm but not hot. In fact the entire light is noticeably slightly warm, not only the LED end. It was warmer 2-3 minutes into the test. I just timed it and the light ramps down to medium after 3 minutes. It also has a memory but the instruction sheet says that it always starts in moonlight mode. Mine has a memory though, despite the instruction sheet telling me otherwise.

That’s it for now. Now I need to use it for a time. But my initial impression is that this is a nice light. Well suited for what it is and thoughtfully designed. I like it so far.

My older eyes need light for doing intricate work on small parts. I have nothing planned at this time, but next time I do have fine work like that I intend to use this light to test it exactly the way it’s designed to be used. One criticism of it that I have now is that I wish it had a brightness mode between moonlight and medium. I might change my tune on that as I use it though.

I also intend to use it around the house tonight after it gets dark. I might also take it outside, even though I don’t see that as being it’s primary function, but someone might press it into outdoor use. It is certainly bright enough for changing a flat tire. I think it’s actually brighter and with a better beam than the Thorfire TG06 lights that I specifically bought to put into the glove boxes of our vehicles for that sort of use. I have no idea about runtime. But I’ll be back here when I know more.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:07
cdjaney
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Nice review! Mine for this light was my first “real” review too. Smile IF….I say IF you so desire to try…..I found this handy BLF post (because adding pics wasn’t working for me either). I will add, I tried using Google Drive as my source but ended up using Photobucket in the end (I used the DIRECT share option on the right of each pic).

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/18059

Thumbs Up

Take care!

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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Thanx CDJaney, I finally got it! But following the instructions in the thread did nothing. I finally right clicked on the image in Photobucket and “copied image location” then inserted that into the photo dialog. It came up in the text as the location with “!” front and back of the line. Next time hopefully I’ll remember what I did.

Anyway…

I used the light outdoors last night and while it’s no L6, it works fine. It’s actually better than the TG06 lights I bought to keep in the autos. Too, the moonlight mode is fine for use up close with dark adapted eyes.

cdjaney
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BrianK wrote:
Thanx CDJaney, I checked out that link for posting pix and have followed it a number of times with no joy. On other forums merely putting the link in the body of text works, but not even that works here. In the linked to thread someone mentions using “direct link” from Photobucket, which is the service I’m using, but direct link is no longer available. Or if it is I don’t know how to find it. I wonder if it’s because the library is private? But that hasn’t bothered any other forums where I use pix. Oh well.

Anyway…

I used the light outdoors last night and while it’s no L6, it works fine. It’s actually better than the TG06 lights I bought to keep in the autos. Too, the moonlight mode is fine for use up close with dark adapted eyes.

Well fooey. No help I am.

RE: TG06 comparison. I assume you’re using AA’s and NOT 14500’s? I would hope the TG06 is good bit brighter with lithium.

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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Smile It wasn’t your fault that didn’t work, you tried and I appreciate it. I still don’t know why it’s not working for me. But frankly, as long as I can post pix by any method I’m OK with that. It just took some time (and frustration) to figure it out.

In the TG06 that I tested the PF04 against I’m using a NiMH AA. In the PF04 I’m using NiMH AAAs. I don’t have any 14500s but maybe I should get a few for the TG06s that are used in the house.

cdjaney
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I wouldn’t say you “should” get some 14500’s. But I have a few for various lights, a few of which are the Sipik SK68 clones (Ultrafire etc) that appear to be very similar in design to the TG06 (which I don’t have), and the 14500’s juice them up nicely as compared to AA alkaline or NiMH cells. But as you indicated, Alkaline for the ones in the cars, since I think I’ve read Lithium is more sensitive to temps.

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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It’s the rechargeable Li-ion cells that are supposed to be temp’ sensitive. Primary Li-Ion (correction: Lithium Primaries) are said to be fine and have a huge lifetime unused in a glovebox.

Actually I should have 14500s. I have NiMH in them now and I really don’t like the high self discharge rates that they have. Life would be easier with 14500s and I like easy.

hank
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> Primary Li-Ion

No such beast. I think you’re conflating rechargeable lithium (lithium-ion) and primary lithium (lithium/iron disulfide, Lithium/Iron Disulfide (Li/FeS2)) — the latter is “Energizer” chemistry)

http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf

… advantages of the lithium iron disulfide (LiFeS2) system over the alkaline …

The Energizer lithium primary is very long-shelf-life and keeps its output in freezing cold temperatures. We keep those in our cars and our quake/emergency bundles.

BrianK
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Whoops. Right. Lithium not Li-ion. Thanks! I had Li-Ion on the brain, the fingers did the rest. I’ll correct it.

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So this review thread has grown into an educational thread as well. (FOR ME I mean). Grad Don’t think I knew that about Lithium primaries. Might have to invest in some of those for the lights in the vehicles. Thumbs Up

Thanks BrianK and hank !

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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I used it last night to change out a striker spring on my comp’ gun, using it as a “mouth light” and while not perfect (it’s metal), it did work. Moonlight mode was useless, so I used the med’ brightness and that was fine to see the tiny and “hidden” (in shadow) parts. Maybe I don’t need the brightness mode between moonlight and medium after all. Smile

It’s a nice light.

Moonlight mode did get switched on, quite by accident for 2 days and I never saw it. Now I keep the LED pointing directly at me.

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BrianK wrote:
I used it last night to change out a striker spring on my comp’ gun, using it as a “mouth light”

Moonlight mode did get switched on, quite by accident for 2 days and I never saw it. Now I keep the LED pointing directly at me.

I’m sure you probably know, but you can twist the head slightly for “lockout” so the accidental activation doesn’t happen. A minor extra step, but that’s what I do with my pen lights.

PS. Instead of the mouth light, may want to consider one of these. Very flexible light. I bought one on this group buy.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/43521 Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Edited for addition

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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Thanks, I’m already there. I could have used another head light that I have as well, and it probably would have worked even better, but the penlight was at hand.

I forgot about turning to lock it out. Old dogs, new tricks.

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The best light is the one that’s closest at hand!

And yeah. I even got the Thorfire to change modes pretty regularly by tightening and loosening the head quickly (which my Preon does by design), but it wasn’t as dependable as the Preon in switching modes that way.

John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

BrianK
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Just a quick update on this light.

I’ve been doing some research into a better “key ring” light than my overly big Thorfire TG06 and in that searching I’ve found that while some lights claim to be only usable with AAAs, users state that some lights work fine with 10440s. The short story is that this light isn’t one of them. With that statement you know exactly what I did.

I received 2 10440s from Mtn specifically to try them in this light. I inserted them and nothing. “Ah HAH!”, said I, “Look at that ring of insulating material (it was a standoff) that Thorfire has on the driver. If I remove that it will allow the battery to make contact.” . That having been accomplished I screwed the head back on and turned on the light and for a split second I got a lot of output. Now the light is completely dead. I tried to take it apart and if the driver unscrews… well, I don’t want to force anything. I can’t hurt the light at this point, but I don’t want to hurt my ring pliers. There really is no good place to even put them to unscrew things. Yet threads go all the way up to the driver, but there is no ring.

Could it be glued in?

Anyway, don’t do as I did. That ring of “insulation” is really a standoff to prevent one from doing what I did. Use AAAs or NiMh batteries only with this light.

daninho
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BrianK wrote:
Just a quick update on this light.

I’ve been doing some research into a better “key ring” light than my overly big Thorfire TG06 and in that searching I’ve found that while some lights claim to be only usable with AAAs, users state that some lights work fine with 10440s. The short story is that this light isn’t one of them. With that statement you know exactly what I did.

I received 2 10440s from Mtn specifically to try them in this light. I inserted them and nothing. “Ah HAH!”, said I, “Look at that ring of insulating material (it was a standoff) that Thorfire has on the driver. If I remove that it will allow the battery to make contact.” . That having been accomplished I screwed the head back on and turned on the light and for a split second I got a lot of output. Now the light is completely dead. I tried to take it apart and if the driver unscrews… well, I don’t want to force anything. I can’t hurt the light at this point, but I don’t want to hurt my ring pliers. There really is no good place to even put them to unscrew things. Yet threads go all the way up to the driver, but there is no ring.

Could it be glued in?

Anyway, don’t do as I did. That ring of “insulation” is really a standoff to prevent one from doing what I did. Use AAAs or NiMh batteries only with this light.


That usually only counts for 1xAAA lights, the only 2XAAA light for 10440 i know off has to be the new Acebeam penlight. There are some single AAA lights like the ultratac K18.
BrianK
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Live and learn I guess; nothing I can do about it now. Just boneheaded. If I had stopped to think about any of it I would have realized it was a mistake to more than double the voltage, but I didn’t. I was on a mission to get the 10440s into it.

I broke my cherry for burning out a light, but it was considerably brighter for that very brief flash of light.