Thorfire PF04 Review

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Kalihi
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Thorfire PF04 Review

This light was sent to me by Thorfire for my review. I also have a Youtube video review of it here: https://youtu.be/hM2rhexVrQM

The Thorfire PF04 is an excellent pen light. The build and machining quality is excellent all around. The pocket clip has a good amount of tension and its edges are nicely broken, so they won’t cut up your clothing. The body of the light has a smooth texture (which I like for residing inconspicuously in pockets) and the anodizing is solid and even.

My favorite thing about this light is its even beam profile. The beam is very floody to the point where it doesn’t even really have a hot-spot, and the light intensity transitions in a smooth gradient to the edges. I know that a lot of people prefer throwy beams for their pen lights, but I find the even, floody beam much more useful for most tasks.

The rubber around the rear clicky switch is very thick, so you can’t readily turn the light on by pressing the button against a table – you have to press in the center of the button. I like this, since it reduces the chance of the light getting accidentally activated in a bag or pocket. The switch is a “reverse clicky” switch, meaning that you have to fully press and release the switch to activate it, and it can’t be used as a momentary switch by partially pressing it like a “forward clicky” switch can. However, you switch between modes by half-pressing the switch, which works great, so I don’t mind the lack of the forward clicky switch.

The light has three modes, plus mode memory (meaning that when you turn the light on, it will be in the last mode that you used). The first mode is “moonlight,” which is completely useless – you have to have the flashlight within an inch of the page to read text if the page is non-reflective, and the beam can only be seen to reach the floor in complete darkness with fully dark-adapted eyes. Run time in moonlight mode is 10 days (runtimes are listed in the instruction booklet, but not on the website, BTW). The next mode is “mid,” which is 50 lumens for 3:45. This is the mode I use the light in most of the time, since it provides enough light for pretty much every task I have needed the light for and doesn’t heat up the light much. Finally, high mode is 210 lumens for 55 minutes, though I wouldn’t want to run it for more than a few minutes due to heat (and in fact, the light automatically steps down from high to mid after three minutes of high to protect the LED from the heat and conserve the battery). In my experience, 200 lumens is the point where I no longer find myself wishing for more light, so it’s great that a 2-AAA pen light can do that output.

The beam tint from the Cree XP-G2 R5 is nice and neutral to my eyes, and probably won’t bother people who prefer warm white LEDs.

Finally, the light is IPX-8 rated (waterproof to 2 meters) and impact resistant to one meter, which I find nice to have.

One thing that I noticed was that I could easily hear the batteries clicking around in the tube as I walked when I had the light clipped to my pants pocket. However, this could probably easily be fixed by wrapping a little electrical tape around the batteries.

Overall, I am very surprised with how much I like this light. It has become one of my EDC lights thanks to its light weight and even, floody beam profile. Only the useless moonlight mode keeps me from rating this light higher.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:07
hank
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Quote:
The first mode is “moonlight,” which is completely useless

Have you given your eyes the full 30 to 45 minutes for adapting to the dark?
Last night’s meteor shower is a good example of the value of doing that.
That’s when a very low ‘moonlight’ is very helpful.

Kalihi
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hank wrote:
Quote:
The first mode is “moonlight,” which is completely useless

Have you given your eyes the full 30 to 45 minutes for adapting to the dark?
Last night’s meteor shower is a good example of the value of doing that.
That’s when a very low ‘moonlight’ is very helpful.

Yes, I have.

As I said in the Youtube video review, I love moonlight modes. I use the 0.2 lumen rated moonlight mode on my Thorfire VG-10 all the time, as well as the 0.4 lumen rated moonlight mode on my Thrunite TN12.

But, even when when I completely blacked out my bedroom (even blocking off the standby LEDs from electronics), and giving my eyes time to adjust with a quick nap, I could barely even see the floor with the PF04’s moonlight beam!

The Miller
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Thanks for the review
Moon seems tricky, glad we have Narsil for the Q8 with 7 different moon levels to configure Wink

Speedsix
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I agree that the moonlight mode is pretty much useless. I consider moonlight mode in general to be a useless feature that only flashaholics seem to clamor for. Normal people don’t want this. I am a normal person, most of the time. Lol

I have only even wanted moonlight mode once or twice in my life and in those cases, my hand over the light blocked the amount I needed blocked. 99.99% of the time, moonlight mode is totally worthless to me. Lucky, this penlight has memory so the modes don’t get in the way.