Hey all. Here’s my capsule review of the Thorfire PF01S, a “Tactical” AAA light. Due to lack of time, the review will be brief but to the point. It includes a complete teardown as well.
My apologies to Thorfire for the delay in the review.
So, Thorfire contacted me for a review of their “tactical” AAA light, I received a sample to put it through it’s paces. No payment was accepted for a review.
It is currently available on Amazon for about $13, though it is available through other vendors as well.
The light came packaged in a standard cardboard box with attached pocket clip and extra o-rings. Anodizing and fit and finish were good. The pocket clip is very firm (a plus) and the design is reversible. It is not deep carry however, so a fair bit of the tail protrudes from one’s pocket.
The light itself is fairly large (98x15mm). It’s actually one of my largest AAA lights. The block pattern on the body does provide reasonable grip, though not as much as actual knurling.
The reflector is deeper than most, providing a tighter spot and more throw compared to most comparable AAA lights. The LED is a cool white XPG2. Not objectionable, but I prefer warm/neutral tints.
The bezel has mild crenulations to lend the light a tactical feel.
The switch is a forward clicky with fairly long travel. The switch had fairly good feel, a loud “click”, but felt a bit vague at times.
The threads were all the usual triangular threads. There was quite a bit of thread play but luckily this is a clicky light so it did not affect function. The threads did not come lubricated.
The head is glued to the body. Some effort was required to remove the head and dismantle it. I wanted to see what was moddable.
Dismantling the switch revealed the source of the vague feeling. The plunger is a long, solid rubber piece. It flexes and binds a touch at times, making the switch feel a bit less crisp. It’s an odd design and I’m unsure how waterproof it is. I tried replacing the parts but could not find anything that would fit and improve the feel.
The pill and reflector assembly is quite unique and quite long. The reflector is pressed onto the LED die. Note, I found no o-ring a the lens, so I don’t believe this light is waterproof.
Note the insulating tape around the LED. This helps to achieve proper focus.
The pill itself has ridges inside where the circuit fits. An alternative driver cannot really be used since there is no way to unscrew the pill without the stock driver. The LED is on a standard board however and can be changed (I modded mine with a spare Nichia 219A for more pleasant tint and better colour rendering).
I decided that I wanted a different look so I stripped off the anodizing and brushed off the finish on the clip. It cleans up well and is much more pleasant with a Nichia 219A LED.
Here’s another view.
I sanded down the crenulations to make it more pocket friendly.
Comments about UI, levels etc.
So the UI is simple, Low-medium-high with off-time memory. This is a very good interface with an intuitive memory mode. As long as the light remains off for more than half a second, it retains the last mode. This is important for a forward clicky light.
The levels are a mixed bag, they appear to be around 0.5-50-120 lumens. The moonlight mode is nice and dim but the medium level is far too high and far too close to the high level. The light is not rated to run on Lithium ion (10440) batteries so I did not attempt to test it.
This is an interesting light. It bills itself as a “tactical” AAA light. This is likely due to the design, forward clicky and crenulations. While this may be unique, it makes the light larger than it needs to be and the switch is a bit vague because of it’s construction. The switch and the lack of a lens o-ring also casts doubt on the waterproofness of the design.
The UI is good, but the levels should be adjusted for better level spacing.
Overall, it’s a pretty good effort, but I see a few areas of improvement.
(Note, while I have not seen it in person, the Thorfire PF03 seems like a promising design.)