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Thread: Review: Thorfire TK4A: XP-L, 1100 lumens, 460 meters, 4xAA; (beam)shots, compare

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    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    The Netherlands

    Arrow Review: Thorfire TK4A: XP-L, 1100 lumens, 460 meters, 4xAA; (beam)shots, compare

    Review: Thorfire TK4A: XP-L, 1100 lumens, 460 meters, 4xAA; (beam)shots, compare

    An interesting addition to the Thorfire-family is the TK4A: a compact but powerful flashlight that is powered (like a lot of Thorfires) by readily available batteries. This friendly prized ďsoda-can-flashlightĒ has some nice (output) options and should have great throw too. Is this Thorfire worth its prize and how does it perform against an equal flashlight? Iíll give to the answers to these questions in my review. Letís kick off!

    the ďsoda-can-lightĒ of the Thorfire-family

    the TK4A

    powered by a XPL-LED

    this compact torch runs on readily available AA-batteries

    So, letís start, as usual, by looking at the description and the specs, given by Thorfire:

    XP-L LED with a lifespan of 20 years
    Battery: Uses 4*AA Ni MH / Ni Cd/Alkaline(Not Included)
    Material: Made of Aircraft-grade aluminum
    Size: approx. 115mm(Length) * 41mm(Body Diameter)
    Weight: 178.5-gram weight (Excluding the battery)
    Water resistant: IPX-8, underwater 2m
    Impact resistant: 1m
    Intensity: 11600cd (Max)
    Distance: 460m (Max)

    And the output specs:


    The box of the TK4A isnít a surprise to me: This low budget-packet has nothing special. It is sturdy enough to carry and restore the light, thereís a sticker on it that shows the light and some info about the manufacturer. Thatís all. To me no big problem, because weíre talking about a light that costs less than 40 bucks. And whatís in is more important to me.. Inside we find beside the TK4A a manual, two spare rings, a holster and a strap. So, we only need AA-batteries to start shining. Like I said before, its sufficient, but nothing special. Below some pictures that show the box and the contents.

    a light-brown carton with a sticker on it

    enough to protect and restore the TK4A

    this package hasnít something special, but is sufficient

    the contents: TK4A, lanyard, holster, manual and spare O-rings


    The TK4A is a rather compact light, that reminds to some other 4-AA lights on the market. Lights of these shape have their fans, also because of the length and the stable standing. On the other hand, it has a thick body that makes it less easy to carry it in your pants pocket. Like earlier Thorfires I met, the first impression of the TK4A is a good one: A rather heavy, but well-built flashlight. The light has a very fine knurling that ensures good grip, the anodizing job is well done, I couldnít detect defects here. No problems either to the laser-engraving. Like I mentioned, the TK4A stands stable, but hasnít a very good anti-rolling design. Luckily the edge around the power-button will save the light in most cases.. Striking detail are the three lanyard-holes at the tail; users can choose how the strap fits best. The silver ring around the switch gives the light better looks and makes the button easier to locate. An indicator is built-in to the switch and can light up in green, orange or red. Looking into the lightsí head we see a glass lens that isnít coated, a smooth reflector that show some tiny chips, and the XP-L that is centered sufficiently. Finishing could be improved a little here. The smooth running thread were lubed well at my sample; the tail-cap looks well finished, no solder or glue rests found here. At look into the battery-compartment shows some symbols how to insert the cells; and the overall quality is good here. So at the end of this chapter I can tell you that the overall quality of the TK4A is good; this is a rather cheap light but well-built and finished, you wonít be disappointed about this. Please have a look at a couple of pictures below that show details more about the TK4A!

    the TK4A of Thorfire

    a ďsoda-can-lightĒ

    that can easily be used as a candle

    thick body because of the four AA-cells

    rather heavy but compact

    recommended: rechargeable batteries, I prefer eneloops

    the TK4A has the powerful XP-L LED

    not a very good anti-rolling design, but the edge around the switch does this job

    overall quality again good

    the switch has a power indicator built-in

    good job to the laser-engraving

    the tube has three loops for the lanyard

    the XP-L is sufficiently centered

    a close look at the lubed threads

    smooth reflector for good throw

    nice design

    knurling on the body has fine structure

    the tail-cap released

    a close-up to the treads and the cells

    finishing is good, no glue or solder rests

    a look into the battery-compartment

    I found some tiny chips in the reflector

    in the holster, that has cheap looks

    the strap added-on

    the indicator lights up green: batteries are in good condition

    again some outdoor shots

    the TK4A has nice styling

    the glass-lens isnít coated

    the TK4A is controlled by one button

    red indicator means that the batteries need to be replaced

    the TK4A has a great firefly-mode

    User interface:

    This soda-can sized light is easy to carry; but for your pants pocket itís rather bulky. Most AA-lights are user-friendly torches, same to this TK4A. A big plus is that the light is powered by readily available cells; the light consumes both 1,2 volts rechargeable as 1,5 volts alkaline-batteries. I would strongly recommend to use rechargeable cells, because the risk of leakage of alkalines is there. Itís an easy job to fire up the TK4A: take a look at the symbols in the compartment and insert the four cells; that all. The power indicator in the switch will tell you about the condition of the batteries; the LED in green, orange or red will stay on as long as the light is turned on.

    Use the switch to turn the light on; a short click will turn on the light in last used mode. If the light is on, next click will bring you a step up. At this way, you can cycle through four output modes. A long press will turn off the light, a quick double press (both from off and on) will activate strobe. The moonlight mode (firefly should be a better name, this is a very good low) can only be activated from off and is a fixed mode. This means that when youíre in firefly, you canít choose another/higher output-mode. The only way to get moonlight is press and hold the button for about 2 seconds. Personally, I would like to see the possibility to choose another mode when youíre in moonlight. For the rest, Iím a fan of this really good low! Ideal checking at night without disturbing sleeping people, for night reading or if youíre need a little light for a very long time without exhausting your cells. The turbo and high-mode are time-protected: After 3 minutes at turbo or 30 minutes at high the light will step down one level.

    I didnít have any issue with the TK4A about the interface: it works well, no problems or defects. But personally I have to get used by light that I have to turn on by a short, and turn off by a long press. I know itís not that easy to have a wished functions in only one switch, but Iíve seen better options for this. I would like to see the (nice) moonlight mode also added to the normal output modes.


    The TK4A has in total five normal output mode in order of: MOONLIGHT > LOW > MID > HIGH > TURBO. One of these (MOONLIGHT) is a hidden mode. The mode-spacing is very good to me. Thereís one special mode: STROBE. This mode uses the HIGH-output of 600 lumens, not the maximum of 1100. I miss a LOCKOUT at the TK4A. Thatís a pity and hope Thorfire will if they ever will update this light. The light has a POWER-INDICATOR that will light up in green, orange or red. So, most needed modes can be found on the TK4A, main issue is the lack of a LOCKOUT.

    Size comparison:

    Because I donít own that much lights powered by four AA-cells, I only found one competitor here: the Sunwayman F40A. Iíll show both lights here side by side; when weíre going outside for the beamshots, Iíll will show you how both perform against each other.

    Eneloop AA-battery, Sunwayman F40A and Thorfire TK4A

    Sunwayman F40A and Thorfire TK4A

    Sunwayman F40A and Thorfire TK4A

    the heads: 3 x XM-L2(U2), one XHP50 and one XHP70-led

    and the tails: Sunwayman F40A and Thorfire TK4A


    The TK4A has a XP-L LED that has more throw that the often used XM-L2. This can be seen at the profile: A tiny up to medium hotspot and corona, and a lot of spill. To a light that is powered by ďonlyĒ four normal AA-batteries, the TK4A has good output and decent throw. The parameters that the manufacturer give talk say a distance of 460 meters; Iím sure off that itís less. Please scroll down to watch my beamshots, that also show that the TK4A can reach a good distance. The beam is free of defects, neither I could detect PWM at any mode. Well done here!


    The tint is good to me for a cool white light. It is clearly more neutral than the bluish tint of the Sunwayman F40A, but has some green in the corona and slightly purple in the spill. No big issue to me; I prefer this tint above a bluish, although itís not perfect.


    And now the beamshots! Firstly, Iíll show you the TK4A indoors, shining on a white wall that is about 0,75 meters away. The five output modes shown here, after that a GIF. The moonlight mode is like a firefly mode, its less than 1 lumens (Iím sure of); so you canít detect this mode on my photo here.

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, 1/125 sec, F/2.7, 35mm


    Letís have a look now at how the TK4A performs outdoors! Showing the beam on a road here, some big trees at the left, a wall at right side. You can see the five output modes here, after that a GIF of these. The moonlight mode canít be seen at the picture, but I assure you that the light is onÖ

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, 4.0 sec, F/2.7, 35mm


    At shoot-out against the F40A at this location! Clearly visible is that the TK4A has much better throw and better color-rendering. The F40A does a better job at close distance because of the used LED and the shallower reflector.

    The Thorfire TK4A compared to the the Sunwayman F40A, both on turbo:


    With the TK4A you get for less than 40 euroís a well-built torch that runs on AA-cells and that has both good output and throw. The finishing could be some better at some parts, it has a cheap-looking package but overall looks like a good product. I would like to see some changes to the interface: for example a short click for on and off and mode selecting by a long press. Also I would have a lock-out function added.

    If youíre looking for a cheap light for in and around house, camping or in your car, this TK4A may be a good pick for you!

    - Thorfire TK4A provided for review Ė

    Last edited by kj75; 10-12-2017 at 07:46 AM.

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