Author Topic: Thorfire TK 18 / Full review  (Read 1676 times)

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Offline robo819

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Thorfire TK 18 / Full review
« on: January 13, 2018, 01:22:52 PM »
This is the new Thorfire TK18 sent for my review and NO other compensation other than keeping the light.

At the time of my review the light can be found at the Amazon site only as far as I am aware of……… is external) (Link NON Affiliated)
20 off with code ... 3VSIRROL .... using this link.........
The TK 18 is the newest in the Thorfire lineup of EDC lights. It is an 18650 sized light , but also will accept 2 x CR123A cells. The light comes with the basic user manual and extra O-rings. The UI is a 2 group mode with the “Ramping” and you can also change over to the regular L/M/H/Turbo if you desire the regular modes.
The ramping mode is a little bit slow on the second half of it , although the first half (from moon to around medium) works pretty fast. The regular mode group works as it should. I think Thorfire will probably get this lined out with the lights though given their track record listening to what is said from the end users.

There is a tail switch and side switch both. The tail switch is used for on/off and also for momentary , with a half press and the side switch for the ramping or regular mode changes. The side switch is lighted with a Green light showing when the light is turned on and then it also acts as a voltage indicator turning to Orange when the cell gets below 3.4 volts and then it starts blinking red once the cell is at 2.8 to 3 volts, to let you know the cell is nearing depletion. When charging the indicator light colors work in reverse order until the cell is fully charged and the indicator turns Green.

The TK 18 has mode memory and it will memorize the last used mode in the regular mode group and come back on in that mode once turned off. In the Ramping mode the light will memorize whatever level you are at and come back on at that level.
The mode groups are changed by 4 quick clicks of the side switch when the light is turned on. In the ramping mode of course you simply press and hold the side switch down to get the desired level of brightness you want and then release the button to stop there. In the regular modes the brightness increases with each click of the side switch and then once you reach the highest setting the order will reverse back down with each click and then vise-versa.

I have found NO sharp edges or any flaws in the anodizing anywhere.
All the threads are well machined square cut threads ,very smooth and were lubed well when I received the light.

The knurling is a large pineapple design and looks very nice , while maintaining a pretty good grip surface still. The fins seem to handle the heat from the light just fine also.

The TK 18 has the XP-L2 emitter in a nice neutral tint , mounted on a DTP all copper board and uses an orange peel reflector , giving a good balance of both throw and coverage , or flood.

I feel I MUST mention this in case anyone decides to bump current as I did………
I decided to change out the R082 resistor that is on the driver and found that using a R050 in the place of the original CAN and WILL let the driver draw too much current. I took the amperage from 2.94 up to 5.71 amps with the resistor change and at first it worked well it seemed. The problem comes when the cell starts getting depleted as the driver seems to be a constant current and starts drawing more to keep the amperage at a steady level when the cell starts getting low. This coupled with the fact that the XP-L2 emitter has a low forward voltage , proved to be just too much draw and heat in the end and the light stopped working properly once it had gotten the driver components so hot.
If you do decide to mod or change any resistors use caution so you dont get the amperage too high as I did. I have not been able to figure out just what component got damaged yet , but I do know it was NOT the resistor , mosffet ,or the inductor as I have tried several others with no improvements. I cannot find any other component on the driver that looks to be blown or burned out.

Overall I think the TK 18 is a very nice light and will be a winner , especially once the ramping mode is smoothed out.

Although I killed the driver before I did any run time testing , I did measure the amperage and lumens……..

For those who do not want to see the whole video , there are more still pictures of the light , still beamshots and the outdoor live footage in the video.
The still shots and teardown and beamshots start at 6:07 of the video timeline and the outdoor footage starts at 10:39 of the video timeline.
Link to the video on Youtube , as the embed codes are not working here  still.........

Listed Specs...........
 CREE XPL2 Led: with lifespan of 20+ years
 Size: 5.28 inch( length) * 1.33 inch (Body diameter)
 Weight: 3.2 oz (excluding battery)
 Color Temperature: 5350-5500K
 Working voltage: 2.8-8.4V
 Reverse polarity protection
 Low voltage protection
 Made from aircraft grade aluminum
 IPX8 water resistant design
 Full press the tail switch to turn on the light. Another press to turn the light off. TK18 light also has tactical switch for momentary-on without making a sound.
 Ramping Mode:
 For first time use, the light starts from ramping by default. At ramping mode, press and hold ramps up and down. Changing direction unless paused for more than 1.5 seconds.
 5 Modes:
 At mode set, press the side switch to change mode in order of Low/Mid/High/Turbo/High/Mid/Low.
 Ramping & 5 Modes Shift:
 When light on, quickly click the side switch 4 times to shift from ramping to 5 mode set.
 Bike Strobe Mode:
 At any mode, triple press the side switch to activate bike strobe mode.
 Mode Memory:
 The light will remember the last used mode and starts with the remembered mode when you turn it on again.

Side switch power indicator: When battery voltage is higher than 3.4v, the indicator will show green; 3-3.4V will make it turn orange;2.8-3V will be red.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 09:17:01 AM by robo819 »

Offline SG-1

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Re: Thorfire TK 18 / Full review
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 08:46:01 PM »
Looks like this light may be my next EDC.  Can not think of a better order to change modes & the mode memory is perfect.

Offline robo819

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Re: Thorfire TK 18 / Full review
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 02:51:59 PM »
It is a pretty nice light and with the new look and 2 mode groups , it really makes the TK 18 stand out from a lot of my EDC lights.