Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Thrunite T10S [1xAA EDC Flashlight]

One of the things I like best about Thrunite is the fact that most of their flashlights have sub-lumen "moonlight" mode. Some people like me find this mode very useful for waking up in the middle of the night and having just enough light to see without disturbing others around you. Whether walking to a campsite bathroom in the middle of the night or checking on your kids with the flu, it's something I seem to use as much as the higher output modes. So I was happy to see the T10S come out in early 2014, and snapped one up from Amazon via Thrunite's Amazon store. Getting it in 2 days with prime is much better than waiting 3 weeks from China.


Product Description


The T10S is a 1xAA "every day carry" style flashlight featuring the latest Cree XP-G2 LED emitter. It uses a "reverse clicky" style tail switch and is the entire unit is made from solid stainless steel, including the tail switch. I'm pretty sure it's their first stainless steel model. With a removable deep carry clip, a moonlight mode and tail stand ability, this has just about everything that I look for in an EDC flashlight. And if that's not all, it even comes with a wand style diffuser so you can use it as a lantern.

There seems to be some confusion over between this new T10S model and and older twisty model T10, which is now called Saber.

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Product Link
Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: With Other AA Flashlights
The T10S sits about in the middle of my 1xAA collection as far as size
Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Shown With Sanyo Eneloop Battery

Official Specs (From Amazon)


  • Max output: 169 lumens
  • Uses one 1.5V AA battery
  • OP reflector gives perfect flood
  • Cree XP-G2 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time
  • Reverse polarity protection design to protect from improper battery installation

Official Specs (From Thrunite)


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Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Product Image 1

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Product Image 2

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Product Image 3


Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Product Image 4

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Product Image 5


Initial Impressions


Taking this thing out of the box, I could tell that Thrunite was serious about this model. At the same time it's more solid looking than I thought it would be, and thinner! It's almost as thin as my compact "twisty" style 1xAA lights. My gripe with some of the other manufacturers is that they tend to focus on their more profitable high end models and don't put much thought into their smaller, EDC style flashlights. They thought everything through, and I like just about everything about T10S, from the smooth feeling steel switch to the free diffuser wand. Except for the clip. The design of the clip, the shape--it's all perfect. Except that the clip itself is way too thin. It's barely rigid enough to carry in my pocket.

From day one, I knew this was going to be one that found time in my pocket, but that I was going to have to find a better clip for it. The upside is that the clip is replaceable and looks fairly standard, and the flashlight itself gives me the first impression of being a fantastic model. 

I'm not a huge fan of reverse switches, and metal switches can be hit and miss. Whether this went in my pocket or straight into the "bag of shame" would be determined by the feel of the tail switch. It's fantastic. The switch has a smooth feel and is forgiving about being depressed on the edges. 

Build Quality


Overall, excellent. It's compact, but seems to be built like a tank. Steel and more steel. The machining on my sample is almost perfect. It's well designed and well executed. This could be one of those classic "beater" models that take abuse every day and keep on working. Stainless steel does very well over time, unlike anodized Aluminum where the finish will eventually wear off. 

The lens and reflector also look to be top notch.

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Shown With SanRenMu GB-763 Pocket Knife


Fit and Finish


Overall, good. I think the sub-standard quality clip should count against the fit and finish. Other than the clip, the finish on the flashlight itself is near flawless. Out of the box, it didn't have a single nick or scratch on it anywhere that I could see. Any scratches you might see in the photos were taken after carrying it around. But out of the box, it was about as good as I've seen. 

The scalloped tail is smooth, and shaped like it should be, and the steel tail switch has a near perfect feel. The machining on the threads is very good, and has a very good feel turning the head. My sample has a light coating of oil on it. The o-ring looks good. This model should have a pretty good water resistance.

Everything about the optics looks legit as well. I can see the telltale tint of a good quality anti-reflective coating on the good looking lens. The orange peel reflector looks good, too: the coating is nice and uniform. The LED emitter is also well centered.

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup Of Threads-BodyThrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup Of Threads-Head

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup Of Tail SwitchThrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup Of Emitter and Reflector


Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup Of HeadThrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Moonlight Mode

Modes


This model features a moonlight, medium and high mode with mode memory. Some people aren't big fans of mode memory but I am. Sometimes I want to come on in moonlight mode, like when I'm camping or as a night stand light, and most of the time around the house I want it to come on in high mode. The mode memory is ideal for that.

Half pressing the reverse tail switch will cycle between different modes. Leaving the light on a mode for more than 2 seconds will set that mode to memory. What Thrunite calls a low to me seems more like a medium. That's fine, because I actually like the mode spacing.

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Animated Modes

Twisty Interface


With the tail switch on, the T10S can also function as a twisty style light, where you rapidly twist the light on and off to advance between modes.

PWM


The T10S doesn't seem to use Pulse Width Modulation on moonlight or low, but I can detect it on High using my cell phone camera. It's very high frequency, though, and not like the obnoxious low frequency version visible to the naked eye. I'm not a fan of PWM but in this case I'm fine with it because the lower modes don't have it, which should give this model very good runtime. From what I can tell, the claimed runtime of 147 hours is believable. So the PWM gives the high mode a better tint without taking away much efficiency like it would for the lower modes. A pretty smart move.

Lithium-Ion


I did try a TrustFire Flame 14500 3.7 V Lithium-ion battery in mine, and it works.It's not officially supported, and I wouldn't run it on high longer than a few minutes, but it's nice to have that option. The mode spacing also seems relatively intact--better than most. 

Clip


The T10S comes with an included allen wrench to mount the removable clip, which is included. If you have a better one, throw this one away. If you don't, try not to strip the screws, which is what the included wrench almost did to mine. I needed to use a good quality allen wrench to mount the clip flush with the flashlight body. At least they give you an extra pair of screws if you do strip them. 

The design of the clip is perfect. I'm a big fan of deep carry clips, and it mounts at the very end of the tail like a deep carry clip should. The clip is also shaped just like a good deep carry clip should be. It's a classic looking clips just like I'd find on my other better quality lights such as Nitecore or EagleTac. It would be the perfect clip if it wasn't so thin. It's just not rigid enough, and after about a week the gap between the clip and the body kept growing.

After about a month of carrying it, the clip is basically now just a hook. Even my $3.99 Sipik 68 clone has a more rigid clip. Seeing that the T10S is such a good flashlight, it's clear that I need to find another clip for it. I've seen several good candidates online.

Update: I ordered this clip from Fasttech for a couple bucks. Let's see if it works!

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup of Clip 1

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: Closeup of Clip 2
It sticks out after being in my pocket so long


Diffuser


The included wand style diffuser is a nice bonus for an already great flashlight. It also fits my L3 Illuminations L10 twisty as well. 

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: With Diffuser 1

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: With Diffuser 2

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight: With Diffuser 3




Usability


This is a good flashlight day to day. The switch has a good feel and the body is very compact for a stainless steel 1xAA form factor. The mode memory is ideal for me because I keep the light on high around the house. But I like knowing that if suddenly I'm in an emergency situation like a broken down vehicle, I can switch the light to low and get 40 hours of light. I actually had my truck break down a couple months ago and held my flashlight while a mechanic friend worked on it for several hours. And it's no secret that I'm a big fan of moonlight mode flashlights. I won't travel without one. So that's another plus for this light: something that is useful no matter where I am.

Beam


The T10S has a very floody beam. It's more suitable for looking in a dark closet than seeing something across a large backyard, though it does have a very good output for its size. I do not have a lux meter but the stated output of 169 lumens is believable.

An orange peel reflector gives the beam a nice, smooth texture. The anti-reflective glass lens looks good. I'm sure it helps the output. All things considered, I think it has a pretty good beam pattern for how slender it is. It would be nice if the beam had a little tighter hot spot, but it's certainly acceptable given that it's a larger-die Cree XP-G2 in it.

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Beam Shot With L10 Nichia
T10S  on left and L3 Illuminations L10 Nichia 219 on right

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Beam Shot With L10 XP-G2
T10S  on left and L3 Illuminations L10 Nichia XPG-2 on right


Tint


My old eyes aren't the best judge, but the tint on high is cool white leaning towards neutral white. It's certainly not blue-ish or green-ish. The good tint on high is probably a purposeful byproduct of the high frequency PWM on that mode only. At least that my camera can detect.

Run Time Tests


Tests performed with a 2nd generation Sanyo Eneloop AA battery hot off the charger.


ModeStatedActual
Moonlight147 hours?
Low39 hours16 hours
High1 1/2 hours1 hour, 13 minutes

Notes:

  • Very warm to the touch on high after about 10 minutes.
  • On high test, it seemed to dim noticeably at about the 1 hour mark and rapidly decreased to nothing.

Conclusions


This could turn out to be a classic EDC style light. The clip is horrible and even the allen wrench it comes with is horrible. But the flashlight itself seems well designed and well executed. If you like moonlight mode and you like mode memory, you will like this model. I've read where the clip might be compatible with some other brand's products such as Nitecore. And holding it up side by side to my Nitecore SRT3, the mountings look identical. The SRT3 may need to take one for the team.

Gallery



Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Packaging 1

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Packaging 2

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Packaging 3
It comes with an extra set of screws

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight On Scale
Weight in ounces with Sanyo Eneloop

Thrunite T10S 1xAA Flashlight Next To Ruler




5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review...I really enjoy your site and all the great EDC reviews. Can you post an update when you pick a replacement clip?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, and thanks for reminding me! I updated the post with the link to the clip I just ordered. I figure if it doesn't fit the T10S, then I'll put thew new clip on my Roche F12.

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  2. Thanks for the update! Amazon is out of stock on the light. Hopefully I will be able to find it somewhere else.

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  3. Thanks for the review. Did the clip work out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, no. It took over 45 days to arrive from Fasttech and it didn't fit. But at least it fit my Roch F12 so it's not a total loss.

      Delete