Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA EDC Flashlight / Penlight

Lately there have been a proliferation of these 2xAAA flashlights. This form factor never really interested me before, but a few of the newer ones from Thrunite, Nitecore and Thorfire have piqued my interest.

I've never owned a Thorfire, which is a newer brand, and I never bought one of the good 2xAAA flashlights, so I started ordering what looked like the best of these type of lights. This Thrunite Ti4 was purchased from Amazon and was the very first 2xAAA Cree flashlight I've held in my hands.

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product Link
Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product Link


Product Description

Price: $25.95 online

This is a 2xAAA "penlight" with a reverse clicky tail switch and featuring 3 brightness modes and a hidden strobe mode. This model uses a Cree XP-G2 LED emitter, with mine being the neutral white version.

Official Specs (From Amazon)


LED: Cree XP-G2 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time 
Mode & Runtime (Tested with 2*Ni-MH/900mAh): Firefly(0.3 lumens, 137hours), Low (24 lumens, 12hours), High (252 lumens, 51minutes), Strobe (252 lumens, 90 minutes) 
Working voltage: 0.9-3 V 
Battery: 2xAAA Batteries(not included) 
Peak Beam Intensity: 1120 cd 
Beam Distance: 67 m 
Waterproof: IPX-8 
Impact Resistance: 2 m 
Material: Aircraft grade aluminum body structure with premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish 
Weight: 22.3 g (without battery) 
Dimension: 132.9 x 14.2 mm 
Accessories: 2x spare o-ring 

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product View 1

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight With Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen and Kershaw Skyline Pocket Knife

First Impressions


I put in some brand new Eneloop Pro AAA batteries I bought just for this flashlight and clicked it on. At the same time I got a warm fuzzy and a cold prickly. I love the tint of this neutral white version, and I hate the tail clicky switch. It has way too much travel, just like some of the reviewers on Amazon pointed out.

But this was the only flashlight I could find in the 2xAAA class to even offer a neutral white version, so the beautiful tint will make up for its other sins. The mode spacing is also good, and the main reason why I usually buy Thrunite before other brands: they usually use higher quality circuitry and mode spacing. They've come a long way from the first Netron 1C that got replaced 3 times before I just gave up trying to get a good one.

Overall, my first impression of the Ti4 was pretty good. I can live with the switch and as a "spoiler alert," I will say that the head of this light "legos" with the Nitecore MT06, meaning you can put the head of this flashlight on the other flashlight's body!

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product View 3Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product View 4
Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Product View 5


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight With Hugsby Mini, Nitecore MT06, Thorfire PF04


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Switch 1Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Cree XP-G2 Emitter


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Head 2Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Head 1

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Closeup 1Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Reflector Closeup 1

Fit And Finish


Overall, very good. The clip looks a little rough around the edges, and even has what looks like a heat blemish on it, but that's pretty much par for the course for just about any clip with any flashlight these days. But the clip is anodized, and that's a nice touch. The anodizing is spot on overall, the machining is good, and it ticks all the other boxes, like a centered emitter. It's a tough call, but this might have the best fit and finish out of my growing 2xAAA penlight collection. But they all have good fit and finish, so again, it's tough to decide. Other stuff like the lubed threads, o-rings, etc., are all fine.

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Threads Closeup 1

Cree XP-G2 Emitter


This flashlight has the medium-die-size XP-G2 emitter. Coupled with a small reflector, the beam from this model is pure flood--just a wall of light. The model I bought is the neutral white version with what seems to be about a 2C tint just estimating with my eyeballs. Maybe 3C

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Reflector Comparison
From Left: Hugsby 2xAAA, Nitecore MT06, Thrunite Ti4, Thorfire PF04

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tint Comparison

Modes


They say it's moonlight, medium and high, but it's more like low1, low2 and turbo. I really like the mode spacing on this model, though. The lowest setting is low enough to be useful where you would want moonlight, but high enough to be used by my sister the EMT to dilate a patient's pupils in the field.

This model has what I call "short term memory," meaning that it will remember the last mode for a minute or so--I didn't measure the exact time.

The mode order is also just like I want most of the time: low, medium and high. I realize that mode order is like arguing religion with flashlights, but it bugs me when a flashlight that has a useful low starts out on a higher mode. Most of the time if I'm using moonlight mode, then it's for tasks like using the restroom in a strange place, where I don't want to wake everyone up and/or blind them with 252 lumens. So, Thrunite is one of those companies that really listens to the hardcore enthusiasts.

To access the hidden strobe mode, cycle through all three modes twice.

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Animated Modes

Circuitry


This model uses what appears to be a well-regulated, constant current circuit. I could detect no trace of PWM on any mode. Lights with this type of circuitry tend to be more efficient, giving you better run time, which is why I only use constant current circuit flashlights for emergency bags.

Beam


The Ti4 puts out a beam of almost pure flood. The Cree XP-G2 gives this model tremendous output for its size, but the die size of the LED is almost as big as the reflector. So, if you are looking for a beam to throw a great distance, then this probably isn't your model. Lights in this class still get some decent throw, just from brute force, but they don't have anywhere near the throw of the smaller-die Cree emitters.

Reflector


What I have always liked about my Chevy Suburban is that it doesn't try to convince you that it's a car. It drives like a truck, and everything about it is truck-ish. Similarly, Thrunite went with a very shallow, orange peel reflector to make it a very smooth and uniform "wall of light."

Output


The output on this model is fantastic. I believe this is the current output champ for its class. I'm guessing that the 252 lumen stated output is for the cool white version, but it seems to my eyeballs to be firmly in the 200 range, comparing it to other NW I have in that general output range.

Now, with great power comes great heat, and this light heats up to where most regular users would start getting uncomfortable holding it after about 5 minutes on high. The regulation seems to do a good job keeping it right below that point where it could overheat--they did a good job.


Tail Switch


I mentioned earlier in the post that I hate the "reverse clicky" tail switch. It's not that it's bad quality, because the quality is fine. It's just that it has too much travel with a very short throw with the switch itself, making it very clumsy. It's not a deal breaker, and like I said, it's of decent quality, but it's just very annoying. It also makes the light itself longer than the Nitecore MT06, and the longest in its class as far as I know.

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Switch Closeup 2Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Switch Closeup 1


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Switch Closeup 4Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Tail Switch Closeup 3



Deep Carry Clip


The clip is anodized, it's removable, but yet attaches securely to the body as part of the tail switch assembly. It's even a decent quality. Wait, a clip I not only don't hate, but actually like? It doesn't feel flimsy like the MT06 clip, or even other Thrunite clips I have.

I almost thought the body had a metal burr on it, but it's actually keyed to the clip. If you key the clip correctly, and don't screw up the o-ring, then you will be rewarded with a clip that's so secure, it won't spin on body and scratch the nice finish. They thought of everything.

My clip has what looks like a heat blemish on it, which doesn't affect the functionality, and actually makes me happy that maybe they heat treated the clip.

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Deep Carry Clip 1
Above, you can see the keying on the clip and body
Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Deep Carry Clip 4Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Deep Carry Clip 2


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Deep Carry Clip 5Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Deep Carry Clip 6


Comparison To Nitecore MT06


These seemed to be the top 2 pen lights in the 2xAAA class of flashlights, so I figured I would compare these two directly.

  • The MT06 has a long head with a short switch, where the Ti4 has a long switch and a short head.
  • The Ti4 has 3 modes plus a strobe, where the MT06 is 2 modes.
  • The Ti4 uses a constant current circuit for every mode, where the MT06 uses PWM for both of its modes.
  • The Ti4 has a better clip.
  • The Ti4 uses a Cree XP-G2, where the MT06 uses the small-die XQ-E emitter.
  • The Ti4 has a neutral white version available.
  • The Ti4 uses a L-M-H mode order, where the MT06 uses a L-H mode order.
Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight With Nitecore MT06 And Lumintop Tool


Interchangeable Heads With MT06


This light "legos" well with the MT06. I have tested the Ti4 head on the MT06 body, and it works well! The great thing about this configuration is that you're getting the shorter head with the shorter switch, making the MT06 shorter than it was!

When I am done testing and reviewing all these lights, I might just settle on this lego configuration for my EDC.

Run Time Tests


All tests were performed with a new batch of Eneloop Pro AAA NiMH batteries I just got from Amazon, hot off the charger. I will do the low test if I have time, as the estimated run time is over 100 hours!


Mode Run Time
Low -
Medium 11 hours, 5 minutes
High 1 hour, 6 minutes

High Mode Test Notes

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Thermometer Measurement

  • 80-90 degrees F measured with infrared thermometer @ 15 minutes.
  • Lost regulation @ 45 minutes--flickered for a second and started dimming.
  • Just a few lumens @ 55 minutes.
  • Sub-lumens @ 60 minutes, coasting down to nothing @ 66 minutes.

Weights & Measures


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - On Scale

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Caliper Measurement



Conclusions


The tint on my neutral white Ti4 is fantastic, and so is the output. Normally the NW versions give you  noticeably less lumens, but this model cranks up the current to the LED, and at least to my eyeballs seems to be the brightness champ. The clip is even good, and I almost universally hate most clips.

My Ti4 is close to being the flashlight I hoped it would be. I hate the long-throw switch, and it's almost a deal breaker if I wasn't in love with the tint. But the Ti4 head legos with not only my MT06, but the Thorfire PF04 I just got today. Not as well with the Thorfire, but it's functional.

For the most part, I like this whole batch of 2xAAA penlights. Thrunite has a lot of competition in this space. I still have 3 or 4 more penlights in my shopping cart, so I may not be finished.

Gallery


Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Unboxing 1

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Unboxing 2

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight - Unboxing 3

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight Another With Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen and Kershaw Skyline Pocket Knife

Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA Flashlight / Penlight With Swag





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