Friday, April 24, 2015

Thorfire PF01/PF02, AAA battery powered flashlights(discount code inside)

The object of my review below are two EDC flashlights from the manufacturer Thorfire.
Many of you have already seen these flashlights.
The models are PF01 and PF02.Both flashlights are almost identical,share the same tail-cap,head,LED with the difference that the first is powered by single AAA battery,the second is powered by two AAA batteries.
Alkaline or Ni-MH batteries can be used.
Three brightness modes Moonlight-Low-High. No flashing modes.
Actual price PF01 $15, PF02 $18.

Thorfire is currently offering a 3$ discount for the PF01 after adding the code  PPRPKGGJ
on their Amazon store (no aff)

Both flashlights look really well.Clean design,without too much knurling,grooves,etc.
Tactical crown bezel.

The rear switch is forward clicky switch with momentary ON option.
The switch cap is sufficiently protruding,which makes it quite comfortable to use.

Aluminum alloy body.Glossy black anodizing.

Crown shape bezel on both models.

Orange peel reflectors.

The glass lens is not anti-reflective coated.

The actual PF01 and PF02 flashlights feature Cree XP-E2 LED.
Orange peel reflector made of aluminum.
This is just the right choice for LED and reflector.
The XP-E2 led is very small and highly efficient.
A textured reflector is the best choice for small edc flashlights and gives quality beam,without unusual artifacts.
The beam profile is similar to the Thrunite Ti lights. Maybe a little smaller hotspot.
The light is clean cool white,with no visible bluish or greenish tint.

Moonlight-Low-High modes
distance 1 meter, white wall

Here is a picture directly from the user manual that comes with the PF01.

User Interface
Three lighting modes.
Moonlight-Low-High as the light starts on Moonlight.
No mode memory. The light should be Off for about two seconds to return to the default mode(Moonlight). If restarted earlier,it will switch to the next mode.
Because the switch is with forward activation,changing modes is possible by restarting the light(fully pressing the switch,not just tapping it while turned On),or selecting the mode(while Off) before full press with click.

In size the PF01 is definitely longer than all other 1AA flashlights I own.
Of course the tail switch adds most of the extra length.

Here is a comparison with two other flashlights with rear switches.
(This is what I used for comparison.Low priced lights,but still gives you an idea of the form factor).

In my hand.Good grip in normal use and easily accessible switch.

Good,sturdy cardboard packaging.

Accessories-One spare O-ring
No lanyrd,actually the flashlights don't have a hole for attaching.

The flashlights can be disassembled on three main parts.

Unexpected surprise here,but there is no a sealing O-ring in the front of the glass.
The flashlights are not waterproof

Standard triangular cut treads at both ends.

I like the way of attaching the LED. Saves space,wire length,the center of the LED board is directly mounted to the solid aluminum part of the head.
The wires are soldered on the bottom of the PCB.
The LED does not produce much heat in these particular flashlights,but still this is an effective design.
A grey thermal paste under the LED board for good heat transfer.

It's time for some numbers.
My lumen measurements:
PF01 1xNi-MH Duracell Duralock
High ~100 lumens initial output (not after 30 sec)
Low ~30 lumens
Moonlight ~1 lumen(hard to measure it precisely with my setup.)

PF02 performs in almost the same way with very minor differences,so the lumen measurements are actual for this model,as well.
Somehow weak performance of the PF02 for today's standards,but still acceptable in the price range and this type of batteries.

Current draw
I high 440mA
I Low 270mA
I moonlight 190mA

I high 310mA
I Low 140mA
I moonlight 60mA

Runtime comparison
High mode
Batteries Duracell NiMH

Unfortunately the light in both models is not current controlled.
The brightness is adjusting by PWM with a frequency of 122Hz,which is the lowest that can be found in a flashlight(at least in the flashlights I own).
Usually frequency of 1000Hz and lower can be easily detected by eyes(moving your eyes while the flashlight is static,when you illuminate moving objects,or just moving the flashlight quickly) and the 122Hz PWM is really big disadvantage of these flashlights,pulling them into the lowest budget range lights.
PWM is used on Low and Moonlight mode. On High mode the light is constant. If you mostly use a 50-100 lumen mode,then the PWM will not be so big issue. But if you like to use the lowest mode on your flashlight,it's better to look elsewhere.

Low mode(left) , Moonlight mode(right)
PWM curve

The PF01 and PF02 have identical tail-cap.
The retaining ring that does hold the switch in place is made of plastic,making a weak point here.

The pocket clip is well made and attached.
May be too loose for some users,though,if they prefer to carry the flashlight very securely attached.

A big plus for some people could be the option for attaching the clip in reverse position.
The PF01 and PF02 have the same attaching point at the head.

In a very short conclusion-I like the form factor and idea of the PF01 and PF02.They are comfortable in use,good build quality for their price.
I would recommend Thorfire to redesign the driver circuit in their future flashlights and to add an O-ring and maybe anti-reflective coating for the glass lens.

Thanks for reading!
Hope you enjoyed the review and found it helpful.
If you have any question or comments,please post below.Your feedback about the review and opinion on the reviewed flashlight is always highly appreciated!

- Thanks to Thorfire for providing the PF01 and PF02 for test and review. -