Thrunite TN12 v4 Tactical flashlight review
Thrunite is a well-established brand that produces a lot of great products. The TN12 is a long-time seller with currently version 4 as their latest iteration.
Originally launched in 2016, it now has a CREE XP-L LED to produce 1100 lumen with a single 18650 battery. The battery is not included by the way. The TN12 is one of the best and most affordable tactical flashlights. Unfortunately, when I bought it, there was no choice of the type of emitters. Now, they have 2 versions, Cold White and Neutral White. This review is for the CW version n.
What you’ll get:
Thrunite uses good quality carton boxes to ship their lights and there is really nothing to complain about its packaging. They included a nice amount of accessories. And all that for just about $40 is not a bad deal at all.
- The Thrunite TN12 v4 flashlight
- Pocket clip
- Spare O-rings
- Spare rubber boot
Thrunite TN12 v4 specifications
|Brand and model||Thrunite TN12 v4|
|LED||Cree XPL v6|
|Review date||March 2020|
Handling of the light
I always like it when manufacturers include different kinds of accessories. For a $40 flashlight, you get lots of money for the buck. If you don’t like to use the pocket clip, you can choose between the lanyard or the carry pouch. The holster has 2 attachment points, 1 for a belt and 1 at the top with a plastic thing that looks like a non-circular ring.
The TN12 v4 uses a dual-button design. This basically means that you have a side switch for changing modes and a tail switch for power. The side switch has a little blue LED behind it to indicate the battery level. The power switch is great for signaling since it’s a forward clicky. But a full click is a little difficult. When you hold the TN12 with your thumb on the tail switch, it’s difficult to really activate it. You have to use the tip of your thumb to press it. Please look at the natural position of your thumb in the 2nd picture, that way it’s hard to press the switch.
Handling the light is great since the knurling gives it a much better grip than many other Tactical flashlights. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really tail stand, but that might not be needed anyway with this type of light.
Build Quality, knurling, threads, and anodization
The TN12 v2 has a shiny coating that is not particularly beautiful, but there is nothing to complain about the build quality. I couldn’t find any problems with the anodization. The O-rings on both ends of the battery tube were slightly lubed. No lube on the threads though.
The body and tailcap have relatively rough knurling, which helps your grip.
The threading on both sides of the body is done very well. You can tell that by untwisting the tailcap a few times and putting it back on. With some flashlight, you might have some difficulty screwing the parts together, but with the TN12 everything goes super smooth.
I haven’t tested the strength of the pocket clip, but it feels pretty sturdy.
LEDs, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
According to Thrunite, the TN12 v4 uses a CREE XPL v6 LED. I can’t really see what version number it is, but it definitely looks like an XP-L LED with a normal silicone dome. The LED is centered really well in the middle of the reflector. At the time I bought this light I wasn’t able to choose the NW version so I have to do it with the CW version.
The reflector is smooth and relatively deep. This increases the distance the beam can travel. Although both parts of the battery tube can be unscrewed, the bezel is glued. Without force or heat, you won’t be able to take the bezel off. If you want to replace the LED you have to use some force or heat.
The beam has a distinct hotspot in the middle with a slightly purplish spill.
- Length: 139.6 mm ( 5.498 ”)
- Head diameter: 25.5 mm ( 1”)
- Body diameter: 22.7 mm ( 0.9”)
- Empty: 81.1gr ( 2.86oz)
- With battery: 124.8 gr ( 4.4oz)
Tactical flashlights comparison
Size compared to other Tactical flashlights:
Driver & User Interface:
The UI is really easy to understand. There are no hidden modes except Strobe.
- In this order: Firefly, Low, Medium, High, and Turbo.
- ON/OFF and half press for signaling (momentary On)
The side switch only functions when the light is turned on
- Every click moves the light to the next level. After it reaches turbo it drops back to ultra-low.
- Double click: just moves 2 modes. Same for triple clicks and 4 clicks.
- Press and hold: Strobe
Blinky modes menu:
- There is only a Strobe mode that can be accessed by pushing the side switch for 2 seconds. A quick tap will bring it back to regular modes.
Low battery warning:
- Light behind the side switch turns red
- Not necessary with a tail switch. You don’t need to be afraid of any parasitic drain because of that.
- Not visible by eye.
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there is no quick access to Turbo or Firefly.
Batteries and charging:
No battery was included, nor does it have a charge function built-in.
It can both use protected and non-protected 18650 batteries. This is great. There is some slight rattling when you shake the light with unprotected batteries. But that is really not a problem unless you mount it onto your bike.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Samsung 30Q 18650 battery.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is now set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements. I used a Kenko PRO1D ND16 ND filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that was tested at 137 lumens.
Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap, with Samsung 30Q battery.
|Firefly 0.003A||0.5||0.52 Lm|
|Low 0.03A||21||12 Lm|
|Med 0.3A||200||176 Lm|
|High 0.9A||472||421 Lm|
|Turbo 2.81A||1100||978 Lm|
Turbo output decreases slowly till 7 minutes and then drops to 695 lumens. After a few other drops, the output is stable at 650 lumens. From 1 hour it slowly drops till 1 hour and 51 minutes when it abruptly turns off. The total runtime is 1 hour and 51 minutes.
High is really stable at roughly 400 lumens for almost 2 hours and 40 minutes. At that point it starts to drop gradually till it abruptly stops at 3 hours and 16 minutes. The last measured output was 64 lumens. Total runtime for 3 hours and 16 minutes.
Measurements were taken with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. I took measurements at 5m for indoors.
Using the high mode only, I get:
Indoors (5m): 18250 cd = 270m / 886 ft
This is higher than the manual claims. The manual says 14399 cd.
For the following beamshots, I tested the TN12 against other 18650 tactical lights.
Fenix PD35 TAC (XPL) , Nitecore MH25GTS (XHP35) and Jetbeam TH20 (XHP70)
Disclaimer: This flashlight was bought with my own money. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- A lot of accessories
- Momentary On
- Forward clicky
- Mode memory
- Great choice of modes
- Includes an Ultra Low mode
- No visible PWM
- Tail switch is a little hard to press
Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★
You get so much money for the buck. For around $40 you get high quality, good working Tactical flashlight with lots of accessories. It has an anti-roll design so you can put it on the table without being afraid it will roll off the table. It has an ultra-low, and a powerful High mode. The tactical forward switch enables you to use the TN12 with Momentary On. I can’t give it a lower score than 5 stars. This must be one of the best affordable tactical lights below $50.