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Wurkkos TS25 review
Wurkkos TS25 specifications
|Brand & Model||Wurkkos TS25|
|Max. output||4000 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||194 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||9,400 cd|
|Onboard charging||USB-C port|
|Modes||Many, Anduril 2|
|Blinkies||Many, Anduril 2|
|Review publication date||January 2023|
Building on the success of their Lumintop FWAA competitor TS10 triple, Wurkkos has been cranking out some pretty solid lights of late. Starting with the WK lineup, then the FC series, and now the hot-as-a-firecracker TS series with the TS10, TS21, and our test subject today, the TS25. The Wurkkos TS25 is a quad TIR LED flashlight, and I think it’s arrival on scene is pretty timely, especially since the Lumintop FW4A is currently AWOL, and only the only mainstream quad-TIR lights a guy or gal could get are the Sofirn IF25A, Emisar D4 series, and Noctigon KR4.
Those are all great TIR pocket lights, and any one would be good for EDC or what have you. However, we all know choice is good, and the TS25 seems like it’s got the ticket, featuring the most popular battery (21700), most popular LEDs (Nichia 519A) with the most popular UI, Anduril 2 (who woulda thought). They’ve also thrown in USB type C charging (with bidirectional charging), magnetic tailcap, and some neat-o aux LEDs. You get all this for around $50 bucks (add a few more for a 5 Ah battery). Only the Sofirn IF25A is cheaper, but that one is two years old with no upgrades in sight. Wurkkos surprised me with the TS32 (despite the quality snafu), so I’m excited to see if the TS25 is more of the same.
Surprise! I was expecting the typical, unimpressive plain orange and white box I’m familiar with from Wurkkos, not so with the TS25 as it came in a very nice, upscale packaging that suggests a higher price bracket. It’s even a bit nicer than Fireflies and Emisar. The box has a magnetic closure lid, and the TS25 was secured in microcell foam. The accessories are no less spartan than higher-priced offerings as well. Here’s what you get:
- Wurkkos TS25
- USB A to C charging cable
- User manual
- Wurkkos-branded 5000 mAh 21700 battery (in the light)
- Spare o-rings
The battery is optional, but for a miserly $4 to add it to your order, just get it. Otherwise, everything’s here to get going. Since this is technically an enthusiast light, I appreciate the extra bits included. Once again, Sofirn’s excellent USB cable is included, so that was good to see.
Flashlight in use
The Wurkkos TS25 can be a lot of things depending on the use case, but most people buy it to use as a high-performance EDC piece or general-purpose light for bumping around.
Right away, the design of the TS25 is nothing but unique. The battery tube is shaped so the midsection is smaller than the top and bottom, hence the “slender waist” nickname. It looks a bit like the Noctigon KR4 tube, and mimics a piece of bamboo cane. This aids quite a bit in gripping the larger-than-18650 size tube. It fits my hands just fine, and the grip position lends itself to naturally locate the side e-switch. For pocket carry, Wurkkos includes a removable two position clip. It’s reasonably deep carry, and it rides nice in the pocket. There’s also a magnet in the tailcap for added versatility.
I’m not a fan of magnetic tailcaps on EDC lights since they attract metal things in my pocket and stick to metal objects I might be standing next to, so I could do without it. The magnet is decently strong and would hold the TS25 at a 90 degree angle on a flat magnetic surface just fine. Personally, I think a 21700 size host is a bit too big to comfortably EDC since the profile is a bit proud in the pocket, especially if your pants are a bit tight (I guess I’m still working off the Thanksgiving chub). After spending a couple of days carrying it, I found it’s not bad at all, and the taller profile wasn’t too obtrusive. However, it’s nowhere near as nice as a Lumintop FW3A or Lumintop FWAA for EDC. The USB type C charge port cover opposite the switch has a really thick rubber plug and produced a decent seal without being difficult to seat.
The single e-switch sits on a flat spot on the head inside a small polished bezel. It has a single central LED indicator that’s only illuminated during charging/discharging, not on standby. It does come on when clicking into Turbo and I noticed it in L7, so maybe to let you know the light’s going to heat up? I was a bit disappointed that it doesn’t stay on standby since it aids in finding it in the dark (although I guess the aux LEDs can fulfill that role). Although the flat spot helps finding it by feel, and the button sits a bit proud, it till took some time to find. The switch action is decent with soft clicks and so-so feedback caused some accidental Turbo forays a couple times.
The flat tailcap is good for tail stands, and the lanyard hole in the tailcap is adequately sized for threading the lanyard. Thanks Wurkkos! The RGB aux LEDs are a nice touch since they can be configured to show battery state and some funky color effects (more on that later).
Build Quality, and Warranty
Wurkkos is made by Sofirn. Wurkkos designs it, Sofirn builds it. That said, all my Sofirn lights and Wurkkos lights have been of acceptable quality. There’s been some quality issues here and there, but it’s not the norm. For around $50 with the battery, the Wurkkos TS25 represents a fantastic deal for all you’re getting, and it gets sweeter when accounting for the hodgepodge of discounts circulating that bring the price down to around $40.
The build quality is again very good with no issues, misaligned parts, etc. It’s milled from 6061 aircraft aluminum, and it’s perfectly acceptable with no major defects or blemishes. The anodizing is black, and Wurkkos doesn’t say whether it’s HA III or not, but it’s a semi gloss finish and of totally acceptable quality. I didn’t see any blemishes or anomalies in the finish, and the coverage is good. The silkscreen text and laser engraving are also very nicely done with no anomalies to be found. Every edge is also chamfered and smoothed, which is a nice departure from Sofirn products I’ve reviewed with somewhat-abrupt edges. The threads are rectangular cut and nicely done. Lubed out of the box, they were very smooth.
For springs, there’s a single gold-plated, non-magnetic spring in the tail, and a brass contact for the positive side of the driver. The light also comes apart easily: The bezel was liberated without grunting and finagling, and the TIR optic comes out exposing the MCPCB and aux LEDs. All the soldering is nicely done and free of flux residue. The battery tube is reversible, so you can change the clip orientation. There’s o-rings sealing every joint as well: Both ends of the battery tube, bezel, and lens. Wurkkos says IPX8 for the ingress rating.
Wurkkos has a decent warranty, but not like higher-end brands. From Wurkkos.com: Within 30 days of purchase: Contact the original seller for repair or replacement. Flashlights: Within 1 year of purchase: Contact Wurkkos for repair or replacement accessories. In the first instance, we attempt to resolve the issue. In the unlikely event of a faulty product, we may advise customers to return the product to Wurkkos for repair or replacement. Please Note: This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, modifications, misuse, negligence, accidents, improper maintenance, or repair by anyone other than an Authorized retailer.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The TS25, as mentioned previously, is sporting a quad TIR (total internal reflection) optic with Nichia 519A LEDs. The Wurkkos TS25 originally came with the Samsung LH351D ‘dog fart’ 5000K 90 CRI as the sole LED option, with the ultra-popular 519A being added later. The 519A is unique in that it can produce decently high output while maintaining excellent color rendering up to 95 CRI and R9080. This is a 3535 size 3 volt LED, so it fits where an XP-L fits. It’s slightly less floody than the Samsung LH351D, and my sample light LEDs are the 95 CRI variety at 5000K. At 1 meter from the sensor on stepped mode L7, my Opple Lightmaster Pro shows 4935K and 96.7 CRI Ra. Duv is -0.0006 and very nice (as expected).
The optic is protected by a mineral glass lens that appears to be AR coated, and the bezel is aluminum. A small part of each TIR periphery is obscured by the bezel though .I always appreciate when a lens is present for extra protection. The optic is advertised as a 25 degree spot angle, so it’s on the floodier side, but still has decent reach. There’s a large diffused hotspot with abundant side illumination, and the beam is very useful indoors and outdoors, an important feature for EDC pieces. The tint? Beautiful. A touch rosy and nicely neutral with excellent color rendering, every bit as nice as the Luminus SST20 FA4 while being a touch cooler, which I prefer. I’m in no way shape or form a tint snob or aficionado, but these 5000K 519As look ggggooood.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Length||108 mm||4.2 in|
|Head/body diameter||32 mm||1.2 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|With included battery||159 g||5.6 oz|
|Without battery||86 g||3 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition
I compared the TS25 to some other pocket lights and TIR lights
Group 1 left to right: Sofirn S10 v3, Lumintop FWAA, Wurkkos TS25, Thorfire TG06, Wuben D1
Group 2 left to right: Fireflies E07 2021 Edition, Wildtrail WT3M, Emisar D1, ThruNite T2, Wurkkos TS25
Group 3 left to right: Wurkkos TS25, Thorfire C8
Driver & User Interface:
The driver is going to be an unregulated FET driver. While not good for sustained output, they’re cheap and easy to manufacture so it keeps the price down, but it’s not the best for sustainable output as the runtimes will show.
The UI is Anduril 2, so it needs no introduction. It’s an enthusiast-centric UI developed by ToyKeeper and is the 2nd edition of the wildly popular Anduril UI that has served the flashlight consuming world for years. It incorporates important features that work with the RGB aux LEDs and the whole host of endpoint tweaks and settings to adjust.
Anduril 2 User Interface
Here is another Anduril 2 image.
And by default, it uses the Simple UI… and here is the UI diagram:
Anduril2 has two UI’s available: Simple and Advanced. The light came with the Simple UI enabled, and I think it’s kind of a misnomer because it’s still a little complicated for a first-time user. However, those familiar with the original will pick it up pretty quickly. Simple UI is missing some of the familiar features present in the original, namely the special blinky modes, temp check, and thermal configuration (those are present in the Advanced UI), and there’s no “muggle” mode either. You still get access to smooth ramping (stepped is, you guessed it, only available in Advanced UI), lockout, momentary high, battery check, and some useful lock/unlock modes.
The Advanced UI is appropriately named because it’s, well, advanced and there’s a plethora of options and configurations available. There’s probably way more features than the average user would ever dip into, but it’s nice to know you can tweak things like the voltage sensor calibration for batt check, AUX LED settings, and even configure the auto-lock. I found this to be a pretty useful feature that enables the light to automatically turn off after a certain amount of time if the light is accidentally activated.
Modes: Simple and Advanced UI both have many standard and blinky modes available, but the main modes are stepped and smooth ramping, but stepped ramping is only available in Advanced UI, and smooth is enabled in both Simple and Advanced.
Switch to Advanced UI from Simple: 10 clicks, but hold on the 10th click
- Press and hold: Turns on in either smooth or stepped ramp (depending on which mode is enabled)
- Single click: Turn on in last mode (step or ramp state-again depends on which mode)
- Double click: Ramp ceiling/turbo
- Triple click: Battery check (in Simple and Advanced UI)
- Triple click and hold: Special strobe modes-remembers last used (in Advanced UI)
- Quad click: Lockout mode. In lockout mode you have different options available:
- 1 click: momentary moon (bottom of ramp)
- 2 clicks: momentary (higher floor)
- 4 clicks: turns on in ramp mode
- 4 clicks with a hold: on in ramp mode, lowest/floor
- 5 clicks with a hold: on in ramp mode, highest/ceiling
- 10 clicks with a hold: configure the lock timeout threshold (in Advanced UI only). This is a new feature for Anduril2, it allows you to set a timeout to the lock, where the light will lock after a pre-set elapsed time.
- Press and hold: Ramp up (depending on the mode)
- Single click: Turn off
- Double click: Ramp ceiling/turbo
- Double click and hold: Ramp down
- Triple click: Toggle between smooth and stepped ramping (in Advanced UI only)
- Quad click: Lockout mode (see above for the lockout options)
- Yes, memorizes last on state setting either smooth or stepped ramping, but does not remember blinkies
Low voltage warning:
- Yes, when in operation, the light steps down brightness gradually until turning off when the cell is around 2.9 volts.
- Yes, many! The blinkies are accessible from off with 3H (click click click-hold) in ADVANCED UI only. You switch between strobe modes with 2 clicks:
- Candle mode
- Bike flasher
- Party strobe
- Tactical strobe
- Lightning storm
- Yes. In Simple or Advanced UI, lockout is accessed by 4 clicks from on or off. 4 clicks to unlock. The lockout enables momentary operation in the moon mode, however, 2H (click click-hold) enables low mode. There are other lockout modes available (see the diagram).
Temp check and thermal calibration mode
- In the first version, you could do both the ambient temperature sensor calibration and thermal ceiling at the same time, but in Anduril2, it’s a little different. When in temp check, click 7 times and hold on the 7th to enter the thermal configuration. To configure the ambient temp, wait for the first flash and then set the ambient, but once you’ve done that, you need to go back to the temp check and click 7 times, hold on the 7th, this time, don’t let off the button. Wait for the 2nd blink, and then you can set the thermal ceiling.
- Yes, but fast PWM and not visible with the naked eye
RGB AUX LED Control
- The RGB aux LEDs have 4 modes by default, accessed the usual Anduril way with 7C: Off, Low, High, Blinking in each color mode
- The RGB option adds color control, accessed by 7H: Red-yellow (red+green), green, cyan (green+blue), blue, purple (red+blue), white (red+green+blue)
- There’s a special ‘Disco’ option with random colors, and a Rainbow mode (colors change in order)
- The ‘Voltage’ option assigns different colors based on battery voltage: > 4.4 V red+blue+green, 4.1-4.4 V purple, 3.9-4.1 V blue, 3.7-3.9 V cyan, 3.5-3.7 V green, 3.3-3.5 V green, 3.3-3.5 V yellow, 2.9-3.3 V red. Below 2.9 V the LEDs turn off (or are supposed to).
Additional info: Anduril 2 is one of the most advanced, well-featured UIs on the market, but that also makes it complicated. I appreciate the addition of a ‘simple mode’ which is fine for novices, but enthusiasts will immediately dive into Advanced Mode for some hardcore tweaking action since there’s a maddening amount of parameters to finagle and settings to tweak. If you’re a tinkerer, Anduril 2 just might satisfy your urge to mess with stuff (or you might mess something up and throw your TS25 out the window).
Either way, and all things considered, if you aren’t going to be doing lots of tweaking, this UI will probably be fine for a novice with some basic tutelage. The thermal ceiling was set to 50 C out of the box, and checking the calibration showed it was accurately calibrated for ambient temperature. If you want to get the most out of the light, you’ll want to bump the thermal limit up to 60 C. I found that to be the sweet spot since it’s still cool enough for handheld use on any mode besides L7 and Turbo (although you can tweak the levels for L7 to dial it to a more comfortable level). The aux LEDs work fine, although I found some of the features a bit gimmicky and unnecessary on an EDC piece. I honestly would have been happy with just the voltage feature, but go figure.
Batteries & Charging
The TS25 uses a 21700 size li-ion battery for power, pretty much a gimmie for modern flashlights. Wurkkos bundled the review light with their bog standard 5000 mAh 21700 flat top li-ion cell. It is a familiar face in the Wurkkos and Sofirn camp made by Lishen with the vent on the negative terminal. It’s a good cell and somewhere in between a Panasonic NCR21700A and a Samsung 50G good for around 15-20 amps max. I put it in my VapCell S4+ and got around 15 milliohms on the internal resistance.
Flat top unprotected batteries fit fine, and standard length button tops fit, but longer protected button tops were a bit too long and Turbo would trip most protection PCBs. If you want top performance, you won’t get it with the included cell. A Samsung 40T, Molicel P42A, or Samsung 30T gives the highest output. The TS25 features onboard USB type C charging, something the competition is lacking (except the Sofirn IF25A), and that’s a nice feature to have, especially if you don’t have a separate battery charger.
It’s also bidirectional, so it can act as a power bank to charge your devices in a pinch. You will need a USB C to C cable though (not included). The charge current is set to 15 watts or 5 volts 3 amps for both charging and the power bank, which is nice. With a partially discharged battery, my Ruideng AT35 USB A to C and USB C to C testers showed 4.9 V and 2.93 A. On type C to C with the power bank showed 4.9 V and the same 2.9 A. The battery termination voltage was between 4.17 and 4.18 volts.
Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of the actual. I used the included 5000 mAh 21700 and tested stepped modes L6, L7, and Turbo. The thermal limit was set to the default 50 C. I also tested Turbo with the thermal limit set to the maximum 70 C.
|Mode||Amps at Start||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|L2||11.3 mA||18||1.23 lm||1.23 lm||–|
|L3||37.8 mA||60||8.6 lm||8.6 lm||–|
|L4||104 mA||130||29.5 lm||29.5 lm||–|
|L5||262 mA||480||79.9 lm||79.9 lm||–|
|L6||1.38 A||1050||364 lm||361 lm||354 lm|
|L7||5.16 A||1800||1119 lm||1082 lm||184 lm|
|Turbo||22.7 A||4000||3616 lm||701 lm||184 lm|
|Turbo 70 C Limit||(not tested)||4000||3813 lm||2570 lm||393 lm|
I tested the Turbo setting with a Samsung 30T and a Samsung 50S to see the differences in current draw on the FET and got 28.8 and 27.7 amps respectively, so yes, a stronger battery will make a big difference in output on Turbo. I did get a higher reading for the 70 C thermal limit at start with the stock Wurkkos battery, but it wasn’t repeatable so there could be consistency issues with the battery. The aux LEDs can draw a considerable amount of power on the highest setting, so be aware of that.
- Aux LEDs high (single color) 10 mA
- Aux LEDs off .09 mA
- Aux LEDs low (single color) 0.34 mA
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
Runtimes are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. I used the included fully charged 5000 mAh 21700 for these tests.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)||Time till shut off|
|L6||3h 50m||5h 1m||5h 32m+|
|L7||2h 40m||6m 5s||5h 11m+|
|Turbo*||2h 30m||40s||5h 6m+|
|Turbo at 70 C*||?||8m 50s||2h 31m+|
We all know pocket rockets offer flash-in-the-pan output on higher modes and the TS25 is no different, and this is typical of a small host with quad LEDs pulling 90 watts. The sustained output is lousy of course, but Anduril 2 allows the user to increase the thermal limit, so I did and got much better sustained output, with the 70 C limit holding 1000 Lumens at 60 seconds versus about 270 for the default 50 C limit. However, the trade off is usability (and runtime) since the light was too hot to handle at 65 C after 2 minutes on Turbo at the 70 C thermal ceiling versus 42 C at the default limit. I recommend using the TS25 at 60 C for the thermal limit for the best balance of sustained output. In typical Anduril fashion, the light steps down very low for LVP and continues to run that way forever, so I end the tests when that happens. The battery was discharged to 2.8 to 2.9 volts after each test.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
Beam distances are measured using a Uni-T UT383S luxmeter measured indoors at 5 meters using the included fully charged 5000 mAh 21700. Measurements taken at 30 seconds.
|Turbo||9400 cd||2725 cd||104||114|
|Turbo at start||3,300||231||252|
No readings at 5 meters for the first 3 stepped modes, and the specs for the other are all over the place. Obviously, this is not a thrower, but still more than adequate for EDC.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). Columns Meters and Yards show rounded numbers.
I compared the TS25 to some other high output pocket flashlights. Photos taken with my Samsung Note 8. The 40 meter shots with the camera set to 0.3s ISO 200 and 5000K WB.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Wurkkos TS25
- Emisar D1
- Fireflies PL47 G2
- Fireflies E07 2021
- WildTrail WT3M
- Thrunite T2
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Wurkkos. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very affordable
- Decent quality, fit and finish
- Nice beam and tint
- 3 amp charging and power bank
- Anduril 2
- RGB aux LEDs
- Temp was calibrated accurately
- Falls short on output specs
- Poor sustained output and fast step down on default setting
- Anduril 2 is complicated for non-flashoholics
- Wish switch LED was lighted on standby
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: a match would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
Wurkkos’ contributions to the flashlight continuum have been the source of some disruption, especially within the budget flashlight category and put the big brands on notice. Yep, Wurkkos is for real! Further reinforcing that is the TS25. Previously, if you wanted a high-output pocket quad, you went to Emisar or Noctigon for a D4 or KR4, Sofirn for an IF25A, or (for a short time, sadly) a Lumintop FW4A. The TS25 changed all that, offering a new quad EDC with onboard QC charging (with power bank), aux LEDs, 21700 support, and the best LEDs available in the Nichia 519A. The price? On sale, it can be had for around $40. Add a battery for a few bucks, and it’s a fantastic ready-to-go pocket rocket.
Okay, so what do I like about the TS25? I like the beautiful tint and high CRI, versatile beam, Anduril 2, and the nice handling characteristics afforded by the unique “slender waist” design. I also like the onboard 3 amp charging (something competitors lack, and bidirectional charging. The magnetic tailcap adds some usefulness (although I don’t like it for EDC), and yep, it EDCs pretty nice. It’s worth mentioning the quick step down and the mediocre sustainability, even though those are pretty much commensurate with these small pocket rockets.
It didn’t meet the Wurkkos specs either, and although Anduril is pretty much a gimmie on a light like this, it’s a complicated UI that can be intimidating for novices since getting the most out of the TS25 requires some finagling to set the thermal limit (60 C is the sweet spot, by the way). Also, why Wurkkos didn’t make the switch LED lighted on standby is a mystery. Those aside, I’m mighty impressed with the TS25. It’s a well designed TIR quad with decent performance and nice features. With some minor improvements, it could easily beat the best of the best from Emisar and Noctigon, and it’s a nice improvement over the Sofirn IF25A. For now, 4.5 stars for the TS25 and another winner from Wurkkos.