Thrunite Ti3 and Ti had my number a long time ago with features like moonlight modes and mode memory. One of the first things I learned about collecting flashlights is that people really don’t appreciate having bright lights pointed at their faces. It can be great having a lot of output sometimes, but more often than not, you just don’t need a lot of light for looking for your keys on the floor or changing a tire on the side of the road. In fact, in some of those cases, you would rather have run time over output.
Best choice - Value for the Price
|Thrunite Ti3 1xAAA||Check Price|
Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA EDC Flashlight / Penlight
|Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA||
1. Thrunite Ti3 1xAAA EDC Flashlight Review
Product Description Thrunite Ti3
The Ti3 is a 1xAAA “twisty” flashlight that has the latest Cree XP-G2 emitter inside. Unlike previous incarnations (Ti and Ti2) which had two modes with a 2 stage switch, the Ti3 is a run of the mill twisty with a spring in the tail just like you would expect. It also gains an extra mode, making it 3 modes plus a hidden strobe.
Official Specs (From Thrunite)
Thrunite Ti3 – First Impressions
I was expecting an evolution of their Ti serious with the 2 stages twisty switch, but what I got was something that looked more like an Olight I3S than anything from Thrunite’s Ti series. I actually liked the 2 stage design, but I was probably the only one. And most of my Ti’s had to have the little tab bent to make the light work right. But I certainly understand why they did away with the hassles of that design and went with something more conventional. I’ve always liked the classic twisty design so this change is fine by me.
This light gave me a great first impression and so far I’m pretty infatuated with it. Enough so to where right off the bat I could see this model was aimed straight at the I3S. It’s even constant current in all modes. I really like the knurling. I also really like the reversible clip, though I’ve already used it to damage the knurling that I like.
Build Quality Thrunite Ti3
I’ve had mixed feelings about Thrunite’s build quality for some time, but that has slowly been changing as I buy more of their products. I still have some minor complaints such as the clip-on their new T10 series. But I have no quality gripes with my T3. It’s well put together and well machined.
The clip on the T3 is still a little on the thin side, but it thankfully seems to be rigid enough not to bend like the clips on my T10S and T10T. Time will tell, though.
Overall this looks like a well built and machined light. It had to be to compete with the I3S.
Fit and Finish
Overall, excellent. It came with a couple of small scratches on the clip, but that’s about it for flaws. The knurling is aggressive and cut perfectly, giving it a really good grip. It hits all the other marks: the perfectly centered emitter (which is a pet peeve), lettering, threads, o-ring, grease, everything good.
Of course, reversing the clip scratches the light up pretty good, which is kind of a shame.
Thrunite Ti3 Modes
The T3 has 4 modes total: Moonlight, Low, High, and Strobe. As this is a “twisty” interface, you change modes by twisting to cycle the flashlight on and off. Another reason I like Thrunite lights for EDC is that most of them have a low-medium-high mode order, which this one also has. It’s a personal preference.
Cycling through the mode groups twice will activate the hidden strobe mode.
The circuitry in this model pushes a regular AAA battery pretty hard, and so the output on high rivals some of my flashlights running a 10440 lithium-ion battery. Which also means the body gets fairly hot. Not hot enough to damage the light, but probably just short of that. I left it unattended a few minutes for my test, but I would avoid doing that in normal use, keeping it in my hand to dissipate some of the heat.
This model has some kind of what I can only call short term memory. It retains the last mode you used, but resets after X amount of time, with X being a number I haven’t figured out yet. Math is hard. I didn’t really like this at first, but it’s grown on me a little. I can see why they did it: You can be guaranteed that if you wake up in the middle of the night, the light will come on in moonlight mode. But if you are walking around the house looking for what the dog did with your wallet, it will remember the mode you have it on.
I could find no trace of PWM on any mode using the cell phone camera method of detection. It’s always gratifying to see an efficient circuit that doesn’t really sacrifice tint. The constant current design is a requirement for me personally for all the survival kits I make, including my own 72-hour emergency “bug-out” bag.
The textured “orange peel” reflector coupled with the larger-die Cree XP-G2 LED gives the T3 a smooth, flood beam which is well suited to an EDC type flashlight such as this one. Sometimes I miss the smaller-die XP-G for seeing my dogs across a large back yard, but for the most part, a flood is much better than throw for everyday use.
Run Time Tests
All tests performed with a Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH low self-discharge cell.
|Low||6 hours, 20 minutes||11 hours, 5 minutes|
|High||1/2 hour||1 hour, 20 minutes|
- Gets pretty hot on high, even with an Eneloop in it.
- Started dimming noticeably on high after 30 minutes
Thrunite Ti3 Clip
This model has a reversible clip. It uses a snap-on type clip which is a little on the thin side but the clip design is well done and the clip seems sturdy enough. I guess with the last couple of lights, I’m lucky to have a clip that’s acceptable. Like most flashlight manufacturers, they aren’t exactly setting the bar very high.
One thing I do not like about this design is that reversing the clip back and forth really scratches up the body and the edge of the knurling. They should have left a little slack at the end of the knurling to at least prevent that.
But all things considered, it’s a good design. The reversible clip is great for using it in a pinch as a headlamp by clipping it onto a ball cap.
The T3’s tail is flat, with a lanyard attachment point angled in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the flashlight’s tail standing. This means this model will tail stand, letting you bounce light off the ceiling and use it as a makeshift lamp. I do this a lot with my flashlights.
There’s also an attachment point for a keychain or lanyard.
Comparison Thrunite Ti3 vs Olight I3S
- Slightly better build quality
- Aggressive knurling
- Better twist feel
- L-M-H mode order
- Better tint
- Better output on high
- Doesn’t have that weird stuck-on-medium problem my I3S sometimes gets and which Olight never saw fit to comment on
Usability Thrunite Ti3
This was one of those times where I received a new flashlight and then took it on a long road trip, and this trip turned out to be a pretty good test of the T3’s abilities. The twist-action has a great feel to it, and the beam is nice and floody for EDC use. I actually prefer these type of lights to be less floody, but the die size on LED emitters keeps getting larger and larger, so I guess it’s inevitable.
The deep carry clip appears sturdy and carries well. The clip holds snug, and the unit is compact, so at one point I had it clipped to the change pocket on my bluejeans and thought I lost it.
The modes are well-spaced, or should I say the low mode is set correctly. I wish most of these companies would just add another medium mode, but getting the low mode right is the next best thing. The output on high is fantastic. The XP-G2 does well in a 1xAAA form factor: you get efficiency and output.
It seems pretty clear that they built this light to compete with the Olight I3S, and I think that for most party they built a better product. It has everything I like about the I3S but the build quality is a little better, it doesn’t have the stuck-on-medium quirk that my particular I3S has, and it has my preferred mode order.
Opening up the package I thought I was getting a slightly upgraded Ti model, but I got something even better: a much-improved I3S. My next ranking is definitely going to show this in the #1 spot unless something better comes out before I write it.
2. Thrunite Ti4 2xAAA EDC Flashlight/Penlight Review
Lately, there has 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 types of lights. This Thrunite Ti4 was purchased from Amazon and was the very first 2xAAA Cree flashlight I’ve held in my hands.
Official Specs (From Amazon – Thrunite Ti4)
- 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)
- Battery: 2xAAA Batteries (not included)
- Beam Distance: 67 m
- Waterproof: IPX-8
- 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
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!
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 a good fit and finish, so again, it’s tough to decide. Other stuff like the lubed threads, o-rings, etc., are all fine.
Cree XP-G2 Emitter
This flashlight has a 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 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 hardcore enthusiasts.
To access the hidden strobe mode, cycle through all three modes twice.
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.
The Ti4 puts out a beam of the 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.
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.”
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.
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. 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 as 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.
Deep Carry Clip Thrunite Ti4
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 the 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.
Comparison Thrunite Ti4 vs Nitecore MT06
These seemed to be the top 2 penlights 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 an L-M-H mode order, where the MT06 uses an L-H mode order.
Interchangeable Heads With MT06
Run Time Tests
All tests were performed with a new batch of Eneloop Pro AAANiMH 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!
|Medium||11 hours, 5 minutes|
|High||1 hour, 6 minutes|
High Mode Test Notes
- 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.
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.