Tactical LED flashlights are increasingly popular and provide many great features, so we did a hands-on review of two really great models from ThruNite, a leading seller of tactical LED flashlights on Amazon.
Tactical flashlights are distinguished from normal regular household flashlights in several ways. Originally, tactical flashlights were designed for use in military type applications. Such lights are designed to be attached to a gun or rifle or other weapon, and put out a very strong light beam. Or they can be hand-held and offer various self-defense features, such as beveled edge for striking someone, or a strobe light mode to disorient a potential attacker.
Today, tactical flashlights are not just for military or security personnel, but they have become more widely available for everyday consumers who greatly value their ruggedness and utility. If you are looking to purchase a flashlight today, you might as well select a tactical model which will provide you the best quality and features for your money.
However, due to the increasing popularity of such lights, there are many that claim to be tactical flashlights but in fact are merely cheap imitations and buyers must be careful not to waste their money. A true tactical LED flashlight must meet some high standards of quality and functionality in order to be truly what it is.
Tactical LED Flashlight Comparisons
With this in mind, we we did a hands-on review of two models from ThruNite below, which certainly meet the criteria of high quality and utility, and gained our recommendation for your consideration. They are pictured below for size comparison.
- ThruNite Archer 1A V3 – smaller one on the left
- ThruNite TC12 V2 (rechargeable) – larger one on the right
ThruNite Archer 1A V3
First Impressions – Immediately upon opening this light you get the impression of “quality”, because it comes in a nice packaging has several accessories in the box, such as extra rubber replacement parts and a wrist lanyard as well as belt-clip. While this qualifies as a small “mini” light, it feels very solid and well made.
Operation – The primary light switch is in the rear which serves to turn On/Off and also hold it for temporary On operation. There is a second button to switch conveniently located for easy thumb operation to cycle through the 5 light modes.
Performance wise, the light comes from a high-quality CREE LED module which is very efficient using just a single AA battery to produce a bright light up to 60 meters. This light supports 5 light modes: Firefly, Low, Medium, High, Strobe. Obviously you will get longer battery life if you operate at lower levels. It is also waterproof down to 2 meters. Lastly, it is constructed out of aerospace grade aluminum with military grade Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish (unlike other cheap lights which are merely painted with cheap black paint).
In the end, if you want a quality LED tactical light that fits easily in your purse or pocket, we recommend this one.
ThruNite TC12 V2
First Impressions – Next we reviewed the ThruNite TC12V2, which is larger as shown in the picture above, yet still can fit in your pocket or purse. Similarly we were pleased with the quality and the accessories that came with it, including the spare rubber parts, wrist lanyard, belt clip, holster, and of course charger. One important feature of this is that it supports a rechargeable battery (included), and uses a standard micro USB port for charging (and intelligent overcharging protection).
Operation – Honestly, we prefer the slightly larger size of this flashlight which seems to be easier to hold, or at least it feels more substantial. It also has an On/Off switch in the rear with temporary ON hold, as well as the same convenient thumb button to cycle through the different light modes.
Performance wise, it also incorporates a high-quality, high-efficiency CREE LED module which is capable of producing a light beam up to 274meters at max level. This light model supports 6 light modes: Firefly, Low, Medium, High, Turbo, and Strobe. Obviously you will get longer battery life if you operate at lower levels. It is also waterproof down to 2 meters. Lastly, it is constructed out of aerospace grade aluminum with military grade Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish (unlike other cheap lights which are merely painted with cheap black paint), and it is impact resistant.
In summary, we can also highly recommend the ThruNite TC12V2 light for your consideration.