ThruNite Archer V2 Series Flashlights

ThruNite Archer V2 Series EDC Flashlights

*Provided for review courtesy of Thrunite.com


Initial Impressions

When ThruNite offered me the opportunity to review the new Archer V2 series flashlights I jumped at the chance.  This is the first time I’ve had any of this line and they’ve been redone for 2015, hence the “V2” designation.  ThruNite has redone a large amount of their models for 2015 and as good as they were to start with, the newer “V2” models are even better.  This Archer V2 series is improved over the original with newer components and the addition of a side mounted electronic mode switch.

Quick and dirty opinion after playing with them for a couple of weeks?  Awesome quality lights at a budget price.  Able to run on all cells from 1.2v NiMH, 1.5v Alkaline, Lithium primary cells, and even 4.2v Li-Ion cells, they all have a working voltage of 0.9v-4.2v.  They are of exemplary build quality, convenient to feed, amply bright and throw well for their size thanks to their Cree XP-G2 LEDs, have forward-clicky tail switches and side mounted electronic mode switching, and strong, deep carry pocket clips.  Retail pricing ranges form $29.95 to $39.95 depending on the model chosen. There are 4 available models: Archer 1A V2 (1*AA/14500), Archer 2A V2 (2*AA), Archer 1C V2 (1*CR123/16340), and the Archer 2C V2 (18650/2*CR123).  All models, in typical ThruNite fashion, are available in both CW or NW tints making 8 separate models in all.  In my review I will be covering all models except the Archer 2C V2.  All my samples are in my preference of NW (neutral white) tint.

Manufacturer’s Features and Specifications

Archer 1A V2


Features:

– Upgraded version of the Archer 1A with more user-friendly
UI and updated LED.
– Added side switch for easy operation.
– Five modes: firefly, low, medium, high and strobe.
– Momentary “forward clicky” tactical switch.
– Stainless steel strike bezel for defense and emergency applications.
– Wide working voltage enables both li-ion 14500 and normal AA batteries.
– Reversed polarity protection system prevents damage to the light.
– Smooth peel reflector for a high quality beam.
– Ultra clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
– Aircraft grade aluminum body structure with tactical knurling for firm grip.
– Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
– U shape groove at the tail for easy activation as well as preventing
accidentally activation.
– Reversible and removable stainless steel pocket clip with titanium coating for
durability.
– Memory function to set any mode(except for strobe) for immediate use.
– Price: $29.95 USD

Specifications:

– LED: CREE XP-G2 NW LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
– Modes & Run-time: Firefly:0.42lumens(408hours); Low:15 lumens(22hours);
Medium:70 lumens(5hours); High:175lumens(115minutes);
Strobe:175 lumens(3.5hours).
  * Note: Runtimes vary with different
batteries.
– Max output: 175 lumens using one Ni-Mh AA battery.
– Max run time: 408hours (Firefly mode)
– Working voltage: 0.9v to 4.2v.
– Battery: 1 AA or 14500 battery(not included).
– Max beam distance: 97 meters.
– Peak beam intensity: 2400cd.
– Impact resistant: 2 meters.
– Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5meters)
– Weight: 60g without battery.
– Dimensions: 110mm in length, 23mm bezel diameter.

Accessories:
1.    Pocket clip
2.    Spare O ring
3.    Lanyard.

Archer 2A V2


Features:

– Upgraded version of the Archer 2A with
more user-friendly UI and 
updated LED.
– Added side switch for easy operation.
– Five modes: firefly, low, medium, high and strobe.
– Momentary “forward clicky” tactical switch.
– Stainless steel strike bezel for defense and emergency applications.
– Reversed polarity protection system prevents damage to the light.
– Smooth peel reflector for a high quality beam.
– Ultra clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
– Aircraft grade aluminum body structure with tactical knurling for firm grip.
– Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
– U shape groove at the tail for easy activation as well as preventing
accidentally activation
.
– Reversible and removable stainless steel pocket clip with titanium coating for
durability.
– Memory function to set any mode (except for strobe) for immediate use.

Specifications:

– LED: CREE XP-G2 NW LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run
time.
– Modes & Run-time: Firefly:0.11lumens(672 hours); Low:15lumens(96 hours);
Medium:69lumens(11 hours); High:430lumens(100 minutes); Strobe:430lumens(140
minutes).
  *Note: Runtimes vary with different
batteries.
– Max output: 430lumens using two AA batteries.
– Max run time: 672hours (Firefly mode)
– Working voltage: 0.9v to 4.2v
– Battery: 2 AA batteries(not included).
– Max beam distance: 161 meters.
– Peak beam intensity: 6560cd.
– Impact resistant: 2 meters.
– Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5meters)
– Weight: 75g without battery.
– Dimensions: 160mm in length, 23mm bezel diameter.
– Price: $29.95 USD

Accessories:
1.    Pocket clip
2.    Spare O ring
3.    Lanyard.

Archer 1C V2


Features:

– Upgraded version of the Archer 1C with more user-friendly
UI and updated LED.
– Added side switch for easy operation.
– Five modes: firefly, low, medium, high and strobe.
– Momentary “forward clicky” tactical switch.
– Stainless steel strike bezel for defense and emergency applications.
– Wide working voltage enables both li-ion 16340 and normal CR123(A) batteries.
– Reversed polarity protection system prevents damage to the light.
– Smooth peel reflector for a high quality beam.
– Ultra clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
– Aircraft grade aluminum body structure with tactical knurling for firm grip.
– Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
– U shape groove at the tail for easy activation as well as preventing
accidentally activation.
– Reversible and removable stainless steel pocket clip with titanium coating for
durability.
– Memory function to set any mode(except for strobe) for immediate use.
-Price: $29.95 USD

Specifications:

– LED: CREE XP-G2 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run
time.
– Modes & Run-time: Firefly: 0.17lumens(168 hours); Low:17lumens(11 hours);
Medium:71lumens(200 minutes); High:418lumens(40 minutes); Strobe:418lumens(50
minutes).
  * Note: Runtimes vary with different
batteries.
– Max output: 418lumens using one 3.7v 16340 battery.
– Max run time: 168hours (Firefly mode)
– Working voltage: 0.9v to 4.2v.
– Battery: 1 CR123 or 16340 battery(not included).
– Max beam distance: 158 meters.
– Peak beam intensity: 6310cd.
– Impact resistant: 2 meters.
– Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5meters)
– Weight: 52g without battery.
– Dimensions: 94mm in length, 23mm bezel diameter.

Accessories:
1.    Pocket clip
2.    Spare O ring
3.    Lanyard.

Operation and User Interface

All the Archer models share the same Operation and UI

Operation:

To turn on/off the light:

  • Press the tail cap halfway to momentarily activate the light.
  • Click the tail switch to turn the light on and off.

To change modes:

  • Five modes in total: firefly, low, medium, high, and strobe.
  • When the light is on, single press the side switch to rotate among firefly, low, medium and high. Long press to get strobe and then single press to end it.
  • Memory function: The light will turn on in the last mode accessed, except for strobe.

Battery replacement:

  • Take off the tail cap, insert the battery with positive polarity toward the LED assembly (head of the light), install the tail cap and tighten all the way to operate the light.

Packaging, Construction, and Details

At this point I will dive into the photos and details of the lights.  To skip ahead to performance and output details scroll down towards the bottom of the page.  Since all the model variations share the same basic construction I will focus on one model mostly and show variations of the other models as needed to show differences between them.  As always all pictures, when clicked, will take you to the full resolution version.

Packaging is very nice.  All models come in a sturdy, natural colored cardboard box.  Barcode, model name and tint are on a white label in the lower left corner of each box.  The round sticker in the top left corner is for the warehouse pickers to spot the tint – white for CW and yellow for NW.  All my samples are NW tint.


Be warned that the boxes make for very fun toys for dogs.  While going through the Archer series I heard my assistant gleefully playing with what I thought was one of his toys.  I turned around to check on him and he had the lid to the Archer 1A box in his mouth, cardboard pieces everywhere, and everything inside the box all over the floor.  Fortunately the light and accessories were unharmed as I hadn’t even taken pictures yet let alone done any testing.  Here he is with what is left of the 1A and box.  He may not be the best assistant one could ask for but he sure is cute!


Inside each box is a fitted soft foam cushion.  Each light is in a
protective plastic sleeve.  Accessories and User manual are under the light
at the bottom of the box.


Here we see my three samples and all that is included…


In order of physical size we have the 1C (top), the 1A (middle), and 2A (bottom).


Each light has the model name and unique serial number etched onto two of the three flats in the battery tube.  One thing I found very nice is that the etching is a different size on each model.  Smallest font on the smallest light (the 1C), medium font on the next larger (the 1A), and largest font on the largest light (the 2A).  A nice little touch that keeps the proportions the same on all the lights.  It’s a small detail that shows the thought that goes into each of these ThruNite models that not many, if any, other manufacturers put into their lights.


The opposite flat in each battery tube has the “THRUNITE” logo etched onto it.  As with the model & serial numbers, each light is etched with a different sized font for cosmetic design.


Perfectly centered emitters on all models.


Real nice Firefly mode.


Laser etching on each light is clean, heavy, and bright white.



Even the laser etching of the THRUNITE logo is neatly etched onto each deep carry pocket clip


The deep carry clip is removable and reversible (I don’t know why anyone would want to) as well as being very strong and sturdy.  The third flat on the battery tube is clear and made to fit under the pocket clip.  The advantage of this is that you won’t tear up your cloth or leather due to knurling when clipping the torch to your pocket of belt.  Another nice touch.


Knurling is well machined and aggressive without being too rough.  It is the same great knurling I’ve come to love on all the more expensive ThruNite models.


The same nice knurling is on both the battery tube and tail cap.


The electronic side switch is easy to click with a nice tactile and audible click.  The button itself is made of a black plastic and has a stainless bezel surrounding it.  The fact that it is raised makes it easy to find without looking.


The tail mounted power switch is a forward-clicky tactical switch with a firm, black silicone boot.  It too is knurled for easy grip and pressing with gloved hands.  The large cutouts in the tail allow easy access and protect the switch itself.  Large lanyard cutouts on each tab can accommodate 550 Paracord lanyards if the user chooses to install one.

Tail standing is touchy due to the relatively narrow flats on the tail cap tabs.  Some of my samples were shakier than others due to the boot sticking out slightly on some more than others.  The 2A, due to it’s extra length and narrower tail cap, is more tricky to tail stand than the other two models.  Since the switch is designed to be more of a tactical switch more than basic utility I consider tail standing to be a bonus more than a negative even if it is a bit shaky.


Threading on the tail cap is wonderfully machined with square, anodized threading that is very smooth and prelubed at the factory.  The thick O-ring fits tight into the tail cap and should provide good waterproofing.


Mechanical polarity protection is used in the head of the light for the anode contact.


The large, heavy cathode spring in the tail appears to be gold plated and provides good current transfer.


One thing I found very unusual was the use of reversed threading in the switch retaining ring.  The access holes machined into the retaining ring are smaller than usual and as I tried to remove the ring (before I discovered it was reverse threaded) I couldn’t get a good enough grip with my needle nose pliers.  I tied using my fine point tweezers instead and bent the hell out of them.  Once I tried the opposite direction the rings on all the tail caps came off quite easily.  I can only assume that they are reverse threaded to prevent them from coming loose when you remove the tail cap to remove the battery.  Another small detail that shows they put a little more thought into the design.  Just remember it if you have to replace the switch for any reason.


Even though the tail caps on the 1C and 1A/2A models are different width, the internal components are all the same size,  Below we see the retaining rings and switches removed from my 1C and 2A tail caps.


The pic below shows the tail caps completely disassembled. The spring isolator is a very thick O-ring that sits tight inside the back of the retaining ring.


Threading on the tail cap internals are clean and unanodized.


Here is a close look at the contact side of the switch board.


And here we see the switch itself on the opposite side.  All solder joints are well done and heavy.


A closer look at the switch boot.


Back at the front of the light we can see the stainless steel crenelated bezel and AR coated ultra clear glass lens.


The reflectors in all the models are smooth and very reflective.  They are machined from aluminum and the emitters on all my samples are perfectly centered.


The SS bezel is heavily threaded and unscrews smoothly.  It is well polished and lacks any sharp edges.  The lens is seated inside a GITD silicon “C”-ring.  Even though the C-ring is blue it glows a faint green.


Here you can see the 19mm x 1.6mm lens inside the C-ring.  It makes for a perfect waterproof seal and protects both sides of the lens from impact.


Comparisons to other lights in their size classes

Archer 1C

From Left to right:  XTAR H2, ThruNite Neutron 2C, ThruNite Archer 1C V2, ThruNite T20



From left to right:  Armytek Tiara C1 Pro, ThruNite Archer 1C V2, XTAR H2


The H2 and 1C V2 both use XP-G2 emitters while the Tiara C1 uses an XM-L2.


 

Archer 1A

From left to right:  Balder SE-1 ,  Xeno E03, ThruNite Archer 1A V2, ThruNite T10


The Archer 1A is the only one of the four lights with an SMO reflector.  Both ThruNite models use Cree XP-G2 emitters while the Balder and Xeno are XM-L.


 

Archer 2A

From left to right:  Taotronics TF-01, ThruNite Archer 2A V2, Armytek Partner A2


The Taotronics uses an XM-L LED while the ThruNite uses an XP-G2 LED and the Armytek uses an XP-G LED.


OUTPUT & PERFORMANCE

All of the Archer V2 lights are current controlled and exhibit no flicker at any output level.  All have the same modes:  Moon, Low, Medium, High, and hidden Strobe.  All have mode memory.

Below we can see the beam in each of the output modes.  These were taken in daylight so you can barely see the moon low beam.



Moon low is actually very useful and most will find it both usefully bright and usefully low (moon like) at the same time.  Compared to Armytek Tiara C1, which has the lowest Moon mode I’ve ever seen, the Moon low on the Archer lights is almost blinding. 😛


Below are all 3 of my NW Archer V2 lights in Moon low side by side.  With it’s 4.2v cell, the 1C is noticeably brighter than the 1A and 2A lights which are running Eneloops.  The 2A, with to Eneloops, is a hair brighter than the 1A’s single Eneloop.


On their highest mode at this close range it’s hard to see the difference in brightness.  Tint on all 3 NW emitters is exactly the same.


The center hotspot is a well focused 18 degrees and the spill is a smooth, ringless 70 degrees without any artifacts.  When you have a beam this smooth with a smooth reflector you know it is well designed.  The beams on all 3 models are identical as they share the same emitter and reflector specs.


And now for the numbers!

OTF lumen measurements are taken on my calibrated Integrating Sphere.  Maximum output is measured at turn on as well as at 30 seconds (ANSI standard).  Lux was measured at 3 meters at 30 seconds and converted back to 1 meter distance.  Throw distance is calculated to 0.25 lumens (ANSI standard).

The results were pretty good.  All my testing results met or exceeded ThruNite’s published figures.

Model Archer 1A V2 NW Archer 2A V2 NW Archer 1C V2 NW
Cell(s) AA Alkaline AA Eneloop 14500 2 x AA Alkaline 2 x AA Eneloop CR123 3.0v 16340 4.2v
OTF Moon 0.19 0.17 0.2 0.25 0.25 0.35 0.35
OTF Low 18.2 18.3 17.8 19.8 19.6 18.9 19.8
OTF Medium 79.5 79.5 78.9 82.5 81.4 79.4 81.2
OTF High @30s (ANSI) 172.9 201.3 474.7 418.5 484.8 376.6 456
OTF High @0s 194.4 219.8 489.1 502.2 510.8 389.6 470.4
Lux @1m (ANSI) 2540cd 3323.5cd 8565.5cd 7014cd 8335.7cd 6344.1cd 7823.4cd
Throw (ANSI) 100.8m 115.3m 185.1 167.5 182.6 159.3 176.9
Tail Amp – Moon 0.005 0.005 0.002 0.005 0.005 0.005 0.003
Tail Amp – Low 0.09 0.091 0.055 0.05 0.048 0.044 0.05
Tail Amp – Medium 0.42 0.43 0.17 0.191 0.191 0.2 0.167
Tail Amp – High 1.65 1.7 1.5 2.69 2.69 2.5 1.55

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Choice of CW or NW LEDs
  • Current controlled drivers and zero sign of visible flicker.
  • Smooth, well machined, square threads.
  • Good feel on tactical momentary tail switch with sturdy boot.
  • Easy to use with gloved hands
  • Easy mode switching
  • Last mode memory
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Beautiful tint with NW emitter
  • Output exceeds manufacturer claims.
  • Strong, deep carry pocket clip.
  • AR coated UC lenses
  • Smooth spill and focused beam
  • Good Firefly mode
  • Hidden yet easily accessed Strobe
  • Excellent price of just under $30 USD

Cons

  • Tail standing is iffy.
  • Side electronic switch is a tad on the small side.
  • Not the highest output levels in their class but being NW they will produce a little less than their CW counterparts.

CONCLUSION

The Archer series lights are definitely “Mac Approved”.  It’s hard to beat them for the price of just $30 each.  Excellent build quality, tactical tail switches with electronic side switch for mode changes.  Great output levels and battery versatility makes them perfect for EDC or stowing in your car or boat for emergencies.  The deep carry clips are strong and allow for confident carry in the front pocket.  If you are looking for a small, reliable, well built light on a budget from a quality manufacturer then the Archer series of lights deserve your consideration.

Update 20150606:

I wanted to update the review with this information. I’ve had several people ask me how to remove the reflector since it doesn’t appear to drop out the front like most lights do. I experimented on my Archer 1C and in the process destroyed the switch.  How much do I like my Archer lights? I purchased a replacement immediately. Actually I’ve purchased two replacements. The first was purchased when I thought I had lost my review sample before finishing the original review. I ordered the replacement from Amazon and received it in a couple of days.

The Pill and reflector are very much like miniature P60 pills in that the reflector threads to the pill and the entire assembly can be pushed out the front of the light. Please, please, please do not attempt this unless you are willing to destroy the button on the underside of the silicon side switch. This is what ruined my sample unit. When pushing out the assembly, the base of the silicon side button sits inside the switch opening in the pill. As the pill slid out it sheared off the bottom of the button rendering it useless. You’ve been warned. Remove the pill at your own risk!

Anyway, here are pictures I’ve just taken of the pill and reflector assembly. As always, clicking a picture will open the original in a new window.

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One thought on “ThruNite Archer V2 Series Flashlights

  1. Pingback: ThruNite Archer V2 1A/2A/1C EDC Flashlights | Johnny Mac Reviews

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