What is the best tactical under $50? I think it’s pretty tough to find something much nicer than the Thrunite TN12 2014 edition. At 1050 lumens the Thrunite TN12 is a very bright mid-sized tactical flashlight. The TN12 can even be carried in most jeans pockets as an everyday carry flashlight. This flashlight is definitely meant to compete with the very popular Fenix PD35 (another mid-size tactical flashlight at close to 1000 lumens).
The Thrunite TN12 pictured in this post was purchased through Amazon.com and not supplied by the manufacturer.
Note: The Thrunite TN12 2014 has been replaced with the TN12 2016 edition. There are a few minor differences, but aside from a side switch design change they are still essentially the same flashlight.
Don’t forget to read this updated post: BEST TACTICAL FLASHLIGHTS UNDER $50 2016
The Thrunite TN12 fits easily in the hand, has a well knurled anodized aluminum body and features IPX-8 water resistance. Here are the full specs for the flashlight:
- Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
- Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries.
- Max output:1050 lumens with XM-L2 U2
- Working voltage: 2.7V-9V
- 143mm (Length)*25.4mm (Diameter)
- 82g weight (without batteries)
- Reverse polarity protection design to protect from improper battery installation
- Versatile lighting modes 1050lm(90min) 800lumens (1.5hour) 280 lumens (5hours) 20 lumens (74 hours) 0.3lumens (1585hours)
- Aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
- Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
- Smooth reflector gives perfect beam and throw.
My Thrunite TN12 2014 Edition came with a holster, clip, spare o-rings and tailcap switch cover, lanyard and instructions.
Although the Thrunite TN12 is over 5″ in length it fits easily in my conventional blue jeans or cargo pants pocket.
The Thrunite TN12 features a smooth reflector. The TN12 2014 Edition has five different lighting modes plus an easily accessible strobe:
- 1050 lumens (90min)
- 800 lumens (1.5hour)
- 280 lumens (5hours)
- 20 lumens (74 hours)
- 0.3 lumens (1585hours)
The TN12 user interface is straight forward. Click the rear tail clicky to turn the light on. The light will always turn on in the mode you turned it off in. Slightly depressing the rear tail clicky will also turn on the light until you stop depressing the switch. With the light on, click the side switch on the body to cycle through the lighting modes.
The one thing I really like about this flashlight is the strobe is always immediately available by depressing and holding the side switch for about one second. Another nice feature of this flashlight is the .3 lumen “firefly” mode. It’s actually enough light to do close-up work (as long as there is no other ambient light). The the to be aware of is that as soon as you have much ambient light you won’t even realize the flashlight is on. So be aware of that so you don’t stick it n a drawer in this mode and eat through your batteries.
Best flashlight under $50 – conclusion
There are quite a few great flashlight buys in the $50 to $100 range. But, when you get below the $50 threshold there just aren’t as many good choices. The Thrunite TN12 2014 Edition is by far my favorite under $50 flashlight and in my opinion is just as good as some flashlights that cost $20 more. When I compare the TN12 against my other 1000 lumen flashlights I believe it’s every bit as bright. I’ve owned and used the flashlight consistently for the last four months and highly recommend it if you are on a tight budget.
I purchased my ThruNite TN12 2014 at Amazon.com.