REVIEW – When assembling a kit for home defense, one of the most important considerations to make after deciding on a platform, is lighting. Whether you opt for a handgun, shotgun, carbine, or another platform altogether, your choice of a weapon-mounted flashlight is vital to the effectiveness of your setup. Every piece of equipment in your kit is useless if you can’t see the threat. Most popular industry-standard flashlights cost around $100 to $300. These flashlights are incredibly reliable, have tons of options, and most are made specifically for handguns or carbines. If you run several platforms for home defense, outfitting each one with a flashlight can be expensive. Fortunately, there is a good selection of budget-friendly flashlights on the market like the ThruNite TW10. Priced at just $50, the TW10 offers the power of higher-end flashlights without the major hit to your wallet. You do sacrifice a few options with the TW10 and long-term reliability still needs to be determined, but if you are looking to build a home defense kit on a budget this may be the light for you.
What is it?
The ThruNite TW10 Weaponlight is a 900 lumens LED rechargeable flashlight designed primarily for mounting on a Glock-style handgun or any firearm with a 1913 Picatinny rail. The TW10 is made by ThruNite and co-branded with Black Scout Survival.
The TW10 is packaged quite nicely by ThruNite in a thick cardboard box featuring a magnetic flip-up top.
The unit itself is tucked safely into a custom foam cutout which sits on top of the other accessories that ship with the TW10.
What’s in the box?
- ThruNite TW10 Weaponlight
- ThruNite 1100mAh Rechargeable Battery
- USB-A to USB-C Charging Cable
- 1913 Rail Adapter with screws
- Allen Wrench
- Spare USB Port Cover
- Spare O-rings
- Instruction Manual
- LED Source: OSRAM P9 LED
- Battery Source: 1100mAh 3.7V 18350 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Beam Distance: 410ft / 125m (max)
- Light Intensity: 3960 cd
- Output: 900 lumens ~ 427 lumens
- Run Time: 195 secs at 900 lumens / 130 mins at 427 lumens
- Waterproof Rating: IPX-8 (can be submerged up to 2M)
- Body Material: Aluminum Alloy T6061-T6
- Weight: 2.75oz / 78g
- Length: 3.03in / 77mm
- Width: 1.02 in / 26 mm
- Height: 1.28 in / 32.5 mm
Design and features
The ThruNite TW10 has a barebones, minimalist design which speaks to its affordability and single-purpose functionality. This is a light designed solely to illuminate a target while staying firmly affixed to your firearm and it achieves both of these goals superbly.
The body, mount, and cap of the TW10 are anodized aluminum alloy with a textured surface.
The TW10 has the ThruNite name and TW10 model number on one side and the co-brand logo of Black Scout Survival on the other.
The serial number of the unit is printed on the spring-operated mount on top of the TW10.
The TW10 comes with an adaptor for mounting to Glock-style handguns already installed and includes a 1913 adapter to be used on any firearms with 1913 Picatinny rails.
To change mounts, simply unscrew the Glock mount adaptor using the included Allen wrench and replace it with the 1913 adaptor and screws.
The TW10 has two soft push button switches, one on either side. The rubber switches have a nice tactile click to them and function with a click-once constant-on or a click-and-hold momentary-on activation.
ThruNite powers the TW10 with an 1100mAh 3.7V rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The charging port for the battery is on the rear of the unit. There are also four screws on the rear securing the back plate to the TW10’s body.
The rubber port plug helps give the TW10 its IPX-8 rating which means it can be fully submerged in water up to two meters.
The charging port is a standard USB-C connection for use with the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The TW10 charged to full for me in about 90 minutes.
Next to the USB-C charging port is a small LED which indicates power level and charging state. The LED is solid blue when the TW10 has between 21-100% charge, solid red when the charge is between 11-20%, and flashes red when the charge is less than 10%. When the LED flashes purple, it means abnormal charging. I’ll cover this more in the Performance section, but being able to get a reading on the battery level from an LED while the unit is mounted to your firearm is a great feature for such an inexpensive light.
The only setup required for the TW10 after fully charging the battery is mounting the unit to your firearm. This is another area where this low-priced light outshines some of the high-end favorites. Of course, before mounting the TW10, clear your firearm and make sure that the chamber is empty by visually and physically inspecting it.
You’ll first need to determine if you’ll be using the installed Glock adaptor or the 1913 adaptor. I tested the TW10 on handguns with Glock mounts so I was able to leave the GL adaptor installed. As I mentioned in the Design section, swapping out adaptors is easily done by removing the two adaptor screws with the included Allen wrench and installing the correct adaptor to the mount.
Instead of some complicated mounting mechanism found on most weapon lights, the TW10 has a simple spring-operated screw and latch that can be engaged without any tools.
Loosen the screw head on the mount with your fingers, a coin, or a large flathead screwdriver if needed.
Once the screw is loose, push in on it to widen the rail enough to slide the TW10 onto your firearm’s rail. After the TW10 locks into place, tighten the screw to secure it. You’re able to get the TW10 pretty tightly secured to your firearm using just your fingers, but it’s always good to give it a few turns with a coin or screwdriver just to be sure it stays attached.
I tried the TW10 out on a full-sized handgun, a compact handgun, and on a pistol caliber carbine just for fun. Of course, before I did any testing, I cleared all firearms and made sure that the chambers and any inserted magazines were empty.
The full-sized handgun I used for testing is my HK VP9 Tactical. The front rail on the VP9 is similar to that of a Glock and the firearm has similar dimensions to a Glock 17.
The TW10 fit snugly up against the trigger guard of the VP9 and the small rail was able to accommodate the entire unit with only the cap extending under the barrel.
As I mentioned previously, one thing I really like about the TW10, which you can’t quite tell from the photo, is that you can see the battery level LED while it’s mounted on the firearm. This is a great feature, especially in a home defense situation.
What I dislike though is that while the position of the battery LED allows me to see it while it’s mounted, this also prevents me from being able to charge the TW10 without removing it from the firearm since the port is blocked by the trigger guard. This might be a small annoyance because it’s pretty easy to remove and attach the unit, but it would be great to never have to remove it at all. Locating the charging port on the bottom of the unit would solve this problem.
The TW10 looks really good on the full-sized VP9 and doesn’t add very much weight or affect the balance. The buttons were accessible by me, but it was a little bit of a stretch. This may be an issue for other people with smaller-sized hands.
It’s difficult to tell from the photo since the room was really well-lit, but once activated the 900 lumens LED was really impressive. The momentary-on function of the buttons was most useful when simulating a home defense scenario, but it was nice to have the constant-on option. Once the constant-on is activated, the TW10 will kick out 900 lumens of light for about 195 seconds, then it will step down to 427 lumens to protect the unit and run at that level for another 130 minutes until it is turned off or drains the battery.
I also tested the TW10 on my Springfield XD-M Elite 3.8″ Compact handgun, which is a bit smaller than a standard Glock 19.
I was able to attach the TW10 securely to the XDM’s smaller rail, but a little bit of the mount did extend out under the front.
This didn’t prevent the TW10 from functioning flawlessly and I was never concerned with it coming detached from the mount.
Accessing the TW10 controls on the compact XDM was definitely easier than on the larger VP9 and the added weight of the unit wasn’t an issue during handling or firing. I really like the way the TW10 felt on both my XDM and VP9 and operating it was pretty intuitive.
The throw and shape of the TW10’s LED are excellent and it illuminated the area in front of the firearm just as effectively as my expensive Olight and Streamlight units.
For fun, and to make sure that the 1913 adaptor worked well, I also tried the TW10 out on the lower front rail of my KRISS Vector CRB.
Normally, I’d use a larger side-mounted flashlight on a firearm like the Vector, but I just wanted to see how the sleek design of the TW10 would work on the similarly sleek Vector.
I’ll admit, it looked pretty cool although setting the TW10 so far back under the long barrel of the Vector wasn’t very combat effective.
Overall, I found that the ThruNite TW10 is a very capable, affordable weapon light. The TW10 attaches easily, stays mounted, and functions perfectly even after several hundred rounds of testing. The powerful 900 lumens LED of the TW10 is more than capable of illuminating any threats you might encounter in a home defense situation. I can definitely see this little light being included in one of my future kits.
What I like
- Rechargeable battery is a nice option
- Easily mounted without tools
- Great low-profile design
What needs to be improved
- Charging port should be accessible when mounted on handgun
- Side-mounted buttons might be hard to reach for some
- Lacking options of higher-end weapon lights
The ThruNite TW10 has some great qualities found in weapon lights that cost three to four times as much. At $50 the TW10 is fighting well above its weight with a powerful 900 lumens LED housed in a minimalist aluminum body. There are a few design fails, like having to remove it from your weapon for charging and a bit of a reach to activate the buttons. But, at such a steep discount for a sturdy, dependable weapon light it’s definitely worth considering for that next budget build or kit.