The FLIR Scout TK is an affordable monocular thermal imager that is perfect for hunting, camping, and other low light outdoor applications.
The pocket-sized design makes it highly portable while the four-button interface makes it easy to use even for first-time users.
The hard IP67-rated body is designed to withstand outdoor use, even during rain and snow.
Read on for our full review.
If the FLIR Scout TK is not what you are looking for, then check out our roundup of the best thermal cameras for your smartphone.
The FLIR Scout TK has received praise from users who have been or are in the military or who have seen their share of cool toys, including powerful thermal imagers.
That should tell you that the Scout TK is good.
However, the resolution is not quite high enough for maintenance work on utilities or car engines. This is more of an outdoor exploration monocular.
Where it shines most is the range. The stated range is 100 yards (when focusing at a human being), but customers say they’ve been able to observe animals as far as 150 to 200 yards.
If you are looking for an outdoor thermal imager that’s easily portable and versatile enough for a wide range of applications, you’ll find the FLIR Scout TK to be up to the task.
Here are the most noteworthy features.
The VOxMicrobolometer detector has a resolution of 160 x 120 or 19,200 pixels. This is comparable to many basic thermal imagers targeted towards beginners and hobbyists.
If you are looking for a handheld thermal imager to detect HVAC leaks or maintain machinery, the Scout TK is not what you are seeking.
The resolution is not high enough to get highly detailed images.
But this is not a major problem when you are using it to look at larger objects like human and animals.
One of the most important features for an outdoor thermal imager is range. You need to be able to see things far away.
The FLIR Scout TK boats a range of about 100 yards. At that distance, you can make out a clear image of a person or a large animal like a hog. Of course, you’ll lose some definition at that distance, but you’ll still be able to distinguish between a person and an animal.
This makes the Scout TK also ideal for security and personal safety.
A quick scan of your surroundings will tell you if there’s someone or an animal lurking around, whether it’s in a dark parking lot or a forest.
High-resolution Display with Easy to Use Eyepiece
The 640X480 LCD display shows clear and sharp thermal images. The excellent contrast makes it easy to distinguish between different objects.
The monocular eyepiece is easy to use. It’s wide enough that you don’t have to squint to see the image. The lens is far enough that you won’t be pressing your eyeball right against it.
The eye relief is also adequate for glass wearers. You can look through the eyepieces with your eyeglasses on.
In our FLIR Scout TK review, we found the unit’s intuitive interface to be one of its best features.
The simple 4-button design and easy-to-understand on-screen symbology make this FLIR model perfect for beginners.
The screen displays a battery icon, allowing you to keep a close eye on the remaining charge time.
The screen also turns on relatively quickly, so you can easily identify your targets in lowlight conditions before they disappear.
A small color box on the screen further informs you about the thermal intensity, making the Thermal Scout TK pretty functional and simple to use in all lighting conditions.
The four buttons on this thermal monocular include a power button, a ‘Display Brightness’ button, a Thermal Palette button, and a camera button. However, it will take some to learn what each button controls.
We recommend practicing in visible light before you go out hunting in complete darkness with it.
But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find the four-button interface intuitive and easy to use.
This thermal imaging monocular comes with a rechargeable battery and boasts a 5-hour battery life.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and think you’re going to need it for longer stretches of time, then make sure to carry a battery bank with you.
Hardy and Durable
I’m not saying you can throw the Scout TK around however you want. But don’t be afraid to take it to rough environments either.
It’s designed to withstand some abuse. It has an IP67 rating, meaning it is submersible to a limited depth and for a limited period. Rain is also not an issue.
It can also be dropped (accidentally, that is) from a max height of 2m without damage.
The FLIR Scout TK barely adds to your luggage. Its small size easily allows single-handed use, and you can even carry it in your pocket for quick access.
It measures 6” long and 2” wide and is just 160 ounces in weight.
Here’s what else you need to know about the Scout TK.
The pocket-sized Scout TK not only offers thermal imaging but also allows you to capture images and record videos of your hunting experience.
If you want to keep a record, you can also extract all image and video files using the included USB cable and micro-USB port.
The unit offers a video refresh rate of 9Hz and boasts 8 different video color palettes. These video palettes include White Hot, Rainbow, Lava, Arctic, Black Hot, InstAlert, Iron, and Graded Fire.
It’s important to note that the video recording function does not have a separate button, and you need to hold down the ‘Image Capture’ button to start video recording.
The FLIR Scout TK Pocket also comes with a neck lanyard and lens cap.
The cap keeps the lens clean and protects it from oil and dirt, while the neck lanyard allows you to wear the security device around your neck when not in use.
This FLIR model further comes with a 2-year standard warranty on parts and labor and a separate 10-year warranty on the thermal sensor.
However, you’ll get a limited 3-year warranty on parts and labor if you register the monocular with FLIR.
Resolution is the main limitation of the FLIR Scout TK. But the resolution is what I expected from a beginner thermal imager like the Scout TK.
As long as you hold your expectations in check and understand the imager’s limitations, the Scout TK’s 19,200-pixel resolution should serve you just fine.
Although it doesn’t match the thermal resolution of pricier imagers, it’s still perfect for a variety of applications.
You can use the pocket-sized thermal vision monocular to hunt small invading animals like pigs or raccoons, or you can use it for personal security.
All in all, this everyday tool is ideal for most hikers, campers, hobbyist hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.