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FLIR Scout TK Thermal Vision Monocular

FLIR Scout TK Thermal Vision Monocular Review

The FLIR Scout TK is a grab because it is a monocular thermal imager that is great 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.

Read on for our full review.

If the FLIR Scout TK is not what you are looking for, perhaps one of these thermal cameras for the smartphone will meet your needs. 

FLIR scout

Applications

  • Hunting
  • Camping and hiking
  • Outdoor exploration
  • Wildlife observation
  • Security

Noteworthy Features

FLIR Scout TK features

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.

Entry-level Resolution 

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.

Impressive Range 

FLIR thermal monocular

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.

Four-button Interface 

FLIR Scout TK

You can control all the settings and functions using four buttons at the side of the imager. These include color palettes, brightness, scroll, delete, and power.

It takes a while to learn what each button controls. I recommend practicing in the daylight before you go out in the dark with it.

But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find the four-button interface intuitive and easy to use.

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.

Pocket-Size

The FLIR Scout TK barely adds to your luggage. It’s actually small enough that you can carry it in your pocket for quick access.

It measures 6” long and 2” wide and just 160 ounces in weight.

Other Features 

FLIR Scout TK Thermal Vision

Here’s what else you need to know about the Scout TK.

  • The field of view is 20°×16°.
  • You can use it at night as well as during the day. It will show you color differences among different objects. Note however, that it may not be able to pick up some things during the day when the sun is out.
  • The internal battery holds five hours of charge.
  • It comes with a USB cable for charging.
  • Comes with a neck lanyard and lens cap.
  • It has a two-year warranty of parts and labor. The detector has a separate 10-year warranty.

Limitations

FLIR Scout TK Thermal Vision Monocular

Limited Resolution

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.

Specifications

  • Resolution: 160 x 120
  • Range: approx. 100 yards (short for small animals)
  • Size: 6.0"x2"x2"
  • Weight: 6 ounces

Summary

FLIR Scout Handheld imager

For more than $1,000, you can get a powerful outdoor thermal imager that’s fit for a professional hunter.

But if you don’t have that kind of dough to spend on a thermal camera, the FLIR Scout TK is an excellent entry-level option.

Sure, it doesn’t match the resolution of pricier imagers. But it’s perfect for most hikers, campers, hobbyist hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.

About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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