I am using 3 additional characters to compare Tenshinhan to. I think it's logical to compare Tenshinhan to his closest competitors (below and above) as well as Dragon Ball's main character. Piccolo also factors heavily into my calculations for Tenshinhan (after official power levels are no longer available). It may seem strange to see power levels start to multiply as the story progresses but this is only a consequence of what is presented in the manga's battle powers and the feats characters accomplish. You'll see that I have shown stated power levels from the manga and series in a solid grey box. Power levels from Daizenshuu official guide book, Weekly Shonen Jump, and V-Jump are in a outlined grey box. My estimations, as well as corrections to Daizenshuu/WSJ/VJ power levels, are in plain text without a box. You may find it odd that I felt the need to correct the Daizenshuu levels. I did so because I can't make sense of the earlier DB levels. I also think Goku and Freeza's levels were arbitrarily multiplied by many factors without a basis (my calculations still account for Super Saiyan 50x multiplier; although I'lll explain why I change to 10x multiplier after the Freeza battle). I will elaborate further on these calculations below the chart. It's a very long read. Just keep in mind these estimations after there are no longer official power levels are (in my mind) on the low side. The main purpose is to not over-estimate and try to create an accurate scale between characters.
My Estimations Explained
Table of Contents
22nd Tenkaichi Budokai to 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai
To begin my estimations, I decided to work backward into Dragon Ball based on Toriyama's inital power levels. I found that the Daizenshuu numbers just don't work out. The intial confusion starts with Goku's 260 during his fight with Piccolo Daimao. They're saying that Tenshinhan about 5 and half years after 23rd TB isn't even as strong as Goku about 3 years prior to even that! It's illogical. Tenshinhan witnessed and partook in the battle with Piccolo Daimao. For him to have the confidence he had going into the 23rd TB, he would have to at the very least surpassed the Goku he was trying to rival again. In addition to this, if Tenshinhan was 250 or less, that would mean Goku during 23rd TB (albeit with weighted clothes) wasn't as strong as he was 3 years prior. I reason this because Tenshinhan was evenly matched with weighted Goku. Goku even admitted Tenshinhan was faster. Remember, Goku trained with Kami-sama for the years leading up to 23rd TB. It's ridiculous to suggest that his power even with weighted clothes would be less than when he originally fought Piccolo Daimao. This means we would need to shift all DB-era power levels lower.
I start by figuring out what Goku might be during 23rd TB based around where Tenshinhan should be. Tenshinhan would have increased in power after the 5.5 years before DBZ. He must be lower than 250. If we're being modest, I think 225 is the most he could be during the 23rd TB. That means he only increased 25 levels in 5.5 years. I'm going high as possible, because we need this to work out that Tenshinhan was evenly matched with a weighted Goku. If I go too low on Ten's 23rd TB power, Goku would be too strong for Tenshinhan to handle. So if Goku is 225 weighted, he would be about 280 unweighted (based on the the fact that he is 124.55% stonger in Z without his weighted clothes). This still keeps Goku under his Z level easily. 5.5 years is a long time to train. 280 to 416 is reasonable for Goku. If we took Goku's level much higher, it would place Tenshinhan above his inital DBZ level of 250.
To further elaborate, I needed to give Goku and Tenshinhan room to grow in the 5.5 years, but I if I estimated Tenshinhan's level too much lower than 225, Goku's returns on Divine Water and Kami-sama training would be so low, it wouldn't work out logically. Power levels don't work out logically as it is, so I'm staying on the higher end with Tenshinhan to combat the faulty logic already in play. For instance, Tenshinhan, at the very least, gained 4x increase in 1 year of Kami-same training (250 to 1000+, probably closer to 2000). Goku trained with Kami-sama for 3 years. Goku should have increased 12x going by Tenshinhan's performance. So with my 280 estimate, Goku would have have had a power level of about 23 versus Piccolo Daimao. We can all agree this is completely illogical because they could have had 5 farmers take on Piccolo Daimao! Hahaha. I'm just trying to illustrate that logically, we need Tenshinhan's PL to be as close to 250 during 23rd T.B. as possible to make some semblence of sense. Again, it can't be too high, because 5.5 years worth of training from a dedicated Martial Artist like Tenshinhan would give at least some return.
So from there, I have to put Tenshinhan around 150 during the 22nd TB. Goku and Tenshinhan were about even at this time, but Goku made a large leap after drinking the Divine Water. I think gaining about 33% increase from Divine Water is at least enough to surprise Tenshinhan about Goku's new level of power. It also gives Goku the needed room to grow during the 3 years of Kami-sama training (starting from my estimate of 200 and training to 280) while not giving too much room so that Tenshinhan couldn't keep up with weighted Goku at 23rd TB. I think the Daizenshuu of 180 for Goku and Tenshinhan at 22nd T.B. is fairly accurate, I just need to see a bigger difference between Goku and Tenshinhan after the Divine Water, since their levels are significantly different at this point. And as I explained prior, taking the levels any higher during the 22nd TB will have illogical impacts on the 23rd TB. Kuririn's level of 100 at the 22nd TB also accounts for their large gap in power that would be comparable to Tenshinhan and Goku (after the Divine Water). I would place Kuririn at about 175 during 23rd TB, because he'd need to be at least higher than what he witnessed Goku and Tenshinhan performing at during the 22nd. That still gives Tenshinhan his needed space on Kuririn during the 23rd TB (of 50, which is similar to the start of DBZ difference of 44, which is from Toriyama's writing). So now you can see how my estimates come full circle.Back to Top
Saiyan to Freeza Arc
Now that I've addressed DB power levels and my own corrections to Daizenshuu, we need to start calculating power levels after DBZ starts phasing them out. I'm okay with Daizenshuu's Piccolo level of 3,500 during saiyan. That means he increased his power about over 8 fold for the Saiyan fight. Tenshinhan increased over 7 fold. It makes sense Piccolo would be able to increase a little more but they're in the same ballpark. These increases also set the precedent for power levels being increased by several multiples (as that becomes more and more prevelant). It's interesting Kami-sama was able to train Earth's warriors with extreme increases in a year, whereas Goku was not able to even increase by 2x in 3 years (at least according to Daizenshuu and my estimations). It doesn't make sense, but it is literally what is shown in the manga/series. According to the Daizenshuu, Piccolo had a level of 3,500 and Nappa a level of 4,000. Piccolo wasn't able to accomplish hardly anything and this power level is very close to Nappa's. I would place Nappa higher than 4,000 myself, to be honest. At least 5,000. Vegeta knows Goku's suppressed power is 5,000. As Nappa is fighting Goku, he tells Nappa that Goku can't beat him if he keeps a calm head. That would suggest he is over 5,000. I think Tenshinhan's Kikoho would at least need to be 2,000 to do a little bit of damage that it did. Daizenshuu's 1,830 for Tenshinhan is fairly reasonable then.
Now comes a big calculation that effects Tenshinhan and Piccolo's levels greatly. Before that, I will say Kuririn was for the moment very likely to have surpassed Tenshinhan when he gets his power unlocked to at least 10,000. This was the same day Tenshinhan arrived on Kaio-sama's afterall (as far as I can gather from the Daizenshuu timeline). I have to skip ahead a bit and work back to figure out Tenshinhan's levels during this time. We know Piccolo after merging with Nail is about 1,000,000 (Daizenshuu as well as the fact that he competes with 2nd form Freeza, who is stated above 1,000,000). We know Nail is 42,000. We have to make sense of Piccolo's level, with that of Nail's 42,000, combining to create a massive 1 million. 6 days after Piccolo arrived on Kaio-sama's is the when Piccolo merges with Nail. If you believe Piccolo, Tenshinhan and the others didn't make great gains in that time period you run into the issue of Nail's comments on Piccolo. Nail states that he doesn't know what kind of training Piccolo has had, but that he has an "astonishing power". Would Nail find a power level of 3500 "astonishing", when there are other Namekians proven to be 3,000? I think that would be ridiculous. I think Piccolo is higher than Nail at this point judging by Nail's awe of Piccolo.
Nail tells Piccolo merging would increase Piccolo's power "many fold". What does that mean exactly? If the algorithm is that their power levels are multiplied together, then Piccolo would be a little over 23. That's clearly not the case. We have to derive the merging equation another way. The only way I can see it is the power of the 2 merging combines and then is multiplied by a certain amount. If I believe Piccolo is stronger than Nail at this point, the cleanest way to figure it is that the properties of merging itself multiplies the sum of the 2 powers by 10. If one were still to put Piccolo as 3,500, it works out relatively within reason as they'd get about a 22 times increase from their combined powers (3,500 + 42,000 = 45,500, 1,000,000 / 45,500 = 21.98). I would consider 10x and 22x to fit into the "many fold" statement. However, I will explain another reason why I lean more to the 10x.
Akira Toriyama states in an interview he envisioned the Super Saiyan as a 10x multiplier (of course this interview occurred many years after he originally created the manga but these are his words). I'm going to diverge a bit for the moment: The math on that statement doesn't quite work out. Let's first assume that Toriyama is applying the 10x multiplier to Goku at x20 Kaioken because if not, Super Saiyan makes no sense as it would be half that of regular Goku's Kaioken x20. For simplicity sake, let's say Goku's PL is 1. 20x Kaioken puts him at 20. 50% Freeza would then be at 20 (since he matches up to x20 Kaioken). 100% Freeza would be 40. Goku as a Super Saiyan would then be 200!? Freeza wouldn't be able to accommpish anything against Goku with that difference (it would place Goku over 4 times the strength of 100% Freeza. Freeza actually puts up a fight. So Toriyama couldn't have really envisioned Super Saiyan as a 10x multiplier to Goku with a x20 Kaioken. I already stated how he couldn't be referring to base Goku getting a 10x increase, as x20 Kaioken would be more powerful than Super Saiyan. Toriyama's statement doesn't make sense. He does still allude to the 50x multiplier being the accepted standard for Super Saiyan, perhaps admitting his mistake. Regardless of the logic flaw, Toriyama says he envisioned Super Saiyan as 10x when he was writing it. I will use his thoughts on Super Saiyan for everything but the Freeza saga, as it creates too big of a hole in the Freeza saga. We essentially just have to accept the mistake.
This brings me back to Piccolo's fusion multiplier. Do we really think if Toriyama envisioned Super Saiyan as a 10x multiplier, that Namekian fusion would be envisioned as an even higher multiplier (22x)?! I don't think so. I think at the most it would be on par with the Super Saiyan multiplication. That's why I believe Piccolo is at least 58,000 before merging with Nail. This makes the math really clean (58,000 + 42,0000 = 100,000. 100,000 * 10 = 1,000,000). Piccolo at the very least is 58,000 since I don't believe Toriyama would place a lower multiplier for the legendary Super Saiyan.
So what does all this have to do with Tenshinhan? It allows me to extrapolate Tenshinhan's power level after 6 days of Kaio-sama training. We're shown Tenshinhan and Piccolo can increase power in a similar fashion (Tenshinhan can increase about 7 fold in the same time Piccolo can increase 8 fold, as we saw in Saiyan training). So if Piccolo increased from 3,500 to 58,000, he was able to multiply his power by over 16x in 6 days. You could say Tenshinhan could increase by about 14x in 6 days. 1,830 * 14 = 25,620. I would say Tenshinhan is at least 25,000 at that point, surpassing Kuririn in 6 days (I still think Kuririn has the potential to retake the lead on Namek as Vegeta says his and Gohan's power are increasing during fight with Freeza). Tenshinhan is getting over a 2x power increaes every day on Kaio-sama's planet. This is MUCH more than Goku was getting, but we're also shown Tenshinhan and the gang reaching Kaio-sama's much quicker (45 days compared to Goku's 182) and requesting more intense training than Goku. We see them overcoming the gravity at a MUCH faster rate (Goku catches Bubbles in 40 days). Tenshinhan and company catch Bubbles in the first day (do note this is only in the series, but the series is trying to make sense of Piccolo's rapid power increase too). We aslo see Piccolo talk about not wanting Tenshinhan, Yamucha, and Chaozu to get more powerful than him by training with Kaio-sama. That means he knows they're capable of just as much gains as himself.
This leads me to the infamous Ginyu Special Squadron on Kaio-sama's planet. Taken the side story as-is, Tenshinhan would have to be at about Goku's level when he arrived on Namek (90,000). That's absurd. I know that. Haha! It's understandable why people find it ridiculous. I think the intent of this side-story is to show how Kaio-sama's training is keeping the dead fighters relevant while everyone else is getting robust power-ups. Side note: I actually think Kuririn and Gohan's Namek power-up was just to keep up with the Kaio-sama trainees because they would undoubtedly become quite powerful. Logically, this whole side-story would have worked perfectly fine after the fight with Freeza, because there's no doubt in my mind Tenshinhan could defeat Jheese and Butta by the time he was done with the 266 days of training (based on Piccolo's radical power-up in 6 days). It's just that it works better as entertainment to have them appear at that point in the series. People wouldn't quite care about the Ginyu Squad after Freeza was defeated. With that said, I think we can still make a little sense of it as-is. We can safely assume Jheese, Butta, and Recoom to have about 40,000 as their power levels each (hence why Recoom can pummel Vegeta at 30,000 but still have Vegeta do some damage). Perhaps the gravity is a factor for the Ginyu Squad who were just spending their time on Namek with normal Earth-like gravity. If Tenshinhan is 25,000 at this point, Jheese and Butta would have to be at about a 1/4 of their normal power (since Tenshinhan is able to split himself and defeat each with a 12,500-power level version of himself). This handicapping isn't that ridiculous to suggest, as we can see the drastic effects the 10x gravity has when people are first getting used to it. They can barely move. Remember, these people who are normally able to move faster than can be seen. If their movement is impeded as much as we're shown, handicapping the power to 1/4 isn't completely out of the question. In the manga, during the Buu Saga, Babadi's henchman, Puipui, is confident that 10x gravity of his home planet will completely change the power dynamic between him and Vegeta. Babidi and his henchmen know just how powerful Goku, Gohan, and Vegeta are (they're using them to revive Buu afterall). My point is if they think that immensely more powerful beings than the Ginyu Sqaudron would be affected by 10x gravity, the Ginyu Squadron certainly has the potential to be affected too. Of course Vegeta isn't affected, because of his previous gravity training, but that's beside the point. If you don't care about 'filler,' as people like to call it, you can just forget about this whole side-story anyway.
Now I feel I need to address why I'd chosen Goku to have much lower powers than the Daizenshuu state. I think it needs to be this way in order to make any sense out of Piccolo and Tenshinhan's acts in the Android/Cell Arc. We need to try to keep the levels to a minimum, instead of arbitrarily multiplying made up numbers, as it seems like the Daizenshuu writers did. If we say for a moment that Goku's Daizenshuu levels are accurate we have to believe that the zenkai boost (the power-up a Saiyan receives after recovering form a near death experience) Goku recieved after Ginyu fight took his base from 90,000 to 3,000,000. That is over a 33 times multiplier. That's in the same ballpark as the effect of turning Super Saiyan (50 times). We're shown zenkai boosts for Vegeta in Toriyama's numbers. After nearly dying on Earth, Vegeta goes from 18,000 to 24,000. After Zarbon nearly kills him, he goes from 24,000 to close to 30,000. Goku's zenkai boost after Vegeta's fight has to be well below 90,000, because I think Goku's 100x gravity training is what really got him the majority of the way to 90,000. When you look at those numbers, It's hard to understand the Daizenshuu's massive jump. I would place base Goku at 200,000. For Freeza saga Super Saiyan, I'm sticking with the 50x multiplier, because otherwise Goku's 20x Kaioken doesn't make sense. This is the only way to rationalize his fight with Freeza. During the Android Saga, I'm going with Toriyama's 10x multiplier for Super Saiyan. You may ask why I'm switching the way I calculate between sagas. Mainly, I want to take Toriyama at his word, but in the case of the Freeza saga, it creates to much of a hole where we simply need to ignore Toriyama's 10x multiplier for the time being. If it suits you better to have 10x Super Saiyan multiplier consistent, we can say Goku is at 1,000,000 base and you can ignore the the logic flaw that would make x20 Kaioken stronger than Super Saiyan.
Freeza is stated at 530,000 in his first form. Going to his 2nd form it is stated that he believes he is over 1 million. If we follow in that vein (doubling with each transformation), we could say his 3rd form is around 2,000,000 and his final form starts at 4,000,000. Since it is stated that he is only using 50% of his power in final form, 100% Freeza would be 8,000,000 (almost like an overclocking of his normal 4th form state). It is like an overclocking, because Goku even knows Freeza is losing power at 100%. It's unstable and drains a large amount of Ki. Now these Freeza numbers work pretty well with my Goku calculations. Goku's x20 Kaioken would put him at the appropriate level versus 50% 4th form Freeza (200,000 * 20 = 4,000,000). This also works quite well with the Super Saiyan 50x multiplier. Goku would be at 10,000,000 compared to Freeza's 8,000,000. That's reasonable in that Goku controlled the fight, but not to the point where Freeza couldn't put up some form of a respectable fight.Back to Top
Android to Buu Arc
This leads me to how Piccolo was able to become stronger than the Saiyans. We need to give Piccolo some powering up of his own during the training for the Androids which was 3 years (not to mention about 8 months worth of time from Namek's destruction to Trunks' Arrival). Can Piccolo still multiply his immense power level the way he did when his power level was just a tiny fraction of what is now? Maybe. I think it works better with a little less multiplication than what we've seen in his past. I would estimate he is at 4,000,000 when the Androids arrive. I estimate this because I don't believe Piccolo is capable of being too close to Super Saiyan Goku on Namek (before merging with Kami of course). I also say this because when we look at how I calculated a Namekian merger previously, if Piccolo was too much higher, he'd be way too far above the Saiyans. I would put Goku at 20,000,000 as a Super Saiyan, which means he would have a 2x increase to his Super Saiyan state on Namek. Vegeta and Trunks would be around that too as Super Saiyans (Vegeta a little higher since Piccolo thinks Vegeta surpassed Goku). You might wonder why Piccolo is able to increase by 4x and Goku only by 2x in my estimations. But it makes sense that if Piccolo is training with someone stronger (Goku) he'd get a larger increase than Goku training with someone weaker (Piccolo). This also means Piccolo would be stronger than base Goku (using Toriyama's 10x Super Saiyan comment). The manga does have a cover page show Piccolo training with Super Saiyan Goku. So Goku had to at least be in his Super Saiyan state to fight Piccolo. I'll admit it's hard to makes sense of the power scaling, so I had to make compromises to keep Piccolo in the vicinity of the Super Saiyans, while not getting him too close just yet. I also need Piccolo to be a substantially higher, because that's just the impression I get.
The reason I think these numbers work well is because of Piccolo rivaling Android 17 after his Kami-merger. If you remember before this, Vegeta fights Android 18. I believe those 2 Androids would be about 40,000,000 each. Twice as strong as a Super Saiyan. Vegeta is able to do a bit of fighting, but is ultimately toyed with. Android 17 does know that if Trunks and the gang were to step into the fight, he'd have to step in to. He warns them. He knows if they all worked together, they had the ability to defeat 18 by herself. So with 2 Super Saiyans, Piccolo, Tenshinhan, and Kuririn we're looking at over about 45,000,000 combined. That makes sense given 17's stance on how he wanted the battle to play out as a 1-on-1 fight. Trunks, Piccolo, and Tenshinhan do eventually step in and attack. 17 disposes of each one after the next. It's interesting to note that 17 actually chokes Tenshinhan out instead of quickly defeating him like Trunks and Piccolo. Tenshinhan survives an attack from a character of what I estimate as a power level of 40,000,000. 17 doesn't have to be using his full power, but the fact Tenshinhan didn't die suggests he is quite powerful. I place Tenshinhan in the low millions (mostly because of what's to come later). He has to be relatively powerful.
When the Androids first show up, Goku has Piccolo, Tenshinhan, and Kuririn with him. Goku has Kuririn take Yamucha to get a senzu bean. I have to assume he wants his most powerful allies with him. I elaborate more on this in the Vs. Kuririn section. The way the series frames the 3 fighters of Goku, Piccolo, and Tenshinhan just gives the sense that Tenshinhan is somewhere in their realm. We're given the impression from Movie 9 that Tenshinhan rivals a non-Super, Saiyan. He forces Trunks to go Super Saiyan, where he's able to easily dispatch Tenshinhan. This isn't the manga (the main canon), but to completely dismess Toei's interpretation of a character is quite odd to me. The writers of Dragon Ball seem to understand the characters completely and must have had some type of dialogue with Toriyama that we are simply not privy to. They understand the characters more than we do, as they're literally producing the product that we all know and love. The series and Toei Animation are a huge part of why we all love Dragon Ball. But anyway, I think Tenshinhan being at 1,000,000 would allow him to at least fight with a base Saiyan to a respectable degree. Remember, Toriyama envisioned Super Saiyan as a 10x multiplier, so base Goku in my estimations is at 2,000,000. Interesting to note this would make Piccolo stronger than base Goku, but that's not ridiculous to me. If Tenshinhan can rival a base Saiyan, I think Piccolo could defeat one.
Piccolo after merging with Kami can stand toe to toe with Android 17 (Cell also says that only Piccolo can rival the Adroids). With how I calculated Namekian fusion before, Piccolo would be about 40,000,000. I added the powers of the 2 Namekians (4,000,000 + Kami's low to mid hundreds level) and multiply by a factor of 10 to get around 40,000,000. Vegeta even admits that Piccolo's power is far superior to his (I place Vegeta at 25,000,000 at this point). Piccolo is able to easily beat Cell at this point. Cell escapes to try to absorb the Androids. I would place Cell at about 30,000,000 here as Piccolo is superior. After Cell reappears after consuming many humans, Cell is able to handle 17 and Piccolo easily. Perhaps Cell is 60,000,000 at this point. Piccolo's finishing move on Cell has no effect. Cell did reappear out of the water, so it moved him to some degree. That's when Android 16 steps in to prevent Cell from absorbing his friends. He seems to be about even with Cell (so I'd say he's somewhere around 60,000,000 as well). Cell tricks them all by moving through the ground to Android 17. Cell absorbs 17.
I think when Cell absorbs an Android, the power gets added. 2nd form Cell would be at 100,000,000 by my estimations. This is as low as I can go to make Tenshinhan's next feat even remotely feasible. I also tried to place Tenshinhan as low as I could rationalize as well (because I was trying to make it so he didn't gain so much power that he was over base Goku). We all know what happens though. It's Tenshinhan's ultimate moment in Dragon Ball. At this point in the story, Cell is the most powerful being. Tenshinhan's Shin Kikoho is able to stop 2nd form Cell in his tracks. Cell saw it coming too. He had even more time to react in the series as he even spoke a little to Tenshinhan calling him a "small fry". 1% of Cell's power would constiute as a "small fry". Tenshinhan fires his massive Shin Kikoho, regardless. Tenshinhan's Kikoho is pushing Cell. Cell is out of control. He can't counter it. I hear people try to say Cell wasn't hurt by this attack. Who is to say? He's got some light scuffs in the illustrations. His face looks like he's in pain as it's happening as well. I will say Android 16 tries to punch 2nd form Cell in the face and there truly is no reaction from Cell. Android 16 is literally the #2 strongest character at this point. That's astounding what Tenshinhan did.
Perhaps there is no way to rationalize such a thing. I tried to, by keeping the top tier character's levels from skyrocketing. I'm left with Tenshinhan being 1% of 2nd form Cell's power. We have to look at the properties of the Kikoho to see how this 1% could possibly have any effect. I find it really bizarre how people rationalize this moment in the show. I see many people say the Shin Kikoho is just simply "over-powered" or Tenshinhan's "life force" is being used... Okay... So you're still saying Tenshinhan's "life force" is utterly massive (whatever "life force" is). Somehow people believe the Kikoho is this magical ki blast, outside the realm of all other ki blasts. If you look at when the Kikoho was first introduced, Kamesennin says it's a technque that uses so much of one's ki, that it threatens the user's life. Here's words from Toriyama's own mouth explaining the Kikoho in this interview (translation is by Herms of Kanzenshuu.com):
Sounds similar to the effects on the body like that of the Kaioken. This "life force" myth I think was perpetuated by the dub (or so I've heard). Others says the Shin-Kikoho has a "push" property like how the Kienzan has a "cut" property. I'm not buying that. Kikoho is a destructive force like all ki blasts as you can see how it creates bottomless holes in the ground.
Anyway, since the Shin Kikoho seems to very quickly use an immense amount of ki and place the user's body under extreme stress, we should probably assume it is multiple times stronger than the user (like Kaioken). For another example, in the Raditz Arc, Piccolo was able to do a Makankosappo at over 3.5 times that of his base power (which shows ki blasts and also be in the multiples of a user's base). Goku was able to handle Kaioken x20 in bursts vs. Freeza. Perhaps Tenshinhan, having pushed himself so far he wouldn't have survived (without senzu), was able to accomplish a 20x boost to his base power as well. A x40 multiplier would put Shin Kikoho at 40,000,000. Maybe since I have Goku at 200,000 in the Freeza saga, who is able to use x20 Kaioken, it's not ridiculous that a stronger Tenshinhan could handle even a more massive ki strain. Afterall, Goku is able to handle higher levels of Kaioken the stronger he gets. A Shin Kikoho at 40,000,000 is as strong as the Androids. Tenshinhan would have killed himself doing so, but he may have been able to cause actual damage to an Android with the Shin Kikoho (it seems the situation never got to the point with the Androids where Tenshinhan felt the need for such extremes). Just look at 18's reaction to the Shin Kikoho. It's that of surprise and diving to get out of it's way. Comparing Ten's 40,000,000 to Cell's 100,000,000, falls in similar line with his situation with Nappa. Tenshinhan was, according to Daizenshuu at 1,830. Daizenshuu has Nappa at 4,000. That's a similar ratio as I've estimated with Cell. It's an exact ratio if you look at my estimations placing Ten's Kikoho at 2,000 and Nappa at 5,000. The effects of the Kikoho against Nappa and the Shin Kikoho against Cell were fairly comparable. Nappa and Cell were both basically unharmed (Nappa had a little blood on his leg though). It seems when that when a power is a little over double of the other power, significant damage cannot be made to the stronger power.
I would still say the Shin Kikoho at the bare minimum needs to be at least 20,000,000 to have signficant effect on 100,000,000 Cell. I say this because, Gohan and Kuririn were able to knock down a level 22,000 Dodoria each with a power of 1,500 (that's 7% of Dodoria's power). They took him by complete surprise though. There's no damage done, but they were able to move Dodoria. But because Dodoria was taken by complete surprise, that's why I say the ratio of power needs to favor Tenshinhan a little more in his circumstance. I'm still leaning more towards 40,000,000 because Cell saw it coming and it was a continuous attack he was unable to overpower as it was occurring.
So there you go, I was able to come full circle with Tenshinhan's Kikoho vs. Nappa and relate it to his Shin Kikoho against Cell. Unless I'm making some huge logical fallacy, I think was able to rationalize everything reasonably well. I'm sure I could work this out better to make everything fit even better together, but perhaps the character power scaling doesn't allow for such logic. Maybe there's just some holes in the the scaling that can't be rationalized and the actions taken in the show are meant more for story entertainment. I do truly believe Toriyama intended Tenshinhan to be quite powerful and at least within 1 or 2 percent of 2nd form Cell's power, whatever the power level numbers happen to be.
How I calculated Kuririn's level during the Android Arc is by looking at how I multiplied Tenshinhan's strength in the years of training for Androids. Tenshinhan increased by a factor of 4. I worked backwards to see that Tenshinhan was probably at 250,000 after the 266 days of Kaio-sama training (which by the way is the longest anyone trained with Kaio-sama--Chaozu of course holds the record with Tenshinhan). Kuririn did not receive such special training, so he's probably only about 50,0000 to 75,000 (as V-Jump placed his max power during Freeza Arc). I gave Kuririn a little boost before Trunks' Arrival. I can't imagine him training too hard in that time (the fighters always train a lot harder when their is a reason to). So I place Kuririn at 400,000 in the Android Saga. It's hard to place Kuririn since he didn't have hardly any acts to measure his capabilities during the Android/Cell Arc. In the series, we're shown he is in awe of Tenshinhan's "enormous ki," as Roshi refers to his Shin Kikoho.
Now looking at Goku in the Cell Game, after his room of Spirit in time training, I place him at below Perfect Cell, as he's not able to defeat him. Since I was adding the power of the Androids to Cell, Perfect Cell would be 140,000,000. That's seems reasonable to put Goku at 100,000,000 as Goku definitively knew he couldn't beat Cell (but still put up a good fight). I'd say Super Saiyan Gohan was 120,000,000. This puts his 2 times boost of Super Saiyan 2 well above (non-full power) Perfect Cell at 240,000,000 (of course Perfect Cell reveals even more power after this as well as Super Perfect Cell). The Buu Saga seems like a shot in the dark for me for everyone but Goku. Goku at the very least is at 1.6 billion. First I assumed Goku shot up to at least 200,000,000 as a Super Saiyan during the years until Buu Saga. I use the standard multiples for Super Saiyan transformations. SS2 is 2x that of SS. SS3 is 4x that of SS2. That gives us 1,600,000,000. Super Saiyan 3 Goku is at the very least well above a billion by my "low-ball" estimations. I'm not too concerned about power level estimations at that point though. I don't want to even attempt making sense of Dragon Ball Super. It doesn't seem at all concerned about abiding to any sense of power scaling, so it would be even more ridiculous guessing than that of the last half of Z.
That's it. That's how I've wrapped my head around power levels in relation to Tenshinhan. I tried to be as unbiased as I could. I really tried my hardest to keep Tenshinhan's power as low as I could to combat any bias I might have. At the very lowest, Tenshinhan is in the millions during the Android Saga. It's the only way it makes sense. Perhaps Tenshinhan's Cell moment was just too illogical to actually occur. But it did occur! And these power level estimations help explain in my head how it could have been possible. If you think the Daizenshuu Freeza saga numbers are more accurate, you can essentially just move the decimal place for most power levels I calculated. My numbers still give a relative comparison between characters. If you notice any obvious errors I've made, please e-mail me. If you've made it this far, thanks for listening to ramblings of a Dragon Ball fan taking power levels too seriously!