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14-04-17, 08:47 PM #1
A review of the Thorfire VG15S 1070 lumens torch
Declaration of interest
In accordance with this site's transparency and declaration of interest policy, I am declaring that the very kind Miranda of Thorfire has provided the item for the purposes of review and has instructed that after reviewing, I may keep it for my own use.
I was asked by the very kind Miranda, of Thorfire, to review this torch.
So here goes.....
It comes in a light brown, relatively plain but very sturdy cardboard box. Inside is the torch, some instructions, a lanyard with a strong lobster claw clasp and a couple of spare O-rings.
The VG15S is an upgrade to the previous model, the VG15. What it gains in the upgrade is basically a Turbo mode. This is available for about three minutes until it steps down to "high" to avoid overheating. Turbo sits at the top end of a slightly different spread of the available modes when compared to the VG15, ranging from a very dim 0.5 lumens moonlight mode up to the Turbo mode of 1070 Lumens. The range is quite well thought out, from 0.5 Lumens > 50 > 200 > 600 > 1070 - a good spread. I am particularly pleased with the ultra low moonlight mode, which seems to be a fair bit dimmer than the moonlight modes on many of my other torches. This makes for an even less intrusive night-time light to help you check on the baby or do some reading without disturbing others. It gives its light through an XM-L2 emitter (nicely centred in my example) which is seemingly neutral white in tint, meaning it will give a more natural white beam to help you distinguish colours more easily and which, for many users, means a more pleasing light. The reflector is clean and neat with orange-peel dimpling and the lens has an anti-reflective coating.
The dimensions of the torch are 12.4cm long, 2.3cm diameter, weighing a naked 66g on my scales (without lanyard) or 115g with an 18650 cell inside. The size compares reasonably well against my other tube 18650 torch (the Olight S30R III - 11.4cm x 2.5cm) although the Olight is a few grams lighter whilst also including an in-built magnetic charging circuit as well as a magnetic tail for fixing the torch onto ferrous surfaces.
An 18650 cell (not included) is needed to power this light. Apologies if I'm preaching to the converted, but these are Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries which employ a different chemistry to the standard AA batteries you may be used to. Therefore they need a different charger, such as the excellent Xtar VC4 four bay charger (£20 or so) or the single bay Liitokala Li-100 charger which can be had from Chinese sites for as little as £3. Lithium Ion cells are more volatile than your usual AA's and need to be handled with appropriate care - this means keeping them in boxes rather than having them jangling around together, not bashing them into things or bashing things into them and don't let them get too hot or too cold. Common sense really. Also don't discharge them too much, it's better to keep them "topped up" every now and then rather than drain them then try to recharge them as this can cause volatility or just plain kill them.
So, unless you have them already, factor in the cost of a decent cell or two (please don't buy 99p eBay rubbish, you're better off spending around £4-£5 or so per cell) and a charger. However, considering the low price of the torch (£17.99 at time of writing), you could get a good two cell set-up for around £30 or so which will last you a long time and will blow AA torches into the long grass.
Getting onto the light itself - stick a fresh cell in, press the nice soft rubber button in the tail and, with Mode Memory, it will light up in the last used mode, provided that mode has been active for more than three seconds. The output goes from low to high, cycling back round to moonlight then up the modes again towards Turbo with each gentle half-tap on the switch. In any mode, if you double tap the switch you activate a "hidden" strobe mode, should you need it.
The build quality seems good for the price, with delicate but well executed knurling on the main part of the barrel and near the tail, together with some shallow fins near the head to help dissipate heat from the emitter. The torch has a five-point lightly crenelated bezel in a nice stainless steel which is quite attractive. The crenelations are useful for (a) being able to see if the torch is switched on if it is standing on its head or (b) hitting someone/something with......
There's a bright, stainless steel clip which does the job, head down, without being too aggressively tight and some recessing in the tail to make it easier to hit the switch as well as some lanyard holes. The tail, even with the recessing, is flat enough to allow for stable tail-standing. A slight twist of the tail breaks the circuit, should you wish to avoid it being switched on accidentally.
In terms of output, as I've said, a great spread of modes and a bright Turbo. The tint is attractive and the beam has a decent amount of flood and throw (beam distance quoted as 200 metres) without a really tightly focussed hotspot.
The torch is rated to withstand impacts from one metre and is IPX8 certified, meaning it is effectively waterproof to two metres.
All in all, while it lacks some of the cool features of the likes of the Olight S30R III such as timers and in-built magnetic charging, it is still of relatively good build quality and, of course, is about 1/3rd as expensive as the Olight as it stands and, even factoring in the cost of a charger and cells, would still be around half the price.
I already have another Thorfire 18650 torch, the C8S, which is solid, dependable and simple. The only thing I would have personally liked to have seen in the VG15S would be a change in the finish - it is a semi-gloss finish, nicely done but I happen to prefer the matt black anodising of the C8S - it just looks better in my opinion.
Recommended as being a good quality torch for those on a budget. Here are a few pics.
All the best,
Last edited by scrumpypaul; 14-04-17 at 08:52 PM.
14-04-17, 09:51 PM #2
Re: A review of the Thorfire VG15S 1070 lumens torch
At that price, can't go wrong really, would certainly make a great glove box/back up light.
One question that folk may want to know, will the flat top 18650's work in this or only the ones that have a positive 'nipple' ??Finally made my first knife!
15-04-17, 08:43 AM #3
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