Thorfire S70 - Initial experiences

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Greatwhitehunter
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Thorfire S70 - Initial experiences

My usage of flashlights is generally for fishing. More specifically, trying to catch prawns, crabs, squid and/or fish while wading at night in shallow water up to about 1.5 metres deep.

Therefore my ideal flashlight has the following features:

  • very bright
  • uses 18650 or 26650 batteries
  • long battery life on max brightness (2 hours+)
  • stays on maximum brightness for the maximum time
  • able to be carried and used in 1 hand (my non-dominant left as the scoop net is held in the right)
  • waterproof to IPX8 (i dont deliberately ever submerge my light, but accidents do happen, more often when it’s my friends/family using my lights)
  • has a wider beam if possible

I have tried many flashlights. My preference before trying the Thorfire S70 tonight was the Nitecore TM16GT.

The TM16GT is very bright, has long battery life, is big but not too big, has a nice shape/weight that is comfortable in my left hand, and is IPX8. It’s main drawback is that it’s beam is quite narrow despite being created by 4 LED’s – it is also not inexpensive at >$100 USD. It’s really designed for maximum distance, which is something I don’t need, but I love it anyway.

I recently bought my first 26650 capable flashlight, the Thorfire S70. I got it with the freeme group buy here on BLF for less than half the cost of my TM16GT.

Initial tests in the front yard before hitting the water were encouraging. Comparing the TM16GT to the S70 with the naked eye, their brightness seemed fairly equal and the beam thrown by the S70 was quite a bit wider. My key concern is the width of the beam when the light is projected downward at say a 45 degree angle from about 1.7 metres. The S70 threw a noticeably wider beam which is good for seeing fish on the edge of the beam.

Anyway in the water, I was a little disappointed. The S70 was bright on max brightness, but very quickly it warmed up (which I don’t mind) and it’s thermal management kicked it. When it kicked in, the light output dropped noticeably. It has 4 brightness levels and the output would drop from level 4 (max) to level 2 or 3 instantly.

I didn’t expect this sort of sudden, dramatic drop given the TM16GT does drop, but only by very small increments (say 1% at a time) so you don’t notice any sudden change. I run my lights continuously for periods of up to 3 hours, and ideally I want to run them on max brightness the entire time. I don’t mind if they get warm or even hot, as long as I can still hold them by their handle.

Anyway the S70 is adequate, and I don’t mind it’s weight/feel, but it’s thermal management behaviour means it was a major disappointment to me.

I am sure there are good reasons why lights have such thermal management – safety and longevity of the electronics most likely being the primary ones – but the S70’s sudden drops contrasts poorly with the TM16GT’s gradual drops.

I’ll keep the S70, but it will be given to family and friends to use, I’m sticking to the TM16GT until I find something better.

Any recommendations for something to try let me know…

The Miller
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how warm is it over there?
I found the cooling properties very good on the S70, but it is cold and the tests were done at 15.4C
the stepdown is after three of so minutes but turbo could be activated right away without a problem here.

jescereal
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I’m super jealous that you get to do that kind of stuff. Australia’s waters are so beautiful.

Greatwhitehunter
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The Miller wrote:
how warm is it over there? I found the cooling properties very good on the S70, but it is cold and the tests were done at 15.4C the stepdown is after three of so minutes but turbo could be activated right away without a problem here.

The approximate temperature here was 22 degrees celsius. Not hot, not cold.

The turbo mode can be reactivated again on the S70 and it lasts for a short time again before it steps down again. Very annoying to have to keep activating it though – and frustrating that the step down is so noticable.

If you think the cooling properties on the S70 are good – try the TM16GT – you will be blown away with how long it stays super bright.

Greatwhitehunter
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jescereal wrote:
I’m super jealous that you get to do that kind of stuff. Australia’s waters are so beautiful.

The waters near where I live (Nelson Bay) are nice, but it is the largest Great White Shark hatchery on the Eastern coast of Australia so you don’t necessarily want to go in some of it. Attacks are very rare, but they do happen.

For example a few years ago a shark attacked somebody who had just landed in the bay while parasailing.

I see sharks when I am wading – but never anything bigger than 2 metres and no Great Whites. Mainly harmless stuff like Lemon sharks.

I catch more when I fish in my boat, but again nothing too big – a lot of bronze whalers around here too.

Killforfood
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You could alway swap in a driver without thermal management, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Crazy

CPF to BLF Convert

Andrew2007
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Killforfood wrote:
You could alway swap in a driver without thermal management, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Crazy

It does step down but press the switch again and it goes back up straight away.
SCEman
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So you were unaware of the 3 min drop down before purchasing the S70? Not sure why you bought it otherwise since it doesn’t meet your feature “stays on maximum brightness for the maximum time” requirement.

xcentric
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dunk in water occasionally to cool it?

The Miller
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no stepdown s not thermal regulated, it is timed.
so it needs a press to return to turbo every three or so minutes (I wrote it in my review but might got lost in the huge pile of text.)