[REVIEW] Everyone else did it so...ThorFire VG10S Tactical Flashlight Review

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Dirty_Pierre
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[REVIEW] Everyone else did it so...ThorFire VG10S Tactical Flashlight Review

ThorFire VG10S Tactical Flashlight Review 1100 Lumens


Today I’m taking a look at the ThorFire VG10S.
A 5 mode tactical/EDC flashlight featuring a Cree XPL2 led, 1100+ otf lumens, good build quality and a nice warranty.
It’s been on the market for about a year., and replaces the older version VG10. It’s currently on sale at Amazon with a 20% off promotion, no code needed.
***EDIT*** New 20% off promo code for the VG10S light: IHJITLEQ
Regular price $22.50, with promotion it’s only $18.50.
https://www.amazon.com/ThorFire-Tactical-Flashlight-Included-Upgraded/dp...

The quick run down about this light:
Very bright 1100+ lumens on high
(I measured higher consistently)
Takes a single 18650 Lithium ion cell.
Flat top or Button top 18650 cell compatible.
A true Moonlight mode of 1 lumen.
IPX8 Waterproof rated for 2meters.
1 meter drop resistant.
Mode Memory.
Low voltage protection.
Overall good solid build quality and a warranty to back it up.
A good value.
I was not paid to review this light but I did purchase it at a discount for review purposes.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX: The ThorFire VG10S came in typical ThorFire packaging: Small cardboard box, foam padded, bubble wrapped, with spare o-rings and a manual. Battery NOT included. Neither is a lanyard or a holster.

The ThorFire VG10S has nice smooth hard black anodization without any knurling. This side of the light shows the model info.

The other side of the ThorFire VG10S showing the ThorFire branding and the “hot” symbol on the body tube and head. No knurling on this side either. As far as the lack of knurling goes, it’s not really an issue since the size of the light is fairly substantial and easy to hold on to.

Of note in the manual is the warranty. 40 days manufacturer defects and 24 months otherwise. ThorFire has a proven track record of handling any issues with their products promptly and professionally.

The VG10S business end has a crenelated stainless bezel holding the lens and reflector in. I think mine may be glued, it really didn’t want to unscrew very easily.

The Cree XPL2 emitter is centered in a smooth reflector. The reflector has a bit of depth to it giving the VG10S a fair amount of throw. The emitter is a fairly neutral to slightly cool color temp of around 5000K I think they did a good job of balancing a throwy beam with some spill. It’s decent at both. It has a hot spot similar to a C8 style light, but with better spill /more flood.

The VG10S is reverse tail clicky switch operated. The switch is covered by a typical silicon rubber boot. Switch feels fairly solid, not too mushy or too hard with an audible click when turning on or off. The tail cap has a couple recesses machined into it to aid with getting your finger on/ locating the switch. I had no problem operating the switch with gloves on.

OPERATION: The switch is ON or Off, a soft HALF PRESS while on switches through the modes. Mooonlight/1lm—->Low/50lm—->Medium/300lm—->High/1100+lm A quick double half press gets you to the Hidden Strobe mode.

I was recently asked what I meant about a hidden mode by a flashlight newcomer. When I refer to it as a hidden mode in this case I mean that when you cycle through the modes from moonlight/low/mid/high the strobe wont be activated unless you double press. I strongly dislike lights that the strobe must be accessed to cycle through the modes.
Thankfully this ones not like that. No momentary mode, which I think this light could benefit from to make it truly “tactical” but that’s mostly a subjective/opinion sort of thing.
What constitutes tactical to you?

The Tailcap of the ThorFire VG10S features a couple nice larger sized holes for a lanyard. Besides the usual thin lanyard material, I was able to get some 550 paracord through the holes with a little finagling. It fits but it’s a bit tight, so some thinner paracord would be better.

I added a piece of 550 cord, it fits for a lanyard, but it’s tight, a lighter cord would probably be better.

The tail cap threads are smooth and lubed. No grittiness threading the cap off and on. The o-ring could use a touch more lube probably but no big deal, the light seems sealed up fairly well.

The stainless pocket clip is oriented for HEAD DOWN carry.

The stainless pocket clip is not reversible, it snaps on for HEAD DOWN carry only. It’s a solid feeling clip with good retention.
I kind of wish there was a different option for a clip that had deeper carry. The light has a fair bit of real estate exposed when clipped head down in my pocket.
The size of the light isn’t the greatest for pants pocket carry, it’s fairly sizeable. Better in a jacket pocket, cargo pocket, or a pack.
Better still would be a holster for it.

The head of the ThorFire VG10S has some deep deep cooling fins. They’re quite a bit deeper than most lights I own. I imagine that they could be pretty useful to shed some serious heat if I were to modify this light with a few things…although I haven’t had enough time to thoroughly research viability of using it as a host for a future project.

The ThorFire VG10S breaks down by unscrewing the head and tail from the body into 3 main pieces. Head, Tail, and Body. The tail switch and the driver are each held in by a threaded brass ring. Coated springs at each end, works with flat top or button top 18650 cells.

The Body tube has anodized threads that allow for easy mechanical lockout by loosening the tail cap a quarter turn or so.
I prefer to lock out my lights mechanically when not in use so that I know there won’t be any activation of the light until I’m ready to use it.
The Grandkids don’t blind each other as easily and doing so usually eliminates the possibility of parasitic drain as well.
I like to know that 100% of the time a light I count on is going to work, and not need a fresh cell or a recharge.
Some of the lights I have will literally burn a hole in stuff or catch stuff on fire if turned on accidentally in a bag or a pocket and not noticed.

The emitter/driver end of the body tube. It’s kind of interesting design wise to me. It has a large flat shelf that makes contact with the head. There is a substantial amount of aluminum here, and has to aid shedding heat produced from the emitter. I can’t think of any similar lights to compare this to.

The ThorFire VG10S is a fairly large light for an EDC/Tactical light. As mentioned before, It’s probably not going to be the best size for front pants pocket carry. Better in cargo pocket, bag, jacket pocket.
The length is 5.2 inches/132mm at the longest points and 1.29 inches/32mm width at head and 1 inch/26mm at the tail.
I really wish ThorFire would include a quality holster for some of their larger lights like this one.
This size just isn’t very pocket friendly and would be so much better in a holster.
ThorFire! if your listening, consider some holsters for some of your bigger lights please!

The lineup of the usual suspects. I included this pic to compare the size of the VG10S (pssst it’s the one in the middle) with some pretty popular lights that a lot of folks have or have seen. The ThorFire VG10S reminds me of a mini C8 in some ways due to the machining/ deep fins for cooling, and the taper on the body tube.

1 hour run time graph using a fully charged 3500 mAh Panasonic NCR18650B. No fan or cooling.
The light steps down slowly from high and settles on medium mode after about 20-25 minutes. It will then run forever according to the graph. ;-p Just kidding, but it will run about two more hours, or until the low voltage protection kicks in, cell capacity/current dependent.
This drivers step down scheme seems to differ from all the other ThorFire lights I have tested. It has more small steps in the first 20-25 minutes, rather than one or two large steps.
The overall high mode output of the light was consistently brighter than its 1100 lumen rating. The light consistently measured closer to 1400

Moonlight mode is a real low 1 lumen or so. The camera I used for these pics auto adjusted the white balance and the exposure so the medium and high shots are really much brighter in real life vs the capture.

Here’s a few shots of the light to compare the brightness at a 50 ft. / 15 meters distance. I did not include the moonlight mode shot since it’s just too dark to capture. The ThorFire VG10S beam has a nice center hot spot and decent spill. The hot spot reminds me of a C8 style light.

A parting shot comparing the beams and spill of the ThorFire VG10S with a Convoy C8. VG10S on left, Convoy C8 on right.
It’s not an exact apples to apples comparison, the VG10S is not a C8, but it most reminds me of one when considering the beam profile, output, and size.

The Verdict:
Cons:
A bit on the bulky side for pocket carry, no holster or cell included. It might be a factor for a newcomer to consider since they’ll need a decent cell/charger combo.

Pros:
Great output, respectable run times, not a lot of heat when on high due to the step downs, and an OK balance of throw vs flood. Less of that tunnel vision effect that you may get with other throwy lights due to a bit more spill and, smoother, larger hot spot in the beam. Decent warranty for a light in its price range.

But Wait! There’s More!
A bonus tear down shot. I was able to get the bezel off with a little persuading with the vice and some determination. It was not glued, I was just being a wimp. The brass retaining ring holding the driver in is left handed thread, and that sucker was tight too. This VG10S wasn’t going to fall apart or get loose contact anyplace. The emitter is mounted on an aluminum dtp board screwed down directly to the shelf with some thermal goop. I didn’t take that out but it looks easy enough by removing the screw and the leads. I apologize for the lack of measurement of the shelf area. The driver measures out to 18.8mm at the wide part and 18mm where it has some flats. Looks like aftermarket options might fit in there if considering a modification or 2. I didn’t tear down the switch, but I’m not anticipating any huge surprises. Overall I think it’s a decent light, especially for the price range, but it is on the larger size for an EDC light.
Thanks for reading!

Edited by: Dirty_Pierre on 04/25/2018 - 23:19
Dirty_Pierre
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***EDIT***
Added new promo code for the VG10S
20% off promo code for the VG10S light: IHJITLEQ https://www.amazon.com/ThorFire-Tactical-Flashlight-Included-Upgraded/dp...

RobertB
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Nice review, and great picts!

Dirty_Pierre
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Quote:
Nice review, and great picts!

Thanks RobertB!
I got a new used Nikon and another new used toy to play with for the pics, it helped, although I’m still learning with the Nikon. It blows the doors off my 12 yr old Canon.

d_t_a
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I also checked out this Thorfire VG10S flashlight recently. With a fresh-off-the-charger VTC6, I can get tailcap measurement of up to 3.4A max, this would likely be higher than the claimed 1100lumens for an XP-L2. (in comparison, I have tested another XP-L2 flashlight that claims 1200 lumens, but its tailcap current was only around 3.0-3.1A, and when comparing the VG10S and the “1200-lumens” flashlight, the VG10S appears slightly brighter.)

I’m curious about the 1-hour runtime graph — how do you measure it? I mean, what kind of setup (if possible can you show some picture of how that’s done). Thanks very much. I’d also like to do some kind of runtime graphs for the flashlights I have, for comparing different flashlights.

Dirty_Pierre
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d_t_a wrote:
I’m curious about the 1-hour runtime graph — how do you measure it? I mean, what kind of setup (if possible can you show some picture of how that’s done). Thanks very much. I’d also like to do some kind of runtime graphs for the flashlights I have, for comparing different flashlights.

Hi d_t_a,
There are a few ways to produce a runtime graph, and they all involve a way to measure the light. An android phone that has a light sensor in it can be used. Another way is by using a Luxmeter such as this one:
http://a.co/dA3Firy
or similar like this one:
https://www.banggood.com/UNI-T-UT383-Digital-Mini-Lux-Light-Meters-Envir...

and recording the results, saving the results as CSV and using that to produce a graph in excel or a similar spreadsheet type program.
I use a setup similar to the following to produce mine.
Zac Wilson (he’s seen on here and a few other places thanks Zac) made a nice android utility that I frequently use.
His app is called ceilingbounce and can be found over on Github:
https://github.com/zakwilson/ceilingbounce

There’s a forum post about it here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/53741
There’s also quite a few posts about how to measure light and integrating spheres and a whole lot of other great stuff if you do a little searching here on the forum.
Good luck and thanks for your interest, learning new stuff is fun.