Review: Thorfire VG15S 1x18650 XM-L2 (Upgraded Version)

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WillyD
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Review: Thorfire VG15S 1x18650 XM-L2 (Upgraded Version)

Edit 2/2/17: beamshots added.

Thorfire asked me to review their upgraded ‘S’ version of the VG15 single 18650 flashlight and sent me the light free of charge.
Non affiliate link to flashlight.

The original VG15 has been reviewed several times on BLF. I have the original which is the light from pilotdog’s review below. I won it in a giveway and will pay it forward by giving the ‘S’ version away in a different thread. I will be going over the upgrades or differences between the original and ‘S’ version. See these reviews if you want more info on the VG15.

pilotdog68 review: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41513
unknown00101 review: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41425
itsonlyme review: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41359

I’m not trying to be lazy, it’s just that…maybe the picture will explain.

I looked all over and couldn’t find one single difference cosmetically except for the ‘S’ which looks like it does not belong.

I pulled out both instruction manuals and found what makes this the ‘S’.

Original VG15

New VG15S

An extra turbo mode with increased lumens!

Here are my tests with a Samsung 30Q. Note, the VG15 does not have the original XML2 as I have replaced it with an XPL.

VG15
Firefly 0.00A
Low 0.37A
Mid 1.21A
High 3.07A

VG15S
Firefly 0.00A
Low 0.02A
Mid 0.27A
High 1.28A
Turbo 3.53A

The original had an XM-L2, but I recall it was a little too cool for my liking which is why I replaced it with the XPL in NW. The VG15S does have a nice NW XM-L2, so if I were to keep this flashlight I would keep the stock emitter. AR coated lens is very nice as well.

It seems all the differences are on the inside as the buck driver has been replaced.

The mode spacing is very nice and this is a true firefly mode. There is a slight delay between mode changes which I’ll get to.

There is a 3 minute timer on Turbo which drops it down to the previous level. And this is a good thing because this light gets very hot on Turbo. With the increase in power I figured Thorfire had maybe upgraded the mcpcb, but I was surprised to see it was aluminum. To their credit, it was firmly stuck to the shelf with thermal paste. And not that dry junk I seem to find on some lights. This was a good helping of ‘healthy’ looking paste. Also, with as hot as the light gets, I see no issues with heat transfer.

Back to changing modes. There is a very slight delay when changing modes. Not too big a deal, but the switch in the ‘S’ version is extremely mushy if that makes sense. Combine that mushiness with the delay and changing modes can be a challenge until you get used to it. The switch is so overly mushy and sensitive I found myself often switching the light off when attempting to switch modes. The original VG15 comes with an Omten switch. The ‘S’ switch looks almost identical, but it does not say ‘Omten’ on it. All of my Omten switches have the name stamped on them, so I am not sure if this is an Omten or a different brand. The rubber boot on the ‘S’ is also the softest boot I have ever felt. It is too soft for this switch. I did swap the boot with a stiffer one and the mode switching is MUCH better.

The Thorfire buck driver has always been nice in that it was typically easily modded with a resistor and it allowed for the option of CR123A cells.

Manual from original.

Thorfire must have caught CR123As shoplifting, because they are now banned!

Couple of beamshots at different exposures.

Conclusion
Kudos to Thorfire for really taking the VG15 to the thermal edge and keeping a nice range of modes. As with the previous model, the SOS mode is still there, but only available with a quick double tap which is the way I like it. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware of any other 18650 EDC with a Turbo on this level. Yes, there are BLF inspired lights with custom FET drivers. This is a light I think I could recommend to someone who wants a usable ‘modded’ light without going to extremes or having to actually mod it. It’s already there.

My VG15 with the XPL is the most used light in my home. Not by me, though. I keep a protected Panasonic in it at all times and have instructed family members that if they need to get into my flashlight cupboard, then they are to use the VG15. I am able to fit a protected cell in the ‘S’, but it seems much tighter. I believe this is due to a stiffer spring.

Thorfire, if you are listening, nice work on this light. Perhaps I received a preproduction model, but if I were to give any suggestions it would be to change the switch and boot as I found them way too soft.

Edited by: WillyD on 02/02/2017 - 18:33
pieman7
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Nicely done review!
After owning a VG10 I was impressed. The VG15s looks appealing as well. I’m surprised Thorfire is sticking with an XM-L2 instead of something like an XP-L emitter.
Do you think this flashlight would be a good candidate for Pilotdog’s led switch?

desmondkun
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270 lumens brighter and more flood, huh! I want to see it’s beam shots.

Take care of your flashlight and your flashlight will take care of you.

will34
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Nice review, I would like to see beamshots as well. The product link is not working?

itsonlyme
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desmondkun wrote:
270 lumens brighter and more flood, huh! I want to see it’s beam shots.

Why do you say there is more flood?

desmondkun
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itsonlyme wrote:
desmondkun wrote:
270 lumens brighter and more flood, huh! I want to see it’s beam shots.

Why do you say there is more flood?

33% more output while only 2% more intensity and I noticed VG-15S has a shorter head.

Take care of your flashlight and your flashlight will take care of you.

itsonlyme
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Wow good spot.

itsonlyme
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I’m currently rebuilding an A6 from the group buy that I stripped and put the components into my VG15 as soon as I got it. Heat isn’t an issue when hand holding it at higher outputs than this new flashlight, tail standing does get hot though obviously

WillyD
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pieman7 wrote:
Do you think this flashlight would be a good candidate for Pilotdog’s led switch?

Good question. If you win the giveaway you can try it Wink

desmondkun wrote:
270 lumens brighter and more flood, huh! I want to see it’s beam shots.

I will post some beam shots later.

desmondkun wrote:
…and I noticed VG-15S has a shorter head.

Good eye…I should have known someone would see that. I had replaced the o-rings in my original with larger ones and also put one around the bezel threads where it screws to the head thus creating a very slight gap. If I take the o-ring out it will screw flush against the head and they should look the same.
Speed4goal
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The eagle eye x6 also has a 3.5 amp turbo mode with 3 min timer for 1200 lumens with the xpl hi it comes withonly other light I know stock edc that goes that high amperage wise. I like this vg15 over the vg10 design because the pocket clip puts it face down not face up. VG 10 on the way is getting xpl2 or 319c 5000k not sure yet I’ll have to look at getting on of these. Old version would work since it won’t remain stock

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Blf has changed a lot since I've been here. Lots of snow flakes and easily offended over nothing. When the forum use to be great and people joked around and could take a joke. It's a forum it's not that serious. Let's make BLF great again!

mapache
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I am a fan of the VG series and have had my eye on the VG15 (and the VG25) for a while. The knurling on the 15 looks much better than the piping on 10.

Does the VG15 come with a spares kit?

Thorfire
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will34 wrote:
Nice review, I would like to see beamshots as well. The product link is not working?

Here is the product link of VG15S: http://amzn.to/2klyP4m

ThorFire is looking for dealers/retailers/distributors from Europe countries and other countries around the world. If you are interested, PM me!

WillyD
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will34 wrote:
Nice review, I would like to see beamshots as well. The product link is not working?

Beamshots added to OP.

KeepingItLight
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Thanks for the nice review.

After using both the ThorFire C8 and C8s, I became a ThorFire fan. Those models both have excellent build quality and sell for reasonable prices (especially when you catch a sale). Although I have not tried the ThorFire VG15S, it sounds like it uses a driver that is similar to the one used by the new C8s. If true, that would mean the VG15S has a low-voltage warning, something I like.

The mode spacing on the VG15S seems odd. The jump from 0.5 lumens to 50 lumens is larger than I prefer. My druthers would be to have something around 5-8 lumens instead of the firefly. It would also be nice if ThorFire had an option for a neutral-white emitter.

 

cwb
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Moin,

I read, VG 15s emitter is more neutral white than VG 15.

Regards

Chris

Terry White
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Got a coupon code for it... I would like to test it. I saw a complaint about the lumen output. Not really sure how he measured it. My VG10 using a an 30q hits anywhere from 841 to 879 lumen, depending on the state of the battery without a higher current turbo mode.  In fact it is normally so dependable for it's consistent output that I use it when calibrating for lumen tests.

Would love a chance to measure the output and post it for him lol... 

Terry White

Skype terrywhite1@live.com

Haim1404
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Hi,
I really like to purchase this flashlight, but I have few questions that bothering me:

1. Is it possible to access the strobe mode when the flashlight is turn off , or first I have to turn in on and then double half press?
2. I have read that it not that easy to access the strobe. how to difficult it to practice, so it will be consistent?
3. Does it have a tactical button – so that half press will turn the flashlight in last memorized mode until I will let it go?
4. I have to following driver from FastTech; 8*AMC7135 (Nanjg 105c) 17 mm will it fit and work good in this flashlight?

Thanks ahead!

Terry White
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Has to be turned on first, then half clicks to change output levels double half click for strobe. 

 

To me it is stil no big deal I can turn it on and double half clicks pretty quick.

Terry White

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Haim1404
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Hi Terry,

1. Thanks for your replay
2. Do you get it work every time? (access the strobe) – I’m looking for cheap solution with fast strobe access option for tactical / self defense use.

Terry White
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I can with no problem. Once you get use to the clicker you can feel the half clicks betttwr. You could probably do as well in a day or two...

Terry White

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