Another post on the Thorfire TG06S

I lost my Jetbeam-1 MK flashlight.  This flashlight snuck into my life and became a daily fixture and then like that stray that comes to your Backporch a few nights in a row, it was gone. That was a very busy day, I put a lot of miles on the bike, visited clients, had a photo shoot. I was really bothered, I don’t like to lose things I like.  Let me tell you, my hand is just patting my thigh all the time now, just to be sure my lousy backup light doesn’t leave my side. Truth be told I’d love for my lousy backup flashlight to leave.

I think I’ve talked about the Thorfire TG06S before. I’ve certainly taken pictures of it.

BW photo of Thorfire TG06S (illuminated)

BW photo of Thorfire TG06S (illuminated)

This is a budget pocket torch which really is more than adequate and quite exciting for non flashaholic folk. It runs on a traditional AA battery, or if you want to get fancy and sustainable you can run it with a 14500 battery. The upside is that you would be well on the road of not using disposable batteries for a device you use regularly. You would also get such a bright light, in a flashlight that isn’t much bigger than your ring finger.

This paragraph originally started with the sentence “I’m only going to talk about the Thorfire TG06S for a few more sentences.” ROTFL!  The cons of this flashlight is that pocket placement leaves you with almost an inch of the head pointing out of your pocket; I don’t get that. I think all pocket flashlights should be flush. The Thorfire TG06S also chews through batteries. Once you realize you can have so much power in a small light, it is addicting, depending on your use case you might be like me charging every third day or so. This is less than desirable in my opinion, but who am I to complain. I charge the battery in the evening and I’m back in business. Lastly the Thorfire TG06S doesn’t have memory mode. So if you like the setting of “not so bright” which is one click after the starting setting of “holy heck this is really freaking bright!” You’re out of luck, cause the Thorfire TG06S is always going to start on the setting of “holy heck this is really freaking bright!”

The flashlight does have a great clip, and also a great tail switch. The Thorfire TG06S starts on bright which makes it idea for people who like to use flashlights throughout the daylight hours. And switching to the lower settings is just half clicks on the tail switch, you get good at doing it after awhile.

The Thorfire TG06S is the Everyman budget flashlight. No one else should get it. Only the man who only wants to spend $15 on a great flashlight should buy this bugger. And even then said Everyman should still pony up for buying himself a 14500 battery and a charger. Now I’ve taken the Everyman to say $25. This is all about the buy in. The Everyman doesn’t want to hear such shit. I barely had him convinced to pay $15 and now I’m suggesting he get a weird battery and a proprietary charger; tis true... That said on a high quality AA battery the The Thorfire TG06S will still please the Everyman.

That’s the thing about the The Thorfire TG06S, it is a good flashlight. It isn’t the best, but I’m still carrying it daily and it is still asking what I want of it, even though I have other flashlights, it is such a small package I leave with he cons of it, at least for now. I finally broke down and repurchased my Jetbeam-1 MK and a couple of other lights to play with, cause apparently I’m obsessed with flashlights.  

I use flashlights daily, frequently, this is a high touch situation and I’ve decided not to feel guilty about the fact that my desires are very particular given the time of day and kind of work I’m doing. I own half a dozen shovels; I didn’t see that coming, let me tell you. Now that I own all of these shovels I get why my first twenty years using a shovel was so painful, I never had the right one! The Thorfire TG06S is officially a piece of backup kit for me, and it does a fine job working when I call on it.  

Thorfire TG06

It is a rainy Saturday and at any moment the lights might go out, which is fine, cause right at my side I’m ready to fight the darkness off with my most recent flashlight The Thorfire TG06S.  I came by the TG06S cause i thought it might be a budget gift for the wife. She doesn’t give one hoot about flashlights, but she is going on a camping trip, and while she doesn’t care about flashlights, she will appreciate a good flashlight over a dime store flashlight, with 12 crappy LED’s that eats three triple a batteries in an hour.  I’ve always loved flashlights.  I can’t count how many maglights I had growing up, or Duracell branded flashlights.  There was always one thing in common, I was constantly buying batteries and the flashlights were of poor quality, so I’d get a year or two out of one, and it would eventually go on to become the kitchen flashlight.

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There are hundreds of great flashlights out there and most regular folks don’t know anything about this world except for a small group of flashlights enthusiasts.  And like all the other enthusiasts, we are just a little too excited to talk about flashlights.  I am writing this as a common language observation, it is not a jargon filled review, for other flashlight hounds.

“The best flashlights are as dim as they are bright”

The Thorfire TGO6S can be bought for less than $20 online and for regular folks, this flashlight is all you need. On a regular AA battery you have a potent flashlight that handles your day to day and will give you years of great service.  In addition to being a sturdy small flashlight, which is where most peoples interest in flashlights stop, you also have multiple modes, including a mode called “moonlight” which gives you the ability to use the flashlight when very little illumination is called for.

A lot of people would wonder why you’d want a flashlight to have a “not much light” mode, and I was certainly surprised to see that I missed it, once I got a flashlight that didn’t have it, like the TGO6S.   Another interesting thing about the Thorfire TGO6S is it can also be powered by other batteries and not just the double a.  In addition to blowing away casually purchased  brick and mortar flashlights with their dubious lumen claims, the Thorfire TGO6S can use a  battery common folk aren’t familiar with known as the 14500 and deliver 500 lumens for cheap.  But what even is 500 lumen? 500 lumens is really the most light that regular people will ever care about wanting.  It is an amazing amount of light.  The way I like to describe 500 lumen is that this is not the setting you’d use in the house, if you were looking in a dark pantry, or under your bed, but it is great outside.

Going back to power the 14500 is a type of rechargeable battery, similar to the double a in size, but with much more power. Some 14500 batteries can be up to a quarter inch longer, and/or a hair thicker, but devices built for the 14500/AA configuration accommodate both sizes and usually take any 14500 you throw at them.  As with all non standard rechargeable batteries, you also need a nonstandard charger.  You’ll have choices, with either the route of getting a charger that just recharges your one weird battery, or a more pricer model that charges the lions share of weird batteries.

Ok, let’s talk specs and performance a little.  On a double a battery your profile for the the Thorfire TGO6S is very exciting.  You will start on your highest setting, this is 150 lumen, this is totally fine for the pantry or under the bed, and walking the dog at night.  Life is good.  From there you go to the next settings of 80 lumen. this is a moderate light level, it is about what you’d expect from a store flashlight on a fresh battery.  Your next light level is 20 lumen which is on par with a key ring flashlight.  The last setting is your moonlight mode.  This setting is great for reading a book, or walking through the house and looking for something.  It is supposed to be half a lumen, but it is probably more like five lumen, still very nice, just not as low as some of the other more premium flashlights.  This again is not the feature most folks want out of a flashlight.

I personally like for my Every Day Carry “EDC” flashlight to start high.  it feels very unpleasant to not have my light be strong when I call on it, but I feel the opposite when around the house.

Ok, let’s talk performance with a rechargeable 14500 battery.  Your high setting is now 500 lumen.  500 lumen on a fresh battery is best described as being probably too bright for most people to use inside the house.  If you were walking outside you could light up the branches in the highest tree you could find, either directly in front of you or many houses down.  You could go to a football field and your light would reach all the way to the other side.  500 lumens is magnificent.

On the highest setting The TGO6S will lower output as the bulb and battery generate heat, but you have a few minutes, and even then the Thorfire will reduce you to approximately 300 lumen, which is still a staggering amount of light, but you will notice the difference.  The other settings will not step down, they don’t generate nearly as much heat.  The next level is 200 lumens which is still higher than the highest level the double a battery can produce.  After that you are at 50 lumens.  The thing though is that the moonlight mode is way too bright on the 14500 battery, you’re probably at 10 lumens or so, which is way more than you what you want for a low key light.

These flashlights use a lot of energy, and the initial brightness of a fresh battery is significantly higher than a battery you’ve put some clock minutes on.  But you’ve got so much brightness to begin with, that said.  If you use a rechargeable battery for power, you might find yourself hard pressed to run the battery down to low and then charge, and  why should you?! I get a week of use out of my EDC and that is me using it daily multiple times and then by the middle of week two I start thinking “weak sauce” by the end of week two I can’t take it anymore, cause I know what it can do, so I charge back up.  When I had maglights and cheap LED lights in the past I used them till the light was useless, cause I’d be tossing out disposable batteries.  I don’t use disposable batteries anymore.  Rechargeable batteries pay for themselves, on the second recharge.  By the third or fourth recharge you’ve recouped the cost of even the charger.

The TGO6S is about the length of your forefinger and the size of a breakfast sausage and it fits in your pants pocket, or waist band, bout like a thick sharpie would.  It is not a large flashlight, but it is capable of giving you this incredibly robust amount of light.   Let’s talk more about how you operate the light, at the end of the light is tail switch, you will first turn it on with a full click and then half clicks will cycle you through the lower power modes.  A double half click will get you to a strobe mode, which is good for personal defense, signaling and annoying people.  This is a pretty simple interface, typical for the price range.

The TGO6S is a inexpensive and well produced product, but you’re missing out on some of the nuance of the more pricey lights out there. Most folks don’t care about nuance though.

nu·ance

noun

1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound."the nuances of facial expression and body language"

See what I mean...

A COMPARISON OF BATTERY SIZES.    THE 14500 BATTERY SPEC VARIES FROM MANUFACTURER TO MANUFACTURER. MOST 14500 DEVICES ARE ACCOMADATING TO THESE VARIED SIZES.  

A COMPARISON OF BATTERY SIZES. THE 14500 BATTERY SPEC VARIES FROM MANUFACTURER TO MANUFACTURER. MOST 14500 DEVICES ARE ACCOMADATING TO THESE VARIED SIZES. 

I think there are three kinds of people the Thorfire TGO6S could appeal to. For the conventional battery person, who is also likely to use the flashlight infrequently(?), it will just be a great compact and very bright flashlight, and ultimately they’ll get better brightness and a nice product to carry around, or throw in their glove box, or walk the dog with. For the person who has rechargeable double a batteries around the house, the TGO6S is a lot of guilt free fun. You’ll charge often, but it will be worth it. For people who are willing to get 14500 batteries and a special charger, you will absolutely find yourself with a level of performance that amazes you. It will cost you a little cash, like another twenty five dollars or so, to get some special batteries and their charger, but you now have a incredibly bright light, and when you run out of juice you, you can still use store brought, when needed.

Forget about the batteries discussion, this is the kind of flashlight everyone should own.

Tidbits...

People already in the world of LED flashlights, will appreciate the cost, good construction, and the Cree XP-G2 bulb, but they might scoff at the fact that the Thorfire TGO6S has PWM (a flicker we can’t see with our eyes, but that cameras can detect, it is a sign of a cheaper flashlight) but regular folks don’t care about such things.

So the thing about the Thorfire TGO6S is that I did not give it to my wife. I bought this much more expensive light for her, it starts low and has a more advanced User Interface “UI” and is incredibly small. This light is the Olight S1A, but I purchased the Thorfire TGO6S, two, one for a good friend, and one for myself and it replaced my much more expensive flashlight. The Olight S1A is hard to find and ultimately has been discontinued. You can search around and dig one up. The truth is though that I had no idea how much I really appreciate those advanced features, cause I didn’t know till I got the Thorfire TGO6S. The TGO6S has these other features which I really appreciate and it beats out the Olight S1A on some levels. While it doesn’t have a proper moonlight mode. The beam center is tighter and brighter and the Olight S1A is more “floody” as they say, which means the beam comes out of the light very wide. it is a different experience, nice, but not as precise. I have no regrets about the Thorfire TGO6S, I’d absolutely prefer it over the Olight, if it had a good moonlight mode.