Today’s Flashlight review is on the Thorfire TG06S, a compact EDC flashlight brought into the market by Thorfire. Relatively new to the game, Thorfire has concentrated their efforts in Outdoor Lighting, Auto Accessories, Home Lighting, and (most noteably) Flashlights since 2014. In a sea of cheaply manufactured ‘mini’ flashlights by makers (some with hilarious names), Thorfire has actually been able to provide an inexpensive product with quality above the rest of its peers. That being said, let’s review the first of what may be several products from Thorfire – the TG06s…
To begin, I guess the TG06S can be considered a ‘Gen 2’ as it is marketed as the revised version of the original TG06. After the original release of the TG06, Thorfire took notes from customer feedback and released the TG06S as a slightly larger, brighter, and more user-friendly flashlight that can run off of a single AA or rechargeable 14500 battery. With so many manufacturers looking to run their flashlights on CR123 or 18650 batteries, Thorfire did a very smart thing in investing some R&D in quality control for such a compact package. Too often these days you end up with these pocket flashlights that over-promise and under-deliver. That is definitely not the case with the TG06S, and the numbers paint a clear picture as to why. Let’s start off with some specs, shall we?
The bundle I received in my Thorfire order ran just under $25 (as of the date of this review) and contains the following items –
– Cardboard Thorfire presentation box
– TG06S Flashlight Manual
– TG06S Flashlight
– 1 x Thorfire 750mAh 14500 battery
– 1 x Single dock micro USB battery charger with USB cable
– 2 x spare O-Rings
– 1 x velcro attachment
This is a nifty little starter kit that can work at home, in your car, or on the go with a power bank. Thorfire wants you to use this flashlight to its full potential, and shipped it with their own branded 14500 lithium-ion battery, which is capable of powering your flashlight up to a max of 500 lumens. If you plan to keep it somewhere stashed in an emergency kit or your car, it is recommended not to use alkaline batteries as they can leak in hot environments, or when drained. If you don’t happen to have any 14500 batteries around, NiMH AA batteries work in a pinch, but will deliver a max of 150 lumens. Case in point, invest in some good quality 14500 batteries and a backup charger.
Weighing in at 1.6 ounces and boasting dimensions of 4.3 x 2 x 1.6 inches, the TG06S uses a domed cool white XPG-G2 LED combined with a polished reflector to light the way using five different modes. It is a moderately throwy flashlight, with a tight hot spot that transitions out with moderate spill. Utilizing a standard reverse-clicky setup using the tail switch, you can access all of the main light modes via full and partial presses. To turn the light on or off, press/depress the tail switch fully. To cycle through light modes, turn the light on, and partially press the tail switch to select each mode. For strobe mode, partially depress the tail switch twice quickly. The tail switch, while slightly recessed, is nice and tactile, allowing ease of use while providing the ability for the flashlight to tail stand. The clip that comes with the TG06S is nicely polished and really stands out with the all black body of the flashlight. You can reverse the clip in order to have the tail or beam end facing out wherever it is clipped on you.
Here’s a size comparison with some other commonly carried EDC items in my regular rotation, the Spyderco Delica and the SAK Spartan:
What I like about it: There are alot of things to like about this little light. First off, you get some serious output in a small, thin package. Due to its dimensions, this makes a fantastic light to stick in an edc bag or purse. And for the price, why wouldn’t you? You get 500 lumens out of a 14500 cell, and if you keep AA batteries handy (and who doesn’t?) you can run it at up to 150 lumens, which is still good enough for close range visibility. This is a great little light to keep in your pocket too, and at just over an ounce and a half, you can clip this onto your baseball cap and free up your hands. It can fit a variety of functions and makes a great light for a mechanic needing a quick look at an engine, a doctor or nurse needing a small light to check eyes/mouths/etc. of their patients, or a host of other activities. I also feel something very important about how it handles power needs to be mentioned. While I own flashlights that simply shut off when it reaches ‘protected mode’ due to low battery, the TG06S drops down to the next lower mode when the battery is hits a certain percentage of power, instead of just shutting off. Basically, it will cycle through modes (from High to low) as the battery drains, and as a last ditch effort, even begin a strobe action when the battery is at the very last bit of available power. I think this is a really great feature to keep from ruining the battery, while keeping the light on.
While I normally EDC an Olight S1R or S2 Baton, I keep a TG06S in my work bag as a backup just in case the lights go out. And while it really presents no benefit to the user, they included a luminescent O Ring at the end of the reflector that glows in the dark, and gives it a nice, aesthetic touch. I can’t help but appreciate the attention to detail that Thorfire put into the package. You are definitely getting a good value if you end up with the bundle set. Even if you don’t, you can still get the flashlight sans charger/battery for a great discounted deal. Both links are here:
What I don’t like about it: For a light this small and thin, expect to use it as a short term light until you can find something larger to work with. At high, you can expect this light to get very warm pretty quickly. Looking at what was provided by Thorfire, I would have preferred that they swapped out the velcro piece that comes with the package for a lanyard, as the holes have already been threaded into the tail end. This would make a perfect light to dangle off of your hand with a lanyard. I don’t have much experience with 14500 batteries, as they are not as widely marketed as 18650, CR123, or 26650 batteries… so I am not very confident as to how long they will last before their recharge capacity begins to drop. While the battery and charger are welcomed in the set provided by Thorfire, I would personally opt for a Nitecore UM10 charger and their NL147 750mAh battery, which is what I am currently using for most of my 14500 setups. Speaking of batteries, Thorfire does NOT recommend the use of alkaline or flat-top batteries in this flashlight, so be sure that the battery used to run this flashlight is button top, and if running AA, use NiMH batteries like the rechargeable AmazonBasics AA High-Capacity batteries HERE on Amazon. I also want to point out that the light exhibits PWM, which is something I had yet to run into before I reviewed this flashlight. Pulse Width Modulation is a fancy schmancy term for describing a type of signal output/flicker, that in this case, causes an almost imperceptible strobe effect while the light is on. Many people will not be able to see it using the naked eye, but you would definitely see it if you record video of the light itself. I discussed this with other TG06S users and they confirmed that the light uses PWM in all modes except the full power (150 lumen) mode using AA batteries. To be honest, I am not affected at all by PWM on the TG06S, but it can effect others, so I do feel this needs to be disclosed. Last but not least, while the user can trigger a strobe mode, there is no SOS mode included in this setup.
Final Thoughts: The TG06S would make a great flashlight for those just starting to EDC a light. While many will EDC a multi tool and a folding knife, not as many people incorporate a light in their setup. At this price point, it is a great way to throw some extra functionality into your day to day life without breaking the bank, even if the light does exhibit PWM (Check this Youtube Link for more Info on PWM). This is a great backup flashlight for close-up (within 10-20 feet) illumination. It’s cheap enough to throw into your edc bag, glove compartment, or purse/satchel for quick use. This is my second Thorfire model and from what I have seen so far, the brand shows a lot of promise as a reliable, yet inexpensive, brand.