Monday, September 28, 2015

Thorfire C8s Review(one of the HQ C8 lights)900Lm Max output

Thorfire C8s is another look at the,maybe most popular budget 18650 flashlight,Ultrafire C8.
The form factor is almost untouched.The difference is mostly in the quality of machining and anodizing.
Build quality and anodizing are on top level.I have nothing to point as a bad point,so far.
All parts fit perfectly,without any gap.All edges are precisely machined for a rounded,smooth shape.
Aluminum is sufficient thickness-no skimp here.
I am a fan of the C8 form.Single 18650,big reflector.The wide part of the tailcap provides excellent grip,eliminating the need of additional grip ring.There is also quite good anti-roll shape.

Comparing with two cheap UF C8.
The matte finish of the C8s looks dark grey,compared to the glossy black finish of the UF flashlights.A sort of a "stealth" finish.No any reflection,at all.
The C8s has a one more cooling fin,compared to its cheap brothers.I have only these cheap UF C8. Don't own Convoy,or other high quality C8,to compare.

Thorfire C8s with Cree XM-L2 LED.(left side)
UF C8 with XP-G2 de-domed and XM-L dedomed(center and right side).

Almost the same size reflectors.

Nice cardboard packaging.
Two spare O-rings,Lanyard,User manual,Warranty card. No holster for this model.
A closer look at the knurling and the finish.

I love the matte finish.Nice feel in hand.It makes this C8s to stand out. Nice rugged feel,similar to a smooth stone for polishing.I am not very familiar with the process of anodizing,but imo the exterior is pretreated,before anodizing. The interior is smooth,not rugged(threads too).
One downside-collects dust very easily.
Smooth aluminum reflector. Clean glass lens. No AR coating.Perfectly centered LED.

Some of the silicone over the edges is missing,but the dome is untouched.The beam profile is not affected.

AR coating test.No AR.

My C8s came with a reverse clicky switch(by mistake). Usually the switch should be forward clicky.
I am happy though. Just selecting modes in a single forward cliky switch flashlight is not my favorite.I see no much benefits of using it instead of reverse clicky.
The switch sits deeper in the tail(compared to the regular C8),because the tail is designed for a forward clicky,which is longer.

Access to the switch is harder than usual,but not a deal breaker.

Stable tail-standing.
The front end is also precisely machined and anodized.
All parts fit perfectly tight,without any gap.
There is a water sealing O-ring.

Long protected batteries fit without problem.

Made of metal retaining ring.

Square cut threads at both ends.The battery is also precisely machined.

The aluminum reflector.

Aluminum LED board. There is a white thermal grease applied. I did not removed the star yet,to see how well though.

The driver retaining ring is also made of metal and thankfully it can be unscrewed with pliers/tweezers.


User interface
Four modes:
High-Mid-Low-Moonlight (in this sequence)
Full click for On/Off.
Switching between modes on my sample(with reverse clicky) is possible,by tapping the switch,while the light is On. Sometimes I have to tap it twice to make it work. There is mode memory,which memorizes the mode,if used for at least 3 seconds.
Current draw:
I high=2,15 A
I mid=770 mA
I low= 37 mA
I moonlight= 1mA
Max output(lumens):
High 890 Lm (30 sec after activating)
Mid 380 Lm
Low 32 Lm
Moonlight-Very low,hard to measure it correctly
Peak beam intensity 35kcd.
Typical curve for a buck driver powered by a single 18650 battery. No output step down.
The output is stable,as long as the battery can keep its voltage.

The brightness of the C8s's modes is result of a PWM controlling.
I was very surprised to not hear any high frequency sound of the driver on any of the modes!!
Great work this time,in contrast with my VG10 sample.
The PWM frequency is quite high.Very hard to detect it by eye.
PWM frequencies.
High mode No PWM
Mid mode ~3,9 KHz
Low mode 7,8 KHz(with the lower amplitude waves,I guess)
Moonlight 14,8 KHz
The Thorfire C8s features also Low voltage warning. The light will flicker frequently,when the voltage is too low. I measured 3,3V no load,after the runtime test.
I like to have this feature,so I don't drain the battery too much,when I can't measure it.
I don't have any critique about the beam. Clean cool white light. Well focused hotspot.
Not too many artifacts. Much better beam than the flashlights with smaller reflectors,I tested lately.
No darker zones in the center.
1 meter, 1/20sec

1/6sec 5 meters

1/6sec 5 meters
Thorfire C8s 35kcd, Olight M22 24kcd, Nitecore EC4 30kcd

1/50sec 5 meters

5 meters
I have only positive impressions of the Thorfire C8s,so far.
High build quality-comparable with any of the top branded flashlights.
Unusual finish-makes it a great addition to any collection;feels great in hand.
The UI is quite good. No flashing modes. The Moonlight mode is really low brightness. Very hard to detect PWM without hunting for it. No any high frequency noise-not from the driver,nor from the switch.My C8s sample is absolutely quiet.(I can't guarantee,it will be the same with all other C8s).
I have not measured the efficiency of the driver,but I like that it's not just a 7135 linear driver. 900 lumen initial output with 2,15A current draw,from the battery.Good runtime curve,without timed step down.Low voltage warning.
Nice clean beam.Much better than many of the higher priced flashlights.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Thorfire for providing their C8s for test and review!

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