Review: Fenix TK41
The Fenix TK41 is a very powerful flashlight.
trooplewis was gracious enough to let me play with his new TK41 for a few days so, I thought I might put down a few thoughts/observations about this fantastic torch.
The bottom line for non-fans of Foy: The Fenix TK41 is a superb multi-function XM-L flashlight from a respected manufacturer. This high performance light not only dazzles with blinding output but it inspires user confidence in a way that some lesser "brands" simply cannot match. It is unbelievably bright, has a friendly UI and fits the large hands of this humble scribe better than any P60 ever could. It takes readily available AA batteries (8) and will even operate with 4 batteries if that's all you have. The side switch location is superior, fit and finish is top drawer and to my eyes, it is an aesthetically handsome flashlight. The price of the Fenix TK41 is prohibitive only for those for whom there is no economic justification. When this quality flashlight is still making daylight out of dark twenty years from now, I doubt you'll be complaining that you spent too much.
What I like:
- output (throw, flood - when you turn it on, light happens . . .everywhere)
- comfortably fat body to grab
- run time (if Fenix's estimates are correct)
- square tail cap threads
- good looks
What I do not like:
- emitter not centered
- battery magazine rattle
- anti-roll bezel allows too much roll
- AWOL SOS (possibly reviewer error)
- it's not mine
Fenix TK41 Cree XM-L Dual Switch Multi-Function Flashlight from Manafont
emitter: Cree XM-L (T6?)
modes: 6-mode with memory - low (10 lumens) mid (108 lumens) high (335 lumens) turbo (800 lumens) strobe and SOS*
power source: 8 AA batteries (will operate on 4, 6 or 8 batteries)
switch: 2 soft rubber buttons on flashlight tube just below head, power button on right, mode selection on left
lens: coated glass
water proof rating: IPX-8 (did not follow Foy water test protocol because it's not Foy's light - remember the Yezl!) <<update - passed with flying colors, see below>>
ordering experience: troop says it took about 12 days to arrive
reverse polarity protection
type III hard anodization
*Fenix provided specs
exterior temperatures: (after 26 minutes on high)
103° - side of bezel
107° - above top fin
112° - between top and middle fin
105° - base of head
103° - top of knurling
97° - bottom of knurling
94° - side of tail cap
Instead of providing amps draw here, I'll just show how the TK41 comes. Because of the battery magazine/contact configuration I would have had to figure out some alternate method of measuring amps, perhaps involving alligator clips or something. Also, I fear the (admittedly slight) possibility of frying the driver/circuitry. Remember; this is not my flashlight.
The plastic case has handy handles on top and even more handy specs on the back. My wife made the observation that I looked like a complete idiot while carrying the TK41 using these handles. From her reaction (uncontrolled laughter) I would have concluded the case may be a bit over engineered until I noticed the following . . .
troop says he can't remember seeing this crack yet it was the very first thing I noticed. I've been careful to the point of paranoia with this flashlight and can only truthfully say that it came to me like this. (gonna put a few drops of super glue in there, fix it right up)
Even at $110, I happen to believe the Fenix TK41 offers a lot of useful features for the money. Unless you're oddly committed to overhand use/carry, the side switch just makes too much sense. This is where your thumb is; this is where the switch should be and with the TK41, you get two that let you choose from six different modes. I could only find five of them. I tried for 10 minutes, cycling with differing rapidity and all I discovered was the flashing strobe when I double clicked the power button. The light comes on when releasing the button after pressing so, it could be called a reverse clicky but it feels like an electronic switch. It has mode memory and goes from low, mid, high and turbo.
Other features include large cooling fins, if indeed that's what they are. If not they still look cool and as you can see, aluminum machining and lathe work is superb.
Fenix calls this "Rhombic Knurling" and I've grown quite fond of it. I think it affords better purchase than traditionally aggressive knurling, besides looking awesome.
One slight flaw that doesn't seem to effect performance is the un-centered emitter. The bezel and everything inside appear to be glued/sealed so, access may be difficult. Didn't notice until now but the reflector is not completely smooth. Interesting.
Tail cap threads are square and feel very nice.
This is the base of the head and appears to be the underside of the driver. The contact springs on the battery magazine flex/press against the center and outer brass. (or whatever it is)
Another interesting thing is what looks to be a cut-out at the top of the threads on the head. On this side it looks somewhat intentional . . .
. . . this side looks almost like it was bitten off. Only thing I can figure is it provides access to grasp the bottom of the driver/circuitry assembly.
On the left is the bottom of the battery magazine and you can see where the inside of the tail-cap turns/presses against it.
This is the top of the battery magazine. You can see how the outer contact springs flex against the contact areas of the head. Don't snag these little guys on your woolen afghan, grandma!
With prior authorization from troop, the TK41 entered the shower with Foy to undergo dynamic testing, i.e., cycling through all modes with water spraying directly on all joints/power switches. This was followed by static underwater testing in the dreaded "depth-sink."
No ingress of any kind was noted.
When I get the last flashlight I'm expecting, I'm planning a thrower shootout that (hopefully) will include the TK41. Until then, my lame ceiling bounce/uglywall beam shots will have to do.
All shots inside and out were taken at 1/4 second shutter speed @ f2.8. The comparison lights this evening are the Ultra Fire UF-980L and a Solarforce L2i sporting a 3-mode MC-E drop-in.
First is the L2i/MC-E on my woefully un-hip kitchen table.
Next, the UF-980L.
Now the TK41. Notice also, I bumped the DMM when I stood up with the 980L.
In this comparison the TK41 appears to slaughter the other two lights rather decisively. Let's see what happens outside. The cactus plant is 55 feet away and there was a bright moon overhead.
First the L2i/MC-E.
And finally, the TK41.
As you can see, the TK41 blinds the cactus trunk into invisibility - something the 980L doesn't seem capable of doing. This is what I mean when I say the TK41 is blindingly bright. Besides being enormous, the hot spot is intensely bright and the spill seems to be everywhere. When you turn this bad boy on, light happens.
It's as simple as that and when I show how well it throws, you'll understand how impressive the Fenix TK41 really is.
I apologize for the lack of proper shots showing throw. These are coming when I do the shootout.