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)

- side-switch

- comfortably fat body to grab

- UI

- 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

digitally regulated

reverse polarity protection

type III hard anodization

will tail-stand

price: $110

*Fenix provided specs

exterior temperatures: (after 26 minutes on high)

degrees fahrenheit

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.

The 980L.

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.


Nice. The TK41 has a 62mm front bezel (not sure what reflector size). That's 20mm bigger than the 980L. Its supposed to throw better by concentrating the beam into a smaller and more intense spot.

That said, check out my U80 beamshots vs the 980L (in the 18650 forum). The U-80 has a smaller hotspot, even though both are of the same dia reflector.

The spill (ie raw unreflectored output) of the UF-980L seems to be very slightly brighter than the TK41 though.

The dyanmic range of a camera's CCD/CMOS is pretty narrow compared to our eyes. I can see a difference in personl albeit small, but my pictures do not show it as much. But larger differences will show.

And comparatively speaking, the TK41 outthrows my Legion, but the TK41 is slightly out-thrown by the V3 catapult.

The width of the spill however makes the TK41 a VERY impressive light, and IMO the best throwy light to be carrying. The narrow "throw orientated" catapult and legion reflectors narrow the spill down to a claustrophobic level. (beam wise, the catapult is similar to the TK41, the legion is more like a TK35)

AWesome review! Love the pics!

So far, great review and awesome pics!


Very nice. I'd like to run all those through my I.S. just to see what numbers they'll put down.

Nice photos and review, Foy, glad you like the light. It has a couple flaws, but they do not seem to affect performance so I've been pretty happy with it. My cost justification for it is, well hey, it's just about the price of one tank of gas, or about what someone might pay for a new pair of decent shoes. So I buy cheap shoes and one nice light...

I do like the traditional size and feel of the light, it is about the size of the old Ray-O-Vac in your avatar. Not as big as a Maglite, but nice heft and feel.

That bright stuff that looks like the bottom of the pill I believe is actually gold-plated contact points. One review said that after much use the sharp springy things on top of the batter holder actually wear off the gold. I noticed the "ringy" SMO reflector; not sure if that was intentional to avoid ringy beams, or just a result of the mfg process. Some owners complained about a dark donut hole in the hotspot, but my light does not seem to have that. Perhaps the off-center emitter avoids the donut hole.

I'm curious what you thought of the beam tint. Some TK35 owners had very green tinted beams, and that was a concern with the TK41. I'm a bit color blind, but the beam looks pretty pure white to me, what do your eyes say?

Feel free to give it the Foy waterproof tests, it should do fine. If it fails, you can ship it back to Fenix instead of back to me!

Have fun with the TK, looking forward to the shootout!

Btw, what other light are you waiting on for this shoot-out? If you're interested, I may have a late entrant (I'll stick with 1x18650 and 1xXM-L to keep things close). Final testing on my end will take place tonight to see if it's even worth entering it.

I'm waiting on the F15.

It was Sir John (I think) <<nope, it was JohnnyMac>> and his F15 review (and my big mouth) that got me lassoed into this shootout. troop wanted to see how the TK41 would do . . . and so do I.

Our property at work is about 1.5 acres and it's all enclosed/gated because we keep any number of pricey Detroit iron. (inside and some less nice outside) It also affords me the perfect opportunity to do a throw comparison in an environment large enough, quiet/alone, etc. where I can take my time. There are lots of targets back there at different ranges so, it should be ideal.

Match - An integrating sphere is something I so very badly need. On most lights I can extrapolate lumens from amps drawn (not the TK41 unfortunately) but of course that often has little or nothing to do with actual output. I've got a lot of irons in the fire right now but as soon as I resolve my latest pressing issue, I'm going to attempt your IS build. All comers are welcome so . . . . would be happy to accommodate any way I can.


As for tint - it's definitely got some green going on under certain conditions. Maybe slightly less than my Solarforce T6 drop-ins, which are the most green XM-Ls I have and to be sure, it's really not that green at all, especially outside, where this light most likely will be used. You don't see the slight ringyness out there either.


Interesting review, yet how does a $100+ flashlight fit into "where frugal meets with flashlight" slogan of this website?

Nice review and great pics.. As usual! Thanks Foy.

There is nothing wrong with indulging on >$100 flashlight. Everyone is welcome here at BLF. If you've noticed the rest of the site a lot of it is about budget lights but every now and then members purchase a light that is not so budget.

Great review and pics Foy!

waiting on that shootout.

Tint of the TK41 I've seen is a nice clean white.

I'd love to take credit for it, but it was actually JohnnyMac. Looking forward to the shootout.

+1 Be Seen (laughing)

I thought the "it-ain't-budget" comment would have showed up a lot sooner and to be sure, it's a valid gripe on board with the word "budget" in it. I could argue also that budget can be quite relative. Saying a $100 torch does not belong here implies $100 is over the "budget" threshold. Since no line has ever been drawn, I can correctly say the TK41 is a budget light. It is inexpensive compared to an Olight Intimidator and I promise you, if someone sends me an SR90 for review, I will review it on Budget Light Forum.


Oh damn!!

Sorry, it was JohnnyMac.


Thanks again, Foy!

Every time I read a review by you a smile is slowly building up on my face becoming more distinct the more I read and with every picture I look at anticipation and excitement is added to that. All resulting in: Now I want a TK41, too!

I agree that $110 is probably not what you would call a budget light, but it also depends on your perspective. I had a guy arguing with me on CPF that the Fenix models were the "Fords" of the flashlight world.

If you go here, you will think $110 is a bargain, I think the cheapest light on this site is $203, and I would take the TK41 over them any day.

Besides that, there are folks here who have more than a hundred bucks invested in, say, multiple purchases of the same AA light...and I know a lot of folks here own some Fenix lights, so where should we draw the line?

And lastly, I'd rather have Foy review a light if I was thinking about getting it, than some guy over at that other place. In fact, I find most of the guys who review lights here more informative than the reviews elsewhere.


Great review! The beamshot on the cactus is awesome! I believe this may be my next light.