REVIEW: Fenix TK12 Flashlight

| September 30, 2010 | 1 Reply

I originally bought this flashlight for use while playing paintball. The selling feature for me at the time was something durable and it had to have a strobe function. I purchased this light directly from Fenix at as they have free worldwide shipping. Needless to say at 280 lumens this little beast did not stay on my marker for very long.

Fenix boasts a long list of technical features to this flashlight that puts it up next to some significantly higher priced units. At a whopping total of $90.99CAD for the flashlight and an optional pressure switch, I think I made out pretty well. To get started this flashlight measures about 14cm in length and has a diameter of about 3.5cm to me, this goes into the compact scale. The majority of the body is knurled to promote better grip and even offers a toothed end just in case you need to ward off an attacker at close range. Among other notable features, it is IPX8 waterproof rated, uses two CR123 batteries and has a hard coated anodizing that is virtually indestructible.

There are three modes on this flashlight with ranging levels of battery life based on output. Outdoor mode: (A)65 lumens/12 hrs, (B) 280 lumens/1.5 hrs, Camping mode: (A) 11 lumens/120 hrs, (B) 120 lumens/5.5 hrs and Hunting mode: (A) Strobe/3 hrs, (B) 280 lumens/1.5hrs. The thing that annoys me about switching modes is that they are based on twisting the head of the flashlight back and forth repeatedly to get in between them. I find this to be a slightly annoying process if you need to switch on the fly. I have essentially just left it on hunting mode as those are the two functions I use most. However, she is a bit of a beast on batteries at that point, but that is the sacrifice you make when going into a compact style flashlight

As for the practical application, the first test I had to try was how powerful the strobe was (I think you can already see where I am going with this). Of course I tested it on myself, the dog wanted nothing to do with me and I figured that I would be a single man if I tried it on my wife. Needless to say, I immediately regretted that attempt, but at the same time I know that it would sure as hell stun someone or something if I need to get out of a sticky situation. Notably, I attempted to shine the light as far as I could and managed to still see light on the wall of a building 3 blocks away. I have used it while camping and managed to wedge it into a tree branch and light a whole campsite as well as a navigation light when we got caught at sunset while canoeing, which subsequently led to it being dropped in the water, but no worry, it was bright enough down there that we could fish it out with a net.

When you open the box you will find a metal clip, lanyard, spare power button, belt pouch and even some o rings for repairs. Most of these accessories are still sitting in the box with the exception of the belt pouch. As much as I would love to say that it is a good pouch, it is simply some cheap crappy pouch that they throw in the box with it. The design of the light makes it a little complicated if you need to quickly holster the light and im finding that the nylon is now starting to fray on most of the edges. As for the pressure switch that I purchased separately, the build quality is great, it has soft rubber on the coiled cord and button as to not fall apart and it also has an extra button if you need to activate from the light vs. using the pressure switch. My only complaint is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to attach the pressure switch except for wrapping tape or zip ties around it. There has to be some other method to securely attach the button(maybe there is and my use of the internets has failed me).

I would rate the benefits of this flashlight as being hella bright, durable and waterproof, the downside is that it doesn’t have the greatest battery life, but thats about it. All in all, this is a great buy and will hopefully remain in my kit for an extended period of time.

Category: Hard Goods

About the Author ()

I offer my insights with over a decade of camping and outdoors survival skills. I am well versed in first aid and construction methods based on available supplies and terrain as well as proper methods of usage and design of tools for these purposes. I offer a no fluff, no B.S. opinion on everything I see, do and use.

Comments (1)

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  1. Mike says:

    Great review! Fenix flashlights are built like tanks. I’ve been using the Fenix L2D at work for over 2 years, along with several of my co-workers who came on board after trying it out. During that time it’s been dropped many times, and it’s not scratched or cracked. It performs the same way it did on the first day.

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