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Thread: Review: Torch - Fenix TK35 Ultimate Edition 2018

  1. #1
    Member Grue's Avatar
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    Review: Torch - Fenix TK35 Ultimate Edition 2018

    Fenix supplied the torch for me to review. Iím not affiliated with them in any way. Iíve owned some of their other lights, and consider them a good company to deal with from my own experiences. We donít have a huge range of high end torches in NZ (at decent prices anyway), so hopefully this will be useful to someone who might be considering one.

    Attachment 79734

    I saw the advert asking for people worldwide to apply to try the new torch from Fenix, and was pleased to be lucky enough to be chosen as a reviewer. I use torches a lot, both in close bush and open field at night with the dog and the rifle Ė possums and rabbits mostly. My current Ďhouse torchí is the Sunwayman M60C Ė a VERY bright light that has a really handy charging cradle, charging with metal contacts on the exterior, so itís always charged and ready to go by the door. I was interested to see how the new Fenix would perform against a torch thatís about 5yrs old.

    First impressions on unboxing:

    Lighter than expected for its size. It only holds 2 x 18650 batteries, but has runtimes as good if not better than my old Sunwayman which has 3 x 18650. The Fenix is touch longer, but itís immediately nicer to carry due to the thinning of the body. I can see me comfortably putting this in a pack or even a large pocket to take it out on adventures more than a 20min walk from home, unlike the heavy Sunwayman. Solid construction Ė well built, feels like sheíll take some punishment. Smooth edges all over and nice to hold. Itíll stand up on its end on a flat surface which is handy.

    The Fenix is the longer one with a single LED.

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    Charging:

    I wanted to charge her up before doing anything, and started to look for the micro-USB port to plug her in Ė I was really pleased to hear about the micro-USB charging, being able to easily recharge this from the car, laptop, USB battery bank etc. with only a small coiled up cable is big plus.

    Hang onÖ I canít find the charging port. A quick glance at the manual (yeah, should have read it first) I find that the charging port is on the battery pack, so I open her up, remove the battery pack and plug it in. At this point I have my first doubt Ė Iím really not sure about having to open her up each time to recharge. Iíve gotten a bit lazy about charging with the Sunwayman charging dock, so this seemed like extra work. I soon came around to Fenixís way of thinking - the battery pack is well made, with charging status led, and only takes a few seconds to remove. Having the charging port inside the torch means no water or dirt is going to get in, and no chance of draining by shorting metal contacts on the exterior of the torch with car keys or whatever metal items you have in your pocket (Iíve always been paranoid about accidently putting my Sunwayman with exposed contacts in a pocket with a loose .22 bullet.)

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    The batteries supplied are 3500mAh which was good to see. International shipping is fine with the lithiums because Fenix will open the box and put the batteries in the torch for you before shipping Ė nice touch from the company there. The threads on the torch head are smooth, and shouldnít be any issues with repeated opening. Nice fat o-ring to seal the unit. Red LED changes to a bright green glow when fully charged. Good to go!

    Firing her up:

    Next to investigate was the controls. There are 3 switches:

    ē ON/OFF clicky (which is also momentarily on if you donít push her in all the way).
    ē The 3-way Toggle Switch Ė OFF: No chance of it turning on in your pack
    MODE: Can cycle through 5 brightness settings with the selector switch: Eco, Low, Medium, High, Turbo 2. (I donít know why they didnít add Turbo 1 in here as well).
    ON: Light on at Turbo 1 setting.
    ē Selector Switch, a push switch in the centre of the Toggle Switch. When 3-Way is set to MODE, you can cycle through the brightness settings with a simple click. Holding it down will Strobe. Hitting the ON/OFF Clicky while strobing will leave it on constantly, and the Selector will change it from Strobe to SOS.

    At first glance, I wasnít impressed by the toggle switch, seemed like it was just overcomplicating things. I like simple, simple works. After using her for a short while I have to say that it is actually rather good. I can be in MODE walking along on Eco or Low brightness, and I suddenly want to see across the valley? Flick the toggle to ON to light up the night. Oh, itís just a tree stump. Flick it back to MODE and youíre back at low output again, no need to cycle through the brightness modes to get to what you want.

    Note: Fenix call the 3-way toggle switch modes: LOCKOUT/OUTDOOR/TACTICAL, but OFF/MODE/ON made more sense to me.

    Brightness:

    Claimed Values:
    Turbo 2 3200 lumens 1hr 30min
    Turbo 1 2000 lumens 2hr
    High 1000 lumens 3hr 40min
    Medium 350 lumens 10h 50min
    Low 100 lumens 38hr 40min
    Eco 20 lumens 152hr

    Strobe 3200 lumens
    SOS 100 lumens

    I like these brightness modes. The Eco is easily bright enough to walk through the bush at night even with rough ground and climbing over branches. The Turbo 1 is very bright, and when you want that little bit extra, you can go to the Turbo 2.
    This is a very floody light. It really does light up the dark Ė and while it doesnít have much of a spot in the centre of the beam, itís so bright that I donít find myself missing it.
    Iím positive a lot of companies out there with their lumen claims are a bunch of BS, so Iíve never paid much attention to those marketing lumen numbers. I prefer the old fashioned, real world Ďwill it reach to the end of the fieldí test.

    But why talk when photos can do the job that much better! The trees at the bottom of the field are 182yrds on the range finder.

    Eco:
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    Low:
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    Medium:
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    High:
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    Turbo 1:
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    Turbo 2:
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    My old Sunwayman:
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    As you can see, the Sunwayman might have a slightly longer throw due to the spot in the center of the beam. The Fenix however gives a much more even flood across the whole field.

    Water Test:


    Rated as IP68, to 2m depth.

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    I put her in the stream for 45mins at about 40cm deep (elbow depth), while switched on at Turbo 2. No problems, no evidence of any moisture inside - that was good enough for me.

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    Heat:

    On the maximum brightness, Turbo 2, the torch gets hot... obviously. Weíre not talking pain here, but I did find myself swapping hands regularly after 30mins of run time. I do wonder if some more cooling fins around the head might have been in order here.

    According to the manual, the torch does regulate its heat - if it reaches 65degC it will step down brightness until temp drops to safe levels again.

    Battery Usage:

    This was a pleasant surprise - the torch doesnít just turn off when the batteries die. It starts to stage down to lower brightness modes. Blasting on Turbo 2 for an hour and a half, and still getting several hours of run time on the Eco after it had staged all the way down Ė rather impressive.

    Was also nice to have a battery indicator Ė When you turn the light on, you get the LED gives you a 3 second battery status. During use, Red Flash will start when you drop to low battery.

    Final thoughts:

    Iíve been using this for the last couple of weeks now almost every night. At first because wanted to put her through her paces to give an accurate review, but later because without thinking, Iíd always grab this one rather than my old faithful Sunwayman. Partly weight and more comfortable to hold, partly because I like the floody beam, itís very quickly become my go to torch. The brightness is very similar to the Sunwayman, although does have less of a spot in the center of the beam.

    If youíre looking for something in a super bright flood, with some nice features, and rechargeable then I donít think you can go wrong.

    Yes, I get to keep this one for free, but asking myself ďwould I buy one of these myself?Ē I would. And I will - planning on getting one as a gift for my Dad when they come out. Theyíre supposed to go for $150us on release, which includes batteries, belt pouch, charging cable.
    veitnamcam and Biggun708 like this.

  2. #2
    Member Grue's Avatar
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    Can't seem to edit post, but that broken attachement was:
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  3. #3
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Excellent review mate, thanks for taking the trouble to post.
    I have had the standard TK 35 for around 6 years, and it has never let me down . Mine has been replaced for hunting purposes with a maxtoch sniper, which I find has a much nicer colour to the light. The Fenix is very white and bounces the light back off of foliage etc, rather than cutting through it, so to speak.
    As for build quality, I sent my fenix to our own torch fairy to get it dedomed, and he sent it back, saying it was too well made so he couldn't do it
    gadgetman likes this.
    Forgotmaboltagain

  4. #4
    Member Grue's Avatar
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    Just been corrected by Fenix - price doesn't include batteries

    But couple more from last night:
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