Fenix flashlights


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wford
January 4, 2012, 04:50 AM
Hi guys, I just wanted to write about a flashlight brand that some people may not know about. Fenix is a Chinese company (I know) that produces higher end flashlights at a very decent price compared to other competitors. For 70 dollars I got a 320 lumen flashlight that is easily pocketable, about 4 inches long, and seemingly very well made. For ten dollars on amazon i got a rechargeable battery kit for the light and feel like I have struck gold. The one I got is the PD32 model, and has 4 modes with 320 being turbo mode, and a 320 lumen disorienting strobe mode that messes with my eyes horribly when pointed AWAY from me. Also, when i point the light into my hand i can see all my veins, its that bright. This flashlight has outstanding output for it size and throws a wide, long reaching beam. I am very very impressed with my light for the money i paid. I hope i posted this in the right place, but I figure gun guys have good use for flashlights as well, and they make "tactical flashlights" as well, whatever that means. They also make an 800 lumen model I need now (I'll figure out a way to justify it later) and that thing throws a ridiculous beam for $100 and can run on rechargeables.

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98f150
January 4, 2012, 09:36 AM
No go on this for me I avoid Chinese when possible. I'll pay more for made in America Surefire.

Ghost Tracker
January 4, 2012, 09:58 AM
Fenix flashlights are what they are. So are Surefire models. It's the same "value received" decision we all make on shoes, cars, watches, knives, etc. Some folks will howl that high-end gear is a waste of money only spent by snobs. Other folks will laugh at the thought of putting their own, only life on the line with anything (ANYthing) less than THE BEST available. Somewhere between those two extremes is reality. IMHO, if your flashlight is a toy then a Fenix is GREAT. If there's a chance, even an outside chance, that lives could depend on your light? Not so much.

Loosedhorse
January 4, 2012, 11:45 AM
Just got one for Christmas. I understand the Chinese manufacture objection, but with Surefire selling a less bright, similarly sized light for four times what the Fenix costs...

Well, things happen. :o

In case anyone's wondering, I've had two Surefires break (the switch in both cases).

wford
January 4, 2012, 04:23 PM
That's something I should have addressed. I don't feel that surefire comes close to Pheonix. In my opinion Surefire doesn't keep up on technology in terms of lumens produced for size of the unit in their pocket flashlights, or even lumens in general. They are also certainly not above breaking. I dropped my Fenix pd32 from about 20 feet onto garden stones and it still works very well, just a scrath on it. My Surefire e2d dropped off my lap getting out of a ford taurus and stopped working although the casing looked completely fine, but Surefire has good customer service so it was fixed for free. I have 2 Surefires currently and I resent not waiting for Fenix lights. Here is a comparison- my 320 lumen 4 mode w/ strobe fenix was 70 dollars and feels better built and is more functional than my 200 lumen 2 mode Surefire that cost me 200$ almost a year ago. I feel like it is just another "pay for the name" example. Surefire, IMO, used to be the best and lives on it's name now. I just looked at the Surefire website, and they don't even make a flashlight in the size range of the PD32 that is as bright, their highest is 200 lumens and I own that light as well, the beam comparison is laughable compared to my 70 dollar pheonix. An 800 lumen handheld model I want from Fenix goes for 95.00 on Amazon. The surefire rival costs around 500 dollars from where i've seen. I just can't justify the increase in spending.

bejay
January 4, 2012, 05:19 PM
im sure any of them could fail and atleast 2 on this thread have had surefires fail thats not to good, but it is a flashlight what could happen bad solder connection maybe bad switch or driver really isnt a whole lot that can go wrong.

hso
January 4, 2012, 05:30 PM
I'm carrying a Fenix PD10 R5 light every day and gave a dozen of them away this holiday season. I do not consider the Fenix an alternative to a Surefire since the Fenix lights I'm interested in are all advanced LED lights and in many ways superior to Surefire's LED lights, but no one makes high output incandescent lamp lights better than Surefire. I'll pay for Streamlight or Surefire incandescent lights, but will find the best available tech for LED. As previously mentioned the Chinese are producing many innovative and solid LED flashlights that are not matched by U.S. manufacturers.

floorit76
January 4, 2012, 07:07 PM
Check out Nitecore also. I carried a fenix for nearly 2 years without a problem before making it my wifes purse light for the last 3-4 years. Still works every time. Now I carry a Nitecore D10 which has been replaced by the D11. Fabulous lights for the money. I'd like to add that I'm an electrician, and as such I use my lights ALOT. Several times a day, every day. They get dropped, used ,and abused. Never had a switch failure. And these things are bright. I'd put my single cell AA nitecore up agianst a 2D cell maglight anyday. I really hate to send my money to China, but like these guys already said, there is nothing here that compares. I wouldn't trade my old beat up fenix for a whole bucket full of mini maglights, unless I could sell them and use the money on something decent.

saenzrich
January 5, 2012, 04:41 PM
My Chinese Fenix E21 150 lumen light works great for me. For the price and quality of the light it can't be beat...especially for running on 2AA's. It throws the same exact beam as my TLR-1s that cost 3x more and takes CR123's.

But when I go to my Black Tie events I don't leave home without my Surefire:neener:....j/k

Confederate
January 5, 2012, 07:32 PM
A few years ago, flashlight manufacturers like Fenix (which is an American company based in China) really put a lot of craftsmanship into their lights. Their "Olive" finish was beautiful and it felt good in the hand. My EDC light is the L2D, which uses two rechargeable AA batteries. It's not the brightest light in my collection, but I enjoy the Olive finish and it fits well in my hand. Likewise, I have several P3Ds which admittedly are a bit obsolete, but they'd still be handy in an emergency.

The battery of choice in an emergency is clearly the CR123A lithium. Not only are the rechargeable 123A batteries the way to go, the lithiums have a 10-year shelf life, they're not prone to leaking and they're still cheap, as in a dollar a battery if you buy them on Amazon (search for "Tenergy"). I'm now 59 years old. The lithium batteries will still be fully usable when I'm 69! Actually, they'll be fully usable when I'm 72 years old! If one rotates the batteries and buys replacements along the way, keeping up with technology and perhaps new battery types, one can be prepared for almost any eventuality.

One thing I'm worried about is some rogue nation hitting us with an EMP (electro magnetic pulse). That could knock out the entire power grid of the U.S. Whether such a pulse could destroy a flashlight circuit I don't know, but I put my expensive lights in my safe (which should protect them). Those without safes can protect their lights by putting them in products like cell phone pouches designed to block signals.

The "in" thing now for flashlights is a "one cell" light. These are lights that are incredibly bright, but also incredibly dim. Yep, that's what I said. People are finding they don't always need blinding light. In fact, what they need are modes of dim light for reading at night, or in tents or for checking maps or discreet use. These dim modes also are being designed to go very easy on the batteries. I just picked up several Olight M20s, which take two CR123As. These aren't designed for EDC, but for camping, hiking and survival (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6WSPKuunCI). They also remember the modes you select so you don't have to click through them.

For one cell lights, I like the Quark 123 non-tactical flashlights. These lack the beauty and class of the Fenixes, but they have great runtimes and are designed for EDC. They're great survival lights and are easy on batteries, but they're ugly and totally lack appeal AFAIC. I'd much rather use a classier light with rechargeables and keep the Quarks locked away with my batteries!

One final thought, I do not like Nightcores. They don't have great runtimes and they cycle way too quickly. They look nice, though, but check the reviews. They may have gotten better.

Anyway, these are my views. Others may vary.

LiquidTension
January 6, 2012, 12:20 AM
I have two Fenix lights. Quite pleased with both of them. Also have Streamlight and Surefire, all of them work.

Tomcat47
February 18, 2012, 02:13 AM
I love my new Fenix Flashlights! As stated above...craftsmanship top notch!

I have Stinger DS LEDS at work and in Truck and house, all hanging in chargers! The situation has arrived in the past that they started to die at very inopportune times! I always keep a Regular D cell light in the vehicles, so I had light...but that sux!

Then a tool rep came by my shop selling these Fenix lights. I bought 4 of them!
I bought:
TK35
PD20 (x2) (which are key chains now) ... and I ordered a
TK70 (2200 Lumens!) :what: Will be perfect for search and Rescue outings!

I can not wait to get it.... and I want a ALG 01 and AR102 Remote Pressure Switch for a rail attachment. I will need a PD32 with that setup.

I also like the HP11 Headlight as well. That would come in handy during hunting season .... and on S&R!

I love my Streamlights, but I think battery power is way easier to carry and keep extra batteries handy. I think they are more dependable in emergencies, or especially in the great outdoors.

shootniron
February 18, 2012, 02:45 AM
I have carried a Fenix for years and it is great...

atomchaser
February 19, 2012, 03:58 PM
I used one for several hunting seasons. It gotten soaked/dropped from a tree stand several times and never missed a lick. Mine has two different tail sections so you can use either AA or CR-123 batteries.

DavidMS
February 19, 2012, 06:16 PM
Its a LD10 and really nice. It takes a single AA battery and have had it for a at least 1.5 years. It recesses moderate use mostly in office/home environments. A weeks ago the oring broke and the company sent me a new one free of charge. I am very happy with it.

ZDriver96
February 23, 2012, 07:44 PM
I own many Fenix lights. I persuaded our fire and police personnel to start carrying fenix lights. We order about 500-1000 dollars worth of Fenix lights every 5-6 months.

These Fenix's are used as carry's, mounted to our fire helmets, and mounted to shotguns and ar15 rifles.

Fenix gives us a 50% discount but even without this they are still the best bang for your buck light. I will say Surefire is #1 when it comes to reliability/build quality. But the Fenix costs much less, far brighter, and has several light modes making it more adaptable/versatile all the while being a reliable light.

Another thing they don't tell you is that Fenix PD and TK series are rated at 9v. Surefires are rated at 6v meaning. Meaning you can use rechargable CR123 batteries in Fenix while you can not in a Surefire. Reason being most 3V rechargable CR123 actually charge to 3.1ish volts. This will kill your Surefire. And like the good man in the above post said these batteries will last a good decade and take 500+ charges. So you will always have your Fenix at its best and practically never have to buy batteries.


I own several L series, several PD series, and TK series. The oldest ones are 4 years old and still work great. I have had some tail cap switch failures but they've always replaced them for free. I'd say 1 in 10 of our fenix lights have had a tail cap failure.

If Olight would give us a discount I would choose them over Fenix for their tactical M series lights. I own a few Olights.

I can't justify buying a Surefire when the Fenix is superior in every way except its build quality. Fenix quality is good while Surefire is excellent. But thats the only thing Surefire has on Fenix.

Pietro Beretta
February 24, 2012, 03:51 PM
I do have a Fenix TK40 and I love it, it has 4 Cree LEDs, 630 Lumen output, a good white light and it runs on AA, that was the big seller for me.

I like to buy things made in America too, sometimes I think with my wallet and value... I just purchased a new car and was about to go with a Chevy Cruze when I realized it is basically is a South Korean car, so I ended up going with Hyundai. :what:

Sadly, the Ford Fiesta/Focus was not a contender due to the price and overall value, but that's a different story...

Pietro Beretta
February 24, 2012, 04:01 PM
If you are looking for a nice little carry flashlight I recommend:

Fenix PD30R2 6 Level 235 Lumen LED Flashlight

OTR
February 24, 2012, 04:16 PM
"I like to buy things made in America too, sometimes I think with my wallet and value... I just purchased a new car and was about to go with a Chevy Cruze when I realized it is basically is a South Korean car, so I ended up going with Hyundai."

I was in the same boat as you when I was buying a new truck. I bought a new Toyota Tundra because about 80% of the parts are sourced in the U.S. and it assembled in San Antonio,TX. A majority of the Big 3 trucks components are out sourced to Mexico or Canada.

Now I don't want to highjack this thread:
Back to the Fenix flashlights:)

Saakee
February 24, 2012, 05:26 PM
I have a Fenix TA20(I think, it might be 21? it's got three settings of dim, moderate, 215(?), and 220 strobe) on my rifle for HD set to strobe (I should probably have it on a different setting but on strobe it amuses me) using the momentary cap/switch I got for it for an other 25.
I really like it, perhaps too much: I put it on my rifle, that way it's not always near me and i'd quit fooling around with it.

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