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Thread: Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Smile Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

    My local dealer sent me the thrower light, TK47. Featuring a XHP35 HI NW, the light runs on 2x18650. It gives dual light (front-light and tail-light).




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    The TK47 comes in the standard plain cardboard box with packing foam. Along with the light is a head-holster, extra o-ring, good quality wrist strap, warranty card, and manual.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Fenix website & manual :

    • Headlight : Cree XHP35 HI neutral white LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • Tail light : Quality neutral white LED, red LED and diffuser tip design
    • Powered by two 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries
    • 266.2mm Length x 61.5mm (Head Diameter) x 28.6mm (Body Diameter)
    • 376 grams (excluding batteries)
    • Dual independent light source that can be used simultaneously
    • Headlight with a far-reaching 700m beam distance
    • Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
    • The headlight features lockout function
    • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery insertion
    • Intelligent overheat protection to avoid high surface temperature
    • Featuring low voltage downshift function
    • Made of durable aircraft- grade aluminum
    • Premium type Ⅲ hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with an anti-reflective coating


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    You will see each switch in the head and the tailcap. The hard (type III) anodizing is a matt black and consistent throughout with no chips or damage on my sample. Labels are minimal, but clear in white against the black background. There are a lot of concentric ring ridges on about 2/3 of the batteries tube. There is nothing on the body works as an anti-roll device. But if you attach the lanyard came with the light, it will help a little to prevent rolling. You are able to use head-light and tail-light simultaneously or individually.
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    The light comes apart into only two parts (i.e., one piece head-body, tailcap). It seems the head was bonded to the body with glue.
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    The light has a shallow crenellated stainless steel bezel ring, but not being removable on my sample. The TK47 has several cooling fins near the side switch to help with grip and heat dissipation. There is a spring in the head, however true flat-top 18650 unprotected cells don't work in the light, due to the longer battery tube. Note that you must use longer 18650 protected cells. The light does have electronic reverse polarity protection function to protect from improper battery installation.

    The light uses a metal electronic side switch in the head for front-light on-off and mode changing. The switch cap is slightly protruded from a metal surround, but quite set lower position than the head. The switch has a good feel to touch and has typical travel. Scroll down for an explanation of the user interface.
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    There is a good quality toughened ultra-clear AR coating lens. The purple hue is reflected on it. The reflector is clean smooth type. Its surface finish is good from visual inspection, and the XHP35 HI emitter is well-centered at the base of a large and deep reflector on my TK47. This should translate into good throw.
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    The battery tube has a cylindrical tube design and you can run 2x18650. According to the manual, you can use 4xCR123A in emergency, but the front light only works around 800 lumens. The battery tube has five longitudinal grooves with a large number of tiny concentric ring ridges running along on about 2/3 of its total length. This pattern gives a good grip. As described above, I recommend you must stick with protected 18650 cells.
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    Threads are well machined square cut and anodized at end of the body tube and tailcap. So tailcap lock-out is available. The threads of my review sample were well lubed. Threads mate well with the tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding. You can see the dual layer body, and I expect it gives you more durability and conductivity. The wall thickness of the battery tube is very thick (4.6mm).
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    The electronic tailcap switch is for tail-light on-off and mode changing only. The metal switch cap doesn't protrude at the tail end, and it can be very easy to access, even when you are wearing gloves. It has a reasonable amount of tension when pressed. The light can tailstand, but it isn't fairly stable.
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    The tail-light gives you solid white & red light, red flash, and red SOS. Scroll down for an explanation of the user interface.
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    User Interface

    1. Front-light
    1) General mode
    In unlocked state, press and hold the side switch in the head for 0.5 secs to turn on-off. Click the side switch when on to cycle through Low -> Med. -> High -> Turbo, in repeating sequence. The light has mode memory, and remembers the last output level used when you turn the light off and back on, even after a battery change.

    2) Hidden strobe mode
    In unlocked state, Press and hold the side switch to access Strobe for 1.5 secs when on or off. A single click exits you from strobe back into the memorized output.

    3) Lockout / Unlock
    When off and unlocked, double-clicking the side switch will lockout the light. The front-light will flash twice at Med. output to indicate the lockout state now.
    When off and locked, double clicking the side switch will unlock the light. The front-light will return to the memorized output level in general mode.
    Note that the front-light will just flash twice when you click the side switch in lockout state. It's an electronic lockout.

    2. Tail-light
    Press and hold the tailcap switch for 0.5 secs to turn on-off the tail-light.
    Click the tailcap switch when on to cycle through Solid white light -> Solid red light -> Red flash -> Red SOS, in repeating sequence. The tail-light will always come on in solid white light when off (i.e., there is no mode memory in the tail-light). As expected, the side switch lock-out function doesn't affect tail-light at all.
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    Standby Current Drain

    As expect, there are three current paths between the body and the tail.
    Due to the electronic switch design, the TK47 is drawing a small current when the batteries are installed and the tailcap fully connected. Fenix has confirmed me that the max. standby current is 130μA. I assume this current is under lock-out state.
    Considering 2x18650 (2600mAh), that would translate into about 2.3 years before they would be fully depleted.
    This is not a concern. But I would recommend you store the light physically locked-out when not in use for a long period.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650(2600mAh) protected, Olight M3XS-UT (Dedomed XP-L), Acebeam T20 (XP-L HI NW), Acebeam T30 (XHP35 HI CW), Fenix TK47(XHP35 HI NW).
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    The light comes with a basic nylon head holster with a velcro strap on the head. The light fits in the holster head-up. It has a loop allows to carry it in horizontal position for belt.
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    Overall grip is good.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight


    TK47 is long light with a smaller head, as expected from 2x18650 powered light since the batteries are arranged end-to-end. The overall size and weight of the light is quite reasonable for the class. Overall build quality is excellent.
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    PWM


    The front-light and tail-light show no sign of PWM at any output levels. I do think the light is constant current controlled. I noticed there is no buzzing sound at any output levels.
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    Runtime

    1. Fan cooling


    The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for Turbo is as above graph. The runtime in my review is done under cooling fan unless otherwise noted.

    On Turbo on 2x18650, the light steps down after about 45mins, and there are several distinct step-downs at the stage of battery depletion. Note that TK47 features thermally step-down to avoid overheating and additional automatic step-downs in output as battery capacity depletes. I think there's no thermally step-down under cooling fan (with max. RPM) as you see the above graph (i.e., TK47 shows only automatic step-downs due to battery depletion).
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    TK47 shows outstanding regulation (i.e., perfectly flat at each step) and excellent efficiency.
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    Here is an enlargement of a small part of the runtime graph.
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    2. No cooling & fan cooling


    This is a comparison with and without fan cooling to check how the light activate. The lack of cooling cause a gradual drop and sharp drop in output, but the light drops down to only about 68% of the initial output. After the first and second 'output stepping-down' without cooling applied, the light tends to recover the almost initial output thanks to cooling. But note that RPM for cooling here is just half of maximum RPM. Then it drops down to High output level automatically due to battery capacity depletion.
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    3. Surface temperature
    I measured with thermal probe attached to one point of the light for no cooling and fan cooling run. The room temp. was 25.9~26.5 degrees C, and window was opened a little in the test room. The resting temp. for the light before run was 26.6 degrees C. I attached a thermal probe on the surface of the head of the light, just on the cooling fin.



    Note that left y-axis is the relative output. The red dotted line represents surface temperatures of the light in degrees centigrade (celsius) should be read off the right y-axis. The max. surface temperature of the light reaches a 46.7 degrees in my test. The temperature on Turbo is not higher than expected.
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door) on max. output on 2x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/25sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/100sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/800sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/2000sec, Auto white balance



    The light shows a defined narrow hot spot and small spill beam at this distance.
    The hot spot is well focused and a corona surrounds the bright hot spot. The beam profile is clean. The tint of the TK47 is not as greenish white looking in real life as in the above white door beamshot. It seems the automatic white balancing (AWB) on the camera tends to enhance the green tint somewhat. The beam has a fairly nice yellow tint as claims.
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    2. 7m Indoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x 18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1/10sec, Auto white balance

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    3. 85m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

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    4. 390m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

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    TK47 has a tightly focused hotspot. It is not number one throwing flashlight, but a good and nice thrower for its class.
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    Overall Impressions

    • Excellent build quality
    • Dual light and dual switch (head & tail)
    • You can use 2x18650 (or 4xCR123A can be used for emergency)
    • Electrical reverse polarity protection function
    • Electronic side switch lockout & physical tailcap lockout function
    • Small standby current drain (130μA) is inevitable, but not a concern
    • Thermally step-down feature with battery capacity depletion
    • Outstanding regulation and excellent efficiency on Turbo
    • Firefly mode is not available
    • Hidden strobe mode
    • No sign of PWM flickers at any output modes
    • Good yellow tint with nice beam pattern
    • No anti-roll indentations on the body
    • Good grip
    • True flat-top 18650 unprotected batteries will not work
    • Good thrower

    Fenix TK47 was supplied by Gooutdoor for review.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-09-2017 at 07:20 AM. Reason: completion of standby current drain

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

    Thank you Candle Lamp for the runtime charts and for yet another great comprehensive review.

    The TK47 and the TK47UE are still my current 'go to' lights for walking into the forest on weekends.

    And for your info, I have been using my year 2015 Sanyo 18650GA flat tops without neodynium magnet spacers in the TK47 (the 47UE version has no spring on the Head part and thus needs spacers).
    Other flat tops like my Sony VTC6 do require spacers .

    Thank you and best regards

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by proceed5 View Post
    Thank you Candle Lamp for the runtime charts and for yet another great comprehensive review.

    The TK47 and the TK47UE are still my current 'go to' lights for walking into the forest on weekends.

    And for your info, I have been using my year 2015 Sanyo 18650GA flat tops without neodynium magnet spacers in the TK47 (the 47UE version has no spring on the Head part and thus needs spacers).
    Other flat tops like my Sony VTC6 do require spacers .

    Thank you and best regards
    Thank you for your information.

    My flat tops are Panasonic NCR18650A, LG ABB41865, LG ABD11865, LG DBHG21865 that don't work in the light.

  4. #4
    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

    Excellent and informative review. I'm always struck by the quality of your photos. Thanks!
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK47 dual light thrower (XHP35 HI NW, 2x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    Excellent and informative review. I'm always struck by the quality of your photos. Thanks!
    Thank you for your support. Have a nice time!

    P.S.: I've completed the following part.

    Standby Current Drain

    As expect, there are three current paths between the body and the tail.
    Due to the electronic switch design, the TK47 is drawing a small current when the batteries are installed and the tailcap fully connected. Fenix has confirmed me that the max. standby current is 130μA. I assume this current is under lock-out state.
    Considering 2x18650 (2600mAh), that would translate into about 2.3 years before they would be fully depleted.
    This is not a concern. But I would recommend you store the light physically locked-out when not in use for a long period.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-09-2017 at 06:36 AM.

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