Fenix TK35 (XM-L, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, DETAILED COMPARISONS

TK35

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
16
Great review. Just ordered one ! Thanks so much !

My initials are "TK" thus the username "TK35"....nothing to do with Fenix hehehehe.
 

Kilted

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
302
Location
Silicon Valley
I have had my TK35 for a few weeks now. Last week I took it into work as I was going to be working in a computer room buried in racks, under floors etc. I did my part and was sitting down working on a computer problem and my TK35 kept on getting borrowed.

With the included holster the TK35 makes a very good 'work' light its adjustable, compact and has long run time. My EDC (LED Lenser) is small easy to carry bright has two modes off/on. It is a three watt with a 14500 lithium, optic adjustable for flood/spot. Its a good EDC work light.

The TK35 is to big as a EDC for me. BUT I'm thinking it is a good "work duty" light no frills just a good solid bright flashlight, I think it is a keeper.
 
Last edited:

woodrow

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
2,027
Location
New Mexico
Thanks for the review. I wanted a new - smaller high output light than my T5l-45 and was kinda sick of the 8 aa batt setup. I grabbed one of these and I am seriously happy. My beam is normal white..not purple..not green, so that is a plus..and the led is well centered. I like the smaller size, and good usable throw. Its funny how good we have it now. I always wanted a M6 (incan) but never could get myself to spend the money (batt life more of a issue than light cost) but now I have a similar sized light that is brighter...it has at least made me no longer sad I never bought a M6 (did buy a m3 and m4). (now to put off the desire for a led M6) Nice light Fenix!
 

scaramanga

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
35
Location
Philippines
I tried to open mine because the bezel is fogging up.
However the threads have been glued.

Experienced this on mine too and can't seem to figure out why, and was unable to open it (threads were glued, I suspect), so I ended up scratching the inside parts of the head/reflector area. Sold the light and got myself another TK35 with clear glass. Do you think its a recurring scenario?
 

vincevoxbox

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
52
has anyone ever tried fitting am aspheric lens on the TK35 ? would the 52mm for the Mag fit ?
 

led2011

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
26
firstly, for the reviewer, it is awesome work, especially the statistic graph.
second, I am plan to buy one fenix light so I have not tried fitting it. If I got one, I have tried to do it. Then I tell you that result.
 

HIDC

Banned
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
61
Location
Ontario, Canada
As a relatively new dealer, I got the chance to try out the entire line of Fenix and of the two TK35 we have, the tint is cool white with no hint of green or other color abberation. I'm not sure if it's still luck, or if they're running on better batches of XM-L now. This is an absolutely astounding light, if basic (compared to the Sunwayman) but it feels very durable. Agree that some more knurling would be good as the fine striations don't do much for grip.

@Flashlightphreak: compared to my P1 (yeah old), this is pure white. In contrast, two P1 I have are slightly purple, one tiny bit green and other is noticeably blue.

In regards to Ultrafires (and Trustfires). I have over 30 of them and in general, they have a very predictable discharge curve. Having said that, my buddy brought back a few gray TrustFire 2400mAH (1 year old) which sagged horribly and could barely maintain 3.1v @ 1.5a discharge... though it lasted for 1800 mAH. I agree the quality is likely suspect (not being A grade cells?). I've ordered in a slew of AW 3000 and 2600 and will compare. I'm guessing that once you've tasted the AWs, you really don't want to go back. Buy right, buy once, anyone?
 
Last edited:

Mach.84

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
13
Location
Singapore
Hello all! Just order the TK35 from amazon but could not order the Redilast from EDC website. Kept saying invalid address. But I have use that shipping address quite a fair bit. Any alternative?

Also, I have been on CR123 for many years. Just wondering if the TK35 could take the RCR123 (rechargeable)? On my fresh energizer CR123, it measured 3.56v. However, the RCR123 at 3.6v, that's only 0.04 x 4 = 0.16v different. Will it really matter? And how's using 18650 better than 123? (is it better endurance?) Sorry, as u can see I'm very new to this. Virgin post! :wave:
After reading so many reviews on 18650.... I'm a little confuse but I get the feeling panny cell r better and it boils down to how the IC manage the draw down and charging. Assuming protected.

Thanks a million for all the reviews in CPF and user info. I glued to the forum for the past few weeks... Now wife nagging... :ohgeez:
 

iron potato

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
201
Hello all! Just order the TK35 from amazon but could not order the Redilast from EDC website. Kept saying invalid address. But I have use that shipping address quite a fair bit. Any alternative?

Also, I have been on CR123 for many years. Just wondering if the TK35 could take the RCR123 (rechargeable)? On my fresh energizer CR123, it measured 3.56v. However, the RCR123 at 3.6v, that's only 0.04 x 4 = 0.16v different. Will it really matter? And how's using 18650 better than 123? (is it better endurance?) Sorry, as u can see I'm very new to this. Virgin post! :wave:
After reading so many reviews on 18650.... I'm a little confuse but I get the feeling panny cell r better and it boils down to how the IC manage the draw down and charging. Assuming protected.

Thanks a million for all the reviews in CPF and user info. I glued to the forum for the past few weeks... Now wife nagging... :ohgeez:

Hey Mach, welcome to the forum, I also started no long ago, got lotsa information here to read & learn.

As one of TK35 owner for awhile now, I like the compactness, built quality & user interface (UI) hope you'll like it too.

Fenix's site stated it meant for 4x CR123 or 2x 18650 power source.
My TK35 runs on 2x Hi-Max 2600mAh 18650, I didn't try on CR123 or RCR123, well yea 18650 should have higher capacity for the runtime (endurance) :thumbsup:

As for the 18650 cell part, Redilast a good start, which is one of the reputable brand, AW too, you can get it here >> http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?230876-AW-s-LiIon-Batteries-Sales-Thread-*Part-12*
Remember you need to register again for cpfmarketplace.

You also need a good charger to kick start with 18650, Pila charger is highly recommended over here http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?188653-Pila-IBC-Charger-Review, there are some other nice chargers as well, I'm using Xtar WP2 II charger after I read the review over here & easily get one from HK http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...-Review-of-Measurement-on-Xtar-WP2-II-charger or http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...uilt-Review-of-the-Xtar-WP2-II-Li-ion-Charger

You're not alone, I also glued to this forum ever since :naughty:
 

Mach.84

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
13
Location
Singapore
You're not alone, I also glued to this forum ever since :naughty:

Thanks iron potato! Really appreciate your reply. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Was busy with family. Which part are u from in Malaysia? I am ur neighbor down south! :)

Actually I am not sure if this is the right place to post this. Please advise if I should start a new topic on this. Thanks in advance.

My TK35 EXPLODED! Here is the detail:

I bought my Fenix flashlight model TK35 from online service provider, Amazon.Com on 7th Feb 2012. I received the TK35 on the 10th and have been using the wonderful light ever since.

However just yesterday, 21st Feb, the TK35 exploded internally while the light is on high for about 7 minutes. I had read various report on the danger of using industry batteries 18650 on these high power flashlight. So from day 1, I had been using the recommended CR123A batteries and it works fine till yesterday.

Details:
- Setting on 'High'
- Use as stand lamp to bounce off ceiling
- Room temperature around 23 degree Celsius (Air conditioning)
- Batteries: * 4 x CR123A (GOLSTON)

After 7 minutes of use, we heard a loud 'Pop' sound and smell something is burning. To our surprise, the light is still on and the burning smell get worse. The click switch does not work because the white spacer within the rubber boot got expel out through the tear on the rubber boot. So, I had to twist the head of the TK35 to turn off the light.

After the incident, I removed the batteries holder and discover that one of the CR123A battery had exploded and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I begin to wonder if the driver on the TK35 had malfunction to draw such current that it generate such heat that cause one of the CR123A to explode and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I had other LED flashlight which I bought few years back which I am still using with the same brand of batteries without any problem. So sad... I love this flashligh but it failed on me just 2 weeks of using it. :(

Can anyone here advise how or what I should do next. I just email Fenix and hope they will reply soon. Just wondering if I should return to Amazon or Fenix.... Anyway, will post pics soon. Once again, thanks in advance.
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
After the incident, I removed the batteries holder and discover that one of the CR123A battery had exploded and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I begin to wonder if the driver on the TK35 had malfunction to draw such current that it generate such heat that cause one of the CR123A to explode and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I had other LED flashlight which I bought few years back which I am still using with the same brand of batteries without any problem. So sad... I love this flashligh but it failed on me just 2 weeks of using it. :(
A good description of your problem - but it sounds a like a battery failure.

High-output XM-L lights on 4xCR123A draw a lot power from the cells. I have seen plenty of examples of PTC circuits engaging in these types of setups (see my recent Tiablo A60G for a recent example). The amount of heat they generate is extreme, which can damage the cells or the circuit.

By all means, contact Fenix or your dealer to see what they say. I also recommend you post your experience in the CR123A battery failure/venting with flame thread in the battery subforum. But ultimately, it is a failure of the cell.

With good quality cells, I would expect PTC engagement to limit output. But on budget quality or damaged cells, venting with flame is a possibility (as you have described). I am sorry to say, but golston is considered a budget brand here. And all >700 lumen lights are extremely taxing on 4xCR123A cells.
 

Mach.84

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
13
Location
Singapore
Oppss... Picture upload failure. Will post pics on another thread to save space on CPF forum. Please refer to this link: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

Edit: Link to the pics #17

Hi selfbuilt, thanks for the reply. Initially I thought is the driver that fail. However, I was running it the whole night before this incident on 'High' mode without any failure and it was cool to touch. I click up to 'Turbo' mode but the batteries couldn't drive it anymore. (As in no different in brightness from 'High' mode) So, I let it run overnight and it work fine till the 2nd day when it was turn on for merely 7 mins or so... and this incident happened.

On this note, I thought if the batteries could not supply enough voltage or capacity, the driver will automatically switch to the next lower mode which draw much lesser current. Even if it is on 'High' mode, its about half of what the 'Turbo' mode is in terms of lumens. Fenix state that when on 'Turbo', it will generate up to 820 lumens. On 'High', up to 346 lumens.

I have a LED flashlight bought in Japan but I believed it is made in China, has a far better control... at least in my opinion. It only has 2 mode, High and Low. When ever the capacity of the batteries run low, the brightness output will dim a little. And it is linear on 'Low' mode too. Meaning, the 'Low' mode will be dimmer than before. These will continue until the light output is no longer usable. It uses 2 x CR123A. Is this voltage driven or current driven? I am really curious because I have not had any issue with CR123A till now. Btw, how can one tell if the light is current or voltage driven by using just a multimeter? Is it safe to use 18650 (protected) with this light without worry the batteries will "poof" again? Oh, Pila and 18650 on the way but now this happen. :mad:

I do have the Energizer CR123A but I use it only for my C3 as it is an incan and some of the golston could not even power the C3. So I give up using golston on my C3. Crap batteries..... sorry for my language. :whistle:

Thanks again selfbuilt in advance!
 
Last edited:

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
Will post pics on another thread to save space on CPF forum. Please refer to this link: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded
I am glad to see you posted that thread in the batteries forum. The members there have the most direct battery experience, and I see they have reached the same conclusion I did on the golston cells. I think it's best to keep all the battery discussions in that thread, as it is the most appropriate place for them.

Same goes for the discussion of how various circuits work - that forum is the best place for those discussions too. But in general terms, the TK35 is a well regulated light (i.e. well stabilized). This means that it draws more power from the batteries in order to maintain flat output for as long as possible (to put it in simple terms). Your two-stage light is likely much simpler, and could even be as simple as direct-drive with a resistor for Lo. Multi-cell setups are always more inherently dangerous, if one of the cells is defective, damaged or over-discharged compared to the other.

As for your question about the TK35, that is tough to answer. If the light was still working when all this went down, the head is possibly still ok. But at a minimum, you will need a new battery carrier - the old one should be discarded. But I would be concerned about the light's long-term reliability, given that smoke and other expunged gases/materials from the malfunctioning cell may have found their way in to the head. That won't be good for the electronics, I would think.
 

iron potato

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
201
My TK35 EXPLODED! ....

OMG ! feel sorry for the bad news indeed :(

selfbuilt is informative, take his advise, hope u can enjoy your TK35 as soon possible, btw, I like to read his reviews over here too

P.S. : I'm located up up North of Penang Island :wave:
 

Mach.84

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
13
Location
Singapore
.......Same goes for the discussion of how various circuits work - that forum is the best place for those discussions too. But in general terms, the TK35 is a well regulated light (i.e. well stabilized). This means that it draws more power from the batteries in order to maintain flat output for as long as possible (to put it in simple terms). Your two-stage light is likely much simpler, and could even be as simple as direct-drive with a resistor for Lo. Multi-cell setups are always more inherently dangerous, if one of the cells is defective, damaged or over-discharged compared to the other.

As for your question about the TK35, that is tough to answer....

Hi selfbuilt, that thread indeed has alot of info which I did not even read before. Wish I read it before I purchased the TK35. Yes, the electronic stuff will be hard to predict given what it had been through. But then again, everything is working even when after it happened. So, guess I give it a try ( as in salvaging the TK35) before getting another one. Maybe buy another one and use the old one as spare. I really like the UI on the TK35 as it suits my usage style. Oh forgot to mention..... that I won the tint lottery too! For the indoor it really looks greenish just on the side of the hot spot but white on the spill. Outdoor looks brilliant! Will have some photoshot posted here once I salvage/replace the TK35.
Yeap, think my old LED is a direct drive too! No wonder it can handle the crap 123 so well...

Once again thanks for your enlightenment. :thumbsup:


OMG ! feel sorry for the bad news indeed :(

selfbuilt is informative, take his advise, hope u can enjoy your TK35 as soon possible, btw, I like to read his reviews over here too

P.S. : I'm located up up North of Penang Island :wave:

Yeah I feel bad for my family as the smell really bad when it happened. Now I'm in contact with Fenix and really hope I can salvage my TK35. Will update the fate of my TK35 once I have the news from Fenix.
Oh, I miss the Penang fried kuah teow... Maybe will meet up with ya one day. Cheers! :wave:
 

elendril

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
3
Many thanks for selfbuilt for his great review!

Helped me decide to get a TK35 as my first LED torch.. Should be arriving next week :)
 

Force 10

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
3
Great review. Just ordered one ! Thanks so much !

Now trying to decide on 18650 batteries (thinking of going with the AW's) and a charger.
 

iron potato

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
201
Great review. Just ordered one ! Thanks so much !

Now trying to decide on 18650 batteries (thinking of going with the AW's) and a charger.

Welcome :wave:
Can't go wrong with AW, get a Pila or Xtar WP2 II charger, search for their reviews, I'm using WP2 II, so far so good :)
 
Top