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Thread: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review





    The TK16 is TK lines from Fenix available with an Cree XM-L2 U2, running on 1x18650 or 2xCR123A batteries. The TK16 features a dual switch tailcap interface, dual layer body and high output. This is the first light to feature Fenix's dual tail switch, if I remember right.

    Packaging is Fenix's current standard cardboard box, with detailed specification and information printed on the box. Inside, included with the light are user manual, warranty card, product inserts, spare o-ring, pocket clip (attached), grip ring (attached), wrist lanyard, and holster with velcro closing flap.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Fenix website and user manual :

    • Uses Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • Powered by one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
    • 140mm(length) x 25mm(diameter) x 34mm(head) (5.5’’×1’’×1.3’’)
    • Weight : 122 grams (4.3 oz.) excluding battery
    • Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
    • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
    • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
    • Tactical tail switch for momentary-on function
    • Tail mode switch for easy and fast output selection, Instant Strobe mode
    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Premium type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating


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    The hard (type III) anodizing is a matt black and consistent throughout with no blemishes or flaws on my sample. Labels are not as bright white (i.e., light gray) as some other lights, but those actually help to make them less obtrusive. The clip-on stainless steel clip feels substantial. It holds onto the light very tightly. The light has anti-roll indentations on the body, but the clip is even more helpful in that regard.
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    The light has 2 parts (i.e. one piece head and body, tailcap). The head was bonded to the body with glue.
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    The head tip has five-point crenellations allowing light to shine through when left placed head down. There is a spring mounted on the positive contact board in the head, so flat-top cells should work in the light. The TK16 has reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery installation (i.e., the electronics of the TK16 has in-built reverse polarity protection).
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    The light uses AR coating lens and the purple hue is reflected on it. The aluminum reflector has a smooth pattern. Surface finish on the reflector was perfect from visual inspection. The XM-L2 U2 emitter seems to be perfectly centered at the bottom of the reflector cup on my sample.
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    The battery tube has a plain cylindrical tube design and accommodates either 2xCR123A's or Li-ion 18650 cells. Battery tube is wide and long enough to accommodate wider and longer protected 18650 cells. The diamond-shape knurling is present over body tube. Knurling is aggressive on the body tube. When combined all the other grip elements (e.g., pocket clip, grip ring, etc.), overall grip is very good.
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    Threads are well machined square cut, but not anodized at end of the body tube and tailcap. So tailcap lock-out is not available. The threads of my review sample were quite dry. I applied a very light coat of lube on the threads. Threads mate well with the tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding. You can see the dual layer body, and Fenix says it gives you more durability and conductivity. The wall thickness of the battery tube is very thick (2.9mm).
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    The TK16 tailcap is distinguishable from others. The distinctive part of the light is the dual switch control in the tailcap. The main on-off switch is the larger, circular one which is forward clicky switch, typical feel. The smaller one is an electronic mode-changing switch that is slightly less firmer feel than main switch, but definite click on activation. Both are easy to access one-handed by the thumb, in an over hand grip. Light cannot tailstand as the raised area for the lanyard attachment is quite small. But this allows you to access the tail switches easily.
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    User Interface

    Press the large forward clicky switch for on-off (press for momentary, click for locked-on).

    Change modes by pressing the smaller electronic switch. Mode sequence is Turbo -> Low –> Med. –> High, in a repeating loop. Press and hold the mode-changing switch for one second to activate Strobe. Click again to return to constant output mode. 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).

    Note that Strobe can be activated directly from "off" by pressing the smaller switch. So I assume a standby current must be present when the tailcap is fully tightened.
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    Standby Current Drain

    The electronic switch on the TK16 activates Strobe at any time (i.e., even when the light is turned off at the main switch). This means there is a standby current when the light is fully connected. But actually there's no standby current in the TK16, given the extra current path between the battery tube and tailcap. The light doesn't use PWM, but uses constant current circuit. When the light is off, the main switch cuts off the current, but pressing the electronic switch makes current. If you don't press it, there is no current. This seems fairly good design for the body and tailcap.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650 (2600mAh) protected, Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2), Klarus XTQ1 (XM-L2 U2), Olight M20-X (XM-L2), Jetbeam 3M Pro (XP-L), Lumintop TD16 (XM-L2 T6).
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    From left to right, Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2), Klarus XTQ1 (XM-L2 U2), Olight M20-X (XM-L2), Jetbeam 3M Pro (XP-L).
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    The clip is head-facing, and not reversible. You'll need to temporarily remove the o-ring to get the grip ring on or vice versa. The bundled grip ring is made of metal. The battery tube has a notch on the end where the removable clip can be attached.
    The clip is a titanium-coated stainless steel. The pocket clip and grip ring also have an anti-roll feature.
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    The light comes with a basic nylon holster with a velcro strap on the head. The light fits in the holster either head-up or head-down.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight

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    The entire light's very compact & nice design makes it feel very comfortable when held in hand. The wall thickness of the body is thick (2.9mm), and the light feel solid. It is good size to hold and use. Overall build quality is excellent.
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    PWM


    No sign of PWM at any level of the light, leading me to conclude the light is actually current-controlled as claimed. I notice there is no buzzing sound at all output levels.
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    Runtime



    The TK16 steps down on Turbo to High after about 21 mins runtime. This is a timed drop-down considering the battery depletion to avoid overheating the light. As with the other Fenix lights, the regulation pattern and runtime efficiency of the current controlled circuit seems excellent.

    The above runtime labelled as "Turbo (Accumulated) is an accumulated runtime for Turbo output (i.e., the light steps down on Turbo to High after about 21 minutes, and can go back to Turbo by clicking the secondary switch or turning the light off-on with the main switch). Regulation is maintained very nicely through Turbo mode on 1x18650 battery.

    On High level, the light maintains perfectly flat regulation for an extended period, before dropping to Low.

    On all levels, when the battery is low, the light steps down to Low. This automatic step-down feature is a very good idea, in my view. Many fully regulated lights abruptly shut off without warning, once the battery protection circuit is tripped. This may leave you stumbling in the dark. I prefer this fully-regulated step-down design.
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    The light is a heavily driven light for this class. Compared to the other 1x18650 class light, the TK16 shows the awesome efficiency and output.
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door) on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - 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 has a middle sized bright hot spot. The hotspot is well focused. A soft corona surrounding the hotspot is slightly yellow. The spill beam width is wider than others. Beam pattern is good, free from noticeable artifact. The overall beam tint is typical cool white on my sample.
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    2. 7.0m Indoor Beamshot on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1/10sec, Auto white balance

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    3. 55m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

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    4. 85m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

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    Beam pattern is good, with a wider spill beam. The TK16 has good throw for the class, given the size of the head.
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    Overall Impressions

    • Build quality is excellent
    • Dual switch tailcap interface
    • Dual layer body design
    • No standby current drain due to the secondary tailcap switch
    • Anti-roll indentations on the body
    • The light can't tailstand
    • Electrical reverse polarity protection function
    • Mode memory for constant outputs (except Strobe)
    • True flat-top batteries work fine
    • Timed step-down feature on Turbo
    • Output-runtime efficiency is excellent
    • Max. output (Turbo) is very high
    • True Moonlight mode is not available
    • No sign of PWM flickers at any output modes
    • Tailcap lock-out is not available
    • Beam pattern is good, with a reasonably wide spill beam
    • The overall tint is typical cool white


    Fenix TK16 provided by Fenix for review.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 08-25-2015 at 05:03 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the review

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* WarRaven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Great read CandleLamp!
    Nice light from Fenix as usual.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the review! This is one of those lights I want just based on looks; I really like it. Performance looks good too.
    GOOD TINT!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* akhyar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the comprehensive review

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Well done!

    You describe how the Fenix TK16 drops to low when batteries run low. Does it also have a low-voltage cutoff, or does it depend on the user or the battery for that?

    As an example of what I mean, the Zebralight SC62w has both. It drops to med and low as batteries wane, and it also cuts off completely when battery voltage dips below 2.7v.

    Thanks in advance.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for all of your support!


    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Well done!

    You describe how the Fenix TK16 drops to low when batteries run low. Does it also have a low-voltage cutoff, or does it depend on the user or the battery for that?

    As an example of what I mean, the Zebralight SC62w has both. It drops to med and low as batteries wane, and it also cuts off completely when battery voltage dips below 2.7v.

    Thanks in advance.
    There is a below explanation given in the manual :
    Low-voltage Warning Function : When the voltage level drops below the preset level, the flashlight is programmed to downshift to a lower brightness level. When this happens in Low output mode, the flashlight blinks three times every five minutes to remind you to replace the battery. To ensure normal use, the flashlight will not turn off automatically and will work until the batteries run out completely.

    So there's no cut-off option (or overdischarge protection fuction) in the light. You need to change or charge the battery when the light blinks three times every five mins.

  8. #8
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Fantastic review as always,thank you candle lamp Just when i think i have enough single 18650 lights.......!


    Make an excellent work light being tough, looks compact too which is a bonus. One of my fav brands..........

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks. ven! I like the compact and sturdy 1x18650 light. That's exactly big bonus.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you Candle Lamp! Awesome review!! (of many I just posted a question in the forums as I'm definitely looking at this light for my next buy. Am comparing it with an Eagletac G25, Olight M22 and perhaps a Klarus XT15. If you have any such lights, do you think the 14K Lux vs. the 20K or so Lux will make a big difference? I like everything about the TK16 except I wish it had just a bit more LUX for throw.

    Many thanks,
    RC

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by RCLumens View Post
    I like everything about the TK16 except I wish it had just a bit more LUX for throw.
    It has to be only a matter of time until Fenix gets into the XP-L HI game
    GOOD TINT!

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by RCLumens View Post
    Thank you Candle Lamp! Awesome review!! (of many I just posted a question in the forums as I'm definitely looking at this light for my next buy. Am comparing it with an Eagletac G25, Olight M22 and perhaps a Klarus XT15. If you have any such lights, do you think the 14K Lux vs. the 20K or so Lux will make a big difference? I like everything about the TK16 except I wish it had just a bit more LUX for throw.

    Many thanks,
    RC
    Thanks. RCLumens! The peak beam distance between 14K and 20K is about 50m numerically. As you know, this difference is mainly from head width, reflector depth, emitter type and output. It seems to distinguish the difference clearly in real life. I thinks the TK16 has reasonably good throw, given the head size in 1x18650 class as well.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you (again!) Candle lamp! Sounds good - If you have any info in comparison to XPL, feel free to pm me so that this forum remains TK 16 focused. I can say that I'm leaning toward the TK 16, but am torn for wanting that extra 50 meters or so...

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    There is a below explanation given in the manual:

    Low-voltage Warning Function : When the voltage level drops below the preset level, the flashlight is programmed to downshift to a lower brightness level. When this happens in Low output mode, the flashlight blinks three times every five minutes to remind you to replace the battery. To ensure normal use, the flashlight will not turn off automatically and will work until the batteries run out completely.

    So there's no cut-off option (or over-discharge protection function) in the light. You need to change or charge the battery when the light blinks three times every five minutes.
    Thanks for the info!

    For a nervous Nellie like me, that means putting a protected battery in this puppy. On the other hand, someone stuck in the dark with an unprotected battery could go ahead and run on low until the battery died. Recharging might then be ill-advised, but if killing a battery is what it took to get home safely, that would be a small price to pay.

    Of late, I have become interested in whether my Li-ion flashlights have low-voltage cutoff (a.k.a. over-discharge protection). I'd like to see it discussed in all reviews.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Thanks for the info!

    For a nervous Nellie like me, that means putting a protected battery in this puppy. On the other hand, someone stuck in the dark with an unprotected battery could go ahead and run on low until the battery died. Recharging might then be ill-advised, but if killing a battery is what it took to get home safely, that would be a small price to pay.

    Of late, I have become interested in whether my Li-ion flashlights have low-voltage cutoff (a.k.a. over-discharge protection). I'd like to see it discussed in all reviews.
    You're welcome. KeepingItLight!

    As shown in the runtime graph above, there is plenty of time (min. 30 mins) until the light on Low mode start to blink three times every five mins. It means you could save or change the cell even if you used an unprotected 18650. I agree overdischarge protection cut-off in the light is of course useful and convenient function, specially for those who are not used to (unprotected) Li-ion cells.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by RCLumens View Post
    Thank you (again!) Candle lamp! Sounds good - If you have any info in comparison to XPL, feel free to pm me so that this forum remains TK 16 focused. I can say that I'm leaning toward the TK 16, but am torn for wanting that extra 50 meters or so...
    My pleasure. RCLumens!

    Actually, XP-L HD (High Density) isn't much different from the XM-L2 in throw distance. The new XP-L HI (High Intensity) will give you more peak beam distance with a relatively good size of the head, instead you will get much less spil.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic LeafSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Great review candle lamp!.You are one of my favourite reviewers at the moment along with selfbuilt. I have bought two lights based on your reviews, the Fenix PD35 TAC and the Olight S30R II. Might need to add this to my collection now haha.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by LeafSamurai View Post
    Great review candle lamp!.You are one of my favourite reviewers at the moment along with selfbuilt. I have bought two lights based on your reviews, the Fenix PD35 TAC and the Olight S30R II. Might need to add this to my collection now haha.
    I'm afraid I hardly deserve such high praise. Much appreciate you saying so. I hope you like all of them.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    The TK16 looks like a really well designed light. Too bad it has memory: it works well with some people but not all, including me. I would have much preferred to have the option to enable/disable the last-mode memory feature.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic LeafSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    I'm afraid I hardly deserve such high praise. Much appreciate you saying so. I hope you like all of them.
    Am enjoying the PD35 TAC and Olight S30RII so far. Great recommendations bro.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the review. I just purchased one today...on sale for $79.95 but found one in their clearance center for $62 -- new in box with all accessories! Looking forward to putting it to use.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Nice review

    Your review of the PD32 UE is ultimately why I picked it The building beamshots helped

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by radiopej View Post
    Nice review

    Your review of the PD32 UE is ultimately why I picked it The building beamshots helped
    Thanks for your support. radiopej!

    Those beamshots are important part of my review and omitting them leave it dull and flat.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    i want fast access to max and min

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you for the review and I now have a better introduction to Fenix lights.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Kid9P's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    That is one badass review Sir, well done !

    I ordered a Tk16, waiting on it.

    I kind of wish I had snagged a Jetbeam M III Pro when they were available....killer throw on that bad boy.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you for the nice review. I am going to upgrade from TK 11 to TK 16 soon.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Great review! How well do you think this light would hold up on a rifle? Thanks for any input on this.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix TK16 (XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by cannedheat3000 View Post
    Great review! How well do you think this light would hold up on a rifle? Thanks for any input on this.
    You will be able to mount the light on your gun with a rail-mount and remote switch cable entering the tailcap.

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