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Fenix TK16 Review

Posted by Best Light on

The TK16 is one of Fenix's latest TK Series light and the first of its kind for them with its dual tail-switch featuring instant access to Strobe. This feature is very useful for self defense situations when needing to disorientate your target is a must. This application would be well suited for Law Enforcement and Security Officers but would also be a great light to keep at your night stand to use for any situation that may arise.

Fenix TK16

 

Manufacturer Specs/Features

  • 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’’x1’’x1.3’’)
  • 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
Fenix TK16 Turbo High Mid Low
Output 1000Lm 400Lm 150Lm 10Lm
186503.4Ah 1h 10min 3h 25min 10h 150h

 

Fenxi TK16 LED and amazing reflector

Fenix TK16 and box

Picture of the contents of the TK16 box #1
Picture of the contents of the TK16 box #2 

Accessories/Body

Fenix TK16 and holster

The TK16 includes a holster, lanyard, spare O-rings, manual, warranty card, and a brochure of a few of their other lights. The holster has a slim design making it more comfortable to carry around while still being very well made to handle any wear and tear. The fastening loop does require you to feed your belt through it to secure it to oneself though. The TK16 is held in place with a Velcro strap securing it inside the holster. This is my first time reviewing a Fenix light so I'm not sure if this is common on their other lights but the TK16's tactical ring actually screws onto the body which is a first that I've ever seen. With that said though, the exposed thread would look out of place if you chose to remove the ring and it's actually a bit of an annoyance to remove because you need to remove the O-ring first which I tried to be careful not to stretch it any more than needed. All in all, it'd be best to keep the tactical ring on and in reality it isn't a bother at all when operating the TK16 and actually helps provide a better grip on the light.

Fenix TK16 tail cap, clip, and tactical ring

The light features a snap-on clip so there's no 100% guarantee that it'll stay securely in place, but out of all the lights with snap-on clips that I've come across this has been the toughest clip to pry off. Also, the arms of the clip does reach further around the TK16 vs others which certainly accounts for the difficulty I had getting it off. Considering that Fenix designed the tactical ring as a more permanent feature, I would have liked to see it designed so that it secures the clip in place preventing it from coming off. The TK16 is definitely smaller than it seems in the pictures and is practically the same length as Fenix's PD35 with just a little larger head. Because of the larger head though you'll get better throw than that of the PD35 while still very useful for close quarters applications. The switches on the tailcap are very easy to distinguish without looking and I can't see wearing gloves limiting the operation of the TK16. The anodizing is flawless and the knurling on the TK16 provides a smooth grip to hold onto. And last, this light features a spring on the positive and negativeexpected end of the battery compartment and is designed to withstand the quick jerks when mounted on a weapon.

Emitter

XM-L2 U2 LED in the Fenix TK16

Fenix's TK16 uses an XM-L2 U2 behind a beautiful anti-reflective coating lens. It is a Cool White tint but hardly noticeable and not bothersome at all but a Neutral White tint would have been much more appreciated. You can see that the hotspot is much larger than that on the Nitecore P25 and is actually pretty similar in size to the MH12 that I reviewed a while back (please ignore the different exposure settings). The larger hotspot is definitely more useful for quickly identifying targets indoors and out. The bright spill is also very helpful since you can see that the TK16 lights up the surroundings better than the P25. Based off my testing below, the P25 does have a more intense hotspot but as you can see in those photos, sometimes it's not about which light has the most throw, especially if there's multiple targets.

Intensity Measurements:
Model Claimed Intensity Calculated Intensity Claimed Throw Calculated Throw
TK16 14,480cd 14,857cd 240m 244m
Nitecore P25 20,000cd 18,750cd 283m 274m
Nitecore MH12 13,500cd 10,265cd 232m 203m
Eagle Eye X6 SE N/A 20,664cd N/A 287m

I'm actually really happy to get the same results as Fenix claims since I haven't quite had similar results on many of the other brands I've tested. As you can see, the TK16 falls perfectly in between the throw of the MH12 and the P25. In all honestly I find this light the perfect middle ground between flood and throw.

User Interface

Fenix TK16 tail cap buttons

The main circular tail-switch controls Momentary/On & Off while the oval shaped switch that's more off to the side controls the modes along with the instant access to Strobe (when off). When On, press the mode switch to cycle through the modes from Low, Med, High, Turbo, repeat and the TK16 does have mode memory. Also from On, hold the mode switch for a full second to get into Strobe mode and a short press of the mode switch will put it back at its previous output. The TK16 will not memorize strobe mode after turning off the light and will go back to its last memorized output when turned back on. When Off, holding the mode switch will instantly put you into Strobe but will only stay activated as long as you hold the button. Pretty simple setup honestly which is really what is needed for tactical/defensive situations. Although sold separately, they do make a specially designed pressure switch to use in conjunction when mounted to a rifle which features two switches giving you the same exact User Interface.

Fenix TK16 remote tactical switch for weapon mounting

Batteries

Looking at the manual, the TK16 gives you a variety of usable and non-usable batteries in relation to this light which is nice to see andprevents people from taking chances on unknown batteries. It recommends using their brand of Fenix 18650 batteries but any good quality 18650 battery will work just fine in this light with no problems. Besides being rechargeable, I do suggest using the 18650 battery because of its superior performance and runtime vs CR123A and RCR123A batteries. If the TK16 will get very very little use each month or is more for a bug-out bag, CR123A batteries may be preferred because of their 10 year shelf life. RCR123A batteries are ultimately pointless in this light honestly and will get a little less than half the runtime of a 3400mAh 18650 battery. Since there is no anodizing on the threads, it'll be impossible to physical lock-out the light to prevent it from accidentally turning on in a bag.

Here are my runtime results of the TK16 on Turbo under a cooling fan using a KeepPower 2800mAh battery:

Fenix TK16 runtime

This was my first runtime using a cooling fan so I was hoping to get the similar results of 70 minutes that Fenix got but right around the 20 minute mark is when it dropped to ~50% output which is the reason I ended up getting 123 minutes runtime. I guess the cooling fan wasn't enough to keep the internal temperature down which I'm honestly unsure if it's thermally regulated or not. The TK16 does claim "Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness" but obviously this isn't the case for Turbo with its constant decline in output for the first 20 minutes and it isn't until it drops to the said 50% output that it maintains a constant output until the battery is dead. I do believe the 3 lower modes would maintain a constant output though.

Personal comments

Typically I'd comment how this light doesn't have a moonlight mode which is a feature I prefer on most of my lights but for what Fenix's TK16 is designed for, a moonlight mode isn't needed and the 10 lumens it does have is more than low enough of a brightness for this light. Plus the 150 hours of runtime on low is more than enough to get you through a few weeks if the power happened to go out. Of course the TK16 won't tail stand with it's proud buttons on the tail cap but being able to find the buttons quickly and easily is a much more important feature to have when your brain may be focused on more important matters in front of you. All in all this is an excellent light that feels very well built so you can feel rest assured that it won't let you down in any situation. Overall rating: 4.6/5

Additional pictures and beamshots can be found here in the album. If you have any comments or questions be sure to chime in on the Reddit thread for this review. Thanks for reading!

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  • Thank you for posting this article, I thought it was very thorough and informative. I’ve been contemplating between the tk16 and the PD35 Tac for the perfect balance of throw and flood.
    Keep up the good work!

    John on

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