Fenix TK12 LED Flashlight Review

fenix tk12
Editor rating
+ 9/10 All around amazing gear
+ Great throw on max
+ Smooth beam
+ Waterproof
+ Durable construction
+ Good runtime
– Not easy to switch light levels

Length: 13.7 cm (5.4 inches)
Bezel diameter: 3.4 cm (1.33 inches)
Body diameter: 2.5 cm (0.98 inches)
Weight (without batteries): 119g (4.2oz)


First of all, many thanks to Vitus, an acquaintance of mine, for kindly allowing me to use this torch for a week. I have to stress that I could not subject a brand new torch belonging to someone else to very rigorous testing, but I was able to gain some useful impressions.

fenix tk12 review

Fenix TK12

The torch retails at about €75 and comes with some useful accessories such as a strong holster, a lanyard, a glow in the dark cap and a couple of spare o-rings. The torch itself is made from aircraft grade aluminum, and has a clip and a tactical ring near the tail. You can remove the clip but not the grip ring. It runs on 2 x CR123A batteries or 1 x best 18650 battery rechargeable cell.

Fenix TK12

The Fenix TK12 is very compact (see dimensions above). In fact, it is a little shorter than most 2 x AA flashlights, which are considerably less powerful. The torch feels good in the hand, but I would have preferred to remove the grip ring. The TK12 has a very solid feel to it and looks like it can take a lot of punishment. It also has very smooth-fitting parts, and the o-rings are thicker than those on other torches I have. There is also a locking function to prevent the torch switching on, for example when it’s in your bag. In addition, it also comes with a temporary activation switch to provide a short burst of light. The TK12 also memorises the last light level used.

The torch is said to be waterproof to IPX-8 standard. I can only find vague statements about this online, but all of them agree that this standard has to more than fulfil the standards of IPX-7. This means it has to withstand submersion at a water depth of more than one metre for more than 30 minutes. Fenix says that is submersible to two metres.


The TK12 allegedly has the following outputs and runtime:

  • Outdoor mode: 42 lumens for 20 hours and 245 lumens for 2.75 hours
  • Camping mode: 8 lumens for 98 hours and 95 lumens for 9.5 hours
  • Police mode: 250 lumens strobe or 245 lumens for 2.75 Std.

On maximum the light is said to light for a distance of 179 metres.

According to the Fenix website, all the above figures were achieved in the laboratory with high-quality CR123A batteries.

For my runtime test I used a fully charged 18650 2600mAh from Ultrafire. I switched the torch on max and waited until the light was no longer usable. I have no way of measuring the lumens, but can confirm that the light was extremely bright for the first two hours, after which it started to noticeably lose power. Even after 3 hours it was easily able to light more than 20 metres away. It stopped producing light worth its name after three and a half hours. This for me is a very creditable runtime.


In tests outside, I just went to completely unlit fields on a very rainy evening and switched the TK12 on max – and watched night turn into day – at least for a distance of more than 40 metres. It had a smooth wide beam, thus lighting a big area.

The throw was much longer, of course, but nowhere near the advertised 179 metres. Then again, I wasn’t in the lab with the batteries of my choosing. It certainly lit more than 100 metres, which is very good under such conditions.

I also tested medium and also found it very good for 50 metres. In fact, this is probably the most useful mode, unless you live on a country estate and are looking for your cat every night.


The most frustrating aspect of the light, both indoors and out, is switching between the different modes and light levels on offer.

To cycle through the different modes with the tk12 (there are 3 modes each with 2 different light outputs as described above) you have to quickly turn the torch on and off twice, and then twist the torch on and off to get the different light outputs. This is very long-winded. It has to be said, however, that some users would like all these different modes.


I said at the start that I can only judge this torch based on one week’s use so here are my initial impressions. With its tough body, great lighting distance and alleged waterproof capability, the TK12 is predestined for outdoor use. The fittings are also excellent and I liked the momentary activation and lock-out functions. However, I am not too keen on the difficulty in switching between modes and light levels. I also don’t like the fact that it has so many levels, but other users might see this as a strength rather than a weakness.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Guitar Strings

The right guitar strings – what can be more fundamental to your sound? But what makes the good acoustic guitar string for your instrument and your style of music? Can you buy strings safely in bulk? What are the qualities you might look for in a beginner guitarist’s strings or those used by a professional? This page will tell you what to look out for and what the pitfalls can be.

Whether you are looking for acoustic guitar strings, electric guitar strings, bass guitar strings or simply wondering what makes all these brands so different, please read on. I have a few trade secrets to tell!

What type of Guitar do you play?

This might seem like a silly thing to say, but people can and do buy the wrong guitar strings for themselves and for their guitars. The results can be disastrous for fingers and for instruments. So, first of all, what is your guitar like?

If your guitar is a plain wooden guitar with half nylon and half wound strings, you will need classical guitar strings – you must not use steel strings as this will break the instrument over time!

If you play an acoustic guitar ( click here to find out best acoustic guitar under 500 for beginners) you can choose between phosphor bronze and nickel steel sets. The acoustic “steel strung” guitar usually sounds better with phosphor bronze sets, but electric guitar sets will substitute in a crisis.

Phosphor bronze strings don’t work so well with pickups though, so stick to electric guitar strings for electric guitars!

If you have a bass guitar, check whether you need 4, 5 or even 6 strings. Most beginner basses are set up for 4 strings, but 5 strings are becoming more and more popular and many pros ( like Abe Laboriel) will use 6 string basses.

Getting a Good Acoustic Sounds

Actually, the term acoustic guitar is a pet hate. All musical instruments and guitars are acoustic! However the term usually means folk or country style guitar with metal strings. These are usually referred to as “steel strung” but usually only the two thinnest strings are actually steel. The others will be either copper brass or phosphor bronze wound strings.

What determines the sound quality is the string gauge. Heavier gauge strings have more metal mass to vibrate and give a bigger warmer sound but they are much harder to play and more suitable for the experienced guitarist. Many acoustic players compromise by using heavy strings, downtuning and using a capo. This lowers the action and the string tension, but gives the heavier mass for that deeper sound.

Never Cripple your Classical Guitar with steel strings!

I have seen it so many times in my career, advised about it so often, seen this advice ignored by boys (usually) who know best and then blame the instrument when it warps. Classical guitars are built for lightness and resonance, not strength. the woods used give them a naturally warm and full sound that some guys just don’t like. They are built for a wide range of sounds, effects, and solo playing. Folk guitars are massively reinforced. For that reason they don’t resonate as much but do produce that lovely jangly, tinkly sound that is so good for accompanying songs. They have a very small dynamic range which can be enhanced only with amplification and graphic equalisers. The pull of steel strings will bow the neck and body of a classical guitar quickly and permanently and make it unplayable.

If you want a tinkling acoustic, buy a folk guitar!

Bulk Buying Guitar Strings – Is it a risk or a necessity?

Most session players change their strings whenever they have a recording. It keep the sound bright and clean. It used to be that strings would rust in the packet if you kept them too long, but these days most good quality strings are packaged airtight and bulk buying should be fine. Obviously it saves money, but unless you go through a lot of strings it might be wiser just to buy a few spares in case of breakages. I usually keep a few D strings on hand for the classical guitar as they wear quickly. On the electric, I might keep a few spare 009s and 010s, but as I rarely break a string they mostly go to students. If you are breaking a lot of strings it is usually down to poor tuning, poor plectrum grip or poor string cleaning. It is worth checking all of these.

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