Fenix TK22 TAC

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Fenix TK22 Tac review: tactical flashlight test

Fenix TK22 Tac specifications

Brand/modelFenix TK22 TAC
LEDLuminus SFT70
Max. Lumens2800 lm
Max. Beam intensity / distance74,000 cd
Battery config.1*21700
Onboard chargingNo, but battery has USB-C charging
Modes5
BlinkiesStrobe
ReflectorSmooth
WaterproofIP68
Review dateAugust 2022

Introduction:

Fenix has a large line-up of tactical flashlights, and each year, they add several new ones. Today, I am reviewing the TK22 Tac, which almost looks like an upgrade of the Fenix Tk22 v2.0 I reviewed back in 2019.

But if you know Fenix, they have several use cases in mind even within a specific lineup. You can see that happening with the PD35, and PD35 Tac, PD36R, and the PD36 Tac. And now we have the TK22, and TK22 Tac. So I don’t see this as a direct successor but as an additional light in the TK22 lineup. And truth needs to be said, this is considered a real tactical flashlight, unlike all the crappy flashlights found on eBay or Amazon, that use the name Tactical to sound fancy.

Fenix is a pretty popular brand, even among non-flashoholics. They can be brought in many countries (if not all) around the world, so you should be able to get one at your local dealer.

Package quality.

The Tk22 Tac arrived in a pretty standard, retail-friendly package, with an orange hangtag. And this is what you can expect to get:

  • The flashlight: Fenix TK22 Tac
  • Holster
  • Pocket clip (pre-attached)
  • 21700 battery with USB-C port
  • USB-C charging cable
  • O-ring
  • Papers: warranty card, manual, flyer

Flashlight in use

Fenix isn’t some kind of static company, adding an upgraded flashlight because there is a new LED on the market. No, they also try out new features, like the toggle/push switch used on the TK22 TAC. I first encountered this type on the TK11 TAC and quite like the idea. You can single-handedly use the flashlight, so that’s a big pro. It’s relatively easy to toggle between Tactical mode, and Duty mode with just a turn on the knob.

The main push-button switch isn’t your average clicky switch, but a 2 stage switch that doesn’t have a click sound. You can feel some resistance about halfway through the push, and if you press through that resistance, the light is turned on constantly.

Fenix calls it a military and duty flashlight, and the user interface fits that exactly.

The body has the typical Fenix reeding (and not the traditional knurling found with other brands), while the head has no texture/knurling except for some small flat parts. These flat parts help to keep the light from rolling off a table. And if these flat parts don’t help, the removable pocket clip will surely do. This makes the light relatively grippy without having any sharp edges or machining.

You can clip the TK22 TAC to your pockets with the attached clip, but you can also use the included holster if that’s more of your thing. Unfortunately, there is no lanyard included, but the pocket clip has a small hole that you can use to attach a lanyard to if you prefer that way of carrying.

Build Quality, and Warranty

Fenix has been in business in business long enough to know that quality matters. And the TK22 TAC is built very well, just like all other tactical Fenix lights we reviewed.

Threads on the tail side came lightly lubricated, and work very smoothly. And that’s the only thing (besides the pocket clip) that is removable because everything is glued. That has its pros and cons, but from a large business’ perspective totally understandable. These are not built for flashlight nerds like us, flashoholics, to open up and play with, but rather for professionals that need to work with them on a daily basis and count on them.

I admit that I’m not a big fan of their anodization, because although made of high quality, doesn’t look as good as other brands (Jetbeam for example).

If you’re on the look for a high quality flashlight that you can count on, I would stop reading Amazon reviews, and eBay listings. Unless you know the brands/flashlights for sale, most of them that are called tactical, aren’t really tactical. And although Fenix flashlights aren’t particularly cheap, you can definitely count on them.

And if they somehow break, you are probably covered by their Warranty policy.

Warranty? If you buy them from Fenix Lighting US:

Fenix Lighting US, guarantees all Fenix products purchased from retailers to be made of first-class materials and therefore provides a lifetime warranty against any defects in material and workmanship. Excluded from warranty coverage is any damage to the exterior deemed reasonable wear and tear such as scratches and/or fading of color. In addition, the warranty does not apply to damage caused by abnormal or unreasonable use of any of the components. This includes use of unapproved batteries in Fenix products.

This warranty is in place of all other warranties, including warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and warranty of merchantability and excludes any liability for incidental or consequential damages. If your Fenix product has a manufacturer’s defect covered by our warranty, we will either repair or replace it, at our option, without charge. Most damaged Fenix products not covered by the warranty can still be repaired. If repair costs and handling charges apply, you will be notified prior to any service. All warranty repairs or replacements are at the sole discretion of the Fenix Lighting US Authorized Repair Center and we reserve the right to refuse a request.

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

While some bigger brands ignore sharing the name of type of LED, Fenix doesn’t. They openly admit the type of LED used in this model, namely the Luminus SFT70. This particular one is a cool white version.

The SFT70 is a 6V / 12V LED, so they need to boost the voltage in order to power it up.

The LED sits in a deep and smooth reflector, protected by a glass lens with AR coating. The bezel has some kind of crenulation, but they aren’t sharp or anything.

I used the Opple Light Master III to measure the LED’s characteristics. I measured them in Low and in Turbo. Low mode at a distance of about 70cm, and Turbo from about 2 meters. Remember that these are not exact numbers, and should be taken as an ‘average’.

Low mode:

  • CCT: 5651K
  • CRI Ra: 64.2

Turbo mode

CCT: 6324K
CRI Ra: 70.2

It’s a little strange to see a difference of the Ra measurement, because 64 and 70 is quite a difference, but it’s enough to tell these are not high CRI emitters.

The beam isn’t very pretty to look at, and that’s not the reason for buying this flashlight anyway. Because of the smooth reflector, and the type of LED, you can see some artefects in the beam.

Dimensions and size comparison

Dimensions: 

Fenix TK22 TAC dimensionsMillimetersInches
Length154 mm6.06
Head diameter40.1mm1.58 “
Body diameter26mm1.023″

Weight

Fenix TK22 TAC weightWeight in gramsWeight in Oz.
Without battery:155.3 grams5.49 oz
With battery227.9 grams8.04 oz.

Tactical Flashlight comparison

Size compared to other great tactical flashlights with a little larger heads: Armytek Predator PRO, Nitecore MH25S, Fenix TK22, Fenix TK22 TAC, Olight Warrior X3

Group 2: from left to right: Armytek Predator PRO, Nitecore MH25S, Fenix TK22, Fenix TK22 TAC, Olight Warrior X3, Olight Warrior 3S, and Fenix PD36R

Group 3: Fenix TK22 v2 vs Fenix TK22 TAC

Driver & User Interface:

The light features a rotary switch and a traditional push button switch. The rotary switch has 3 positions: Tactical Mode, Lockout, and Duty Mode. Duty Mode has 4 modes (plus a hidden Strobe), and Tactical Mode has a single Turbo mode, with the a hidden strobe activated by pressing and holding the button for more than 1 second. 

The middle setting on the rotary switch is the lockout. If you lightly tap the switch, it works in momentary mode, but a firmer press activates continuous mode.

Modes:

DUTY MODE:

  • Eco, Low, Medium, High.

TACTICAL MODE:

  • Turbo, Strobe.

From OFF (Duty Mode):

  • Press half and hold (1st stage): Momentary On in whatever mode it is
  • Half pressing: change modes
  • Full press/click (2nd stage): activates Eco, Low, Medium, or High
  • Double click: N/A

From OFF (Tactical Mode):

  • Press half and hold (1st stage): Momentary on
  • Full press/click (2nd stage) short: Turbo
  • Full press (2nd stage) long: strobe

From ON (Duty Mode):

  • Tapping: change modes: Eco, Low, Medium, and High
  • Press and hold for 1 sec+: Activates strobe

From ON (Tactical Mode):

  • Press half and hold (1st stage): Momentary Turbo.
  • Single full click (short): Turbo
  • Single full click (long): Strobe

Mode memory:

  • Yes, it has mode memory

Low voltage warning:

  • Yes. The output will drop to a preset level until it reaches Eco Mode where the light blinks 3 times every 5 minutes until the light turns off. Please note that this only works when using Fenix-branded batteries!

Strobe/blinkies

  • Yes, both accessible in Tactical and Duty menu

Lock-out mode: 

  • Turn the rotary selector to Lockout Mode or unscrew the tailcap ⅛ turn to lock out.

PWM

  • Yes. But not really visible

Batteries & Charging

Fenix included an ARB-L21-5000U battery. This is a 21700 type USB-C rechargeable battery. This means that it’s too long for 99% of the battery chargers on the market, but the good thing is that you don’t need one, because you can use the built-in charger. Fenix added a USB-C charging cable in the package..

It also has protection to prevent short circuits or overcharging / over-discharging.

The nipple on the positive side of the battery has a little hole in the center. You can see a tiny red light inside the hole while charging, which turns blue when it’s fully charged.

The charge speed I measured went up to about 1.4A, but it starts and finishes at a lower charge current.

18650 batteries won’t fit without a proper adapter. They will rattle and not make contact, and unprotected, flat top 21700 batteries do not fit!!!

Performance test

Lumen measurements:

All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.

Tested with a Fenix 21700 ARB-L21-5000U

ModeSpecsLumens at turn onLumens @ 30 secLumens @ 10min
Eco3032 lm34
Low150157 lm156149
Medium350365 lm364360
High1000995 lm990954
Turbo (Tactical)28002742 lm2234 lm786 lm
Turbo at 3.8V1936 lm

I also tested to see if the light will run in Turbo mode, when the battery is down to 3.8V, and it worked.

Fenix TK22 TAC Battery life and runtime graphs

The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.

ModeSpecified runtimeMeasured runtime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
Eco49h30minnot testednot tested
Low18h30min29h56min30h10min+
Med8h10min8h21min11h21min
High4h3h00min6h27min+
Turbo*3h2h42min7h45min

*I let Turbo run till it turned off. After the ANSI FL1 runtime (at 2h42min, the light dropped to 135 lumens and stayed there for quite some time. At that point it’s wise to change batteries. BTW Turbo mode is only available in the Tactical mode group.

The runtimes don’t really match up with the specs. Turbo and High are running shorter than the offical ANSI FL1 runtime specs, while Medium and especially Low run much longer than specs. But they kept running for many more hours, as you can see in the last column. Very good performance.

ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turn on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light kept running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.

Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

Measurements were taken indoors with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter, at 5 meters, 30 seconds after turn on.

ModeSpecsCandela measuredin metersDistance in yards
Eco7601,0256470
Low3,5603,975126138
Med8,85011,425214234
High24,80031,000352385
Turbo74,000 cd72,250 cd538 meters588 yards
Turbo (at turn on)74,00089,250597653

My measurements were higher for all modes, except Turbo. Turbo (after 30 seconds) was just below spec.

Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters and yards at which the flashlight produce a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).

21700 tactical flashlight comparison

Single 21700 tactical flashlights measured: These numbers are NOT from the specifications but measured by our team.

FlashlightBatteryMax Output (lm)@30sec (lm)Candela (cd)Distance (m)
Acebeam L18Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A 12491051215,500928
Acebeam L19Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A 13781242430,3001312
Acebeam L35Acebeam 5100 mAh6189560957,000477
Brinyte T18Brinyte 5000 556144,200759
Cyanksy K3Cyansky BL12150U145695,100617
Cyanksy P25Cyansky 50004236330011,275212
Fenix PD36 TacFenix ARB-L21-5000U 2590207918,675273
Fenix TK16 v2Fenix ARB-L21-5000U 2657222240,900404
Fenix TK22 TACFenix ARB-L21-5000U2742223472,250538
Fenix TK22 v2Fenix ARB-L211622159253,000460
Jetbeam PC20Samsung 40T180013,900236
Nitecore MH12SNitecore NL2150 177030,400349
Nitecore MH25SNitecore NL21501979185068,400523
Nitecore P10iXNitecore NL2150HPi 42235668,700187
Nitecore P20iNitecore NL2140i 169036,000379
Nitecore P20i UVNitecore NL2140i1785169929,400343
Nitecore P20iXNitecore NL2150HPi 4119134216,000253
Olight Warrior 3 Olight ORB-217C50 2598242825,500319
Olight Warrior M2R PROOlight ORB-217C50 2088198528,000335
Olight OdinOlight ORB-217C50 1999188425,750321
Olight Warrior X ProOlight ORB-217C50 2334101,000636

Interactive runtime graph

Below are interactive comparison graphs of some of these tactical lights. Hover your mouse to see more details. If you use a mobile device, hold your phone horizontally.

In the following graph, we zoomed in to show the differences better. It shows a better picture of these lights within the first 10 minutes after turn on.

Beamshots

For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec , F4, 5000K

The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards distant, and the reflective fence over 200 meters.

And the following comparisons you can make (these are right after turn on)

  • Fenix TK22 TAC vs Olight Warrior 3
  • Fenix TK22 TAC vs Olight Warrior X3
  • Fenix TK22 TAC vs Nitecore MH25s

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Fenix. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Fenix quality
  2. Throws quite far for a tactical light
  3. Easy UI
  4. Real tactical light
  5. Ready-to-use package including battery and charging cable
  6. Runtimes for Low and Medium were longer than specs

Cons

  1. Beam has some artifacts due to the smooth reflector
  2. Runtimes in Turbo and High were shorter than spec
  3. Turbo output lower than spec

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆

If you’re looking for a great, dedicated tactical light, that can reach several hundred yards without difficulty, the TK22 TAC got you covered. In a ready-to-use package, you can charge your batteries on the fly, with built-in charging. Having a dual switch at the tailcap, makes it easy to use single-handedly.

The runtimes didn’t match for High and Turbo, but Medium, and especially Low ran much longer than specs. All in all, this is a pretty good performer!

Fenix TK22 TAC for sale

Please use the following, unique, 1lumen discount code for *20% off: 1LUMEN20 

(*Code can be used, only once per customer)

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.