Fenix TK22 v2.0 review
The Fenix TK22 v2 is 1.7x brighter than the first version, and can also throw 1.5 times as far. Fenix TK22 v2.0 is the 4th edition of this particular model. Aesthetically, it looks pretty similar to its predecessors, except for the stainless steel bezel. Being the 4th iteration of this particular light also means it is a well-sold model. The TK22 v2.0 is supposed to produce about 1600 lumens and throw 405 meters (1.329 feet). We’ll find out if these claims are trustworthy, and if it can be part of the list of best tactical flashlights.
What you’ll get:
Unlike other models, Fenix didn’t include a 21700 type battery. They chose to add a 18650 adapter instead. This means you can either choose to use a 21700 battery or a 18650 battery.
- Fenix TK22 v2.0
- Fenix ALF-18 battery holder ( *for using a 18650 battery)
- Spare O-ring
- User manual
- Warranty card
Fenix TK22 v2 Specifications
|Brand / Model
|Fenix TK22 v2.0
|21700 (*18650 with adapter)
Handling of the light and accessories
The Fenix TK22 v2.0 (2019 model) has the exact same body diameter as the Fenix PD36R we reviewed as well. You can interchange both tubes since they use the same diameter and threading. The only difference is that the PD36R has no real tailcap since the body and switch are made of 1 piece.
Being a 21700 battery-type flashlight, it is a bit wider than a 18650, and I like that much better. The tailcap switch is used for power and is a typical Forward-clicky switch. A forward clicky will activate the light when pressing the light before the full click. A reverse clicky switch doesn’t power the light until the switch is fully clicked.
When you hold the TK22 with your thumb on tail-switch, you can use your pinky to switch modes via the electronic side switch. The TK22 v2.0 doesn’t have an LED behind the switch to let you know when the battery is empty. Other flashlights have that, so if you care about that, have a look somewhere else.
The included holster is made of high-quality material and should withstand some abuse. If you don’t like using holsters you can use the lanyard instead. And if you don’t have any 21700 batteries, you can use the included 18650 adapter. It has a little spring on the inside to make up for the size difference between 21700 and 18650 batteries.
- Nope. It doesn’t tailstand.
Build Quality, knurling, threads, and anodization
Fenix is known around the world for its high-quality flashlights. The TK22 model is already on the market for a very long time, and that makes it so interesting to see them improving well-sold flashlights. The build quality of the TK22 is great. Nothing to complain about, except for the shiny anodization. I’m a sucker for Jetbeam coatings. Threads towards the head were lubed, the ones near the tailcap had almost no lube on them.
Fenix TK22 v2.0 LED, Lens, Bezel and Reflector
Fenix chose a Luminus SST40 instead of the old and trusty CREE LED emitters. The SST40 is able to produce about 1600 lumens from a single battery, and that is pretty good. The LED sits in a deep and smooth reflector that helps with throwing the beam far, and has a clear and bright hotspot. The tint has a greenish hue, and the corona has a purplish hue, but nothing to really complain about. Except if you are a white wall hunter.
The bezel is crenulated and glued onto the head. That is a pity because I can’t open it up without possibly damaging something. The reflector is protected by a toughened ultra-clear glass lens with an anti-reflective coating.
- Length: 150 mm ( 5.91″)
- Head diameter: 40.4mm ( 1.59″)
- Inner bezel diameter: 32mm (1.25″)
- Body diameter: 25.6mm ( 1″)
- Empty: 139g ( 4.91oz)
And compared to some of the best tactical flashlights.
Driver & User Interface:
The Fenix TK22 v2.0 has a simple UI, without too many bells and whistles. Coming from reviewing the extremely advanced Anduril firmware, this is a breeze. Power with the main switch, change modes with the side switch.
- Low, Medium, High, Turbo
Tail switch from Off:
- Half-press: n/a
- Single-click: (to last used mode, mode memory)
Tail Switch from On:
- Half-press: n/a
- Single-click: Off
Side switch from Off:
- Single-click: n/a
Side Switch from On:
- Single-click: cycle through modes from low to high
- Double-click: this will just cycle through the modes, nothing special.
- Press-and-hold: Strobe
It only has a Strobe mode. You can access it by holding the side switch when on.
Low battery warning / low voltage protection:
There isn’t a hard cut-off. The TK22 v2.0 will decrease brightness, and will run till the battery is empty. During the runtime tests, the battery got below 3V and was still running. I would have preferred a hard cut-off at a certain voltage level. Just to protect the battery. But in critical situations, it’s a great feature, and that is what a tactical flashlight usually is used in.
Not visible to the naked eye, so nothing to worry about. I don’t care if PWM is measurable with tools and not by eye.
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is very straightforward and will never let you down. And for the use of this flashlight (it’s not an EDC, nor a thrower) I think it works great. It doesn’t have a real low. I mean 30 lumens isn’t very low. But again, for this type of flashlight, it is probably a good choice. If you really want a tactical light with a lower Low, you should have a look somewhere else.
Batteries and charging:
This light uses 21700 cells, but with the included adapter you’ll be able to use 18650 batteries as well. The adapter has a little spring on the inside to make up for the size difference. Without this adapter, many 18650 batteries simply won’t fit. They would just rattle around. Some protected batteries ended up working without the adapter, but when you bump the light strongly, it would blink for a moment.
There is no onboard USB charging, so you need to use a dedicated battery charger for charging the batteries. The TK22 v2.0 doesn’t come with batteries either.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Fenix ARB-L21 21700 battery. I charged the battery in the Fenix PD36R before using it in this light. The ARB L21 battery is too long to charge in 99% of the chargers that are currently on the market due to its length. I tested Amps with a Fluke 77III and standard Fluke wires.
- Low: 0.05A
- Med: 0.25A
- High: 1.05A
- Turbo: 3.8A
All output numbers are relative for my homemade integrated Sphere and are measured with an Extech HD450 Lux Meter. For extremely bright flashlights (above 5000 lumens) I am adding a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 137 lumens.
Tested with Fenix 21700 battery (5000mAh capacity).
This runtime graph looks really interesting and strange at the same time. Somehow the driver doesn’t produce a constant current and therefore has these really funny-looking spikes throughout most of the runtime.
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the runtime is just a bit less than 2 hours, and at 2:19 it drops to really low. This low mode lasted for more than an hour, but I shortened the graph. And even at that point, it was still going strong.
At 3:23 I manually stopped the test, and its Voltage was at 2.97V (measured with a cheap DMM).
The high mode has a constant output of roughly 500 lumens for 4 hours and 39 minutes. This is the exact same as they claimed the runtime in High to be. Pretty good in my opinion. 500 Lumens is enough for most tasks you need a flashlight for! Also this time the resting voltage was about 2.98V.
Measurements were taken both indoors and outdoors with the Hagner EX-4 Lux meter. I took measurements at both 5m for indoors and 10m for outdoors.
Using turbo mode, I get:
- Indoors (5m): 53000 cd = 460 meters / 0.286 miles throw
- Outdoors (10m): 42900cd = 414 meters / 0.26 miles throw
This means, that indoors, the TK22 is overperforming. Instead of the claimed 41,000 cd, mine reached 53,000 cd. When I measured another time with the Skytronic Lux Meter I even measured 60,000. Somehow I don’t trust the Skytronic anymore. The Hagner EX-4 is a professional (but old) Lux Meter that I trust more. Outdoors was closer to specs, and I measured 42,900 cd, which is relatively close to what Fenix claims.
For the following beamshots, I set everything manually, including the Focus, Aperture, White Balance, and Exposure. This is critically important for doing beamshot comparisons.
- Great tactical design
- Nice amount of accessories
- Plenty bright in highest mode
- Excellent throw
- No PWM!
- No real low mode
- No direct access to Turbo, Low or Strobe
Overall Rating: very good ★★★★☆
Besides the funny runtime graph (throttling?), the Fenix TK22 v2.0 is an excellent tactical flashlight with enough range. Runtimes are really good, and the including accessories makes it very appealing. It’s doing what it should, and is plenty bright for most people! I’d like to give it 5 stars, but because of the throttling, I’m giving it 4 whole stars.