The HM61R is the multi-tool of flashlights. Headlamp, EDC flashlight, magnetic base, right-angled light, red LEDs, magnetic charging port – this light has it all. There are a lot of things to like about this light but they do come with some compromises as well, so let’s get right into it.
High-Quality Features of the HM61R
First, let’s talk about the good. The most notable feature of the light is the right-angled, optical lens. This is one of the primary features that allows it to be so compact and streamline. This is one of the new lenses that Fenix is starting to use that does not have a traditional reflector, but instead has a TIR optic. This allows it to have a great flood beam with a hot spot and spill, but without the physical depth that a traditional reflector would require. I like this a lot because I’m more of a flood guy myself, but it may be a problem if you need it for long-throw applications, so just keep that in mind. The 1,200 Lumens are used well and create a very bright light that will illuminate any yard.
The white light is a good color and it gets very bright for a headlamp. The red LEDs have two brightness levels and the highest one is bright enough to be quite usable in even low-light situations. The red LEDs have a flashing setting, too, which, when paired with a magnetic base, becomes a perfect safety light for your car or countless other scenarios.
With the power button on the end of the light and the lens not sticking out very far, it is a great light to slip in your pocket when you don’t need the headstrap. It is small enough to fit in your pocket, but still bright enough to be useful for any job.
The headlamp mount clips in easily and securely and feels like it could take any sort of beating without falling out. But even with the secure mounting, it’s still easy to take out and it feels very good in the hand as a flashlight.
Although this is a great light overall, it is not without its issues. The angle adjustment on the light is only done through resistance against a plastic mount, so I could see it getting looser over time or wearing the metal down on the two points of contact.
I originally wrote in this review that the top strap was not removable, but after posting the review I was informed that it actually is. The process that was explained to me included moving the adjustment piece to the end, sliding it sideways through the back, and then through the front. While I am glad to learn that the strap is removable, the process for removing it is not readily apparent, so make sure you check the manual thoroughly. I also noticed that the sensitivity on the end that screws onto the battery is very tight. If the end was unscrewed even just a little bit, the battery would disconnect. Being that the endcap is one of only two spots you could grab to rotate the light up or down, this leaves it wide open to be “turned off” by simply twisting the cap too much while attempting to rotate the light.
Finally, the most egregious issue with the light comes with the power button. Even though I like its placement on the flashlight, the actual implementation of the button leaves a LOT to be desired. To start, the button does not have very good tactile feedback. It’s a very soft click, with barely any travel, and it’s hard to sense with your finger if your click was successful or not. If you have gloves on, you almost can’t feel it at all, which may not big a big deal except for my next grievance with the button.
Minor Drawbacks of the HM61R
The largest issue with the light, by far, is that the power button can register false positive clicks. What I mean by that is sometimes you can click the button and actually feel and hear the click, but the button does not register and the light does not turn on. As some of the functions require holding the button rather than a momentary click, this problem often left me waiting a long time for the light to turn on or off, only to realize that the button press had not registered and I needed to try it again. After some extended use, I kind of figured out the button and the false positives happened less often, but it still seems like a big oversight or, at the very least, lack of quality control on the part of Fenix.
HM61R Review Conclusion
So, while I have a couple of issues with the light, when you take all of the features into consideration it’s a good package deal. There are a few compromises, but what you get is a very useful light that fits into almost any circumstance.
If someone told me they could only buy one light ever, this would probably be the one I would recommend because of its sheer versatility. For my part, I liked it a lot and I would keep it in my collection. It’s not the best light at any one thing but, in totality, it’s definitely worth its asking price.
- You can also see Alex’s video review at: https://youtu.be/Wy5puT7pZ-o