Ambassador Andrew H.
When it comes to an EDC flashlight, I always lean towards Fenix’s PD series. My very first Fenix flashlight was their PD20 some ten plus years ago (I still have it!) A lot has changed over the years, and now in 2021, I feel the Fenix PD40R v2.0 is leading the series with some great new features. As with other Fenix flashlights, the PD40R has a strong and durable aluminum housing. I only mention the housing because I dropped it today about 20 feet down onto a concrete pad, and the only damage I found was a scratch on the edge of the tail cap. The biggest and best change for the PD40R that sets it apart from other flashlights is the new rotary switch. Gone are the days of one button to turn it on, then a second to change the light’s brightness. With Fenix’s new patented rotary switch, a simple twist of a ribbed ring at the base of the reflector allows you to easily turn the light on and adjust to your preferred brightness with one hand. When I switched to the PD40R from my PD35 Tac, I wasn’t sure I’d get used to the rotary switch. Now after using it for several months, I don’t know if I could go back! Without the tail switch, the PD40R can easily stand on its own. Simply turn the light on, stand it up pointing at the ceiling, and it works amazingly well at lighting up the entire room. I’ve done this several times at medical aid calls at work.
Another impressive feature of the PD40R is its output. The Fenix PD40R cranks out up to 3000 lumens powered by Fenix’s 5000mAh 21700 battery. For the beam pattern, I think it’s a perfect combination of flood with a nice sized spot in the center. Charging the battery can be done using a USB-C plug directly into the side of the flashlight. There’s also a small battery indicator light next to the rubber boot protecting the USB-C port. Like I mentioned before, I’ve been using the PD35 Tac for several years as my EDC while on duty. I can honestly say that my PD35 Tac will be used elsewhere, and I will continue to use the PD40R. As much as I love the PD40R, there’s one minor design flaw I’ve found. The design of the rotary switch itself has ridges to aid with grip, however they are in line with the motion of the switch. Once in a while, it takes a few tries to get the right grip to turn it on. If the ridges ran vertically instead of horizontally, it would be a near perfect light for what I need.