It’s 2020 and I’m upgrading my emergency preparedness bag by changing out items that might fail during stressful situations. One of the most important items to keep in an emergency kit is a reliable flashlight. It needs to be ultra-reliable, easy to use, have multiple lighting outputs like low and turbo, waterproof, and the ability to retain long battery life. It also helps if the flashlight is able to use multiple battery sources like 18650 and CR123 batteries. That way, you have multiple ways of powering the light, in case a certain kind of battery becomes hard to find, during stressful situations. Those are the staple requirements for my emergency bag. If a flashlight compromises on any of those attributes it never makes it into my bag.
Not too long ago I was doing some research on lights that could withstand a lot of abuse and came across the Fenix TK series of lights. Since I had never owned a TK series model, I decided to do some extensive research on the series to see what all the talk was about. If you are reading this, I’m pretty sure you’ve done your homework too. The Fenix TK series is exactly what I was looking for in a hard-use, light. In other words, it checks all the boxes in a light that I would use in my bag. So, I had to order it and see what it was all about. Fenix ships really quick too, so it was about three days and the light was at my doorstep.
Fenix TK26R Initial Thoughts
The first thing I usually do when buying a flashlight is to charge the battery and, in the meantime, give the light a look over to see how well it’s made. The first thing I noticed about the TK26R is the quality and craftsmanship. I’ll be honest. I can appreciate a quality product. Some people could care less, but not me. I will research a product to no end before sinking my money on it. I’ll be brutally honest with you. I have zero buyer’s remorse after purchasing this light. Keep in mind, that’s just the quality of the light. I hadn’t even powered it on yet and I already knew I was keeping it.
Here is the definition of quality per the dictionary; ”The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.” I know I’m preaching about the quality, but I think it’s important for people to know what they are getting when they purchase a product. Most people say, “it’s just a flashlight! Who cares about the quality?” Sure, you click a button and some light pours out of the end of it, but there is so much more to it than flashing light around the room. Quality means it’s going to work for a long time. It’s going to be ready to use when the stressful moment arises. It’s going to still work when you have to go out into the pouring rain at midnight to get medicine for your family at the local 24-hour store. It’s going to continue to work after you’ve washed it 30 times, hopefully by accident, in the washing machine. In other words, it’s going to work when you need it the most, usually when you’re least expecting it.
My favorite aspect of the light, for one, is how durable it is. Maybe TK stands for TANK! Seriously, the metal is thick. You can see how thick once you remove the battery. Just look at the sidewalls of the battery compartment. This is the best-built flashlight, toughness wise, I currently own, and I own a lot of Fenix lights. It’s almost too well built if that’s even possible. I also like the button configuration and layout. The tail switch has two buttons. One button is a dedicated strobe function, which also serves to change the intensity level once the tail switch is fully depressed. The button beside it is the momentary/on switch which can be half-pressed for momentary, or fully clicked for constant on. The side switch, which has a nice copper accent color, activates the red and green colors. These two colors are very helpful in many situations such as traffic control or hunting. This light is perfect for police officers since it can be used to direct traffic using the red/green modes. There is a cone that Fenix offers that snaps on the end of the light to allow it to be more easily seen by motorists. The cone essentially turns the entire light into a wand. Tapping the copper-colored side switch toggles back and forth from the two colors. The red/green combo is also great for hunters who use certain colors to see with during hunting that animals cannot see. The light comes with an 18650 battery and can be charged through the USB Type-C port on the back of the light. The pocket clip is super strong and will hang onto a belt for dear life. The included holster is also nice and can be attached to a duty belt or hunting bag.
If you’ve made it this far, I believe it’s the right light for you. But don’t just take my word for it. Give it a try yourself and see why Fenix is unmatched on so many levels. Fenix owns the function, fit, and finish of the flashlight industry, and it shows in the Tk26R!