TK11 TAC – Reliable Power in Any Situation
Ambassador Chase L.
The TK11 TAC from Fenix is a true game changer. Why do you care about this light over the numerous other excellent offerings from Fenix? The mechanical twist switch that allows you to securely and confidently go from the tail switch being locked out to tactical mode and then to duty mode with absolute surety is one of the main reasons. Another reason to care is just how well thought out both the duty and tactical mode are. Finally, the performance this light is able to produce from an 18650 battery is staggering, especially with how compact the light remains. If I ever find myself in a situation where I can only have one of my Fenix flashlights with me, regardless of what that situation is, I hope it is my TK11 TAC.
The mechanical twist switch is pure genius. When traveling, whether that means your light is in a bag or on your belt, you can center the twist switch and keep lock out the exposed tail switch. This will prevent any accidental activation and will mean your batteries are fresh and ready whenever you need to use your light. If you need the light, a simple 1/8th of a rotation turn will put you confidently into either duty or tactical mode (depending on clockwise = Tactical, counterclockwise = Duty). There are advantages of each mode which is part of what makes this light so versatile.
Duty mode gives you access to the full range of outputs this light has to offer (low 50 lumens, medium 500 lumens, high 1600 lumens) which can be cycled with an easy half press of the tail switch. In this mode you can adjust your light brightness to your need but Fenix has wisely limited the number of ‘stops’ between low mode and the brightest setting – with only 3 power options, it is always easy to know where you are in your light and so how many presses it will take to get to your desired option. Another fantastic feature is to turn your light on, and then use the mechanical twist switch to lock the light in your desired mode. This way, you can’t accidentally bump the light and change brightness because the tail switch will not operate. This doesn’t happen by accident given the tight tolerances and positive ‘click’ you feel when toggling the rotary switch.
Tactical mode gives you the fastest and most reliable access to your light. You either have the light turned off, or you have the light emitting a blinding 1600 lumens at 27893 candela. This beam is able to illuminate a target up to 335 meters away and has an excellent beam pattern with a hot center and a fairly wide spill for peripheral awareness. It is worth noting that the light is programmed to reduce output to prevent overheating and melting itself, so after ten or fifteen minutes, you should expect output to fall to and hold around 800 lumens. It can hold this output for around 2 hours (which is really impressive) and once the light is allowed to cool, it will give you the full 1600 lumen output again (as long as the battery still holds enough charge to get there).
The Fenix TK11 TAC utilizes one 18650 battery and will provide hours of performance regardless of which mode you use it in, however, the availability and size of 18650 batteries makes carrying a spare or two fairly easy and painless. I almost always have a spare battery packed away in a Thyrm CellVault18 which protects my Fenix brand 18650 from damage, ensuring that it is ready to go when I need it. This battery carrier can also be hooked into mole webbing and prevents any rattle allowing you to maintain a tactical advantage or simply preventing you from getting frustrated on a hike. With the addition of another 18650 battery, however you can run this light on the highest setting for 4 or 5 hours of constant use. That is absolutely incredible, especially given how compact this light is. If you run the light on the lowest setting, two batteries will allow you to keep the light on for 4 days without turning it off. In my book, that means that whether I’m looking for something out in the woods at night or whether I’m using my light around my home at night, I can confidently rely on my Fenix to get the job done and that is what a good flashlight is all about.