Given my past enjoyment of Fenix’s flashlights; it is probably understandable how enthusiastic (read: giddy) I was when I got the package from Fenix Outfitters ( fenixoutfitters.com.) I ordered my TK40 from Fenix Outfitters, and they replaced it with a brand-spankin’ new torch when I had problems a year later (they offer a 24 month warranty, 30 months with product registration) – this all when my original TK40 got a bit too much grit in it and stopped working.
I was even more excited to get the TK45 out and about and start my (ab)use because I was to embark in mere days on a two week whirlwind trip of the eastern United States – I would be searching for Canebrake Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) in Florida, joining a group of herpers in Alabama for and intense weekend chasing salamanders over waterfalls and deep into mountain caves, shining streambeds in Kentucky, visiting family (and stopping to flip a rock or two) in Ohio and Connecticut, and wrapping it up with searching for hognose and rainbow snakes near the South Carolina/Georgia border. Needless to say, this little torch would be seeing some rough times ahead. And I’d say that’s just what needed to happen to test its limits and usefulness.
‘How fared it’ you ask? – Read on.
Overall Brightness 10/10
Lumens-wise, the TK45 even beats out the TK40 (760 to 630, respectively.) Needless to say, this light is bright. Really bright. The triple-barrel look might look like some kind of gimmick (and maybe it is,) but it sure gets the job done
Width of Beam 10/10
Here’s where the minigun that is the TK45 blows the TK40 out of the water (pun intended.) Because of the ‘decentralized’ CREE LEDs, the beam is splashed over an extremely wide area, making this a great flood light. This is really one of the TK45’s best points, making it the best choice for close to mid-range shining.
Here’s the one area where we might lose some people. For almost any reptile or amphibian one might be pursuing, the TK45 will work wonders. Let’s say you want to switch gears (as I often do) and spotlight some mammals far off: You might want to go to a different light for this task. Yes, the beam does penetrate pretty far due to the sheer lumens you’re putting out there, but for the same reasons it did great in the previous category it just doesn’t punch as far as the TK40. Is this a bad thing? In most circumstances; not at all. In a few circumstances; maybe.
Water/Light penetration 9/10
To give the water penetration power a shot, I shined a bit for fishes in a decently deep (6 – 8 foot) culvert in Kentucky. Even without a tight beam, the TK45 penetrated the water like a bunker-busting missile.
Like the other two Fenix’s reviewed here: no problems when AA’s are involved.
The TK45 is the same size as the TK40: a little large to be toting around in a pocket, but pretty easy to tote around in the hand. Personally, I carabiner mine to my backpack when not in use.
The price for the TK45 is similar to what the TK40 was initially. High? Yes. Worth it? If you do half the night activity I do, then without a doubt.
No problems with on/off and intensity buttons, which are both conveniently placed on the fore end of the light. This makes the light a little more dependable for a easy on/off than the TK40. The ’40’s butt-cap on/off isn’t terrible, but can be awkward to reach around and tap in some situations; which is slightly problematic if you find yourself hanging out the window of a vehicle and shining at 40 or 50 MPH, as I often do.
For two weeks I kicked this light’s butt with not so much as a word of protest from the device. If there was, I would take solace in the 24 month warranty.
Well, after a baptism by fire I can assuredly give this light my stamp of approval. Throughout the trip I powered the TK45 up and heard “oohs” and “ahhs” from other herpers, all wanting to know more about it. Looking for a new tool for herping? Got relatives asking for Christmas ideas? Head on over to FenixOutfitters.com and look into the TK45.