Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hand Cannon Debate

Wanna use your EDC light not just for taking out the garbage after dark, but to spot the new Boeing Dreamliner as it flies over head? Have I got two lights for you.

Fenix and 4sevens both released 800+ lumen lights in the past four weeks. The Fenix TK35 and the 4sevens S12, respectively. Here are their product pages: TK35 and S12. Here are street prices: TK35 and S12.

It is interesting to see these lights both come out at the same time as they are very similar ideas--huge lumens in a small package--with distinctly different approaches. The TK35 uses readily available cells, the flashaholic's preference CR123a (it can use rechargeable too), while the S12 uses a rechargeable cell. Both are about the size of a hand from tip of the middle finger to the base of the palm. Both are a little too heavy and large for pocket EDC, but both make great backpack lights. One uses a dual switch to control on/off and output (the TK35) and the other uses a switch and click/double click interface.

I like the dual switch of the Fenix, but the simplicity of the S12's UI. I think the form factor of the Fenix is a little better than the "portly lightsaber" look of the S12, which is about the diameter of a soda can. I definitely like the emitter on the S12 better, it uses a higher end SST-90 emitter, while the TK35 uses a run of the mill Cree XM-L (oh, it is already run of the mill...that happens when you make like 40 new emitters a year). The SST-90 guzzles juice, hence the rechargeables.

In the end these lights are very close in runtime and output. The use of readily available batteries means I'd give the nod to the TK35, but the S12 is a sweet, sweet light in its own right. These are great days to be a flashlight fan.

Also a correction: the Lochsa is still being made, it just has a five year wait list and the wait list is closed. I guess that means its being made, but not for you, unless you happen to be on the wait list already.

1 comment:

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