The Fenix PD36 TAC Flashlight
[July 2021] Something that should be in every toolbox and/or glove box is a good flashlight. Today that means a flashlight with multiple light levels and a battery that can be recharged in the field.
It just takes one word to really sum up the Fenix PD36 TAC Flashlight: Bright!
3000 lumens bright.
How bright is that? It is so bright that you definitely would not want to look directly into the lens, lest it damage your sight.
The average flashlight found in the home puts out something along the lines of 20 to 100 lumens. This allows you to see things close up to about 20 feet or so. The 200-500 lumen range is especially good outdoors. At 1000 lumens, you have some serious illumination, suitable for large outdoor areas.
Flashlights above something like 800 lumens are usually referred to as “tactical” lights, as they are often found in police, fire, and search and rescue work, for example. At 3000 lumens you can shine a light that you can take outside and see clearly for almost 900 feet. With that, you can easily illuminate a rural transmitter site or tower for inspection.
The PD36 TAC flashlight, one of several models from Fenix, comes with a strong pocket clip, weighs about 3.25 ounces, and the one-inch barrel just feels really nice and substantial in your hand.
More Than Just a Bright Light
A really useful flashlight should be able to cover all these different light ranges – so you can use it in cramped spaces inside a transmitter, for example, or out by the tower – and turn on strobe flashing as well, either to alert others to your location and need of help or to disorient attackers.
The Fenix PD36 TAC does this with five lighting levels in what they call “Duty Mode” from 30 to 3000 lumens, along with a 2000 lumen “Tactical” mode, a very strong light along with a flashing strobe.
Operation is pretty easy. A rotating switch lets you select which mode you want.
Pressing the button briefly will step it through the light levels, a strong press locks the light level. A longer press initiates the strobe mode. Once you select the light level you need, you can move the switch to “lock” and keep it there without cycling to other levels.
You would expect that a product like this should be able to take reasonable abuse without a problem. It can.
The PD36 TAC is designed to keep working. For example, the unit is made with double springs to keep the battery suspended. This prevents damage from external impact – overall, the light is rated to withstand a five-foot impact.
The flashlight is also reasonably waterproof. Meeting the IP68 standard, the PD36 TAC can be submerged to a depth of five feet for up to 30 minutes without damage.
The package even includes a spare O-ring should the original need replacing.
At 3000 lumens, you can imagine the flashlight is pretty thirsty for power.
That is true, so users can expect good runtime it comes with a 5000 mAh rechargeable battery (21700). Of course, you will not want or need the full 3000 lumens all the time, so the battery can supply from 1.5 to 18 hours of light before needing to be recharged via the included USB cable. (If you plan a long time in the field, a second battery is a good option.)
Whether you are hunting for something you dropped on the floor, checking what is out there in your surroundings, inspecting coax and tower condition, or needing an attention-getting strobe, the Fenix PD36 TAC deserves your consideration.
For more information, check out the Fenix PD36 TAC web page here.
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