Best Tactical Flashlight Review: Klarus FX10
When I heard about the Klarus FX10 and its adjustable focus I didn’t think much of it at first. Now that I actually have it and have messed around with it, I can see how I was mistaken. The FX10 is filled with amazing features and I’m pleasantly impressed by the adjustable focus. The FX10 is Klarus’ first adjustable focus flashlight and I hope it won’t be their last. It’s compact, tactical, powerful, and can be used in a variety of situations. So in this review, I will be talking about the different features of the FX10, some things that I like and some things that I don’t like, and general notes to consider before purchasing this tactical flashlight.
Powerful Tactical Flashlight
Delivering up to 1000 lumens, the FX10 is a very powerful flashlight. It has a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED that gives off a cool white light. You can adjust the focus of the flashlight by simply twisting the head to choose between a flood light or spotlight. The spotlight has a maximum beam distance of 300 meters whereas the flood light has a maximum distance of 54 meters. With the floodlight you have an even distribution of light that illuminates everything in front of you clearly and easily. The spotlight features a small and tight hotspot to reach out that 300 meter distance. The spotlight still has a little bit of spill to it and I really like that. Many zoomable flashlights will have a hotspot with no spill to it so I really appreciate that the FX10 does, in fact, have spill. This is thanks to the nifty reflector that the FX10 features. So with this powerful flashlight, you can choose between a spotlight, a floodlight, or a beam that’s in between.
Compact Flashlight with Tactical Design
The FX10 is a smaller flashlight at about five and a half inches in length. This is really a great size because it allows you to easily clip it onto your pocket or carry it in its holster. I think many users will like this flashlight for everyday carry. It’s a little too large for my everyday carry, but it’s definitely compact and lightweight enough that I could use it as an EDC light.
Holding the flashlight in your hand, it feels very sturdy and very durable. You can tell right away that it is a high-quality product and that’s something I always like to see in my tactical lights. It features a dual tail switch and a side switch so you can choose how you like to operate the flashlight. The switches function independently so if you prefer to use the tactical tail switches you can do that, or if you feel more comfortable using just the side switch you can operate the flashlight that way.
With the tail switch you have the main circular button which gives you momentary on and turns on and off the flashlight. Then you have the secondary paddle button that can switch through different outputs and give you either a one-touch strobe or one-touch low depending on which programmable setting you have a flashlight in and we’ll talk about that a little later. You can lock out the tail switches by unscrewing the tail cap just a bit so you don’t need to worry about the tail switch turning on. I typically don’t like locking out the tail switch, but I think it’s great to have that option.
The side switch also has a lockout function as well. It also features a memory function that will turn onto the last brightness level you used. This switch allows you to completely operate the flashlight from turning it on and off to cycling through the different outputs. You even have a one-touch low option with the side switch.
Multiple Outputs and Easy Programmable Settings
I always like seeing multiple outputs in any tactical flashlight because it allows for more versatility and the FX10 does not let me down. It features a total of six different outputs: four brightness levels ranging from 10 lumens to 1000 lumens, a strobe mode, and an SOS mode. In the low mode you get it a maximum run time of 260 hours and I’m really impressed by that. In fact, the runtime on all of the brightness levels are really great. I think it would be a good idea for Klarus to consider adding a Moonlight mode that is 1 lumen. 10 lumens is still good but I’d like to see a lower brightness level to conserve more of the battery.
You do have two different programmable settings with the FX10. You have the Tactical Setting and you have the Outdoor Setting. In the Tactical Setting you have access to a one-touch turbo and a one-touch strobe. In the Outdoor Setting you have a one-touch low and a one-touch turbo and SOS. Switching between the settings is fairly easy so you can switch settings depending on your situation or if you prefer one setting over the other you can just leave the light in that setting. I like that the settings give you some different options with the flashlight and choosing what you need.
It is always so great to hear that a flashlight is USB rechargeable. The FX10 is a USB rechargeable flashlight making it incredibly convenient to charge the battery. It features a charging indicator that doubles as a battery level indicator located on the side switch. While you’re charging the flashlight you’ll see either a red light indicating that the flashlight is charging, a green light indicating that the flashlight is fully charged, or a yellow light indicating that something is not quite right and the flashlight is not charging. The battery level indicator is also very nice because it gives you a good idea of how much charge your battery has and you can estimate about how much longer you could use your flashlight for. I’ve always been a big fan of battery level indicators. This is an additional feature that other adjustable beam lights, like the Fenix FD30, do not have.
While we’re on the subject of batteries, the FX10 is compatible with a single 18650 battery, two CR123 batteries, or two Klarus 16340 batteries. I really like seeing flashlights that can take different kinds of batteries. I typically carry some CR123 batteries as backup so if I am unable to charge my FX10 or need it immediately then I can just equip it with my backup batteries and I’m good to go. Klarus does include an 18650 battery with this flashlights and it’s important to note that the battery is less than 50% charged was taken right out of the box. So if you want the full 1000 lumens you’ll need to charge your flashlight right away. This is all in the instruction manual so definitely take a look at it when you’re learning about this flashlights.
Pros: There’s a lot to like with this flashlights. I really like how the beam looks both in flood and spot. I was really impressed by the spot in particular because of the tight hotspot with some spill. It’s such a versatile flashlight because it has the different outputs, the programmable settings, and the adjustable focus. I like that it’s USB rechargeable and can accept different types of batteries.
Cons: This is a flashlight that has a learning curve to it. It’s not a flashlight that you’re going to pick up, mess around with for a few minutes, and immediately know everything about it. You’ll really need to take the time to look at the user manual and learn all the features of this light. If you don’t really care about a lot of features and you’re wanting a straightforward flashlight, then the FX10 probably wouldn’t be the flashlights for you. I also wish this flashlight had a moonlight mode because those modes really come in handy
Final Thoughts: I’m really liking this Klarus FX10 tactical flashlight. It’s a great light to keep around the house. You can use the floodlight whenever you’re working on a house project or fixing an appliance or working on your car. You can use the spotlight when you’re outdoors looking further in the distance and it does a great job. Even with the spotlight you still get a good amount of spill so you can still see around you a little bit which is a major plus for me. With all the different features you can use this flashlight for just about anything from tactical use, to outdoor use, to general use.