Fenix is probably one of my go-to brands. I always like checking to see what new flashlights they have. I always know that I can rely on their flashlights. They are tried and true and some of the best tactical flashlights you’ll probably find around, which leads me to what I’ll be reviewing today: the Fenix PD32.
I have to admit, this is one of my favorite kinds of flashlights. It’s very versatile and a great light, whether you’re going to be using it for any profession or just everyday carry, a casual house light or car light, whatever. This is a great all-around flashlight.
Alright. Let’s dive right into this flashlight. I want to talk about the design of the flashlight first. It has a really simple body design. You’ve got a good knurling on the body so it’s going to be easy to grip in your hands. It has a tail cap and a side switch. That side switch is made out of stainless steel, so it’s a good high-quality side switch. You’ve got a small crenulated bezel along the head of the flashlight. It’s a fairly small bezel, but could still be used for striking. It also has an anti-roll body design so you can easily set your flashlight on a smooth surface without worrying about it rolling off the table or what have you. It has that removable pocket clip.
Now, I just want to make a note of this. The pocket clip is actually very secure on that flashlight, so if you’re planning on removing it, good luck. It’s going to take some time and some power. The Fenix PD32 is a 900 lumen flashlight. It’s equipped with a Cree XPL-HI LED. 900 lumens is an excellent amount of light and it’s part of what makes this flashlight so versatile. Not every situation requires a massive amount of power. 900 lumens is a great amount of power for a variety of situations.
The maximum beam distance is 240 meters, so you get quite a bit of throw out of this flashlight. Often you’ll see tactical flashlights that may have more power, but less of a throw so it’s really great to see that the PD32 has a pretty good decent throw on it. It has a really nice beam pattern, a decent amount of spill, very specific hotspot. This flashlight is really great for outdoors. It does feature a digitally regulated output to maintain that constant brightness, which is always great to see.
I mentioned before, you’ve got the tail switch and you have the side switch. The tail switch will turn on and off the flashlight. The side switch will allow you to cycle through the brightness levels. Really easy design. Really straightforward. You can pick this light up and learn the user interface in a matter of moments.
You have five brightness levels. You have turbo 900 lumens, high 400 lumens, medium 150 lumens, low 50 lumens, and eco 5 lumens. Now, I do want to say that eco will last you 260 hours with a fully charged battery. In an outdoor setting, or even in an emergency situation where you’re trying to make your battery last, that eco is going to come in really handy. It’s great that it’s there.
Between the five brightness levels you have quite a bit of versatility. You could easily use this flashlight if you go out camping or if you’re just looking around your house. Maybe you heard a bump in the night or maybe you’re trying to repair something around the house or maybe you’d like to use it for a more tactical situation, part of your job. These brightness levels are really going to come in handy for all of these situations.
Now, on top of the brightness levels it actually has two flashing modes. It has a strobe mode and an SOS mode. To enter the strobe mode, all you need to do is hold down that side switch for probably less than a second and it’ll get into that strobe mode. Now, I know with some flashlights you have to keep the button pressed in order to continue the strobe mode, but not with the Fenix PD32. Once you have it in the strobe mode you can go ahead and release your finger off of the button. If you click again, if you click the side switch again, while in the strobe mood, you’re going to swap into the SOS mode. In order to go back to the regular outputs, you just hold down that side switch again for less than a second and you will be switched back to the regular outputs.
You also have the intelligent memory function, so it will automatically memorize the last brightness level that you used when you turn the flashlight off. When you turn it back on, it’s going to enter that brightness level. I cannot stress enough how important this function is with any outdoor flashlight. When you’re trying to conserve the battery or when you don’t need a whole lot of light, that memory function really comes in to save the day. It also, of course, comes in handy if you are trying to conserve your night vision, preserve it a little bit better, or if you’re trying not to give away your location. That memory function is always really going to come in handy.
All in all, excellent user interface. Very simple. Very easy to use. I bet you could purchase this flashlight today and by the end of the day, using this flashlight will just become second nature. The user interface is very easy. I really like that.
The Fenix PD32 can run on an 18650 battery or two CR123 batteries. Always a plus when you can choose which battery is best. I personally use CR123 batteries as my backup batteries so I like having flashlights that have the option of using CR123 batteries. Though, I do prefer to use 18650. Now, I have to say, for an 18650 I’m really impressed by the size and the weight of this flashlight. It’s a little over five inches in length so it’s fairly easy to pocket, definitely easy to carry with you. Without the battery it weighs 2.72 ounces, so very lightweight. I’m really impressed with that.
It does have reverse polarity protection, just in case you load the battery in incorrectly. Your battery and your flashlight will be safe. Nothing’s ruined. Always a plus. It does have a low voltage warning function, which, at this point in time is a must for every one of my flashlights. With the PD32 specifically, when the light is turned on the LED is going to be blinking three times every five minutes when you have a very low battery voltage. It’s telling you, you need to replace the battery. It can get a little annoying, but just replace the battery and you’re good to go.
I just like with every Fenix flashlight you can expect really high-quality material, really high-quality craftsmanship. The Fenix PD32 is no different. It’s made of a durable, sturdy aircraft grade aluminum. It has that premium type three hard anodized anti-abrasive finish to it. You’ve got a tough end ultra clear glass lens and it’s got that nice anti-reflective coating on it. This helps protect the LED and it ensures the light’s going to shine through clearly. It is IPX8 waterproof, so you can submerge it up to two meters in the water for 30 minutes and this flashlight will work. This is an absolute necessity if you are looking for an outdoor flashlight. You do not want an outdoor flashlight that won’t work if you’re in a heavy rainstorm, if you accidentally drop it in a puddle. These are important features to have.
Okay. Let’s talk about the pros and cons now. The main reason I love this flashlight so much is because it is so versatile. With the different brightness levels, with that SOS, this flashlight is excellent for any outdoor activity: hiking, camping, whatever. This flashlight is great. It’s also really great for indoor use. It’s a great flashlight to keep by your bed. You can use it when you think you might have heard something in your house or you can use it when you are looking to fix something around the house. Just whatever.
It’s also really great for tactical use. That tactical tail switch and that strobe mode make it a really great light for a tactical setting. On top of that, you can get accessories with the PD32, such as a remote switch that might make it even better for tactical use. You can mount it to a weapon, use that remote switch, and you’re good to go so hunting, law enforcement, this flashlight is there. It’s truly impressive how many situations this flashlight can be used in. If you wanted to, you could ditch all your flashlights, not that I’m going to, but you could just stick with this one for the most part. I really like that about this flashlight.
As for the negatives about this flashlight, I would say I’m a little concerned it doesn’t have a lockout mode. I would be considered about the flashlight turning on in my pocket or in a bag, but other than that, no other negatives.
I realize I also forgot to mention, and this is a very positive feature of this flashlight, it can tail stand. When you’re working you can use it, you can tail stand it and work with both hands while the flashlight illuminates the area you’re working on. It’s excellent. I love this feature in any flashlight.
All in all, 10 out of 10. This is probably one of the most versatile flashlights I’ve seen. If you’re looking for a new flashlight, you’re not sure what you’re looking for, definitely check out the Fenix PD32.
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