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Fenix PD32 Review

Shortly ago I received my new Fenix torch, the PD32, which is the brand-new model in Fenix’s P-Series. I had a PD30 (Premium R2) before and was absolutely contended with it; nonetheless I wanted the PD32 by all means. The three main reasons were:

  • It looks cool
  • It has additional 80 Lumens
  • The side switch seemed interesting

So, here’s a little review of this torch, including some photos.

Delivery Contents

The torch comes in a compact box with the following extras:

  • A nice holster that can be attached to a belt or a carabiner (unfortunately the holster is a bit too big so that the torch resides in there pretty loosely, but on the bright side: it’s easy to pull out)
  • A lanyard that can be attached at the torche’s bottom
  • A body clip which is already installed (I removed it because I don’t need it)
  • Two spare o-rings
  • One spare rubber-switch
  • And of course a user manual

Technical Specs

  • Cree XP-G (R5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses two 3V CR123A batteries (Lithium) or one 18650 rechargeable battery (Li-ion)
  • 127mm (Length) x 25.4mm (Diameter)
  • 61-gram weight (excluding batteries)
  • Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness
  • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
  • Over heat protection to avoid high-temperature of the surface
  • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
  • Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
  • Side switch in the head
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminium
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
  • Beam Distance: 141m
  • Intensity: 5000cd
  • Impact Resistance: 1m
  • Waterproof: 2m (IPX-8)

Output Levels


Low Mid High Turbo SOS Strobe
Lumens 9 70 130 315 130 315
Runtime 200h 16h 8h 2h

 

Pictures

The torch can be disassembled into three parts. The head (LED, reflector and mode switch), the body (holding the batteries) and the tail (power switch).

Some close-ups:

Operating

The torch has a tactical tail switch with momentary-on function. This means that it can be turned on by pressing the switch, turned off by pressing the switch again and temporarily turned on by pressing it half-way down.

To cycle through the different output levels (modes) the PD32 has an additional side switch. Every click advances the mode as follows: Low –> Mid –> High –> Turbo. The torch will remember the last active mode and start with this one the next time it is turned on. If the mode switch is pressed and held for one second the strobe mode is activated. The torch doesn’t maintain its high strobe-rate and switches between a high and a low rate every 2.5 seconds. If the mode button is held for three seconds the torch will go into SOS mode. The last strobe mode is not remembered.

Mode Comparison (indoors, iso-80)

Mode Comparison (outdoors, iso-200)

My Opinion

It’s a nice torch which is extremely powerful considering its size. It lies comfortably in the hand and feels of high quality. Unfortunately there’s something rattling if the torch is shaken – I think it is the reflector in the head (Update: it is the side switch). That’s a little uncool but it is not affecting the functionality. The tail switch feels pretty good and a strong press is necessary to turn it on – so it’s rather unlikely that the light is turned on by accident. Due to the size of the tail switch it is not possible to put down the torch upright. The mode switch works fine and also has a decent and hearable click, but it’s not that easy to find the switch, especially if one is wearing gloves. If used indoors, in not too large rooms, the medium output level usually provides enough light. This is good because the torch has a decent battery life at this level. And if more light is needed the high and turbo mode come in. After a few minutes of running in turbo mode the head gets pretty warm. According to the manual there’s an overheat protection that automatically switches to high mode after 30 minutes. But it also says that it is possible to activate turbo mode again right away.

Would I recommend the PD32? Yes, I definitely would. In my opinion everyone should have a light like this one because these are compact, robust, waterproof and extremely bright. It’s also a good EDC light. Well, I don’t carry it on my belt but I have it in my backpack all the time. The PD30 is also great, it’s a little more compact. And if it has to be even more compact there are the models that only need one battery.

4 Comments.[ Leave a comment ]

  1. Nice review, thanks. I purchased a PD32 last December and really like it. My PD32 also has a rattle which I think comes from the side switch; I’ve tried gently pushing on the switch while it’s rattling (shaking the unit)and this causes the noise to cease. Seems like a small thing but I can’t see why there would be anything loose in that type of switch.
    I was thinking of sending it in but their warranty is more than a little weird; you have to pay shipping in both directions plus in their Fenix warranty form they say, “Please be aware that in-warranty items requiring repair (versus replacement) and out of warranty repairs will have extra charges for parts in addition to the $10.00 USD or $12.00 CAD processing/shipping fee”.
    Can’t feature that!!
    I was wondering if you’d tried fixing that rattle. I was going to take a stab at it even if it voids the warranty since I don’t think I’ll be making use of it anyway.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment 🙂 You are right, the rattling comes from the side switch. If I press it half the way down, whilst shaking the flashlight, there is no rattling noise. That’s weird. I haven’t concerned myself with Fenix’s warranty terms yet but what you said doesn’t sound too good. I just checked another PD32, which I gave away, and it doesn’t rattle so it might be a manufacturing fault but idk. I didn’t try to fix mine, I think I’ll leave it like this.

  3. Mine rattles exactly in the same place. Weird, but not worth a warranty swap. I read else where the same, more rattle than don’t probably!

  4. Great review, very usefull to people who do not really know much about flashlights. I bought this one last summer, since then working like a charm 🙂

    Thank you for the help!

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