Gear Review: Fenix E12 Flashlight

This flashlight lives in my pocket, both at work and everywhere else. It’s the best flashlight I’ve found for my needs. It has a low, medium, and high setting – on low (8 lumens) it is perfect for checking a patient’s pupils, or sneaking in to check on a patient without waking them up.

Then if I need to really illuminate a room, I crank on 130 lumens. Even in a lit room, it’s noticeably bright. Perfect for assessing wounds when the light is shining the wrong direction, or checking out that bump in the night. It is also part of my planned self-defense strategy at work, where I can’t carry. 130 lumens is plenty bright to make an attacker shut their eyes – so I can either get away or counterattack as necessary.

The flashlight is 3.5 inches long, and 0.5 inches diameter. It is perfectly round, I wish it had a bevel cut in it to keep it from rolling straight off a table when I set it down. Fits great in my pocket.

It operates on a tail switch. I’ve never had it unintentionally turn on in my pocket, and it works 100% of the time – unlike my E11, where if it had been on for a few minutes, it would refuse to turn back on. The tail switch cycles through brightness, from low to high. I wish it were high to low for self defense applications, but I haven’t found another light that is convenient to carry and is any better for general use.

Battery life: I stuck an Energizer Lithium AA battery in it back in May when I got it, and haven’t changed it – despite regular use. Lithium batteries are awesome.

I’d highly recommend this flashlight, and they haven’t even given me anything to say that!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Gear Review: Fenix E12 Flashlight

  1. YourTrulyFriend

    I’m looking for an EDC flashlight but I don’t know if I should buy the Fenix E12 or the smaller E05 (2014). I don’t know how bright they are, since I never had a proper LED flashlight. Can you tell me more or show some pictures/something in darkness with the flashlight? Thanks!

  2. Hey YourTrulyFriend, I’d go with the E12 for the extra brightness. It’s small enough it doesn’t bother me at all riding in the same pocket as my keys. I also prefer the tail switch brightness toggle over the twist toggle on the E05.

    Photos don’t really tell you much of anything about how well they light up a room. That would depend more on camera settings than on the brightness of the light.

  3. Ray

    The E12 is an awesome light. Great size, very good tail switch and the modes are spaced very well. Amazing run time for a single AA. I really like AA lights for the simple fact that it is such a common and easy to source cell in an emergency. I ended up buying the 2x AA Fenix E25, and the 4x AA E41 as well, all great performers but by far the E12 is the most versatile due to it’s size and in most situations 130 lumens is enough for most to day to day tasks.

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