Fenix PD35 flashlight review

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Fenix PD35 flashlight review


Post by KK6GFF » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:26 pm

I recently decided to upgrade my everyday carry flashlight. I wanted a flashlight of a size that I can wear on me at all times and it can serve me for both everyday tasks and tactical situations. Both Surefire and Fenix have 1000 lumens flashlights so I decided to get one of the two: the Surefire P3X Fury or the Fenix PD35.

The Surefire P3X Fury comes in two versions: standard and tactical. The only difference between the two versions is that the standard has two settings (15/1000 lumens) and the tactical has only one: 1000 lumens. The drawback of the standard is that in order to get to the highest output it has to be clicked twice. In tactical situations, it is always recommended to get to the highest output with a single press, the flashlight should not take the attention from the threats. That takes the standard version out. The tactical version has just one setting which makes it perfect for tactical situations but for everyday use I might need a lower setting.

The Fenix PD35 on the other hand has 5 output settings: 960/460/180/50/14 + Strobe (I don't care too much about the strobe). It has what they call an Intelligent Memory Circuit which, using their words, automatically memorizes the last brightness level when switched off, so every time the flashlight is turned on it goes to the latest setting used. That's a huge advantage over the P3X because it lets me have a wide variety of settings for different situations and I can still get to the highest output with just one click.

The Surefire P3X is very sturdy, it will hold on to impacts. Measuring 6.8 inches long, it's considerably bigger than its little brother the P2X Fury which has 500 lumens. At only 5.5 inches, the Fenix PD35 is smaller and thinner, making it more comfortable for everyday carrying. In addition, the PD35 already comes with a holster. However, the PD35 is less solid, its impact resistance is 1 meter only.

Both flashlights run on lithium CR123A batteries, the P3X uses 3, the PD35 uses 2. The PD35 has the option of using one 18650 instead of the two CR123A. The additional battery of the Surefire gives it more runtime, it will go for 2.25 hours on 1000 lumens, while the Fenix will only go for 1h 10min on 960 lumens. However, at a lower setting the Fenix will go for a longer period of time: 3h 15min on 460 lumens, 10h on 180 lumens, 38h on 50 lumens and 150h on 14 lumens. In case of emergency, if I have to use a flashlight during a whole night and I don't have spare batteries, 10 hours of light on 180 lumens is very attractive.

Lastly, something great about the Surefire is that it's made in the USA. The Fenix is made in China, but with that comes the price: the Surefire P3X can be found at $189.99 on sale on Amazon, the Fenix PD35 can easily be found for around $70 ($70.71 on Amazon, $69.97 at fenixtactical.com).

In conclusion, I was sold on the Fenix PD35. I love that the PD35 has several settings and it always turns on to the latest one used - it seems the best of both worlds. I have it at 960 lumens all the times, but if I want to jot something down or friendly focus the light on someone I can turn its power down. 1000 lumens can momentarily blind a person. It's also much smaller and comfortable for everyday carry and close to three times cheaper. Along with it I got a diffuser tip for $6 that attaches to the flashlight and transforms the flashlight into a lantern.
Fenix PD35
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Re: Fenix PD35 flashlight review


Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:42 pm


Very good write-up. I went through a similar selection process a couple years back. The Fenix won there too. Good flashlights and well made. Mine has been through some rough use and no complaints, yet!

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