A FIRST LOOK AT THE VERSATILE 5.11 FLEXIO PENLIGHT LED FLASHLIGHT

In 2015, the 5.11 Tactical brand launched several new LED flashlight models on the market, including a specialized flashlight called the 5.11 Flexio Penlight, which is based on the fairly popular 5.11 TMT PLx Penlight. Having preserved the appearance and characteristics of the base model, the developers added a flexible “neck” with replaceable LED modules, thus making a more functional and highly specialized device.

The LED flashlight of the 5.11 series presented in the review, Flexio Penlight, which is produced in the territory of China, delivers in the usual sealed package. The basic kit includes a flashlight itself with a flexible connector and a white LED module, as well as two ordinary alkaline AAA batteries from the Duracell trademark, a small completely black platform with a magnetic base and a small user manual.

Just like version 5.11 of the TMT PLx Penlight, the flashlight 5.11 of the Flexio Penlight is made in a shockproof and sealed aluminum alloy housing. The ends are closed with aluminum covers on the thread, on one side, a cover with a rubber button, on the other, a cover with a polymer base flexible mount. In addition, the housing design also provides a small metal clip standard for 5.11 sizes, as well as a small polymer retainer to hold the LED module when the lamp is not in use.

Just like version 5.11 of the TMT PLx Penlight, the flashlight 5.11 of the Flexio Penlight is made in a shockproof and sealed aluminum alloy housing. The ends are closed with aluminum covers on the thread, on one side, a cover with a rubber button, on the other, a cover with a polymer base flexible mount. In addition, the housing design also provides a small metal clip standard for 5.11 sizes, as well as a small polymer retainer to hold the LED module when the lamp is not in use.

The flexible fully removable LED module, which has the commercial name 5.11 Flexio Head & Neck, consists of a cover that is fixed directly to the housing, a flexible connection up to 28 cm long, and an aluminum block with an LED. In the basic configuration, only a white LED is offered, if necessary, it is possible to purchase modules with a red and blue LED of the same power.

As in the 5.11 TMT PLx Penlight series, in the 5.11 Flexio Penlight model, the Cree XPE-B LED has a maximum brightness of 90 lumens and an effective range of up to 37 meters (subjectively, objects could be distinguished at a distance of 34 meters). The device operates from two alkaline AAA batteries, the full charge of which, according to the manufacturer, should be enough for 5 hours of continuous operation (during the tests, the maximum duration from two “fresh” batteries was 4 hours and 37 minutes). Turning the flashlight on and off is carried out by a button on the end, in total only two operating modes are provided – this is a constant glow and a glow by pressing.

In addition to the flexible LED module, the flashlight 5.11 Flexio Penlight is distinguished by the presence of a polymer platform with a magnetic base (5 x 2 x 2 cm, 22 grams), which allows you to quite securely attach the flashlight to metal surfaces without changing or impairing the functionality of the device. The lantern is attached to the platform with a clip, which quickly and simply fits inside. If desired, the platform can be purchased separately, it is compatible with most of the brand’s LED lights.

The maximum length of the entire flashlight 5.11 Flexio Penlight is at least 44.5 cm, while the approximate folded length is about 24 cm (only the body length is 12 cm), the maximum diameter, taking into account the clip and the fixed LED module, is almost 3 cm (diameter only cases – 1.5 cm), the total weight, excluding the weight of the batteries and magnetic mounting, is exactly 80 grams.

The lantern was liked by its relatively small size and light weight, flexible LED module, namely, good rigidity of the “neck”, which perfectly maintains the set position, and the presence of a magnetic mount in the kit. The weaknesses of the 5.11 Flexio Penlight model, in my opinion, include the insufficient brightness of the LED, as well as, by modern standards, a short operating time. In addition, the solution with replaceable LED modules seems doubtful, the version with three LEDs at the same time is more preferable.

The specialized LED flashlight 5.11 Flexio Penlight, for preparing the first fact-finding review, was ordered directly from the Tactical Gear online store , the approximate cost of placing an order was about $ 45.

OVERVIEW OF THE FOLDING KNIFE 5.11 TACTICAL CS2 SPEARPOINT, AFTER FOUR YEARS OF USE

I repeatedly get questions about the knife, which often appears in my reviews to compare the overall sizes of certain items of equipment, which is a folding pocket knife 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint. Developed in 2012 by the American company Blade Tech Industries, specifically for the well-known brand 5.11 Tactical. Model 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint is part of the Counter-Strike collection, which also includes two more models – CS1 Tanto and CS3 Dagger. Between themselves, the models differ only in the shape of the blade.

My acquaintance with the 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint model began in the fall of 2012, and despite the fairly long service life, this model remains one of the flagships of my “folding” collection, which also contains popular products from Böker, Kershaw, Cold Steel, CRKT , OKC, Leatherman, Ganzo, as well as other models from Blade Tech / 5.11 Tactical. The knife is used both daily and in field exits, especially in recent times.

In the field, the 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint knife is mainly used on the roles of the main tool paired with a separate multi-tool, or as a spare if a larger knife with a fixed blade is used. It is important to note that I do not use my knives, regardless of their design, for opening cans, chopping and chopping logs, hammering pegs, as a top of a homemade spear, etc., only for their intended purpose, namely for processing small items ( cutting, sharpening) and as a means of self-defense. For opening cans and chopping logs, I use suitable tools for this – a multitool and an ax.

In this, so to speak, small review, I will not dwell on the technical characteristics of 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint, all the data has already been published in the first review. I will highlight only the positive and negative sides that I encountered during the operation period. Of course, all my conclusions should be considered exclusively as subjective. In general, I am extremely pleased with the knife, I am completely satisfied with both the design and the general characteristics.

The first thing I like about Knife 5.11 CS2 Spearpoint is its handle, it occupies an almost perfect position in the hand, very comfortable and does not cause any discomfort during prolonged use. Depending on the use case, the thumb or index finger is conveniently placed on specially designed ribs on the butt at the base of the blade, while the remaining fingers harmoniously “fit” into the recesses of the handle. Textured skeleton pads, which are made of fiberglass reinforced nylon, “cling” well, regardless of whether gloves are used or not.

The second, extremely positive moment for me is the Liner-Lock, which has never failed. Adjust the axial screw, you can achieve excellent results, in terms of working with a knife, using only one hand. The liner with a thickness of a little more than 1 mm has a characteristic notch, which perfectly identifies and clings to the thumb, which allows you to quickly remove / fold the blade with one hand even at zero visibility. The same applies to double-sided pegs, the height of which does not protrude beyond the lining, but at the same time the shape of the bends of the handle allows them to be easily identified.

And finally, the blade itself. Firstly, AUS-8 steel, which, as I see it, is very easy to use, cuts well, holds sharpening for a long time and is also easy to maintain. Secondly, the thickness, width and length of the blade, as well as the very shape of the blade itself. A rather good length of the working surface is 95 mm, the maximum width is about 27 mm, the thickness on the butt is 3.8 mm, which fully maintains the balance between the strength of the blade under transverse loads and the cutting efficiency. The geometry of the blade allows both convenient cutting and stabbing, which is achieved by wide concave descents, leads up to 1.3 mm and a reduction of 0.6 mm.

There are negative aspects, but there are few, or rather, only two. The first is the skeleton-like design of the grip pads, the holes are quickly clogged with dirt and they often have to be cleaned, while they almost always need to be completely removed. The second problem is the fastening of the clip, you can’t do without sealant, otherwise the fastening of the clip quickly becomes “loose” and you can simply lose the knife.

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