Dorcy AAA vs. River Rock 2AAA

dim

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
345
In one corner, the Dorcy AAA. A staple of CPF and flashaholics for over a year, the Dorcy is usefully bright for a single LED, conveniently sized, all but disappearing in the pocket, has very good runtime on a single AAA and at $6, is cheap but not too cheaply made. Also, it's a mod favorite.

In the other corner, the River Rock 2AAA. New to CPFers and flashaholics, its half watt LED is brighter than a single LED and even throws a bit, is nicely EDC sized small and stylishly slim at 2AAA length, has good runtime and is a very good value at $10. It's a great gift and a nice Mini* replacement.

To handicap this fight, a gambling flashaholic would surely put his/her money on the River Rock to KO the Dorcy. At about twice as bright as the Dorcy, the River Rock is also better looking and better made. But despite the RR winning on points, this ringside flashaholic judge gives this bout to the Dorcy.

Upon investigation, the CPF "committee" would find that the fix was in - that it would take the best of four Dorcys to win the bout against the RR.

Personally, not only did I find my first Dorcy, the last one at Wallys at the time, a gold one, brighter than I expected, I was also surprised as to how effective a well driven LED is with night adjusted eyes. My second Dorcy, in the color that I wanted, silver, is not quite as bright. The third Dorcy, a Red one bought as a gift, that I, of course, had to make sure was in working order....BULLS-EYE!! - both literally and figuratively. The broad bulls-eye pattern of this Dorcy of increasing brightness from its spill to its large spot would be considered stunning even on a hundred dollar flashlight let alone one that costs just $6, and with just enough yellow swirling in the bluish tone of the lone LED to render colors well. The fourth Dorcy, another red one, the one that was given as the gift, is bright but uneven.

Trying to polish out a scratch on the River Rock's lens, I inadvertently added several more "nice" scratches to the lens of the RR that showed up as artifacts in its spill on the White Wall. Since the spot already had artifacts, I added some satin tape to the lens. At the ever so slight, inconsequential loss of overall light, the tape works well to smooth out all imperfections in the quite blue beam of the RR.

Because it's brighter, throws some and is good looking, if one was carry just one flashlight or was steppin' out, stylin', between these two flashlights, the Dorcy AAA and the River Rock, I would suggest the RR. But, hey, we're flashaholics, and we usually carry more than just one flashlight (don't you?). The RR just doesn't have enough lumens to be a primary EDC nor do I think that the RR is right for a backup/secondary EDC. One reviewer had it right when he called the Dorcy AAA a "mouth light". Aided by its rubber boot, my "pick-of-the-litter" Dorcy spends much of its working time in my mouth comfortably between my teeth leaving my two hands free to work. The bulls-eye beam of my Dorcy lights up a large enough area at "arms length" to not give tunnel vision or scorched eyes from too sharp of a spot. Though usable, the longer, heavier RR is not as capable as such. Even when held in the hand, because of its softer, broader spot, the Dorcy is more effective for close work. For longer (distance) work, I'll use my primary EDC du jour, usually something with 25-50 lumens. The River Rock seems to "fall between the cracks".

For flashlights that cost just $6 and $10, the Dorcy AAA and the River Rock 2AAA respectively, these "lightweights" have created A LOT of "buzz". This fight is a close one, flashlight fans. If this bout is too close for you to call, for a total of $16, do the CPF thing to do and BUY BOTH. Heck, at these prices, buy several for yourself and as gifts for the next flashaholics.

73
dim
 
Last edited:

BlackDecker

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
844
Location
Okla, USA
Regarding your mention of scratches on the RR lens... I placed a piece of Fellowes "WriteRight" over the lens to diffuse the beam, and as a bonus, it keeps the lens from getting scratched.

Regarding the 'holding the light in the teeth'... ever heard of a headlamp? :)
 

nikon

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
1,164
Location
Another time, another place.
Great post, dim. There's only one small point where I'd disagree...I think the Dorcy is better looking. But that's just me. By the way, if you want to make the Dorcy's beam even better for close up work, remove the head and tap out the lens and reflector from the rear. Put the empty head back on and you'll see the most unfrigginbelieveably beautiful beam imagineable.
 

Vikas Sontakke

Enlightened
Joined
May 30, 2002
Messages
860
Has anybody thought about chopping the River Rock 2AAA
and then using LeFi rechargeable? It should give at least
few hours of runtime at even higher brightness. Few bucks
for cut and rethread, few bucks for the battery and charger
and you have a great EDC light under $30!
 

nerdgineer

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
2,778
Location
Southern California
phatalbert said:
You'll be happy to know that nuwai makes a 1xaaa that is identical to the RR.
If it had the same CIRCUITRY as the 2xAAA, then it might take a Li-Ion AAA and would then be a stunning tennish dollar mini-light. But if it didn't, it might blow and become a very small paperweight. Does anybody know?

The strength of the Dorcy 1AAA is that it's very easy to replace the LED, unlike the RR. With one of the new high output 5mm LEDs in it, its' output doubles and it nearly matches RR in total output, with a good wide flood beam and smaller size. Costs closer too ($6 + $2 for LED plus time), but both are real good values, and they are the pair I actually do carry...
 

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