HellVape Drop Dead RDA
Hellvape has managed to pull off a joint collaboration with the two designers (and youtube reviewers) of the most popular RDA’s on the market. The Vaper Chronicles’ (TVC) Drop and Heathen’s Dead Rabbit RDAs have just been mashed together both in design and in name.
The aim was to combine the best features of both RDAs and produce a 24mm dual-coil RDA which is more than the sum of its parts.
The Drop Dead also features an innovative barrel locking mechanism, which allows full airflow adjustment.
Is the Drop Dead really an improvement over both originals, and is it worth upgrading to? Let’s find out.
Looks good, decent build quality, excellent flavor, super smooth airflow and easy to build on.
Top cap can get hot if chain vaping.
The Bottom Line
If you own either the Drop or the Dead Rabbit RDA and are happy with them, then this isn’t much of an upgrade. However, if you don’t own either, or want the flavor of the Dead Rabbit with a smoother draw, then this is definitely the one to get. An excellent dual coil RDA.
- 24mm Diameter
- Top Terminal Four Post Build Deck
- Single Terminal Per Post; 2.5mm Terminals Per Post, Side Mounted Flathead Screws, Side Mounted Phillips Screws
- Gold Plated Positive Posts
- 5mm Deep Juice Well
- Double O-Ring Secured
- Internal Barrel Lock
- PEEK Insulator
- 14 Air Flow Holes Per Side; 1mm Each Air Hole, Downward Sloping Airflow
- Single or Dual Coil Options
- Knurled Grip To Adjust Airflow With Ease
- 8mm Wide Bore 810 Resin Drip Tip & Frosted Clear Drip Tip
- 510 Drip Tip Adapter
- Gold Plated 510 Connection
- Gold Plated Bottom Feed Pin
- 304 Stainless Steel Construction
In the Box
- 1 x Hellvape Drop Dead 24mm BF RDA
- 1 x 8mm Wide Bore 810 Resin Drip Tip
- 1 x 8mm Wide Bore 810 Clear Frosted Drip Tip
- 1 x 510 Drip Tip Adapter
- 1 x Spare Parts Pack
- 1 x Gold Plated Bottom Feed Pin
- 1 x One Allen Key
- 1 x One Phillips Screwdriver
- 1 x One Flathead Screwdriver
The Drop Dead is a 24mm dual coil RDA, which from the outside looks like it could be the Dead Rabbit 2.0.
It features the same knurled top cap as the original Dead Rabbit along with the similar top airflow positioning. However, the airflow is no longer just two open slots. Instead, it’s a honeycomb style airflow just like the Drop.
So where does the Drop come into the equation? Well if you remove the top cap, you will notice the build deck is basically the build deck from the Drop.
So the Drop Dead has the build deck from the drop with the airflow positioning of the Dead Rabbit. However, there’s a little more to the airflow than just it’s positioning, which we will get on to later.
The Drop Dead also features an innovative barrel locking mechanism, which allows full airflow adjustment. This is not only unique to the Drop Dead, but I think it is the defining aspect of this RDA.
It comes with both a colored resin and a clear frosted 810 drip tip with 8mm bore, along with a stainless steel 510 adapter. So there’s plenty of options there.
As you’d expect from Hellvape, the Drop Dead is immediately available in a range of colors and finishes.
I think the Drop Dead looks like a slightly classier Dead Rabbit, and the black version we have is far glossier and more high-end in appearance.
The only external design cue that comes from the Drop is the inclusion of the ‘dummy’ notch engraving on the barrel. Which is a strange design choice as the barrel is one piece and the notch is actually internal, but I guess they needed to have some ‘Drop’ aspect on the outside of the RDA.
The Dead Rabbit logo is now wrapped in two ‘D’ shapes, and it’s subtle along with the way it’s engraved into the barrel. Which is a good thing as I’m not a huge fan of the logo.
The included drip tip has a stainless steel base that matches the color of the RDA, which makes it look far slimmer overall and helps to give it slightly more elegant appearance, even with the printed ‘Hellvape’ on it.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the looks of the Drop, and I think the Drop Dead is undoubtedly a better looking RDA than either of its forerunners.
The Drop Dead’s build quality is excellent.
I think it’s actually a step up from that of the Dead Rabbit by Hellvape, and everything just seems to fit together a bit more seamlessly.
The O-rings have excellent tolerance on both the top cap and base. In fact, when you first get it, everything is a little too tight and requires a little bit of juice to lube it up.
The AFC control on the top cap has the perfect restriction on turning, so it won’t move freely.
The slightly glossy paintwork on the barrel feels and looks nice, and I don’t believe it will scratch easily, and both included drip tips look and feel great.
I didn’t really expect anything innovative from the Drop Dead as it’s a culmination of two incredibly popular RDA’s, both of which were innovative in their own right.
However, it’s not just a straight up take the best bits from each RDA and chuck them together.
They have still considered all aspects of the design, and cleverly adapted the notch system that locks the barrel and the build deck together to enable you to have complete airflow control.
Innovative?… I’m not sure. Clever and beneficial?…Definitely.
The build deck is essentially the same as the Drop RDA build deck.
This means it’s incredibly easy to drop your coils in and position them, but also a slight pain when it comes to snipping your coil legs that dangle down through the post holes.
The deck comes with flat head screws inside, but Hellvape does give you two sets of spare Philips head screws in the kit, so that’s a pro.
The only thing you need to be aware of when using the deck is to make sure your coils are in the perfect position for the airflow. You can either line them up so they are dead center to the airflow, or I prefer to have them a smidge lower, as the airflow does get angled down slightly just like that of the Dead Rabbit.
On the whole, it’s an easy build deck to use, and for those that haven’t used a Drop before it will take no time at all to get used to it.
Wicking is just like with the original Drop or Dead Rabbit for that matter where it uses capillary action to feed the juice up the wick to the high positioned coils.
It’s best to make sure you comb your wicks out and ensure you have plenty resting on the deck, so it can easily soak up the juice as you squonk and feed it to your coils.
As you’d expect the Drop Dead is an excellent RDA for squonking, as the coil position and the airflow is so high.
The squonk pin is raised from the deck, so it’s always wise to make sure you have plenty of wick on the base to soak up that juice.
I think adopting the higher horizontal airflow makes it far more leak-proof than the original Drop and an excellent RDA for squonking.
I love the airflow of the Drop Dead; this is where I believe they’ve made massive improvements on both the originals.
The airflow is located on the top third of the barrel just like the Dead Rabbit, but it uses the honeycomb style airflow which is proving to be so popular for its smoothness just like that of the Drop.
There are 2 rows of seven airholes measuring 1mm each. But just like the Dead Rabbit, the airflow is angled down by a pitched groove in the top cap.
By twisting the top cap (which turns nice and smoothly), you can shut off each vertical row one by one. Having 3 or 4 rows open creates a nice restrictive lung draw, any more than that and it’s verging on too tight, especially for the hot high wattage builds that you’d be accustomed to using.
The Drop Dead does have one very smart design aspect up its sleeve, and that doesn’t come from the airflow itself, but from the notch that connects the barrel and the deck.
The notch sits in a groove or track on the inside of the barrel which enables you to rotate the main chimney both ways a quarter turn, with a stopper each end.
This allows you to position whichever airflow configurations you go with bang center of the coil, unlike other RDA’s where you are effectively shutting off the left or right-hand side, and the airflow is never directly hitting the center of the coil.
I find that a lot of the time I have to remove the cap just to see if I’ve got it positioned correctly, but that’s no major issue for making sure I get the smoothest flavorful vape.
Wide open the Drop Dead has bags of airflow, but it’s nowhere near as airy as the original Drop. So if you were used to using the Drop wide open, it might be a little limiting for you. Still, it’s by no means a restrictive airflow and has more than enough to satisfy me and the majority of vapers.
On the whole, I think it’s a smoother draw than both the originals, and that’s the real main difference in comparing them.
The performance of the Drop Dead is not going to surprise you; it’s not a massive departure from both of its processors.
Essentially it vapes like a Dead Rabbit but has a much smoother draw than the Dead Rabbit due to the honeycomb style airflow.
So it’s performance is a culmination of the two RDAs it’s designed from, it has excellent flavor like the Dead Rabbit, and nice smooth airflow like the Drop. But I wouldn’t say it trumps either in their respective departments.
I’ve always felt I got better flavor from the Dead Rabbit than the Drop RDA, mainly because I like a slightly more restricted airflow, and the Drop was airier and had that ‘T’ shaped airflow lower down.
When it comes to flavor, the Drop Dead is entirely on par with the Dead Rabbit for me, and I don’t think there’s any real difference.
I like the Drop Dead with 8 airflow holes open, that’s where I get the most flavorful restrictive lung vape.
As I mentioned in the airflow section above, I think the Drop Dead beats both the originals with airflow. It’s smoother than the Dead Rabbit, and in a better position than the Drop.
It’s also easier to configure and can be aligned perfectly utilizing the notch in the barrel.
I’d say they’ve got it spot on with the amount and size of the air holes and over the other two it is definitely my favorite when it comes to airflow.
- Looks good
- Excellent build quality
- Easy to use deck
- Brilliant airflow control
- Great flavor
- Smooth airflow
- Deep juice well
- Two drip tips
- Tons of spares
- The top cap can get hot if chain vaping
- Snipping coils legs can be fiddly
I thought this was just going to be a gimmick RDA, taking two popular RDAs and combining them was just another way to milk that cash cow dry. That’s kind of the buzz on social media also.
Once you use the Drop Dead you will realize it’s a lot more than that, and actually a worthwhile collaboration.
Both of the original RDAs are quite old now, and we were surely due a revamp of either of them. If there were to be a Dead Rabbit version 2 or even a Drop version 2 then they would be incredibly similar to this, as they both lacked something that the other had in my opinion.
However, instead of each going there own path and creating what would be very comparable RDAs, both Heathen and TVC have had the nouse to join forces (along with Hellvape), and make sure they got the best of both worlds collectively.
I think the Drop Dead is the best of all 3 of the RDAs, as it does blend all the right aspects together, and adds a unique touch of its own. But if you are going to go on sheer performance alone, the Drop Dead is only a ‘rabbit’s’ hair better than the other two.
So if you already own either the Drop or the Dead Rabbit and are happy with them, it’s probably not worth the upgrade.
But if you don’t own either of them or just fancy a new dual coil RDA. Then this is the one to get – It is an excellent RDA.