When the original Drop RDA was released, it made incredible waves across the rebuildable market for just how good it truly was. Digiflavour was not a name that was in many people’s minds but once the Drop came out, everyone had to have one. It combined a brilliant design with an easy to use build deck, plenty of airflow and a simple look about it. It was hailed as one of the best RDA of all time, that is some acclaim given the sheer choice on the market. It was released in 2017 so it took them a long time to go back to the Drop and look in ways to improve it. 3-4 years is a long time for any product to be followed up, never mind one as good as the original one. Fast forward to this year and the Drop 1.5 was released, the refined version of the very best. It was not the groundbreaking revolution that many people expected from the follow up, simply a tweak in the original design. However the question was, did the tweaks make this even better than the original, more importantly, is it worthy of purchase? So today, I am going to take a look at the Drop 1.5……
However this is a review with a twist.
I have never used an RDA before in my life. I am a sub ohm vaper at heart and have never really strayed away from that sort of vaping. I have tried in the past to build my own coils, from the sub tank mini, to a random RDA I bought to practice on. The one constant is that I never got it to work, whether it was coil issues, burning wick, or simply nothing at all happening. So picking this up to review seems a very backwards concept I know, but I was determined to finally break through no matter how many coils or amounts of cotton it would take. So rather than provide a general review, I instead will detail my journey using the Drop 1.5 and hopefully offer a great reference for anyone just like me who wants to get into rebuilding, or simply provide entertainment for the experienced out there.
In the Box
DigiFlavor Drop V1.5 RDA
2x Ni80 Fused Clapton Coils
2x shoelace cotton
Spare parts baggy
BF Squonk 510 pin
User manual and other paperwork
- Size: 24×42mm
- Gold plated build deck with 4 large post holes
- Bottom Feed Squonk 510 pin
- Multiple airflow adjustment
- DL and RDL vaping
- 810 drip tip
Red Beard custom coils
Before we begin I want to detail what coils I will be using with this device as I want to get a good indication on both the ones provided and some hand made coils. The custom coils I plan to use came from The Beard custom coils, 2 0.15 coils made with 2×26g and 1x 38g wire. These came highly recommended by other vapers so I picked a couple up to try. If you want to try them out yourself, you can find them HERE.
Out the box
So opening the Drop 1.5 box up, I am greeted with a rather lovely rainbow / silver RDA. The colour range is actually quite wide with at least 8, I chose the simple silver rainbow effect. There is a large 810 drip tip on top and down the sides is segregated air holes that can be turned to open and close one slit at a time. The name drop is written on both sides and there isn’t much else until you open it up. When you do open the RDA up there is 2 ways to open it, first the inside part (rainbow in this case) will pull out and leave the outer shell. This is ideal for refilling the cotton when using the RDA without taking it all apart. The outer shell also can be removed, which gives you access to the deck inside.
The deck is solid gold in colour with 4 posts evenly separated, each with a flathead screw into each post. There is a deep well underneath the posts for excess juice when dripping which you can see from the dip in the base. Once you have finished with the deck, simply push the outer body back on and you are good to go. The drip tip is replaceable on the top if you so wish to replace it to your own and underneath the shell is 2 removable O rings to secure the RDA case in place.
In the rest of the box you get instruction manuals, a card for 15% off the Digiflavour store and the standard warranty cards. You also get 2 bags that each contain all of your spare parts. In 1 you get 2 uncut coils and 2 pull through cotton for easy wicking (cotton with handles). In the other bag you get spare screws, a T bar screwdriver and spare O rings as well.
So in terms of things out of the box, you have almost everything you need to get going, minus a coil cutting tool, but that can be easily substituted.
Building the coils
The next step in this little journey was actually setting up the coils to use on the Drop 1.5. I found the process rather simple actually, not fiddly at all, so I will go through the step by step of how I managed to get the coils on the device.
1. Remove the outer shell so you have easy access to the decks
2. Unscrew the screws on the posts enough so you can see the gap in the top of each post giving enough room to push the coils in.
3. Either pre cut the coil legs down or push them into the posts and then cut from the bottom if you have a tool that will fit.
4. Once in place, tighten the screws back up again so the coils are in place.
5. Next step is to heat the coils to ensure they are evenly warming up when you fire. Simply place it on a mod and without the power being too high, fire the device so the entire coil is glowing orange. If they aren’t then you may need to adjust the coils in the posts (once they cool again).
Once you have got the coils glowing orange, the next step is the wick.
Wicking the coils
So once the coils are set up you want to be able to wick the device, which thanks to the clever cotton in the box, you can do quite easy.
1. Simply take one side of the cotton and pull it through the coil until even on both sides. It helps to slightly twist as you do it, to prevent you pulling and mis- shaping the coils. Once you have done both sides, cut the ends of the cotton off so all you are left with is cotton.
2. From here you want to de-fluff the cotton and trim it down. You have to have enough to be able to wick fully for longer pulls but not enough to dry hit due to wicking issues. At around an inch and a half wick will be great, but it is worth checking building videos online for a point of reference there.
3. Once the wick is in and at a good size, next step is to start to drip onto the cotton slightly. This is to condense the cotton, do not flood the coil at this time.
4. Next, push the cotton down into the sides of the well. You don’t want to fold it over, simply push it into the side, as a fold will cause wicking issues. So the cotton needs to be contained at this point and not sticking out.
5. Once this is done , place the outer shell back onto the base and then add liquid onto the cotton, enough to completely saturate the coil, use a slight excess for the well, where the juice will still be touching the wicking.
And then you are done, place the inside chamber back on and you are ready to go.
So how did it vape?
I left the cotton to soak up the juice for a few moments to be on the cautionary side and then fired the device up at 40w to see how it would perform. At first there was not much vapour coming from the coils I noticed, but after another 2/3 vapes, the vapour was a little muted but thick in vapour. I moved the power up to around 60 and I was getting notes of flavour but nothing too spectacular.
What I did then was opened the Drop 1.5 back up and trimmed some more of the cotton down on each side, not excessively but I cut around 2-3mm off the sides and put it all back together and had another attempt . This time the flavour was more prominent, again nothing spectacular but I was getting more flavour through this time, enough to make a nice vape. I did notice opening it back up that there was no singing or burning of the wick which was a fantastic sign, one of the problems I had previously with other devices.
I then rebuilt the deck using 2 coils made by Red Beard, home made coils compared to the previous ones out of the box and some Vapefly Firebolt cotton, also with the little handles on them and had another go at getting some flavour from the Drop 1.5. To be honest I had a similar experience at first with the too much cotton aspect, but I trimmed it down again and the flavour was far better. I was using some Choppavapes raspberry ripple ice cream and I got a flood of cream coming through with notes of raspberry as well. The difference between the coils and cotton out the box and the home made coils with fancy cotton was like night and day.
It worked! I managed to get an RDA going AND managed to have plenty of flavour from it. I found the overall experience quite easy actually, not at any point did I really struggle, only with the coils heating evenly with the coils provided out the box but the Red Beard coils had no such issue. I did have a few troubleshooting issues, I saturated the cotton a little too much without the case on and it leaked through the air holes when I put it back on. The coils taking a little bit to ramp up out the box was another slight issue, it meant I was taking a few puffs each time rather than being able to take 1 which was a little annoying. Generally speaking however, me as a complete novice managed to get this device going which is mightily impressive!
So using this device for a period of time, what are my actual thoughts? Remember this is from a novice persepective rather than an expert so I simply want to portray my experience rather than weigh it up with the rest of the market.
Drop 1.5 Pros
The first pro I can give this device is just how well built it is, from the outer casing to the gold posts inside, it feels and looks impressive. Granted I picked a boring colour but even the colours on offer look really nice, I wish I had picked the blue one now. The metal case is solid and doesn’t feel like you could bend it at all, with the whole thing easy to take apart out of the box. The posts are wonderfully easy to use, I noticed even when screwing the little screws out quite a bit, they still sat in the post ready for fastening again, there was no looseness or falling out whilst I was messing about with the coils. There was a great secure aspect with them I noticed, tightening them too tight I know would essentially ‘cut’ the coil itself but once fastened, it just didn’t give any more room to overtighten them in the post.
In terms of leaking, I had none whatsoever that was not user error. Refilling the coils it never flooded out, only when I oversaturated the cotton with the case off. I could take a fair few vapes as well with the cotton before I had to re-drip which made it quite user friendly to use. The drip tip felt secure when using the device and had no issues there either. The air holes gave a lot of option, and it did restrict the airflow when closed over almost, with plenty when wide open. I enjoyed this with all the airflow but even at half open it was a nice vape. The vapour itself was warm without being too hot and as previously mentioned, packed full of flavour and I only got spitback when I had overfilled the coil.
Drop 1.5 Cons
There were a few little nitpicks I did find when I was using this RDA but remember, this is from a novice experience rather than a seasoned builder. The first thing I found that was a little negative is when the coil was built and wicked, the inside part to adjust the airflow was a little bit more difficult to turn compared to without a coil. It is only minor annoyance but it would have been nice to still have a little more flow in the turn. The next con I found with the Drop 1.5 was that the coils and wick in the box was a little lacklustre and gave me quite a muted vape. I think Digiflavour should really have put better quality in there to give a wow factor and a great impression from the get go without having to look elsewhere. Another minor complaint is not having a coil cutter in the box alongside the screwdriver. If the coils were pre cut then this again would not be an issue but it would just improve the out of the box experience.
This is my favourite product of all time! Not really, but the amount of joy this product has given me is unparalleled to anything in vaping since my first great sub ohm tank. To not only get me using the device but for it to be so easy? That is some achievement, it is the equivalent of an idiot proof device, me being the idiot in this instance. The device is so easy to use, it gives great flavour and vapour production and has a great design, what more is there to like? From my perspective, this truly is a fantastic RDA and I am sure plenty of experienced rebuilders would find this a joy to use as well. The deck is massive to give you plenty of building room, the airflow options are incredible for such a small device.
I have to give massive credit to Red Beard Custom coils as well, they were fantastic and really performed well straight out of the packaging. If you need any custom coils then I highly recommend giving them a try to get brilliant coil performance.
If you are a new to the RDA scene I can absolutely recommend this as a first device to use, or if you are a pro then as another great purchase. If a complete novice can enjoy this and use it then you can too.
If yuo want to pick your own first RDA up, or fancy an upgrade. You can buy the Drop 1.5 from Choppavapes today.