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Hellvape – Dead Rabbit R-Tank Review – Bridging the gap between stock-coils and a rebuildable deck | Vaping Underground Forums


Introduction

The Dead Rabbit R Tank confused me initially. I looked at the box and saw a picture of some mesh – so it must be a mesh rebuildable. Then I opened the tank and it looked like a sub-ohm tank, but then I found mesh and cotton in the box – whatever the R Tank is, it’s a pretty unique take on vaping.

The main claims that Hellvape have made about this tank, is that it’s “For Beginners, For Flavor” – so that will be how I review the R Tank – does it offer good flavor and is it beginner friendly?

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All images are here

Specs

  • Height 51.5mm (with drip-tip and 510 pin)
  • Width 25.5mm
  • Capacity 4ml/5.5ml

What do you get?

  • Dead-Rabbit R-Tank
  • 4ml straight glass (fitted) + 5.5ml bubble glass
  • 5×0.2ohm KA1 mesh
  • 5×mesh strip
  • Coil building tool
  • Spare O-rings, etc

What’s it like?

Until you look at the deck, it’s not too different from most other RTAs. It has a bayonet fitting on the top-cap and removable base and strangely a 510 drip-tip as standard – 810 drip-tips will not fit.

Then you open it up and it has what looks like an empty stock-coil fitted to the deck – you’re going to build inside this.

I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to drip-tips, so I swapped the supplied drip-tip out for one of my favorites.

Overall, it’s a reasonably attractive tank with subtle branding and an equally subtle Celtic style pattern on the top and bottom which serves as knurling.

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Building

This is where it gets interesting.

Of course there have been rebuildable stock-coils in the past – Wotofo has the range of SMRT coils and Vapefly has the RMC coil. However, this is a little different, or more accurately this is easier.

With Wotofo’s and Vapefly’s coils you assemble a stock-coil inside an empty shell – put the mesh and cotton around a rod, insert the rod into the shell, insert a rubber ring into the bottom trapping one leg and leaving one leg free, insert the positive pin trapping the remaining leg, cut the legs, screw on the top half of the shell, and then cut the cotton – it sounds harder than it actually is, but Hellvape have managed to achieve the same with far less steps and less messing about.

With the R Tank, you undo the deck screws (which are revealed when you twist the airflow ring all the way to the right), wrap the coil and cotton around the rod, insert the rod into the tube on the deck, tighten the screws to secure the legs (no cutting required), cut the excess cotton and remove the rod. All in all, it was a 30 second procedure at most.

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Build photos are here

Is it truly rebuildable?

While it is obviously rebuildable in comparison to a regular stock-coil, you’re still using proprietary mesh and cotton, so I tried a couple of experiments:

  • Reusing the coil – seeing as the cotton is usually the weakest element of a stock-coil, I wanted to see if I could reuse the mesh with fresh cotton. Unscrew the deck screws, remove the mesh and cotton with some pliers, re-wrap everything around the rod with fresh cotton – no problem. I guess I could have dry burned the mesh, but it was so clean that it didn’t seem worth it.
  • Using regular cotton – I tried to do this with the SMRT coil and failed, but I not only managed to do this with the R Tank, it worked first time – no leaks, no loss of flavor. I cut and folded a regular cotton pad to a similar height and thickness as the original cotton, I then pressed it between two pages of a book to compress everything and did the build as normal. This really surprised me, I was expecting torrents of juice to leak all over my hands or nasty mesh dry hits – but nothing, just the same performance as the regular build. The final result

Being able to reuse the mesh with regular cotton seems like a big deal to me, for the tiny cost of a pack of cotton, you are now able to extend the life of your coil until the actual mesh dies.

Cost

I imagine that one of the main reasons for someone considering the R Tank is to save money on coils, in fact there’s little point in buying it, if it ends up costing the same as buying regular stock-coils.

After letting Google search do its thing, I found packs of R Tank mesh/cotton on sale, for between $5 and $7 – a pack contains ten mesh strips and ten cotton strips, so $0.50 – $0.70 per coil.

If you can be bothered to re-wick with regular cotton, this will obviously become much cheaper.

How does it vape?

None of the above matters, if it doesn’t vape well.

I primed the coil, in exactly the same way as I would a stock-coil and started low – when I first started using the R Tank there wasn’t much information available, so I had no idea what the recommended wattage was. It turns out that it’s recommend for 50-60w.

Everything below 45w was underwhelming, even with airflow half closed – once I reached 45w I started to get reasonable vapor production and flavor – but nothing special.

From 50w onward the R Tank starts to perform well – it gives exactly the same flavor as you’d expect from a mesh stock-coil at 50w – strong overall flavor, instant ramp up and good vapor production.

50w was the sweet spot for me, going to 60w gave me exactly the same flavor, just with a little more vapor production.

I’d be lying if I said this was the best flavor that I’ve ever tasted, it’s not – for that you’re going to need an RDA or RTA and some traditional coils, mesh just doesn’t do that. However, in the context of mesh and especially mesh stock-coil tanks, the flavor and vapor production is good.

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Is it beginner friendly?

It’s not as easy as putting a stock-coil in a tank.

It’s easier than the SMRT and RMC systems from Wotofo and Vapefly respectively.

It’s much much easier than building on an RTA, especially when you consider the wicking.

So yeah, it’s beginner friendly – I’m confident that anyone who read the instructions, would have their first coil in the tank within 60 seconds.

What don’t I like about it?

I have three complaints about this tank:

  • 510 drip-tip only – I love 510 drip-tips, but it seems like a strange choice for this tank.
  • Only one mesh type – this might change in the future, but I would have loved to have seen a couple of different spec mesh available.
  • Same amount of cotton as mesh – it is easily rewickable, and for those who don’t want to mess around with cotton pads, they are going to be limited to one cotton per mesh.

Conclusion

This is very much a niche product for people currently using a stock-coil tank or pod-mod and looking to save some money on coils. If you fall into that category, the R Tank is something worth looking out for.

I was happy to see some actual innovation in a tank, that isn’t a gimmick and works well.

Disclaimer

The Dead Rabbit R-Tank was sent to me by Hellvape for the purposes of this review

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