So many people ask us, what are RDAs, we decided to cover it extensively. RDA stands for rebuildable dripping atomizer. It is exactly what it sounds like, a dripping atomizer that you can rebuild. If you do not know what an atomizer is, or what dripping refers to, then you might be a bit confused. Keep reading; we’ll explain in depth so you can be up to speed with the latest vape lingo.
RDA Foundational Building Blocks
To understand what an RDA is, you need to have basic knowledge of the parts that make up a vaporizer. Every vape has at least two components, the power supply, and the atomizer. The power supply is usually some kind of battery. There are a wide variety of batteries out there. They vary by capacity and size. The body that houses the battery varies from vape to vape also. Some are shaped like pens while others are shaped like boxes. Some have digital displays while others have manual dials and no digital displays. We won’t go into detail about the batteries because they have little to do with what makes an RDA an RDA.
Whenever you see vapers use acronyms like RDA, RTA, RBA, or RDTA, they’re referring to the top portion of the vaporizer, not the battery. In each of the above acronyms, the “A” stands for atomizer.
The atomizer is the piece that heats up the e-liquid and turns it into vapor. It is powered by the battery, heats up a coil, and vaporizes the vape juice that is on the wick. It is one of the most influential components of a vaporizer. The atomizer plays a large role in the quality of the vapor production. There are other factors such as the wattage, shaft width, shaft height, and the air flow. But the atomizer is central in all of the factors.
The wattage determines how much power is sent through the atomizer. The shaft width determines how wide the passage is from the atomizer to your mouth. Shaft height is the distance from the atomizer to your mouth. And the air flow is how much air is allowed to flow from outside the atomizer, through the atomizer, and to your mouth. The atomizer is majorly important. It’s so important; people often choose to build them themselves instead of buying them already assembled. That’s why atomizers are rebuildable and not just disposable. Now that you have knowledge of the fundamental components of vaporizers, we can explain precisely what an RDA is.
A rebuildable drip atomizer is made up of two things, the atomizer and the housing. There is no tank with the RDA. That is the beauty of RDAs; they have no tanks. It’s also what makes them a pain in the ass for the casual vaper.
To use an RDA, you have to drip your e-liquid onto the coil and wick continually. Since there is no tank for the wick to get vape juice from, you have to act as the tank. If you are not really into vaping, you probably won’t enjoy doing this very much. There are several distinct benefits to using RDAs, but if you’re not looking to become a vape aficionado, then you might want just to stick to tanks. Having a tank is convenient, but it’s not anywhere near as pure of a vaping experience as an RDA offers.
Not having a tank presents several notable benefits. One of the most obvious benefits is the flavor. The flavor that you will get off an RDA is by far the best flavor of all the vapes. It’s pure. Since the vapor does not have a shaft to travel through, it remains maximally concentrated. By not having a shaft, the vapor goes straight to your mouth. A shaft allows the vapor to dissipate a little before reaching your mouth.
If you do decide to buy an RDA, it will be the purest vapor you’ve ever had. Another benefit worthy of mentioning is the ability to switch up flavors. Since there is no tank, you will be able to switch flavors as frequently as you would like. You can literally switch flavors after every few puffs. You are the tank, and you can do whatever the hell you like. The flavor will remain pure, unlike the flavor of vapes with tanks. When you switch flavors in a tank, there is almost always plenty of residue left over from the previous flavor.
The last benefit worth mentioning is that there is no glass to break. RDAs usually have a housing made up of some type of metal. It’s nice not to have to worry about babysitting a glass tank. Some glass tanks come with protective sleeves that you can slide over the tank. With an RDA, you don’t have to be bothered with the glass. If you drop a glass tank, it will most likely shatter. An RDA is a lot more durable. If you drop it, it definitely won’t shatter. Some other benefits of RDAs are the overall quality of vapor production and the massive air flow.
There are some negatives that come with RDAs as well. If you are driving, you will not be able to use an RDA as effectively. Trying to drip vape juice onto your coils while driving is not a good idea. You’d have to wait until you were at a stop light or pull over on the side of the road just to feed your RDA a little juice. You would have to do this way too often for it to be practical.
If you want to vape in the car, we suggest you use a vape tank instead of an RDA. Don’t worry, you can keep your same battery as long as it’s compatible. If you have an entry level vape kit, then it might not be compatible with an RDA. If it’s compatible, just unscrew your RDA and screw on a tank (RTA, RDTA, or a clearomizer). With a tank, you won’t have to worry about fumbling around with your e-liquid while driving.
Another downside to RDAs is that they can be a bit messy. You are almost guaranteed to spill a little e-liquid from time to time. It happens to the best of us. If you over drip your RDA, you’ll see just how messy it can become. If you don’t want to deal with the mess, get a tank. Read the reviews of the tank you purchase to make sure it isn’t known to leak.
What is an RDA? (Summary)
In summary, a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer is basically a wick and a coil that has a removable housing around it. You drip your vape juice right onto the coil. The vapor production is pure and does not have to travel a long distance to get to your mouth since there is no tank or shaft. It keeps the flavor of your vapor concentrated, allowing the best flavor experience.
You will also be able to switch flavor as frequently as you choose. RDAs are awesome, but we do not recommend them for beginners. They are also not good for driving. If you are going to be in your home, or somewhere where you are stationary and have easy access to vape juice, then an RDA might just be perfect for you.
We wrote an article that recommends a good starter RDA for beginners and breaks down the reasoning. Check it out!