What Are RDA’s?
RDA, RTA, RBA, RPM, RNC…. acronyms have you confused? RDA stands for rebuildable dripping atomizer. Most smokers begin with a simple e-cig, and then they graduate from e-cigarette to vape pen. After they’ve enjoyed their pens they’ve moved on to mods, and then they’re still looking for something new. A rebuildable dripping atomizer is that next step.
They aren’t all that easy to build, but they offer unparalleled flavor and vapor production. Essentially, RDA’s have a coil or coils and a wick, but no tank. The vaper has to drip the e-juice directly onto the coil. The drip tip is shorter and narrower because you have to vape the liquid immediately after dripping it. You’ll generally have to drip more frequently, but the unparalleled flavor and vapor production make it totally worth it. The battery might not last as long either because RDA’s drain far more power than regular atomizers, but if you’re willing to sacrifice convenience for experience, then the RDA might be for you.
In this article, we’ll explain to you the kinds of RDA’s you can buy, how you calculate resistance and build coils, and what to search for when shopping for RDA’s. Then we’ll share all of our favorite RDA’s with you and explain what we like about them so much. So, if you want to know how to find the best RDA’s, then read on!
Why Use RDA’s Rather Than RTA’s?
RDA’s, as opposed to RTA’s, which are also known as rebuildable tank atomizers, do not have any tanks. RTA’s have a regular tank where e-liquid is stored. An RDA, on the other hand, has a deck with a number of posts supporting either one or two atomizer coils. The vape juice collects underneath the deck in a well, and with the help of airflow, the liquid is absorbed by the wick to be vaporized and inhaled.
What Kinds of RDA’s Are There?
RDA’s come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They range in size all the way from a measly 14mm all the way to 46mm, and while most hold one or two coils, there are coils that hold up to six. You can find RDA’s in brass, copper, stainless steel, and other metals as well as a whole host of different colors. You can decide whether your atomizer will allow you to vape mouth-to-lungs or direct-to-lungs–RDA’s can do pretty much anything because, well, you build them.
RDA’s can, however, be classified as either suited better for cloud production or flavor production. Cloud-chasing destined atomizers will have a longer diameter, heavier coils, and a larger airflow. RDA’s meant to produce intense flavor tend not to exceed 22mm in diameter, have less airflow, and are intended for mouth-to-lungs vaping. Of course, the majority of RDA’s can perform both functions rather well, but if you’d like to maximize on one either flavor or taste, then you’ll want to look for these qualities specifically.
RDA’s are either three post, four post, or velocity style RDA’s. A three post RDA has one positively charged post in the center surrounded by two negatively charged posts on either side of it. The four post style functions much the same way except that the center post is split making it easier to attach two separate coils. The velocity style includes but two posts that can secure two separate coils at one time. Do make sure though that the RDA is meant to take multiple coils. It’s easy to confuse velocity RDA’s with standard single coil designs.
Lastly, RDA’s differ based on airflow styles. RDA’s will either have a series of horizontal airflow slots surrounding a single eye, hence the name ‘cyclops’. RDA’s with airflow vents on the bottom produce greatest flavor. Vent holes along the top of a device are most practical because they seldom spill or overflow. You can also find RDA’s that let air circulate through the bottom and then horizontally past the coils and even RDA’s that cause the air to swirl through like a vortex, which gives this atomizer its name.
After You Find the Best RDA, How Do You Calculate Resistance?
When you picked up your first starter kit, you probably popped in the atomizer and took a puff. Well, unfortunately, RDA’s aren’t that simple because you become responsible for keeping the resistance, voltage, and current all within reasonable limits. While RDA’s are perfectly safe, they can become quite dangerous if you fool around with equipment you don’t understand.
When first starting out, you’re probably not going to want to venture into sub-ohm terrain because if your resistance is too low, you risk letting your mod overheat. Vapers want low resistances when using mechanical mods, which can be even more dangerous because there are no regulations built into the system. Once you’ve built a fair amount of coils, you can start decreasing the resistance, but don’t go below 1.0Ω just yet.
You can test the resistance of the coils using an ohm reader. An ohm reader is an absolute must when it comes to RDA’s. You can find a digital volt-ohm reader over at ePuffer for testing atomizer coils and cartomizers to tell both when they’re ready to be used and when they’re ready to be tossed.
You’ll also want to do a few quick calculations to ensure that the mod you want to use is strong enough to handle your atomizer. Ohm’s law, you should recall, states that the current is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance, so the voltage of your battery divided by your resistance should never surpass the amperage capacity of your mod. Remember, the lower the resistance, the higher the current rate because the quotient increases when the divisor becomes a smaller and smaller fraction.
Criteria to help you to find the Best RDA
Number of Posts- RDA’s generally come with either two or three posts. There are RDA’s that come with more, but they’ll overheat too quickly. Plus, it’ll require you to make an absurd number of coils when fewer will suffice. Typically RDA’s with a split center post–four posts in total–generally prove to be the simplest because the coils don’t have to share the same hole. If there isn’t enough room on the posts, you’ll be placing too many coils into the same limited space.
Airflow Control-Airflow control plays a vital role in vaping with RDA’s because it has a massive impact on the flavor and vapor production. Especially if you’re sub-ohm vaping. The lower your resistance, the more airflow you need to get a direct-to-lungs hit. When shopping for RDA’s, make sure to find one with vents that allow air to blow through at multiple angles and an adjustable ring situated at the base of the atomizer so that vapers can adjust the amount of air going through at any given time.
Contact Pin-Contact pins connect the battery to the atomizer, so you’ll want to verify that the contact pin comes in a highly-conductive metal like silver, gold, or copper rather than bronze or stainless steel.
Tank Capacity- If you’re tank is too large, too much vapor will collect, but if your tank is too small, you won’t be able to vaporize liquid correctly. It’s best to pick a moderately-sized tank.
Aesthetics- Who wouldn’t want a beautiful RDA? None of us can resist one with beautiful curves and a healthy sheen to it.
Squonk Pins-A number of RDA’s have squonk pins. Squonk pins are pins with holes in them connected to tanks below the RDA. Instead of dripping, you can use the squonk pin to squirt juice from the tank onto the cotton. Squonk pins allow you to vape without dripping e-juice constantly. If you follow these six steps though, you should be able to find the best RDA in no time.
The Best RDA’s for 2021
Now that you know what you’re looking for, what kind of RDA’s are there? What are the best RDA’s on the market? Well, you don’t have to find any of the best RDA’s on your own because we’ve rounded up a whole bunch of them just for you. These seven RDA’s are truly some of the best RDA’s you’ll find, so stay tuned.
#8: GOON LP RDA by 528 Custom Vapes
The Goon LP RDA combines the Goon RDA with the shortie style with a four-post bridge plated entirely with 24K gold for a clean, sleek look. The kit comes with two different drip tips, and the mod has dual air slots to ensure nice smooth vapes. There is a built-in squonking pin, and the entire it comes in a convenient carrying case. At 24mm in diameter, this kit is large enough for any kind of construction, and the juice well is deep enough so that you won’t constantly be dripping. The Goon LP RDA is not necessarily a cheap RDA at about $75 a pop, but you will get your money’s worth. It’s really not for beginners in the first place though.
#7: Recoil Performance RDA by Grimm Green x Ohm Boy OC
Last but certainly not least we have the Recoil Performance RDA which was made as a result of a team effort from Grimm Green and Ohm Boy. This deck has a split center post with 2.5mm terminals, and the negative posts have been raised slightly to allow for seamless installation. Airholes are positioned along the side of the atomizer for enhanced taste. When purchasing this atomizer, you can choose between red, purple, blue, black, stainless steel, green, and anarchist brass.
This little atomizer is just so cute. I can’t help but adore it. As far as vaping goes, it doesn’t leak, it provides plenty of vapor, and the flavor is superb. If you are looking to find the best RDA, you’ve found it.
#6: CSMNT | Cosmonaut RDA by District F5VE
District F5VE promises that, with this it, you’ll be able to puff clouds larger than you’ve ever seen before. This amazingly postless design has an unsurprisingly large stage and can therefore accommodate large quantities of dense cotton. The entire atomizer is plated in 24K gold for optimal conductivity. At 24mm, it sits comfortably atop most mods, and can be purchased in a bright stainless steel or matte black. Plus, special lead inserts make the Cosmonaut RDA compatible with any wire type.
This mod has a huge open space for building large structures, and better yet, it’s a breeze to build on. I seriously cannot put down this mod because it produces better vapor than I’ve ever seen before with my other tanks. I think this may be one of the best RDA’s CSMNT has ever built.
#5: Tsunami RDA by Geek Vape
We mentioned above that we love the Tsunami 24, but the original Tsunami is still really good! The original Tsunami by Geek Vape also comes with three drip tip and an allen key. The rectangular airflow vents allow for better direct-to-lungs vaping, and the improved deck allows you to build just about anything you want there. Customers loved the velocity-style deck and found the RDA suitable for novices.
There’s definitely no doubt about why this is called tsunami. Dude–it vapes like no other. I never really vaped until I vaped with Geek Vape and felt the tsunami of vapor overwhelm me. Best RDA ever!
#4: Goon RDA by 528 Customs
528 Custom Vapes have released their newest RDA, which includes an innovative “bridge clamp,” which allows you to house almost any kind of build. At 24mm, the atomizer is deep enough to prevent any leaks. We found that the Goon RDA was particularly easy to assemble and install, and we were vaping in no time flat. Plus, the copper contact pin allows for super-fast conductivity.
#3: Digiflavor Pharaoh Dripper RDA by RiP Trippers
DigiFlavor and Rip Trippers collaborated to bring you one of the most anticipated RDA’s in the past couple of years. This behemoth with a 25mm diameter and 35mm height has been carefully crafted from the finest stainless steel. It can hold a stunning 3mL of vape juice, and with the drip tip prevents any of it from squirting back into your mouth. Customers were wowed by the performance but found that the dual Clapton coils tended to heat to the point where extra airflow would have added some relief.
I ordered this atomizer on pre-sale and had been waiting weeks to use it. When it finally came, it was all I was looking for and more. I typically carry at least 3mL with me, so I’m not sure the juice storage function is particularly helpful. In any case though, I love the flavor and the clouds. You want to find the best RDA? Here it is!
#2: Wotofo Troll RDA V2
The Wotofo Troll is 22mm in diameter and rather thick at 10mm in depth. The airflow vents are further toward the top preventing any juice from spitting back at you. It’s built to handle any mechanical or regulated mod, and customers found it both user-friendly and versatile. You can purchase the atomizer either in black or stainless steel, and the sleek competition cap allows for wide-bore intake and maximum flavor.
#1: Tsunami 24 RDA by GeekVape
The newest version of the Tsunami by GeekVape offers all of the latest advances in RDA technology. The deck is new and improved, not to mention larger at a whopping 24mm, and is outfitted with two posts in the velocity style with Kennedy-style adjustable airflow. The Tsunami comes with three different drip tips including a 14.2mm wide bore drip tip, a 14.5mm diagonal Delrin drip tip, and a 12.5mm SS 510 drip tip. Plus, there is space to build in a squonk pin for those who appreciate this growing trend. This kind of RDA is designed specifically for vapers who prefer larger box mods. The tank comes in either black or stainless steel, and you can purchase extra Kanthal wire with it if you need more for your atomizer coils.
I have been using the Tsunami 24 by Geek Vape for several months now, and it’s my favorite RDA. I never used to use anything but cartridges and cartomizers, but the Tsunami 24 opened up a whole new side of vaping for me. I found the best RDA for sure!
And That’s How to Find the Best RDA’s
Have you felt like you hit a plateau in terms of vaping? Need something to spice up your life but refuse to give up your daily regimen of e-juices? RDA’s are exactly what you need. An RDA is a rebuildable dripping atomizer that can improve your vaping experience to levels beyond which you can now comprehend. RDA’s can be a little bit tricky, but as long as you’re using a regulated mod, you shouldn’t actually have any problems.
The products we have listed here are some of the best RDA’s on the market today, and they should have you blowing bigger and better clouds in no time.