Every day more and more vapers are choosing RDAs. Vapers are seduced because the best RDA will offer better flavor and bigger cloud production.
An RDA is an atomizer that allows you to build coils with different resistances. You can customize your vape with different shapes, sizes, number of coils, and wire types. Utilizing resistive wire and cotton you can change the characteristics of your RDA vape in the following ways:
- Maximize Cloud Production
- Maximize Flavor Production
- Decrease Ramp-Up Time
- Fine Tune Power Draw
Choose to run one coil or lots of coils! RDAs, also called a “dripper”, allows you to drip directly on the atomizer coils. This means you get the freshest flavor directly from your bottle of E-Juice. But once you try and RDA you may never go back. The flavor is unmatched. They operate with a few drops of E-Liquid and give you that fresh clean flavor each time you drip.
Building RDA coils is not for everyone but it will save you money on pre-maid coils or sub-tank setups“.
These characteristics are what make RDAs desirable and make them the preferred atomizer for those trying to achieve the best flavor and clouds.
RDAs tend to be for the more experienced vapers. Not everyone prefers to build their own coils and even why it’s worth the effort. Once you own an RDA and start building you will understand the benefit and building a coil will be well worth the reward.
Choosing the best RDA or dripper is all about looking for the ultimate RDA flavor and for some, large vapor production. In the never-ending stream of hardware releases, here’s our current list of top RDAs.
Best RDA Vape
1. YachtVape Claymore RDA (Best Flavor)
A single-coil RDA that pairs great with normal and squonk mods. The Claymore RDA has top airflow holes that pull air from the top and get channeled directly underneath the coil. No wasted air leads to incredibly massive clouds for a single coil RDA. Thanks to the airflow design, squonking and dripping are pretty much leakproof. This little RDA has a small atomizer chamber that produces tons of flavor and the deck allows large coil installations.
The post design allows the coil to sit above 5mL e-juice wells. There are four lead slots so it doesn’t matter which direction you wrap your coil in. Among the many features, the Claymore RDA offers faster feeding and better wicking. Comes with squonk and non-squonk gold plated 510 pins and 810 drip tips.
- Category: Best for flavor
- Build Support: Single Coil
- Diameter: 22mm
2. Profile v1.5 by Wotofo (Best Mesh RDA)
It’s time to upgrade! Presenting the mesh RDA. Meet a game-changer in the world of RDAs. The game has already changed and now Wotofo perfects it with the Profile v1.5 RDA. This newly upgraded version utilizes mesh coil in a new innovative spring-loaded wick system. Your wick lays on a ceramic base plate where the spring applies pressure on the wick to stay firmly pushed against the mesh coil at all times.
The building or replacing coils is a breeze. Simply place a rectangular piece of mesh coil in between the two side clamps and you’re ready to go. Features normal and squonk pins. Fully adjustable airflow in a smooth vape with lots of flavors. If you haven’t tried a mesh coil yet then consider the Profile. If you have tried mesh before and ran into wicking problems, the Profile with spring-loaded plate is the answer you have been looking for.
- Category: Best for Flavor RDA
- Build Support: Wire Mesh, Single Coil
- Diameter: 24mm
3. Oumier Wasp Nano S RDA
The Nano S RDA is a small, stunning, and unrivaled cloud monster. It is a 25mm atomizer with an extremely spacious build deck, ideal for a wide array of coil configurations. Built with superior stainless steel and virtually seamless in design, this Atty is portable, user-friendly, easy to build on, and enjoyable to use. It features an adjustable airflow that directs air straight to your coil via either post.
This Oumier Wasp Nano S RDA has a ULTEM top cap that gives a heat-free vaping experience and performs exceptionally well when combined with a tiny 510-drip tip for vapers who wish to be in charge of their intake. It is a perfect choice for both newbies and veteran vapers.
- Category: Best Flavor RDA
- Build Support: Single Coil / Dual Coil
- Diameter: 25mm
4. Vape Vandy Requiem
Now comes the Requiem with not just an awesome name but also an improved airflow system. The deck is portioned for single coil configuration and has a low profile post and chamber design. This collaboration between Vape Vandy and El Mono Vapeador has produced a little flavor monster RDA
With the airflow wide open you get surprisingly massive clouds out of this little RDA. The new airflow improvements on the decking allow air to get channeled in two directions instead of just one. This RDA features 3 top caps that come in the package. One for MTL vaping which is best for RDA flavor. The other 2 are for getting a restrictive DL and open DL for the best RDA clouds
- Category: Best RDA for clouds as well as flavor
- Build Posts: Single Coil
- Diameter: 22mm
5. AugVape Druga 2 RDA (Best Clouds)
As solid as the original Druga. The version 2 Druga RDA has lots of customization for personalized airflow. It allows you to shut off the top or only run a half, and even one tiny little airflow hole. Featuring a very large build deck with tons of room for builds and wick. 2 posts terminals that are all gold plated for great conductivity. The deck runs flat-head wire adjustment screw and squonking capability with the included pin. Super large wire holes running down the center of the post terminals for easy dropping in of coils.
For massive clouds run this baby in dual coil mode and for more flavor switch to a single coil. Top to bottom, the airflow isn’t just for aesthetics. Fine-tune the placement of air no matter what height your coil is sitting at.
- Category: Best RDA for Clouds
- Build Post: Single Coil, Dual coil
- Diameter: 24mm
6. Passage RDA by Hellvape (Cloud)
A solidly build RDA with a snag clap system. The Passage RDA is made from the best stainless steel with full gold plating on the deck. It’s designed with two posts whereby inserting the coil leads and tightening down with the knurled screw caps clamps them securely in place. Featuring adjustable airflow directly onto the coil. Comes 510 compatible and squonk ready. Delivers smooth draw and lot of clouds.
- Category: Best for clouds of vapor
- Build Posts: 2 x coil
- Diameter: 24mm
7. Wotofo Recurve (Best Dual Coil RDA)
A high-quality RDA. This is the improved Wotofo Recurve RDA. Now supporting two coils. The Wotofo Recurve Dual RDA has tons of airflow that produce some very large clouds. Nice protruding gold plated 510 pin. The Wotofo Recurve Dual swaps out the old-style airflow for an improved adjustable slot design. Featuring single slot airflow for running single-coil and top cap adjustment to open up both sides to run dual coils.
The deck has 2 clamp-style posts running down the center which is very easy for securing coils with a Philips screwdriver. While the deck can utilize a single coil it is recommended for dual coils as the airflow style is more open. Lots of airflow for lots of clouds. From the makers of the best RDA vape comes its dual coil sister.
- Category: Best RDA for Clouds
- Build Support: Dual coil, Single Coil Ability
- Diameter: 24mm
8. HellVape Dead Rabbit V2 SE RDA
Designed from the best traits of the Drop and the Dead Rabbit RDAs. The Dead Rabbit RDA has locking airflow positioning makes sure that the top cap is always placed correctly on the deck. On the deck, the center post was removed for more wicking space directly under the coils. This increase in space also allows for more build configurations.
The 2 small airflow holes positioned high up on the barrel give you the ability to squonk without worrying about leaks. Gold plated positive lead posts and 510 pins.
- Category: Great for Flavor
- Build Support: Single Coil, Dual coil
- Diameter: 24mm
What Exactly is an RDA?
RDA is short for “rebuildable dripping atomizer”. The name refers to exactly what an RDA is. The are atomizers where you are able to rebuild the coil. Being able to rebuild and customize your own coil allows a vaper to experiment with different types of coils. The second part happens after you finish building an atomizer coil. During the actual vaping you will drip e-juice directly onto the coils and cotton wicks.
The coils are placed on a build deck at the bottom of the atomizer in a conventional RDA. RDAs contain an e-liquid reservoir underneath the build deck to retain e-juice, and the wick tails are inserted into the well. This gives you some time in between dripping to vape. RTAs and RDTAs are also rebuildables but feature tank sections with holes for wicking e-liquid. On these rebuildables the e-juice well is not as deep so the capacity to hold e-liquid is not as large as a rebuildable tank. The vaper must add e-juice more frequently to keep the wicks saturated and so the cotton does not dry out.
Types of RDAs
There are many different types of RDAs. They are available in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and designs. They can be as little as 22mm in diameter and grow as large as 38mm or greater. The most common size for MTL-style vapers is 22mm, as these chambers tend to limit airflow and produce better flavor on RDAs. Larger diameter coils allow more airflow which is crucial for blowing nice large clouds on the RDA.
The base deck of an RDA may accommodate one or up to eight coils, however, most are single or dual coil. Many RDAs may be used to produce horizontal or vertical coils. Mouth to lung and direct to lung vaping techniques may benefit from different types of airflow.
Rebuildable Build decks are also available in a wide range of layouts. Most RDAs used to have three posts, two on each side of the deck and one in the center. The first notable progression of the triple-post was two-post Velocity style RDAs, and many of the RDAs that came out in prior years used some variant of this deck. Since then, we’ve seen a slew of advancements in the build deck sector, with drop-down and post-less RDA decks becoming increasingly common, and new and unique designs popping up on a daily basis.
DTL & MTL RDAs
An RDA, unlike RTAs or sub-ohm tanks, generally lacks a chimney component. Instead, vapor rises directly up to the mouthpiece. The coils can be supplied air from many different angles such as the bottom, top, sides, or all of the above. The airflow is usually adjustable depending on how you prefer to vape. Most RDAs come in a choice of either MTL, DTL, or the option to choose between both vaping profiles.
Squonking has become a popular feature added to many mods. Over time many RDA designs have adapted to carry an added optional hollow positive pin to be included in the RDA’s package. This allows them to be compatible with squonk mods. Squonk mods are also referred to as bottom-feeding mods. A squonk mod contains an e-liquid bottle that a vaper squeezes to direct e-juice to the bottom-fed atomizer. Despite the fact that they have always been used to alleviate the incessant leaking of e-juice, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Various manufacturers have introduced a large number of squonking vape mods to the market.
RDA for Flavor
The best RDA for flavor is usually an RDA build with a single coil. This is because single coil RDAs perform better at low wattage. Faster ramp up with lower power consumption. Most flavors tend to be best, or more noticeable on cooler vapes. Hotter vapes tend to need more airflow and that’s another killer of flavor. When you are flavor chasing you can look for a good balance of PG. PG is what carries flavor.
Flavor Chasing Tips
What to look for:
- Single Coil RDAs – Not only do you not have to match coil resistances but they provide better flavor on the majority of e-liquid flavors. Small exception, some e-juices do provide better flavor on hotter vapes.
- Small Chambers – This means RDAs with diameters of around 22mm or less. You may even want to look into rebuildable pod vapes. Many pod mods these days have RBA decks available they just don’t come with the pod mod package and must be purchased separately. The RBA decks are incredibly tiny, with tiny chambers that sit closer to the mouth.
- MTL RDAs – Less airflow provides more flavor concentration in smaller amounts of vapor
- Less Airflow – I realize this doesn’t make sense at first until you think about it. The air mixes with vapor and reduces the flavor concentration inside that puff of vapor. The more air that gets mixed in the more it reduces the flavor. This goes hand in hand with MTL. Since MTL is a mouth draw, our air intake is limited.
- Mesh coil – These coils can provide great flavor but are best if you can find them in 0.6-ohm ratings and above. Higher ohm coils will require less power. If you go any lower your RDA will require more power in order to even vape properly. More power requires additional airflow to siphon off heat and vapor. Mesh coils provide a larger surface area to vaporize more e-liquid.
- PG Content – It is not recommended to go 100% VG in your e-liquid flavor of choice. PG is the flavor carrier. We recommend that you at least go with 30% PG. The optimal mix is a 50/50 PG/VG blend. That is a good starting point and from there you can experiment with lessening the PG content if you enjoy seeing larger clouds of vapor.
- Coil Positioning – The best spot for your atomizer coil is right on top of the airflow hole inside the RDA. Try to avoid the twists and turns of the vapor. Otherwise, the journey the vapor will take will lose flavor. In addition, if you can find an RDA where the chamber is short that will be best for flavor. The distance from your mouth to the coil is important, but you also don’t want to seat the coil too far away from the air hole underneath.
- Skinny Drip Tips – 810 and other wide bore drip tips are a no-no. The effect of these may not be large but they do lessen flavor from the RDA. Try using smaller/skinnier drip tips.
- Cleaning – This does not pertain to flavor chasing specifically. Making sure you have a clean coil and cotton is super important. A dirty piece of cotton and coil with gunk built up on it can kill the flavor. The flavor would be mixed with a taste of old and somewhat burnt e-liquid.
- Type of Wire – Stainless steel wire tends to have a cleaner, more crisp, and fresh taste compared to Kanthal wire. Experiment with different types of wire and stainless steel is a great place to start to experience the best flavor from your RDA.
If you are experiencing loss of flavor and non of the above has been making a difference in flavor, then this could be due to something we vapers call “Vaper’s Tongue”. Rest assured that this is a curable disruption in the natural course of pleasurable vaping. If you have tried everything and the flavor is still dull then you should investigate the loss of flavor.
RDA for Clouds
For the biggest clouds, we tend to not care as much about flavor. The key is to have a lot of coil surface area. If you can get more coils into your deck’s build then this equals more coil material that can vaporize E-Liquid. But cloud chasing also comes with drawbacks.
More coils, bigger coils, and lower Ohms take longer to heat up and require more power to perform well. This will drain your battery much faster than a single-coil setup for flavor.
Additional Tips for Bigger Clouds
For more cloud production you want to use 90 to 100% VG. VG does not carry flavor as well as PG. But VG is what produces the large cloud effects.
What to look for:
- Lots of Surface Area – Lots of coils or coil surface area is crucial for chasing large clouds of vapor. The exposure of a higher surface allows more e-liquid to vaporize in the short 1-second hit that is taken.
- Cloud Coils – These coils are anything that will produce big clouds. The best coils for the job are Clapton, Flatwire, and Mesh coils. These coils expose large amounts of wire to e-juice. The great the amount of contact, the greater the availability of e-juice that can be vaporized.
- Big Airflow – You want to pick out an RDA that has either large airflow holes are a large number of airflow holes. You will need to siphon off the large clouds as quickly as possible in order to pack vapor in the lung.
- Low Ohms – Often referred to as sub-ohm vaping. The coils need for vaping need to be 0.3 and below, but not too low.
- High Wattage Mods – To power sub-ohm coils you will need more power. A mod with a removable battery or a box mod will perform best. Atomizer coils with less resistance allow more power to flow through the RDA coil. This also means that in order to heat up the coil you will need a high wattage mod. We recommend a mod with at least 100 watts, but this won’t get you into any cloud chasing competitions. A more experienced cloud chaser will want something more powerful or even a Mech Mod which supplies unregulated power.
- DTL RDAs – Direct to lung RDAs allow more airflow throughout the chamber. These atomizers are specifically designed with this type of draw in mind. If you pick a DTL RDA there will be no guessing as to whether you will have a big enough airflow to support large clouds of vapor.
Finding a Balance Between Flavor and Clouds
If you want to achieve a good balance of flavor and clouds you should experiment with different ratios of PG and VG. 90% VG is a little high if you want the flavor as well as clouds. An E-Liquid with 70%-80% VG is a good starting point to get both great flavor and clouds.
In addition to e-liquid selection, you will also want to experiment and test many coil builds. It is important to keep a notepad of your builds. It can be very depressing when you find that perfect RDA build and you forget how you built the atomizer coil.
The Best Dripper
Even though we believe our picks are the best RDAs on the market, it is totally arbitrary and based on our own experiences. Many times you will get the best flavor and clouds simply with a great build and the proper E-Juice. While a great RDA may assist you but not be the main factor in accomplishing your goal.
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