If you ever wondered what RDAs are, then we specially made this blog for you. In it, we’ll tell you exactly what they are, who they are suited for, and what’s the best device you can use alongside your RDA. So if you’re ready, let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- What Are RDAs?
- What Are the Parts of an RDA?
- Can Anyone Use RDAs?
- RDAs and Regulated Box Mods
- Airflow Styles of RDAs
- Types of RDA Decks
What Are RDAs?
RDAs are a type of rebuildable atomizers or a type of atomizers that use coils you build yourself (to learn more about rebuildable atomizers, you can check out this blog). RDA stands for rebuildable dripping atomizer, and it is called dripping because the way to refill your device with vape juice is by literally dripping from the eliquid bottle directly into the atomizer. This has the advantage that you can quickly change the vape juice flavor since it has a relatively small well where you can store only a little bit of vape juice. The disadvantage is that you have to constantly add vape juice since there is no tank or deep well.
Rebuildable dripping atomizers come in many shapes and forms, but you can choose one that suits your taste and needs. For example, some RDAs will give you greater flavor, and these are usually recommended for people that want flavor chase. On the other hand, there are RDAs specifically made for cloud chasers that will create plumes of smoke for those who want massive clouds. And some RDAs strike a perfect balance between the two providing the best of both worlds.
What Are the Parts of an RDA?
RDAs consist of a few parts. On top, the first part you’ll see on an RDA is the drip tip. The drip tip protects you from getting burned and can be made from different materials but usually is made out of plastic. Next, below the drip tip, you’ll find the cap which connects the atomizer with the drip tip and basically holds the components together. Next, on either the side of the cap, the top, or the bottom, you’ll find the airflow holes which are essential to customizing your vaping experience. Under and inside the cap is the atomizer, which is composed of a deck that could have two to four posts (it depends on what type of deck you have). These posts will either be positive or negative, and this is where the coils go. Underneath the deck will be the adjustable pin that receives the power from the battery.
Can Anyone Use RDAs?
RDAs require knowledge of how to build coils, how to install them, and how to wick these coils, all three of which are considered art forms. So RDAs are more for intermediate or veteran vapers who perhaps have outgrown their pod systems or tank atomizers and want something more powerful to vape on. However, the coil building part of this process can be skipped since you can buy premade coils, which is one of the hardest steps for beginners to complete. By buying premade coils all, there is to learn is how to install them and how to install your wicking. There’s also the fact that you need to learn Ohm’s law if you plan on installing your premade coils, and this requires a bit of research on your part before you go on and buy an RDA.
RDAs and Regulated Box Mods
Now there are two types of devices that are used alongside RDAs: mech mods and regulated box mods. The difference is that Mech mods have no safety features and require extensive knowledge of battery safety as well as Ohm’s law (Ohm’s law should be required knowledge even if you don’t use a mech mod). Regulated box mods, on the other hand, have plenty of safety features that can prevent the battery from venting and causing an explosion. That’s why we recommend that if you plan on buying an RDA that you get it alongside a regulated box mod which will be much safer to build on and to practice installing premade coils without changing or exposing the battery to a change of current it can’t handle. There are also tons of Youtube videos that show the exact steps on how to install premade coils on various RDAs, and we recommend you head over there after reading this article.
Airflow Styles of RDAs
Now that we discussed who RDAs are for and why you need to use them alongside regulated box mods, let’s explore some of the factors that make or break the performance in an RDA, starting with airflow holes. Airflow holes can come in the following styles:
Top Airflow Holes
Top airflow holes were designed as a solution for leakage. Since they are on top of the cap and not close to the atomizer or to the vape juice well, there is very little chance that the vape juice can drip unless, of course, it is tipped upside down. With this style of airflow holes, the air hits the coils directly from the top. Although it has a good flavor, bottom style airflow holes are better suited for flavor chasers.
Bottom Airflow Holes
Bottom airflow style holes have the holes at the base of the cap. And although they are more prone to leakage, they give off the best flavor by far. You do have to be careful when filling this type of RDA since there is a high chance the vape juice will leak and go down the airflow holes and to always make sure you have vaped all the eliquid before putting it in your pocket.
Cyclops style airflow holes are the most common type of airflow style. They consist of one or two horizontal holes in the middle of the cap. With this style of airflow hole, the air comes from the side and hits the coil from the side as well. Again with this type of airflow hole, since it is so close to the vape juice well, there is a chance that it can leak, especially when pouring the eliquid, so be careful. And just like with the bottom style airflow holes, always check that all the eliquid has been vaped before putting it in your pocket.
The newest type of airflow hole style is the Vortex. This style of airflow holes is built in the middle of the cap, much like the Cyclops style. However, the holes are diagonal in shape, and inside the RDA, there are fins that allow the air to swirl inside the atomizer chamber. To learn more about airflow and airflow control and how it affects your vaping experience, you can read this blog.
Type of RDA Decks
Another super important aspect of RDAs is the styles of decks they use. The industry is constantly innovating and creating new designs, but staple designs include:
- Three Post Deck
- Four Post Deck
- Velocity “Two Post” Deck
Three Post Deck
The Three Post Deck is the most traditional design of the deck for RDAs. The design is composed of two negative side posts and a center positive post. If you’re just planning on using a single coil, this deck is pretty convenient and easy to work with. However, if you’re planning on using two coils, it can be tricky to set up.
Four Post Deck
The Four Post Deck, which was created especially for using two coils, features almost the same design as the three post deck, two negative posts, and a positive center post, except that the post is wider and features two center holes, making it perfect to use with two coils.
Velocity Style “Two Post” Deck
Although the two decks mentioned above work great, perhaps the easiest and most convenient deck for beginners is the velocity style post deck. With this deck that only features two posts, one negative and one positive, with two holes in each post, you can build two coils or one. We recommend you buy this deck since it is the easiest to work with; however, be aware that when buying your RDA, you have to state you want a “‘velocity” style deck since there are still two post designs that only allow for one coil instead of two and usually the two get confused.
We hope that with this brief introduction into the wonderful world of RDAs, you can start to poke your toes in the water and make the leap into buying your first RDA. Remember that RDAs come with different styles of airflow holes and various decks, and that for beginners, we recommend you get a “velocity” style deck. The airflow hole design you choose will depend on the type of vaping experience you want, with the bottom airflow hole design creating the most flavor. Finally, and most importantly, remember that you should never use your RDA with a mechanical mod as a beginner since they do not have safety features in place that prevent the battery from shorting and possibly exploding. That’s why we recommend you get a box mod and research heavily everything there is to know about installing coils, checking resistance with an Ohm’s reader, reading up on Ohm’s law, and how to practice battery safety to avoid any mishaps.