What is an RDA?

The vapor rabbit hole can be a deep one. With so many flavors of vape juice and so many different devices, it can be tricky trying to make your way through everything. New vapers are often confused with all the new terminology and aren’t even sure where to start.

If you’ve been looking around for the perfect vapor device for your needs, you’ve probably heard the term RDA. In this article, we’re going to go over what an RDA is, why you would use one, and how to best use one.

What Does RDA Stand For?

Vape Juice Dripping on RDA

RDA stands for “rebuildable drip atomizer.” The atomizer is the part of the vapor device that heats the vape juice and turns it into vapor. The reason it’s called “rebuildable drip” is that the user builds their own coils for it and drips ejuice straight onto the coils. This sounds a bit more complicated than it actually is but it is still best to start with a tank if you’re just getting into vaping for ease of use.

The reason some vapers prefer RDAs over tanks or pod-systems like the Boulder Rock is that they allow for more customization to fit their vaping preferences perfectly. With enough experience, you could build your RDA for dense warm clouds of vapor or light cool clouds. Whatever you prefer, if learn to use and build coils (easier than it sounds), you can get whatever you want from an RDA!

How to use an RDA

RDAs are very simple pieces of electrical equipment. They are usually made up of one positive post and one or two negative posts that connect directly to a battery in the form of a vape mod. In the early days of vaping, these mods had no voltage limiting circuitry and were 100% mechanical. All you’d have to do is press the button and the circuit would close passing the electrical current through the coils.

Different Types of RDAs

All you need to do to use an RDA is unscrew the clamping posts, insert the leads into them, trim off the excess, and add a wick (organic cotton is usually preferred). As long as you have a small wire cutter, you’re good to go! Most RDAs sold today come with their own screwdrivers and/or Allen wrenches and you can purchase premade coils online.

Once you have the coils in place and before adding the cotton wick, you want to pulse the power button on your vape mod in slow succession. You’ll start to see the coil heat up and a small amount of smoke might burn off the coils. The coils could turn a consistent red glow throughout. If you see “hot spots” (spots in the coils that are turning red while others are not), you can either lightly drag the screwdriver over the coil (called “strumming” the coils) or wiggle the coils about a little until the hot spots disappear. Just make sure to only strum or wiggle the coils when they are powered off as you don’t want to create a short circuit.

Cotton in RDA coils

After all the hot spots have been dealt with, roll up the end of your cotton and feed it through the inside of your coil. Trim off the ends of cotton with scissors and drip your favorite vape juice onto it whether that’s Vapewild ejuice or Hometown Hero ;). The cotton won’t be able to absorb more than about 5-10 drops of eliquid per side so make sure you don’t over drip and give the vape juice a little bit of time to absorb into the wick.

Now you’re ready to go! Put the top cap on your RDA and take a drag! Every 2-4 puff off the RDA, you’ll have to add more liquid. For even juice distribution, you can take the top cap off to do this but more vapers get a “feel” for it after a while and can drip directly into it without it overflowing.

What Coils Work Best in an RDA?

This is where user preference really kicks in! A simple coil made from kanthal and wrapped around a small cylinder is an excellent option for most people as it’s easy to make and works well for most people. Some vapor hobbyists have turned coil making into an art with twisted coils, Clapton coils, alien coils, and crazy coils that I could even begin to know the name of.

Premade Vape Coils

Many of the complex coils can be purchase online premade these days. Many of these coil artists have even started selling their works of art for you to add to your RDA (though, this can be pretty expensive). However, well-made basic coils are a cheap and easy way to dip your toes in the water. Heck, once you start using an RDA, you might want to give building these crazy coils a go yourself!

Is an RDA a good choice for me?

That really depends on you! The RDA used to be much more popular in vaping. Many vaping enthusiasts still love these as they give an extra dimension to their hobby. If you’re new to vaping, it’s best to stick with something like a tank or a pod-system for their ease of use and consistent performance. Tanks in the last few years have been getting really good and rival the performance of even the best RDAs set up perfectly.

If you’re interested has been peaked in this article, check out our friend Sherlock Hohms on Youtube! He has a great channel where he talks about the different RDAs on the market and how to build coils if you want a deeper understanding of how they work.

Thanks for checking this article out! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! You write into our live chat, email us, or even give us a call or text and we’ll be happy to help! And, if you’re looking for amazing vape juice to drip onto your RDA, make sure to check out our line of ejuice products!


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