What’s the difference between an RDA and an RTA?

Many vapers have probably heard the terms ‘RDA’ and ‘RTA’ and wondered what this actually means. Even if you’re familiar with these terms, you may still be wondering what exactly the difference is between them and which would suit your vaping needs better. 

In short, RTA stands for rebuildable tank atomiser, and RDA stands for rebuildable drip atomiser. They are both types of RBAs - or rebuildable atomisers

They exist because many vapers prefer to make their own coils whether this is to save money, to achieve a specific vaping experience, or just for fun! In order to use your own homemade coils, you will need a rebuildable atomiser. 

In this article, we will explain exactly what RTAs and RDAs are and break down the pros and cons of each so that you can choose which best suits your coil-building needs. 

Vape Atomisers

The atomiser is a vital component of every vape device. It is where the e-liquid gets heated up and turned into a vapour, ready for you to inhale! 

You can find 3 main types of vape atomiser: disposable atomisers, replaceable coil head atomisers, and rebuildable atomisers (RBAs). 

Disposable atomisers are what most new vapers will use. They are inexpensive, widely available, and are usually found in starter kit devices. You can use these continuously until it becomes difficult to draw the vapour or it starts to make a gurgling noise. Then, the entire thing is thrown away and replaced.

Replaceable coil head atomisers are probably the most common type. They usually feature replaceable coil heads that can be screwed in and out of the device. They tend to cost more than disposable atomisers, but will usually have more nifty features such as airflow control. Replaceable coil head atomisers can be easily washed out to change e-liquid flavours, unlike disposable atomisers where you would need to replace the whole thing. 

And finally, we have RBAs or rebuildable atomisers. This is the overall term used to describe all different types of RBAs, which includes RTAs and RDAs. Rebuildable atomisers are usually comprised of an atomiser unit that contains a deck upon which the coils and wicks can be mounted on. This is where the coil building process takes place. You can physically wrap the coil and add the wicks yourself in order to achieve specific setups that suit your own vaping preferences. Let’s go into more detail on the different types of RBAs below. 

What is RTA?

RTA stands for rebuildable tank atomiser. The main defining point of RTAs is that they have a tank section that holds e-liquid, whereas RDAs do not. 

RTAs are usually comprised of a drip tip, cap, chimney, glass tube, chamber, deck, and a base station. 

RTAs are easier to use than RDAs. Plus, the inclusion of a tank means they can hold more way e-juice, so you need to drip far less often. You’ll find that using this type of atomiser tends to create the same sort of flavour delivery and cloud production sub-ohm vaping. 

However, this flavour and cloud production simply does not meet the same level as RDAs! Let’s cover these below.         


What is RDA?

RDA stands for rebuildable dripping atomiser. With this type of atomiser, you drip the e-liquid directly into the wick - there is no tank for storing the juice. 

RDAs are usually comprised of a drip tip, a cap, posts, a deck, a juice well, a coil, and a wick. 

When using an RDA, you’ll get better flavours from your e-liquid as the vapour has less distance to travel to the mouth. Many people say that using an RDA is the best way to get pure vape favours and make the most out of your e-juice. Plus, RDAs are excellent for cloud-chasers since they create huge, thick vape clouds whilst maintaining that intense flavour. 

Since RDAs do not include a tank, you can switch up your flavour more often with ease. However, you do have to drop far more regularly than you would with an RTA which will be an inconvenience for some vapers. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, RTAs are easier and more convenient to use and do create superb flavour delivery. RDAs, on the other hand, are less easy to use and do not include a tank, meaning you need to drip more often. However, they deliver massive vape clouds and a supremely intense flavour.

If you’re a more casual vaper, RTAs would be best suited to you. If you’re a more advanced vaper wanting an intensified experience, then RDAs would be better for you.

Before choosing either of these rebuildable atomisers, make sure you fully understand how to build your own coils safely and properly. You need to be aware of coil resistance and have some familiarity of Ohm’s law to ensure your set up is correct and won’t cause damage to the atomiser.  

Plus, do some research into which materials you need to buy to build your own coils, and source these from a reputable retailer like Vape Simple. You can find some of the rebuildable tools you’ll need here

Lastly, it’s a good idea to invest in a good battery and mod to ensure you make the most of your RBA. 

Happy building!