What Are the Differences Between E-Cigarette Tanks, RDAs and RTAs?
Guest post provided by eCig One.
Every advanced vaping device — whether it’s a box mod, a mechanical mod or a vape pen — requires an attachment to create vapor. The attachment contains your e-cigarette’s e-liquid and the coil that vaporizes the liquid. E-cigarette attachments are typically very affordable, and trying a new one is the best way to experiment with your vaping experience. If you’re buying an advanced vaping device for the first time, though, choosing your first attachment to go with it might not be easy. This primer can help you decide.
Out of all the attachments available for advanced personal vaporizers, e-cigarette tanks are the easiest to use. They store plenty of e-liquid — often enough for an entire day of vaping — and produces more vapor than a typical e-cigarette available in a convenience store.
Filling a tank is usually as easy as twisting off the bottom to reveal the reservoir. Fill the reservoir with a dropper or squeeze bottle, replace the tank, and resume vaping. Replacing used atomizer coils is equally simple. Just twist the old coil out of the base, put in a new one, and wait a moment for the cotton to saturate. A new vaping coil typically lasts several days.
When you use an e-cigarette tank, you don’t have to go through the process of building a new coil from scratch every time the quality of your vaping experience begins to decrease. You also don’t have to worry about making a mistake and building a coil with a short circuit. Pre-built coils are nearly always perfect, although they are markedly more expensive than those you build yourself. A pre-built coil usually costs around $2 to $3. Building your own coil, on the other hand, costs only a few cents.
The Bottom Line About E-Cigarette Tanks
If you’ve never used an advanced vaping device, your first attachment should be a tank. Tanks are convenient, safe, and easy to use while offering more than adequate performance.
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA)
A rebuildable dripping atomizer is a platform that allows you to build your own atomizer coils. You assemble the atomizer by taking two lengths of wire and wrapping them around a drill bit or coiling jig to make two coils. You then place the ends of the coils in the holes on the RDA’s posts and tighten the coils down with screws. After testing the resistance and dry firing the coils, you’ll thread cotton through them, wet it thoroughly, and enjoy huge vapor clouds.
An RDA gives you the freedom to build any atomizer design that you like, within the limits of your vaping device’s capabilities. You can experiment with different wire types and gauges. You can try twisting or braiding your wires to increase surface area. You can try wick materials other than cotton. The best part about an RDA is that the cost of long-term ownership is relatively meager. Every coil you build requires just a few cents in materials.
People who prefer RDAs love them for three reasons:
- They’re extremely inexpensive to use
- They usually provide plenty of room for elaborate coil designs
- Their airflow characteristics allow for considerable vapor clouds
The chief drawback of an RDA, as with any rebuildable atomizer, is that you build the coils by hand. A hand-wrapped coil may have imperfections, so you’ll need to test the resistance and check for a short every time you rebuild the atomizer. Monitoring the safety of your coils is particularly essential if you use a mechanical mod because it cannot tell you when a coil is unsafe to use.
An RDA requires you to send e-liquid down the center of the mouthpiece periodically to keep the coils wet. It has excellent airflow and vapor production characteristics because it doesn’t enclose the coils in a tank. Because an RDA holds only a small amount of e-liquid, you’ll get just a few puffs out of it before it’s time to wet the coils again. Some people find that having to wet the cotton every few puffs makes an RDA too inconvenient for everyday vaping.
The Bottom Line About RDAs
An RDA gives you the greatest freedom and the best vapor production possible with an e-cigarette. Dripping with an RDA is inconvenient, however, and building a coil requires time and careful attention to safety.
Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA)
A rebuildable tank atomizer combines the freedom and flexibility of an RDA with the greater e-liquid capacity of a tank. Depending on the design of the RTA, the coils are either submerged or positioned above the e-liquid reservoir. The e-liquid travels along cotton wicks to keep the coils wet.
An RTA is essentially a compromise. RTAs typically produce more vapor than standard e-cigarette tanks because the build platforms allow for large coils with ample surface area. RTAs also have large reservoirs that store plenty of e-liquid and eliminate the annoyance of constant dripping. On the other hand, an RTA doesn’t have the same airflow characteristics as an RDA, so it usually won’t produce quite as much vapor as an RDA.
RTAs also carry the same potential safety concerns as RDAs. Since you’ll be building your coils, you’ll need to test the resistance and check for shorts every time you do.
The Bottom Line About RTAs
If you enjoy the superior vapor production that comes with building your coils but want to avoid the inconvenience of carrying an e-liquid bottle everywhere for dripping, an RTA is a compromise that will probably work for you.
If you are new to vaping or want to vape with the maximum safety possible, a standard tank with pre-made coils is the ideal choice for you. Once you gain experience, though, you may want to switch to an RDA or RTA because self-built coils are significantly less expensive than those that are pre-made. Although you’ll need to monitor the safety of your coils carefully, the vastly improved vapor production will make the effort worthwhile.
About the Author
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. Through his website, Jason offers freelance writing and SEO services to sellers of vaping supplies, e-liquid and CBD products as well as vape shops and companies in the legal cannabis industry.