Rebuildable Tank Atomizers 101: RDA vs. RDTA
A sub-ohm tank gives you enough e-liquid storage for hours of vaping. Since the atomizer coil in a sub-ohm tank is submerged within the e-liquid reservoir, though, sub-ohm tanks usually lag behind rebuildable dripping atomizers in terms of vapour production. With an RDA, on the other hand, you’ll enjoy the best vapour production that an e-cigarette has to offer. When you use an RDA, though, you can only enjoy a few puffs before you need to add e-liquid. The shallow drip well of an RDA holds only a few drops of e-liquid.
Vapour production and e-liquid storage – wouldn’t it be nice if you could find an e-cigarette attachment that combines the two? As it turns out, you can! A rebuildable tank atomizer is a vaping tank that gives you e-liquid storage and a platform for building your own coils. Using a rebuildable tank atomizer means that you can enjoy vapour production like that of an RDA without sacrificing the e-liquid storage of a tank.
If a rebuildable tank atomizer sounds like a good thing to you, don’t jump up to buy one just yet. Before you buy a rebuildable tank system, you’ll need to choose between two types of tanks. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and that’s what we’re going to explain in today’s article about RTAs vs. RDTAs.
What Is a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA)?
An RTA has much the same design as the sub-ohm tank that you currently use. You build the atomizer coil at the base of the tank before putting the glass enclosure on top. With the atomizer coil positioned at the bottom of the tank, the vapour must travel through a metal chimney before it can reach the mouthpiece.
What Are the Benefits of RTAs?
The first time you see an RTA in person, you’ll notice the most obvious benefit. An RTA gives you a vaping experience much like the one you already enjoy, but it has a build platform that’s much larger than any sub-ohm tank coil. Having a larger build deck means that you can build a coil with plenty of surface area, and greater surface area equates to better vapour production. In short, an RTA produces more vapour than a sub-ohm tank with pre-made coils while offering the same type of convenient vaping experience. Since the coil’s wick holes are submerged within the e-liquid reservoir, the wicks never have difficulty staying wet. Dry hits are no more common with an RTA than they are with a traditional sub-ohm tank.
What Are the Drawbacks of RTAs?
The fact that the coil is submerged may alleviate any potential wicking issues with an RTA, but it also means that an RTA has slightly restricted airflow compared to an RDA. An RTA, in other words, can’t compete with an RDA in terms of vapour production. You may also find that building RTA coils are a bit challenging at first. If you use too much cotton, you’ll choke off the flow of e-liquid from the reservoir to the coil. If you use too little cotton, the e-liquid will seep through to the coil too quickly, and the tank will leak. With time, you’ll learn the proper balance.
What Is a Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer (RDTA)?
The main difference between an RTA and an RDTA is the position of the coil. In an RTA, the coil is submerged within the tank. In an RDTA, the coil is at the top of the tank – above the e-liquid reservoir. The build deck for an RDTA typically has two or more holes at the bottom. You’ll run your wicks through those holes, and the wicks will draw e-liquid up from the reservoir to the coil.
What Are the Benefits of RDTAs?
The RDTA is an attempt to give you the best of both worlds by combining the vapour production of an RDA with the e-liquid storage of a tank. Since the coil in an RDTA isn’t submerged, it doesn’t suffer from restricted airflow. You won’t quite get the same vapour production out of an RDTA that you’d get with an RDA – RDAs usually have wider build decks that can accommodate larger coils – but a properly configured RDTA can definitely generate more vapour than a traditional RTA.
What Are the Drawbacks of RDTAs?
If positioning the atomizer coil above the e-liquid reservoir rather than inside it is unquestionably the superior design choice, you might wonder why almost no sub-ohm tanks with pre-made coils use that design. There are, in fact, two reasons why the traditional design – with the coil at the bottom of the tank – remains most popular.
The first reason is that in an RDTA, the e-liquid travels up the wicks – fighting gravity along the way – to reach the coils. If you’re a heavy vaper and don’t like to wait between puffs, you may find that an RDTA simply isn’t efficient enough from a wicking standpoint to work for you. When you use an RDTA, you can’t chain vape because the wicks will need some time to re-saturate between puffs. The wick in a traditional RTA, on the other hand, doesn’t have to fight gravity. In addition, the act of vaping with an RTA creates a partial vacuum that sucks e-liquid into the coil. An RTA doesn’t need nearly as much time as an RDTA to re-saturate the wick between puffs.
The second drawback of using an RDTA is that the build deck has multiple large wick holes at the bottom. If you store your device on its side, e-liquid will flow through the wick holes and leak out of the tank. The only way to consistently avoid leaking with an RDTA is to store your device upright.
Should I Buy an RTA or RDTA?
In the battle of RTAs vs. RDTAs, which tank type comes out on top? Here’s the bottom line.