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What is an RDA? RDA Meaning & Benefits

Updated February 27, 2022

As a member of the vaping community, you may have heard the phrase “dripper,” or wondered, what is an RDA? Even if you’re a brand-new vaper, you’ve probably already realized that vaping has a language all its own – and that language has more than a few acronyms to decipher! Not only that, but vaping terminology tends to evolve just as quickly as vape technologies and trends do. 

what is an rda

But don’t worry because the DIRECTVAPOR team is always here to help you stay on top of vaping vocabulary. Today, we’re going to be diving into one of the more common questions we receive from new (and experienced) vapers: what is an RDA vape? We’ll cover exactly what it is, how to use an RDA, and why (or why not) it might be the right pick for you.

What is an RDA Vape?

An “RDA” is a vaping acronym that stands for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. These days, you might not hear as much about RDAs as you used to – primarily due to the new device options out there – but there are definitely still some dedicated RDA loyalists in the vaping community. 

Essentially, an RDA is a type of DIY vape device, usually reserved for advanced vapers who want a certain level of control over their vaping experience. 

How Does an RDA Vape Work?

A Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, or vape drip tank, is designed so that you can drip your e-juice of choice directly onto an exposed coil and wick, instead of the traditional method of filling up a vape tank. 

To learn how to use an RDA, you first need to master the art of DIY coil building and installation. Then, you’ll manually drip your e-liquid onto the wick and wire rather than use a filled reservoir tank. 

The fluffy, flavorful vapor is directly drawn up through a mouthpiece, or drip tip, where it’s ready for you to enjoy. About every 8-12 puffs, you’ll repeat the process of dripping the liquid. 

An RDA is intended to be paired with a vape mod, which are larger, more technically complex vapes that tend to be a step above the standard vape pen or e-cig. Vape mods come in various shapes, ranging from boxes to pods. Generally, a vape mod will be equipped with larger, more powerful batteries, which is why these devices are considered a higher-power alternative to e-cigs and pens. Typically, mods also offer an impressive range of features, allowing the user to customize various aspects such as temperature, wattage, and more.

RDAs vs. RTAs vs. RBAs

Before we go any further, let’s clear away some of the fog surrounding the differences between RDAs, RTAs, and even RBAs. Aside from the single-letter difference in the acronyms themselves, there are clear distinctions between them.

An RDA, or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, is a dripper system.

An RTA, or Rebuildable Tank Atomizer, is a tank system.

RDAs and RTAs are both types of RBAs (ReBuildable Atomizers).

Here are a few quick and easy comparisons to help you wrap your mind around it all:

  • RDA vs. RBA: An RDA is a type of RBA that doesn’t include a tank section.
  • RDA vs. RTA: An RDA requires you to manually wet the wicks/coils with e-liquid because there isn’t a tank section to pull from. However, an RTA does have a small tank section that usually has some capacity to hold at least a few millimeters of e-liquid.
  • RDA vs. RDTA: An RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer) is like a combination of an RDA and RTA. Basically, it is an RDA with a tank that can store extra e-liquid.
  • RTA vs. RDTA: Both RTAs and RDTAs are types of rebuildable tanks, but an RTA usually uses a chimney/bell system and has a deck located on the bottom of the atomizer. In comparison, an RDTA typically has an open deck located just above the tank where the wicks are.

Now that we’ve hopefully helped solve some of the mystery surrounding these vapes let’s look at the perks of using an RDA.

what is an rda vape

Why Use an RDA?

So, exactly what are the benefits of an RDA vape? Like most vaping topics, it comes down to personal preference.

There are vapers that prefer a strictly simplistic vape experience; no bells and whistles are required. For these vapers, the best experience is one that involves minimal effort – which is why a basic vape pen or e-cig is usually their device of choice.

However, there are also vapers that enjoy the intricacies of a completely customized vape experience. Whether they’re cloud chasers, flavor connoisseurs, or just fans of vape experimentation, these vapers often find a significant amount of satisfaction in using RDAs.

Some Benefits of RDAs include:

  • Of the various types of RBAs, RDAs are generally the easiest to use. So, for vapers that are just getting started in the world of RBAs, an RDA can be a great entry point.
  • Typically, an RDA has the best vapor production and airflow when compared to other rebuildable atomizers.
  • You can’t beat the flavor quality of RDAs, which can be a major draw for vapers that enjoy the full sensory experience of vaping.
  • With an RDA, you can easily switch between e-liquids every few puffs. There’s no tank to wash out or extra e-liquid to dump out.
  • Because the coils used with an RDA are built to your standards, and you can add more e-liquid at a given time, sub-ohm vaping is an option

Is an RDA Right for You?

Like any vape device, there are also a few drawbacks to RDAs. For some vapers, these drawbacks don’t matter; but for others, they’re reason enough to choose another way to vape:

  • There’s not usually any means for e-liquid storage, so you’ll have to carry around a bottle if you plan to vape on the go.
  • Beginning vapers might find it difficult to use RDAs because it takes some practice and basic vape skills.
  • Using an RDA requires more attention than other types of vape devices, and you’ll also need both hands – so vaping and driving, or vaping and doing really anything else, is out of the question.

If you’re thinking that the pros of using an RDA clearly outweigh any cons, then you’re probably the perfect match for this DIY-style vape device. Otherwise, you might want to consider other options that better suit your preferences and priorities. 

Best RDAs for Sale

It’s tough to name any vape device or product as the “best of the best,” mainly because every vaper will have their own opinions of what makes an item superior. However, you can’t go wrong when you stick with a reputable, high-quality retailer that only sells authentic vape products. Try to avoid being enticed by the too-good-to-be-true discounts and deals offered by some retailers because there’s nothing worse than wasting your hard-earned cash on a vape clone. Here at DIRECTVAPOR, you can confidently shop a No Clone Zone and take advantage of our 15-day return policy if needed.

Once you begin looking into purchasing your own RDA, you will likely notice a handful of brand names that come up a lot. A few of the more popular brand names for RDAs include SMOK, FreeMax, and Custom Vapes. The brand you choose will merely depend on any number of your personal vaping preferences.

In general, the top-selling RDAs tend to be those that can accommodate a single or dual coil, giving you maximum flexibility. You may also want to consider an RDA with a larger build deck, so you have plenty of space to work, as well as a fairly simple post system to streamline your build. Flexibility in airflow is also a plus. 

Not sure which RDA is best for you? You can always reach out to the DIRECTVAPOR team for help.

Shop RDA Vapes for Sale Online from DIRECTVAPOR

When you’re ready to explore the world of RDAs, shop with DIRECTVAPOR to get everything you need for your vape journey. Check out our full selection of RDAs and other vapes to find your ideal device today!

As a member of the vaping community, you may have heard the phrase “dripper,” or wondered, what is an RDA? The best, most straightforward RDA definition can be found in its full name: Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. Many pen-style vaping devices have a pre-built-in atomizer, but once you have a bit of vaping experience, you will probably be looking for opportunities to maximize and customize your vaping experience. That is where an RDA comes in.

Image Credit: Stepan Khadzhi / Shutterstock

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