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A Guide To Rebuildable Tanks: RBAs vs RDAs vs RTAs vs RDTAs

A Guide To Rebuildable Tanks

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

When it comes to the world of vape tanks, there are numerous shapes, sizes, and types available. And while they may seem complex, vaping tanks are actually really easy to understand.

There are a few acronyms for rebuildable vaping tanks. These all begin with the letter “R”, which stands for “Rebuildable”. In general, any type of tank upon which you can build your own coils and wicks is called an RBA (ReBuildable Atomizer). An atomizer is simply a tank that, when a current is passed through it, vaporizes eliquid and creates vapor.

In this guide, we’ll explain the different types of vape tanks, as well as the differences between them.


What Is An RBA

RBA stands for ReBuildable Atomizer, and refers to any type of tank upon which you can build your own coils and wicks. RDAs, RTAs, and RDTAs are all different types of RBAs.

With RBAs you’ll have to physically wrap your own wire, and thread through your own cotton. As opposed to store-bought coils, building your own coils requires a little bit of technical knowledge and skill. However, it’s very easy to get the hang of building and it can be fun, too!

Using an RBA allows you to build your coils to your desired resistance, and this means more control over your vaping experience. Building your own coils is also a lot cheaper than buying pre-made coils for sub-ohm tanks. For less than around $50, you can get all of the tools and materials you’ll need to build a years-worth of coils.


What Is An RDA

Drop Dead RDA
Hellvape – Drop Dead RDA

RDA stands for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, and is an RBA housing a build-deck and one or more posts. These posts are used to secure your coils, and some RDAs can fit upwards of three coils on the deck. There is a mid-cap that surrounds and covers the build deck, with a top-cap that goes on top. RDAs have no glass tank section to hold eliquid. Instead, RDAs are meant to be used by dripping eliquid directly onto the coils (usually after first removing the top-cap). Most RDAs have a “well” that will allow some juice to collect, but it is usually very small(less than 2ml).

Because of the close proximity of the coils to your mouth, RDAs produce a very concentrated and flavorful vapor. You’re also able to change flavors more freely. The downside is that you’ll have to redrip every few draws to prevent dry hits. Nowadays, however, many RDA users are using squonk mods that allow you to rejuice by squeezing a bottle.

For flavor and clouds, RDAs are the best of the best.

BEST RDAs


What Is An RTA

Advken Manta Rebuildable Tank Atomizer
Advken – Manta RTA

RTA stands for Rebuildable Tank Atomizer, and is an RBA housing a build-deck with one or more posts for securing your coils. The build deck is enclosed by a domed metal chimney that directs vapor to the mouthpiece.

A glass tank seals and surrounds the chimney, and you’re able to fill this glass tank with ejuice. There are small cutouts at the bottom of the chimney to allow ejuice to saturate your wicks. This ejuice is then fed to the coils and vaporized. An RTA functions very similar to a refillable tank, just without the pre-made coils.

The main difference between an RDA and an RTA is that an RTA has a tank for holding ejuice, while an RDA does not. With an RTA, there is no need to drip ejuice; most RTAs have a capacity of 3ml+. It can be annoying to have to drip all of the time with an RDA, and so vapers may opt for the convenience of an RTA. The downside is that the flavor from RTAs is not as full as what you would get from an RDA, and so you’ll be trading flavor for convenience.

BEST RTAs


What Is An RDTA

Medusa Reborn RDTA
Medusa Reborn RDTA

RDTA stands for Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer and is an RBA with features of an RDA and an RTA. An RDTA has a build deck with one or more posts for securing your coils, and also has a mid cap that surrounds and covers this build deck. Underneath the build deck is a tank that can be filled with ejuice. There are holes in the floor of the build deck that allow your wicks to be dropped in, and saturated by ejuice. You can also drip ejuice directly onto your coils.

RDTAs were invented to bring the enhanced flavor of an RDA and the convenience of an RTA together. But the reality is that RDTAs can be difficult to use and, due to their design, are prone to leaking.

While RDTAs are marketed as being better than RTAs, that will really depend on your personal preference. There have been many new advances in RTAs that have greatly enhanced their flavor output, but they still won’t offer you the ability to drip like an RDTA.

BEST RDTAs


Which Type Of Tank Is Right For You?

Confused on which type of rebuildable tank to pick? Here are a few things to consider:

If you’re looking for the best flavor and don’t mind dripping or using a squonk mod, you should get yourself an RDA.

If you’re looking for convenience, an RTA will allow you to fill up your tank without having to worry about dripping. You won’t get as much flavor as you would from an RDA, but it’s much less cumbersome.

If you want a mix of both worlds, an RDTA will offer you the convenience of a refillable tank, with the ability to drip as well. RDTAs are a little harder to configure than RTAs or RDAs.

Adam A.

I started vaping in 2013, determined to quit smoking because I knew it was a terrible habit. Many hard years later, I'm smoke-free and feeling better than ever! I love trying as many different tanks, mods, and ejuices as I can get my hands on, but I love sharing my experiences and honest opinions even more! When I'm not reviewing, researching, or writing, you can find me watching tennis, tinkering with coils, or playing with my two mischievous cats.

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