Best RDA Tanks
By Lindsay Fox Posted May 3, 2018
If you’re looking for the best RDA, chances are you’re a pretty experienced vaper. While sub ohm tanks offer great performance in a much more beginner-friendly format, rebuildable dripping atomizers will give you arguably better performance but with more hands-on work required.
Making your own coil isn’t something that appeals to brand new vapers, but if you want to have the most control possible over the performance you get from your vape or to save as much money as possible, using an RDA atomizer is one of the best steps you can take.
There are tons of excellent RDAs on the market, though, and it isn’t always easy to choose between them. What’s the best RDA for clouds? What’s the best RDA for flavor? We’ve collected 10 high-quality RDAs here for your consideration.
Best RDA Vape Tanks
10 – Tsunami 24 by GeekVape
GeekVape put out some excellent tanks and atomizers over the years, and the Tsunami 24 is one of our picks for the top rebuildable dripping atomizer on the market. The 24 mm diameter RDA has a two-post, Velocity-style deck with under-coil adjustable airflow. Each post has two sizable holes, which makes it really easy to construct multi-coil builds out of everything from standard kanthal to thicker wire types like Clapton wire. It has a huge juice well – despite the airflow output holes taking up some valuable deck-space – so you don’t have to top up too often.
All of this comes together to make the Tsunami 24 a great platform for rebuilding. The larger-diameter version in particular has plenty of space for building (although the 22 mm RDA version is good too). When it comes to performance, the under-coil airflow and conical drip tip contribute to the outstanding vapor production and flavor. As a handy extra, it offers an optional squonking pin that can turn the RDA atomizer into a squonking device.
The Tsunami 24 might not be the very best drip atomizer you can get, but it’s a fantastic option that’s currently available for $31.95, making it a more affordable option than some of the higher-end devices on this list.
9 – Cheetah II by OBS
The Cheetah II from OBS is a follow-up to the original Cheetah, and it earns a spot as one of the top rebuildable dripping atomizers on the market for it’s unique two-post deck design and sizable deck. The deck features two posts, with a 3 by 2 mm opening in each post and two clamps on the outer sides, which open up to 3.5 by 2 mm, giving you plenty of space to set up a wide range of builds. It’s a unique approach to RDA design, and it makes it a great building platform overall. The RDA vape device also has a 6 mm juice well, PEEK insulation and a gold-plated contact point.
The ease of building on the Cheetah II combines with the adjustable slot-style airflow system and the cool, cheetah-face design to put this in the running for the title of best rebuildable dripping atomizer. It does only take 810 drip tips, which makes it less-than-ideal if you like using your own, but if you’re happy with using the included option it’s no problem. The performance is exceptional, and as a building platform it blows much of the competition out of the water.
The OBS Cheetah II costs $28.95 new, making it a solid choice for anybody looking for a great RDA.
8 – Troll RDA V2 by WOTOFO
The Troll is a classic rebuildable dripping atomizer from Wotofo, and the second version makes this list. It’s a 22 mm RDA with a two-post, Velocity-style build deck and 2.7 mm diameter holes for your wires. With two holes in each post, this makes it a really flexible building platform, suitable for multi-coil builds and pretty much any wire type you’ll come across. The RDA also has a huge 10 mm juice well, so you don’t have to drip too often with the RDA.
The Troll V2 has a slot-style adjustable airflow system, with three slots on each side of the RDA which can be closed off or opened up by turning the outer part of the cap. There are actually four groups of slots, two vertically-orientated and two horizontally, so you can set it up to suit your preferences more than most RDAs. The performance is great in terms of both flavor and vapor, so no matter what’s more important to you, you’ll be able to get it set up to your liking.
The Troll V2 dual coil RDA costs $24.95 new.
7 – Druga by Augvape
The Augvape Druga is a 24 mm diameter RDA with a 24k gold-plated, two-post deck that features a unique, tool-less “Clamp Snag System” for the posts. It makes this list thanks to this interesting feature and its excellent flavor in particular. The Druga has a 6 mm juice well, with a 20 mm deck diameter, giving you plenty of juice capacity for an RDA atomizer. It has two 12 by 2 mm airflow slots, which you adjust using the top cap. Airflow is further improved by a wide-bore, 810 drip tip, and you get both Delrin and ULTEM tips with the RDA as standard, although there is no 510 adapter included.
The ease of building on the Druga is one of the main reasons it’s in the running for the title of best drip atomizer. The knurled screws mean you can adjust it by hand (although there are Phillips-head screw-points in the tops of the posts too), and the posts have big 2.5 by 3 mm holes so there’s plenty of room to set up dual coils even using thicker wire types. The two-post design might not be as easy to build with as Velocity-style arrangements, but it’s still fantastic overall.
The Druga costs $34.99, which makes it an affordable device, especially considering that it’s a gold RDA.
6 – Goon V1.5 by 528 Custom Vapes
The Goon V1.5 is a high-end RDA for serious rebuilders, featuring clamp-style posts, dual adjustable airflow slots and a simple layout that makes it an excellent building platform. It’s a firm contender for the best RDA vape title, with high-quality materials used throughout and a 24 mm profile with a 20 mm diameter deck. It has an impressive 7 mm juice well, PEEK insulators and it comes with a bottom-feeding pin so it can be used as a bottom feeding RDA too.
The biggest benefit of the Goon is the clamp-style posts in combination with the huge deck. This makes it a perfect platform for more exotic builds, with the clamps having two screws in each with 4 mm between them. If you need something to support multiple RDA coils with anything from standard Kanthal to Clapton wire, the Goon V1.5 is a great choice. Combined with the 12 by 3 mm airflow slots and the wide-bore 810 drip tip, it’s definitely a device to consider if you’re looking for the best quality RDA for clouds. That said, it’s excellent for flavor too.
The Goon V1.5 is priced at $59.95, but it’s well worth spending a little more if you want something that lets you take your rebuilding to the next level.
5 – Dead Rabbit RDA by Hellvape and Heathen
The Dead Rabbit is a 4 post RDA from Hellvape and Heathen, and it’s top-terminal design and impressive performance earn it a spot on this list. It’s a 24 mm RDA, with a 5 mm juice well and a standard slot-style airflow control system. The airflow slots are horizontal, but there’s a diagonal slope on the inside to direct the air down towards your coils. This contributes to the great vapor production and flavor from the atomizer, combined with the high coil position due to the orientation of the post-holes. It also comes with a wide-bore 810 drip tip, although it does include a 510 adapter too.
The Dead Rabbit has two gold-plated posts and two stainless steel ones, with the gold posts being positive and the stainless steel negative. The post-holes have a 2.5 mm diameter – great for pretty much any wire type – and are opened up using hex screws mounted on the sides the posts. The layout makes building a pretty simple process, although it’s easier if you don’t leave the “legs” on the end of your coils too long. It’s really flexible as a building platform, with a PEEK insulator so you can run high wattages without issues, and a squonk pin included as standard so you can use it as a bottom-feeding atomizer.
The Dead Rabbit is a great pick if you’re looking for a great RDA vape for clouds, but it’s a great choice for flavor-chasers too. The RDA costs $35.95 new.
4 – VaporFi Venom RDA
VaporFi is a big name in the vaping industry, and while they don’t have many RDAs on offer, the Venom makes this list. The Venom is affordable, but features under-coil airflow, a Velocity-style two-post build deck and two airflow configurations. It’s a 22mm RDA, but the layout of the deck means it’s still a spacious building platform offering plenty of potential. It has a Delrin drip tip for heat resistance and an adjustable airflow ring so you can control the performance of the RDA.
If you’ve used an RDA before, you’ll be right at home with the layout of the Venom, but it’s a pretty good choice as an RDA for beginners too. The performance is great for both flavor and vapor thanks to the under-coil airflow, and there’s also secondary airflow closer to the mouthpiece too. In standard configuration the top of the RDA is conical in shape, but you can switch it to a flat intake too.
The Venom RDA costs just $29.99, which is a great price for one of the top RDA vapes on the market.
3 – Recoil Performance RDA by Grimm Green and OhmBoy
The Recoil Performance is a 3 post RDA made as a collaboration between vaping YouTubers Grimm Green and OhmBoy. It earns a spot in our list thanks to it’s simple design, excellent performance for both flavor and vapor, and it’s affordable price. The Recoil Performance has a three-post deck, with a split center post to make it easy to connect up multi-coil builds. Each post-hole measures 2.5 mm in diameter, giving you plenty of space for pretty much any wire type. It features PEEK insulators, a gold-plated contact pin and a 304 stainless steel construction.
The Recoil Performance is a 24 mm RDA, but features a substantial 22 mm build deck so you aren’t cramped when connecting your coils or planning your builds. The RDA comes with two different top caps, one tailored for flavor and one tailored for clouds (the “Flavor Bro” and “Clouds Bro” caps, respectively). The flavor cap features two 2.5 mm airholes, whereas the clouds cap features 3 mm airholes, with the holes angled downwards towards your coils on both. This is a nice feature that gives you more options for tailoring your vape with the Recoil Performance RDA, and one of the reasons it earns a high spot on this list.
The Recoil Performance RDA costs $32.97, and comes with the RDA, both caps and some spare parts.
2 – Twisted Messes 24 mm RDA
The Twisted Messes RDAs are widely-recommended by vapers, and are a regular feature on best RDA lists from a wide range of sites. It’s easy to see why, but even with the Twisted Messes Squared and the newest, Cubed version, the 24 mm version of the original Twisted Messes RDA gets our pick as the best rebuildable dripping atomizer for clouds and one of the top RDA atomizer devices in the industry overall. The RDA has a two-post deck, with two 2.9 mm holes in each post and a completely gold-plated deck for excellent conductivity.
The Twisted Messes 24 mm RDA has a 5.5 mm juice well, and features two 12 by 2 mm airflow slots, which you control by rotating an inner sleeve in the top cap. Everything about the device makes the rebuilding process really forgiving, from the sizable post-holes through to the spacious build deck and the top-mounted hex screws to keep your coils in place. After you’ve put your build together and connected up the coils, the performance is out of this world. Even after two follow-up devices, it’s still deserving of the title of best RDA for clouds, and manages to accomplish it while keeping the RDA as user-friendly as possible.
The Twisted Messes 24 mm costs $46.99.
1 – Cosmonaut RDA by District F5VE
The Cosmonaut RDA is a seriously high-quality RDA, featuring a postless deck that’s entirely gold-plated for unparalleled conductivity. It’s up there with the top RDAs on the market thanks to the spacious build deck, 4 mm holes for your leads and high-quality materials used throughout. The Cosmonaut has dual slot-style airflow, which work to create great vapor production in combination with your build and the wide-bore drip tip included with the RDA. There’s also an ULTEM drip tip included to improve heat dissipation included with the device.
The Cosmonaut (or CSMNT) is a device to consider if you’re looking for the best RDA for flavor, but also a great option if you find ordinary build decks a little limiting. The big post-holes and the fact that your coils stand up vertically rather than being pushed off to the side gives the Cosmonaut tons of flexibility. Add in the facts that this is a gold RDA, it’s well set up for heat dissipation and complex builds, and the potential of the device really begins to show.
This is the most expensive RDA in our list – at $64.95 – but it’s another one that’s worth spending a little more on.
The RDA list above is helpful for anybody ready to make a purchase, but if you’re not sure exactly what an RDA is or why you might want one, this section is for you. Here we’ll give some basics about what RDAs are, how to make coils for one and how to choose one that’s right for you.
What is an RDA Vape Atomizer?
If you’re brand new to RDAs, the most basic question you might have is “what is RDA vape?” The answer is best summed up by the meaning of the acronym: Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer.
Breaking this down, an “atomizer” is that part of your e-cigarette that turns the liquid into vapor. Ordinarily, atomizers consist of a pre-built coil and wick, which draws e-liquid in from a tank which surrounds it. When the wick and coil no longer work as they should, you have to install a new (also pre-built) wick and coil, which are enclosed in what are referred to as “atomizer heads.”
The “rebuildable” part of an e-cig RDA refers to the fact that you make your own coil and insert your own wick with an RDA. All you need to do this is some basic tools (usually included with the RDA), some resistance wire and some cotton wicking material. This saves you a lot of money in comparison to vaping with pre-made coils.
Finally, RDAs are “dripping” atomizers because instead of a vape tank, you drip e-liquid directly onto the wick and coil before vaping. When the e-liquid runs out, there is no tank to replenish it – you just drip more e-liquid onto the coils.
In practice, a rebuildable dripping atomizer consists of two or more posts, which have holes or connection points to connect the ends of your coil to. These are found on the “deck” of the RDA, and when you’ve wrapped and attached your coil, this is covered by a “top cap,” which has a mouthpiece attached. You remove the top cap to get access to the deck – for dripping e-liquid or building your coil – and replace it to vape through the mouthpiece.
Types of RDA Deck: Postless, Two Post, Three Post, Four Post and More Posts
The main types of rebuildable dripping atomizer can be most easily distinguished by the number of posts their decks feature.
Basic 2-Post RDAs
The bare minimum is two – one for the “negative” lead and one for the “positive” lead. The earliest rebuildable dripping atomizers just had a positive and negative post in this way, with only one connection point on each. In the most basic ecig RDA designs, your wires were trapped under a screw in the top of the post, but some may have post-holes like more modern RDAs.
Velocity-Style 2 Post RDAs
Modern two-post RDA designs tend to be “Velocity-style,” named after the popular Velocity RDA. These have two tall posts which each have two post holes in them for your wires. This makes it easy to connect more than one coil to the RDA. In essentially all modern RDA vape devices, you loosen a screw to open up the post-hole, and then insert the end of your coil through the hole before tightening the screw back down. Velocity-style 2 post RDAs have the screws on the sides of the posts, and tend to have large post-holes so you can connect even thicker or more complex wire types.
3 Post RDAs
A 3-post RDA is really a continuation of the original 2-post design. The positive post is in the middle of the deck, and there are two negative posts off to the sides. Unlike the early 2-post varieties, these tend to have post-holes like modern RDAs, and are set up so you can easily set up multi-coil builds. They’re not quite as good as Velocity-style RDAs for building, because on basic designs, the central post has to be shared by two different coils.
Modern 3-post RDA atomizer designs often have a “split” center post. This is basically a positive post that widens out and features two post holes rather than just one. This makes it easier to create multi-coil builds, and for a long time (before Velocity-style decks became common) this was the standard for a dual coil RDA.
4 Post RDAs
A 4-post RDA is not a very common design, and more often than not, devices described as 4-post RDAs are either 3-post RDAs with a split center post or two-post RDAs where both posts are split. The only 4 post RDA on our list is the Dead Rabbit, but there aren’t many similar devices available.
5 Post RDAs
A 5-post RDA is another very uncommon design, although one which has existed in the past. These feature a central positive post with four negative posts surrounding it, with the IGO-W3 being one of the only examples you may still find today. They’re ideally set up for quad-coil builds, but realistically you could accomplish this with a two post, Velocity-style ecig RDA just as well.
A post-less RDA completely dispenses with posts altogether and instead incorporates holes directly into the deck of the RDA. The decks are usually raised to account for this in such devices, with screws around the side so the holes can be opened up and closed to connect your coils. These are unique devices to build on, because your coils stand directly up from the deck, but are surprisingly easy to use on the whole.
Building RDA Coils: A Brief Guide
If you get an e-cig RDA, whether it’s a cheap RDA or the best-rated RDA on the market, you’ll need to know how to make a coil for one. Building RDA coils looks super-complicated but is actually fairly easy to do. We have a full-length guide here, if you want more detail, but here are the basics.
To build an RDA coil, you need some resistance wire (Kanthal is still the most popular choice), some wicking material (usually cotton, from more expensive varieties like Japanese organic cotton through to simple unbleached cotton balls) and a few basic tools. You’ll need a precision screwdriver or a drill bit to wrap your coil around, wire cutters and a hex key or an appropriate mini screwdriver to open up the post holes. Tweezers and scissors are also useful extra tools.
Cut yourself a section of wire to make your coil with. This can vary in length depending on how big you want your coil to be. When you’re building RDA coils, the best advice is to cut more wire than you’re likely to need, but the general tip is that a bigger coil will be higher in resistance than a smaller one. Choose a screwdriver or thin drill bit to use as a guide. About 1/8 inch or 3 mm in diameter is common, but bigger or smaller than this is good too. In general, bigger diameters create higher-resistance coils for the same number of wraps.
Now wrap your resistance wire around your guide. The aim is to create a coil shape, and the easiest way to do this is to keep the wire taut as you wrap and keep your hand movement as smooth and steady as possible. You can make it so successive wraps touch each other if you want (this is called a contact coil), but it’s easier to keep them evenly spaced apart for your first build. Aim for five or six wraps, and make sure the “legs” of the coil finish on the same side.
All that’s left to do is attach the coil to your RDA and insert the wick. Loosen the screws to open up the post-holes, and thread the legs through one of the positive post holes and one of the negative post holes. Try to position your coil centrally, but it isn’t too important if things aren’t perfectly even. Tighten down the screws, and snip the excess wire from the opposite side of the posts. At this point, you can attach your RDA to a vape mod or resistance reader to make sure it comes in at a suitable resistance (with a mod, this is usually 0.2 ohms or higher).
Finally, cut yourself a section of wicking material. This should be long enough to reach the deck of your RDA on both sides of the coil, and thick enough so that you can just get it through the coil without deforming the wire in the process. This often takes a bit of trial and error, but you’ll get better with experience building RDA coils. Insert your wick into the coil, snip any excess cotton and you’re ready to go. Drip some e-juice to soak the coil, re-attach the top cap and you’re ready to vape.
What’s the Best E-Liquid for Dripping?
One of the best things about rebuildable dripping atomizers is that you can pretty much use any e-liquid with them. Unlike simple vape tanks, which sometimes don’t work well with high-VG e-liquids, any of the best rebuildable dripping atomizer devices (or even cheap RDAs) will work with any PG/VG ratio. This is because you manually soak the wicks, so there is very little that can go wrong as long as you keep your wicks wet. In short, the best e-liquid for dripping is any e-liquid you like. However a 30/70 PG/VG mix is common and gives great performance.
Choosing the Best RDA Vape: Some Guidelines
Finding the best RDA tank for your needs is all about working out what you’re looking for. Do you prefer having big clouds or vibrant flavor? Is ease of use important or are you experienced enough to build on anything? How much do you want to spend? It’s hard to cover everything, but here are some basic things to think about:
- Number of posts and holes: The best-rated RDA vapes these days tend to have a two-post, Velocity style design, with two holes in each post. This makes them perfect as dual coil RDA devices, and offers a lot of flexibility to you as a vaper. Three-post designs are OK too, but split center posts are preferable. If you only want a single coil RDA, the number of post-holes isn’t as important, but two in each post is still preferable.
- Airflow control: If you’re looking for the best RDA tank for clouds, the airflow system is particularly important. More airflow generally means bigger clouds, so bigger airflow slots are better than smaller ones for cloud-chasing. Under-coil airflow also generally offers better performance for either flavor or vapor. If you’re looking for a great RDA for flavor, as long as the airflow is adjustable, you can close it off a little to improve your flavor.
- Ease of building: Most of the top RDA devices listed above are really good when it comes to ease of use, but it’s still something to consider. Bigger decks, bigger post holes, a two-post, Velocity-style layout and little extras like thumb-screws (such as on the Augvape Druga) make building easier.
- Price: Not all of the best RDA tanks are expensive, but if you pay more, you’ll generally get something higher-quality than most cheap RDA atomizers. Checking RDA reviews is the best way to find out the quality of something more affordable or whether something expensive is worth paying more for.
- Size: Most RDAs can either be classed as 22mm RDA devices or 24mm RDAs. Most mods these days are “box mods,” and so larger diameters are suitable, but some older tube mods or compact box mods might be better suited to a 22 mm RDA. In general, though, a bigger diameter means a bigger deck and easier building.
- Bottom-fed RDAs: If you have a “squonk” mod, you’ll need an RDA with a hollow, bottom-feed center pin so you can use your dripper with your device. Many of the options in the best rebuildable dripping atomizer list come with these as standard, but it’s worth checking before you buy.
The best RDA is the one that meets your needs most, not the one that costs the most or the ones the whole vaping community is raving about. However, deciding between the multitude of options can be really difficult, so our rebuildable dripping atomizer list and the general guidance in the last section should help to steer you in the right direction. Whether you’re looking for a great RDA for clouds, flavor or something in-between, taking some time over your choice and reading some RDA reviews will help you find the right device for you.