New To Rebuildable Vape Tanks? You Need To Read This…

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 05/30/19 •  5 min read

RDA or RTA? You want to get into rebuildable tanks, but you’re unsure which style is best – do you go with an RDA or an RTA? Read on for the pros and cons of each style of tank…


RDA vs RTA – What’s The Difference? A Quick Overview…

Bottom line: an RDA tank is infinitely simpler to live with, build on, and they seldom leak. Plus, with squonking, you now no longer have to drip E Juice – all the vape juice can be stored in your mod and squonked up to the atomizer, removing the need for constant dripping.

You will need a squonk mod for this, obviously. But they’re 100% worth investing in should you go the RDA route; you get full box mod functionality alongside the ability to store 8-10ml of E Juice inside it. That’s more than enough vape juice to see you through a day’s worth of vaping.

rebuildable tanks

The Brilliant GOON RDA – One of The ALL-TIME Greats (Shot By @lowrez87)

RTA tanks, meanwhile, can be VERY fiddly to set up, wick, and get working properly. They’re also prone to leaking. And for a beginner, this isn’t ideal. When they work, RTAs are great. But they do require a fair amount of experience in order to get the best results possible.

My advice? If you’re a beginner – or someone that is new to rebuildable tanks – I would 100% recommend that you start out with an RDA. To reiterate: an RDA is simple to set up, simple to wick, they produce the best flavor of any tank, and you can squonk with them.

Top RDA Tanks

IMAGENAMEBEST DEALRATING

best rda

District F5VE Layercake

(Best For BIG Builds)

100%

best RDA

PASSAGE RDA

(2020's Finest Flavor Monster)

100%

top rda tank 2019

REBIRTH RDA 

(Amazing Deck & Flavor)

97%

best single coil RDA

PROFILE RDA

(Best For Mesh & Flavor)

100%


Top Squonk Mods

ProductPICTURESRatingUSPsPrice

TOPSIDE DUAL Squonker 200W

best squonk mod

100%

  • Awesome Performance (200W, Full TC Suite)
  • Great Design; Unique & Lots of Color Options
  • 10ml Squonk Bottle
  • Dual-18650s

USV MACH ON3 Squonk Mod

best vape mod

95%

  • Excellent Design
  • Dual-18650 Cell
  • TC Support
  • 240W Max Output
  • Comes With Decent RDA 


OK – So What About RTAs? Are They Really That Bad?

rebuildable vape tanks

The Augvape Intake RTA – AKA The Simplest, 100% Leak-Proof RTA on The Market Right Now

RTA tanks can be great, in the right hands. They have the same structure as a sub ohm tank, so plenty of E Juice storage capabilities. Only with an RTA, you install your own coils and cotton. On paper, they sound perfect but in reality, they can rather problematic, especially for inexperienced vapers.

Nearly all new RTA users experience the following:

Some RTA tanks are better than others when it comes to easiness; the Augvape INTAKE RTA is perhaps the simplest of RTAs on the market right now. It’s 100% leak-proof and is relatively simple to wick and set up correctly. If you MUST go the RTA route, the Augvape Intake RTA is the one to go for.

Feeling confident? Think you can handle an RTA? No problem – you have a lot of options! Right now, the RTA tanks listed below are my current #1 rated RTA tanks for flavor, performance, and ease of use. Please note: not all of them are as simple as the Augvape INTAKE RTA.

Top RTA Tanks (My #1 Picks For Beginners)

NamePicturesRatingBest Place To Buy?Why You'd Buy This RTA?

PHAROAH MINI

(Best All-Round RTA)

best RTA

100%

  • Outstanding Flavor 
  • 5ML Juice Capacity 
  • It Never Leaks 
  • Powerful, Dual-Coil Design 
  • Great For Clouds
  • Insanely Cheap

OBS ENGINE II 

(Best Dual Coil Option)

top dual coil rta

100%

  • Solid Design + Beautiful Deck
  • Vapor Production is NUTS
  • Great Flavor (Especially At Medium Power)
  • 100% Leak Proof

Vandy Vape Kylin Mini 

(INSANE Flavor)

best RTAs

91%

  • Brilliant Design
  • Big Deck; Easy To Build On 
  • Smooth Air Flow 
  • Brilliant Flavor + Cloud Production 
  • A Classic Mid-Ranger, Ideal For Newbies

Augvape Intake 24mm RTA

(100% LEAK-PROOF)

best RTA tanks

94%

  • 100% LEAK-Proof
  • Once Wicked, Works Like A Sub-Ohm Tank 
  • Awesome Deck 
  • Super-Easy To Build & Set Up
  • Great AFC

Wotofo Serpent ELEVATE RTA

(Best For Flavor & Clouds)

best smoktech mod

97%

  • Single Coil RTA – Great For Battery Life 
  • Excellent Design (Both Tank & Deck) 
  • Simple To Use & Setup
  • Great, Thick Flavor 
  • Doesn't Leak

The 10 Things I Don’t Like About RTAs

  1. They’re Prone To Leaking
  2. RTAs Are Tricky To Wick Properly
  3. You Have To Be ULTRA-PRECISE With Everything
  4. RDAs Produce Better Flavor
  5. RTA Tanks Can Dry-Hit Outta Nowhere
  6. You Think Everything Is Great, Then It Leaks Everywhere In Your Pocket, Ruining A Perfectly Good Pair of Jeans
  7. Despite Good Wicking, The Flavor Can Be Flat
  8. RTAs With Top-Mounted AFCs Leak Less But Have Less Flavor
  9. RTAs Cost More Than RDAs A Lot of The Time
  10. You’ll Have To Research Wicking Techniques For Each New RTA You Buy

Sound fun? It ain’t – this is the #1 reason why I always recommend RDAs and squonk mods to new users over RTA tanks. If you’re new to rebuildable tanks, it’s a no brainer; RDAs are vastly simpler and more rewarding to live with on a daily basis.

If you’re a veteran vaper, and you know your way around a deck, an RTA is definitely a solid option. I’ve vaped for almost 10 years, and I know how to wick and install coils, but I seldom use RTAs. I do own a bunch, but it is rare that I ever use any for extended periods of time.

The reason? I prefer the way RDAs vape, I own a bunch of awesome squonk mods, and I don’t like having to deal with leaking. With an RDA, you’re getting all the benefits of a rebuildable tank, even more so if you use it with a squonk mod, without any real negatives.

Bottomline: if you’re new to rebuildable tanks, get yourself an RDA that can squonk, learn about decks, wicking techniques, coils, and then progress from there. For the most part, though, once you go RDA, you don’t tend to go to anything else.

For flavor, an RDA tank is more or less unbeatable. Chuck in the ability to squonk, and you’re looking at the perfect vape tank. Even if you’re brand new to vaping and rebuildable tanks.

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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