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

RBA guide: RTA vs RDA vs RDTA

If you’re relatively new to the world of vaping, it’s only natural that you might be confused about the various kinds of vape tank on the market and it isn’t surprising.

There are so many sizes, types and shapes available it can be bewildering to any new vaper.

However, although they seem complicated, in fact, vape tanks aren’t as hard to understand as you might think.

There are several acronyms which might confuse you – RBA, RTA, RDA, RDTA…

All of them start with an “R” which makes them more difficult to distinguish from each other, however, once you realize the “R” always stands for “rebuildable” it becomes easier to tell them apart.

Here, we’ll take a look at the various vape tank types and outline the differences so you’ll have a better understanding when you go shopping for your vape equipment.

What is an RBA?

RBA vape tank

The term “RBA” is an acronym for ReBuildable Atomiser. This is basically any form of a tank on which it’s possible to build your own wicks and coils.

There are three kinds of RBA – RDAs, RDTAs and RTAs.

When you use an RBA, you physically wrap coils yourself with wire and thread your own cotton wick.

When you buy coils ready-made, you don’t need any skill or technical knowledge. However, when you build them yourself, you need to learn the basics.

The good news, it isn’t as hard as you might think to get to grips with coil building, and actually, it’s a lot of fun once you’re used to it.

When you use an RBA, you can build coils to the perfect resistance for you. This gives you great control over the vaping experience you can enjoy.

It’s also much cheaper to make your own coils rather than buy them pre-made, so it’s a great choice for anyone on a budget.

What is an RDA?

RDA vape tank

The acronym “RDA” is a term used to describe a Rebuilding Dripping Atomiser. One of the forms of RBA, it is a kind of atomiser which is used for dripping.

Rather than filling up a tank with e-juice, you simply drip your e-liquid onto the wicks and coils directly.

An RDA doesn’t have a tank to hold the e-liquid. Instead, it has a juice well under its build deck to hold the e-liquid drops.

It’s important to make sure the wick tails are directly placed into the juice well so they can soak up the e-liquid much more effectively.

The wells don’t have much capacity and can only hold about ten drops of e-juice depending on which model of atomiser you’re using.

RDA’s are usually shorter or smaller than other kinds of atomisers.

This is so that the vapour only has to travel a short distance to your mouth from the coils, preserving the flavour and making this form of vaping a great choice for anyone who loves to get the most flavour out of their vape.

Some RDAs feature adjustable airflows with air slots under the coil or alongside it.

When these are closed or opened, it’s possible to customise your vaping experience by changing the tightness of the draw and the size of the clouds.

Also, since you’re dripping your e-juice rather than filling a tank, you can easily switch between flavours.

There is a downside to using an RDA. Since there’s no tank, you need to drip your e-juice constantly throughout your vape. That can be inconvenient when on the go.

Best RDA for New Vapers

Vandy Vape Pulse 24 RDA

The Vandy Vape Pulse 24mm RDA has a raised build deck which is capable of accommodating either a dual or single coil setup.

The vape juice well can hold up to 2ml of your favourite e-liquid, and there’s even an included squonk pin, so it offers even more flexibility.

There are also three types of included airflow ring so you can choose which one suits your preferred vaping style.

The structure is made from strong and durable stainless steel, and it can completely disassemble making this the ultimate rebuildable!

What is an RTA?

RTA vape tank

The acronym “RTA” means Rebuildable Tank Atomiser. This form of RBA is a build deck that features one or more posts on which to secure the coils.

The entire build deck is then enclosed with a metal chimney which is domed to direct vapour into the mouthpiece.

There is a glass tank which surrounds and seals the chimney, and this can be filled with your favourite e-liquid, with small cut-outs at the chimney’s base so that e-liquid can reach the wicks.

This feeds the e-juice to the coil so it can be vaporised. RTAs function is a similar way to refillable tanks, but they don’t have pre-made coils.

When you compare an RTA and an RDA, the primary difference is that RTAs have tanks to hold the e-liquid whereas RDAs don’t.

When you have an RTA, you don’t need to drip your e-liquid however the flavour isn’t quite as impressive when compared to an RDA.

Best RTA for New Vapers

GeekVape Creed RTA

The GeekVape Creed RTA has a revolutionary design with an integrated interchangeable airflow, a build deck with two posts and a maximum e-liquid capacity of 6.5ml.

Made from high-quality stainless steel, it offers vapers the chance to switch between three different kinds of inner airflow chamber to suit their own preferred style of vaping.

This makes the GeekVape Creed a fantastic choice for a new vaper who doesn’t want the hassle of dripping but who wants to enjoy a customized experience.

What is an RDTA?

RDTA vape tank

An RDTA is a hybrid of both an RDA and an RTA. The acronym RDTA stands for Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser.

Although these RDTAs look complex, they’re ideal for vapers who are looking for complete versatility in their experience.

The process for building coils is identical to that used with an RDA, but there’s also extra e-liquid space, which is perfect if you don’t want the hassle of dripping.

An RDTA atomiser combines the open build deck design with no chimney together with a vape juice tank below.

This lets you vape for longer without having to drip all the time, but you can enjoy enhanced flavour thanks to the ability to drip whenever you want.

Best RDTA for New Vapers

Vandy Vape Pyro V2 BF RDTA

The Pyro V2 BF RDTA from Vandy Vape is cutting edge, combining a postless build deck with a multi-hole airflow and a modular design.

Thanks to the four open terminals, it’s possible to build either single or dual coils while the coil lead guide that comes complete with this RDTA is perfect for new builders who want to have an easier way to gauge the right length for their coil leads.

Adding even more innovation, there’s a bottom-feeding 510 pin which allows for a squonk system setup as well as a 4ml capacity for e-liquid

Which Type of Tank is Right for You?

Which RBA is Right for You

Are you struggling to work out which kind of rebuildable tank is right for you? There are some pros and cons to keep in mind.



• Excellent flavour
• Lots of vapour
• Very versatile
• No leakage


• Dripping can be a hassle
• If you don’t drip enough you’ll get unpleasant dry hits



• The integrated tank gives you greater convenience
• Easy refilling
• More rapid wicking than RDTAs


• Not so versatile as an RDA
• Leakage can be a problem



• Excellent versatility
• Virtually leakproof
• All the convenience of having a tank
• Great flavour while dripping


• Some RDTAs are tricky to configure
• Wicking isn’t as quick as with an RTA

In short

If you don’t have a problem with dripping or squonking and want a great flavour, an RDA is the best choice for you.

If convenience is important to you, you’ll prefer an RTA. This allows you to fill up your tank with your favourite e-juice with no need to drip.

Although there’s a less impressive flavour, it’s a lot less hassle.

On the other hand, if you like getting the best of both worlds, you should choose an RDTA.

This will let you enjoy the convenience of having a refillable tank while also being able to drip and get the great flavour too.

Although they’re slightly more difficult to configure than RDAs and RTAs, they’re more versatile.