Best RDA's (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers) for 2021: TESTED & RANKED

best rdas preview
Last Updated on March 22, 2021

Do you find vaping has become too expensive lately? Are you frustrated with pre-made coils? Would you like a better flavor than what you’re already using provides? Or, maybe, thicker, more substantial clouds? Well, if you answered positively to one or more of those questions, it’s time you tried an RDA!

Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers, or RDAs for short, are in many regards the best you can get in the vaping world. Their only two caveats are that they can be leaky if you don’t use them correctly and that you have to re-drip whenever you want to vape. However, those “problems” seem like jokes after you see the thick, fluffy clouds they produce, taste their end-game flavor, and enjoy the ease-of-use they provide.

What follows are the best RDAs you can buy today. If those don’t convert you to dripping, nothing will.

How we rate

The RDAs in this article get top marks for flavor, vapor production, ease of use, and just generally being excellent in their respective fields. However, we also considered their popularity, the simple fact that you like them. For what would be the point in listing some obscure atomizers, available only in limited runs, through closed groups, for the few and “privileged,” if you couldn’t get them?

As usual, for our flavor tests, we turned to our trusty DIY “plain” juice: 20 drops of Atmos Lab Vanilla (plain/classic) in 10 ml of 70VG/30PG 3mg base for our direct lung testing, or ten drops in 10 ml of 50VG/50PG 12mg base for our mouth-to-lung testing. However, we’ve enriched our test suite with similar single-flavor mixes of Atmos’ RY69, Inawera’s Mocca, TPA’s Strawberry Ripe.

Top 5 RDA's (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers): Editor’s Choice

Asgard Mini – Best RDA of 2021

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Diameter: 25mm
Coil Configuration: Single or Dual Coil

Here it is – not much more to say. If I were to choose one single RDA to take with me, down Yggdrasil, to the realm of Hel and back, this would be it. If all that’s Norse to you, it’s because until recently, Asgard was the name of one of the Nine Worlds where Viking gods hanged out, and a realm to which many games paid a visit. Now, it’s also one of the best RDAs you can get, thanks to Vaperz Cloud.

A compressed brother of the larger (30 mm) Asgard, the Asgard Mini might be smaller but packs a more flavorful punch. Smaller size has that side effect in atomizers. In this case, it’s further assisted by an Ultem chamber reducer. It also works as an airflow redirector, bringing the top-side airflow downwards. There, it hits directly the sides of the two coils you can install on its semi-postless deck.

As for ease of use, pull the top-cap, remove the reducer, drop – literally – two coils in the deck post holes, tighten the screws, add some wick, tuck it in, and you’ve reached Valhalla.

What we like:

  • Exceptional flavor
  • Superb airflow & control
  • Effortless deck

What we don’t like:

  • Flavor takes a hit with smaller coils

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NOVA RDA by Gas Mods – Best Squonk RDA

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Set Alert for Product: Gas Mods Nova RDA 22mm - $20.99
Diameter: 22mm
Coil Configuration: Single Coil

Gas Mods’ Nova is a short and unremarkable-looking RDA. It’s equipped with a deck like Oumier’s Wasp RDAs, where you install a single coil between two elevated side posts that take up most of the deck. Unlike the Wasp, though, Nova’s posts go all the way down as solid blocks and don’t “make way” to increase the juice well’s size.

Not that the Nova has any actual juice well.

We’re not overstating things – the only place where your liquid can go is the space between those two side posts, and the coil and wick will already take a significant chunk of that. If you go for big, fat coils, prepare to drip after every other hit.

Still, this setup also means there’s no space wasted for what I call “stray air,” which could mute the flavor. And yes, this means that the Nova will give you phenomenal flavor.

One nitpick is about coil installation. People new to rebuilding will love the take-out-screws, insert coil, replace-and-tighten-screws approach. Those more familiar with rebuilding will hate the exact same thing – it’s annoying trying to fit in larger coils without fully taking out its screws.

What we like:

  • Terrific flavor
  • Easy for those new to rebuilding
  • Good airflow for both loose MTL and restricted DL

What we don’t like:

  • Airflow not tight enough for proper MTL nor open-wide for loose DL
  • Annoying to set up for those familiar with rebuilding
  • Almost non-existent juice well

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Claymore RDA by Yachtvape

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Set Alert for Product: Yachtvape Claymore RDA - $23.99
Price history
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Price history for Yachtvape Claymore RDA
Latest updates:
  • $23.99 - April 20, 2021
  • $29.99 - March 19, 2021
Since: March 19, 2021
  • Highest Price: $29.99 - March 19, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $23.99 - April 20, 2021
Diameter: 24mm
Coil Configuration: Single Coil

The Claymore’s a better implementation of a mix of ideas we’ve already seen. Its deck can accommodate single coils, mounted by using two out of four screws on the post system popularized by Wotofo’s old Serpent SMM. The comes from two side channels, which you control by rotating the top part of the cap. From there, the air is rerouted downwards and then to the side of the coil. Combined with the somewhat restricted deck, it produces stellar flavor.

Despite being a mix of borrowed ideas, the result is worth it since the Claymore is dead-easy to use, produces chunky clouds, and has top flavor. Like Gas Mods’ Nova, there are also different colored caps and drip tips to make it your own.

So what if it won’t win any originality contests? If you look at the glass as half-empty, it’s a copy of things you might have tried in the past. However, you could also say that it’s a perfected version of tried and tested features.

I’m personally smack in the middle.

What we like:

  • Easy coil installation and wicking
  • True side airflow (redirected from the top) for top flavor
  • Multiple extra colored caps & drip tips allow you to customize its looks
  • Works just as great with any type of coil

What we don’t like:

  • Old-school looks

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Hellvape DEAD RABBIT V2

Diameter: 24mm
Coil Configuration: Dual Coil

Dead Rabbit’s best feature was its smartly designed and implemented deck that minimized any chance of user error. It was easy to install two big, fat, chunky coils on its elevated posts. Then, cut the leg excess, throw some cotton in, ensure it touched the deck, and there: done! You could start vaping and forget about problems like proper coil placement, having to overthink about wick fluffiness, and all that jazz.

This design, which is carried to the second version, is very forgiving. However, it also means that, like Wotofo’s Profile, you can’t use the Dead Rabbit like you want. Like its ancestor and similar RDAs, the Dead Rabbit is best with large coils. Use smaller ones, and its colossal chamber will mute the flavor, while the targeted airflow will miss parts of the hot metal. In other words, forget about using it on a single-cell mod.

An extra problem is that although on paper having both honeycomb and typical cyclops airflow is a plus, you can’t fully close one or the other. They’re too close together and next to each other. Thus, when closing down one option, at one point, you start opening up the other.

This updated airflow, combined with some tweaks on the deck, means it’s still a great option if you want a flavorful cloud-chucker without having to overthink coil and wick placement.

What we like:

  • Mind-numbingly easy to build
  • Great flavor and vapor production (with chunky coils)
  • Adjustable honeycomb or open “cyclops” top airflow
  • Leak-proof design

What we don’t like:

  • Impossible to get tight airflow
  • Sub-par performance with simple, non-chunky coils at low wattages

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Wotofo Profile V1.5 RDA

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Price history for Wotofo Profile 1.5 Mesh RDA
Latest updates:
  • $26.80 - April 23, 2021
  • $26.79 - March 19, 2021
Since: March 19, 2021
  • Highest Price: $26.80 - April 23, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $26.79 - March 19, 2021
Diameter: 24mm
Coil Configuration: Single Mesh Coil

The Profile’s primarily designed for mesh, with Wotofo offering their own official little-mesh-bits-to-use-as-coils (which they call “NexMESH”). However, its deck has an ace up its sleeve: you can also use it with typical round coils. Or, at least, one of them. Using it as a dual-coiler can be a pain in the rear, but for a single coil, it’s good.

That’s thanks to its side clamps, which make it dead-easy installing both a mesh or round coil. Tighten the clamps, adjust the versatile side-airflow to your liking, and enjoy: there’s not much more to it.

The fact you can use simple single round coils doesn’t mean you’d want to. Even with the upgraded 1.5 version, the Profile’s designed-for-mesh deck is too spacey. This leads to sub-par flavor and vapor compared to when using mesh.

An extra problem is that although mesh can offer better results, it’s also hard to wick. Profile has a ceramic wick-holder-thingy between its clamps that assists with that. However, it can’t guarantee you’ll have full-contact between wick and coil. If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with more “spitting” and less flavor and vapor.

When you nail it down, though, it’s one of the best vaping experiences you can get.

What we like:

  • Easy to rebuild
  • Great airflow
  • You can use mesh or typical coils

What we don’t like:

  • Finicky wicking with mesh
  • Not suitable for MTL
  • Not a radical upgrade over the previous version

Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs) - Specifications

RDA TankDiameterCoil ConfigurationPrice
Asgard Mini – Best RDA of 202125mmSingle or Dual Coil
$ 49.99
NOVA RDA by Gas Mods22mmSingle Coil
$ 20.99
Claymore RDA by Yachtvape24mmSingle Coil
$ 23.99
Hellvape DEAD RABBIT V224mmDual Coil
$ 26.99
Wotofo Profile V1.5 RDA24mmSingle Mesh Coil
$ 26.8

Guide To RDA's

If you’re interested in RDAs, but want to learn more about them before deciding to make the jump, we’re here to help. Let’s see the basics and why you should think about switching to an RDA from whatever you’re currently using.

Airflow: Direct Lung, Mouth to Lung, and Everything in between

Like other atomizers, RDAs come in both Direct Lung and Mouth to Lung variants. However, they usually cater more to the Direct Lung crowd. It all begun ages ago. Back then, Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs for short) relied on suction from the user’s puffing to pull liquid into their coil chamber. RDAs didn’t have that problem since you dripped liquid directly on the wicks and coils, so they were free to provide unrestricted airflow.

Today’s atomizer designs have evolved, and many RTAs offer wide-open airflow. However, RDAs remain at the top as far as ample airflow goes. Most of them are designed for DL instead of MtL vaping.

Of Decks and Coils

RDAs’ decreased complexity and not having a tank (that can leak its content, making a mess) allows them to offer simpler and larger decks for your coils. Although some modern designs reroute the air inflow like RTAs, they (usually) don’t have to cram their decks with “fluff” like juice channels or liquid flow control.

Squonking Support

Almost no RTAs support squonking, for there would be no point in adding an extra liquid reservoir to an existing tank of juice. Many RDTAs do, but it’s considered redundant for the same reason. This leaves RDAs as the only reasonable choice for squonking, where you have a bottle of juice in your mod that you squeeze to refill them with liquid. Thanks to squonking, you don’t have to drip from a bottle. You can press the bottle in your mod to re-moisten your wicks and keep vaping.

Why Should I Go For An RDA?

Still undecided if you should go for an RDA? Let’s recap and simplify their best points.

  • Cheaper: With an RDA, you don’t have to continuously buy pre-made coils, a cost that, in the long run, adds-up.
  • Flavor: Nothing can beat a well-designed RDA as far as flavor goes. It all has to do about the air hitting the coils directly, having freshly dripped juice that didn’t have a chance to oxidize, and minimizing “stray air.”
  • Airflow: If you like huge clouds and wide-open airflow, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a tank equivalent of something like an Apocalypse GEN or even an old Baal RDA.
  • Ease of use: With RTAs and tanks, you have to deal with bad coils, finicky wicking, leaks, restricted airflow, condensed coil decks, and the list goes on and on. With RDAs, you screw down one or two coils, feed some wick through, drip, and start vaping. Yes, it’s that easy. Just don’t expect them not to leak when you turn them upside-down.

Dripping Freshness

Many vapers give RDAs a bad wrap or are afraid to try them because they think they’ll lead to a leaky mess or they’ll be hard to use. However, this simplification hides under the rug their positives. RDAs offer the best flavor in the world of vaping and come with airflow for every taste. Plus, modern products like the ones on our list make their day-to-day use effortless.

Thus, if you’re still wondering if trying out an RDA would be worth it, we’d say it’s time you took the plunge. Like many others, after you do, you’ll probably never look back.

The first time I tried to vape, I found myself trying to make sense of an Aspire Atlantis and an entry-level iStick 30W, and failing. Two months later, I was vaping on a Sigelei 150W TC, rolling my own coils, mixing my own juices. In less than a year I was trying to help others do the same at them Reddits, writing mega-guides on the topic while being quite vocal on what was great and what sucked in the world of vaping. Hint: most things sucked. They still do.


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