What’s the Difference between a RTA and a RDA?


If you are new to the vaping world, you may be a little confused about some vape terms such as RTA or RDA. What do they mean? Do they have any differences? All will be explained below!

Meaning of RTA & RDA

RTA: Rebuildable tank atomizer. It comes with a tank to hold e-liquid. Typical products include Ehpro Billow, UD Bellus


RDA: Rebuildable dripping atomizer. No tank installed in the atomizer. You can drip juice on the wick via the drip tip. Typical products include Ehpro eDrip, WISMEC Bambino, UD hunter


There is however an unspoken rule known by most e-cigarette experts. If you only want to quit smoking or are a vape beginner, we will usually suggest you choose a RTA. But if you want to chase big vapor clouds and show off various techniques, then we will definitely recommend you to use RDA. Why? “The vapor clouds RTA produces are much smaller than that of RDA.” Many vapers will give this answer. It is indeed the case.

But what causes this difference?
  1. Generally, RDA’s heating coil can accept much more power than RTA’s, which lead to the difference of their atomization effect on the e-liquid. The RDA usually comes with a sub ohm coil and operates at a high power, which can generate massive amounts of heat instantaneously, and then vaporize a lot of e-liquid. While RTA is somewhat humble in this aspect.
  2. Just as the name implies; the RTA has a tank which is pre-filled with a certain amount of e-liquid, while a RDA has no tank, you need to drip the e-liquid on the cotton. With regards to puffing time, you can see that the RTA lasts longer than the RDA. You have to drip e-liquid after taking several puffs, which is quite inconvenient. But the RTA coil has a small juice inlet, thus only vaporizing a small quantity of juice at a time, while the RDA allows you to add an e-liquid amount resulting in huge vapor. And sometimes, super huge vapor can also effect the flavor of e-liquid. That’s why many senior vapers choose RDA.

After learning about these two atomizers, you may ask which one is better? They both have their pros and cons. The RTA is easy to refill, but produces relatively small amounts of vapor; the RDA can produce huge vapor, but consumes e-liquid very fast and requires the user to have a strong practical ability and professional knowledge. So which is better,  depends on your purpose of vaping!



Ryan is a vaper, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.