So you want to start getting into vape building and customisation? Rebuildables (RBAs) allow you to make sure your vape is absolutely perfect for you. It may sound intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of rebuildable vaping you'll really see the difference it makes to your vaping experience. There are a few different types of RBAs, with two of the more popular options being RDAs and RTAs. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at RTAs, their benefits, and how to use them.
What is an RTA?
RTA is short for Rebuildable Tank Atomiser, which means that these are essentially vape tanks with rebuildable decks. They are different from RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomisers) in that RTAs have tanks to hold your e-liquid, whereas with an RDA you'd have to manually add the e-liquid to the wick and coils.
Although RDAs are the more popular choice, vapers who choose to build and use RTAs over RDAs usually do so because of their convenience and effect on flavour. As it's essentially a tank with a rebuildable coil, there's no need to drip vape juice onto the coil while you're vaping. RTAs are also known to be very powerful in terms of flavour production. Whilst one of the downsides of RTAs is that their additional parts make them slightly more complicated than RDAs, but this is a learning curve that is relatively straightforward to get through.
How does an RTA work?
An RTA consists of a few different parts: a drip tip, cap, chimney, glass tube, chamber, deck, and base. These multiple parts can make it a bit more difficult to build compared to RDAs.
An RTA is similar to an RDA but with key differences. While RTAs use a similar deck for the coils, the deck sits either under or in the middle of the vape tank. RTAs also feature a bell and chimney feature that covers the deck and extends up to the drip tip.
The bell and chimney is an RTA's key feature that sets it apart from other rebuildables. The bell is essentially a small chamber around the deck, which is sealed off from the e-liquid by the wicks. This then creates vacuum pressure in the tank that feeds the wick with e-liquid. The pressure pushes the e-liquid along the wick much more quickly, making for more efficient wicking. The vapour then travels up the chimney in a concentrated stream, enhancing flavour production.
How is an RTA different to a standard vape tank?
Many vapers have made the transition from store-bought vape tanks and coils to building RTAs for a variety of reasons. One of them is that they're able to customise their vape kit much more precisely. Although the widely available 'ready to use' sub-ohm tanks have come a long way in terms of their performance quality, they still don't provide the same level of customisation and flexibility that RTAs and other RBAs do.
RBAs can also be more cost-effective in the long run. Although this may not seem like it at the start, especially if you need to buy the tools, once you've made these purchases they'll last you a long time. And unlike regular vape tanks, you'll still be able to use your RTA after the cotton has burnt out. Simply remove the tank, replace the cotton, and refit it back into your vape.
How to build an RTA
To start, you'll need the following: An RDA tank, scissors, ceramic tweezers, an Ohm reader, cotton, screwdrivers, e-liquid, coils, and wire cutters. If you're serious about getting into vape building, consider buying a tool kit which will have almost everything you'll need.
Once you have everything you need, follow this step-by-step guide to build your RTA:
- Install your coil by first removing the build deck from the tank and unscrewing the post screws most of the way. Use your screwdriver to place one lead on the positive hole and the other lead on the negative hole.
- Once the coil is as straight as possible, tighten the post screws and trim the straight ends of the coil as close to the post as possible.
- Test your coil for shorts, either with your device or an Ohm reader. If you're using an Ohm reader, start by screwing the build deck into it. Once connected, the device will show your coil's resistance levels. Don't be worried if there's a 0.05 Ohm variation from your target resistance, but if there's a larger margin, check to see if post screws are tight enough or if the build deck is properly connected to the Ohm reader.
- After ensuring there are no shorts, you'll need to test fire the coil to make sure there are no hot spots. If you're using an Ohm reader, just fire the reader. If you're using your own device, reduce its wattage to 20-30W and press the fire button repeatedly until the coil starts glowing. You'll see the hotspots clearly as they'll glow a brighter red than the rest of the vape, and these can shorten your coil's lifespan.
- To eliminate any hot spots, try strumming the coil lightly as if you were strumming a guitar. If that doesn't work, compress the coil with your tweezers or spread the coils lightly.
- Next, wick the coil with cotton just big enough to fit snugly into your coil. You'll know you're using too much cotton if it doesn't slide in easily. When the cotton wick is in the coil, trim the ends so they can be folded under and sit under the deck. Use the tweezers to fluff up the cotton and tuck the ends of the wick under and into the base of the deck. Now your RTA is ready to be attached to your vape mod!
Best RTA tanks
Now that you know your way around an RTA, you'll have to pick the best one for your device. Here at Vaping 101, we stock some of the best RTA tanks on the market.
One of our best-selling RTA tanks is the Hellvape Fat Rabbit Solo RTA. This model is a single coil RTA with an interchangeable drip nozzle. One of its shining features is the bottom and side airflow, which aids in stronger and purer flavour production.
The Wotofo Gear V2 RTA is another excellent option for sub-ohm vaping. It has flexed side airflow control that calculates your air consumption while reducing condensation. The kit comes with a Framed Staple Clapton single wire 0.33 ohm coil and has a 2ml capacity.
For those vapers who like a bit of everything, we have the OXVA Arbiter Solo RTA. This is a single coil RTA that lets you easily switch between MTL and RDTL vaping. This tank has top to bottom and side airflow, which can be easily changed with the tanks top ring. Switching the airflow allows vapers to customise their vaping experience.
If you're new to vaping, this all may seem really confusing to you. But trust us when we say that once you get into building your own vapes and mods, you'll never look back. It's truly the best way to get the highest performing vape kit that will perfectly suit your personal vaping style.
If you need a bit more guidance on how to get started with RTAs and other rebuildables, don't hesitate to shoot us a message and we'll help you make the best decisions for your vape.