Save money and get a consistently better vape with RDAs - Beginner`s guide to drip vaping

Posted by Keagan Dalley on

For anyone who's recently picked up vaping, odds are they're using a beginners vaping kit that came with everything you needed to kick the habit. And when asked what they think of their device or set-up, almost everyone says the same...

"They're alright"

Vaping kits definitely have their advantages. They usually come with everything you need to start vaping (except juice) right out the box, but anyone who's had one long enough to require a replacement coil head because theirs has become "burnt" knows they have issues.

tank coil headThis is why many people choose to switch to using a rebuild-able dripping atomizer (RDA) versus traditional tanks or pod devices. Instead of spending $7-$15 for a coil head every couple weeks, you can spend slightly more and get dozen's of pre-built RDA coils and a pack of cotton that will last you months or even years.

However RDA's aren't just more cost-effective, easy-to-use tanks. They require more maintenance and care than a traditional sub-ohm tank and coil. They require you to change the cotton every few days, or even more frequently if you do not care for your build and leave it dripped for extended periods of time without use. You also have to install the coils yourself, which requires a couple tools and some more know-how than just screwing in your new coil head.

But you've decided, whether you tried your friends high-end RDA with beautiful looking Clapton coils, or you're just fed up with your tank. The first thing you're going to need to do is understand what you need to buy, which includes:

  • An RDA
  • Coil's (or Wire)
  • Organic Cotton
  • Ceramic Tip Tweezers
  • Scissors

Let's start with the tools and cotton, the easiest parts:

The cotton will be strung through the coil and saturated with juice, that is vaporized off when the coil is heated. You need to use unbleached, organic cotton otherwise you can vaporize off chemicals that can be dangerous to inhale (and taste disgusting!).

Cotton bacon v2There are many brands of cotton specifically for vaping. I personally use Cotton Bacon, which has been around for a long time and comes in strips that are easy to work with when wicking your vape. You can find 10g packages online or at vape stores for $5-$10 per pack, and one pack is enough to rewick your vape dozen's of times.

You will need scissors to cut the cotton, and you may want to use a pair of tweezers to help you place it thru the coil, however it is not a requirement.

Next up comes coils:

Here you need to decide if you want to build your own coils or purchase some. Thanks to factories that can mass produce coils, high-quality coils that provide great flavor and cloud production are now available for very cheap at the same places you can find cotton, so most people choose to buy coils. Making your own coil also requires a more advanced knowledge of Ohm's law and general vaping safety.

If you're buying, there are lots of kinds of coils to choose from such as Claptons, Staggered, Alien Claptons, etc. These fancy names can be confusing, but instead of being a wire wrapped into a coil shape, they have wires wrapping around themselves forming a more complicated wire, which is then coiled together. These special coils typically use a higher wattage and usually require two-battery devices.

If you can't decide what to buy, whatever your local vape shop recommends  is a good place to start, as they can pick one out that will be well suited for you. Another recommendation would be to get the Coil Master Skynet, a box containing 8 different kinds of coils, with 6 of each in a box.

Which coil is "best" is rather subjective and everyone will provide different answers, but just simple Clapton's are easy to install and work with if you are new and unsure. Over-time I would recommend trying all the coils made available to you as you may find your own preference.

Finally, you've got to pick out an atomizer:

There are hundreds of atomizers to choose from on the market. I`ll give my personal recommendation of the Pulse RDA for being one of the best flavor chaser RDA`s out there, but pages upon pages could be written on how to decide what the best RDA is for you.

There are many little things that affect the quality of an RDA, but the biggest difference between them, outside of the appearance, is the style of the "build deck". The deck is the area under the cap of the RDA where the coils are installed. There are two-post, three-post, and many other kinds of decks. But one stands out as being by far the easiest to work with; the Velocity style deck.


velocity style rda deckThe velocity fits 2 coils easily, and has 2 posts with 4 holes as shown on the left. It provides ton's of space to install your coil and will seat them comfortably during installation. Other RDA deck styles can be harder to build as the coils can be harder to fit into the posts, or there could be little clearance between the coil and post. If they were to touch, the build would short and could trip an error in your regulated mod, or cause an explosion in mechanical mods!

Another great RDA is you'd prefer something that is not velocity-styled is the Digiflavor DROP RDA, a newer RDA with a unique build deck that some claim is even easier to use than the velocity, and is regarded as having a suburb build quality and great flavor.

Congrats! Once if you've bought everything listed here, you should have a brand-spanking new RDA, some organic cotton, coils, and all (few) tools you need to install your coils. There's already a lot of information in this post if you're new to RDA's and just making the switch, and learning to build a vape is something taught much better in-person or with a video.

I've left a video I believe is of great quality on how to wick your vape using cotton bacon specifically below. There are millions of videos on how to install your coils and the best video to watch would be one using your RDA and if possible similar coils, you can find tons of these with a quick YouTube search. Once you've build the vape and wicked it you should be then good to start dripping!

If you need juice to drip as well, check out the selection available on the Juiceheads website by clicking "All Products" from the top menu!

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