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Explaining Rebuildable Tanks: RBAs vs RDAs vs RTAs vs RDTAs

Everything you need to know about rebuildable tanks.

You are not the first person to be confused by vaping terminology. Every day, vapers click through thousands of links to find the answer to their atomizer questions. Atomizers are more advanced than all-in-one vape pens, so naturally, users have to learn more.

To embark on your rebuildable tank atomizer journey, you need to know the four key abbreviations. In this guide, we’ll run through RBAs, RDAs, RTAs, and RDTAs.

The Anatomy of a Sub Ohm Tank

What Is an RBA?

RBA stands for Rebuildable Atomizer. RBAs fall under the category of DIY vapes, which are popular among vapers who have years of experience and some technical knowledge.

RBAs come with decks where vapers can install their own coils and wicks. This is known as a ‘build’.

In short, any atomizer that has a build deck is a Rebuildable Atomizer. This includes RDA, RDTA, and RTA vapes.

Lots of sub-ohm tanks use pre-made coils and can also contain an RBA section, which makes them popular among people who love cloud chasing.

Related article: Best Sub-Ohm Tanks

What Is a Drip Tip?

Drip tips are considered essential for people who have a Rebuildable Drip Atomizer. As the name suggests, vapers drip liquid through their drip tip and onto the coil and wick in the device.

A standard drip tip can screw onto an atomizer directly, making refilling much easier. They are available in a range of colors, styles, and sizes. You can buy a drip tip that matches the exterior of your device.

Types of Rebuildable Atomizers

Anatomy of an RDA

What Is an RDA?

RDA stands for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer.

Unlike other kinds of RBAs, RDA tanks don’t feed e-liquid into the atomizer. You need to add your own e-liquid (as well as wicks and coils, of course). In a typical RDA deck, you’ll find a section for e-liquid at the bottom. The e-juice wells only hold 1 ml of liquid and you have to put the wick materials (or tails) in the e-liquid pool.

RDAs have an almost non-existent learning curve, which makes them brilliant for beginners. Even better, the coils can be customized to suit different vaping needs. Lots of vapers also report experiencing intense flavor production and impressive clouds from RDAs.

The biggest downside of RDAs is that you need to constantly drip your e-liquid into the coils and onto the wick. And with only 1 ml of e-juice storage to work with, you’ll have to carry a bottle of e-liquid with you all the time.

You can read about the best RDAs on our website.

What Is an RSA?

One downside to an RSA tank is that users have to manually wet the wicks and coils. But if you are a vape mod enthusiast, this will be no problem at all.

You can invest in a squonk mod to streamline the process. These kinds of vapes are called RSAs. They come with a pre-installed hollow 510 pin. Users can feed e-liquid into the tank through a small hole in the mod.

Some vapers debate the effectiveness of squonking. After all, they still need to constantly feed e-juice into the tank, which can be frustrating. In this way, it is a lot like dripping. However, other vapers see the value in not having to carry a few bottles of liquid with them everywhere they go.

Anatomy of an RTA

What Is an RTA?

RTA stands for Rebuildable Tank Atomizer.

If you are interested in RTA tanks, you will have lots of options! Manufacturers design these tanks in lots of different ways. Here are some common characteristics to help you identify RTAs.

  • Metal chamber and metal cap
  • RBA decks are designed for one, two, or more coils
  • Deck is located under or in the center of the tank
  • Chimney and bell system over the deck

In most RTAs, the chimney and bell system goes right up to the drip tip.

Golden Geek created this type of system in 2011 when it released the iAtty. The design, which has a small chamber around the deck that creates vacuum pressure in the tank, is now part of almost every modern RTA. The vacuum pressure makes wicking quicker. Some vapers even claim that the chimney also creates a better flavor experience.

The metal chamber and metal cap prevent leakages, which is ideal for vapers who travel to work or further afield. That being said, leakages are possible. If you don’t screw the metal cap on tight enough, you might have an accident.

RTAs don’t work especially well with high-powered batteries, and the coils are only available in limited designs and sizes. If huge clouds are high up on your priority list, RTAs might not meet your vaping needs.

Learn more about the best RTAs here.

What Is an RBA Head?

We already know that RBA stands for Rebuildable Atomizer, but what is an RBA head?

In the world of vaping, the term ‘atomizer heads’ refers to coils. RBA heads are all-in-one decks that are best suited to pod-style devices and sub-ohm tanks. Vapers can swap an RBA head out from a typical atomizer head. The main benefit here is the customization options. Like any RBA, users can add their own coils and wicks.

One thing to note is that very few RBA heads are suitable for more than two coils. Regardless, they offer a perfect starting point for new vapers who wants to explore all the customization options at their fingertips.

Anatomy of an RDTA

What Is an RDTA?

RDTA stands for Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer.

This piece of equipment sits somewhere between an RDA and an RTA. It is one of the most popular, newest products on the market for people who want customizable decks. The deck element is just like an RDA, and the tank element is more closely linked to RTAs. An RDTA can be simplified to an RDA that has a deep juice tank.

Here are the main things you need to know about RDTAs.

  • The tank feeds e-juice to the build
  • RDTA decks are designed for one, two, or more coils
  • The deck is usually located above the tank
  • Doesn’t have a bell and chimney system

When you choose a Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer, you don’t have to worry about constantly refilling and dripping.

Above all else, RDTAs create brilliant clouds. Cloud chasers love this kind of atomizer because it guarantees dense, immense clouds of vapor.

One of the biggest downsides of RDTAs is that they are not compatible with all devices. The second biggest downside is that this piece of equipment requires more knowledge and experience than other atomizers.

Still not sure about RDTAs? Take a look at a few of the best RDTAs on the market today.

What Is a Genesis Atomizer?

As the name suggests, a Genesis atomizer is the first style that became available to vapers.

Here are some of the key features of a Genesis atomizer.

  • RBA deck built for one or two coils
  • Deck located above the tank

Another thing to remember is the Genesis-style atomizers have rolled mesh wicks. This is a deviation from the more common cotton wick, but it has immense benefits. Typically, mesh wicks are much more effective than cotton wicks, but they are also more difficult to build.

Genesis-style atomizers are not that common these days, but the name still sticks for some tanks. These tasks are called GTAs (Genesis Tank Atomizers). Despite the name, most of the tanks that fall under this classification are really just RTAs.

RTA vs RDA vs RDTA vs RBA: What’s the Difference?

The different types of atomizers can be difficult to grasp, especially for newbies who are just entering the world of customizable atomizers. That being said, lots of experienced vapers still struggle to remember the difference!

To start with, you need to remember that rebuildable coils require some technical and hands-on knowledge. Vapers who want to start creating their own rebuildable coils need to:

  • Understand ohm’s law
  • Know how to build vape coils
  • Understand battery safety
  • Know how to wrap vape coils

Now that you know the essential pieces of information, let’s dive into the types of Rebuildable Atomizers.


A Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer is one of the most time-consuming atomizers you can purchase. It involves a lot of dripping, which can be frustrating for busy vapers who favor convenience. The e-juice doesn’t come from the tank, so you need to drip it directly into the well.

In contrast, a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer directly feeds e-liquid into the well. Unfortunately, you still need to top your tank up regularly, but it does hold more e-juice than your average RDA.


Rebuildable Tank Atomizers and Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers are both rebuildable tanks. They are perfect for people who want full control over their vaping experience.

These different types of atomizers are quite similar, but there are three main conflicts. 90% of the time, RTAs have a deck on the bottom of the atomizer, and they also have a chimney and bell system. It is widely accepted that chimney and bell systems create more intense flavor.

On an RDTA system, you will notice an open deck above the tank. This is where the wicks hang.


This is one of the simplest comparisons. A Rebuildable Drip Atomizer is a type of Rebuildable Atomizer that doesn’t have a tank section. To operate this kind of equipment, you need to be willing to regularly drip e-juice on the coil and wick materials.


Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers are a lot like Rebuildable Tank Atomizers. The main benefit of choosing RDTAs over RDAs is that they come with tanks. You don’t have to manually drip e-juice on your coils and wicks every time you want to vape.

Wrapping Up

Whether you want e-liquid storage, custom coils, or to blow huge clouds and get better flavor production, there is something for everyone in the world of RBAs.

Before you start building your ideal vaping experience, remember that you need to have a good grasp of the basics. This is especially important for a new vaper, who might think that RBAs are just like the all-in-one kits they can buy online.

Once you know the basics, you can use this article as a guide to ensure your atomizer is wicked correctly, fitted with the right coils, and tuned to your exact preference.

Vaping Vibe Team
Vaping Vibe Teamhttps://vapingvibe.com
Our team, led by co-founders and Marc, combines over a decade of expertise in vaping, CBD, and cannabis. With Jules as Editor-in-Chief, skilled writers Viki and Danny, and Cristian's dual role as writer and photographer, we offer in-depth product evaluations, captivating content, and accurate information, solidifying our status as a trusted resource for vaping enthusiasts.
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