While regular RDAs (Rebuildable Dripper Atomizers for the uninitiated) still dominate the rebuildable market, there have been a few promising mesh RDAs over the years, and it’s important for rebuildable newcomers and veterans alike to understand the pros and cons of both forms. So let's take a quick dive into the different styles and what to expect:
For a Beginner
Mesh RDAs can be a perfect entry-point for vapers new to the rebuildable scene, for a few reasons. First, and most importantly, they require minimal ‘messing around’ with the coils to get it right. While traditional RDAs have a lot of variables in the way they need to be built (such as the height of the coil, the spread distance between the individual rolls in the coil, etc), the mesh strips used by mesh RDAs are very cut and dried - there’s really only one way to do it, and it’s either going to work or it won’t; and on that note, when it’s not working it’s very easy to understand why as the simplicity of the build process doesn't leave much to troubleshoot.
Another reason that mesh RDAs can be good for a beginner is that there aren’t a million different types of handmade or machine made coils that can be used in them, like with traditional RDAs - this can serve to significantly limit confusion and decision anxiety when it comes to coil choices.
Traditional RDAs come in many different shapes and sizes, some significantly easier to build with than others. Many traditional RDAs can have multiple coils, which makes building more challenging as you need to ensure both coils are heating evenly. With a mesh RDA, it’s a simple exercise of bending the mesh strip, screwing it into the clamps, and wicking it with cotton.
While some single coil traditional RDAs can be just as easy to build, there is something to be said for how quickly and easily it is to rebuild with a mesh RDA, another reason why they make a great entrypoint into rebuildables.
On the inverse of the last point, the lack of choices with mesh RDAs can be a downside for veteran builders. For one, you lose the option to make your own coils directly from wire, and beyond that you have a limited set of options of pre-made mesh strips as well. For people that love to tinker with their build and experiment with new techniques, a mesh RDA may not be the way to go, at least for your main vape.
There are entire companies dedicated to creating both handmade and machine made coils for traditional RDAs, which gives the users of those atomisers a plethora of options to choose from.
Another thing to note is that you won’t find (in my experience) a mesh RDA that supports more than 1 coil, but with traditional RDAs there really is no limit to how many coil clamps can place on a build deck.
This one is disputable - some say that mesh RDAs give better flavour, and some swear up and down that they don’t. In reality, like any question of flavour, it comes down to a person’s individual palette. I do believe, however, that mesh RDAs are good at giving consistent flavour - it is easier to get good flavour on a mesh RDA than on a traditional RDA, but with a traditional one you may be able to achieve greater flavour with a quality build and a premium set of handmade coils.
Cotton & Dripping
While you can’t really go wrong either way, building with a mesh RDA will generally use a thicker wick of cotton when compared to a traditional. This may mean you find you don’t need to drip as frequently, as the cotton absorbs a greater volume of vape liquid - although this of course depends on the size of the juice well also. One downside to this immense amount of cotton is that when installing the cotton it is generally harder to make sure that it is just the right amount.
The above is just a few of the points to consider when looking at getting into rebuildables. As with almost anything vaping related, set-ups will come down to personal preference and experience as to what will work best for you, so don't be afraid to play around and find the right solution for you!
- Super Vape Store Oxenford