Intro to Advanced Vaping 101

‘Advanced’ refers to the types of e-cig devices which require a little extra know-how to use. The types of devices that fall into this ‘advanced’ category are capable of producing very high power and huge depths of flavours depending on how they are used. You may have heard about devices such as mechanical mods and RDA’s – two such types of e-cig product, which are certainly considered advanced. Our advanced vaping tab offers an insight into what the more advanced side of the vaping world has to offer.

Rebuildable Atomizers – RDA’s/ RBA’s/RTA’s

The rebuildable atomizer is a largely broad term, which is used to blanket a variety of similarly styled advanced e-cig products. Typical terms you will hear are ‘RDA’ (rebuildable dripping atomizer), ‘RTA’ (rebuildable tank atomizer) and ‘RBA’ (rebuildable atomizer). You may well even hear more.


The rebuildable dripping atomizer is the most common of these types of device and has been around for the longest period of time. A typical RDA will have a metal wire (coil), which heats up e-liquid that has been poured onto cotton. The user creates the coil, inserts the cotton and drips e-liquid onto the cotton. Once the device is powered up vapor is produced. As the taste begins to dissipate, its time to drip some juice back onto the cotton.

As this process is manual, it can be repeated and the coils can be built again. Hence the reason for the ‘rebuildable’ name. They can be rebuilt rather than replaced like atomizer heads.


RTA’s are similar to RDA’s in a sense that they can be rebuilt, but the difference is that they have a tank sitting on top of them. Rebuildable Tank Atomizers are a combination of the tank and the RDA. We have recently seen some very impressive RTA style devices hit the market, such as the Griffin. They offer the ability to use you own coils and cotton, but rather than having to drip e-liquid onto the cotton often, the tank feature means that you can simply fill the tank up with juice leaving the cotton to be constantly soaked in e-liquid.

To Conclude

These atomizers require a lot of know-how to operate. Coil building is not easy and takes some skill to get right. On top of this, it is imperative to understand the mechanics behind the devices. All coils have a certain resistance measured in ohms.

Rebuildable Atomizers are not recommended for beginner users due to the nature of the their design and safety concerns. However, once you are clued up on the relevant science, you will be able to experience the intense flavor and larger vapour volume that these devices offer.

Box Mods

Box Mods are higher powered versions of the standard e-cigarette battery. Aptly named, box–mods are shaped like a box. The reason for this shape is to accommodate the extra battery capacity and power. A typical eGo style beginner battery will have around 14-20 watts of power. Even lower end box mods start at around 30 watts of power with the more advanced reaching upwards of 200W. An e-cig mod will usually have a variable level of wattage allowing the user to adjust the levels to suit their preferences. Mods have become, and continue to be, a more attractive offer for e-cig users, especially after spending a few months with a beginner style device. The reasons for this are fairly simple: Longer battery life and more power. The power (watts) helps to improve the vapour production and can assist in creating a better overall flavor in conjunction with the right tank.

Box Mods are usually powered by external 18650 batteries which can be removed and charged outside of the device. If your device has a USB charging slot, then even if the batteries are removable they also can be charged via a cable. Certain devices do have an in-built in battery, which can be charged via a USB cable when attached to the device.

High Powered Mods

High powered mods, both mechanical and those using offering variable wattage, are used together with RDA’s and high powered sub-ohm tank style devices to allow you to get the very best flavour and vapour from your e-liquid. This is why it’s necessary to use a high powered mod with an RDA. Due to the resistance of the coils used on an RDA, a lot of power is needed to fire up the device. With high powered sub-ohm tanks, such as the Smok TFV4, you need a lot of power to truly get the best out of the flavor.

These Mods are also necessary for those wanting to do a little ‘cloud-chasing’. There is certainly a culture of vapers who like to create huge plumes of vapour. The right RDA/Sub-ohm Tank combined with a high-powered mod (as well as a lot of knowledge and understanding) can make a huge difference when it comes to cloud chasing.

Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods are also high powered mods, but they require their own section as they should only be used by experienced vapers. High powered box mods are regulated. This means that the power they produce is controlled, they also have safety features which can cease a device from firing if there is a fault or short circuit. Mechanical mods offer no such safety features.

In short, a mechanical mod is typically a tube like shaped piece of metal, although we are seeing mechanical box mods now such as the Remi by Vaping Outlaws. The ‘mech mod’ has a firing pin that allows current, from a battery, to reach the attached RDA. This causes the coil to be heated and the juice to be vaporized.

Most Mechanical mods have a built in safety feature which includes a locking mechanism other than this there is no in-built safety features. It is ‘raw’, so to speak. Mechanical mods work on the basis of the resistance of a coil, the lower ohm the coil the more power it draws from the battery. This is beneficial because you can get a really powerful vape from the mod. This makes mechanical mods a very attractive offer for those who are heavily involved with rebuilding RDA’s.

As mentioned, however, due to their potential safety concerns – mechanical devices should only be used by experience e-cig users. We strongly recommended not using a mechanical mod if you are not a seasoned e-cig veteran.