SmokTech MINI RDA & RSST Atomizer Review

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Two New Rebuildable Atomizers To Play With

A Tom McBride Review

I admit that my first encounter with a rebuildable atomizer was one of the scariest days in my vaping ‘hobby’. The very thought of wrapping coils was daunting, to say the least. And the propaganda I was exposed to, about how much better a person’s favorite e-liquids would be was…doubtful. Not the best way to approach the whole thing, you know?

But approach I did, and today of course, I can’t be bothered to use anything other than a rebuildable when it comes to personal vaping time. Oh I still use various tanks, clearomizers, carto-tanks, and even a Vivi Nova has been known to sit atop my APV, but when it’s just my vaping and me it’s rebuildable all the way. And since I have adopted the whole “dripping” method of vaping the rebuildable atomizer become an even more important aspect of my personal vaping.

That being the case I am constantly checking various sources for new, and sometimes even better, atomizers for vaping and drip-vaping. It seems as though every week there is something new on the market, and the new atomizers seem to be going in two directions at the same time; getting smaller and getting more and more advanced. Dripping atomizers that are also rebuildable atomizers are becoming very popular among the ‘drippers’, and the newer, heavier, and more advanced ‘completely rebuildable’ atomizers are being snatched up by Vapers chasing that elusive dragon, usually described as the ‘ultimate vape’ device.

It’s interesting to note that the more advanced rebuildable atomizers are coming from the passionate US Vapers, which their incredible precision and first-rate quality, they demanding, and getting, prices upward of $150 and it is no longer ridiculous to pay the price, while at the same time we’re beginning to spot nearly identical clones coming from China carrying prices well under the $50 price range. And when I say ‘nearly identical clones’ I mean nearly identical clones.

Dripping atomizers, and I’m talking about atomizers that are made for dripping only, are a different story. These devices are becoming smaller and carrying smaller prices, and is predominately Chinese made. This makes plenty of sense because while they are delightful to use, including the ones that can be rebuilt, they can, and often are, simple devices.

rda-smoktech-atomizerIn today’s review I have two very disparate atomizers to talk about. Both come from MyVaporStore, a vendor who seems just as impressed and excited about new rebuildable atomizers as I am. The two new atomizers I picked up from MVS are excellent new toys (I call them toys because I like to play with them, but they are really anything but) for anyone looking for better ways to vape.

Without further ado, I present the first of two new atomizers.

SmokTech MINI RDA Atomizer – $9.10 MyVaporStore 

The Mini RDA product page is here

This colorful, tiny, and oh-so-efficient rebuildable is a blast to use. It’s basically a smaller version of the SmokTech RDA Drip Atomizer, yet it puts out about the same amount of vapor and flavor as the larger version. At $9.10 a pop you can pick up a few of them in different colors and still not break the bank. Best of all, they come with a preinstalled wick and coil so all you need to do is screw it on your favorite 510-thread battery, apply a couple of drops of e-liquid to ‘season’ it a bit, and you’re off and running.

(Please test your new RDA first. Despite coming preinstalled with a wick/coil setup things can happen during shipping so test the ohms with a multi-meter or a battery capable of testing before setting out to use it.  The mini-RDA should read right around 1.9-2.0-ohms, {MyVaporStore} if it doesn’t then you’re going to need to tweak it.)

As you can see if you pop over to MyVaporStore the technical information is a bit scarce so I had to go dig up information from various sources (always confusing) to find out what kind of metal is being used for the shell (aluminum) and the base (stainless steel) The posts seem to be brass.  They go by a lot of different names, from ‘cutie’ to ‘squid’ to ‘octopus’ and others, but the “official” information is as follows:

Material: Oxidized Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Length: 26.5mm (without drip tip)

Capacity: 1.6ML (at most)

Resistance: 2.0-ohm (Mine were 1.9ohm)

Colors: 7 (really nice and saturated colors)

Compatible with Ego & 510

Screw-less positive/negative posts (brass?)

Fits “most” 510 Drip Tips (haven’t had any issues yet)

Sealed Battery Connector

Air hole on outer casing (seem fine to me, but some people are enlarging them)

I’m also seeing some out there called “octopus” which do seem to have brass posts, the ones that I received so have brass colored posts so perhaps these are octopus RDA’s.

My RDA’s came with a pack of wicks for each one. I’ve rebuilt one just for fun and to see how easy they are to use and I found them to be ideal for people who want to get into rebuilding coils with an easy starting point. I did a 5-coil wrap and shortened the wicks about 25% compared to the length of the preassembled wicks already attached. I think it hits better, but that is certainly subjective.SmokTech MINI RDA

Real World Impressions

SmokTech says the capacity is 1.6ml, but that’s pushing it. I would say no more than 1ml to be safe. The e-liquid is consumed pretty quickly, and the vapor production and throat hit are incredible from this little guy. You’re going to get a taste of the real flavor from your e-liquid as well. Nothing beats revealing the real flavor of an e-liquid then using these types of atomizers and dripping.

I’d put the performance up there with the bigger, more expensive RDA’s and the only difference in my opinion in the capacity.  Although some of the more experienced Vapers say that the brass posts give the e-liquids an altered flavor I did not experience that myself. After another year or two that might change.

The screw-less posts are incredibly easy to use and make attaching the wick and coils a snap. They sit at just the right height for my fat fingers to manipulate the assembly so I was very grateful for that. Since you don’t have to worry about using a jeweler’s screwdriver or hex-tool you can get down to vaping fairly quickly.

Since this particular RDA comes with a fully assembled, and hopefully tested, coil/wick assembly I won’t bother to go into a whole rebuilding thing, you can access an earlier article on wrapping a coil or look for some new additions coming up soon on oxidizing stainless steel mesh and even annealing wicks. But right now, let’s stick with the performance of the wick/coil assembly that is already attached to the RDA.

Unfortunately MyVaporStore doesn’t indicate the ohms of the wick/coil assembly that comes with their RDA, so all I can say is that the ones I got metered out at 1.9-2.0 ohms, which is low resistance territory. That means there will be less restriction from the atomizer to the energy from the battery. This will produce warmer faster and shorten battery life a tiny bit. Researching the mini-RDA I’m seeing the ohms of the coil/wick assembly going from 1.7 to 2.0 ohms, so again, check it before you use it.

If your RDA comes in where it’s supposed to be then you’re ready to do a little preparation before using. You can do this by dropping a couple of drops of e-liquid onto the wick assembly and pushing the activator button and letting the wick burn for 3 or 4 seconds. Repeat this 3 times. Seriously, you’ll thank me for it. What this does is prepare the wick to deliver the truest possible flavor of your e-liquid, and there is no need to wait more than a minute once you drip in 1ml or so of e-liquid.  And just incase you’re really new at this; don’t forget to attach a drip tip to the atomizer before taking a drag. ;-)

Buying Advice

The SmokTech Mini RDA is an inexpensive way to enjoy dripping and provide an easy to rebuildable atomizer that will last a long time. If you aren’t particularly interested in rebuilding the coil/wick assembly you can find places that sell the assembled wick/coils (about $2) so all you’ll need to do is unscrew the old assembly and screw in the new one.

At $9 they are definitely a good choice for Vapers wanting to try dripping without spending a lot, and for Dripper that wants to try his or her hand at simple rebuilding, this is a good choice.

And now something very different than the Mini RDA

 

RSST-Atomizer Review SpinfuelThe SmokTech RSST Atomizer – $34.69 MyVaporStore

The SmokTech RSST Atomizer Product Page is here

This atomizer, basically an AC9 Clone, (of which there was considerable controversy about the blatant rip-off) is in a whole different ballpark than the Mini RDA above. First, it isn’t a dripping atomizer; it’s a tank with a huge 4ML capacity. It’s a Genesis style atomizer. Included in the purchase is a stainless steel Ming style drip tip. The tank is made of a frosted polycarbonate tube (you can buy replacement tubes), and it can handle any e-liquid you throw at it, from high cinnamon levels to high citrus levels. With a simple rinse under lukewarm water you won’t taste any of the previous e-liquids no matter which ones they were. The RSST does not come with a preassembled coil/wick, nor does it come with wicks, SS mesh, or Kanthal, so you’ll need to pick up some at the time of purchase if you don’t already have some at home.

I really enjoyed the performance of the RSST quite a bit. You can use stainless steel mesh wicks as I did, which really provide a great vape. For the sake of brevity I won’t go into building or attaching the coil assembly, just know that this is not a good choice for beginners who have never built a wick/coil or SS/coil before.

Features that drew me to the RSST

Adjustable Air Hole (1mm) – With a simple turn of the top cap you can adjust the air hole to ease or restrict the airflow, which adjusts the throat hit and the vapor production. This is a marvelous feature if you use various PG/VG ratios.

The stainless steel drip tip is a hefty and high quality drip tip. Unlike the iClear 30 drip tip this one didn’t feel very metallic when I used it. But, since I do like plastic drip tips better it’s worth noting that the RSST does allow most 510 drip tips to be used, including knucklehead drip tips, which I prefer.

The polycarbonate tank is very frosted, almost a solid white, but with just enough transparency to detect the amount of e-liquid you have left.

Real World Impressions

Wow. Just WOW. This is a monster atomizer and one that produces an amount of vapor that can be astonishing if you’re not used to it. The adjustable air hole can produce a throat hit so powerful that even with low nicotine, high VG e-liquid you won’t complain about the lack of a throat hit. But, it is an advanced RBA, and one you might not want to go with until you have the whole coil wrapping down pat. I’ve only recently began building wicks with stainless steel mesh, and oxidizing the SS mesh isn’t difficult, but it is time consuming. Making adjustments to the coil wrapping isn’t any more difficult when you wrap SS mesh, but the range of ohms is plentiful. Again, test test test. 

I did a 3-wrap coil for this atomizer and it came in right at 1.1-1.2 ohms, allowing a wicked amount of warm vapor coming through and a throat hit to write home about. “Dear home, today I experience a throat hit that knocked me on my butt. Please send money. Love, Tom”.

I love this Smoktech RSST atomizer. Although I’ve not used the AC9 Clone before I can’t compare it to the RSST with any personal conviction but from what I’ve heard they perform pretty much the same. That said, I have used the Z-Atty that I got from ProVape, and the RSST is in the same class as both the AC9 and the Z-atty when it comes to performance. The fact that the RSST is a China clone doesn’t make any difference where performance is concerned.

Caveat: I want to be completely fair here. Some advanced users in the vape community have come down hard on the RSST for being an AC9 Clone and therefore being an inferior RBA. I think that’s nonsense. The AC9 is a tiny bit larger; the air hole is a tiny bit larger, and it is supposedly one helluva an RBA.  But the truth is they are pretty much the same thing; spring loaded post, wick holes, fill holes, etc., they are both the same. Let’s also remember the AC9 is $130 or so and the Smoktech RSST is $35. I won’t win a lot of friends in the “purist” world, but you just can’t knock the RSST for construction, materials, performance, and price.

And there you have it. Something for everybody today. The Mini RDA is a delightful little dripper atty for nine bucks with the added feature of being rebuildable. The RSST is a monster and has become one of my favorite rebuildable tanks.

Keep in mind that when you combine a nice rebuildable atomizer, one that is capable of delivering an ohms range from 1.1 to 3.3, and a variable voltage, variable wattage battery your vaping options increase to the point that you could, if you wanted to, spend an entire day going through so many combinations that even the most difficult e-liquid can be tamed to deliver a nice, clean, full flavored vape.

Tom McBride

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