Last Updated on October 22, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
Available on Element Vape, the Recoil Rebel RDA is a shining example of why the age old adage is true – never judge a book by its cover. Because when I first saw this dripper – after testing so many more “advanced” and ornate devices – I was largely nonplussed.
THEN, I saw that the Rebel also didn’t have a bottom-feeding squonk pin available, and my first impression turned even further south. But, I remembered what my beloved mother told me all those years ago, and put the Rebel through its paces.
That is when I realized the Recoil Rebel RDA offers so much more than the plain box and spartan accessory packet suggests. It might not be the best RDA I’ve tested over these past few months, but it’s definitely in the conversation. Let’s dig deeper…
First impressions of the Recoil Rebel RDA
For an atomizer with so much hype behind it, my initial impression of the Recoil Rebel was an emphatic “ehhh.” The packaging isn’t important, but considering there are two vape rockstar names – Grimm Green and OhmBoyOC – behind the marketing, it was a bit underwhelming.
For example, consider the color options. The 304 stainless steel body is well-machined and nicely finished in either matte black or a muted gold – nothing offensive, but nothing we haven’t seen 1,000 times before. I don’t mind an understated look and feel, but this was a little extra pedestrian for a device backed by such a pedigree of vape royalty.
This lack of fireworks continues when first seeing the RDA itself. Obviously, there is only so much you can do with a metal top cap, base and build deck, but the Recoil Rebel was clearly designed with simplicity and performance in mind. No bells, no whistles, no unnecessary design choices – just a straight up, cloud-minded, 25mm RDA. It might be a little plain, but with the star power endorsing the Rebel, it was clearly a conscious decision.
One MAJOR item of note is the copious amounts of airflow on the Recoil Rebel RDA. The box includes two different top caps – one with four 3mm slots, and another with a staggered pair of 4mm openings. Based on how you place either cap, virtually any type of wide-open or restrictive airflow setup is possible.
One complaint I had is that the Rebel’s packaging claimed it was compatible with original Recoil drip tips, but when doing just that, I found the originals had a hard time fitting properly. They were loose and had far too much play for me to comfortably put them in my pocket. For that matter, other standard wide-bore drip tips The included ULTEM drip tip is perfectly fine, but for more finicky vapers, I can see this presenting a problem.
Speaking of ULTEM, my final item of note is the ULTEM sleeve adapter, which is designed to restrict leaking while maintaining airflow and draw. I was skeptical about this addition when previewing the Rebel, but am happy to report that this feature – while probably unnecessary – did not hinder performance one bit.
Plus, I experienced zero leaking, even after heavy dripping, so perhaps this is a design element that more RDA manufacturers will adopt in the coming months.
A closer look at the Recoil Rebel RDA build deck
The Rebel’s build deck is flat-out tremendous. Measuring 24mm across, with a staggered post format, this is clearly where the star endorsers focused their efforts. Using a wide range of thick coils,
the Rebel was an absolute pleasure to build on.
At no point did I ever experience any trouble positioning my coils or trimming leads – even my largest diameter builds sat beautifully on this deck. And the massive screws ensure all wire types sit snugly, without an ounce of play or wobble, even after heavy use and consistent rewicking.
As mentioned in the preview, the Recoil Rebel RDA has a gargantuan juice well, but I had no idea just how deep it was until I found myself getting nearly twice as many flavorful draws as other RDAs I’ve reviewed of late. Each time I removed the cap to check the cotton, thinking it was dry, I realized I could go another few rounds before having to re-juice the wicks.
Vaping the Recoil Rebel RDA
I’ll cut to the chase – this is a damn good dripper. Underneath the “plain jane” exterior lies a performance-heavy monster, capable of room-filling clouds and seriously good flavor. However, notice I said “good” not “fantastic.” While the Rebel certainly outperforms similarly styled RDAs, the flavor doesn’t quite hit the same peaks as other drippers in this category.
The flavor is very good, make no mistake. But when compared to similar devices, such as the recently reviewed Dotmod dotRDA, it’s not a standout.
However, my gut feeling is that Grimm and company designed the Recoil Rebel for sheer performance, and in that department, it delivers in spades. Using a fairly standard pair of fused claptons, reading at 0.15 ohms, the Rebel filled my office with thick, voluminous clouds, hit after hit. And it did it at “just” 85 watts.
At this level, I noticed the stainless steel body was warm, but not hot. The thin-walled design – even with the ULTEM insert – means the Rebel transmits heat a little easier than most. It wasn’t uncomfortably hot, but heavy use would likely push it closer to the sun than most vapers would be comfortable with.
At 120 watts, this was much more apparent. Even though we’ve become accustomed to hot tanks when vaping above 100 watts, I imagine high-volume vapers – the target audience for the Recoil Rebel – would want to push this atomizer well beyond this level. This makes me wonder if the Rebel might be a little too warm for comfortable use. At 120 watts, the only comfortable part was the ULTEM drip tip, which is narrow, meaning some lips WILL get scorched if not careful.
But, despite the minor furnace issues, the Recoil Rebel hits all the right notes in performance – mostly thanks to that tub-sized juice well. I realize that tanks exist, and if I didn’t want to regularly drip, I should use one. But there’s something special about getting a high-performance RDA and not having to top it off after 7-10 draws. I regularly averaged 15-20 solid hits before I began tasting even the slightest bit of dryness.
This is especially noteworthy because of the Rebel’s lack of BF pin. Now, I didn’t want to fault the Recoil Rebel for what WASN’T included, but the lack of squonk functionality is noticeable here. I’m thrilled that the juice well extended time between refills, but that juice well combined with a squonk pin would have elevated this score even higher.
The Wrap Up and Score
If you’re an RDA aficionado, there’s a good chance you didn’t even read this review, because you probably already own the Recoil Rebel RDA. And if that’s the case, good for you – the Rebel is a damn good atomizer which will provide a really high-quality experience for cloud enthusiasts.
Sure, it’s not quite the premier flavor monster we expected, nor is there (currently) the ability to bottom-feed to a squonk mod, but these are minor complaints against a high-end device that more than delivers on its promise of performance.
Rebel Recoil Specs and Package Contents
Recoil Rebel RDA specs:
- 24mm deck
- 25mm overall
- Gold-plated brass 510 pin
- ULTEM anti-leak insert
- 304 Stainless steel construction
- PVD Coated black and gold
- Dual 3mm “snake bite” airflow cap
- Quad 3mm AFC top cap
- Recoil RDA tips are compatible
Recoil Rebel RDA contents:
- 1x Recoil Rebel RDA
- 1x Cloud top cap
- 1x Secondary AFC top cap
- 1x Hex key
- Spare parts and o-rings