I’ve been beyond excited to review the all-new Chief King RDA from the curiously named Squid Industries. And that was odd, because I don’t get overly worked up over dripping atomizers. To me, most of them are the same essential experience, with only a few standing out for me over the years. For instance, our Best Rebuildables Piece lists some of the better ones of 2018.
Well, it’s time to make room at the top, because the Chief King RDA lives up to its authoritative name with commanding clouds, potent flavor, and a surprisingly clean, leak-free experience.
The exterior of the Chief King RDA really doesn’t tell the story. The matte black stainless-steel cap is fairly standard-issue stuff, with smoothly machined edges, a mid-level airflow slot, and a wide-bore tip. It’s fine looking, if outward appearance is important to you on an RDA. But other than the overdone engraving for the logo, and the tired, amber-colored drip tip, I can easily see you mistaking the Chief King for any number of other drippers in your collection.
That said, the hardware is extremely well done, with no visible machining, smooth threading, properly seated O-rings, and an overall sense of polish that isn’t as common as you’d expect from a maturing industry. The standard and squonk-ready BF pins are gold-plated, and slot in perfectly, without any wiggling or looseness.
The real magic happens underneath that cap. At first glance, the quad-post build deck doesn’t seem that interesting. But because each post houses its own terminal, the Chief King works equally well for single- or dual-coil configurations.
No matter how you build, the adjustable AFC is positioned in a way that delivers steady, smooth airflow directly to the coil at a 45-degree angle. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like something we should be boasting about, but the proof is in the thick, cloudy pudding, kids.
Each of the four posts holds your leads securely and make it easy to position and adjust as needed. While the deck isn’t as roomy as some other 25mm RDAs we’ve tested, there’s enough room to try some different coil configurations without worry. But if you have designs on more than that, I think you’re missing the point – using dual coils will offer you more vapor and flavor than you’re probably used to, so let’s not overcomplicate things here.
One thing I loved about the Chief King (aside from repeatedly getting to say, “Man, great job Squid Industries!”) is how the deck keeps the coils low, so wicking is efficient, but also offers a deep, smooth flowing juice well. Even when stuffed with cotton, I never experienced any problems with liquid saturation or flow upwards to the coils. Drippers may not be “high tech” but that’s a problem I’ve faced one or 100 times, so the Chief King was beyond refreshing in this regard.
Observations While Vaping
I’ve done enough raving that you probably know how this section is going to play out, but allow me a few paragraphs anyway.
First off, thanks to the afore-mentioned juice well, I found myself using the Chief King as a standard RDA more than most drippers in my collection. Usually, I lean toward squonking an RDA whenever it’s an option, but I found that I could get a good number of deep draws per fill before having to top things off.
But don’t get me wrong, the Chief King RDA is also a highly capable BF-RDA, and it gave me smooth flowing, leak-free performance on each of my squonk mods. I found the deep deck to be a nice feature for serial over-Squonkers like me, and even when my ring finger got REALLY overzealous, the Chief King managed to contain the flow without gurgling or spitback.
Beyond that, perhaps the best observation I had was how cool the Chief King stayed, even when pushing the builds upwards of 150 watts. Though I rarely vape at these elevations, I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the RDA stayed throughout. Maybe it’s the PEEK insulator on the deck, but I’d credit smart design just as much.
And this is good, because as good of a cloud producer as the Chief King RDA is at mid-wattages, it has the heart of a lion, and really sings when using appropriate builds above 80 watts.
Perhaps my only complain about the Chief King RDA is that there doesn’t seem to be an option for using 510 drip tips, for those who want even more concentrated flavor. While I don’t think it’s ever going to be confused for an MTL dripper, it would have been nice to see a TOUCH more versatility here.
Chief King RDA Specs:
- 25mm Diameter
- Deep Juice Well
- Superior 304 Stainless Steel Construction
- Spacious Build Deck
- Quad Post – Single Terminal Per Post
- Top Secured via Allen Screws
- Single or Dual Coil Configuration
- PEEK Insulator
- Quad Top Cap Adjustable Airflow
- Dual Side Fed Airflow Slots
- Dual Top Fed Airflow Slots
- 10mm 810 ULTEM Wide bore Drip Tip
- Gold-Plated Squonk BF 510 Pin
- Stainless Steel 510 Connection
- Available in Black or Stainless
Chief King RDA Contents:
- 1 Chief King RDA
- 1 Squonk Bottom Feed 510 Pin
- 2 Alien Wrenches
- 2 Alien Coils
- 1 Spare Parts Bag
Ninety-nine percent of RDAs we review are carbon copy clones. Not because companies aren’t trying, but rather because there are diminishing returns with the number of things you can do with the format. Instead of trying to create new deck shapes or airflow systems, Squid Industries simply went to a format that works, and made it work even better.
I don’t use many drippers, but I know a good thing when I see it, and that’s why the Chief King RDA will likely remain in my rotation for a very long time.