When you read the online forums frequented by expert vapers, you’re going to see the term “dripping” quite often. Dripping is a way of keeping a vaping device supplied with e-liquid. It’s an alternative to using a traditional vape tank, and to do it, you’ll need to trade your tank for a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA). Dripping originated during a time when – believe it or not – vape tanks didn’t exist yet. Since then, dripping has gotten progressively better and better, and the RDA has evolved into a high-end piece of vaping hardware that experts absolutely love. Vape tanks, however, have also improved over the years. Today, you can expect the performance of a top-quality tank to rival that of an RDA, which begs the question: is drip vaping even relevant anymore? As you’re about to learn, dripping remains relevant to a great many vapers who have no interest whatsoever in touching a vape tank. In this article, we’ll explain the pros and cons of dripping. When you’re done reading, you should have a better idea of whether an RDA is right for you.
In the early days of vaping, an e-cigarette stored its e-liquid in a hollow sponge-filled plastic cartridge that snapped over a semi-permanent atomizer. Sponges proved to be unreliable e-liquid delivery mechanisms. Early e-cigarettes offered unimpressive vapour production, and they could also be fairly unreliable. An e-cigarette would often randomly stop producing vapour even though the sponge in the cartridge was still wet. The vaping community invented dripping as a way to make those early e-cigarettes more reliable. The user would pull the sponge out of a cartridge, drip e-liquid directly on the bridge of the atomizer and replace the cartridge – without the sponge – before vaping. Putting e-liquid directly on the atomizer ensured that the coil was always wet, so the e-cigarette would generate larger and more flavourful clouds. Eventually, people replaced the cartridges with hollow mouthpieces called drip tips, making it possible to simply send e-liquid down the drip tip’s centre hole before vaping.
Although dripping significantly improved the performance of small e-cigarettes, it quickly became obvious that the experience of dripping could be even better with an atomizer specifically designed for the task. Enterprising vapers with the appropriate machining equipment created the first rebuildable atomizers, allowing anyone with some heating wire and cotton to build their own atomizers from scratch. Compared to the first-generation e-cigarette atomizers, rebuildable atomizers offered infinitely better airflow, flavour quality and vapour production. There are still some small businesses producing boutique-quality rebuildable atomizers today, but most RDAs are now inexpensive commodities produced by the same Chinese factories that build most of the world’s vaping hardware. The fact that RDAs are no longer expensive, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t offer impressive performance. In the years since rebuildable atomizers were first introduced, though, vape tanks have only become better. Although an RDA still gives you the smoothest airflow possible in vaping, it’s no longer a guarantee that switching from a tank to an RDA will give you bigger vapour clouds because innovations such as mesh coils have made today’s vape tanks extremely powerful.
So, if buying an RDA doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy better performance than what you currently get with your vape tank, what’s the point of dripping at all? These are the primary reasons why dripping might be for you.
At this point, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that dripping probably has some drawbacks. If there were no drawbacks, vape tanks wouldn’t be more popular than rebuildable atomizers. Your assumption is correct, and dripping does have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before you buy a rebuildable atomizer. These are the drawbacks of dripping.