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How To: Rebuild a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer

Posted 25th Nov 2014 to Vaping Style and Culture



How to Rebuild a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer

As vaping and electronic cigarettes get increasingly popular, more and more people are looking into getting more out of their e cigarettes. Better flavour and most importantly much larger vapor (clouds) are two items that ultimately pushes beginner e-cig users into pursuing more advanced items. Today will be exploring how to rebuild a rebuildable dripping atomizer or RDA. A vape dripping atomizer is different from your normal tank atomizers as you have to drip e liquid on to a wick and vape coils in order to use the E-Cig. However as archaic as this may seem, a drip tank atomizer does deliver the best flavour and largest clouds imaginable when compared to a tank based system. Unlike tank based atomizers, RDAs do not come with pre-built coil heads; you actually have to rebuild it yourself. This may again seem archaic, however the coils do last a lot longer (several weeks; sometimes a month) than your regular coil heads beginners are used to.

Step 1

patriot RDA 

We’ll be using a Patriot RDA today which is a 3 post RDA. There is one positive post (the middle one) and two negative posts (the ones on the side). We’ll be making a dual coil setup; that is we’ll be putting one coil on each side of the deck (base of the atomizer). Clear as mud? Great let’s begin.

Step 2

rebuildable atomizer kit 

You’ll need the following items:

  • Scissors
  • Kanthal (28g is preferred)
  • Micro screwdriver (5/64 preferred)
  • A rebuildable dripping atomizer
  • Cotton (not pictured)
  • Ohm Meter (not pictured)
  • Advanced E-Cig (not pictured)

            i.      Rebuildable Atomizers are really geared towards advanced E-Cigs that is a device that can push some serious wattage. Your regular pen style E-Cigs will not be able to keep up with this atomizer. A Mech mod or a high wattage mod will do the trick.

            ii.      Here is a prime example of an advanced E-Cig Mech Mod: novus-mechanical-mod.html

Step 3


Go ahead and unscrew the screws on each post, be sure NOT to remove the screws. Unscrew them to the point where the post holes are visible.

Step 4


Wrap the coil with the kanthal

  • Hold on end of the kanthal with your thumb and forefinger
  • Tightly wind the coil around the micro screwdriver
  • Wrap it around at least 8 wraps
  • If the kanthal overlaps, you have to start over
  • If the coil isn’t as tight as the picture, no worries I’ll explain why later on

Step 5


Go ahead and insert the two ends of the coil into one side of the RDA. It’ll be easier if you leave the screwdriver in as you insert it in.

Step 6


Repeat steps #4 and #5. Be sure to wrap the coil the same number of wraps as you want it even on both sides. Screw down the screws gently as over tightening can cut the kanthal in half and you’ll have to start over again.

Step 7


Clip off the ends. The kanthal is stiff, don’t be afraid to insert the screwdriver into through the coils to maneuver them around. When you screw down the post screws, sometimes it can bend the coils.

Step 8


Put the atomizer on an ohm meter to get the resistance. Depending on your device, it’ll really depend on what range is acceptable. Anywhere from 0.5 ohms to 1.0 ohms is acceptable for most devices. However keep in mind some devices won’t register below 1.0 ohms and some devices (mech mods) won’t perform well unless you are under 1.0 ohms.

Understand ohms law well before attempting to dip below 0.5 ohms especially on a mech mod. Understand your battery limitations and how much current can be output.

Step 9


As you can see my coils are a tad uneven (one is tighter than the other). This is okay, go ahead and put your atomizer on your mod and fire it up (be sure not to set it too high if your device allows adjustable wattage). Gently squeeze your coils between firings.

Step 10


Still squeezing

Step 11


Trying to get them even

Step 12


Ah finally nice and even coils.

Step 13


Make sure to see that the coils are heating from the inside out. If they are not, try gently tightening the screws or inserting the screwdriver into the coils and wiggling it around. This is a time consuming process, but practice makes perfect.

Step 14


How to put cotton in the coil. Go ahead and insert a strand of cotton into one side

Step 15


Repeat for the other side. Please note however your cotton should not be overly tight as cotton will expand when saturated.

Step 16


Clip off the ends

Step 17


Drip some E-Liquid on both sides off the cotton and especially the coils. Do not put too much in; you do not want to over drip. Put enough so that cotton is no longer dry and the coils are visibly wet.

Quick note about the ELiquid though, if you are used to using a certain nicotine level and PG/VG ratio, you may want to rethink your e juice choice. Generally speaking advanced users choose a lower nicotine level and higher VG level as the RDA intensifies your vaping experience. Perhaps drop your nicotine level a step or two, and definitely increase your PG/VG ratio to at least 30PG/70VG.

Step 18



Congrats you have built your first RDA. Now I did mention the atomiser coils could last up to a month sometimes even longer, however the wicks (cotton) will have to be replaced every now and then. Generally speaking about once a week. But cotton is relatively cheap and wicking, as you saw in the pictures, is a very simple process.

Step 19


Don’t forget to clean up any excess kanthal. I’ve stepped on this before… not a fun time.



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