Are the Purists Right? Does Dripping Give Better Flavour?

At some point on your vaping journey you’re probably going to turn your attention to the art of dripping.

When I was a kid dripping was something you spread on toast with a sprinkle of salt – well I was brought up in a butchers shop for much of my childhood.


However dripping in this context is what many vapers ‘in the know’ say is the purest form of vaping giving the most clouds and apparently the best taste.

So what exactly is dripping?

In a nutshell once your RDA is coiled and wicked up you drip your e-liquid onto the coils pop on the barrel and top cap and vape – repeating as and when required.

Despite vaping for close to 6 years now I’m a relative newcomer to RDAs – Rebuildable Drip Atomizers – and the first one I bought – the Doge III [I liked the dog face – I’m such a child lol] – sat in my cupboard for months as I literally had no idea what do with it – what no stock coils lol.

It was only researching and writing my piece on Building Coils for Beginners that I began to take a bit of an interest in dripping.

Since then I’ve built on many different styles of decks – thanks to reviewing them on here – and on the whole tend to use pre-made coils – I’m currently enjoying the Staggered Fused Claptons from Crazy Wire.

I’m much happier using RTAs and RDTAs as I find them less fuss and certainly less messy.

However given my review of the Cheetah II reignited my interest in dripping I thought I’d go tank free for a week and see if dripping really is all it’s cracked up to be.

my drippers

I spent seven days rotating the Cheetah II – Medusa Reborn – Doge III and the Goon 1.5 on board my trusty old Yosta Liverpor 160 at between 65 and 80 watts.

I used the same Muji cotton – the same coils and the same e-liquid – a lemon tart mixed up by my local vape shop and about all I vape on these days.

Let’s see how I got on and if I’m now a dripping convert.

Dripping is a Messy Business

Straight off the bat and even the most prolific of drippers will have to agree with this statement.

I’m a real clean freak – must be an Army thing – and dripping absolutely annoys the hell out of me.

messy vapingI have used top middle and bottom airflows and every single one of them leaks like a sieve whilst vaping or whilst out and about.

Of course I have over dripped – more times than I meant to – but even without over-dripping every single time I vape there’s e-liquid somewhere.

Either through the air flow – the 510 – condensation on top of the mod and apart from the Doge III which has a guard – the amount of spit back I’ve got is bloody annoying and at times painful.

Take the Medusa Reborn as an example – I tilt it to vape and my shirt soon gets covered in tiny globules of e-liquid as it squirts out of the airflow holes!

I also vaped topless [not a good image in your head sorry lol] whilst watching YouTube and thought I was being attacked by flying red ants the amount of stinging – and singeing of chest hair going on.

I ended up walking around like a care assistant in an old folks incontinence ward with wads of tissues in my hands to mop up all the sticky spillage and leakage.

So for the sheer mess alone that for me any way is a big red cross in the RDA box.

Dripping is a Pain in the A**E

Sat at my desk – or in my favourite chair reading then dripping isn’t too much of a pain in the proverbial I admit.

However out and about dripping takes some doing if I’m honest.

Anyone who’s ever taken a baby out knows what I mean – the amount of stuff you have to carry defies logic – parents will know what I’m on about – those baby sized bags are crap – 2 family sized suitcases might be enough for only half the stuff!

vape bag

For me it’s the same with dripping.

Hand wipes for cleaning up spillage and wiping sticky ‘juice hands’ – tissues for cleaning the same spillage – juice juice and more juice and of course more tissues for cleaning the residue off those juice bottles.

I have a nice collection of different sized Chubby Gorilla bottles that I used when going to visit my ex [those bottles are now like my heart are locked away in a dark cupboard gathering dust haha].

Seriously though they are great for taking juice out and about and fit nicely in the pocket – given I’m not a man bag kind of bloke.

Saying that I do have one of those nifty little Coil Master man-bags bought for the same reason as the Chubby Gorillas and sadly suffering the same fate!

Anyway enough of my whining – day one of dripping and I took out about 7.5mls of juice and seriously 5 hours later I was almost on empty!

I’ll come onto the amount of juice I got through next – but I reckon at least 2.5 mls of that was down my shirt – over my hands and mod and definitely turned into flaming balls of fiery lemon tart in my gob.

And I only over dripped a couple of times honest.

So unless the next time I go out I carry a medium sized suitcase filled with wipes – tissues – x6 clean t-shirts and enough juice to sink a battleship I will hand on heart say that yup for me dripping is a pain in the a**se 😉

Dripping Drinks Ya Juice

As I alluded to above – dripping is a thirsty business and I don’t mean the urge for a couple of pints to bring the stress levels down.

Halfway through my week as a dripper I opened up a brand new 10ml 80 VG 20 PG bottle of e-liquid and put how much they drank to the test.

Let’s put it this way – anyone with shares in an e-liquid factory must love RDAs!

e-liquid factory

I didn’t go out I was inside and pretty much at my desk most of the day and was careful not to over-drip.

I’m not a chain vaper but I’d say I was steady – for instance I’m on the DigiFlavour Pharoah at the moment [part of the rotation I’m now doing – ooo get me lol] and filled up with the extension [around 6+mls] I can vape without filling for pretty much a full working day and still have juice in the tank come tea-time.

[I do carry a MTL device too]

So how long did the 10mls of the same juice last with me dripping it?

5 hours.

Yup 5 hours.

That was vaping from 7am until a little after noon!!!

*Adds dripping is expensive to the list*

If I was of a more scientific bent I’d be able to work out the amount of draws vs spillage and come up with a significant number – however I over dripped maybe once – but the sheer amount of e-liquid lost through leaks – spittage and spillage was mind boggling.

Hey maybe I’m dripping wrong – not sure how as I rarely dripped straight down the top cap and indeed have painted the coils carefully!

And it wasn’t the high wattage either – I vape on the RTAs at around 60 to 80 watts same as I was doing with the RDAs.

There’s no doubt that dripping is a thirsty and expensive business indeed.

Dripping is Best for Flavour and Clouds

This is probably going to piss the purists off – but I don’t think it is – not really.

Of the four RDAs I used last week the Doge III and the Cheetah II came out tops for flavour and overall the Doge was by far my favourite – I wasn’t at all impressed with the Goon btw and was hoping for big things judging by what I’ve read and seen.

vaping clouds

But even then – and using the same coils and cotton – I found the break in time at least half a dozen or more vapes before I got anywhere near a decent flavour.

As for clouds – yeah I’ll give you that – I have been able to look as if I should be wearing a snap back cap the wrong way round whilst walking down the high street.

So if you really want to chuck those clouds dripping is indeed the way to go – but is the flavour all it’s cracked up to be?

Look anyone who’s read my e-liquid reviews will know I’m a hard taskmaster and call a spade a spade.

Hand on heart I couldn’t tell much of a difference between the RDAs and the RDTAs and RTAs I regularly use – which I might add are far less messy and fussy to use.

I think maybe I was picking up a little bit more zing of the lemon on the Doge – maybe.

But for that ever so slight extra teeny weeny bit of flavour – the hassle factor to get it is too much for me.

So Am I A Dripping Convert?

No I’m bloody well not and have had to buy super-duper powerful stain remover to get the stains out of my shirts for a start.

Whilst I will and indeed do grab one for e-liquid reviews and obviously for RDA reviews – I’m not a big fan.

The hassle factor and mess for me any way outweighs the apparent benefits of better flavour and more clouds.

Clouds I’m not that fussed about – indeed when out and about I’m happier if there’s less to draw attention to me [shy like that lol].

But for me vaping is about flavour and if I’m honest and despite all the purists telling me otherwise – I really couldn’t tell the difference between the RDAs I tried for a whole week and my go to RDTA – the Augvape Merlin.

If anything I’m getting a better taste and far less hassle on that than any of the RDAs of tried – but hey maybe that’s just me?

If you’re a dripper and think I’m talking out of my ample a** as usual let me know in the comments below!

One last thing – come Monday afternoon when I wandered into my local launderette to collect my laundry and stained shirts [that I’d pre-soaked in Vanish] the wonderful little old lady in there shook her head mumbled – tutted and called me a ‘very messy man’ – which I think proved my point somewhat!

Our Guides to RDAs – RDTAs – RTAs

If you’re bamboozled by the different types of tanks out there then do check out our extensive guides – links below!

neil Humber 2
Neil Humber

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.


  1. Thank you 🙂 I have persevered with dripping but only the house where I have plenty of cloths and a bib or two lying around 🙂 However I have a couple of squonk mods now and these have given some of my RDAs a whole new lease of life! I bloody love squonking! I’m about to write up the review on the RAM from Stentorian and I dunno if its the squonk – but my goodness the flavour off those same RDAs is banging! And yeah stock coils are very expensive – the Crown III coils though are slightly cheaper and last an age 😉

    • No problem Neil. I didn’t want to sound like a snob when I wrote that! I just wanted to share my experiences. Whatever works for one person doesn’t always work for another.

      Squonking is something I haven’t tried yet. I know it’s been getting a lot of attention lately. I haven’t heard anyone really saying a lot of negative things about it either. The only thing that currently puts me off it is having to buy another mod and RDA to try it!

      I am looking forward to the review.

  2. Hi Neil.

    Long time site visitor, first time poster. I really liked the article. Some of the things you have described are so true. Dripping is a bit of nightmare but it’s the only way for me to vape now. I started vaping around 3 years ago but the hassle and lack of flavour from tanks had left me unsatisfied and I had spent a fair amount of money on tanks i.e Kanger Subtank, SMOK TFV4, Steamcrame Aromomizer and none of them did it for me. I will add, I did enjoy the rebuildable aspect of all the tanks I listed but the stock coils always left me unsatisfied and with a horrible cotton aftertaste. They never made liquids stand out like a dripper does.

    After 6 months of smoking again I decided enough was enough and the one thing that has turned me back to vaping was a dripper and one in particular, the Mutation X V4. That RDA became my best friend for well over a year. It changed my whole view on vaping in a very good way. Yeah, the Mutation had its flaws. It leaked, it had poor o-rings but it taught me so much. It taught me how to build, how to cloud chase, how to not over drip but most importantly, it taught me to enjoy vaping. It gave me so much more enjoyment than any tank has ever done. Now, I have an arsenal of RDA’s, box mods, wire’s, coils, tools and the list goes on… Drippers are also far more versatile than tanks in regarding to building on them.

    A couple of things that annoyed me about tanks where the price of replacement coils and the taste from them. SMOK replacement coils for example are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and they never last and those TFV tanks are thirsty!! They have a serious drink problem! So I have to disagree with you saying that dripping uses a lot of liquid especially when comparing it to those cloud chasing, sub ohm tanks. Also, I have never tried a tank that matches and RDA for flavour. Apologies for mentioning the TFV4 as I know there has been about 45 versions of it since then but it was the tank that I had the most experience with and to be honest, I can probably say it was that tank that turned me back to smoking in the first place!

    I’m sure there will be lots of vapers that disagree with what I have said but I hope some other vapers will agree with me. I go back to what I said at the start, it can be nighmare with leaking (very rarely no though) but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s RDA’s all day for me!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here