How do you critique an atty's potential before purchase?

I am just curious how others view things. I have missed out on some good ones before, yet have probably saved tons of money in the long run.

I would love to see 1st opinions on new atty’s based only on what you see!

I will throw two out there as an example: Recurve rda, my 1st thought was the top row of air holes were to high which would allow higher wattages because of the auxiliary air which would detract from the flavor potential at lower wattages.

2nd would be the Ammit mtl rda, I really like this one for the restricted lung hit potential. But when looking at it and noticing the 1.2 ml airholes I would probably not purchase it because I have not used micro coils in several years now and these holes would not feed a spaced coil across its length.

There are a lot of other things to be noticed but thought it might be cool for others to chime in and add their observations on other atty’s too!


I’m not very brave when making purchases and ride on the advise of others. It’s worked well, mostly and I haven’t purchased too much rubbish via recommendations.


Same here. Pretty much every time i go out on my own i regret it despite all these years of vaping.


The mods I’ve bought based on manufacturer specs and appealing form factors were all rubbish :slightly_smiling_face:


I usually hit YouTube and see the device up close, then come here and see who has one and what they think about it. The guys and gals here know their stuff.

Left unsupervised…I don’t make good choices.


Agreed there are some very good hardware reviewers on YouTube and like you said here as well, we’ve got great reviewers here also.


Build deck and general quality impression from reviewers, with experience some companys slack a bit on “finish” and screws. But replacement parts are cheap and wont always be the decisive factor. From experience, I get the best flavour from the tighter chambers, if the airflow is done correctly.

I have a few pricier ones, without going over board. One that now seems to have lost its way is my dotmod 24mm rta, where one of the screw holes has lost its “grip”, then again this has been my go-to rta alongside my aromamizers ( <3 steamcrave ).

Out of the reviewers I let two of them influence me, but only slightly. DJLsbvapes (to some extent, love how he goes out of his way to stress test and measure everything) and AdvancedVape are my go-to for what I feel is information relevant to the type of products I enjoy. However, most rda’s and rta’s are better with correct coil placements and wicking. The biggest diffrence on the rebuildable side imho are the parts, how long does the screws last and if they have too much or too little airflow etc.

When it comes to mods its a price thing… I do enjoy the quality of my dna’s and yihi’s, but then again my lost vape triade dna 250 “lost” its paint just as quick as my voopoo drag. No matter the drama (reviewer vs voopoo) I tend to grab for the drag more often than alot of the other mods, as price vs heavy use comes to play. This reminds me, I should do a Think Vape Finder 250c review, as this thing is made to last (really really happy with it).


For me it is ALL about the flavor. If that’s not there then it’s done for me. After flavor factor then I delve into ease of building, leaking, and conveniences.


I go by folks right here. I trust the opinions of ELR folk way more than I trust the youtubers.


+1 @wvsanta


Good question, when I first started vaping I pretty much picked things randomly, based on what was on sale etc. and it didn’t always turn out well, in fact not a single item I bought during this phase is still in use.

Then I discovered youtube reviews reddit and forums like this, and I would buy atomizer based on those reviews and what was most often recommended in forums, and that turned out a lot better.

Now I however rely much more on my own spidery senses, or to be more precise, on my own experience and preferences, knowledge of physics and good old common sense. I still watch/read reviews and listen to what people are saying in the forums, but the ultimate decision will be based on my own “sense” for the atomizer, and only when it is in line with reviews and recommendations will I actually buy.

For example, when the Kylin Mini was released it got great reviews and was lauded for having great flavour, it did have the screws the wrong way so it would twist flat builds, which is a bit of a no no in my book, but I was still tempted to buy it and just live with that con. Then I however started to look more critically at the pictures and how they said it was suppose to work, and I noticed that the airflow holes where only holes in a thin sheet metal and not drilled into a block, which means that they have very little influence on the direction of the air, and that it is basically bottom airflow where more than half the air will entirely miss the coil.
It might still have excellent flavour, but combined with the coil leg twist, that was enough for me to loose all interest in it.

Another example, the Wotofo Bravo is another RTA that also got great reviews and which I did end up buying. The reason I bought it was however not just because of the good reviews, it was because everything about it just seemed right! Based on pictures and video, I couldn’t find a single flaw or something that felt dubious, even the drip tip was right up my alley.


For me, its coil placement, airflow and room for cotton. If any one of those qualities is too far out of balance it won’t make for a good vape. So I try to weigh those variables before I buy. I love RTAs that have big wicking wells and you don’t have to thin out your cotton. Its going to ensure your coils get an easy constant flow of juice. Most of the time you can adjust your coils this way or that and there have been occasions where I will modify the air flow to my liking. For instance I liked the flavor of the Recurve, but the air was too restricted for my liking. I enlarged the air intake holes and I love it even more.
Some things that I can see as shortcomings aren’t necessarily a deal breaker for me if I think I can tweak it. On the other hand sometimes I impulse buy crap because it looks cool to me.


For me its the opposite a bit. I always bought hype gear, because I thought that hundreds of people can’t be wrong. But I also purchased stuff on sale or it came in pink lol.

After a while I got very frustrated because nothing seemed to give me any satisfaction. I took a closer look at the atties I have, that I liked certain aspects off and try keeping these things in mind when buying new items.

But it looks like I’m happier with single coil atties, that are smaller in diameter and height, rather than 26mm and up with huge wide airflow etc. My biggest regret of buying tho was the drop RDA.

After trying so many builds and variations and what not, I come to the conclusion its not for me. I get 0 flavor from it, I ended up giving it to someone that really wanted one, but couldn’t afford it.

That at the end made me very happy tho.


I picture in my mind what I want and try list all the ones that meet my criteria. I then run reviews. I finally narrow down by price and ability to return the item if unsatisfied.


Wow! Running through this in my mind, I’m pretty sure I won’t catch everything while I’m writing. I guess I’ll start at the top and work down…

Drip tip fit. Loose, tight, just right.
Drip tip material. Heat transfer.
Top fill please. Good solid latching mechanism or metallic threads. Adequate sized filler holes.
Glass sealed both top and bottom with threaded top and bottom.
Chimney as short as possible.
Vapor chamber small and domed.
Enough space between the vapor chamber and the glass to accommodate the flow of thick liquids.
I prefer hex head grub screws.
Posts are not “drilled through” the wire holes so the grub screws don’t shear off the coil ends.
I like a raised deck or “GTA” style.
I don’t like juice flow control.
Grub screws don’t twist flat wire.
Wire capturing that does not allow the wire to get pushed out from underneath the grub screw while tightening.
Enough distance between coil capture points to get a bit of resistance in the build.
Bottom airflow gives me the most confidence I will get good flavor. Having said that I’ve seen wonderful looking airflow that tasted like crap and stupid airflow that gives great flavor… go figure.
Airflow adjustment should match the type of vape advertised e.g. mtl vs dl
I prefer that the negative post contact is part of the atty not bolted on.
Adequate sized wicking channels for the size coil the atty will accommodate.
510 not painted.
I like fairly short atties. 3 to 4 ml is fine.
22 to 25 mm preferred.
I really do want to hear that one of my trusted reviewers was able to get really good flavor.
I’m sure I’m missing things but I need more coffee now.


+1 to @Jim22 - that’s exactly how i evaluate if i should buy it. another thing that makes it easy for me, after few years of building and chasing flavor, i exclusively vape single coil RTAs - mainly 25mm. so that makes it easy for me to exclude many of the new products quickly - so all RDAs, sub-ohm tanks, and dual coil designs are off my list. i have so many of these that i never go back to. some of them come with “kits” but i just put them aside, now that i know what to expect from them (in my own experience and liking) and would look for opportunities to give them away to friends who like them.
now even with some of the new single-coil RTAs, i would look at the design of the airflow vs wicking and i find myself “not interested” - for example, if the tank doesn’t have a 510 drip tip, or has airflow that looks “funny” - as in, it would hit the coil in the wrong place like way too high or would cause turbulence - especially when this feeling is supported by one of the trusted reviewers, then i avoid.

dreaming now of one of the vendors creating a good “vertical” single coil RTA with wick outside the coil… we haven’t really exploited that design yet, but i’m sure it will come sooner or later :slight_smile:
so the secret in my opinion is to find your preference design, and develop your experience around it and that helps avoid so many wasted purchases and frustrations as you go.