Sunday, October 16, 2016

REVIEW: The OBS Engine RTA... or RDTA?

I received this RTA from Heaven Gifts at no charge for the purposes of review and promotion. Yeah, but that's not gonna mean I am going to display any bias. As always, I'm just this guy, y'know... YMMV...

RDTA? RTA? RBA? What's with all the acronyms these days? On the face of it, this is just another in a long, long, long line of rebuildable atomizers that have surfaced in 2016. So many have popped up that I am having a hard time caring about any of 'em. There appears to be nothing new... We have a choice between the postless deck (Petri, Bachelor, Serpent, Conqueror), Velocity deck (WAY too many to list), the offset deck - both velocity style and two-hole (Merlin, Goblin Mini V3, OBS Ace), the Goon deck (Cloudnus, iJoy Combo), and the Genesis style of everything, too. But this tank... oh, this tank does something different...

It doesn't leak!

It's still got a not-so-special Velocity style deck with Aromamizer style juice feed (holes in the base of the deck), but the comparisons have to stop there. Where the Aromamizer Supreme, Boreas, and TF-RDTA have juice flow control, this has none. It doesn't need it. There's no place for the juice to go besides to the coil. Because it's a Velocity deck, it's incredibly easy to build. I prefer spaced stainless steel coils, and I can wrap and install a set of 10 wrap 3 mm duals in a space of about 5 minutes. Wicking is also incredibly easy and forgiving. The wick needs only to rest on the deck, just covering the holes in the deck. If a little gets tucked into the holes, that's fine, but they do not need to be stuffed. If some wicking is stray on the deck, that's fine. As long as the edges of the deck are clear for assembly later, the tank will work. I was able to nail wicking on this tank on the first try, and I've also been able to duplicate it every time since (about 6 builds since it arrived two weeks ago).

Where most RTAs adopt an under coil, or side airflow, this one has the air hitting the top of the coils ONLY. There are three xxx adjustable slots beneath the drip tip (a nice, conical Delrin piece that is 510 compatible, by the way). These slots feed a chamber with two larger cutouts pointing directly at the top of the coils. There's no airflow anywhere else. There are two tabs on the edge of the deck's chamber that fit into two slots on the deck. This ensures that the air is aligned with the coils every time. It is not possible to assemble the tank and misalign the airflow unless the tanks is seriously damaged. It is possible, however, to get a little frustrated getting the deck back on. It would have been helpful if there had been an allowance for the length of the legs or the slots to get the tank snapped together before screwing it together. As it is, it can be a bit fiddly getting the tank section started on the base. There's no visuals on the exterior indicating where the tabs and slots are, and that would have helped, too. Turns out that manhandling the tank a tiny bit, when reassembling, actually helps it along.

With dimensions of 25 mm in diameter and 54.5 mm in height (INCLUDING 510 and supplied drip tip), the tank looks kind of squat. A great deal of reduction in size can be attributed to the lack of an air chamber beneath the deck. Because it's short, it's easy to think it might have less of an e-liquid capacity. That is not the case. The tank claims to hold 5.2 ml, and I tend to believe it although I did not test with a syringe. I did manage to fit more than 5 full droppers into the tank, though, so...

The tank uses the side slot fill pioneered by OBS. A sleeve covers the top section of the tank. When the sleeve is popped up, a large xxx slot is revealed. I tilt the tank on it's side and squirt the e-liquid into the slot until it is almost overflowing from the slot, then the top is pressed back down. This is, hands-down, my favorite fill method. There's nothing to unscrew and set aside. There's no fiddling with hinges or levers or slots or holes or slides. Pop up, fill, pop down. The only drawback is the occasional drop of juice that needs to be mopped up around the fill cap after pressing it back down.

But, but, but how does it vape?

Like a dream! The vape is intensely flavorful and dense. Although the chamber looks large, a good portion of it is the air chamber. This means that the vapor is condensed and compressed a bit as it is pulled right off the top of the coils and up the smaller-than-it-looks chimney. The vapor production is decent, too. It is not, primarily, a cloud maker, though. I think the focus, here, is on finding a nice meeting ground between great flavor and decent clouds. The reason for the less-than-competition quality clouds is the slightly reduced airflow. The Boreas and the Aromamizer both have more air. Neither of them (and I like both of them a lot) have anywhere near the flavor production. The Engine is a flavor monster!

I'll admit that when I first saw this tank, I was VERY skeptical. I had experienced nothing but bad luck with other top-air only tanks such as the Cubis, the AIO, and the Goodger. They became what I can only describe as "boiling juice straws" if they sat for any length of time. This tank will flood a bit when filled, but a couple pulls, and the flooding is gone. Further, the tank can be topped off when half full with no detrimental effects.

  • Incredible flavor
  • Decent clouds
  • No leaks
  • Easy build
  • Easy wick
  • I think it looks nice
  • No leaks
  • Nice drip tip
  • Comes with extra glass
  • Comes with a very nice hex screwdriver
  • No leaks
  • Comes with spare grub screws, o-rings
  • Comes with a couple coils and cotton
  • Decent capacity
  • Mine arrived quite clean
  • Did I mention is does not leak?
  • Not as airy as some
  • Tiny bit of flooding when filling and refilling
  • A bit of a PITA getting the tank section back on the deck
  • No indications what the coils are

If you liked the Aromamizer or Boreas, but were tired of the leaking, get this tank. If you have not tried the Aromamizer or Boreas and were thinking about it, get this tank. If you are looking for a mouth-to-lung vape, give it a pass.


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  2. Thanks for another great review Shawn

  3. This tank is highly recommended guys. Taste - awesome, no leaks, no dry hits. Easy to setup. Once you put cotton right down to the bottom no spitbacks

    1. Spot on review. Absolutely love this tank. Yeah the assembly can be a pain, but it's well worth the effort for this amazing tank.