NarDA Review – The Elusive RDA by Narmods

1
NarDA Display
NarDA Display

NarDA Intro

With its interesting name that is a play on words, the NarDA is one of the most sought after RDAs on the market due to its unique design and the flavor it produces. Supposedly pronounced Nar-dee-ay as in Nar Dripping Atomizer, it may bring the Veritas and Marquis to mind but does it stand up to those references?

This RDA is not easy to purchase: You must be in the secret Facebook group to know about the release dates and in order to get in, you need two people already in the group to vouch for you.

For more RDAs make sure to read our best RDAs page.

Discounts

Check out this product via the button below

*Some discounts are dependent on your geographical location.

NarDA Specs and Features

NarDA Packaging
NarDA Packaging
  • NarDA
  • 2 extra post screws
  • 2 extra o-rings
  • Surgical grade 316 Stainless Steel construction.
    • 22mm Diameter.
    • 19mm Height (excluding drip tip and 510 threading).
  • 24K Gold Plated, oxygen & lead free Copper Positive Pin.
  • White Delrin 510 Drip Tip included.
  • PEEK Insulators.
  • 7mm Deep Juice Well.
  • Dual Post design.
  • Large Diameter Post Screws, easy to trap coil leads.
  • Versatile & Adjustable Airflow for “direct-lung” and “mouth-to-lung” hits.
  • Reduced Chamber.
  • Negative Post milled into the deck.
  • Protruding Positive Pin, compatible with “hybrid” mech mods.
  • Leak Resistant (when not overfilled).
  • Easy to Clean & Maintain.
  • 100% USA made (in Los Angeles)

Notable Remarks

Machining/Fit and Finish

The quality of this RDA is apparent from the moment you open the container, it just feels like a really well machined atomizer. After a thorough inspection of the deck and top cap, not a single scratch, ding, burr or defect of any kind could be found; this thing was immaculate. Everything fits together tightly but not so tight that it becomes frustrating to take apart. The positive post is held in place by the center pin and never seems to move or need adjusting. Another thing to note is not only is it machined extremely well, it’s also really beautiful in person, like a work of art. It brings to mind the quality and beauty of the Origen, Snapdragon and In’Ax.

Build Deck

NarDA Deck Side
NarDA Deck Side

The build deck has a somewhat familiar two-post design where you trap your leads under two large diameter flat-head screws. The negative post is milled into the deck and the positive post is a separate piece that is held on by a 24K gold plated, lead free copper center pin and insulated by a relatively thick piece of PEEK.

Ease of Build

NarDA Deck
NarDA Deck

Single coils:

These are a breeze on the NarDA. The large diameter of the post screws makes it extremely easy to trap even 22g wire. Unfortunately that is the thickest wire I have laying around but I feel confident that you could trap 20g wire; Instagram pictures have proven that even fused clapton and other exotic builds will fit as well. You simply wrap a coil with the leads going in opposite directions, bend them at a 90 degree angle so they are still facing opposite directions and then the coil will fall perfectly into place; it really couldn’t get any easier.

Dual coils:

These are a little more difficult on the NarDA however, an experienced builder will have no problem. The first time I put a dual coil build in here, it took about 35-40 minutes; after having it for a month, I can put dual coils in here in under 20 minutes. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it becomes much easier. It reminds me of building the Snapdragon; you have to fasten one lead of one coil first, then the opposite lead of the other coil. Now that you have one lead tightened for each coil, you loosen one screw and slip the remaining free lead under, tighten it down then repeat for the other loose lead. It may sound a little intimidating at first but I highly recommend trying out a dual coil setup in here at least once.

Juice well

The 7mm deep juice well is an awesome feature; on a dry wick, I can fit about 12 drops of max VG juice in it and 17 drops of 50/50 juice. It’s so leak resistant that I usually just squirt 50-75% of a dropper into the drip tip and it’s good to go. This atomizer does not guzzle juice either, it conserves it quite well so those drops will go a lot further than one might think. It does have an ‘X’ shape to it so when building a centered single coil, you will need to split each end of the wick into two halves in order to have a wick in each section of the well. Spitback is not a problem either unless you over-drip and have free-standing juice on your build.

Airflow and Controller

The airflow design is the most interesting part of this RDA; it allows for a single coil to have to air hit it from both sides, improving the cooling of the coil. The airflow controller does not allow for only one hole to be open because that would defeat the purpose of the design. It has a very smooth, open-but-not-too open sort of feel. The airflow slots are about 3mm x 1.5mm which is the same draw as two 2.71mm air holes. To put that in perspective, it’s quite a bit looser than a Veritas, a hair looser than the Marquis and nearly identical to the 454 Big Block v2 with only two air holes open. The flavor is the same whether it’s fully open or closed down to a mouth-to-lung draw which is really nice; it allows you to adjust the draw to your liking without sacrificing flavor. The vape does get warmer the more the airflow is closed off though. Personally, I always run it wide open.

The design of the airflow system is how this atomizer achieves its leak-resistance; they are tabs that jut out about 5mm from the periphery of the deck making it nearly impossible for juice to get into those holes when tilting the atomizer. You either have to turn it upside down or fill it up so much that juice stands higher than the holes in the deck before it would start to leak. This same sort of leak-resistant design can be seen also in the Veritas RDA by Faceless and iHybrid. I have not had any leaking whatsoever. The amount of condensation that builds up on the inside of the top cap is also quite minimal.

Alternate Top Caps

Unfortunately, only the standard top cap comes with the RDA but there is an Ultem top cap as well as a shorter, brushed SS316 slammed cap that are available as an accessory. These tend to be as hard to acquire as the RDA itself but fortunately I was able to get my hands on both. Before I go into each one, know that the quality of these top caps are just as good as the atomizer.

Ultem Top Cap:

NarDA Ultem
NarDA Ultem

The dimensions are identical to the stock top cap so this one is mostly about looks. You would think this top cap wouldn’t get as hot as the stock top cap but since the stock one hasn’t ever gotten hot on me, I can’t really say whether this is true or not. However, I do prefer the texture of this top cap over the stock top cap. It’s all preference but there’s something really nice about the feel of the ultem drip tip with the ultem top cap; it’s a bit more textured than the smooth, slick delrin drip tip that the RDA comes with. I also really like the way it looks on most of my mods.

Slammed Cap:

NarDA Slammed
NarDA Slammed

From the bottom to the top of the drip tip, this top cap is only a hair shorter than the standard top cap due to the length of the drip tip section. However, it reduces the height of the chamber by more than 3mm making it stand just a hair taller than the Derringer. The vapor is a bit warmer and the flavor is slightly more intense but it’s not worlds apart from the standard top cap. Even with a smaller chamber, this top cap does not get hot either and I’m usually in the range of 0.40-0.50 ohms firing between 38 and 42 watts. Those builds are not super-hot but definitely warm enough heat up an atomizer when chain vaping.

One thing to note is this top cap seems to have a slightly looser fit than all the other top caps; it’s not a problem because it never randomly falls off but something I figured I would point out. I actually kind of like it because I can pull it off quite easily; the other caps need a little twisting action to get them off. Leaking is still not an issue even with the slightly looser tolerances of this cap.

Aesthetics

As stated earlier in the machining section, this atomizer is beautiful. It looks and feels like a piece of art. I was really excited to build it but at the same time, I just wanted to look at it in all of its beauty and take pictures. I really love the look of the Ultem top cap and slammed cap; the Ultem top cap gives it a unique look and the slammed cap gives it an even shorter profile. Recently, there has been a run of RDAs with media-blasted satin top caps which are extremely gorgeous and word is, there is also going to be a run of satin slammed caps too.

Performance

I will do my best to contain myself but I will start by saying this atomizer has the best flavor I have ever experienced from an RDA. It beats my Veritas, Snapdragon, Marquis, Origen v3, AX1, Hobo v3.1, Aeolus v2 Pro, Ology and every other RDA I’ve ever owned or tried. The flavor is so rich and robust it’s insane. It has the best of everything when it comes to flavor: the Veritas and Snapdragon allow you to taste all the notes of your juice, the Origen and Marquis put out intense flavor but the NarDA does both. You don’t have to settle for flavor complexity or flavor intensity any longer.

An important thing to note is the difference between single and dual coils:

It seems that most people I have talked to prefer to build this RDA with a single coil. I tried many different single coil configurations; using different wire material and gauges, different inner diameters, placing the coil at different heights and angling the coil a bit and nothing really did it for me. I kept getting a harsh throat hit with decent flavor. Putting the coil at an angle seemed to work better; I believe it has to do with how close the coil is to the airflow. When you have a centered single coil, unless you have a massive inner diameter, the coil will be relatively far away from the air holes and that never really seems to do it for me. Angling the coil puts each end of the coil closer to the airflow slots, allowing air to ride down its length. Since there are two airflow slots, each side of the coil experiences the same amount of cooling. This design is brilliant because it optimizes the airflow around the coil.

Then I tried a dual coil build and my mind was blown from the very first hit. For you dual coil lovers, stick with dual coils in this atomizer, they perform incredibly well.

My Favorite Build

My favorite build for this RDA is a dual 26g Kanthal-A1, 7.5 wraps around a 2mm or 2.4mm screwdriver. With a 2mm inner diameter, it comes out to around 0.42 ohms and with a 2.4mm inner diameter, it comes out to around 0.47 ohms. 7.5 wraps with 26g because that makes the coil slightly longer than the airflow slots (the slots are about 3mm and this coil will be about 3.1mm) so air will be able to flow around it nicely. The 2-2.4mm inner diameter will also make it easier for air to wrap fully around the coil. I haven’t tried this with a 3mm inner diameter dual coil setup yet because I believe the coils would be too large to allow air to wrap around it completely. One day I will try it and make an edit to this review but I haven’t really felt the need to yet because of how well the aforementioned build vapes.

I also want to point out that my cotton seems to last a bit longer in this RDA. If I use an RDA every day, I usually have to rewick about every two or three days. With the NarDA, I can go three or four days without a rewick.

Cloud production is also quite good; this RDA is strictly designed for flavor but I would say the vapor output is on par with the Marquis and the Ology and just slightly greater than the Origen v3.

Likes

Subjective

  • Best flavor I’ve ever experienced with an RDA
  • Brilliant airflow design
  • Perfect tolerances
  • Well-priced for what you get
  • Very easy to install a single coil
  • Good vapor production for a flavor-oriented RDA

Objective

  • Extremely well machined
  • Incredibly leak-resistant
  • Very deep juice well
  • The draw can be adjusted from wide open down to an extremely tight draw (suits mouth-to-lung vapers too)
  • Wicks last longer than usual
  • Nice array of aftermarket accessories
  • Can be bottom-fed with a simple $8 upgrade

Dislikes

Subjective

  • Slight learning curve to installing dual coil builds

Objective

  • Very difficult to purchase

Verdict

After owning this RDA for over a month now, not a day has passed that I haven’t use it. It has become my favorite RDA; the flavor I get from it is incredible, the juice lasts longer than usual, it doesn’t leak and I don’t have to rewick religiously. I can wholeheartedly say that this atomizer is more than worth the $90 asking price; I would’ve gladly paid over $100 for it. It’s not only worth the money, but the effort it takes to purchase one.

However, this RDA is not for cloud chasers or for flavor chasers who want a really airy draw. For a flavor chasing RDA, the airflow is relatively open but if you prefer the draw of something like a Kennedy or an Aeolus, you may want to look elsewhere.

For more RDAs make sure to read our best RDAs vapes page.

Discounts

Check out this product via the button below

*Some discounts are dependent on your geographical location.
SHARE
Kyle Formeck
My name is Kyle and I have been vaping for almost a year now. I started vaping to kick my 9 year smoking habit and got hooked on trying to get the best flavor out of my atomizers. I am a software developer living in upstate NY and in my free time I like to write shoegaze and dream pop music.
  • Jeremy

    That’s a lot of ‘dislikes’, Kyle! LOL. Great review for a great RDA!