Top 10 Types of RBA Decks

Two Post

The SubZero RDA's Two-Post Deck
The Druga RDA's Two Screw-Capped Posts

Back in the earliest days of vaping—back before Mutations and Royal Hunters or even Magmas and IGO-Fs—vapers suffered.

They may not have known it at the time, but the cheap clearomizers and cartridges they had were just the worst. Like, so bad.

The Huge Terminals of the Phenotype-L

Thankfully, the wispy vapor and thin flavor (we thought) we were enjoying was quickly put to shame when someone finagled together the first RBA.

These initial RBAs weren't like the advanced cloud-chasing models we have today. They had tight airflow and small chambers despite their strangely large size. Worst of all, they only had two posts!

Yet early rebuilders were over the moon with the improved flavor and thick vapor they got from these mechanical marvels. So much so, that vaping was truly never the same again. RBAs took off like crazy, and soon there were a countless number of variations invented by manufacturers and vapers alike.

And two-post decks can easily take claim as the one that started it all.

Block Post

The Plume Veil RDA's Split Block Positive Post
The BMI Goldie RDA's Gold-Plated Split Block

If the two-post build deck is like sliced bread, then the Split-T Post—or Block Post—is like bread and butter. If you’ve been rebuilding for longer than two years, chances are you’ve grown very accustomed to this type of build deck.

The Glacier v3 RDA's version of Split Block Posts

Everything from the Plume Veil to the DOG3 utilized this type of deck to the fullest. As you can see, this type of post is similar to the three-post decks spawned by the lowly two-post.

However, in split post decks, the positive post is shaped into a rectangular box with two holes drilled through. The negative posts on either side of the positive post provide the grounding for your installed coils

These negative posts are often milled from the RBA's deck itself. Because there's no gap to cause voltage drop between the post and the deck, conductivity is optimal.

There's countless variations of the block post because this type of deck has been such a staple for so long.

These offshoots can vary from from just two posts with two horizontally aligned holes in each block (a very popular design), or even four (or more) holes in the center post and multiple holes in the negative post as seen in the Fat Buddha RDA.

Velocity-Style

The Sapor v2 RDA's Velocity-Style Deck
The Limitless 24 RDA's Velocity-Style Deck

When it first came out, the Velocity RDA itself made relatively small waves, but the build deck itself has truly changed the way we vape forever.

The Inde Duo RDA with a Y-Shaped Post

Instantly recognizable by its two tall posts with two terminal holes in each post, Velocity-style decks are one of the most prevalent types of build decks in modern RDAs.

Due to its incredible ease of use and inherent cloud-boosting properties, the Velocity-style deck has found its way into countless different types of RDAs, RTAs, RDTAs, and sub-ohm RBA heads alike.

Even Velocity-style decks have had their fair share of variation, such as that seen in the Y-shaped posts of the Inde Duo RDA: the posts may have the positive post seated in the center of the deck, but the general pair-above-pair terminal arrangement remains intact.

Postless

The Athena BF RDA's Postless Deck
The Prophet RDA's Pseudo-Postless Deck

While this type of posts (or lack thereof) may have its origins in the postless screws seated directly in the deck of early atomizers, these build decks are much more versatile than previous attempts at a satisfyingly open build deck.

Postless Decks even come in RTAs like the Reload

The terminals of postless decks are positioned vertically rather than horizontally, standing coils up by their leads. Eliminating the most cumbersome component of the build deck entirely opened up a whole new world of building and airflow possibilities!

Manufacturers of both commonplace and advanced devices began creating their own versions of the postless deck with mixed success. Some went completely and truly postless, incorporating the terminals and grub screws into the RDA’s deck itself. This type was particularly common as an option for RDTAs with interchangeble build decks.

Other RBA makers went a more traditional route by using raised block or set of posts with vertical terminals to emulate the postless experience.

Clamp

The Goon v1.5 RDA's Clamp Post Deck
The Triple Clamp Posts of the LE Obese Buddha RDA

If you’re reading this, then it’s too late...to deny how much you love clamp posts! =D Before the advent of this type of deck, rebuilding vapers were extremely restricted by the size of their post holes.

And by then, the art of coil rebuilding was well underway. Everyone and their mother was rocking a freshly spun alien clapton or quad parallel coil, even though they had to widen their postholes with a drill just to make it fit!

The Dual Clamp/Posthole Deck of the Royal Hunter X

Previous RBA manufacturers didn’t foresee the sudden rebuilding boom that came about and the subsequent demand for bigger, better clouds with bigger, hotter wire. RDAs like the Dark Horse worked around this the best they could, but in the end, the minute size of traditional posts prevented vapers from using wide, thick coils such as staple staggered fused claptons.

 

So when 528 Customs released the Goon RDA and its uniquely designed deck, vapers just about went bananas. The huge amount of clearance between the two clamping surfaces made installing large, bulky coils incredibly easy.

It wasn’t before long that many other types of RDAs adopted a similar design, providing options for spring-loaded clamps, a wider clamp surface, dual clamp/terminal posts, and much more. To this day, however, the Goon RDA still retains respect by remaining true to its origins, gathering a fan base that grows with each and every evolution of the Goon—something even the Velocity RDA can’t claim.

Mesh

The Mesh-Ready Deck of the Mesh RDA

Mesh isn't new to the world of RBAs. Stainless steel was a very common type of wicking material (yes, wicking material...we were so naïve...) used in early types of RBAs called Genesis tanks.

Since then, however, metal mesh has more or less fallen out of favor with rebuilders. Why risk the shorts and sparks of metal wicks when cotton and rayon work just as well, if not far better? Of course, these questions were silenced with the creation of mesh-friendly build decks that took the metal sheets we love and gave them new life.

RDAs meant for use with mesh are a fantastic way to coax excellent, multi-faceted flavor from almost any juice.

Drawing worthwhile inspiration from clamp posts, each end of the mesh sheet is trapped between a long clamp and cotton is stuffed against the metal mesh. These clamps can be positioned horizontally, vertically, or even integrated into the bottom of the build deck itself.

These types of atomizers can also be used with normal coils, providing a wide range of functionality that rivals even the most complex posts.

Screwless

The Spring-Loaded Posts of the AMPUS RDA

Screws have always been the component that tightens down leads every since the advent of the first RBA. From Grub to Phillips and every type in between, there’s a huge amount of variation between these tiny metal pieces.

Screws are also the one component in an RDA that can be both difficult to adjust as well as difficult to replace (once the included spares have been lost).

You can always try your luck finding new ones online or in your local hardware store. But with so many types in a confusing number of different thread sizes, it's easier to simply admit defeat by picking up an entirely new RDA. But what if you didn't have to fiddle with these little pieces at all?

This is where screwless RDAs shine! No longer do vapers need to use tiny screws and equally small screwdrivers to tighten down their leads.

Some intelligently designed RDAs utilize spring-loaded posts that provide plenty of tension to keep your leads in place. Simply push down on the post to reveal the terminal, slide your lead through, and release the clamp to securely fasten your coil in place!

 

Mismatched

The Deck of the Carnage RDA
The Mismatched Posts of the Carnage RDA
The Mini Buddha v2's Three-Post Deck with a Positive Clamp Post

Generally, you’ll find that the posts in an RDA are mirror opposites, and for good reason. It’s just usually easier to fit the two leads of a coil into identical structures, and no one really questioned otherwise.

The Iconic Deck of Purge Mods RDAs

Of course, if Necessity is the Mother of invention, then Imagination is your weird uncle Jeff.

Who says posts need to match, said RBA makers everywhere as they went to the drawing board and came back with some crazy contraptions that may look bewildering, but allow for some surprisingly thorough functionality!

For example, where a Three-Post deck would struggle to handle the leads of both coils, a deck with two negative posts and a positive clamp post can fit plenty of leads without breaking a screw sweat.

And the Carnage RDA's complementary posts are perfect for handling unusually wound or especially bulky coils!

Single Post

The dotRDA's Single-Post Build Deck

Although rare in and of themselves, Single Post build decks are often cleverly designed, seemingly forgoing physics in favor of excellent vaping.

One such example is the dotRDA by dotMOD Inc.

The dotRDA is a high-end dripper made by one of the most prestigious makers in the game. Sporting one of the most unique build decks on the market, the dotRDA utilizes a single large post in the center of the deck.

The two horizontally split halves of this centered post automatically lift up upon releasing the screw's tension and coil leads are placed in between the two halves.

This style of build post is certainly a far cry from the original two-post design that spurred rebuilding in the first place. Nevertheless, it's also a clear reflection of not only the rapid and diverse evolution vaping products have taken throughout the years, but also a clue into the direction vaping will take in the future.

Neutral Post

Negative, Positive & Neutral Posts
(Left, Center, Right)

As any rebuilder worth their salt will tell you, the more coils you add, the lower your resistance. So if you install a quad coil build, your final resistance will be 1/4th of the resistance of a lone coil.

This can be both a blessing as well as a curse: while going down in resistance is crucial to increasing the wattage output of mechanical devices, dropping your resistance too low is just dangerous.

So if you have a really cool idea for a coil build, but when you make it the resistance is dangerously low, there was really nothing you could do besides tossing it out and trying again with a different idea.

But no longer! By using an RDA with a Neutral Post, adding coils will multiply the resistance as opposed to dividing it.

So with a normal build deck, a quad coil build using 0.6Ω coils will drop your final resistance to .15Ω. This is a barely passable resistance for regular mech MODs, but is dangerously low for series wired mechanical devices.

But when using an RDA with a neutral post deck, that quad coil build will read at 0.6Ω, a much safer level for vaping with series mods!



Honorable Mentions

The Peerless RDA's Unique Posts

Sometimes, you just need to recognize a job well done,

The Peerless RDA's build deck and very distinctly designed postsshook the vaping world when it was first released, and for very good reason.

Sure, the aluminum airflow sleeve is a touch too thin and the irremovable acrylic mouthpiece chips easily (a few of the many problems resolved in the SE Peerless), but the build deck is truly unique with a top-notch design.

The multi-tiered terminals of the posts provide a wide range of options in both coil and installation styles, even with extra wide coils and wires.


Mitch Clarke

Mitch Clarke is an avid vaper with a passion for online content creation, SEO, and front-end web design. With over five years of expertise, Mitch is eager to share his extensive vaping knowledge with the rest of the world! Check out his main blog at EVCigarettes!