The Ultimate Guide to Vape Coils

Vape Coil Introduction

Vaping is an interesting topic that attracts all kinds of people, and that includes those with a casual interest seeking it as a means to quit smoking, as well as keen hobbyists. For the former, plenty starter kits and easy to use vaping gadgets exist but the latter want to satisfy their interest and want much more than just a simple kit.

vaporizer coil heating up inside of a vaporizer

What is a Vape Coil?

A vape coil is similar to your e-cigarette kit or the heart of your mod, it is the part that heats up the e-liquid and vaporizing it. You can adjust the coil resistance according to the wraps of wire there are, the gauge and wire type. You’d be able to measure this resistance using an Ohmmeter. Warmer vapor and larger clouds are produced by low resistance coils while a cooler vape with less current is produced by high resistance.

Despite its importance, the coil has a fairly simple mechanism. It is constructed from a coiled wire or a piece of mesh as well as wicking material (typically cotton). You can choose from the many different wires and wicking materials but the best one for you depends mostly on what you are looking to get out of your vaping experience.

Different Vape Coil Types

Whether you have built your own coil or using a pre-made coil, there are a few things to consider. Some brands make theirs of different materials and each have different effects on flavor and cloud production. And it is the same even when you build your own coils.

Ceramic coil is a great vape coil here are multiple sizes

Ceramic Coil

A ceramic coil material is porous, which lets air pass through it quite well and offers a relatively smooth draw. They handle high wattages well and are believed to last longer than cotton coils.

Stainless Steel Coil

Stainless steel wire is known for its magnetic properties, durability, and longevity. When it comes to building, one of the most versatile metals is stainless steel. If well looked after, a stainless-steel coil can last upwards of 25 years.

Titanium Coil

Titanium wires unlike stainless steel are soft and easily malleable, however, it is more expensive for this same reason. Titanium is quite popular and that’s because it provides a clean and crisp tasting vape, although there are discussions about its safety.

A various colored wall of vaporizer coils

Kanthal Coil

Kanthal combines iron, chromium and aluminum and has a super quick ramp up time which allows it to create large amounts of vapor. Kanthal are best used in wattage mode.

Nickel Coil

Ni200 wire is a great nickel wire to choose from the many confusing wires out there. However, when choosing nickel coils, ensure not to dry fire for too long, as they are not suitable for variable voltage or wattage kits.

Nichrome Coil

Nichrome combines 80% Chromium and 20% Nickel, which allows it to heat up much faster compared to Kanthal, producing large amounts of cloud and providing a pleasant, warm vape. Nichrome is only used in wattage mode and Sub Ohm vapers love it because of this along with its quick ramp up time.

vaporizer coil guide ohm coils shown in all angles

Vape Coils OHM

Ohm level is a measurement of electrical resistance, which influences taste and cloud production. When building coils, it’s vital the resistance is measured with an Ohmmeter to get the desired vaping experience and feel safer.

A Sub Ohm Coil

A Sub Ohm coil gives a warmer vapor, drier hit, and bigger clouds. The downside, however, is that you will much more quickly use your e-liquid and need to vape at a higher wattage.

A Plus Ohm Coil

A higher resistance coil which provides more steady battery use, less vapor, but a cooler vape.

Black coil with brick background

When to Change A Vape Coil

Depending on the levels of heat and frequency of use, your coils will not last forever. Your e-liquids PG/VG can burn it out faster, so cane the wattage and voltage you use. If you vape frequently, you may need to change the coil often. High wattage, sweet flavors and a high VG e-juice will burn through coils and wicking material faster. There are many YouTube tutorials online that not only offer a visual guide but provide education on changing your vape coil.

How To Change A Vape Coil

Every equipment varies. Coils can be pulled straight out, and others can be unscrewed. However, there are a few steps to follow regardless of your variety when replacing an old coil.

To do this is simple:

  1. Unscrew the battery from the tank.
  2. Turn the tank upside down and unscrew the metal bottom cap.
  3. Unscrew the head of the coil from the bottom cap and screw the new coil into it.
  4. Put a drip of e-liquid onto each of the wicking ports on the new coil. This helps to prime the coil and reduce the time you have between vapes without getting a dry hit.
  5. Reassemble your tank and fill it with e-liquid. (ensure e-liquid does not get into the center airflow metal tube as this not only affects the functionality but waste your e-liquid.)
  6. Check if there are any leaks or spills and once you are sure it is airtight and clean, you can put the tank back on your battery.
  7. Wait a few minutes for the wicking material inside the coil to be saturated by the e-liquid before you start vaping.
vape coil taking a shower - wash your vape coil the right way

How to Clean A Vape Coil

Depending on your e-liquid VG and PG level, your coils can get a little bit messy and build up a layer of what is known as gunk. One of the easiest ways to clean this is called ‘dry burning’, and it is much easier than it sounds.

First of all, take the wicking material out from your rebuildable coil. Then take 2-5 second bursts to heat the coil by “pulsing” your mod’s firing button until they begin to glow orange. Vapor will begin to form which can then be blown away.

Once all the gunk is out, give the coil some time to cool down again, then push in with one final blow and you are good to go. Wick again and drip onto the coil and you can get to vaping again. The first few hits might not taste completely normal, but that’s just the coil getting back into the groove of things.

Tank and Coil Considerations

There was a time when changing your own coils was impossible. But today, more modern atomizers have made it possible opening up a whole new world of customization and rebuilding.

Top and Bottom Vape Coils

There are two types of coil design that tanks have. Either a bottom-coil or a top-coil design. For coils at the top, it doesn’t require the use of so much wicking material and rebuildable atomizers typically have this same design as well. Liquid is absorbed directly from wells or dripped straight right onto the cotton. Bottom-coil is most common with replaceable coils and it absorbs e-liquid from the coil’s wicking holes.

Dual Vape Coils

Another new one are dual coil atomizers that use an equal amount of electricity to both coils, which help to lower the overall resistance. The dual coils use so much power, which begs the question “which battery do you need?” rather than “what tank do you need?”. With RDAs, there are different kinds of decks, some of which are equipped for dual or even triple coils which allows for better production of vapor.

Vertical coil

Because of the way they extend upwards, which dramatically improves flavor and vapor production, vertical coils are becoming poplar and starting to overtake dual coils

vaporizer being smoked with a coil

Conclusion on Vape Coils

You can make or mar your vaping experience just by picking the right coil, which is why it’s important that you know what types there are, what their benefits are and the properties of each type. It will greatly help you by using this guide as a starting point, and then researching your coil before using it. Don’t forget to check if it is compatible with your vape pen or dry herb vaporizer device before using.


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