E-cigarette coils are designed to be fitted into your vape tank or rebuildable atomizer. A coil consists of a strand of metal wire that is wrapped around a jig and cotton running through the center of the coil. The cotton absorbs the e-liquid and the wire heats up the saturated cotton which results in vapour production. The coil wires are manufactured in many different forms and materials, therefore it is important to know the different properties between the different materials so that you are able to distinguish which wire would best suit your vaping style. Let’s take a look at the different types of wire and you can decide which will work best for you:
Kanthal coil wire is the most common coil wire material found in vaping. The reason for this is because it is a cheap source and easy to use, providing good flavour and cloud production. Kanthal coil wire is found in both tank coils and prebuilt coils for rebuildable atomizer.
Available in a range of resistances, Kanthal wire provides versatility, working well for both direct lung and mouth to lung vaping. Kanthal can only be used in Variable Wattage mode, making it compatible with most vape mods thanks to its versatility.
Stainless Steel coil wire, often referred to as “SS”, is a versatile material for vape coils. It is the only kind of coil that can be used in both Variable Wattage Mode and Temperature Control Mode, making it a popular choice, particularly for advanced vapers. Stainless Steel heats up faster than your standard Kanthal wire and interferes less with the flavour delivery.
Nickel coil wire / NI200 is a firm favourite amongst experienced vapers and is used primarily in advanced vape devices and kits. Nickel coils can only be used in Temperature Control mode, but are reliable and perform well at high temperatures. Due to the high, Temperature Coefficient of Resistance, they’re ideal for cloud chasing and provides intense flavour. Due to its malleability and general softness as a metal, it can be difficult to build into an RDA, therefore it’s only recommended for advanced vapers.
NiChrome coil wire, or Ni80 as it’s more commonly known, is similar to Kanthal in that it’s readily available and can only be used in Variable Wattage Mode. This makes it ideal for different vape kits and devices and can be found in both subohm coils and prebuilt coils for rebuildable atomizers. NiChrome heats up faster than Kanthal, for a faster ramp up and large cloud production.
Titanium coil wire or Ti wire, whilst rare is growing in popularity within the ever-burgeoning vape market. This type of wire can only be used in Temperature Control Mode, which is employed on a number of advanced sub ohm vape devices. Ti coil wire works well at higher temperatures as it does not lose shape, meaning that its Ohm resistance remains consistent, and is easy to build with, making it ideal for cloud chasing.
Mesh coils have evolved into one of the most popular choices in vaping, for both beginners and experienced users alike. These coils are usually constructed from either Stainless Steel or Kanthal materials, and are widely available for most devices and RDAs nowadays. Providing a rich source of flavour due to the larger surface area heated, mesh coils replace the regular wire heating element used in standard coils and use metallic mesh instead. This results in faster firing, a longer lifespan and enhanced power efficiency altogether compared to conventional round wire coils.
Picking and using the right coil can make or break your vaping experience, therefore it’s essential that you know the benefits and properties of each type. I recommend that you use this guide as a starting point, and that you research your coil fully before using it. Always check the compatibility with your vape device before use. If you intend to use rebuildable atomizers, you need a comprehensive understanding of the technicalities of vaping, along with knowledge of electronics and Ohm’s Law. I generally would not advise any beginner vaper to start building coils until clued up, for their own health and safety.