A Guide to Vaping: What Is A Vape Coil?
Vapes, coils, atomizers, mods, the list of different vape components seems endless. Whether you're entering the vape scene for the first time or a tried-and-true vaper, the terminology can seem overwhelming at times. The truth is, mods are as unique as the users that handle them, with countless ways to customize the experience. With this in mind, our purpose here is to tackle one of many questions confronting new users: what is a coil?
Simply speaking, the heating coil is what creates the vapor in a personal vaporizer. A coil is just what it sounds like – wire wrapped into a circular pattern and attached to an atomizer. As electricity is applied to the wire the coil heats, causing liquid absorbed by a wicking medium inserted in the center of the coil to vaporize.
Here's where things become more complicated. While the process of vaporization is simple, there are a variety of coil designs to make this process happen. Coils can be made of various metals, which include Kanthal, nickel, stainless steel, and titanium. Not only that, but clearomizer "coils" are actually a combination of coil, wick, and atomizer that can all be installed at once and thrown away when they age, rather than rebuilt with fresh wicking to extend their life.
While the customization and do-it-yourself aspects of the vape industry are quite appealing to many vape users, is there a difference between store bought pre-built and handmade coils? It honestly all comes down to taste – longtime builders swear that their coils produce flavor and vapor unrivaled by any factory setup, though the gap is closing.
There are positives to both pre-built and handmade coils. With pre-built coils, you have convinience. When your coil needs replaced, you can replace it with a pre-built one and be back to vaping in no time. Pre-built coils are perfect for the person on the go, you can replace your coil and be on your way.
Handmade coils bring a bit of a challenge, yet can reduce cost when used in a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) or rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA or RBA). Handmade coils also allow for customized building – just check YouTube or the vape forums for endless elaborate and even artful twisted wire creations. Some find the process of coil building to be relaxing, while others would rather not even think about building a coil on their own.
If you want to take on the challenge of handmade coils you will need the following materials:
- Resistance wire
- Flush cutters
- A small screwdriver, or coiling tool
- Wicking material (like organic cotton)
- An ohm reader (this should perhaps be #1 – YOU NEED TO CHECK THE RESISTANCE OF YOUR COIL BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO VAPE IT)
There are many types of coil builds, but it's best to keep it simple for your first build. We've got your back if you're ready to jump into custom coils – look here, here, and here for our three-part guide that will have you building efficiently and safely in no time.
There are pros and cons to handmade coils. The process can take a bit of time, and requires some skill. However, if you want to have the handmade coil experience, without the time commitment, you can always check out Clean Builds Handmade Coils from Dotmod – these are already wound and ready to install for a custom style with maximum convenience.
Whether it be prebuilt or handmade, vaping is about expression and freedom. Find what works best for you and fire away!