Buyingcoils and other vape gear used to be a lot more challenging than it is today.Vape pens and mods often didn’t include compatible tanks, and when they did, people often didn’t want to use them because their performance was so poor.Buying a new tank and coils for your vaping device, then, usually involved a lot of research to determinewhat your device was compatible with and what type of coil was most likely to deliverthe experience you wanted.
Today, though, buyingvape coils isa very different experience because you don’t have to put much thought into the process at all if you don’t want to.Whenyou buy a vaping device, it’ll almost always include a tank because the manufacturers of vaping products in China earn far more of their revenue from the sale of replacement coils than they do from the devices themselves.With that in mind, the manufacturershave a strong incentive to ensure that their tanks work well.You will probably like the tank included with your vaping device and may neverfeel the need to try any other tanks or different types of coils.
If you’reinterested in exploring other vape gear, though, this article is for you.In this quick start guide to buying vape coils,we’ll explainhow the different types of materialsthat manufacturers use for coils and wicks can affect your vaping experience. We’llalsoexplain what you need to consider when looking atcoil resistances. Let’s begin!
Are Any Third-Party Coils CompatibleWith My Vape Tank?
One of the interestingaspects of the early yearsof the vaping industry was the fact thatmany coils were interchangeable with coils made by other manufacturers.Today, though, coil compatibility is less common as tanks have become increasinglyproprietary and have featured increasingly advanced designs. You should assume thatyour vape tank will only work with coils made by the tank’s manufacturer unless youfindinformation to the contrary.
WhatIs Coil Resistance, and What Are Sub-Ohm Coils?
The resistance of a vape coil refers to the electrical resistance of theheating wire that vaporizes your e-liquid.If a coil has a higher resistance – 1.5 ohm, for example – it’s designed to operate at lower wattages andis intended for use in a smaller vaping device. If a coil has a lower resistance like 0.2 ohm, it’s designed to operate at higher wattages and should be used in a larger device like abox mod.
You can think of electrical resistance as being a bit like a water tap that you can use to restrict the flow of water or allow water through.The lower the resistance, the more current can flow through a component.A sub-ohm coil has a resistance lower than 1.0 ohm.
Coil resistance matters becausea coil with a lower resistance will draw a higher-amperage current from your vaping device’s battery.If your vaping device can’t support that current, it may not be safe to use.
The good news, though, is that coil resistance is rarely something you need to think about when buying vape gear. For several years now, all of the most popular vape tanks have used sub-ohm coils.Manufacturers design their vaping devices for compatibility with as many tanks as possible.If youhave a box mod or vape pen that you purchased within the last couple of years,it’s highly unlikely that you will experience a problem when using a sub-ohm vape coil.You can always confirmyour device’s supported resistance range, though, by consulting the instruction manual.
What AreKanthal, Stainless Steel and Other Coil Materials?
The metal that’s used for the heating element of a vape coilis what carries the current fromthe device’s battery and heats up to vaporize your e-liquid.Using a coil made from a different metal, therefore,changes your vaping experience bychanging your tank’s electrical characteristics as well as its flavour characteristics.
Kanthal is an alloy made from iron, chromium and aluminium.Because its electrical resistance remains steady when it’s heated, it’s popular for use in heating elements for products like toasters. It’s also the most commonmaterial for vape coils.Kanthal provides pure flavour and predictable performance, and it works in wattage mode only.It’s likely that almost every vape coil you’ve ever used has been made fromkanthal.
Stainless steel is the next most common vape coil material afterkanthal. Unlikekanthal, stainless steel coils work inwattage mode or temperature control mode, which makes it possible for you to set a maximum operating temperature for your coil. Likekanthal, though,stainless steel also offers excellent flavour characteristics.
Nichromeworks in wattage mode only. It’s a popular materialforexotic vape coils because it has a very low electrical resistance and therefore canreachhigh temperatures very quickly.Nichrome isn’t common in pre-built coil heads for vape tanks, but it is popular among those who userebuildable atomizers.
Nickel and Titanium
Nickel and titaniumare the only two coil materials that have ever been widely used and do not work in wattage mode.Because their electrical resistance changes greatly when they’re heated, they work only in temperature control mode.Temperature control vapingis a technology that was introduced several years ago, and it isn’t very popular today.For that reason – along with the fact thatstainless steel coils willalsowork in temperature controlmode for the few people who want to use it – you will not find titanium or nickel coils for any recent vape tank.
What Are Mesh Coils?
Until recently, the traditional heating element in a vape coilwas made from one or more wires twisted into one or more spiral shapes.A mesh coil is different because it’s made from a strip of metal mesh that looks a bit like a window screen.Unlike a traditional wound coil – which heats from the middle outward – the entire surface of a mesh coil heats simultaneously.The consistentheatingmakes mesh coils last longer and helps to prevent burned wicks.
In addition,a mesh coilprovides high surface area relative to its mass and can produce very large vapour clouds without requiring a high-wattage vaping device.
A mesh coil provides just about everything you could ever want in a vape coil, andyou should definitely try avape tank with a mesh coil if you’re looking for an upgrade.
WhatAre Cotton, Flax, Ceramic and Other Wick Materials?
The material usedas the heating surface isn’t the only important variablein the design of a vape coil. The othercrucial factor is the material used for the coil’s wick, because the wick is responsible for bringing e-liquid from the tank’s reservoir to the heating surface.The wick material affects thecoil’s flavour, performance and longevity.
Organic cotton is the standard wick material used in almost allvape coils.Cotton performs well enough for use in high-performance coils and has what most peopleperceive as a high-quality, neutral flavour. The only drawback of cotton wicks is that they burn easily. If youhave a vape coil with a cotton wick and forget to refill your tank,you may burn the wick – and even a tiny burned spot can ruin a coil’s flavour.
Flax and Hemp
Recently, vape manufacturers have experimented with alternative natural fibres such as flax and hemp in an attempt to improve the heat resistance of their coils. Manufacturers may use those alternative materials in conjunction with cotton or instead of it, and you may find that a coil using one of these materials lasts longer than one using cotton alone.
Ceramicwicks were popular for a while at the beginning of the sub-ohm vaping era because, unlike cotton, ceramic doesn’t burn.Ceramic wicks do have amajor drawback, though, in that theycan’t transport e-liquid as efficiently as cotton wicks.A vape coil with a ceramic wick can last a very long time due to the wick’s heat resistance. If you use a coil with a ceramic wick, though,you need to wait several seconds for the wick to replenish itself after each time you use your vaping device.
Silica is a durable wick material that’s resistant to heat. It doesn’t transport e-liquid very efficiently, but it’smuch easierfor manufacturersto work with than ceramic.Silica wicks are common in low-temperature vaping devices such aspod systems.
Rayon is somewhat popular as a wick material among vapers who build their own coils, but it is not used in any pre-built vape coils.People who use rayon wicks like them because they transport e-liquid very efficiently. If you use a coil with a rayon wick, the e-liquid moves across the wick so quickly that you don’t need to pause at all between puffs.Some people find, though, that a coil with a rayon wick can have an off-putting plastic flavour.