Vape Coils and Atomisers 101
Posted 23rd Dec 2016 to Vaping News
“Coil” is the term used for the heating element in a vaping device, which is a coil of wire which heats eliquid when the battery is fired up. It is contained within the atomiser, as in the diagram below. This can be confusing as coils are sometimes referred to as atomisers, even though the atomiser is the container for the coil. While some coils are manufactured to last longer than others, they need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis.
How long do coils last?
This really depends on the kind of eliquid you are vaping, how much you vape, and how much power your device uses. It could be anywhere from a week to a few months depending on all of these factors.
On the eliquid front, flavours that are more acid, such as fruit flavours, will cause the coil to degrade faster. The thickness of the eliquid also plays a key role - the higher the viscosity, the quicker your coils will burn out. Vegetable glycerin is much thicker than propylene glycol, so if you are vaping a blend with more vegetable glycerin, your coil will burn out faster because it will get gunked up more easily.
If you are a heavy vaper, and/or are using a higher powered device, you will need to replace your coils more regularly. More use and more power will burn out coils faster.
How do I know if my coil is going bad?
You will notice a slight burnt taste on your vape consistently when your coil is close to dying. When it is dead, it will no longer heat and it will not produce vapour. Some designs may also leak and/or produce a gurgling sound when the coil starts to fail; well-manufactured vape kits generally will not leak, but they will gurgle. A fresh coil always makes for a better vaping experience, so you should change it out if you begin to notice any of these signs.
How do I change my coil?
You’ll need to purchase the correct coil that goes with your device. As you may need one every few weeks to a few months depending on the factors listed above, it’s a good idea to buy a couple at a time so you have a backup. Follow the instructions you received with your kit. If you no longer have the instructions, an Internet search for “how do I change the coil on (your device)” will usually turn up the proper results.
Can I build my own coil?
Building your own coil is an intensive process, but it can be done. Many vaping enthusiasts build coils, and lots of material can be found on coil building in vaping forums and hobbyist websites. Overall, it is much simpler to purchase replacement coils. Safety should be a primary concern since you are dealing with a heated device, so be extremely careful and do your research if you want to get into coil building. You may want to learn in person from an experienced coil builder rather than going with advice off the Internet.
Do different materials and construction make for better coils?
Vape coils are made from a number of different materials. Stainless steel, titanium, kanthal, nichrome, and nickel are the most popular materials used. Some vapers say that titanium offers the best flavour, and stainless steel is the longest-lasting.
Coils also come in different wire configurations. A fused Clapton coil, for example, is two wire strands which run in a parallel design with a thinner gauge of wire wrapped around them. A Clapton coil only has one strand, with the thinner gauge of wire wrapped around it. There are proponents and opponents to each design and material, and it will come down to your own experience to figure out what your preference is.
If you would like to ensure a steady supply of coils for your device, we have a coil subscription service which will deliver the coils for your specific device on a monthly basis. Just choose your device, how many coils you want to be shipped on a monthly basis, and they’ll be shipped to you regularly. You can stop the service or change the coil selection at any time.