Beginner’s Guide To Vape Coils

If you’re new to e-cigs, you may find yourself struggling with some of the terminology, especially when one word is used to mean a few different things. Today we take a look at vape coils and explain exactly what they are, and how to make the most of them.

What is a coil?

E-cig coils are one of the most important components in an e-cigarette. Coils are responsible for heating up the e-liquid in your e-cig and turning it into vapour.

In strict terms, a vape coil is the wire wrapped in a spiral shape around your e-cig wicking material. Then it’s fitted in place in its e-cig atomizer head, the coil connecting the positive part of your battery to the negative. When you use your e-cig, the wick is usually saturated in e-liquid, the battery is turned on and heats up the coil, and the coil vapourises the e-liquid in the wick into vapour. The vapour then travels up trough your clearomizer or tank chimney, and you have vapour to inhale – just like that.

The wire for coils is made from a few different conductive, heat resisting materials, most commonly stainless steel.

Experienced vapers who use mod kits for sub ohm vaping will sometimes make their own coil setups. They purchase special alloy wires and their preferred wick material and then spend time tightly winding the coil wire, manually fitting it into their e-cig kit, and then feeding the wicking material through the middle of the coil. Most vapers, however, will purchase ready made replacement coils

What about atomizer heads?

Here’s where some confusion can come in. Atomizer heads are also known as coils, because they are replaceable components that include the wick, coil and casing all together. They are normally located at the bottom of your tank, so that the wick can absorb the e-liquid when it is in use or left to stand.

Purchasing a packet of replacement atomizer coils is an easy and safe way to make sure you keep your e-cigarette working properly. The old ‘coil’ (the coil, wick and casing) can be removed with a simple twist, and replaced with a new one, fuss-free.

You’ll see that vape coils come in single-coil, dual-coil, quad-coil, etc, configurations – this simply means that a single-coil has one wick and one coil wire, while a dual-coil has two wicks and two wire coils, and so on, heating the e-liquid together. Single coils take up less battery power and are easier for advanced vapers to build for their mod kits, while dual-coil, and above, builds make bigger clouds and produce stronger flavour. For most "classic" vapers, though, this won’t be a factor – it’s really something for sub-ohm vapers to think about.

What are ohms?

Your atomizer coil will have an ‘ohm’ specification on it, which is a measure of electrical resistance of the coil wire that is being used. Vape coils generally have an ohm range of 2.4-2.8 ohms, with lots of people enjoying a resistance of 2.5ohms.

Low ohm vape coils produce more vapour and flavour and case use more e-liquid and take more battery power than high ohms. High ohm e-cig coils produce less vapour and use less e-liquid and battery.

Sub-ohm vaping is when vapers use a coil with less than 1 ohm resistance, to produce huge vape clouds and intense flavour hits. You need a specific mod or battery that is compatible with low ohm coils - in other words, sub-ohm vape mods and tanks.

Sub-ohm vaping is generally enjoyed by experienced vapers. It’s a good idea to start vaping with an atomizer and coil in the 2.4-2.8ohm range and take it from there.

Do I have to replace the coil?

Vape coils do need to be replaced when the flavour of your e-liquid starts to tasted muted or, but thanks to the convenient setup of most atomizers this is a breeze. You simply buy a packet of replacement coils (or atomizer heads) for your e-cig, remove the old coil and pop a new one in! It's important to make sure you buy the correct coil for your e-cigarette model and make.

You’ll probably find that you need to change the coil every few weeks, or a little more if you’re a heavy vaper. You’ll know it’s time to change the coil if your vape clouds are significantly reduced in size, if there’s not much flavour from your e-liquids, or if there’s a strange or burnt taste to your vape.