From navigating PG/VG ratios in your e juice to choosing between an e-cigarette, box mod or vape pod - understanding vaping equipment and the associated terminology can be a confusing experience. While you might understand the basics, how much do you know about vape coils? What are coils in vaping? What are the best coils for vaping? What’s the difference between vape coils? How long do vape coils last?
What is a Vape Coil?
Vape coils are a fundamental element in your e-cigarette or vaporizers functionality and without a vape coil, it would be practically impossible to vape. It's like playing football without a football or going sunbathing at night – one without the other will ultimately fail. The vape coils are the part of your e cigarette responsible for heating your e liquid and turning it into a vaporized state, ready for you to inhale. Vape coils are made from wire that is then wrapped in a spiral shape around the wicking material that absorbs the e liquid. The wire for the coil can be made from various conductive, heat-resistant materials, though most manufacturers will typically use stainless steel.
Both the coil and wicking material are part of the atomizer head found in your e liquid tank that is then attached to your e-cigarette battery. When you attach your e liquid tank to the battery, the coil is essentially connected to the power of the battery, which means when the battery is engaged and switched on, the coil will heat the wicking material that is submerged in e liquid of your tank. The battery-powered coils create a heat source, which in turn warms the e liquid to create vapour, which will then travel through your tank chimney ready for you to vape and inhale.
It’s not uncommon for experienced and advanced vapers to create their very own coil setups. Using mod kits, vapers can purchase special wires and wicking material, which is then used to build their very own systems. As the name suggests, mod kits or mod boxes, allow vapers to modify and adjust the components of their device which can then be tailored to create a bespoke vaping experience that is personal to them. Not necessarily suited to everyone, if you’re mechanically minded or prefer the thought of finding a vaping experience then modifying coils can be a pleasurable pastime. For those who want a fuss-free easy vaping experience, buying replacement coils is as easy as saying ‘atomizer’.
What are Atomizer Heads?
Remember that we mentioned vaping terminology to be confusing? No truer a statement can be said of coils and atomizer heads. Why? Similarly to the words ‘e-cigarette’ and ‘vaporizer’, vape coils and atomizer heads are often seen as one of the same thing. Where coils may specifically refer to the conductive wire that heats the wick, atomizer heads can be considered as the casing that houses the coil and wick together. Usually found at the bottom of your e liquid tank, the atomizer head will be connected to the battery for the coils to heat the wick and e liquid. Simple and straightforward a pack of 5 replacement coils can be bought for between £9 and £15 depending on the brand and manufacturer.
How Long Does a Vape Coil Last?
Fresh coils and atomizer heads can last from anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks depending on your usage. The key to telling when you need to change your coil is how you’re your vape tastes. If you fail to notice any difference in your vaping experience then the likelihood is that your coils and additional components are working the way they should. If you find that your favourite e liquid doesn’t taste so good anymore, then it’s time to take action.
If you love the taste of your vape, then your coils atomizer heads can and should be replaced in order to keep your vapour tasting fresh and flavourful. Without replacing these components, the flavour of your vape will diminish and the amount of vapour created will gradually reduce.
Replacing Vape Coils and Atomizer Heads
Replacing atomizers and vape coils is an easy process, though the method may differ depending on what kind of device you have.
If you use a simple e-cigarette like the V2 standard battery or EX series then you may be using a prefilled cartridge or filling your own mini tanks with your favourite e-liquids. Prefilled cartridges contain both e liquid and an atomizer head, which means that you will be replacing those components every time your cartridge runs out and you screw on a new one.
If you’re using a basic e-cigarette and refillable tank, then the atomizer head will be included in the base of the tank. This means that when you change your tank, you’ll be changing your coil and wick at the same time.
Top tip: If you notice that the wick in your tank has darkened in colour to a dark yellow or brown – it’s time to time to replace your components.
If you’re using a more advanced vape pen like the XEO VOID Vaporizer or a Vape Mod like the Innokin Proton or SMOK X-Priv, you’ll be able to purchase replacement coils that simply screw into the bottom of your e-liquid tank, where your used coil once was.
How Many Coils Do I Need?
You will find that as you browse vape coils that there may be some further vaping vocabulary that you may not be so au fait with. Vape coils are available as single-coil, dual-coil, quad coil and so on. As you may have guessed, this simply refers to how many coils and wicks it has. For instance, a single-coil will include just one coil and one wick, whereas a quad-coil will feature four coils and four wicks.
A single vape coil will use less battery than a quad coil because there is less wire to heat up and less work to do and will be the kind of coils that will be found in lower-powered devices such as an e-cigarette. The more coils and wick there is, the stronger the flavour produced and the larger the vapour cloud created.
Does it Matter What Kind of Coil I Use?
Due to the various shapes and sizes of vape devices created, choosing a coil that is compatible with your device is key. If you choose a coil that doesn’t fit together with your vaporizer, you probably won’t be vaping anytime soon.
Ohms: What Do They Mean?
You may have noticed that coils feature an ‘ohm’ specification. This is the measurement of electrical resistance of the vape coil and the wire that is used. Most vape coils will have an ohm range of 2.4 – 2.8 ohms, with 2.5 ohms proving a popular resistance for most vapers.
A high-ohm coil, typically used in a basic e-cigarette will use less power and will generally produce less vapour than a low-ohm coil. A good rule of thumb is to think that the higher the ohm, the higher the resistance which means, less flavour and vapour will be produced. Vapers who love to create huge vapour clouds will usually choose a low ohm or sub-ohm, which allows for more power to pass through the vape coils, which in turn will produce a stronger flavour and larger vapour cloud.
Do I need a Vape Coil?
Yes. Whether you’re directly replacing your vape coil or replacing a refillable tank that already includes a coil, vape coils are essential to vaping. Whether you can see it or not, every time you vape, there is a coil creating your vapour.