​Everything You Need to Know About Vape Coils

​Everything You Need to Know About Vape Coils

Posted by Pure E-Liquids on 10th Jun 2020

Vape CoilsHave you ever wondered how your vaporizer works? Keen on knowing everything there is to know about vape coils? Whether you've just started using e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, or are a veritable veteran of vapes eager to explore some new ways to tailor your vaping experience to suit your tastes; we've got the ultimate guide to vape coils that will cater to your every need and desire.

Let's take a look at what precisely a vape coil is, as well as the different coils available to you, and how best to maintain your equipment to ensure a consistent and flavourful vape.

What is a Vape Coil?

If you're new to vaping, then it may seem that the vocabulary associated with vaping can seem vast and far-ranging. Whether it's e-liquids or batteries, it's safe to say that once you've got your head around the variety of components that are essential to vaping, you'll soon become accustomed to the fact that there are typically multiple words that are often used to describe the same thing. For instance, if you're talking about an e-cig, vape pen, or vape pod, while all three may have slightly different specifications and capabilities, all are vaporizers that are intended to be used with e-liquid.

But what is a vape coil we hear you ask? Similarly to other vaping products, vape coils are just one of the names given to this crucial component. Also known as atomizer heads, or clearomizers; vape coils are commonly used to describe the element and mechanism that converts energy from your battery which is then subsequently used to heat your e-liquid into a vaporized state ready for you to inhale. Found within your e-liquid tank or within the casing of a profiled e-liquid cartridge, whatever your chosen device, without a vape coil, you wouldn't be able to vape.

While vape coils and atomizers are often used to refer to the same part of your vaporizer they are two separate things. In fact, vape coils are found in atomizers, which can make it confusing, but we'll attempt to explain why the words are often used in the same breath to describe the same thing. Whether you call it a vape coil or an atomizer, the functionality of this crucial component remains relatively the same. Within an atomizer head, you'll find wicking material which is often made from cotton, and it is this material that is used to absorb and soak up the e-liquid in your tank. The wicking material is attached to the wire coil, which is where the term' vape coil' is derived from. When you vape, the battery heats the coil, which in turn vaporizes the e-liquid that has absorbed into the wicking material, which is now ready for you to vape.

Different Types of Vape Coils

There are a variety of coils available which will effectively do the same job, however, what the coils are made from and how many many coils the set up has will alter the flavour and vapour production that your device produces. Where initially vape coils might have a single coil, you can now find dual coils, quadruple coils and even mesh coils. The more coils there are, the more power will be able to be transferred from your battery to the atomizer head, and in turn your e-liquid. Where a dual or quadruple coil will use multiple coils to heat your wicking material, mesh coils are strips of metal with tiny holes punched into them. The various holes create a larger surface area in which to heat your wicking material, which in turn will produce more vapour production and more flavour at the same time.

While not every coil might not be suitable for your specific device, when you buy a vape coil always ensure that it's compatible with your device and, more importantly, will suit your needs as a vaper. Let's take a quick look at some of the materials used to make vape coils and how they might affect your vape.

Ceramic: a porous material, ceramic coils are known to enhance the flavour of your vape compared to other materials that are used to produce vape coils. Smooth to vape and particularly suited to the high wattages that vape mods are capable of.

Stainless Steel: A commonly used material for vape coils, stainless steel coils are renowned for their durability and ability to last a long time. A hardy material that has excellent resistance to high temperatures.

Kanthal: Made from a combination of aluminium, iron and chromium, kanthal vape coils are particularly suited to high wattage vape mods. With a super quick heat up time, expect some serious vapour production.

Does It Matter What Kind Of Coil I Use?

Yes. Using the correct coils for your device and purpose will play a crucial role in your experience. If you intend to sub-ohm vape and cloud chase, using a coil that that has a resistance of less than 1 ohm will set you on course to create massive clouds in an instant. Use a coil that has a resistance of more than one, and you're likely to be huffing and puffing without the kind of vapour production that you expected.

When it comes to brands and devices, using something like the SMOK TFV12 Prince Coils in a device such as Vaporesso's Target PM80 Sub-Ohm vape Pod, will likely result in damage to at least one aspect of your device and coil. Always make sure you find out which coils are compatible with your device and avoid buying products that aren't brand specific.

What Do Ohms Mean?

If your last science lesson happened to occur many moons ago, then fear not, for we're here for a little physics refresher on the subject of ohms. Rather than the mantra that you may vocalize at the beginning of your weekly yoga class, ohms are in fact the units used to describe the measurement of electrical resistance between two points of a conductor. The greater the resistance means that less charge will be able to get through.

The scientific equation used to work this out is: I = V/R. 'I' represents the current, 'V' voltage and 'R' is the resistance. When the voltage is higher, and the resistance (ohms) is lower, the current will be more powerful. Alternatively, when the voltage is divided by a higher number, the current will be lower.

But what does this mean when it comes to vaping your favourite e-liquid? In the instance of vaping, the conductor is the vape coil made of stainless steel which is found within your atomizer casing. A low resistance coil that is used for sub-ohm vaping will use more power, which may impact the battery life of your device. Because you're using more energy, you'll consequently heat your e-liquid to a hotter temperature and in turn, create some fairly sizeable vapour clouds. Sub-ohm vaping, which is often used for cloud chasing, is when the level of ohms is lower than one.

Does it Matter What Kind of E-Liquid I Use?

The kind of e-liquid you use with specific vape coils will very much depend on what you want from vaping. Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) are the dominant liquids that are used as carriers for the nicotine in your e-liquid. Each has different viscosities and qualities that will react differently to the temperatures achieved by your vape coils. PG is thinner in relation to VG and will typically enhance the flavour of your vape. VG, on the other hand, is an altogether thicker substance that is great for producing the thick vapour clouds commonly associated with cloud chasing.

If chasing clouds is your thing, then vape coils designed explicitly for sub-ohm vaping should be used with an e-liquid that has a high VG content of over 70%. While it may not have much bearing on the longevity of your coil, the experience of vaping a high PG content e-liquid in a sub-ohm vaping device may not be the experience that is suited to you staying satisfied and staying smoke-free.

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Low Resistance Coils vs High Resistance Coils

The difference between low resistance coils and high resistance coils will be the difference between the size of vapour clouds that can be achieved by each one.

High resistance coils are typically found in standard e-cigarettes and have a resistance that exceeds 1ohm. Using less power, which means an extended vaping time before you have to re-charge again, the size of the vapour cloud will be smaller than those seen by cloud chasers. Using less e-liquid, you’ll also reduce the amount of e-liquid you need to buy. Suitable for most e-cigs, the low temperatures that you’ll vape at will minimize the number of carcinogens released, thus making them less harmful than devices with a more powerful output.

Devices with high resistance coils are great for those new to vaping keen to discover what they need to curb their nicotine cravings. Inhaling a nicotine-based aerosol from your vaporizer is different from inhaling smoke from a cigarette, so it’s important to let your body acclimate to this new way of absorbing nicotine.

If you’re thinking about cloud chasing and producing huge plumes of vapour, then low resistance coils will be the preferred option. These coils will have a resistance of less than 1ohm, which in the vaping world is often referred to as sub-ohm. Providing easier access for the electrical current from your battery to heat your e-liquid, low resistance coils will use more battery power to heat your e-liquid to a higher temperature. This also means that should you repeatedly produce vast amounts of vapour; you’ll inevitably use up your e-liquid at a much faster rate.

Low resistance coils found in sub-ohm devices such as the GeekVape Aegis X are more suited to vapers who have been vaping for some time, as well as those looking for a more customized experience. Rather than the devices that have high resistance coils that allow vapour to travel mouth to lung (MTL), low resistance coils provide a supercharged cloud of vapour that travels directly to your lungs (DTL). If you’re new to vaping, this kind of inhalation may be off-putting, thus tainting your experience of vaping and making you more likely to return to those nasty cigarettes. 

When Should I Change My Vape Coil?

There's no escaping the fact, that changing your vape coil is part and parcel of enjoying your vaping experience. Where the longevity of your device might see you through the time spent quitting smoking, coils and atomizers will inevitably need to be replaced depending on how often you vape and how hot the temperature of your vape is. But just how long does a vape coil last? A new coil can last from anywhere between 3 days and two weeks subject to their usage. By looking after your coils and regularly cleaning your equipment, you'll soon find that you are replacing your coils less frequently and save some money at the same time.

Because everybody will vape slightly differently, pinpointing an exact time and date for your coil change will depend on how frequently vape, the temperature that you vape at, the output of watts from your device, and even the kind of e-liquid you use. If you're regularly chasing clouds using a high VG content e-liquid, your wicking materials will become overused and essentially become burnt out. This means that you'll need to replace your coils sooner than those who might casually vape a few times a day.

But how do you know when it is time to change your vape coils? There are, of course, a few telling signs that will give you the indication that a change is due soon. If the flavour of your vape has become burnt and tastes off, then the likelihood is that it's time to change. Visually, you'll be able to tell if your coils are burnt out because they'll be stained.

How Do You Change a Vape Coil

Whether you need to unscrew or pull out, coils will vary depending on the device used. However, there is a general rule that will enable you to change your vape coil like a pro.

  1. Remove the e-liquid tank from the battery.
  2. Turn the tank upside down and unscrew the cap found on the bottom.
  3. Carefully unscrew the coil head from the cap and replace with your new coil.
  4. Prime your wicks by dripping a small amount of e-liquid onto the exposed cotton of your new coil. This initial priming will mean that you will be able to vape quicker without getting a dry hit.
  5. Re-attach the cap and new coil to your tank and carefully fill with e-liquid.
  6. Give your kit the once over and ensure that there are no leakages or spillages.
  7. Give your new coil a second priming and leave your tank for 5 minutes to enable the wicks to become fully saturated with e-liquid.
  8. If all looks shipshape, re-attach your tank to the battery.
  9. Vape away.

Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt When It's a New Coil?

You've just changed your vape coil for the first time and are feeling pretty satisfied with yourself. Caught up in the excitement of your achievement, you promptly switch on your vaporizer and get set to enjoy your first vape with a new coil. Hastily inhaling your first puff, you notice that the taste of your vape isn't what it once was. In fact, it tastes distinctly burnt. But why does my vape taste burnt when it's a new coil? Deflated and left wondering how your vape experience could go from hero to zero in one vape coil change, there is a simple explanation on hand that will delineate your woe. The answer to your question is that you haven't primed your vape coils correctly and as a result, your wicking material is left looking burnt, withered and virtually unusable in its current guise.

While it might seem that ordering another brand new coil might seem like an immediate solution, it might not be too late to save you from binning your burnt coil. By cleaning your vape coil, you might just be able to remove the burnt elements of your wick and rejuvenate the taste of your vape.

How Do You Clean a Vape Coil?

Vaping has proved to be an excellent tool for many smokers to stop smoking. An essential aspect of staying smoke-free is how enjoyable the experience of vaping is. A lousy tasting vape will always leave a bad taste in the mouth, and its these little niggles that may feasibly put off even the most stoic of smoke-free seekers. Ensuring that your vaping equipment is well maintained and kept clean is an essential aspect of vaping that for one reason or other can easily be an afterthought once it's too late. Getting into the habit of maintaining your equipment once a week will mean that you spend less money on replacing components that you really didn't need to, should you have taken the time to be a little more mindful.

Rather than letting your wicks and vape coils become burnt out, a relatively quick clean will ensure that you don't have to replace them sooner than you needed to. Cleaning your vape coil is easy and will quickly restore your vape coil to a state that enables your vape to taste fresh, clean and oh so sweet. Follow the simple steps found below and let your vape taste great once again.

  1. Remove your vape coil, including wicking material from the coil head and place into a small bowl of warm water. The warm water will loosen up any e-liquid residue that has built up over time.
  2. Remove the warm water and replace with cold water. Any burnt bits of e-juice that have stained your wick should fall off, and your coil will be left looking almost brand new again.
  3. Leave to dry completely and fix back into position within the coil head.
  4. Once dry, ensure that you prime your coils sufficiently before vaping again to avoid undoing all your hard work and burning your coil once again.

At the same time, as cleaning your vape coil, we would be remiss not to recommend cleaning your coil head and e-liquid tank a good clean. Add both components to a bowl of hot water and add a little lemon juice or vinegar. Wash the parts and dry each element with a paper towel before leaving to air dry for at least 15 minutes. Carefully reassemble, before re-attaching your newly cleaned vape coil ready for priming and more importantly vaping.

How To Prime a Vape Coil

The taste of your vape will be determined by how well your vape coils have been primed. Rather than a verb used to describe one who might have shopped with a popular online retailer, when it comes to vaping, we actually mean the adequate readying of one's vaping apparatus. Priming your vape coil is essential to avoiding a dry tasting vape, which is the result of an unusually dry wick. Another side effect of not priming your coils properly is the potential for your wick to burn, thus rendering it tainted and producing some pretty bad tasting vapes. Allowing a suitable amount of time for your e-liquid to fully absorb into your wicking material, means that you'll enjoy a far more flavourful vape with the vapour production to match.

Priming your vape coil is easy and straightforward. Simply fill your tank with e-liquid and allow the tank to stand for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. The longer you leave your e-liquid, the better as your wick will become fully saturated, and ready for a great tasting vape.

Depending on what ingredients are used in your e-liquid will also have some bearing on how long you should prime your coils. E-liquid with a high PG content will usually be thinner and will, therefore, absorb into the wicking material reasonably quickly. E-liquid with a high VG content will typically be thicker and will consequently require slightly longer for your wicking material to absorb the e-liquid. If you're ever in any doubt about how long to leave your coils priming for, just leave it a little longer and prepare to enjoy a particularly tasty vape.

What are the Best Vape Coils to Help Me Stop Smoking?

As we've mentioned, the vape coil you use will typically be specifically designed to work in conjunction with your chosen vaporizer, and the battery housed within that device. As such, the idea of letting you know which are the best vape coils is akin to saying what the best coffee pods are for your coffee machine. Unfortunately, there's not a one size fits all scenario, however, when it comes to letting you know about the best vape coils are for helping you to quit smoking, the answer is much more straightforward.

Vaping has helped millions of smokers across the globe quit smoking. Because smoking requires the combustion of tobacco, which subsequently unleashes a plume of tar, carbon monoxide and tens of thousands of carcinogens into the body, the impact on one's health can lead to numerous smoking-related diseases which are well documented.

Heating a nicotine-based e-liquid into a vaporized state means that you significantly reduce the harm to your health, as stated by Public Health England's report on vaping. Vaping is up to 95% less harmful than smoking; however, the operative words in this sentence are 'up to'. Where cigarettes burn at temperatures between 400C and 900C, e-cigarettes and vaporizers tend to heat e-liquid to temperatures between 200C and 250C. The key to vaping as safely as possible is for your e-liquid to be heated at the lower end of this spectrum. Any higher over 250C and you will be in danger of burning your e-liquid, and the wicking material within your coil, which will ultimately pose more risk and release the levels of carcinogens usually associated with smoking.

With this in mind, opting for a lower-powered e-cigarette, such as Vapour2's e-cigarette starter kit will ultimately be posing less harm to your health, while still providing the nicotine you need to quit smoking as safely as vaping allows you to. If you're using box mods or vape pens that enable sub-ohm vaping and the capabilities for cloud chasing, vape sensibly and avoid overheating your coils. Vaping should only be undertaken by those looking to quit cigarettes and for those aiming to lead a healthier lifestyle. Because e-liquid is available in several nicotine strengths, you'll be able to decrease your nicotine consumption and eventually become nicotine-free too.