The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Vape Coils

Ultimate Guide To Vape Coils

What are Vape Coils?

Feeling wound up about vape coils? Not to worry, our comprehensive guide will help you to wrap your head around all the facts in no time!

Much like us, vaping devices have their own anatomy, with each part serving a vital purpose. You can think of coils as the heart of any vape device - they are responsible for heating e-liquids within the tank and turning it into smooth-tasting vapour which you can inhale. 

How do Vape Coils Work?

How Does Vape Coil Works

Once the e-liquid has been drawn onto the atomizer by the cotton wick, your vaping device’s battery pushes electricity through the coil to create tasty vapour that is then inhaled.

Although all vape coils have the same fundamental purpose to vaporise e-liquids, there are multiple variants you can try, each with different results. Certain types of wire and wick can perform differently to produce greater vapour production, strengthen e-liquid flavour, or even increase the lifespan of your coil.

There are a few specific wire materials to choose from, including:

  • Kanthal (Mesh coil)
  • Stainless steel
  • Nichrome (Mesh coil)
  • Nickel
  • Titanium

What are the Different Types of Vape Coils?

  1. Temperature Control Vape Coils: Found in advanced kits with Temperature Control mode, temperature control coils use materials such as nickel or stainless steel for the wire. Temperature Control mode enables you to adjust the maximum temperature your coils will reach, allowing your device to alternate between the correct wattage output as you vape.
  2. Ceramic Vape Coils: These coils either include a porous ceramic wick rather than a regular cotton wick, or a mixture of both. Ceramic coils are known to last longer than regular coils, and offer a number advantages, including a reduced risk of spitback, boosted e-liquid flavour, and quicker heating times at lower wattages.
  3. Mesh Vape Coils: Mesh coils have a curved mesh net rather than a wound piece of wire like regular coils. Due to the net’s larger surface area, mesh coils are able to heat up e-liquid faster, which in turn improves e-liquid flavour and vapor production. Mesh coils can also prevent hot spots, meaning they tend to last longer than standard coils.

What is Coil Resistance and Ohms?

An Illustration Showing What is Coil Resistance and Ohms

As well as varying materials and structure, vape coils can be chosen in terms of their resistance type, each with their own benefits. This is determined by the unit Ohms, in which lower measurements are able to produce more cloud vapour. If you choose to vape with a coil resistance of less than 1.0 Ohm, this is known as a sub ohm or direct to lung coil, while vaping above 1.0 Ohm is referred to as a mouth to lung coil coil.

Mouth to Lung (MTL) Vape Coils

MTL refers to the beginner-friendly method of vaping, which involves slowly drawing vapour into the mouth before pausing and inhaling it into the lungs. Mouth to lung coils are high resistance (1.0 Ohm or higher), which means they produce less vapour but are able to provide enhanced e-liquid flavour. Due to their low vapour production, MTL coils also tend to last longer.

Sub Ohm Vape Coils / Direct to Lung (DTL) Coils

DTL is considered to be the more advanced method of vaping, which involves inhaling vapour directly into the lungs with one 3-5 second long draw. Sub Ohm / Direct to lung coils are low resistance (less than 1.0 Ohm) with the ability to produce larger vapour clouds.

Rebuildable Vape Coils

Rebuildable vape coils take flavour and cloud production one step further than Sub Ohm / Direct to Lung coils. Experienced vapers with good knowledge of Ohm’s law and battery safety may choose to rebuild coils in order to use specific resistance levels and other metals, such as Titanium or Nickel. In turn, this allows people to create highly personalised custom vaping sessions that can’t be experienced when using other coils.

What is Ohm's Law?

What is Ohms Law

Put simply, Ohm’s Law defines the relationship between voltage, current and resistance. Vapers who use customised coils use this formula to find out how much power their coil consumes, and whether or not it is safely compatible with their device’s battery.

Which E-liquids Should I use with my Vape Coil?

E-liquids are formulated with a mixture of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), and optional nicotine. E-liquids which contain a higher percentage of PG will be of a thinner concentration and require less power to be vaporised. Contrastingly, e-liquids with higher VG percentages are distinctly thicker and require more power. Moreover, e-liquids with a higher PG concentration are able to produce more flavour, whereas a higher VG consistency is able to produce larger clouds.

For the best experience with a MTL coil, aim to vape e-liquids which contain 50% PG (propylene glycol) or higher in concentration. For sub ohm / direct to lung coils, we recommend using e-liquids with a VG (vegetable glycerine) consistency of 60% or above.

If you will be using nicotine based e-liquids with a sub ohm coil, it’s advised to stay with flavours below 6mg.This is because high powered devices can produce stronger levels of nicotine that may be undesirable for vapers. You can read more about e-liquid ratios here!

How do I Fit in my Vape Coil?

Installing a coil into your vape device involves three simple steps:

  • Inspect the coil’s condition. If your coil and tank has O-rings, check that they aren’t damaged.
  • Fit the coil into the base of the tank and tighten by hand with a suitable amount of force that will allow you to unscrew it.
  • Fill your tank with your favourite e-liquid, then leave your device upright for 5-10 minutes to give the juice a chance to soak and saturate in your coil.

If you’ve purchased a kit with a pre-installed coil, it’s always worthwhile to double check if it has been firmly secured inside the tank before hitting your vape.

Why do Vape Coils go Bad?

Vape coils work hard in high temperatures to heat up your e-liquid, so it’s only expected that they’ll have a limited lifespan.The most common reason as to why coils break is because of repeated heating and cool downs. The longevity of a vape coil can be subject to several other factors - these include avoiding chain vaping, and opting for lower VG or more subtly flavoured e-liquids.

How often should I change my Vape Coil?

Most vapers find that their coil needs changing every one to four weeks. It’s possible to clean coils in hot water by letting them soak for several hours, but the best solution is to simply replace it. A burnt out coil that has gone well beyond its lifespan can make your vaping experience unpleasant, so it’s important to keep on top of the signs that your coil needs replacing.
Stock up on Innokin's vape coils to keep your vaping experience flying high in the clouds at top performance.