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Different Vape Coil Wire Types and What they Do, A Beginners Guide to Coils

Jordan Premonics | May 03 2019

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Different Types of Coil Wire and What they Do, A Beginners Guide to Coil Wire

If you’ve been vaping for awhile and you’d like to step up your game, but you don’t know which coil type is best for your TC mod then I’m here to help!I know I know, it’s a daunting challenge to figure out which type of coil wire is best for you. But don't sweat it, there’s a whole bunch of technical mumbo jumbo and sciency sounding buzzwords in the vaping industry, but it’s easier to understand than you might think. From Kanthal to Titanium, here’s the basics on vape coil wire types and how you should use them. 

Now, we could go deep into the science behind the molecular composition of coil wire metals and how different molecule structures in materials lead to differing electrical resistances due to each materials relative strength of electron bonds. But I’ll spare you the 4 year degree in electrical engineering and boil it down to this, different metals have different sensitivities to electricity.

When you fire your vape device an electric current runs from the battery and into your coil wire, the amount of electrical resistance, or ohms, determines how quickly that wire will heat up. The Ohm rating of any given coil depends on a number of factors including length of wire, style of coil wrap, amount of wires, and gauge of the coil wrap.

For this blog I’ll just focus on the electrical resistance and flavor each metal type provides, if you’d like to learn more about coil wire types leave me a message in the comment section and I’ll do a follow up blog.


Kanthal  

The workhorse of the vaping world, Kanthal wire is the cheapest to produce and delivers the best cost to performance ratio of any material on the market. Don’t be fooled by the affordable price though, because this wire definitely gets the job done.

There’s a reason why 90%+ of the prebuilt coils on the market utilize Kanthal wire. In addition to the low price point for manufacturers it’s also one of the most stable wires so there’s less of a chance for DOA wires. Only downside is you can’t use this wire with TC mode because the TCR of Kanthal is too hard to stably map.


Nichrome

An alloy composed of nickel and chromium, NiChrome heats up faster than Kanthal, producing more clouds and flavor with less ramp up time. Some people say that Nichrome gives off a cleaner taste than Kanthal wires but that’s a matter of debate.

Some people also might say that there is a risk of Nickel poisoning from NiChrome coils, but you’d have to heat it past the point that any TC settings will allow. This is a good wire for TC if you don’t want to spend extra for Stainless Steel.

Nickel

Nickel wire coils have, hands down, the fastest firing speed out of any wire material. Nickel is one of the few metals that has zero resistance, making it extremely sensitive to electrical charges.

This can be a great thing, but also a terrible thing. Nickel poisoning is a very real and dangerous issue and if you use these coils without a good Temperature Control system to regulate max temp, you could end up in the hospital. So don’t ever, ever, EVER, use Nickel coils in Variable Wattage or Bypass Modes, only Temperature Control.

Titanium

The highest performing coil wires of all are made with Titanium. The reason being, TI wire heats up fast, and cools down quickly which is crucial when testing a new coil build. Waiting for other coil wires to cool down is annoying and time consuming.

Most advanced vapers will agree that Titanium coils generate the best flavor out of any other coils on the market. But this is an advanced material that should only be used with Temperature Control. If you’re looking for the pinnacle of coil wire technology then Titanium wire is definitely for you.

Stainless Steel

If Kanthal is the workhorse of the vaping world then Stainless Steel is certainly the racing horse.  Stainless steel is known for its excellent flavor as well as lasting the longest in performance compared to the other wires on this list. It used to be harder to find Stainless Steel coils but in recent years more and more manufacturers are releasing SS316 prebuilt coil variants.

Actually, I think it's not too bold to say, if you’re just starting out with Temperature Control fire modes then Stainless Steel is probably your best bet. Its available in prebuilt coils so you can play around with it without having to buy a rebuildable tank and teach yourself about coil installation. SS316 coils were my first jumping off point into temperature control and I’ve never had any issues whatsoever with SS wire.


And that's that, try each wire type out and see for yourself what you like. Vaping is a very subjective hobby so realistically, if it makes you happy its good!

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