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Vape Coils

Vape Coils

Vape coils are small components that play a huge part in defining your vape experience – and choosing wisely can make all the difference. Selecting the right coil for vape sessions means getting to put your personal vape priorities first, including flavor, cloud production, and the like. However, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming, especially when there are so many different options out there. But that's where we come in.

Guide to Vape Coils 2022

The DIRECTVAPOR team has put together a comprehensive guide to vape coils, covering all the basics you need to know to make the right choice for your vape set-up. We're tackling the most common questions about coils and simplifying a topic that every vaper needs to understand. 

What Is a Vape Coil?

Vape coils are made of ceramic or various types of metal and are the heating element that warms your e-liquid to the point of vaporization. A coil is made up of a thin, precisely-wrapped wire (in a spiral shape), which receives power from the vape battery. As the coil heats up, so does your vape's wicking material, creating the fantastically fluffy vapor you know and love.

Coils are a fundamental component of your vape set-up and essential to a functioning device. Technically, even though they are widely referred to as "coils," they are actually "atomizer heads" (the coil is one part inside the atomizer. But when someone asks, "what is the atomizer on a vape?" they're mainly interested in almost always having to do with the coils.

Types of Vape Coils

There are many different vape coil types, each producing a varying effect on cloud production and flavor. With several different materials to choose from, you have the power to completely customize your vape experience simply by switching up your coils.

Ceramic Coils

Ceramic vape coils are popularly paired with high-powered mods, largely because they can tolerate high wattage levels. Because ceramic is porous, it allows for excellent airflow and provides an incredibly smooth draw. Ceramic coils are also said to enhance e-juice flavor.

Stainless Steel Coils

Stainless steel vape coils come in multiple "grades," such as 430-grade stainless steel. Each has slightly different properties, but most are similarly versatile and durable. Steel coils can be used in wattage or temperature control modes, so they offer a certain level of flexibility that not all coils do.

Titanium Coils

Titanium vape coils are intended to be used only with temperature control mode, mainly because titanium is one of the more flammable coil materials. Many vape mods are equipped with a mode specifically designed for use with titanium coils ("TC Ti"). Titanium can be slightly more expensive but delivers an impressively clean, crisp flavor.

Kanthal Coils

Kanthal vape coils are a hugely popular option, both in pre-made and DIY vape coils. Kanthal is a blend of iron, aluminum, and chromium, making it extremely easy to work with. Because it heats up very quickly, a kanthal coil can produce an excellent amount of vapor. Keep in mind that kanthal coils are only compatible with specific wattage modes.

Nickel Coils

Nickel vape coils most often come in the form of Ni200, a 99.6% nickel alloy that is going to be your best option. Nickel is an ideal match for low-resistance vaping, which is why you'll see many temperature-control vape mods recommended for use with nickel coils. However, nickel isn't a good fit for variable wattage or voltage, and some people may have a mild allergy to nickel.

Nichrome Coils

Nichrome is an 80/20 combination of chromium and nickel, resulting in a fast-heating alloy that offers reliable cloud production and an enjoyably warm vape. Nichrome coils don't have oxidation issues, so you can count on a clean, unaltered e-juice flavor. Be aware that nichrome coils are only usable in wattage mode.

Vape Coils: Understanding Ohms

If you've ever heard your fellow vapors talk about "ohms," they were referring to coil resistance.

Every coil has a specific electrical resistance value measured in ohms. This resistance value affects a vape device's performance and, in turn, your vape experience. Generally, coils fall into two categories: high resistance (sub-ohm) and low resistance (plus-ohm).

Sub-Ohm coils

A low resistance, or sub-ohm coil, is one with a resistance level less than 1.0 ohm. Usually, this type of coil requires a higher-powered device.

Sub-ohm coils are known for:

  • Producing larger vapor clouds and warmer vapor

  • Using more e-liquid

  • Not being compatible with all types of vapes

Plus-Ohm Coils

If a coil has a resistance level above 1.0 ohm, it is categorized as a plus-ohm coil. These are the coils that many vapers use for a "standard" experience. Plus-ohm vape coils are associated with:

  • Smaller vapor clouds and cooler vapor

  • Using less e-liquid

  • Being compatible with the majority of vapes

How to Clean Vape Coils

Although you definitely can't "wash" vape coils, you can do a little cleaning to keep them working properly. Whatever you do, don't attempt anything that will get your coils wet – they'll quickly be ruined. However, you do have options for dealing with dirty coils.

Certain e-liquids can lead to a gunky buildup on the coils, which can cause issues with your vape experience. But with a cleaning technique known as "dry burning," you can get rid of the excess gunk and get your coils back in working order.

  • Remove the wicking material.

  • Pulse the firing button to heat up the coil in two-second bursts until it glows orange.

  • When you see vapor begin to form, simply blow it away to help "burn off" the e-juice gunk.

  • Once you've gotten rid of as much gunk as you can, let the coil cool down completely.

  • Blow on the coil one last time, just in case any bits of gunk are left.

  • Re-wick and reassemble your device, then vape as you normally would.

Be aware that not all coil types can be cleaned, so this method may not work for you. For example, with a pod system, you can't access the coils for cleaning – so replacement is your only option.

When to Replace a Vape Coil

Vape coils don't last forever, and regular vape coil replacement is necessary for a quality vape experience. There's not necessarily a hard and fast rule when it comes to how often to replace vape coils, mostly because it depends on a multitude of factors. 

Some of the things that can affect vape coil replacement frequency include:

  • How often you vape

  • Wattage

  • Voltage

  • E-juice flavor and formulation

How Long Do Vape Coils Last?

As we said, there's no exact timeline for vape coil replacement. However, there are some loose guidelines that you can keep in mind.

  • Heavy vapers will generally need to replace vape coils at least once a week. This rule of thumb is particularly true for sub-ohm vapers.

  • Moderate vapers (for example, those who vape throughout the day but only take a few drags at a time) should aim for a coil change every two weeks or so.

  • Light vapers can often get away with coil replacement every three or four weeks, especially if you're using a mouth-to-lung (MTL) vape.

  • Vapers that use pod vape systems usually get 3-5 days out of a coil since these devices use smaller coils.

How to Make Vape Coils Last Longer

Buying replacement coils are just a part of vaping, but it's always handy to know how to minimize the frequency with which you have to replace your coils - after all, that's time and money you can save.

If you want to extend the lifespan of vape coils as much as possible, you can:

  • Remember to always prime your vape coils.

  • Avoid taking dry/burnt hits.

  • Use lower wattage levels.

  • Regularly clean your coils.

How to Know When to Change a Vape Coil

There are plenty of red flags that your coil requires replacement, and most of them are pretty tough to miss. Here are some common signs that it's time for a new coil:

  • Your vapor has lost some of its flavor, or it has a burnt quality to the taste

  • Your vape has started leaking

  • You experience e-liquid "spit-back."

  • You see a decline in cloud production

How to Replace a Vape Coil

Every vape device and coil varies slightly, but the process for replacing a coil is pretty standard across the board. Depending on your vape, you might need to unscrew a coil rather than just pulling it out. But from there, there are a handful of basic steps for coil replacement that you can use as a guide.

  • Disassemble the vape, removing the battery from the tank.

  • Carefully turn the tank upside down, removing the bottom cap.

  • Unscrew the coil/atomizer head from the tank's bottom cap.

  • Screw the new coil onto the bottom cap.

  • Place a drop of e-liquid onto each coil's wicking ports to prevent dry hits.

  • Reassemble your vape tank, then fill it with your preferred e-liquid.

  • Double-check that there are no leaks or spills and that the device has been properly put back together.

  • Reinstall the vape battery.

Priming Your Coils: A Critical Step

Even though the replacement process takes just a few seconds, far too many vapers miss an incredibly important part: priming the new coils.

Once you learn how to prime vape coils, you'll be able to extend coil lifespan and enjoy the highest-quality vape experience possible. Trust us; it's more than worth it.

  • First, switch out the old coil for the new one.

  • Then, thoroughly saturate the vape's wicking material with e-juice. Look for the juice holes on the body section of the coil/atomizer head, where the wicking material is exposed to e-juice when you vape. Put a single drop of e-liquid into each of these holes and directly inside the atomizer head.

  • Finish reassembling the vape, and refill it with e-juice as you normally would.

  • Take four to five dry hits to help move the e-juice from the tank to the wicking material, so it is properly saturated. 

  • The first time you use your new vape coil, start at a low wattage and take a few quick hits. Slowly increase the wattage and drag duration at a steady pace, working up to your normal style.

After you prime your coils, they'll be ready to deliver an ideal vape experience.

Browse the Best Vape Coils for Sale From DIRECTVAPOR

Investing in high-quality vape coils doesn't have to be an expensive or stressful experience – especially not when you're shopping with DIRECTVAPOR. We've assembled an extensive selection of vape coils from the industry's top brands, so you can easily search for exactly what you want. And even better, you can be confident that you're getting authentic products at the lowest prices.

Knowing how to choose the right vape coils comes down to personal preference, but having access to a variety of the best products definitely helps. Check out our full selection of replacement vape coils to find yours today!

Image Credit:Shaiful.Baker / Shutterstock

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