Why build vape coils?
One of the best ways to save money in vaping is to build your own coils.
Rather than buying disposable coil heads every week, you can make your own. It’s a fun hobby that vapers’ not only take pride in, but get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. As with anything, the only way to get good at it is through practice. Although, it’s perfectly reasonable for first-time builders to get it right on the first try.
This article focuses only on simple coil builds.
Supplies to wrap a vape coil
While there are many types of vape tools and accessories you can use to wrap a vape coil, it’s best to keep it simple. There are plenty of good coil building kits on the market that supply you with everything you need, but you can also buy these things a la carte, or maybe you even have these supplies on hand already. Most rebuildables nowadays come with coil building supplies.
- Resistance wire: any of these wires would do.
- Flush cutters: wire cutters that can cut close in small spaces
- Ceramic tweezers: to pinch your coils while pulsing
- Small metal rod: a small screwdriver, or coiling tool
- Organic cotton: or another wicking material you prefer
- Scissors: to trim your cotton
Other (optional) accessories:
- An ohm reader: or a mod that accurately detects resistance
- A coil jig: it can make your life a little easier
Micro vs macro coils
Micro and macro coils are some of the most common coil builds. They are created by taking a single piece of wire, and wrapping it around a screwdriver, drill bit or coil jig. The difference between a micro and a macro coil is the inner diameter of the coil. It’s that simple.
Micro: a micro coil build is a coil that has an inner diameter of 1-2 mm.
Macro: a macro coil build is a coil that has an inner diameter that’s 2.5 mm and above.
The bigger the inner diameter of the vape coil, the higher its resistance, and vice versa. Likewise, the thicker the gauge of wire used, the lower the resistance will be. We recommend using some basic 26 or 28-gauge Kanthal for your first few vape coil builds.
How to use a coil Jig
Coil jigs are tools that help you wrap coils consistently by guiding the wire while it is getting wrapped on a rod. They are very useful tools, and they will help you make perfect coils every time with minimal effort.
Many jigs will come with detachable rods, while others will ship with separate pieces for different wire diameters. Some of the best-known coil jigs are manufactured by Coil Master, UD and Kuro Concepts.
Single vs dual coils
You might have noticed that many coil builds have not one, but two coils, known as dual coils. Not all atomisers allow for both, and for those that do, you will usually get better performance with one of the two options. Check for the positive and negative posts of the atomiser, as each vape coil will have to go through both. Also, check the airflow of the atomiser. If the air is hitting the posts from both sides, chances are you are looking at a dual-coil atomiser.
When doing a dual coil build, it’s essential for both coils to be identical in size and form, to ensure that they heat up properly. Dual coil builds obviously create more vapour than a single coil but require double the power to perform.
With two identical coils, the resistance should be exactly one half of each coil’s resistance. In other words, if you did a dual coil build using two 0.6-ohm coils, your build should be 0.3 ohms. If you take out one of those coils, your resistance will go back up to 0.6 ohms.
How to build a coil for an RDA
Building for RDAs is usually a straightforward process. First, examine the deck and see if it is a dual or a single-coil atomiser. Then check the size of the deck and see how large your build can be—you don’t want your coils to touch the top cap as this will cause a sort. Most RDA’s these days are good for at least 3 mm coils, and many allow for much larger IDs.
Once you have the number and size of your coils established, check the position of the posts. Some decks need the leads to point in the same direction, while others need them facing the opposite direction. Take note that some post less decks might require cutting the leads beforehand. Once you have your coils wrapped and ready, place the leads in the post holes, and secure them in place using the screws. You are now ready to wick them up.
How to build a coil for an RBA or RTA
An RTA, as well as an RDA section of a sub ohm tank, will come with their limitations. In most cases, there is not enough space in the deck for larger builds. Use your coil jig as a reference and see how big a coil you can get away with. If you think that your vape coil would end up touching the chimney, go with a smaller diameter build – you wouldn’t want to cause a short. After getting everything ready, you can secure the leads in place and wick your coils.
How to build a Twisted Coil
Once you have mastered single strand wire builds, you can go to the next level. Twisted coils can be easily made by hand and require no fancy equipment. They will produce better flavour than single wire coils due to the larger surface area, and while your resistance will be lower, it won’t be halved due to the use of more wire per strand.
There are many ways to twist wire, but one of the easiest is the pen method.
How to build a Parallel Coil
Another multi-strand type of wire that doesn’t require tools and drills is the parallel coil. In essence, a parallel coil is made out of two or more wires wrapped in between each other. Resistance is divided by the number of wire strands, so make sure you are aware of your device’s limits when building parallel coils. For beginners, a dual parallel 26-gauge Kanthal coil would be a nice starting point.
For even better results you can use a coil jig: just wrap the first coil using the jig’s guide, and manually wrap the second coil in between the gaps.
Wrapping vape coils can appear to be much more difficult than it really is. Granted, it can get difficult when getting into complex builds, but the basic vape coils like those on this page are relatively simple to do, with only basic tools and dexterity needed—and maybe a little patience. Don’t give up if you struggle the first couple times you try it. Rebuilding and wrapping coils offers the user cost savings and control over the vape in a way that pre-made coils just cannot do.