Vaping Wire Guide: Coil Building for Beginners

What exactly is coil building? In this beginner’s guide to coil building, we discuss how to make your own vape if you don’t know where to start.

If you are an experienced vaper, it is likely that you’ve heard the term ‘coil building’ before. However, if you are new to vaping, you may be confused about what this means. Read on in our guide to coil building to find out how to make your own vape coil, and why people do it.

Table of Contents:

- Why build a vape coil?

- What supplies do you need to wrap a vape coil?

- Which type of wire?

- How to build a coil for an RDA?

- How to build a coil for an RBA or an RTA?

- How to build a twisted coil?

- What to do once the coil has been built?

Photo credit: DedMityay / Shutterstock                

Why build a vape coil?

Building a coil is something you might want to do to have more control over your vaping experience, giving you a more customised experience when vaping your e-cigarette device. Not to mention, in some instances, building coils can help you to save money, as creating your own vape can cost you far less than buying prebuilt coils.

If you enjoy tinkering with things, coil building could be a great new hobby which is easy to learn and can be fun, as you can personalise your own vape to suit your own wants and needs. For instance, some coils can be created to retain a higher battery life, whereas others can be made enhance the vapour flavour.

 What supplies do you need to wrap a vape coil?

When it comes to wrapping a vape coil, there are various types of vape tools and accessories you can use. There are several good coil building kits on the market that supply you with everything you need to build a coil for your vape, but you can also purchase these separately.

Although, it’s worth noting that if you are looking to purchase a rebuildable vape, they often come equipped with coil building supplies.

The following supplies are required when building a coil:

  • Resistance wire 
  • Flush wire cutters
  • Ceramic tweezers
  • Small metal rod (e.g. a small screwdriver, or coiling tool)
  • Organic cotton (or whichever wicking material you prefer)
  • Scissors

Other optional accessories:

  • An ohm reader
  • A coil jig 

Photo credit: hurricanehank / Shutterstock

Which type of wire?

Choosing best wire for vaping can be tricky, with so many different options on the market, and each serving different purposes. Read on to find out which type is best for you and your vape device. 

  • 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 as simple as that.

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.

Essentially, the bigger the inner diameter of the vape coil, the higher its resistance is. Likewise, the thicker the gauge of wire used, the lower the resistance will be.

  • Temperature control coils

Certain types of coil wire can be used in "temperature control" mode, which allows you to get a more personal vape, adjusting the temperature vaped at, rather than the wattage. Temperature controlled wires usually have TC written next to the name, such as: 

  • Ti – Titanium TC
  • SS – Stainless Steel TC
  • SS316L – A purer stainless-steel TC
  • Ni80 80% nickel TC
  • Ni200 Pure nickel TC

These are different types of coil wire are each available with different structures and compounds. This means that each type of structure can make your coil hotter/colder or softer/harder, or a lower resistance.

Some types of wire even change into different colours when you play around with them – for example, when you pulse stainless steel at a low heat, the coil tends to glow a very dark purple, green and blue colour.

How to build a coil for an RDA?

Contrary to popular belief, coil making for RDAs is a straightforward process. But, before you begin, you must follow a step-by-step process.

First things first, examine the deck to find out if the vape tank is a dual or single coil atomiser. Next, you must check the size to see how large your build can be. More often than not, at least 3mm coils work well.

Once you are aware of the number and size, you must check the position of the post. This is necessary as some decks need the leads to point in the same direction, while others need them facing the opposite direction. This is dependent on your vape device. 

Please take note that some post-less decks may require you to cut the leads before you insert the coils. Once you have your coils wrapped and ready, place the post holes, and secure them in place using the screws. You are now ready to wick them up.

Photo credit: Parilov / Shutterstock

How to build a coil for an RBA or an RTA?

An RTA, as well as an RBA 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 which coil size you can fit into your device. If you think that your vape coil would end up touching the chimney, it is advisable to go with a smaller diameter build. After this, 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 for your vape device, you are ready to advance to the next level. Twisted coils can be easily made by hand and require no equipment - in fact, one of the easiest ways is the pen method.

Most vapers say a twisted coil produces better flavour than single wire coils, due to the larger surface area. 

Here's a great video tutorial on this: 

What to do once the coil has been built?

Providing you have clipped the excess wire off and it is reading well on an ohm reader, you can pop your coil back into your device and start playing with it.

At first, ensure your wattage is set low so you can pulse the coil slightly, and pinch lightly with your ceramic tweezers. As they pulse up and get warmer, you will be able to correct any imperfections. This can be fiddly, but the aim is to play around with the coil until it is heating up evenly.

The next step is to add some vape cotton. Experiment with your build and which wattage you may need set at, to ensure you are getting the best vaping experience. 

If you require any help or advice with your vape device, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Vapourcore team. 

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