Coils / Coil Heads / Cores

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You feel pretty fast when it’s time to replace your coil in your tank. Suddenly your vape does not taste good at all, rather burnt and smoky. A taste similar to that when you happen to draw a puff on a regular cigarett all the way down to the filter. It simply tastes bad – and then you know that it’s time to replace your coil.

A coil head is a heating element that is placed in the middle of the clearomizer in your e-cig and it’s what creates the vapor in the e-cig. The coil head consists of a housing with cotton that sucks up the e-juice and inside this housing sits one or more coils. These heat up and turn the liquid into vapor when the coil is powered by the battery.

This is a coil

In vaping one often refers to the entire coil head with both casing, cotton and coil when talking about coils. These parts of the electric cigarette are sometimes also called Core when talking about this as a whole unit, but the most common term is coil.

Different kinds of coils

As with other parts of the mechanics that together form an electric cigarette, there are various kinds of coils in the market. The most common variant is the pre-assembled coil head that you just screw in place in the tank, but there are also variants to build together yourself by separate parts. RBA coils, for example, is just such a model you put together with coils and cotton so it becomes similar to a coil head. The RBA coils are either bought ready-made or you wrap them yourself by special thread. The coil is then fixed in the atomizer and a strip of cotton is threaded through the coil and out through holes in the casing of a RTA coil system or to the bottom of a RDA atomizer. The cotton gradually absorbs liquid from the tank, which is called that the coil wick, in the same way as a finished coil head does. These types of coils are the common ones:

  • Coil heads – pre-made coils with cotton and coil that are made for a particular model of tank, so if you buy coil heads you need to make sure you buy the variety that is made for your particular vape. BVC (Bottom Vertical Coil) is coils that have more surface to the coil’s cotton, which makes them generate more steam and gives a stronger flavor experience.
  • RBA coils are coils that you thread through with cotton or other wick material and that are used in e.g RDA’s or RTA’s. There are a large number of RBA coils in different designs, all with their different advantages.

RBA coil – build your own coil

Something that has become increasingly popular over the years is to build your own coils, but we recommend that you only do this if you have full control of ohm’s law and battery safety – building your own coils requires some knowledge and is nothing we recommend for beginners. However, it can be interesting for everyone to get an overview of what you need for tools and what to think about if you decide to test building your own RBA coils.

First of all, you need to know that it consists of a coil made of resistance wire, as well as cotton. But how exactly the coil is constructed is a little different, especially when you build one yourself. For example, there are lots of different variants of resistance wire to wire your coil with, the most common being:

  • Kanthal (KA)
  • Nichrome (N80)
  • Stainless Steel (SS)
  • Nickel (Ni)
  • Titanium (Ti)

When choosing a resistance wire to build your coil, it is just the wire resistance (ohm) that determines how fast the coil will start producing vapor. Ramp-up time is a term for how quickly the coil is heated up and converts the vape liquid to vapors. The faster ramp-up time you want, the more resistance you need. Which resistance a wire has is given in ohms as a number and the higher the number the thinner the wire becomes. In the guide below, we describe how to spin your thread into coils to produce your own RBA coil.

To build an RBA coil you need:

  • Resistant wire – Kanthal, Stainless steel, Nickel, Nichrome or Titanium.
  • An RDA – for attaching your coil with cotton.
  • Cutting pliers – for example one that is used for jewelry to access the cutting of the resistance wire closely in tight areas.
  • Tweezers – so you can pinch your coils.
  • A small metal rod – for example a small chisel or the like.
  • Organic cotton (not bleached) – or any other wicking material you prefer.
  • Scissors – so you can cut and trim your cotton.
  • Ohm meter – to read which resistance you get in your coil.
  • A mod (vape unit) – which you then attach to your RDA with the modified coil in when everything is ready.

Here’s how to build:

Step 1: Start by cutting two pieces of resistance wire using your cutter bar, and make sure you have enough lengths to work with without wasting wire. Approximately 10 centimeters long wire should be sufficient.

You then wrap the threads one by one around your chisel or metal bar. It takes just about 8 laps to make your coils, avoid slips and overlaps when spinning. What is important here is to make sure you have a few centimeters of wire in each end of the coils you just made, leave one end longer than the other.

Step 2: Separate the juice tank / casing and base of your RDA and plug the base into the ohm meter. The base usually consists of two “posts” (can be three pieces sometimes, depending on the design) with holes in which holds the coil with screws. When attaching your coils, you may need to lighten the screws slightly to fit the ends of the coils. Each coil should sit on opposite sides of the posts and all wire ends should be threaded through each hole in the posts. You thread in one coil at a time and when both coils are in place it is just to tighten the screws so that the coils are firmly attached. Use your cutting pliers to cut the ends of the coils as close to the holes as possible.

Step 3: Heat up the coil so that they are annealed and thus easier to work with. What resistance does the meter show? With your ceramic tweezers you can pinch the coils so you get the resistance you want. Also use the tweezers to make sure each coil is centered over each half of your RDA to get as consistent results as possible. Also, do not allow any part of the wires to touch the base, except the wires that you passed through the holes. Before disconnecting the base from the ohm meter, double-check that the resistor is not lower than your vape battery/mod can handle.

Step 4: Now it’s time to turn your RBA base with the self-made coils into a finished coil by adding your wick, that is, the cotton that sucks up the vape liquid. Make sure the cotton you are using is organic and not chemically bleached to avoid getting off-flavors when vaping. Use the scissors to cut out two pieces of cotton in elongated rows and spin the ends so that the cotton fits snugly through the loops in the coils. Thread the cotton through the coils, cut the ends and press down on the cotton so that it can really access the liquid in the tank. Then wet the cotton thoroughly with the vape liquid, assemble the tank and screw it back on your mod. Finish!

We help you choose coil

We understand that it can feel a bit tricky to get hold of all the abbreviations and different words used when talking about all parts of the e-cig and the mechanics behind. Fortunately you as a customer, or prospective customer with us, can always ask us if you have any questions. We are most easily reached in the chat, and if we are not online when you write it is just to leave your contact information and we will get back to you. We gladly give you personal tips and help you find the right coil that suits you and your vaping, welcome!