It’s the age-old debate, right? The IKEA self-assemble flat pack arrives and you react in one of two ways. Mother of god, what have you sent me (and how do I turn 40,000 nuts and bolts into a coffee table)? Then again, for every DIY-hater, there’s a lover backing them up.
Vaping most definitely didn’t start out with this in mind. Really. Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette in 2003 after watching his own father die from smoke-related cancer. The industry that may be responsible for Big Tobacco having to rename themselves more modestly started out with a simple agenda- take mankind’s biggest killer and give smokers an alternative that is at least 95% safer. Public Health England and the NHS may be endorsing vaping, but they’ve got their limits- dishing out advice on coils isn’t their domain. It’s ours.
“If you’re reading this between wrapping 28g 430 SS core Clapton coils in 36g Kanthal coils, high five. If you want the simplest beginner guide to coils ever, voila.”
Which To Choose?
RDAs have pretty much been a staple since vapers decided that they wanted an experience (and the ultimate one). For great billowing clouds and tons of vapour, the early days were limited- you had to build your own coils. The option is still there, but you’ve equally got the easy route, a.k.a. Pre-built coils. If the whole thing makes you physically recoil and you literally want nothing to do with coils, hello Pod Kits and the JUUL.
Why You Want This:
- Cheaper: No arguing this one. A Thai stir-fry will cost more in a restaurant. If you supermarket shop the ingredients yourself, have the patience to chop the spring onions, can handle a flame and the time it takes, you’ll get a cheaper stir-fry at home. Building your own coils involves purchasing the wires and raw materials (plus a bit of elbow grease)
- Tailoring: Not everyone wants Sainsbury’s mushroom stir-fry. Some people hate mushrooms. If blowing mushroom clouds is your jam, you’re a cloud chaser. If closing your eyes and losing yourself in flavour is your jam, you’re a flavour chaser. You can be both (and you can read about it here). DIY coils are made your way and tailored to your needs.
- Availability: You might have a tank that takes a certain coil. You’ll shop for replacements online, but there’s always the risk that the coils will be harder to find as newer tanks gain popularity.
- Control: Promise, we’re not being paid by stir-fry companies to say this. If the steak tips in your stir-fry have to be medium rare, you’ll know a thing or two about control. By building your own coils, you can get down and dirty with Ohms testing, how you wrap wires, wicking and every tiny detail that will personalise your vaping experience.
- Gloating: Because there still isn’t a better feeling than standing there in front of your mates and saying: “Yeah, did it all myself. From scratch”.
Why You Want This:
- Surprisingly good for being a lazy sod: It isn’t an all-or-nothing deal. You can still enjoy a fantastic vaping experience with pre-built coils. Considering that many regulated box mods allow you to tailor temperature (plus the obvious airflow), you’ve also got the e-liquid realm to choose from.
- Still a good price: While self-builds are going to cost less, pre-built coils aren’t an expensive deal. They’re just slightly more expensive, overall. 5-packs can cost less than £10, and if you take care of your equipment, you can make them last longer. Also, don’t be a dummy- sticking a coil that goes up to 50 Watts in a monster 300-Watt mod is going to burn your coil.
- Trusted brands: If you Googled Clapton coils or Kanthal coils, you were doing the same thing as millions of vapers. They’re choosing quality brands made by people who know the product (and the vaper). We’ve got 160 types to choose from- and a pre-built section.
- One search, repeat buy: If building your own just isn’t your thing, you might be a time-saver kind of person. Provided that you aren’t changing devices, you find out the kind of coil you need and that’s it. The most you’ll have to do is use our intuitive new website feature, where we’ve set up quick re-ordering to save you time.
If You’re Building Your Own
If you want to give coil building a go, you’ll need to shop for the basics. Alongside a flat, steady surface (and patience), you’ll need:
- Resistance wire- e.g. Kanthal, stainless steel, nickel
- Flush cutters- wire cutters that can cut close in fiddly spaces
- Tweezers- useful for pinching your coils while pulsing
- Small metal rod- a screwdriver will do here (or a coiling tool)
- Wicking material- organic cotton tends to be the most popular
- Scissors- to trim your cotton (and also, who doesn’t have scissors?)
An Ohm reader or mod that accurately detects resistance are also handy, as is a second vape (for when you need to vape while you build your vape).
What The Vapers Are Saying
The happiest ones? Nothing. Mouth full of flavour, so eat my clouds.
“I wanted to switch to DIY coils to save cash. I took about a day and researched the tank I wanted. Watched a bunch of Youtube tutorials but wanted a human eye to give me the all-clear. VapeSuperstore Dalston is right by my office. Popped in there to ask and they were brilliant.”- Myles, 35
“Tweezers are for eyebrows. I’m a pretty hands-on woman when it comes to household hacks, but coil building just isn’t for me. I’m a Sub-Ohm vaper. I was trying out new juices at VapeSuperstore’s Soho branch and I just picked up my usual. The price for my Clapton Coils is more than reasonable.” - Karen, 24
Need More Advice?
Interwebs. No, really. There’s a whole world of advice on Youtube and vaping forums, although if you want someone trained who listens to you (as opposed to ranting on about how amazing their own device is), ask one of us. You can pop in-store, for which there are some surprising benefits, give us a bell, chat to us on Facebook or read our handy guides.
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