KANTHAL VS. CLAPTON COILS
Posted at 5:00 • 18 Oct • Coils
IN CASE YOU'RE GETTING WOUND UP
Here’s something neat about coils. If you don’t want to see them, change them, or even know what they are, you don’t have to. Fuss-free Pod Kits (that literally just require popping an e-liquid pod in) are loved for a reason. Don’t get us started on how popular the JUUL is.
For anyone who wants the ultimate vaping experience, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. The vaping master might be blowing beastly clouds, but the nuclear power comes from somewhere- coils.
WHAT ARE COILS (AND HOW DO THEY WORK)?
Coils are the heart of your vaping device. They heat the e-liquid in your tank, turn it into vapour and boom- you’re there. Coils are another word for atomiser heads.
- Your juice is absorbed by the wicking material in your tank (the cotton part you see inside the metal casing)
- Your battery provides heat for your coil’s wire (the small spiral you see inside the wicking material)
- You drag on the drip tip, let the vapour travel up your vape’s chimney and you’re all set to inhale
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COIL?
Much like cars (all of which run on some kind of fuel and take you from A to B), all coils work to heat your device. Again, like cars, you’ll find different coil brands, models, sizes, purposes and materials.
STANDARD AND SUB OHM
- Standard Coils: Higher resistance- a fancy word for less charge and juice passing through them. These are what you want to choose if you’re Mouth to Lung vaping.
- Sub-Ohm Coils: Lower resistance- under 1.0 Ohms. This allows more current to pass through them. Permission to join the Sub-Ohm club for Direct to Lung vaping.
THE BIG ONES TO KNOW: KANTHAL, CLAPTON, FUSED (AND THE REST)
Coils fall into 5 material categories: Kanthal, NiChrome, Stainless Steel, Nickel and Titanium. We’ll be covering the most common. Since we’re rattling on about Variable Wattage and Temperature Control modes, you can learn more about them here.
As to their overall use, you’re looking at two different vaping modes: Wattage Mode and Temperature Control (TC) mode. We’re still waiting for the vaping gods to come up with tons of wires that can be used for both modes- then again, they’ve been busy coming up with stuff like Dinner Lady Lemon Tart and nic salts.
“The only vape wire versatile enough to be used in both Wattage and Temperature Control modes is found in stainless steel coils”.
An example of how the wires behave differently? A nickel wire can be 0.15-Ohm at room temperature, but the resistance will crank up the minute you fire it. Given the problems that can cause, we don’t recommend it.
Temperature Control vaping is a different deal to pure Wattage vaping. Brainiacs use Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR) of a given wire to regulate a coil’s delivered current. A temperature control mod uses stable increases to determine resistance as the coil heats up. The current is lowered and the coil stays nice and safe, temperature-wise.
A WORD ABOUT SIZE
All coiling wires are measured in gauge- the measurement of a wire’s diameter. Also the way to stretch your earlobes, but you don’t vape through your ears. Single strand Kanthal gauges run between 24-28g.
A larger gauge basically means a thinner wire. Use a large wire and you’ll increase the overall surface area. This produces better flavour, as more e-liquid will be in direct contact with the coiling element. Larger wires also have less total resistance.
“A good rule of thumb: more coil surface area usually translates to a better-tasting vape.”
Popular, and with good reason. Officially known as Kanthal A1, Kanthal coils are cheap, solid, easy to work with and one of the most commonly found coil types. Kanthal coils are made from iron, chromium and aluminium and can tolerate temperatures of up to 1400 degrees before melting. They’ve become the industry standard for Variable Wattage vaping and continue to get the thumbs-up for clean vaping and minimising addition of flavour profiles to the cloud.
- Dirt cheap (but you don’t have to worry about quality)
- Easy to find in vape shops and online (hi)
- Hold shape well and very pliable
- Easy wicking and building makes it a beginner favourite
- Loved by flavour chasers, no infused metal taste
- Variable wattage mode only (except for a few, like the Kanthal 52)
- Not appropriate for Temperature Control vaping
- Flavour can be on the dull side for some vapers
- Ramp-up time isn’t as fast as some other wires
With a high-base resistance in the wire, most regulated box mods straight-up won’t recognise a Kanthal A1. Newer types like the Kanthal 52 are specifically designed for TC, but if you’re using A1, keep the mod in Variable Wattage mode.
Whether or not these were named after Eric Clapton’s guitars- the verdict’s still out. Anyone who bought an Aspire CF Maxx way back in the day will remember buying Clapton coils. Anyone using an RDA or RTA will be more than familiar with these. Clapton Coils are a small gauge wire wrapped around another larger gauge wire in a perpendicular way. One wire is coiled tightly over the other. You get your thicker coil result by wrapping a 24 or 26 gauge vape wire in a 30 or 32 gauge. Surface area shoots up (and so does flavour production).
- Larger surface area means way more vapour
- More diversity than regular micro coils
- Warmer vapour and greater flavour intensity
- Quick vapourisation
- It just looks so cool
- Can take a while to heat up and cool down (downer for one-time vaping)
- Heating coils consumes more power (bit of a battery drain)
- Can require more cleaning
- Time-consuming to create (but you can buy them pre-made)
Fused Clapton Wires
No, not a Vietnamese twist on a baguette. Fused Clapton wires take two smaller Kanthal wires as their internal foundation (versus a single large Kanthal wire wrapped around something higher gauge). With fused Clapton wires, you get a larger overall size and gaps between the higher gauge wire wrapping the outside. Most vapers nerd out on that tiny extra bit of surface area hiding between the two thicker wires on the inside. Basically maxing out surface area here, you’re in cloud chasing heaven.
NICKEL, MESH AND CERAMIC COILS
Alongside titanium coils, nickel coils are typically wrapped to a super-low resistance. Basically, never use these in a vape that doesn’t have Temperature Control vaping features. Nickel (or Ni200) coils are made of pure Nickel. They out-do everything else in terms of Highest Temperature Coefficient and are only to be used in TC mode.
“The big draw of Nickel coils is no dry hits and a consistent vape once you’ve found the right temperature. Only use these in Temperature Control mode.”
Mesh coils are simply wire-meshed. The draw here is the pro wicking ability. Mesh coils are almost exclusively used in Genesis tanks, although the odd RDA user can be seen flaunting these.
Ceramic coils take the old-fashioned pottery benefits of abrasion resistance and temperature tolerance, then apply them to vaping. These coils have oxidation prevention, longer life, self-cleaning properties, plus avoidance of dry hits. Since the ceramic serves as a wick, no other wick is needed. Kanger’s ceramic SSOCC is a popular one, particularly for anyone wanting to avoid spitback. At the same time, you do go through juice faster and tank options are limited.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COIL (IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE)
Literally what we pictured in our minds when we designed our new website. Not everyone is a physics swot.
With our new interactive website, we’ve included a ton of intuition- basically, you can zoom into what you need in a few clicks. Hit up our coils section, where you can select resistance, brand and most importantly- which device the coils are compatible with.
We’ve also got handy guides, from nicotine info and how to quit smoking, to troubleshooting. Most importantly, we’ve got the ultimate coil guide in the form of walking, talking experts (trust us, they didn’t get past our interview process without a little coil grilling). You can pop in-store for advice, use our live chat, plus the zillion other ways to reach us.
www.vapesuperstore.co.uk contains general information about vaping and vapour products. The information provided is not medical advice, and should not be relied upon unless explicity cited. We do not make any warranties surrounding the health benefits, reliability and accuracy of written copy across all pages on our website, including blog content and content posted on social media.
Share this post
- Tags: Coils