Coils are one of the most underestimated parts of your vape kit. They’re there to heat up your e-liquid and turn it into vapour. While most people understand the difference between resistance levels, not everyone considers the core type. What we mean by this is the actual structure of the metal which comes in one of two varieties - mesh, or standard wire. There’s more of a trend towards mesh cores these days, we’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds and what you can expect when vaping with both.
GUIDE TO MESH VS. REGULAR COILS
WHAT IS MESH AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO STANDARD COILED WIRE?
Mesh is a grid like strip of metal - often made from something like Kanthal or Nichrome. It’s designed to increase the surface area of metal that comes into contact with your wicking material (usually cotton). Standard wires are a single thread of wire “coiled” into a spiral that sits inside the cotton.
WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES?
Both mesh and standard coiled wire work in a similar way but have slightly different effects. Mesh is becoming increasingly common across the board but generally mesh cores are almost always used in Sub Ohm (coils less than 1.0ohm in resistance) coils while mouth to lung coils (coils with a resistance of 1.0ohm or greater) often use a standard wire. Both act as the heating element when you press the firing button on your battery (or inhale to vape). As they heat up, they evaporate your e-liquid so you can inhale it.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
With a mesh core, you’ve got more surface area and more metal to actually heat up your e-liquid. They also offer more even heating because the same amount of current is spread out across a wider surface area. This means less chances of a dry hit, a cooler vape and because the mesh doesn’t get as hot, they often last longer too. This is why when you’re using a Sub Ohm vape tank, you'll more than likely have a mesh coil. Sub Ohm vaping means you’ll be vaping with a much higher wattage and need a coil capable of withstanding that power and heat. Mesh coils are generally better at producing more vapour and giving better flavour payoff.
Traditional coils are often the kind of coil you’ll find in super tiny pod mods. They’re well suited to these kinds of kits because they adapt to being built smaller than mesh coils. When you’re using a pod or mouth to lung kit, you’ll also be using significantly lower wattage. While standard coils generally don’t last as long as mesh, this is counterbalanced a little with lower powered kits because they don’t run as hot.
SINGLE, DUAL AND TRIPLE CORE COILS VS MESH CORES
Some tanks will give you a range of coils to choose from. The Vaporesso NRG and Skrr tanks for example can adapt to the GT range. In this range you’ve got everything from mesh core coils to double, triple and even quadruple coil cores.
The key thing to note here is, the more cores, the more surface area there is. However, most multi-core coils will generally be made with a standard wire and not mesh. There are benefits are drawbacks to each. The one that will suit you best really comes down to how you like to vape.
Single standard coil: Generally speaking these coils will give you a moderate throat hit and vapour clouds, the temperature is warm and flavour payoff is good. Depending on the resistance they can need more wattage power in order to perform well. Their ramp up time is generally the slowest out of the three.
Dual, triple and quad core: Anything from a dual through triple to quad core coil will give you a much hotter vape and as such needs a lot more power which can be a drain on your battery. You’ll also get a stronger throat hit with it however both flavour and vapour are much better than a single core too. With these coils burning hotter they’ll often last around a week of regular use before they need changing.
Mesh core: Mesh core coils are a happy medium between single and quad coils. You’ll get a fast ramp up time with great flavour and vapour production for a start. It’s also a slightly cooler way to vape and generally requires less power than a dual coil of the same resistance. This means they’re a good choice for those who want to conserve battery power too.
In simple terms, if you like:
- A moderate throat hit, decent vapour production and a warm vape? Go for a single core standard coil.
- A hotter inhale, super clouds, rich flavour and aren’t worried about changing coils and batteries more frequently? Go for a dual, triple or quad coil.
- A quick ramp up, cooler inhale that’s still high on flavour with voluminous clouds? Go for a mesh coil.
NEW 3D MESH COILS - MORE SURFACE AREA = INCREASED HEAT UP AND COOL DOWN
Coil technology is advancing all the time. The latest innovation available now is 3D mesh. Regular mesh alone increases the heating capability of a coil on its own but with a 3D surface, this is taken to the next level. They require less wattage while still offering super performance, making them a wonderful option for those who are using something like a single cell mod to extend battery life as well internal battery mods with a lower maximum output.
MESH AND REGULAR FOR RDAS
The options for mesh vs standard coils are no longer limited to replacement coils alone, you can also make the same choice in certain RDAs too. Some RDAs have been designed with build decks that can adapt to hold strips of mesh with a pre-designated resistance. This means you can fit them in, wick them up and enjoy a mesh vape in the same way you would with a regular Sub Ohm tank.
While standard coils certainly have their place, many brands are moving towards mesh coils, even in mouth to lung starter kits. They’ll offer a quick ramp up, smooth flavour and because of their even heat distribution they also reduce the chances of dry hits while also giving you a longer coil life.