In the most basic terms, the coil is the part of your electronic cigarette that heats up the liquid and turns it into vapour. In more specific terms…
A Brief History of Coils
Back when electronic cigarettes were in their infancy, changing the coil wasn’t really a factor – the coil was built into the tank, and you’d just change the entire tank section of your device. With high-resistance atomisers and the low cost of cartomisers due to their disposable nature at the time, this wasn’t really a problem.[pullquote-left]Each of those three, four or five different coils for a particular sub-ohm tank performs differently: some of them wick high-VG juice more efficiently, while a 0.2 ohm coil might push an extra 20 or 30 watts of power over a 0.5 ohm coil.[/pullquote-left]Soon, replaceable coils started to find favour among manufacturers – the end-user could simply buy a tank system (e.g. the Nautilus or the EVOD, etc.) and their only ongoing cost was replacement coils.
This change significantly altered the way in which we use our devices, and the way in which manufacturers market their products. Now the tanks vary in price from $10 up to around $50, but once you have your desired setup, you’re set.
And for every tank, there’s a coil – or two, or three, or four…
The basic coils from Kanger are the Single Coils (for the EVOD and Protank) and Dual Coils (for the Aerotank, Genitank, Mini Protank 3, EVOD 2 and MOW), and the basic coils from Aspire are the BVC Coils (for the Nautilus and Nautilus Mini).
Then there’s the sub-ohm tanks: the Delta II coils feature juice-flow control; the Arctic coils come in five different resistances; the Atlantis coils are different than the Triton coils, even though they’ll each work in either tank; the Subtank coils are vertical now, not horizontal (they used to be), and available in three different resistances.
And that’s just a few examples.
But while this may seem annoying, the truth is that it’s a huge bonus for vapers. Each of those three, four or five different coils for a particular sub-ohm tank performs differently: some of them wick high-VG juice more efficiently, while a 0.2 ohm coil might push an extra 20 or 30 watts of power over a 0.5 ohm coil.
And for those of us using the Dual Coils or the BVC Coils, we haven’t been forgotten: both Aspire and Kanger have continually updated and upgraded their coils over the last twelve months, from turning them into vertical coils or dual coils, or offering lower resistance coils (indeed, the Kanger Dual Coils are actually available in five different resistances, too…).
The manufacturers are not only keeping up with the game with their continued upgrades, but they’re ensuring that the tank system you choose continues to remain relevant in today’s ever-changing marketplace.
Coils degrade with use, which is why they need to be changed. We recommend that a single coil will last for between one and three weeks. Packs of five are available for anywhere between $12 and $25 depending on the tank you have, so you’re looking at around $3-5 every fortnight.
When do I change the coil?
There are several ways to tell if your coil needs replacing.
First, and most obvious, is a burnt taste to your vape. This happens when the cotton has degraded to a point where the juice is no longer wicking into it efficiently, and therefore you’re burning partly dry when you fire your device. It’s time to replace the coil.
Second, you may notice a loss of flavour or vapour production. This happens when your coil has become ‘clogged’ by the juice that has run through it. You will notice a loss of vapour production coincides with the draw being tighter. This can sometimes be overcome by cleaning your tank out, which could alleviate some of the problems. If not, it’s time to replace the coil.
Third, you may notice your tank is leaking. This could be due to one of a few factors:
- You may have flooded the atomiser, which can be fixed by opening the tank and soaking up some of the excess juice from the coil with paper towel. Turning the voltage or wattage up on your device will also ensure that you’re burning the juice that’s coming onto the coil, thereby not allowing excess juice to sit in there.
- Your tank may not be tightened down properly at any one of its various connections, so check those, too.
- The coil may again have degraded and juice is simply flowing through at its base and out through the airflow control ring. If this is the case, it’s time to replace the coil.
Priming your coil
Every time you change your coil you must prime it. This is done by allowing the juice to soak into the cotton before you fire it. Firing a dry coil will simply burn it and either shorten its life or render it useless immediately.
On wider coils where the cotton is visible, drip two or three drops directly onto the cotton in the top of the coil, then let it sit in the tank for two minutes once put back together. For smaller coils, simply let these sit in the tank for two minutes once put back together.
Once soaked through, fire your coil with shorter draws and at lower wattages to allow juice to start wicking up. It will take about five minutes to ensure this has been done adequately. At this point you can begin to take longer draws, and begin raising your wattage to the optimal point for that coil.
Coils are your friend!
They ensure that your tank continues to work for as long as you take care of your device. There are a lot of different coils, but generally only one style will work with each tank. It’s as simple as choosing the resistance you prefer. Know when your coil is on its way out, and prime your coil properly to extend its life.