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Coil Building Guide: How to Wrap Vape Coils

Disassembled RDA on black background displaying postsIf you’re new to the world of vaping, it is most likely that you purchase ready to use coils. It is convenient to do so and it can also save you time. However, building your own coils is very practical. You can save a lot of money if you build your own coils💲🤑.

Vapers also take pride in building their own coils. I used to frown on the idea of building my own coils. Why do the work when I can buy ready-to-use ones? It turns out that building coils is an enjoyable activity. Seeing your creation work beautifully makes all the time and effort worth it.

If you want to build your own coils but don’t know how then don’t worry. I’ll teach you how to build simple but functional coils. Once you master building simple coils, you’ll be raring to build complicated ones in no time at all.

What do I need if I want to build my own coil?

You can browse online and I guarantee that you’ll find plenty of excellent coil-building kits available. If you want to be on the safe side, then you can buy these kits. You can also buy materials separately. This is an option for those who have their own preferences. You can buy your cotton from one supplier and get the wires from another.

You might want to check your vaping kit though. Most rebuildable comes with coil building supplies.

  • Resistance wire: You can use any vaping wire.
  • Flush cutters: These are wire cutters that you can use to cut close even in small spaces.
  • Ceramic tweezers: This is a tool that you use to pinch your coils while pulsing. You can also use a needle-nose set of pliers or forceps.
  • Torch: You can use a small butane or propane torch.
  • Small metal rod: You can use a small screwdriver or a coiling tool for this.
  • Organic cotton: You will use this as a wicking material. If you have another preferred wicking material, you can use that instead.
  • Scissors: You need the scissors so you can trim your cotton.
  • Ohm reader: You use this tool to accurately detect resistance.
  • Coil Jig: This is an optional material. A coil jig can make coil building a bit easier for you.

Preparations

Know how many coils wraps you will need

An Ohm reader is crucial in building coils. If you do not have an Ohm reader, I highly recommend that you hold off on your coil building plans.

The first thing that you need to know is how many wraps your coil will need. This will depend on how many wraps you will need to reach your target resistance. You don’t need to guess this part though. There are tools available to help you figure it out. Just look for coil wrapping calculators online and input the variables based on your materials. These calculators will tell you exactly how many wraps you need.

Oxidizing your wire

You need to cut a piece of Kanthal resistance wire. Around 3 inches (7.62 cm) of wire is enough for me. However, it is better for beginners to cut a bit longer. You can try using a 4-5-inch piece of wire.

Hold one end of the wire with your tweezers. Light your torch and heat the Kanthal wire at one end. Wait until the wire glows hot then move the torch down the entire length of the wire. Once the wire has cooled down, grab the other end of the wire and repeat the process.

Oxidizing is important because it will make it easier to work it. An oxidized wire is less springy.

How do I wrap my coil?

Get your wire, tweezers, and screwdriver. Make sure that your wire is on top of the screwdriver. It should be close to its handle. Hold the end of the wire nearest the screwdriver. Use your thumb to secure the wire firmly in place. You can now start wrapping the wire around the screwdriver. Do this until you have reached the target number of wraps.

When you wrap the coil, keep the coils as close to one another as much as possible. Do not let the coils overlap. Keep the wire tight while wrapping. This will eliminate as much slack as possible.

When you have reached your target number of coils, both leads should be facing the same direction. Count the number of wraps to make sure you have the right number.

If you’re sure that you have the right number of wraps, hold one lead firmly with your fingers. Pull the other lead using your tweezers. Do this for the other end as well. This is a simple way of ensuring that any leftover slack is completely eliminated.

How do I install my coils?

Get your RDA and loosen the post screws. Do not remove the screws completely. They are small and easy to lose. They are also difficult to put back in.

Make sure you still have your coil tightly wound around the screwdriver. Take your coil and place one lead into the positive post hole. Place the other one in the negative post. Use the screwdriver to carefully position the coil towards the center of the RDA.

When you’re sure that it is in the right position, you can now tighten the screws. Do not over tighten the screws because they can cut the wire inside the post. You will have to start a new coil if this happens. Once you have the coil securely mounted, trim the leads. You need to trim them as close to the post as possible.

How do I test my coil?

Get your RDA and screw it on to your Ohm reader. Power it on to check if your new coil doesn’t have a short. Take note of the target resistance. Do not panic if there is a slight variance in resistance. A slight variance in resistance of up to 0.2 Ohms is safe.

If the resistance is beyond 0.2 Ohms, you need to fix your build. Double-check your post screws. Make sure that they are tight. Make sure that your coils are not touching the deck or the posts. Make sure that you screw the atomizer completely into the Ohm reader.

If these did not result in the correct resistance, you need to build a new coil. If your issue got fixed, you can now move to the next step.

How do I test fire my coil?

Since you have eliminated any shorts to the coil, you can now put your RDA to your mod. When you have your RDA installed onto the mod, briefly fire your mod. Wait until the coil begins to glow. Once the coil begins to glow, stop firing the mod. Gently squeeze the coil together using your tweezers. Do this until the coil glows evenly. The glow should start from the center and move towards the outer wraps.

How do I wick my coil?

Aside from organic cotton, you can also use silica or Eko-wool as wicks. Organic cotton is my preferred wicking material because it has great wicking abilities.

Get a piece of wicking material that is big enough to snugly fit inside your coil. Make sure that you have about half an inch of coils space on either side. You can also wet and twist the end of the wick to get it started.

Push the wicking material in from one side of the coil and pull it out on the other side. If it gets snagged, you’re using too much wicking material. If your wick slides loosely inside the coil, you’re using not enough material.

Now that you’ve threaded the wick through the coil, take the wick that sticks out on each side. You need to trip them just long enough so you can fold them over to sit on the deck of the RDA. Use a few drops of e-juice to wet the wick. Fold them on to the RDA deck. Do not push them underneath the coil. This will allow air to reach the entire coil.

Am I ready to use my coil now?

Not just yet. Make sure that your post screws are still tight. You also need to recheck your resistance using your Ohm meter. If everything is set, then you can now use your coil.

Saturate your wick with your e-juice of choice. Replace the cap of your RDA. You can now vape using your first single coil.

What if I need to build dual coils?

Using dual coils means you’re creating a second path for electricity. This means that resistance gets halved. You just need to make and install 2 coils. Make the two coils as identical as possible. Make sure that you install and position them in a similar manner.

During the test firing step, they should fire at the same time. Both of them should glow evenly. If one glow is brighter than the other, check the screws. If it still emits an uneven glow, squeeze the coil that glows brighter. Give it a few seconds to cool down before test-firing again. Repeat this process until both of them glows evenly.

What are the different vape wire types?

Kanthal Wire

Kanthal is a popular wire. Many vapers favor Kanthal because it is easy to work with and it resists oxidation. If you are new at coil-building, this is a great wire to start with. It is not springy so it can easily hold its shape. It is also inexpensive and available from most suppliers.

Many users prefer this wire for single coil build. It holds shape well even during re-wicking so you can use it for a long time.

NiChrome wire

If you need a wire for wattage vaping, this is a great wire. It is an alloy composed of nickel and chromium. This wire provides fast ramp-up time. Although it is less springy compared to the Kanthal, it is still easy to work with.

Experienced vapers use NiChrome without encountering any problems. Local vape shops may not have this in stock but it is available in most online shops.

One reason why it is not as popular as the Kanthal is its melting point. It has a lower melting point than Kanthal. NiChrome can catch fire due to excessive dry burns😱.

Stainless Steel Wire

Stainless steel wire is the most versatile among vaping wires. This is the only vape wire that can work both wattage and TC modes, making this wire is ideal for those who are still choosing between TC and wattage mode.

This wire has a high melting point. This means that it can be easily dry burned. Just like Kanthal, it is easy to work with and it holds shape well. There are springier stainless steel wire grades though.

Stainless steel also offers a fast ramp-up time. These wires also produce a crisp and clean flavor.

Nickel Wire

Nickel is also known as Ni200 or pure nickel. This is the first wire used for temperature control. This wire is easy for most chips to read and regulate.

However, Ni200 can only be used in TC mode. You should never use it in wattage mode due to concerns about overheating and melting. Nickel wire can leach and produce graphite at high temperatures. This has caused some vapers to get concerned about getting graphite lungs. If you don’t know what graphite lungs means, it is a debilitating disease found in people with overexposure to graphite.

Nickel is perfectly safe to use in TC vaping. It is easy to find and it is cheap. Compared to Kanthal, it has a faster ramp-up time.

Titanium Wire

The use of titanium is a frequently debated topic in the vaping world. Titanium releases titanium dioxide when heated over 1130F, which is toxic to humans. Titanium has a stable TCR though. This means that if you have a functioning TC mod, you need not to worry about titanium dioxide poisoning.

This wire is easy to work with. It holds shape really well. Those who use titanium says that it produces great flavor. When it comes to durability, titanium is stronger than Ni200. This means you can use it longer without worrying that it will break or bent out of shape.

What type of coil build do you prefer?

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About J.R. Reynoldson

J.R. Reynoldson
VaporVanity co-founder J.R. Reynoldson spends 364 days per year wishing that it was 4/20. He is easily offended by your comments. Email JR at [email protected].