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Wrapping your head around coils

Coils are more important than you think. Different types will not only effect your vapour production, they can also change the flavour intensity of your juice.

So.. What do coils do? What are they made of? What’s the difference between the types?  Why are there so many different types? Which type is right for my tank? Can I use different brand coils to my brand of tank? Why are there so many questions!!!

The most commonly asked questions about coils

What do coils do?

The function of coils is to essentially turn liquid into a semi solid state in order for it to be heated. Think of the really old-school lamps that used oil to burn through a wick to create a flame for light. The oil is slowly absorbed into the wicking material so just enough is burned at the tip and not for the flame to travel back down the wick to all the stored oil.

Coils in your device do the same thing, only allowing small amounts of your juice to be heated up at a time. At the same time its burned, more juice is absorbed into the wick to be heated.

Regardless of what type of coil you choose, the job is the same. The difference between them is the type of materials used within the coil as it can effect the flavour that’s extracted and cloud production.

What are they made of?

Basically, there are two main components that are used to construct a coil the most popular are:

Hard Component: A heat resistant material such as Kanthal, Stainless Steel, Ceramic, Nickel or Titanium

Soft Component:  An absorbent material such as Cotton, Bamboo or Wood Pulp

IMPORTANT: If you have allergies to Nickel, be sure to read the packaging correctly to ensure the coil you purchase doesn’t contain that element.


New coils need to be primed before use otherwise the dry wicking material will burn. There are two ways to prime to ensure the wicking material is completely saturated.

1 – You can install your coil straight from the packaging, fill the tank and wait 10-15 minutes to be sure the wick has absorbed enough juice.

2 – You can manually prime the wick (which is recommended). When you take your coil out of the packaging simply get your juice bottle and gently saturate any exposed wick.

For more information on dry hits and priming, head over to Tastes Like Burning.

Coil Categories


Higher resistance means less power to heat. Depending on the wire’s number of gaps, gauge, diameter and number of wraps. Higher gauge, thinner wire  gives you higher resistance.


There are a many different types of pre-made coils. As the name suggests they are pre-made (go figure) and they are a simple replacement option. They are also made for a range of different type devices from 10W up to 300W. You can find a list of compatible coils for your tank in the Features and Specifications list either in the manual or online.

Temperature Control

Higher powered devices give you more advanced coil options that offer the ability to custom set your temperature. For example rather than setting a wattage maximum limit, you can set the temperature so it doesn’t go above the set temperature.

Power Mode

The most basic and easiest to use. Most common with inbuilt battery devices where you cant change the wattage or temperature settings. A good feature about power mode is knowing your coil will never go over the maximum wattage range for that coil.

Disposable and Rebuildable 

The two main types of coils are Disposable and Rebuildable. Depending on what type of tank you use you will either use Disposable or Rebuildable coils. However some tanks have the ability to use more than one type coil like the SMOK TFV12 tank is compatible with both pre-built (disposable) coils and RBA (Rebuildable) with the use of decks.


These coils are pre-made and as the name suggests, when they need to be replaced with a new coil the old one can be thrown away and it can’t be reused.

Typically a coil will be last between 1- 3 weeks before it needs to be replaced. Everyone is different in how they use their device and what settings are running so this is just general information. You will notice for yourself how long your coil will last within 2-4 weeks. You can always check it the coil when you are refilling your juice to see how brown/black its looking. As they are disposable they will degrade over time and need to be replaced to avoid dry hits and burnt flavour.


This type of coil, again as the name suggests, you build yourself. Don’t be discouraged about this its honestly not as hard as you think. Metal components last longer than soft components. Instead of replacing the entire coil at once, you replace the soft material (wicking) before you need to rebuild the entire unit again.

Can I use Different Brands?

Yes and no, depending on the tank.

Some tanks are compatible with different brand coils. For example, the Advken Dark Mesh tank is compatible with Freemax Mesh Pro range coils. With literally thousands of tanks and coils out there it is impossible to list them all. However, before getting different brand coils for your tank, its best to do some research to know for sure on the compatibility.

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