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How Vape Coils Work?

Have you ever wondered what magic transforms that cold e-liquid trapped in your vape tank into the billowing clouds you exhale? It's all thanks to a hidden hero - the vape coil.

This tiny powerhouse plays a starring role in every puff, yet most vapers remain in the dark about its intricate workings.

Ever experienced that dreaded burnt taste, coughed up a dry hit, or questioned why your coils seem to vanish overnight?

Fear not, curious vaper! Prepare to dive into the heart of your device and unlock the secrets of the mighty vape coil.

In this deep dive, we'll dissect its anatomy, unravel the science behind its heat, and equip you with the knowledge to optimise your vaping experience.

Brace yourself, for the journey from puzzled puffin' to coil connoisseur awaits!

How Vape Coils Work? [Briefly Explained]

Imagine a tiny heating element, often made of Nichrome or Kanthal wire, wrapped into a tight coil. This is the heating element, the very core of the coil's magic.

Surrounding it lies the wicking material, typically organic cotton, woven like a miniature sponge. This cotton plays a crucial role in feeding the e-liquid to the hungry heating element.

Think of it as a thirsty adventurer needing a constant supply of water to survive the desert – the cotton is the trusty camel keeping the heating element hydrated.

Encasing these inner workings is the housing, usually made of metal or ceramic. This provides structure and protects the delicate components from harm.

Finally, insulated pins connect the coil to your vape's circuitry, completing the electrical path that brings the magic to life.

The Science of Vaporization

Now, the real show begins! When you fire up your vape, the battery sends electricity through the coil, which encounters the resistance of the wire.

Remember Ohm's Law from school? It comes into play here, dictating how much power (wattage) is converted into heat based on the coil's resistance (ohms).

As the heating element gets hotter, it starts to cook the e-liquid clinging to the cotton wick. This isn't just any ordinary heating, though.

The e-liquid undergoes a phase change, transforming from a liquid to a vapour without reaching boiling point – a process called vaporisation.

This distinction is crucial, as it avoids the harmful byproducts associated with combustion (burning) that traditional cigarettes produce.

The Wicking Symphony

Remember the thirsty adventurer and his trusty camel? The wicking material plays a vital role in keeping the heating element well-hydrated, ensuring a smooth and consistent vapour production.

As the e-liquid in the tank is drawn towards the coil by the vacuum created during inhalation, the cotton wicks it up like a sponge.

This constant supply of e-liquid prevents the heating element from getting dry and burning, which is where that dreaded burnt taste often comes from.

How long do coils last in a vape?

While hard and fast rules may be elusive, here is an estimated time frame for the longevity of certain vape coils:

Heavy Vapers (Multiple sessions/day): 1-3 days
Moderate Vapers (Several sessions/day): 7-10 days
Casual Vapers (Occasional sessions): 2-3 weeks

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The lifespan of your vape’s coil depends on a multitude of factors, making it more of a dance than a science.

Understanding these factors will equip you to optimise your coil's longevity and keep your vaping experience top-notch.

Key Factors Affecting Vape Coil Longevity

Vaping Habits

Are you a chain vaper, puffing like a dragon all day? Or a casual vaper, taking occasional sips of your flavour cloud? Frequency plays a huge role. Heavy vapers can expect shorter coil lives, while less frequent use can stretch them out.

Wattage Settings

Think of wattage as the intensity of your coil's workout. Higher wattages heat the element faster and produce more vapour, but they also wear it out quicker. Finding the sweet spot between optimal performance and coil longevity is key.

E-Liquid Choice

Some e-liquids, especially those high in sweeteners or artificial flavours, can gunk up your coil, clogging the wick and hindering performance. Switching to less dense liquids can increase coil life.

Coil Quality and Type

Pre-built coils come in various materials and resistances. Generally, higher-quality materials and lower resistance coils (meaning they require higher wattage) tend to have shorter lifespans.

Signs It's Time to Say Goodbye to your Vape Coil

Even with the best care, coils eventually reach their peak. Be on the lookout for these telltale signs:

Burnt Taste

The dreaded harbinger of coil retirement. It signifies the heating element is struggling to vaporise e-liquid, leading to a harsh, unpleasant taste.

Reduced Vapour Production

Noticeably less vapour than usual? It could be a clogged wick or a weakened heating element.


If e-liquid is mysteriously escaping your tank, it might be because the coil no longer seals it properly.

Gurgling Sounds

A wet, bubbling sound while inhaling? That's usually air struggling to pass through a clogged wick.

Actionable Tips for Extending Coil Life

Prime your coils: Before first use, saturate the wick with e-liquid to prevent dry hits and burning.

Avoid chain vaping: Give your coil time to cool down between puffs.

Adjust your wattage: Experiment to find the sweet spot between flavour and coil longevity.

Clean your tank regularly: Residue buildup can affect performance and shorten coil life.

Store your vape properly: Avoid extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.

Is vaping with a coil better?

When it comes to vaping, there are several methods to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits. While coil-based vaping is the most common approach, you might wonder if it's truly the best option for you.

Let's dive into the pros and cons of vaping with a coil, comparing it to other methods to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of Vaping With a Coil

Flavour and Vapour Production

Coils generally produce superior flavour and vapour compared to coil-less alternatives. The heating element efficiently vaporises e-liquid, delivering a rich and satisfying experience.

Customization and Variety

A vast array of pre-built coils exists, with varying resistances, materials, and configurations. This allows you to tailor your vaping experience to your preferences, whether you prioritise flavour, vapour production, or battery life.


Pre-built coils are often easy to install and replace, making them a user-friendly option.


While initial investment in a coil-based device might be slightly higher, replacement coils are generally affordable, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Potential Drawbacks of Vaping With a Coil


Coils require regular replacement, typically every few days to a couple of weeks, depending on usage. This can involve some upkeep and expense.

Flavour Loss Over Time

As coils age, they can accumulate residue that can subtly affect flavour. Regular replacement helps mitigate this.

Potential for Leaking

Improper coil installation or damage can lead to leaks, which can be frustrating.

Alternatives to Coil-Based Vaping

Pod Systems

These devices often use smaller, pre-filled or refillable pods containing a built-in coil. They prioritise convenience and portability.

Disposable Vapes

These single-use devices contain a pre-charged battery and e-liquid reservoir, eliminating the need for coil replacement

Which Vaping Option Is Best for You?

Ultimately, the ideal vaping method depends on your individual preferences and priorities. Consider the following things when making your decision:

Flavour and Vapour

If these characteristics top your list, coil-based vaping likely reigns supreme.


Pod systems or disposables might be a better fit if you prioritise ease of use and portability.


Coil-based vaping often proves more economical in the long run compared to disposables.


If you prefer minimal upkeep, a pod system or heat-not-burn device might be more appealing.

How many puffs should a coil last?

Here is an estimated range of puffs based on vaping habits:

Heavy Vapers (Multiple sessions/day): Approximately 300-900 puffs
Moderate Vapers (Several sessions/day): Approximately 1500-2100 puffs
Casual Vapers (Occasional sessions): Approximately 3000-4500 puffs

We derived these results based on our testing of 145+ vape coils. Individual results may still vary, but these findings represent a summary of the outcomes obtained from extensive coil testing.

How does a vape coil heat up?

The heating process behind a vape coil involves a fascinating interplay of physics and electrical principles.

Let's dive into the mechanics of how this tiny powerhouse transforms e-liquid into those mesmerising clouds.

The Spark

When you press the fire button, the battery sends electricity through the circuitry, reaching the coil.

Resistance Rebellion

The heating element, built with inherent resistance, opposes the flow of electricity. This resistance is measured in ohms and plays a crucial role in determining the final heat output.

Ohm's Law Showdown

Remember Ohm's Law? Here it comes again, dictating the relationship between voltage (battery power), resistance (the coil's opposition), and wattage (the actual heat generated). Higher voltage and lower resistance lead to higher wattage and a hotter coil.

Joule's Joust

As the current struggles against the resistance of the wire, energy is dissipated in the form of heat, according to Joule's Law. This heat is concentrated in the tiny, tightly wrapped wires of the heating element.

Vaporizing Victory

The scorching element comes face-to-face with the e-liquid clinging to the wick. This close encounter triggers a phase change, transforming the liquid into vapour without reaching boiling point – a process called vaporisation.

This avoids the harmful byproducts associated with combustion (burning) in traditional cigarettes.

Elements Involved in Heating of Vape Coil:

Battery: The energy source, providing the electrical juice to power the show.

Circuitry: The conductor, directing the electrical flow from the battery to the coil.

Coil: The star of the show, housing the heating element and wicking material.

Heating Element: Typically made of Nichrome or Kanthal wire, designed to resist the electrical current.

Wicking Material: Usually organic cotton, responsible for absorbing and delivering e-liquid to the heating element.

How do I Choose a Vape Coil?

Choosing the right vape coil can be a tricky task, especially with the vast array of options available.

By understanding your needs and preferences, you can navigate the coil universe and discover the perfect match for your vaping experience. Here are some instructions to choosing the ideal coil:

Consider Your Vaping Style

Flavour Chaser

Prioritise coils with higher resistances (1.0 ohm and above) and tighter builds (single coils or MTL coils). These deliver intense flavour at lower wattages, preserving your coil lifespan.

Cloud Chaser

Seek lower-resistance coils (0.2-0.5 ohm) and mesh coils for maximum vapour production. However, be prepared for higher wattage requirements, faster juice consumption, and shorter coil life.

Balanced Vaper

Opt for mid-range resistance coils (0.5-1.0 ohm) for a sweet spot between flavour and vapour. These often offer versatile performance and moderate wattage needs.

Material Matters


Durable and readily available, but heats slowly and lacks the responsiveness of other materials.


Heats faster and is more responsive than Kanthal, but prone to corrosion and not recommended for temperature control vaping.

Stainless Steel

Versatile and offers good temperature control capabilities, but may require higher wattages.


Provides even heating and rapid vaporisation, but may not last as long as other coil types.

Higher Wattage, Higher Heat

Generally, lower-resistance coils require higher wattages to function. Ensure your device can handle the necessary wattage before choosing a coil.

E-Liquid Compatibility

Some coils work better with specific e-liquid types. Consider the viscosity and flavour profile of your e-liquid when choosing a coil.

Building Your Preferences

With rebuildable atomizers, you have complete control over coil build and material, allowing you to tailor the flavour and vapour production to your exact liking.

Bonus Tips

Choose reputable brands known for high-quality coil production.

Read online reviews from fellow vapers to gain insights into specific coil performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wash a vape coil?

No, washing a vape coil is not recommended. Rinsing it with water can damage the delicate wicking material and heating element, leading to performance issues and potentially unsafe vaping. Instead, replace your coil when it shows signs of decline like burnt taste, reduced vapour production, or gurgling sounds.

How many puffs does a 1 ohm coil last?

For a 1 ohm coil, you could expect anywhere between 1500-2100 puffs for moderate vapers to as few as 300-900 puffs for heavy vapers.

Which is better, 0.4 or 0.2 ohm coil?

The "better" choice depends entirely on your preferences and vaping style:

0.4 ohm coil offers a good balance between flavour and vapour production, ideal for moderate vapers seeking versatility.

0.2 ohm coil produces larger clouds and intense flavour but requires higher wattage, draining your battery faster and shortening the coil's lifespan. It's suited for cloud chasers.


We started a journey into the heart of your vape, unveiling the secrets of the mighty vape coil. Remember when we wondered how that tiny piece of metal transformed e-liquid into billowing clouds?

Now, that magic holds no mystery. You understand the physics of heat, the viking's thirsty symphony, and the dance between resistance and wattage.

You know how to choose the perfect coil for your palate, your clouds, and your vaping style.

We delved into the lifespan of vape coils, understanding the factors that influence their reign.

We provided you instructions to optimise their longevity, keeping those flavour clouds flowing longer.

More importantly, you know the signs of their inevitable retirement, ensuring you bid farewell before the burnt taste descends.

This quest wasn't just about technical specifications; it was about empowerment. We promised to demystify the vape coil, equip you with knowledge, and unlock the potential of your vaping experience.

And, hopefully, we have delivered. You are no longer a puzzled puffin but a coil connoisseur, navigating the world of vaping with confidence and clarity.

So, go forth, armed with your newfound knowledge. Experiment with coils, tweak your settings, and savour every flavorful

puff. Remember, the key to a satisfying vape lies within your device, waiting to be unlocked. And now, you hold the key.

Ready to put your newfound coil knowledge into practice? Head over to our extensive selection of replacement coils.

We offer a wide range of options to suit every vaping style and preference, from flavour-chasing champions to cloud-chasing kings.

Browse by resistance, material, brand, and more, and discover the perfect match for your device. Don't settle for subpar puffs – treat your vape to the quality it deserves. Upgrade your vaping experience today!

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