Vape Coils – The Ultimate Guide

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Vaping is a great alternative to smoking and has been proven as one of the best methods for those who are trying to give up their addictive habit. The process of vaping can be rather confusing though as there are a variety of factors that have to be considered when setting up your vape. One of those being vape coils.

Vape coils are an integral part of your vape set up and make vaping possible. Not sure what they are or why they are needed? We have put together a handy guide that will help you understand this important vape component, how to use them, care for them, and enhance your vaping experience. 


What are Vape Coils?

The best place to start is answering the question ‘what is a vape coil’? Vape coils are a replaceable component that are found in vape tanks and in vape kits. It’s function is to ensure that power from your battery is taken and transformed into heat. This allows the e-liquid to be turned into vapour and create the clouds that are so often associated with vaping. 

Within a standard coil model, there will be a length of coiled wire which is carefully wrapped around an absorbent wick. It is this wire that creates the heat and it is the wick that is able to absorb the e-liquids which are usually held in your vape tank

When combined, these two components of the coil work together with the wick supplying a consistent source of e-liquid for the wire to eventually heat into a vapour. These are found within the atomiser of a vape and they come in a variety of resistances as well as different materials and builds which allows every vaper to have a custom coil for their vaping style. 

Something to note is that every manufacturer will create a specific coil for their atomiser. This means that you will have to consider compatible coils when going to buy replacements for your vape or your kit so ensure that you do your research before purchasing one.


Understanding Coil Resistance And Ohm’s Law

Understanding the purpose of the coil and how it works can be explained through coil resistance and ohm’s law. A coil’s resistance is measured in ohms which is why an understanding of Ohm’s Law is integral. Ohm’s Law is used to explain the relationship between power, resistance, and current. 

This helps users determine the vapour production of a coil which then helps decide what coil is right for you. Something to help you determine what coil is right for you is that coils that have lower resistance will require a higher power and a higher Amp output. Thus, a higher resistance coil will require a lower power and a lower Amp output. 


The Different Types of Vape Coils

We have now determined that a coil’s very design is to ensure that e-liquids are vapourised but coils can be created to perform differently, customising the vaping experience. Using different types of wick or wire can change the amount of vapour that will be produced, influence flavour and can even improve the lifespan of the coils in general. 

Coils are usually split into two different categories – mouth to lung and sub ohm. Each has a different result and helps enhance your vaping experience by entirely customising it. The vaping coils take their name from the vaping style they support, making it much easier for you to select the coil that you need. 


Mouth To Lung Coils

Very popular amongst beginner vapers, mouth to lung vaping is a process that takes the vapour from your mouth cavity, carrying it into your lungs – a similar method that is used when inhaling a cigarette. Mouth to Lung coils require a higher resistance than others meaning that a 1.0 ohm or higher is needed and they will produce a small amount of vapour. 

While they are popular among beginners, they are also a great option for experienced vapers due to their ability to deliver intense flavour profiles in e-liquids for users – a perfect option for those who are flavour chasers. 

The coils produce less vapour meaning that they also don’t consume as much e-liquid as other coils. This makes them a more economical option for those who want to make savings and they also end up lasting longer. 


Sub Ohm Coils

While mouth to lung coils produce a small amount of vapour, sub ohm coils are designed to do the exact opposite. Known for creating large amounts of vapour clouds, they get their name from their resistance as a sub ohm coil will always have less than 1.0 ohms of resistance. 

Due to this lower resistance, they accept a greater level of power which means they end up heating more e-liquid at a faster rate. This causes larger amounts of vapour – perfect for cloud chasers

Sometimes referred to as direct to lung coils because they operate a direct to lung vaping style where you can inhale vapour directly into the lungs without having to hold it within your mouth.

Sub ohm coils require a vape or vape kit that produces a large amount of power to operate effectively. This means that you will be paying for a more expensive set up than you would have been if going for a mouth to lung kit. They are also usually designed for advanced vapers so, if you are just starting out, bear in mind that they are more complex to use. 

Their complexity is rooted in a more rigorous set up and knowledge around vaping – mouth to lung coils resemble the process of smoking which is usually more familiar to most users. Vapour production does take time to get used to as it can be consuming, so going to limited vapour production is often preferable for beginners.


What Are Rebuildable Coils?

Something to take stock of is rebuildable coils. These have been created with the sole purpose of being used with atomisers that are also rebuildable. These are categorically not for beginners. They require extensive knowledge of Ohm’s Law, battery knowledge, as well as electrical and general health and safety knowledge. 

For those wanting a full custom experience, rebuildable coils provide the ultimate solution to ensuring that you are getting the best personalisation possible. They allow you to pick the metal of the coil, be it metals like nickel or titanium, but they also let you choose the resistance that you require. 

They are built by mounting them onto the build deck of a rebuildable atomiser. They usually are accompanied by hand-made cotton wicks which are threaded through them to soak up e-liquids that drip directly onto them. This allows for a larger mount of cloud production as well as an enhanced flavour – even greater than what a sub ohm tank coil can offer.


Power Level For Coils

Understanding the power level of coils can help you ensure they are cared for correctly. Using a coil at too high a level could cause it to burn out. If you use a coil at too low a level, there is the potential of e-liquid build-up which will then prevent adequate vapour production. 

Luckily, most modern coils have an advised power level already printed on them which is usually recorded in watts. This range will help prevent any negative issues and allow you to have an enhanced vaping experience. 

If you don’t know what power to use, simply set your vape to the lowest wattage available and then begin raising the wattage or increasing the power by ten watts after each puff. This will help you find a power level that is best suited for your needs. 


E-Liquids and Coils 

Without e-liquids, coils wouldn’t be able to produce vapour so, depending on the result that you want, selecting the correct e-liquid for your coil is integral for your vaping experience. The two factors that can help influence this decision are nicotine strength and thickness. 



Choosing nicotine e-liquids can be made easier by knowing how much nicotine is in a typical cigarette habit. It is thought that one to five cigarettes per day contains 6mg to 12mg of nicotine. Six to ten cigarettes per day contains 12mg to 18mg of nicotine, and if you are smoking over ten cigarettes per day, your body will be getting 18mg to 20mg of nicotine.

Nicotine strength usually depends on what each user requires but do bear in mind that coils can influence how nicotine is delivered. Sub ohm coils heat more e-liquid due to them being designed to produce more vapour. This will also increase a nicotine hit. 

If you want to use sub ohm coils, it is recommended that you refrain from using an e-liquid that contains more than six milligrams of nicotine. Mouth to lung coils are incredibly compatible with nicotine strength, so you have more flexibility on whether you go for high strength or low strength.



Thickness is another thing to consider when selecting an e-liquid for your coil. E-liquids are usually made up of two main ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG), which are both widely found in food and medicine. 

The information to consider here is what concentration of each to go for. Levels of VG and PG will always add up to 100%, so you can mix and match your content to be 70:30 of VG to PG or even 50:50.

E-liquids that have a higher PG percentage are thinner which means they require less power to be heated into vapour. E-liquids that contain a high concentration of VG will be thicker meaning that you will need more power to vaporise them.

High concentrate PG creates a wonderful bond between nicotine and flavouring in e-liquids. This means that there is an increased flavour capacity with PG heavy e-liquids. If you decide to go for a higher concentration of VG, however, you will get larger amounts of vapour creating more impressive clouds.

The general rule of thumb is that sub ohm coils usually take e-liquids with a 60% concentration of VG whereas a mouth to lung coil will suffice on an e-liquid with a ratio of 50:50 PG to VG. 


How to Install Vape Coils

Setting up a coil correctly will always make your vaping experience better. If you purchase a ready made vaping kit, the chances are, the coil will already be fitted. You can check the tank to make sure the coil is fitted securely, regardless. 

If your coil hasn’t been fitted, make sure it’s in good condition. Coils have smaller rubber rings fitted to them known as o-rings. Their job is to act as a seal to make sure the tank doesn’t leak when it is filled up with e-liquid. Ensure that they are all intact before you begin to install your coil.

After this, insert your coil into the base of the tank and then tighten it by hand. It’s important you don’t make it too tight as you then won’t be able to unscrew it. Unless told to use tools by a manual, ensure you just use your hands to insert it. 

Then, once the coil has been installed, you can add e-liquids to your tank. Once you have filled the tank, let the device stand upright for five to ten minutes. This allows the e-liquid to properly soak and saturate the coil and prevents the coil from burning out. 


How Often You Should Change Your Coil

Something that every vape user should know is how often to change your coil. No matter how well you maintain it, your coil will need to be changed. The majority of manufacturers do recommend that you change your coil a week after use. 

This might not be necessary if you don’t vape often, so every two weeks will suffice if this is the case. There are three key ways to help you figure out when you should change your coil: when taste changes, when the coil smells like burnt metal, or when the cotton has turned dark brown or black. 


The Coil Taste Changes

Arguably the fastest way to decipher if your coil needs to be changed, if the taste of your vapour has changed or it tastes like burnt metal or fibre, it is recommended that you replace it immediately.

The Coil Smells Like Burnt Metal

 On that note, if the smell of burnt metal or fibre is coming from the tank, you either need to change the coil or you are vaping at too high a wattage. The best course of action is to reduce your wattage and, if the smell continues, simply replace the coil.


The Coil Has Turned Brown or Black

If the cotton within your coil is a dark brown or black, that is its way of saying it needs to be changed as the textile is deteriorating. It might not taste different but it is a good way of ensuring that you are caring for your coil correctly


Caring For Your Coils

Like every piece of equipment or item, caring for your coil will ensure that it lasts longer and will save you money as well as time in the long run. Simple maintenance ensures that it is at its best and doing simple things can ensure that it stays fresher for longer. 



Something every vaper should make routine is priming your coils. It is a very easy process that simply involves installing the coil into the base of the tank and dripping a small amount of e-liquid onto the exposed cotton. 

This process should be repeated several times and from there you can reassemble and fill your tank as normal. Through priming your coil, your vape will be able to soak e-liquid into the wick faster which ensures that you don’t have to wait quite as long to start vaping. 


Change Your Ratios

If you are noticing that your coils are burning out much faster than they should be, consider looking at the type of e-liquid that you are using. If you are using an e-liquid that has a higher VG ratio, the e-liquid will be much thicker, causing the coil to clog. 

Sweeter flavours of e-liquids can also contribute to this issue, so it is recommended that you use them sparingly or be prepared to change your coil more often. Dropping your VG ratio by ten percent or moving to a simple flavour can cause instantaneous results. 


Switch Your Nicotine strength

If you don’t want to change your flavour or your VG concentration, and you are still experiencing coils that burn out quickly, you will have to find ways to vape less. A way to do this is by increasing the nicotine strength meaning you have to inhale less to get the same nicotine kick.

When you increase your nicotine levels, you are able to satisfy your cravings immediately and for longer periods of time meaning you won’t need to vape as much as previously. This can come with increased harshness of a throat hit, so using Nic Salts is a great way to get a nicotine rush which is also a smooth hit. 


Refrain from Chain Vaping

The process of chain vaping is where you continually vape in a short amount of time. This can cause a couple of issues for your vape. Firstly, you’ll end up going through a lot of e-liquid incredibly quickly. This can result with more e-liquid on your coil, causing the cotton to degrade on the wick and making your vape unusable.

Another issue is that not every wick can soak up e-liquids as quickly as the coil heats it. This means that you could potentially get a dry hit where the coil has nothing to heat but cotton, causing it to burn


Vaping Coil Knowledge

Without a doubt, coils are a vital part of your vape and can be a confusing component to understand. Taking into consideration the type of vaping style you want to achieve, the vape you have, and the care you give your coils can radically change how your vape is.

If you want to know more about vape coils, how to install them, or what coil is best suited for you, get in touch with KIX Vaping today. We have a wide range of vape coilsx for you to experiment with. 

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