There’s no denying that vaping is the new alternative to smoking. With its rise in popularity, vape users are constantly looking for innovative ways to upgrade their mods, from custom flavors to personalized designs and everything in between. Nowadays, the sky’s the limit! Some users have even started building coils for a cheaper and more enjoyable experience.
The wire types used to build vape coils include nickel, nichrome, stainless steel, kanthal, and titanium wire.
Vape enthusiasts always look for ways to improve the flavor and enjoy their vape to its full potential. Building vape coils is one of the slightly more technical methods to maximize your vaping experience.
Other than those who build their vape coils, it is also essential for people who use pre-made atomizers to know about the various types of vaping wires. Given the different ways the varying materials of vaping wires influence their capabilities, understanding the basics will aid in your decision-making.
What Are Vape Wires?
Vape coils heat the vaping liquid and vaporize it for the user to inhale. Using a vape without coils isn’t possible, and they’re a vital aspect of the device.
The vaping wire is what makes up a coil. The wire is wrapped in a spiral to form the coil.
Some users favor certain types of wires over others, depending on their vaping style and personal preference. However, it’s not a “one size fits all” as wires are available in various materials which heavily influence the vaping experience.
5 Types of Vape Wires
Usually, you’ll find five different types of vaping wire readily available. Besides vaporizing the vaping liquid, the specific material regulates other factors too. Therefore, even if you are not planning to make your own coils, you should have a basic understanding of the various vape wires.
Moreso, other than its impact on flavor, heating time, and vaporization, the correct vaping wire is necessary to ensure you’re vaping safely. Different metals have specific properties, so it is crucial to determine which wire is compatible with your vaping device.
Otherwise, using the wrong vape wire can lead to serious health risks or worse. Your vape device may burn or explode, although most explosions usually happen because of the battery.
There are a few standard vape wires that are commonly available. Nonetheless, every one of them is different from the other. So, to ensure that you don’t pair up your vaping device with the wrong type of vape wire, you should know their differences.
Furthermore, you’ll need to know the best vape wire for you, when you choose your first wire for coil building.
1. Nickel Wire
Nickel wire or Ni200 (pure nickel) was the first vape wire used with temperature control vaping. As nickel is a quick heating material, it has a TCR (temperature coefficient of resistance) of 0.006, making it easy for you to determine the amount of current your device needs.
Nickel wires produce a better flavor and have a relatively faster ramp-up time than other wires. Also, nickel is a safe vape wire, especially if you use these vape wire types as intended.
On the downside, it is hard to work with pure nickel, as it is soft, making it challenging to create uniform coils. Furthermore, people with a nickel allergy should avoid using these wires for vaping.
Although nickel wires are compatible with TC mode, they are unsuitable for wattage mode, as you could inhale nickel if you overheat your coil. Additionally, you should always use nickel with temperature control mode.
Finally, you should know that there is a difference between tempered nickel wire and an untempered nickel coil. Tempered metal is tougher while untempered is soft.
2. Nichrome Wire
A nickel and chromium alloy, nichrome is an excellent wire for vaping. Although nichrome coils are tricky to track down, they are an oxidation-resistant wire type capable of functioning at high temperatures without damage.
Furthermore, nichrome coil wire has a lower melting point, so it could catch fire if you’re careless. Yet, you can conveniently use this material in wattage mode.
The nichrome wire has low resistance, so the vape coil wire heats faster. In addition, nichrome can be easily coiled and properly retains its shape.
Nonetheless, users should remain wary of the nichrome wire’s nickel content if they have a nickel allergy.
3. Stainless Steel Wire (SS)
Easy to come by but unique in its functionality, stainless steel is the only vape wire that can pull double duty. In other words, you can use the wire in both TC vaping and wattage modes.
Stainless steel wire is an alloy composed of fundamental nickel, chromium, and carbon.
Stainless steel wires are available in various grades, SS316L being medical and food-grade, fit for vaping. Additionally, the stainless steel wire has a relatively higher ramp time and a high melting point.
Plus, stainless steel coils hold their shape well and form consistent coils easily. Nevertheless, people with a nickel allergy should check the nickel content first, and users should avoid high temperatures with SS wires.
Finally, SS vape wires are often more expensive than other coils. However, stainless steel is the most commonly used wire, especially certain types of SS wire grades.
4. Kanthal Wire
The most commonly used vape wire, kanthal, is made of ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum alloy. A kanthal wire is unaffected by oxidation, easy to acquire, and affordably priced. Thus, these wires are an excellent choice if you’re new to making vape coils.
Kanthal wire is highly durable, easy to manipulate, and maintains its shape, making it one of the most popular coil wires on the market.
On the other hand, kanthal wires may not offer a flavor as good as other materials, and they are only compatible with wattage mode.
5. Titanium Wire (TI Wire)
Last but not least is titanium wires. Titanium wire works great with TC mode, but you can’t find titanium easily in modern vape shops, probably because it is a controversial wire type with plenty of concerns about its safety.
Despite titanium wires producing a clean and crisp flavor, people avoid using this material because of safety concerns. Heating titanium leads to the emission of toxic gases, specifically titanium dioxide and titanium oxide.
Furthermore, if titanium vape wire runs at its maximum heat capacity and catches on fire, it is extremely difficult to extinguish. However, as long as you don’t use it in wattage mode and your TC mode is working fine, it should not be a problem.
The Basics of Vaping Wire
Distinguished by their properties yet united by their function, vape wires serve the same purpose. However, you will have to consider the following characteristics to determine which of them is the most suitable for you and your vaping style.
The primary characteristic of any wire is its diameter or wire gauge. Gauge is the numerical value that expresses the wire’s thickness.
Contradictorily, as the wire gauge increases, the diameter of a wire decreases.
A wire with a low gauge is actually the thicker wire. For example, a 24 gauge wire has a diameter of .51 mm, and conversely, a 30 gauge wire has a wire diameter of .25mm. So, the gauge number is not the actual diameter.
Unlike common assumptions, thinner wire is more durable and has higher resistance. So, thinner wires last longer than thicker wires.
Typically, you should aim for a 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 32 gauge wire- where bigger values represent thinner wires.
The time your vape coil requires to achieve the temperature at which it can vaporize the e-liquid is the ramp-up time. Although more noticeable with exotic wires, ramp-up time is essential to consider when making simple single wire coils with more wraps.
The wire gauge indirectly influences the ramp-up time, but the wire length plays a more prominent role. Coils with lower gauge wires are denser as they have more mass, taking longer to heat.
In addition, the individual materials of the vape wire types have their particular internal resistance, thereby differing in their ramp-up time.
The opposition that an electric current faces in its path characterizes resistance. This property correlates with both gauge and length.
As the diameter of the wire decreases, corresponding to an increase in its gauge, the resistance decreases as well. Wires of larger gauge heat up faster. Thus, large gauges offer consumers good flavor even at low wattages.
In addition, the wire’s internal resistance varies according to the material used, which also influences the overall resistance.
To avoid accidents, you should use a resistance calculator. Furthermore, keep in mind that resistance increases with the length of wire you use. Do not forget that by adding coil windings, the resistance also increases.
Forty-one million people vaped in 2018 based on reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning that vaping has become a popular hobby. Also, with the global legalization of cannabis, its consumption has become prevalent, making vaping even more appealing. In addition, the cannabis industry is dynamic and keeps making innovations that are hard to resist.
Similarly, the variation in vape wires creates opportunities for users to have a more personalized vaping experience by buying the type of wire they prefer or making their own coils.
Consumers can choose their preferred material, whether titanium, nickel wire, or any other choice, and customize their vaping coil style to best suit their vaping needs.
However, before you delve into the complexities of making your coil, you need to learn the basics first! Think about visiting one of your local vape shops so they can help you with your choice.