Vaping, as a whole, has come a long way since it was first developed and released in 2007. When vape devices were first hitting the market, the weaker chips coupled with single 18650 "mech-mods", created a number of limitations to how you could safely build your coils for your vape. However, over the past couple of years, we have seen this industry grow and evolve substantially. With these changes, we have seen a tremendous growth in tech advancement and new safety standards being reset every few months with newer and better chip sets. Vapors now have more options at hand to build on and can explore deeper into the sub-ohm world. But, lest we forget the accidents and harm that have been exploited repeatedly by the nightly news over the years, due to improper builds and a lack of build knowledge. This article will serve as a general build guide for using these stronger devices with lower ohm coils (and the wires that make them). Feel free to comment if you have questions or need some more in-depth help from any one of our community members! Let's dive in.
Types of Wire: This we will not cover too much in this article. We will, however, cover one specific type of wire in part 3 of this series. For a general idea of the wires that we will be referencing here, I encourage you to look at the article under Types of Wire titled: "What is Kanthal?" by our very own John here at MBV. There you will find a good listing of wires, their general uses and there is a great link to follow if you need some help with more vaping vocabulary and definitions. For the general purposes of the explanations in this article, we will be speaking in regards to Kanthal wire. However, all of these tips can be utilized just the same with Nickle, Titanium and Stainless Steel Wire as well.
Higher Ohm Coils and Higher Gauge Wire:
In the past, coil builds and coils in general, were much weaker in comparison to what you may see in a typical pre-built set today. It was not out of the norm to have a coil (or dual coils) that read out at or well above 1.0 ohm.
*If you are unfamiliar with ohms and what they might mean to you, I encourage you to follow the link to our article on this topic and read up a bit more before continuing on*
These higher ohm coils are still quite useful depending on the device and tank/RDTA/RTA/RDA setup that you are using. Those who find themselves striving for smaller "micro-coil" builds, like the tried-and-true Kanger Subtank with its RBA base, would prefer this type of build. Both for form factor and per its effectiveness in giving you higher ohms, it can be just what you are looking for.
Generally speaking, with higher ohm coils, you can achieve this in a number of ways if you are looking to build one yourself:
1. Using higher gauge wire: This is one of the best ways to accomplish a higher ohm coil. While the thinner wire will be a bit springy and will be a bit different to work with- you are able to achieve higher ohms easier due to its makeup. Thinner wire (and longer wire in general) has less space for power to move through. Because of this it takes more of it to create room for the power to move through in order to achieve a lower ohm level. Types of wire that would be used would include (32g, 30g, 28g and 26g being on the lower end of the spectrum).
2. Using more wraps: When you are making your coils (as mentioned in the last point) one thing that thinner wire has going for it is that the smaller sizes mean that you need more of it to achieve a lower ohm build. Using more wraps (while being mainly focused on lower gauge wires) can lead to a higher ohm coil if you are using anything lower than a 26g to build. For example:
*If I am using a 28g wire and am wrapping my own coils on a standard 2mm diameter bit, I would be able to fit about 10 - 11 wraps before I would hit a 1.7 ohm mark. Compare that to using a 26g at the exact same diameter (2mm), I would need about 16-17 wraps done before I would reach the same mark.
Coming back to the number of wraps needed, we can see that the lower you go in gauge, the crazier it can get with wraps. But the example is there just to show how a higher ohm level can be achieved through a greater number of wraps. If you find yourself stuck with just one gauge of wire you are not out of luck! You may just need to put in a little extra work first.
3. Using a smaller diameter jig: While this will be used mainly in conjunction with varying types of wires to help achieve that higher ohm level, it is a very useful tool in the hopes of making your "micro-coils" a real micro-coil. Before we hop to our next example to show how this would work, we would again reference back to the first point in which the size of the wire (g or gauge) is taken into account. The thinner the wire, the higher the resistance will initially come out to be for you. With that in mind the smaller we make the coil the more wraps that are needed in order to get that coil to a lower level. Each time you are making the coil smaller, you are restricting the amount of space that the power has to flow through, thus raising that ohm level you get. Lets look at an example:
*Jumping from the last example, we know the specs needed to get to a 1.7 ohm mark using the previous set-up (28g and 2mm). Now, lets look at what happens when we take our diameter and bump it down to 1.5 mm. It jumps to about 13 - 14 wraps! With a small 0.5mm drop we see that we now need more wraps in order to reach that level because we need more space. However, bumping the diameter up a bit to, say, a 2.5mm we find that we would then need about 8-9 wraps to reach the same 1.7 ohm mark.
So, with that last example in mind we can see how a simple change of the diameter in which you wrap your wire around can yield different results, sometimes greatly. All of these tips that have been laid out can be applied to the use of lower gauge wire as well and can be effective if you only have thicker wire on hand and are in need of a higher ohm coil.
This concludes this section of our three part series on coil basics. If you did not see an item covered here that you would like to talk about more, feel free to leave a comment and let us know! Join us on our next section where we will be covering Lower Ohms and Macro Coils. Keep on vaping everyone!