So you want to learn how to build a coil, but you don’t even know where to begin. That’s okay, because you’re in the right place. Welcome to coil building 101: an introduction to coil building.
Building coils can help you save money, rather than buying disposable coil heads every week. It’s also a fun hobby that vapers not only take pride in, but get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The best way to get good at it is through repetition. You’ll be building and wicking in no time.
What you’ll need:
- Resistance wire – kanthal, stainless steel, nickel, nichrome, etc.
- Flush cutters – wire cutters that can cut close in small spaces
- Tweezers – preferably ceramic tipped, to pinch your coils while pulsing
- Small metal rod – a small screwdriver, or coiling tool
- Organic cotton – or whichever wicking material you prefer
- Scissors – to trim your cotton
Other (optional) accessories:
- An ohm reader – or a mod that accurately detects resistance
- A coil jig – it can make your life a little easier
- A second vape – to vape on while you’re building those coils, silly
Micro and macro… it's not economics
Micro and macro coils are some of the earliest and most common coil builds. They are created by taking a single piece of wire, and wrapping it around a screwdriver, drill bit or coil jig. The difference between a micro and a macro coil is the inner diameter of the coil. It’s that simple.
The part of the coil that goes directly into your atomizer’s post holes are called leads.
Micro – A micro coil build is a coil that has an inner diameter of 1-2 mm.
Macro – A macro coil build is a coil that has an inner diameter that’s larger than 2 mm.
The bigger the inner diameter of the coil, the higher its resistance, and vice versa. Likewise, the thicker the gauge of wire used, the lower the resistance will be. We recommend using some basic 26 or 28 gauge kanthal for your first few coil builds.
Twist it up!
If you want to get a little bit fancy, you can always do a twisted build. This is when you simply twist two strands of wire together into one single piece of twisted wire with a drill, or by hand. Last but not least, take the twisted wire and continue building your regular macro coils with it.
Twisted wire was the original way of increasing surface area without dropping drastically in resistance. This has a positive impact on flavor, and is much easier to build than claptons.
Single or dual?
You might have noticed that many coil builds have not one, but two coils, known as dual coils. Dual coil builds obviously create more vapor than a single coil. When doing a dual coil build, it’s essential for both coils to be identical in size and form, to ensure that they heat up properly.
With two identical coils, the resistance should be exactly one half of each coil’s resistance. In other words, if you did a dual coil build using two 0.6 ohm coils, your build should be 0.3 ohms. If you take out one of those coils, your resistance will go back up to 0.6 ohms.
Coil building 101
One of the best ways to learn coil building (or anything for that matter) is to watch a good video on YouTube. We’ve already found a couple of great ones that will show you how to do a basic vape coil build. Get your wire, tools and cotton out because it’s time to build some coils!
We recommend just watching them first and, then trying it out yourself. You can start and stop it as you please, or just leave it running in the background for moral support. Ok, let’s get to it…
RiP Trippers - Coil Building 101: Micro Coils, Macro Coils, Nano Coils
This is a perfect introductory video straight from the man himself, Rip Trippers. Best known for his high quality reviews and zany personality, Mr. Trippers has actually made a lot of excellent videos on coil building. In this one, he covers the most basic coil builds: micro, macro and nano. Rip Trippers shows us that with the right type of screwdriver, you can do some nice coil builds.
Ruby Roo - My Favorite Simple & Easy Build for RDAs!
Another great “how to build a coil” video by the Queen herself, Ruby Roo. She addresses a few common concerns like what direction to wrap your coil, which in her opinion is unimportant. In this video, Ruby shows how to install a dual coil build into a classic two-post style atomizer.
Zamplebox - How to Build a Basic Coil - ZB Vape School
Although Zamplebox is best known for their monthly e-juice subscription service and online community, they’ve been putting out some nice videos on YouTube lately. This one features a rundown of a basic dual coil build and installation in time-lapse, set to an extremely funky tune.
This video features an atomizer with velocity-style posts, one of the easiest decks to build on.
Zophie Vapes - Make perfect coils! Single or Parallel using a coil Jig the Kuro Koiler Macro Tutorial
In this video, Zophie Vapes uses a coil jig to make the perfect macro coil build. Some people swear by this tool, so here’s how to use it. Other vapers prefer manually wrapping their coils by hand. Leave us a comment and tell us, which method of coil building do YOU prefer?
Vape Capitol - Buildlapse with Twisted Messes - Twisted 26g Dual Coil
Twisted Messes, aka Kent is easily one of the most well-known coil builders in the world right now. Most popular for his twisted builds, which is how he got his name. In this video, Kent gives us a time lapse view of his famous twisted build while sharing his expert insight on coil building.
Coil building is an art form, but it doesn’t take a professional to draw a stick figure. Anyone can do a basic coil build with some practice, and don’t think you have to nail it on your first shot.
Building and vaping go hand in hand, as it has become a major element of vape culture. Now that you have a good understanding of basic coil building, get out there and build some coils!