Clapton coil: the basics
Today we take a look into what a Clapton coil is and why it has become so popular. If you vape using sub-ohm tanks, you will likely see some coil heads advertised as Clapton coils or Clapton coils being sold pre-wrapped for use with RDAs or RTAs. Or maybe you’ve watched build videos on YouTube or just seen some of the beautiful macro shots on Instagram.
But for those not-in-the-know….
A Clapton coil is a vape wire consisting of a core of wire tigtly wrapped by, usually, a thinner gauge wire.
The first Clapton coil was created by an E-Cigarette Forum (ECF) member by the username of mrdee3. It consisted of a 24-gauge core with a 32-guage outer wrap. He came up with the idea while playing guitar because he realized that a guitar string had a lot of surface area. He created the wire by turning a strand of 24-gauge kanthal in a drill and winding 32-gauge kanthal wire around it.
Nowadays, there is a large variety of Clapton coils; you have the Alien Clapton, Staggered Fused Clapton, Framed Staple Clapton and many others. It has become a form of art; Instagram is loaded with extremely well-done macro shots of beautiful and unique coils.
Why use Clapton coils:
There are several reasons why Clapton coils are so popular: they can increase flavor, increase cloud production, they have better longevity, they can look cool and are fun to make.
The increased cloud production is caused by the large increase in surface area. All of the nooks and crannies of the outer wire creates increases the surface area of the otherwise bare wire by quite a bit. This increased surface area is essentially exposing more wire to juice which allows it to heat a larger amount of juice at the same time, increasing vapor production.
This is partially why a Clapton coil can have more flavor as well. The flavor from a Clapton coil can have more depth to it since they allow you to taste more notes in your juice. Think of it this way: at certain temperatures, different notes of your juice come out which is why it is good to adjust your power a little bit every time you change flavors. In a Clapton coil, the core will heat up much faster than the outer wire, allowing you to taste flavors that come out at higher power levels, while at the same time tasting flavors that come out at lower power levels.
Clapton coils also act as a wick and stores juice inside its cavities. Some variations have interesting wicking properties such as the Alien Clapton, invented by blueeyedgoon89 on Instagram; this wire will disperse the juice throughout the wire when wet.
How to make your own:
The easiest way to make Clapton wire is to harness the core wire(s) to a fishing swivel that is mounted to the end of a table. With the other end of the wire clamped down tightly in a drill, spin the drill with one hand while winding the outer wire on with the other hand. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you get it, it will become very easy. It is best to start slow and gradually increase speed as you get in the groove. I recommend holding the outer wire by the spool and winding directly off of that; it saves wire and it’s neater. There is a bit of finesse required with the hand that is winding the outer wire on. If you hold the spool too loosely, the wire may not lay even and will create uneven spaces in the wraps; if you hold it too tightly, the wire can snap. When the drill is spinning, I keep my eye on the point in which the outer wire meets the core and focus on keeping a 90º angle between the two.
When creating Fused Clapton wire, the wire may be a little twisted. With some nylon tipped pliers, walk end-to-end and untwist the wire.
Buying pre-made Clapton wire:
There are many different variations of pre-made Clapton coils and wire. In general, the bigger the coil is, the hotter it will be in addition to a lower resistance. For me, when I want a single core Clapton, I use a core wire that is the size of the bare wire that I use for that atomizer, sometime’s a little smaller. For Fused Claptons, understand that there are multiple cores that decrease the resistance significantly just like a parallel coil. There are many different kinds of Clapton wire out there to experiment with, we will post a few links below where you can buy some Claptons.