Whether you use your vaporizer for the enjoyment of e-juice, dry herbs, extracts, or concentrates, the quality of your experience is going to be determined in large part by the quality of your heating coils (or heating chamber/system).
And since coils are composed of wire, it only follows logic that the quality of the coil will be largely determined by the type of wire you use. Below, we’re going to take you on a quick and hopefully informative journey through the world of vaping wire and coils.
Keep in mind that coils are generally used for e-juices and liquid concentrate cartridges. If you’re looking for an intense and robust dry herb or concentrate vaporizer without the need to mess with having to make or change coils on a regular basis, check out the Loto Lux, the world’s first ever induction vaporizer.
The five types of vaping wire are, in no particular order:
Kanthal – Kanthal wire is known for being easy to work with. It also tends to hold its shape well, is durable and resists oxidation. In addition, it’s also cheap and plentiful, so it won’t break the wallet. For all these reasons and more you’ll often find Kanthal wire in single coil builds. On the flipside, it doesn’t ramp up as fast as some other wires, and you can’t use it in concert with temperature controls to mediate the flavor and vapor from various materials you use like concentrates, dry herb, flowers, e-juices or waxes.
NiChrome – NiChrome, or nickel-chromium is not typically a wire newcomers want to mess with (it can be a bit temperamental). For example, if you engage in dry burns you may discover at some point that you have a NiChrome fire burning right under your nose. But aside from that, NiChrome is easy to work with and will retain its shape better than some other wires. Experienced vapers typically have no problem with NiChrome and love its fast ramp-up times.
Stainless steel – Stainless steel has the distinction of being the only wire that can be used in both temperature control and wattage modes. It also has a high melting point, is fairly easy to manipulate and is widely available and relatively inexpensive. On the downside, it comes in a variety of grades which can make selecting the right one a bit confusing. Some of those various grades can also be more difficult to work with than others.
Nickel – Vapers tend to have a somewhat standoffish relationship with nickel. That’s mostly born of the fact that it can leach graphite at high temperatures, and that could lead to the development of graphite lung; a nasty condition you don’t want to contract. There are those however who defend nickel and point to its usefulness in TC mode, it’s ready availability and its low cost.
Titanium – Another type of wire that has vapers backing up a bit is titanium. But isn’t titanium like the coolest material ever? Sure, if you’re building stealth fighters. What concerns vapers is that at temps above 1130 Fahrenheit it releases titanium dioxide, a highly toxic substance you don’t want anywhere near your lungs. Still, if you have a reliable TC module on your vaporizer it should mitigate any threat and you can just enjoy the fact that titanium is easy to work with, lasts a long time and generally stays out of the way of your flavors.
Building Coils for Flavor
When building coils for flavor, you’re probably going to want to use nickel or 316L stainless steel. But there are other things to keep in mind as well such as:
- Airflow – In the case of airflow, less is more, in that case, less airflow = more flavor.
- Position of the wick – While you may want to restrict airflow to ramp up flavor, you can’t restrict it so much that it chokes off circulation. Make sure to always leave some space under the coil for this purpose.
- Wick type – While there are no hard and fast rules about wick types, there’s also no doubt that different types produce different flavor experiences. Experiment a bit.
Building Coils for Clouds
Some folks love clouds, especially when vaping e-juices (not so much for concentrates and dry herbs). If you’re one of them, keep in mind the following with regards to your coil:
- Ramp up airflow – Unlike when building for flavor building a coil to produce big clouds means allowing plenty of airflow. Don’t stuff too much cotton in or you’ll choke off the cloud.
- Wire gauge – The thicker the gauge of the coil the more surface area and the bigger the clouds.
- Diameter – You’ll need at least a 3 mm inner diameter on your coil to produce storm clouds.
Coils can be fun to build and play with for advanced vapers, while most beginners should generally stick to temperature-controlled devices with pre-made coils.
That said, coils can also be a pain, and generally need to be replaced every few weeks or months depending on the type and their usage.
If you’re looking to skip the coil mess, and are in need of a high-performance vaporizer for all your favorite concentrates, check out the Loto Lux from Loto Labs. You won’t be disappointed.