Best Tips To Ensure Your Homemade Coils Are Not Defective Best Tips To Ensure Your Homemade Coils Are Not Defective

We made this guide for anyone wondering how to make vape coils, how to change coil in vape, how long do vape coils last, or any other questions concerning vaping coils.

Knowing how and when to change vape coils in your mod is one of the aspects of vaping that requires some finesse. From being able to identify when a coil is burnt out, to understand the somewhat muddled terminology, dealing with coils is one of the most advanced, but game-changing parts of vaping. For example when talking about an atomizer you need to be able to identify whether the term atomizer is being used to describe the device that powers and heats the coils, or the coils themselves.

This gets confusing because the term atomizer is, by definition, any device that turns a liquid into a fine mist or vapor. By that definition, a spray bottle could be called an atomizer. However, as vaping has grown in worldwide popularity, the term has become more linked to vaping among the general public.

A vaporizer’s coils are typically made of either stainless steel, nickel, kanthal, or titanium. They can be pre-made or, for advanced users, made by hand. A wicking material is used to hold the e-liquid and keep the coils saturated effectively. When the coils are heated the liquid, or given material becomes vapor. We’ve put together a guide here to help you understand all the basics and hopefully get you on the path to the next level of vaping.

Getting Started

Starting out with building your coils can be intimidating. While it offers vapers more control over their experience, it is not something you should go into lightly. There are many aspects you need to understand about vaping at large, like battery safety, and about your specific vaporizer before you should worry about building coils. That said, the process of learning to create coils is gratifying, and making your own will lend to a more fulfilling vape experience. So now keeping all that in mind, we’re going to go over some information about different wires used in vaping.

Making Coils

While the coil replacement material and wire gauge are important, you must first understand the process of building a coil. You’ll need some tools to start. A small 2mm screwdriver, clippers, tweezers, wicking material, and an ohm reader. Before beginning, you should consult a coil vape calculator, which can be easily found online. You input your target ohms and the type and gauge of the wire you are using; then it tells you how many loops you are looking to make.

Before making said loops, we highly suggest that you check out a selection of the many tutorials you can find online as visual aids are extremely helpful for coil making. That said, here is the breakdown of how coil making works.

You start by cutting a longer than necessary piece of wire from your spool. Then use your thumb to hold the wire in place as you wrap it around the screwdriver. You should wrap it to match the number of times the calculator gave you. Those wraps should be as close together as possible, but not overlapping. Once finished do not immediately remove it from the screwdriver. Instead, use the ohm tester to make sure the coil is working correctly.

To take the reading, take your RDA, or whatever houses your coil, and attach it to the reader. Then you use the screwdriver to insert the coil into the correct spot and tighten it in place before removing the screwdriver. The reading of your coil does not have to be perfect, but it should test within 0.2 ohms of your goal. Lastly, you remove the coil and install it in the vaporizer.

While still attached to the tester, use ceramic tweezers to gently press the end of your coil together once they are glowing red to go a step beyond. What this does is eliminate the hot spots on your coil.  Only use ceramic tweezers when doing this though. By using metal tweezers, you risk injury or possibly shorting out your coil.


No matter which material you end up using for the wire, it’ll be available in different gauges. Simply put, the gauge is the measurement of the wire’s diameter. The most popular gauges of wire used in coil making are generally between 32 and 22. The larger the number is, the thinner the physical wire, so a 28 gauge wire is smaller than a 26, and so on. When we discuss the types of wires and making coils with them, we’ll have to consider the resistance. So keep in mind that the lower the gauge of the wire, the higher its resistance will be and the longer it will take for it to heat.


Kanthal is one of the most popular metals used in vape coils. It is affordable and widely available in shops and online.  It’s also very easy to manipulate into a coil, yet keeps its shape well during re-wicking. The most prominent aspect of kanthal that keeps it from being a top pick among the vaping elite is the fact that it cannot be used with temperature control devices. Some also dislike that its heat up time is slightly slower than other materials. Those few flaws aside, kanthal is an excellent choice for most vapers.


Nickel has been the top pick for temperature control devices for a while now. It’s important to remember though that it should only ever be used in temperature control devices. That is because there are significant concerns when nickel is heated over 600℉. Nickel, like kanthal, is widely available and budget-friendly but boasts a much faster heat up time. Nickel is also known for supporting full and robust flavor when used. However, in addition to the concerns with temperature control, there are some other negatives to nickel wire. For instance, it is highly malleable making it easy to manipulate but next to impossible to re-wick in a way that maintains its shape. If you are concerned about that but still want to use nickel; keep an eye out for tempered nickel as this somewhat helps the issue that we mentioned.


Titanium, though commonly used in vaping, is a very controversial choice of wire. When heated over 1130℉ it releases titanium dioxide, an extremely toxic substance. When used in a properly functioning temperature control device, however, that sort of extreme temperature should not be too much of a concern. People who prefer titanium value it’s durability, and the ease of working with it. It is also known for facilitating crisp, full flavor. Unlike the previous two entries, titanium is expensive and often difficult to find. Along with being aware of the toxicity concerns, users should be mindful that if there were to be a critical failure that titanium started fires are very difficult to put out. While it is unlikely, it is always best to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel wires can be used with both temperature control and wattage devices, making them the most versatile wire option. There are a lot of advantages to using stainless steel wires. It has excellent strength, a quicker heat up time, and offers clean flavor. It is also reasonably easy to find and often at a low price. The tricky part of finding SS wires is looking for a specific gauge. Also when buying SS wires, you may want to stay aware of the nickel content. If it has an unusually high nickel content, you can run into issues with re-wicking.


Finally, we’ll talk about Nichrome, which is an alloy of nickel and chromium. Many people swear by its fast heat up time. Nichrome behaves like Kanthal in many ways, like it’s workability, but it does have a lower melting point which is something users ought to be aware of, especially when dry burning. However, users should know that nichrome is very difficult to find, especially in physical shops, so if you want to use this wire, you will likely have to buy it online.

A Word On Replacing Coils

That last aspect of making your coils you will need to understand is how to change a vape coil. Luckily by being able to make the coil, you are already past the hardest part. After about a week of consistent use, or sooner if you vape more frequently, you’ll want to replace your coil. All that requires is removing the pieces and starting over again. In between coil changes you can also refresh your vape by re-wicking.

Pre-Built Coils And Their Benefits

Premade coils are the epitome of convenience. They are made to work in your device by the manufacturer, so they offer the most consistent experience. When a coil is beyond its peak, you can pop it out and put a new one in, being sure it’ll work as intended. You can find premade replacement coils for sale on the site of most any brand. You can also find good deals on the same vape coils for sale on other sites if you know where to look. Our deals section is continually being updated with the latest bargains so it’s always good too look there and see if you can save a few pennies.

As mentioned there are a lot of benefits to premade vape coils. On top of being convenient and consistent, they relatively worry-free. You know that the coil you are putting into your device will work with the components. This makes it easy for beginners who are still learning about battery safety, or just those who want to avoid the hassle of making their coils. With pre-built vape replacement coils, you are always just a few moments from a fresh, clean vape.

While all of that is wonderful premade coils also have their downsides, like increased coil pack price. They don’t generally tend to last as long as their handmade counterparts. This translates into higher coil pack cost for the user. If you are a moderate to heavy vaper, the costs of premade coils themselves can add up quickly as well. Another issue is with wicking. Most premade vapor coils can’t be re-wicked. Meaning you’re either stuck with the same flavor, or you’re risking a sub-par vaping experience with flavor contamination and possible issues with your rig. If any of these seem like more significant downsides than just the convenience of the thing, you’ll probably want to consider building your coils.


Finding the best vape coil for you can be complicated, and it does take a lot of dedication to learning about the various options and skills that go into it. Overall it is an enjoyable and rewarding experience to be able to make your coils. It’ll help you become more invested, and take more pride in your vaping, which also increases enjoyment. If the hassle and dedication are too much for you, then pre-made coils are likely the perfect fit. No matter what path you choose, the goal is always for you as the user to get the most out of your vaping experience, and nothing is more satisfying than a new coil.


Katie Bercham - CocktailNerd Editor

Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 5 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community.