Every vaper knows how much of a hassle it is when your atomizer dies and you have no spare lying around. Especially for new vapers, disposable atomizers are the norm. While these are convenient and very easy to use, eventually, the cost of having to replace them every few weeks or so will take its toll. The answer? Invest in a nice rebuildable atomizer and your homemade wrap coils.
There are many rebuildable atomizers (or RDAs) out on the market, and most require vapers to know how to wrap coils. While some models may have pre-wrapped coils and wicks included, the majority do not. Even if you choose one with the pre-made coils, eventually you’ll have to learn to wrap coils on your own. So what does it take to wrap coils? Let me count the ways.
– A set of precision screwdrivers
– A set of Allen Wrenches
– Kanthal or Nichrome Wire
– Small Wire Cutter (or Nail Cutter)
– Silica Wicks or Organic Cotton
Why do you need a set of precision screwdrivers and allen wrenches instead of just one? Because various RDAs use different screws. Some have small phillips types, others require flatheads, while some use allen screws. But aside from the screws used, the tools can be used to wrap coils around in too. Various sizes give various diameters, so having a set will let you experiment how large your coils will be. As a general rule, the larger the coil, the more wicking material can be used and the higher the resistance.
Kanthal and Nichrome are similar, though if you are using a mod with temperature control (TC), Nichrome is needed since TC only works with it. For other types, or if you don’t care much about TC, Kanthal is fine. It must be noted that wires have different gauges and you might have to experiment with them before you know what works well for you. Remember, the thinner the wire, the higher the resistance.
Tweezers are used to give you added precision when pulling the wick or fixing the placement of the coil. While a wire cutter, or nail cutter, lets you cut the wire with ease instead of twisting and bending it till it breaks.
As for wicks, if you are the type that likes to dryburn their wicks, silica should be used. However, organic cotton has become more popular these days and give a cleaner vape. It is arguably safer as well, and is easier to work with.
Finally, there’s the multimeter. This is used to check the ohms or resistance of your coil. Most mods have their own ohm meters, but having a multimeter will provide a more accurate reading, and allows you to check the resistance of your coil BEFORE you install it on the atomizer. This is convenient because you won’t have to install a coil, then find out it’s not the resistance you prefer so you have to take it out and build another.
Building Your Coil
Now we get to the good part. Building your own coils. The first thing you should do is take a piece of Kanthal, and cut a small length about two or three inches. Take a screwdriver or allen wrench and start wrapping the coil. The number of wraps depends on the user, with more wraps giving more resistance. Once the coil is made, squeeze it together using the tweezers to ensure each wrap is uniform.
If you are pleased with the look of your coil, take it out and place each leg of your coil onto the atomizer poles. Some atomizers might need both legs facing the same direction, others will need the legs to be apart. Once set, tighten the screws to hold the coil in place.
Before you cut the excess wire, fire the mod first to heat the coils up. This serves a dual purpose – it removes the metallic taste of new coils and it strengthens the wire to help keep the coils in place. Between each firing, use the tweezers to further squeeze the coils together.
Once the coil has been oxidized and stiff enough to hold its shape, cut the excess wire from each pole.
Take your cotton and tear a small strip from it. Depending on the diameter of your coil, the exact amount varies, so there will be a bit of trial and error. Remember, too much cotton will restrict the flow of e-juice while too little will result in hotspots and give a burnt taste. Make sure the cotton you put in is snug, but not too tight that you can’t pull it off.
Then, saturate the cotton wick with e-juice and do a test fire. Observe if the coil has hotspots (places where the wire glows). The coil should only glow near the poles of the atomizer and not on the coil itself. When hotspots are present, you can either adjust the coil using the tweezers, or you can remove the cotton wick and put in a slightly thicker amount. The key here is to have the coil touch the cotton. Any areas that are not touching the cotton will result in a hotspot.
Once everything looks even, cut the excess cotton to a length that fits the atomizer and assemble it all together. It is recommended to use enough cotton to hold a good amount of e-juice but leaving some space inside the atomizer for air to circulate. Do not pack the cotton inside too tightly or else you restrict the flow of e-juice. Once set, add a few more drops and start vaping!
There are many types of coils, and the above is for the single coil type only. It takes some practice and may seem frustrating at times, but after a few tries it becomes second nature. So keep at it and enjoy the journey!
Check out the video tutorial below on proper wicking technique to wrap coils.