Coil Building 101

So you want to be a coil master and build your own coils …great – lets jump in and have some fun, remember its addictive. Coil building has become an art form for some but the best thing to remember, be prepared and know your ohms law. Have everything you need to start in one place:

Why vape wire types and sizes matter

Ok lets talk coil building wire. The type of wire and gauge (size) does matter, one being flavor, two being vapor production and three being ramp up time. You will be surprised that each wire type will give a different flavor (slightly) and they will all give you different challenges either be it building or wrapping. They act in different ways.


Coil builders talk in gauges which is the wire size (diameter). Coil builders popular gauges range from 40, 38, 36, 34, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24 and a couple of in between sizes if available. Even the most mind blowing coils are built using these sizes.

To put into context the thinner the wire the higher the gauge ie 36 gauge is thinner than 30 gauge. Note also increasing the diameter will result in a decrease in resistance so the ramp up time of your coil will take longer to heat up..


The types of coil building wire that are used are:- Kanthal (KA1). NiChrome (Ni80 or Ni90), Stainless Steel (SS), Nickel and Titanium

Kanthal Wire

Is very easy to work with, holds its shape when you are re-wicking. It is low cost and very easy to find to buy. If just starting out it is the perfect wire, Kanthal is great for single coil builds and lets you get the feel of coil building before going and purchasing the more expensive coil building wires.

NiChrome Wire

I personally love coil building with NiChrome. It is an alloy compose of chromium and nickel. It has great ramp up time. It is similar to work with as Kanthal and is slightly less springy and again holds its shape well while coiling and re wicking. Another favorite for vaping in wattage mode.

Always slowly pulse your Nichrome coil as it has a lower melting point, to many dry burns can cause your coil to catch fire. Note:- some people have an allergy to nickel, they should avoid Nichrome wire.

Stainless Steel Wire

This multiskilled wire can be used in wattage and TC modes, great for the vaper who likes to dabble in both modes or is still deciding on what mode suits them. SS wire grades are 4100, 413, 316, 316L, 430, 304 etc. Different grade SS wire contain nearly no nickel which is great for nickel allergies. It is fairly easily to work with and again holds its shape well. Different grades are a bit more springy than others. Ramp up time can be compared to Kanthal and in my opinion creates a true and clean flavour.

Nickel Wire (Ni200)

This coil building wire should only be used in TCR due to concerns of over heating and melting. It is fairly soft which makes building your coils difficult and it does not hold its shape well. If you are allergic to nickel you should avoid using this work. It is much faster to ramp up than Kanthal.

Titanium Wire

A lot of controversy on this wire. It does release titanium dioxide when heated over 1130F. If using a functioning TCR mod it is stable. Always heat Titanium wire until shiny and has an oxide layer that sticks to the wire. I have not used this wire so I am on the fence a little bit. Some vapers say they have no problem?

How to Build a Simple Vape Coil

Youtube is great for tutorials. So what are you going to need for building your coils. At the bottom of the page there is a list of coil builders I follow.

- An ohms reader
- A coil maker (specialised tool for wrapping coils) or a small screwdriver (2 mm)
- Vape wire
- A small screwdriver or an Allen key that fits the screws of your RDA, RDTA
- Nail clippers or wire cutters
- Tweezers (ceramic tip)
- Now you’re ready to build!

Visit to calculate how many wraps you require to reach your resistance

Measure and cut 10 - 12 centimetres of preferred coil wire. Hold your wire with your thumb on the shaft of the screw driver and start wrapping around screwdriver, each wrap should be tight and hugging with out overlapping your previous wrap. After reaching the amount of wraps required the end should be in the same direction as your first tail. Leave your coil on screw drive and cut excess of each leg but always leave enough to go into your posts.

Coil Making

Installing the coil – I always find it much easier to have your RDA/RTA screwed into your ohm reader first.  Unscrew the posts on your RDA/RTA  so as the coil leg can be fed through. Position the ends of the coils into the post holes (one positive and one negative). Tighten the post screws gently. Make sure that your coil is positioned in the centre of your RDA deck. Remove the screwdriver and trim the protruding legs as close to the posts as you can.

Coil Install

Test firing the coil - Check the resistance with your ohms reader. If the reading is off by 0.1-ohm up or down – don’t worry as this happen a lot. However, if the difference is not within that range, tighten your post screws are tight and check that your coil is not touching your posts or deck.

Ohm Reader

After that, attach your RDA to a mod and briefly pulse fire it until it glows (start with lower wattage).

The coil should heat from the centre of the coil to the outside. To avoid hot spots use you tweezers and gently pinch your coil and repeat until it glows evenly.

Pulsing Coil

Give yourself a pat on the back you have just made your first coil. (Let the coil wars begin) This is the beginning of learning the more moderate to advanced coils. Note that some builders are happy with the single wire coil builds. Other coils can use multiple strands and/or different types or wire and gauges. If you found your first coil build satisfying you may want to look at a coiling kit, different wires etc.

These beautiful coils below are an examples of what is achievable with practice.

Thank you to Baz Din in Down Under Vapours & Builders Group on Facebook

4 Core Alien - Baz Din        Baz Din        4 Core Alien Baz Din


Ok now its time to wick your new coil. Wicking material is a personal preference. Try a couple get a feel and taste for a few and go from their. My choice is Kendo Gold Edition. With patience and time you will get to know the feel. Cut a length of cotton appx 2in long, roll and fluff softly until it becomes a cylinder. Pinch and roll one end and gently thread through your coil. It should go through your coil with a slight pull. If to thick take some of and try again. If to thin you will get dry hits. When cutting leave enough to fill the juice well. Again this will be learning curve. Prime you coil and cotton and enjoy vaping on your first coil.

Wicking a Coil             Wicked Coil



Dual Coil 24 Gauge

Twisted 22 Gauge

The Clapton Coil


The Framed Staple Alien Coil

The Staple Staggered Fused Clapton Coil

The Tri-Core Fused Alien Clapton Coil


Dragon Skin Coil

Juggernaut Coil

Poltergeist Coil

Tsuka Soaker Coil

Dual Twisted Clapton Helix Coil

Vape Wires and Vape Coils In a Nutshell

If you have any questions about vape wires or vape coils, email us at or on our Foo Vapes facebook page. And, if you decide to try your hand at building any of the crazy coils we’ve featured here, give us a shout – we’d love to see the end result.

Hometown Hero

Ohmboy Josh

Down Under Vapours & Builders Group on Facebook