Coils are a key component in an atomiser. The atomiser head contains a thin spiral of wire and wicking material, usually cotton – this is the coil. It’s this that actually creates the vapour.
Having a good coil in your vaporiser means you will get the fresh, true taste of your e-liquid, which is what you want.
How coils work
The atomiser head is powered by the battery and it heats the wire. As the wire heats, it in turn heats the wicking material. The e-liquid has soaked into the wick and so, as the wire heats, it vaporises the e-liquid, which you then inhale.
Problems with the coil
Problems with the coil (such as dry hits and ‘burnt’ taste) tend to occur when this system is interrupted, usually because the wick is not saturated with e-liquid. Why this happens and how you can avoid it is explained below.
Types of coil
There is a huge range to choose from, depending on your device and the type of vaping experience you want. For example, cloud-chasers will use a sub-ohm atomiser head in order to create a large amount of vapour. This post is not about choosing the right one for you, rather it’s about clarifying how long they last and how you can extend that coil life.
Maintaining your coil
Maintaining them properly will mean they last longer and you get the great-tasting vape you want. It’s actually quite easy to maintain them and it’s worth doing. If you can get them to last longer by doing simple things, then you will save yourself money in the long term.
How long do coils last for?
Coils usually last for between one and two weeks.
However, this depends largely on how you vape, your e-juice and the device you use.
The inescapable fact is that, the more often you vape, the quicker your coil will be used up. People who are light vapers, only taking a few hits a day or even just vaping socially, will find that they last for weeks and even a few months. Those who vape steadily throughout the day will use them up faster.
Coils will last longer if you vape less often, if you don’t use sweet and sticky e-liquids and if you clean them regularly and prime them before use.
Occasionally, you just get unlucky and get a bad coil (though this happens rarely) and it’ll taste burnt much quicker. This is usually because the wicking isn’t properly fitted in the wire and so is not functioning as well as it should.
Why do my coils burn out so fast?
Coils burn out over time but this is often faster than they should (and much faster than you’d like) because of the way you vape.
Some common reasons for vape coils to burn out so fast are:
- You’re taking dry hits. This means your coil is burning the wick instead of the e-juice.
- You’re using very thick and sugary flavour concentrates. These will gum up the wick and the coil after a while (but they’re worth it, aren’t they?).
- You’re vaping a lot. The coil and the e-liquid are the only parts of a vaping device that need replacing regularly, but they do just get used up and need to be changed.
How do I get my coils to last longer?
You can get your coils to last longer by simply taking care of them.
Prime your wick
One of the best ways to do this is to ‘prime’ them before use by saturating the wick. It sounds like it’ll be complicated, but it’s really easy. There are a few ways to do it:
- The easiest and quickest way is to leave the tank to rest in an upright position for a few minutes. This will encourage the e-liquid to soak into the wick.
- Another way, though fractionally more effort, guarantees the wick will be saturated all the way through. Simply add a few drops of e-liquid to the wick. You can do this by finding the juice holes where the vape juice should soak in and putting a drop in each of these. If you want to make sure it’s done properly, add another drop inside the head.
- If you’re short of time, you can use this ‘cheat’ method to prime your coil. Once it’s fitted and your vaping device is ready to go, take three or four drags without activating the coil (by firing up the battery). That will draw the e-liquid through the wick like a straw and saturate it quickly.
Avoid dry hits
Another way to get your coil to last longer is to avoid taking dry hits. Of course, nobody wants to do that anyway since it tastes horrible, so it’s just generally good practice.
A dry hit (also known as a ‘burnt’ hit) occurs when you don’t have enough e-liquid in your tank. It means that, instead of heating the liquid, the coil heats the wicking material instead and burns it.
You can avoid this by:
- Priming your wick (see above).
- Don’t hold the firing button down for too long. You should only be holding it while you are inhaling the vapour but it’s easy to slip and keep it down for an extra second or so. Once the coil has vaporised all the e-liquid in the wick, it will heat the wick instead and this burns it.
- Wait five seconds between hits. Your wick needs this time to absorb more e-juice. Otherwise, you’ll heat a dry wick and the coil will, again, burn off the e-liquid and then burn the wick.
- Don’t run out of e-liquid. It sounds obvious but some people like to empty their tank before refilling but this makes it likely that the wick will become dry and then you’ll get a dry hit.
Clean the coil
A lot of people put in a new coil and then forget about it. It’s really easy to clean it out, though, and it doesn’t take long.
The best way is:
- Rinse it under warm running water. This just rinses away the sticky e-liquid that clings to the wick and the coil. Make sure you give it time to dry completely before putting it back into your vaping device – shake it and leave it on a paper towel.
How often should I replace my coils?
You need to replace your coil when the wire has worn out or (more likely) the wick has burned.
Most vapers need to change their coil between every one to two weeks but, as explained above, this varies hugely based on your individual vaping habits.
How do I know when to change my coil?
The easiest way to tell whether you need to change it is when your vape juice tastes off or burnt.
What happens if I don’t change it?
If you don’t change your coil when it needs it, your vape juice will start to taste burnt.
If it wears out, it will start to leak – you’ll usually have changed it long before then.
Buy quality coils
To ensure they’ll last as long as possible, buy good quality coils. At Make My Vape we stock a wide range of quality coils so we can help you no matter what type of vaping device you use. From coils for SMOK devices to Aspire devices, we have something for everyone.
Check out some of our best ones here.