Rebuildable FAQ

For those of you new to rebuilding, we hope that you find this page helpful in answering your many questions.

Contents

The Advantages of Rebuilding

You can make the wick and coil suit your juice or the way you prefer to vape. This way you can maximise the flavour or vape from your device, often giving a far more satisfying experience than using a stock coil head. Also, there’s a sense of pride that comes with making your own coil and wicking it.

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The Disadvantages

Some can find the array of things available bewildering and the process of coiling very daunting. It may take a bit of practice but don’t worry, once you have the hang of it you’ll wonder what the fuss was about. It does take a bit longer than slapping a new head into a clearomiser but the more you do it the faster you get.

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Safety

When you decide to begin rebuilding your atomisers you need to learn how to stay safe. Only build your coils within the limits of your battery and make sure you have an understanding of Ohm's law. Low resistance coils place stress on the battery and this can be dangerous if it can’t cope. 

Begin with simple single coils before progressing to duals, tri-coils or quads. As you add coils in parallel the overall resistance goes down. All batteries tend to cope with builds over 1.0 ohm, once you get below this you need to use a high discharge cell.

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When you get your first atomiser

Clean it.

Some manufacturers are excellent at cleaning off the machine oil left over from production; some are not (especially the cheaper attys). Machine oil doesn’t taste nice to vape and it’s not good for you. Some swear by ultrasonic cleaners while others use hand soap and water. You may also find information pointing you towards using alcohol.

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The structure of an atomiser

It needs the wire so that electricity can flow from one post to the other. The coil offers resistance, and it is this resisting the flow of electricity that converts some of it to heat, which vaporises the juice.

Atomisers come in all shapes and sizes but then all do the same simple job. The coil connects the positive pin to the negative pin(s). The wick usually sits inside the coil and carries the juice from the well or tank to the coil.

The more power going to the coil the hotter it will be and the faster juice is vaporised. Wicks need to be up to the job of holding and carrying wick to the coil quickly.

Air needs to enter the atomiser in order to create the clouds. Some atomisers have fixed holes while some have adjustable airflow. Small holes and restricted spaces maximise flavour whereas high power devices need a large volume of air to make big vape clouds.

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Types of wire

Wire for coils comes in two styles:

  • Round
  • Flat

Most people tend to use round wire as it is easier to work with. People who prefer flat wire tend to say that it is because of the larger surface area it offers for vaporising liquid.

 

There are three types of commonly used wire:

  • Kanthal – the most popular for everyday builds for all devices.
  • Ni200 – popularised with the introduction of temperature-controlled mods. Do not use this wire for normal non-TC builds.
  • Titanium – the latest wire being used in temperature-controlled mods. Do not use this wire for normal non-TC builds.
  • RDA/dripping atomisers – Rebuildable dripping atomisers are the simplest available and hold most of the juice in the wick and a shallow well. These can give outstanding flavour and huge clouds but require regular dripping of additional liquid, hence the name.

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Popular Atomiser Types

  • RDA/dripping atomisers – Rebuildable dripping atomisers are the simplest available and hold most of the juice in the wick and a shallow well. These can give outstanding flavour and huge clouds but require regular dripping of additional liquid, hence the name.
  • RTA – Rebuildable tank atomisers mainly use silica or cotton wicks but some people prefer the taste from mesh. The tank gives the convenience of having 2-7ml of juice feeding the wick.
  • Genesis atomisers – Less popular now due to the craze for subohm tanks but they have loyal fans in experienced vapers. They use a mesh, or a stainless steel rope/mesh, wick and advocates say they give a superior flavour to RTAs.
  • Clearomiser – the simplest atomiser for beginners because they come with premade heads to make changing the coils easy. A number are now available with rebuildable heads for those who want to progress on to coiling and wicking themselves.

Types of wick

  • Mesh – Mesh is mainly used in Genesis atomisers although some like it in drippers and the Taifun GT atty.  It is used as either a tightly bound roll or made into a straw with a hollow centre. For attys with two wick holes a longer straw can be used as a U-wick in order to boost the wicking.
  • Silica/Voodoowool – This type of wick remains one of the most popular wicking materials as vapers can dry burn to clean it and the coil before refilling a tank or the dripper. Voodoowool give a far greater level of liquid retention and wicks to the coil faster than standard silica.
  • Cotton – In all its forms, cotton is really taking off as a wicking material due to its ease of use. Many types of cotton are now available which have been pre-cleaned and are ready to go out of the bag. It’s highly absorbent so it can hold a lot of juice, making it handy for subohm dripping, but dry cotton can catch fire. Not being able to dry burn it means changing the wick when changing flavours.

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Charging Batteries

Basic rules for batteries:

  • Never leave a battery charger unattended when in use.
  • Always use a quality unit or follow the instructions while using a supplied recharging cable.
  • Always buy the best batteries you can afford.

 

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Ohms Law

It is essential to have a basic understanding of Ohm’s Law when venturing into building your own coils. Our online calculator can help you.

In mechanical tube and box mods, the battery will read around a maximum of 4.2volts when straight off the charger. The only thing you can change is the resistance of the coil – which will dictate the electrical current draw. Different batteries have a varying maximum for the current draw, it is important to know your battery can handle the coil set-up safely. The table below gives an indication of how the current draw changes with resistance.

To calculate the current in the circuit simply divide the maximum battery voltage by the coil resistance.

 

Regulated mods eliminate the worry as most come with a protection circuit. You will still need to make sure you are using a quality high-discharge battery to make use of the high wattages the mods provide.

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How do I measure resistance?

A simple ohm-reader designed for atomisers is a very useful piece of equipment for any vape kit but you might want to consider buying a multimeter and taking your readings from the atomiser posts.

 

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What resistance is best?

This is an impossible question to answer. Depending on the juice, your tastebuds and whether or not you are looking for flavour or clouds, the same set-up may be good and bad to two different people.

Kanthal can produce a range of resistances by changing the number of coils or the thickness of the wire – the thicker the wire the lower the resistance. Temperature-controlled devices require very low ohms produced by coils made from titanium or nickel.

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Building the coil

Take a length of wire and coil it around a former such as a screwdriver or a coiling tool attachment. Thicker gauge wire will retain its shape but thinner wire will need to be placed into a flame first to temper it.

A spaced coil was how vapers traditionally made heads, but this has been replaced by the microcoil by and large as they are quicker and easier to work with.

Fix the coil to the atomiser until the wire is trapped – but do not over tighten the screws or the wire will shear. Trim the excess and check no wire remnant remains in the atomiser as this could lead to a short.

Test the coil with an ohmmeter or a multimeter to make sure it reads correctly and there are no shorts.

Pulse and then squeeze a microcoil with tweezers to eliminate hot spots. Spaced coils require gentle nudging. When the coil glows evenly it’s ready for use.

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Single/dual/tri/quad coil?

  • Single: A solo coil, common in most atomisers.
  • Dual: Increased vapour production at the expense of higher juice consumption. Two parallel coils of equal resistance give a total resistance equal to half that of one coil. Science!
  • Tri/Quad: Only certain drippers are ready for these more adventurous set ups. Leave making such a set-up for when you have gained experience.

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What is meant by a “5/6” or “6/7” coil wrap?

After wrapping a wire six times around a former there will be five wraps on the underside. There will always be one less wrap on one side of the coil so you may see them referred to as above.

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Hotspots

As in the TV gameshow, a hotspot is not a good spot. If a coil heats unevenly it will give a bad taste to the vape. Heating and gently squeezing microcoils or nudging spaced coils will help to eliminate the hotspot so the coil glows evenly.

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Blowing Clouds

Increasing the size of a vape cloud depends on two things: increased airflow and a hotter coil. Raising the coil temperature vaporises more liquid but this means you need to ensure juice is being wicked to the coil quickly. Make sure you have a battery sufficient to cope.

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Dry Hit

If the juice supply to the coil is not fast enough it gives a bad taste, especially if using a cotton wick. This is either due to there being too much wick in the well, too little or too much wick. It can be frustrating when starting out but you’ll soon work out the best set-up for your requirement.

Remember that the higher the VG the slower the juice wicks.

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Fluctuating resistance reading

If you find that the resistance of your atomiser is wildly fluctuating it can be because either one or more screws have become loose or that there is a wire remnant in the atty. 

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Specific Guides