Making the switch to vaping from smoking is always a great thing and one of the best ways to quit for good. One of the biggest benefits is how much cheaper it is! By switching from a pack a day to a kit like a T18E or an Arc5 or Pockex, you can save up to £2000 a year! Even if you go for a high quality sub ohm kit, it’ll still work out substantially cheaper than sticking to your smoking habit! That said, there are some costs associated with vaping – the juice and the coils. We’ve already gone over how you can make your juice last longer in another post, so let’s discuss how to get the most out of your coils!
Coils are really important to your vaping experience, if they’re degraded then any juice you put in will taste burnt, you’ll waste juice flooding your tank as it passes quicker through the cotton fibres and it’ll fire incorrectly as the coil itself wears down and reads as a different resistance (ohms). After a certain point it just won’t work at all – your vape will read as “atomizer short” or “no coil”.
So let’s keep that from happening for the time being – let’s find out how to make your coils last longer.
How Do Vape Coils Work?
To understand how to make your coil last longer, we need to understand how a coil works – and many who haven’t built their own coil before may not know what actually makes up a coil.
Coils are sometimes referred to as atomizer heads and are made up essentially of a thin wire that’s been wrapped into a cylindrical coil. This wire heats up and turns your vape juice into vapour. It’s down to your coil and battery that you can turn vape juice into clouds!
When you’re buying coils you’re quite likely to be met with different compatible options. For example, Smok V2 coils some as A1, A2, S1 and S2. These variants are typically made up of different wire inside – some have more than one coil, some have a mesh of wire instead of a single wrap of regular wire. These changes create different resistances referred to as “ohms” and this plays a big role in your vape experience.
Choosing your Ohms
Choosing different resistances for your coils can help you pinpoint and achieve what you want out of vaping. For example, a high ohm coil such as TECC’s 1.5ohm coil for the Arc5 will fire at low wattage and won’t create much vape – it’s more for use with higher nicotine levels such as 6mg – 18mg. Opting for a lower ohm coil such as PnP’s 0.15ohm coil creates a lot of vape and uses a higher wattage. Finding somewhere in between these will get you the sweet spot of what you want out of your vape.
The average cost of vape coils
One of the most common questions we get from new vapers is “how much are coils?” and when you’re new to vaping we understand why this would be a concern. After all, between vape juice and coils, that’s your ongoing costs while vaping.
The good news is that coils are pretty inexpensive in the long run, a single coil can last between 1 and 2 weeks, and packs of them start at just £6 with us. Prices vary between coils and packs because of the brands, the quality and the amount of coils in the box. Depending on the vape you use, you may have to buy a certain coil (such as The PockeX kit, that uses the PockeX coil).
If this is the case then buying other coils isn’t going to be beneficial financially, so instead you’ll have to learn how to make those coils last longer.
The life of a coil is linked to several factors, these include:
- How much you use your vape
- Which temperature or wattage you fire the coil at
- Which e-liquid you use (beware the almighty Grape)
- Whether or not you prime your coils when you install them
Now, even if you follow our advice and get more life out of your coil, beware that coils weren’t made to last forever. Changing coils is just part of vaping. However, practicing good habits with vaping can help them last longer and save money in the long run!
When to change your coil
When your coil comes to the end of its life there’s a range of things to tip you off. The quality of the vape experience will be unmistakable. The first tip off is that the flavour will taste burnt. We’ve all been there – you excitedly do a huge inhale full of vape, only to be met with a fresh inhale of burnt cotton. You may be able to salvage it at lower wattages for a couple of days till you can make it to the vape shop, but this time will be unpleasant and you should consider the coil retired.
Next up is the gurgles. Your vape should never be gurgly, if it is that means your coil needs a change. This is due to the cotton inside the coil degrading over time – the cotton thins out and more juice flows into the coil through the cottons fibers, oversaturating it. There are other times a cape will gurgle which are often more serious, but it’s often that you can resolve the gurgling with a fresh coil!
Another key point for bad coils is less flavour – you’re more likely to pick this up if you’re vaping a juice that’s a regular for your tank, something you enjoy regularly. Sometimes the flavour will taste weaker or as though it’s mixed with something else.
Finally, when your coils reach the end of its run, it won’t produce as much vape. Low vapor production could also be down to a dying battery, but an old coil is usually to blame.
How To Increase Coil Life
Now that you know the basics for coils, you’re ready to learn how you can make them last as long as possible!
Start off by priming all of your coils properly – when you add your coil for the first time, squirt a bit of juice into everywhere you can see cotton. You want the cotton to be damp but don’t oversaturate it as this can also lead to problems. Priming your coils makes a huge difference in how long your coils will last, and can also improve the quality of your vaping.
Always keep your tank topped up to avoid dry hits. A dry hit is when your device runs low on juice, and when you fire it there isn’t enough juice in the cotton, so it burns the cotton. This severely decays the cotton and your coils overall lifespan. This could also occur if you’re vaping too often. Between hits, you need to give your cotton time to soak up more juice. Aim for at least 3 to 5 seconds between hits. Also get into the habit of filling up your tank again when it’s around 1 third full.
The next step is to reduce your wattage. There’s very few times you need to push your vape over 100w, it’d be like driving your car at the red line at all times. Instead, most vape sessions clock in at around 55w to 80w for sub ohm vapers. This offers a balance between clouds, flavour and keeping your coil free from unnecessarily demanding wattages.
Keep your coils fresh, this goes back to our post on cleaning your tank. The old gunk created through coils caramelising your vape juice slightly when you vape can have bad effects on your new coils. Ideally you’ll want to clean your tank with each coil change, but sometimes this isn’t possible. Instead try and opt for a tank clean after every 3 coils.
As a final tip – always go with branded coils and do your research. If you come across any generic “fits this tank” style coil, they might not last as long as the regular branded type.
Now let’s go over some issues you might have
So, you’ve hunted down the right coils, you’ve put it in the base of the tank, primed it, screwed it all together, but something’s gone wrong. Even though pre-made coils is a pretty easy process, mistakes can happen. Here’s a few of the most common issues and solutions:
The device won’t fire after a new coil install – this is one of the most common issues, but also one of the easiest to fix. Just empty the tank, unscrew the coil and screw it back in. Make sure you’re adding the coil to the right place. Most tanks need the coil screwed into the base so it’s correctly in contact with the battery. Some vapes, like the PockeX, have the coils screwed into the top of the tank instead. Things don’t need to be super tight, just finger tight is fine!
Scenario two: your e-liquid tastes burnt even though you’ve just put a new coil in. We’ve had customers come to us with this problem before. 9 times out of 10, it was due to rushing through the coil change to get vaping again. When you add a new coil, you need to let it soak up new juice. You can speed this along by priming your coil, but it’s good practice to let a new coil with fresh juice sit for 5-10 minutes first, or you risk burning the coil immediately after putting it in your tank.
Lastly, leaking tanks – nobody wants to get ready for a big lung of cloud, only to get vape juice all over their hands. If your tank is leaking, look for any gaps – you may have inserted the coil improperly or there could be a broken seal. Try taking the tank apart and building it back together again – being sure to clean everything off so you can see if there are new drips that form.
Long story short, to make your coils last longer:
- Clean your tank
- Prime your coils
- Change your coil for something with more ohms
- Fire on the lower side of watts
- Fill up your tank when you drop down to 1 third capacity
- Wait five minutes after a coil change to avoid dry hits
- Don’t chain vape – wait at least 10 seconds between hits.
Now get to work on boosting that coil life and saving yourself money! If you’ve got any questions, pop them in the comments!
While you’re on our blog, you might find these articles helpful!
Nicotine Numbers and Which Strength You Need
How to clean your vape tank
How coils work and when to change them
How to make juice last longer
How to make Coils last longer
Why vape juice turns dark
MTL and DTL – What’s the difference?
Nic Salts vs Freebase: The difference and benefits
What happens when you quit smoking
Vaping: Twice as effective as patches and gum?
Using E-cigs to stop smoking
How to choose your first vape/e-cig
The Problem with Home Crew Vape Shops
Or you may like our new kit breakdown series “OUTTHEBOX” where we give in depth explanations of vape kits and an unboxing experience.