A Guide to Vape Coils: Ohms and Vaping Styles Explained

The heart of your vape device is undoubtedly the coil, a crucial component that shapes your vaping sessions. At Vape UK, we recognise the importance of understanding your vape coil. In this article, we’ll cover everything from its resistance to its impact on your vaping style.

This guide delves into the essentials of vape coils, offering insights into how different types can influence your vaping.

What is a vape coil?

The vape coil plays a crucial role in heating the e-liquid to produce the vapour you inhale. In a nutshell, it’s a small heating element, typically made of wire and cotton. The wire heats up when electricity from the battery flows through it, and the cotton, soaked in e-liquid, draws the heat to vaporise the vape juice.

The design and material of the coil can vary, affecting both the flavour and the amount of vapour produced.

Where is the coil found?

The coil in a vape device is normally housed within the tank or pod, where e-liquid is stored. In tank systems, it’s often screwed into the tank base, submerged in the e-liquid.

Exploded View of a Vape TankExploded View of a Vape Tank

For pod systems, the coil might be integrated into the pod or be a separate component. Its strategic placement ensures efficient heating of the e-liquid absorbed by the surrounding cotton wick, allowing for even vaporisation of the e-liquid.

Vape Coil and Vape Pods

What is coil resistance?

Coil resistance, measured in ohms, is a key aspect of your vape device’s functionality. It is the level of resistance a coil offers against the electrical current from the battery. It directly affects the coil’s heat generation when activated.

High Ohm Coils (High Resistance)

Coils with a resistance of 1.0Ω or higher are considered high-resistance coils. They allow less electrical flow through them, which means the coils don’t get as hot, resulting in cooler vapour with a more subtle flavour. These coils are ideal for vapers who enjoy a smoother, gentler vaping experience.

Low Ohm Coils (Low Resistance)

Coils with resistance less than 1.0Ω are known as sub-ohm coils. They permit more electrical flow, resulting in the coils being heated to a higher level. They are popular among vapers who prefer large clouds of vapour and a robust taste.

Coil Resistance and Vaping Styles

The resistance of vape coils plays a key role in defining your vaping style. Different resistance ranges cater to distinct styles of vaping, each offering a unique experience:

Mouth to Lung (MTL) Vaping

Like traditional cigarette smoking, this style involves drawing vapour into the mouth and then inhaling it into the lungs. Ideal coils range from 1.2Ω to 0.8Ω, offering a tighter draw for a controlled flavourful vape.

Restricted Direct to Lung (RDL) Vaping

Sitting between MTL and DTL, RDL uses coils with 0.7Ω to 0.5Ω resistance. This style provides a moderately loose draw, balancing flavour intensity with vapour production.

Direct to Lung (DTL) Vaping

For an intense, cloud-heavy vape, DTL is ideal. It involves inhaling vapour directly into the lungs. Coils below 0.4Ω facilitate an open draw, producing large vapour clouds and rich flavour.

Coil Resistance and E-Liquids

Now you know everything important about your coils, you need to know what type of e-liquids to pair them with.

E-Liquids for Mouth-to-Lung Vaping

For MTL vaping with coils ranging from 1.2Ω to 0.8Ω, both nic salts and freebase nicotine e-liquids are excellent choices:

Nic Salts

These are ideal for MTL vaping as they provide a smoother throat hit at higher nicotine levels, perfect for those transitioning from smoking.

Freebase Nicotine E-Liquids

Known for a stronger throat hit, these e-liquids are perfect for vapers who enjoy a more intense sensation.

E-Liquids for Restricted Direct-to-Lung Vaping

For RDL vaping, which uses coils between 0.7Ω and 0.5Ω, freebase nicotine e-liquids are an ideal choice:

Strong Throat Hit

RDL’s slightly looser draw pairs well with the pronounced throat hit of freebase nicotine, enhancing the vaping experience.

Enhanced Vapour Production

These coils are designed to create more vapour, and freebase nicotine e-liquids support this with their suitability for higher wattages, boosting vapour output.

Rich Flavour Delivery

The warm vape from RDL coils brings out the best in the freebase nicotine e-liquid flavours, offering a fuller taste.

E-Liquids for Direct-to-Lung Vaping

DTL vaping, using coils below 0.4Ω, pairs well with shortfill e-liquids for several reasons:

Suitability for Low Resistance

Shortfills, with their higher VG content, are brilliant for the intense vapour production required in DTL setups, offering thick, dense clouds.

Customisable Nicotine Levels

These e-liquids allow vapers to add nicotine shots to their preference, ideal for DTL vaping, where lower nicotine strengths are often favoured due to the intensity of the sensation.

Enhanced Flavour and Clouds

The VG-rich composition of shortfills provides a smoother experience and boosts flavour and cloud production, key aspects of the DTL style.

Vape Coil FAQs

How to prime a vape coil?

Priming a coil is essential to extending its service life to the max. If you have a coil separate from the pod/tank, just drop some of your e-liquid onto the visible cotton in the holes around the coil. After that, just pop the coil in the pod/tank, fill it up and wait at least 5-10 minutes to let the vape juice properly saturate into the wicking material. 

If you have a pod with a pre-fit coil, just fill it up and let it sit for around 10 minutes.

If your device has adjustable wattage, begin with a lower setting, taking a few gentle puffs before gradually increasing to your desired level.

Why does my vape taste burned with a new coil?

If your vape has a burnt taste with a new coil, it’s often due to insufficient priming, which causes the wick to burn.

Starting too high a wattage can also burn the coil quickly. Continuous vaping without breaks can dry out the wick, leading to a burnt taste, as can using an e-liquid that’s too thick for your device.

How long does a vape coil last?

The lifespan of a vape coil varies depending on several factors but typically ranges from one to two weeks.

Key influences include how often you vape, the type of e-liquid used (sweeter e-liquids can shorten coil life due to sugar residue), the power settings of your device, and the quality of the coil itself.

How often do I replace my vape coils?

The frequency at which you should replace your vape coils depends on your vaping habits and the type of e-liquid you use.

Normally, a coil needs replacing every 1 to 2 weeks. However, if you vape frequently or use e-liquids that are very sweet or high in VG, you might need to replace your coil more often.

How can I make my vape coils last longer?

To make your coils last longer, ensure you prime your coils properly before use to avoid dry hits that can burn the wick. Also, use e-liquids with a VG/PG ratio that’s suitable for your coil type.

Vape within the recommended wattage range too. Doing so prevents your coil from overheating, which can degrade the coil quickly. Make sure to take breaks between puffs to give the wick time to re-saturate with e-liquid.

Why do vape coils have different resistances?

Coils have different resistances to accommodate various vaping styles. Lower resistance (sub-ohm) coils produce more vapour and flavour, perfect for direct-to-lung vaping.

Higher resistance coils offer a tighter draw and less vapour, better suited for mouth-to-lung vaping.

Where can I store spare vape coils?

Spare coils should be stored in a cool, dry place to maintain their quality. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or humidity, which can damage the coil or affect the wicking material.

Keeping them in their original packaging or a clean, airtight container helps protect them from dust and debris.

Where can I buy vape coils?

At Vape UK, we have an extensive selection of replacement coils and pods that you can buy. These include sub-ohm, high-resistance, and various material options.

From trusted brands like Aspire, Geekvape and Horizon, you’re sure to find vape coils suitable for your device and vaping pleasure.