You know how vaping works. More importantly, you know that vaping works for you. You know that you enjoy vaping, and you’d like some tips that can help you enjoy it even more. You’re in the right place!

This is our ultimate guide to advanced vaping. Reading this guide, you’ll learn about some advanced vaping styles that might interest you. You’ll also get an introduction to the world of coil building – a rabbit hole that could keep you occupied for years as you continue to chase bigger clouds and richer flavors. Are you ready to get even more out of your vaping experience? We’ll show you how. Let’s begin!

What Is Cloud Chasing?

As you gain experience with vaping, you’ll likely come to find that satisfying your nicotine cravings and replacing the habit of smoking are no longer as important to you as they once were. At that point, your tastes and preferences will begin to shift. Some people continue vaping for the flavor; others love to optimize their vaping equipment to produce the biggest possible clouds. Cloud chasing is the hobby of buying new vaping equipment – or optimizing your existing equipment – with the goal of enjoying better vapor production.

What Is Flavor Chasing?

Some people love huge vapor clouds in any form, and others vape because they want to experience all of the complex and interesting e-liquid flavors that they can. If you put together a vaping setup that sacrifices a bit of vapor cloud production in favor of bolder, more clearly defined flavors, you’re a flavor chaser.

What Is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

In electricity, resistance is a term that measures the difficulty with which a current travels through a component of a circuit. A component with lower resistance allows the current to flow through more easily. In vaping, we measure the resistance of atomizer coils. If the voltage of the battery is the same, lowering the resistance of the atomizer coil results in a circuit that generates a higher wattage while drawing more amperage from the battery. Higher wattage generally equates to more vapor.

A sub-ohm atomizer coil has a resistance under 1.0 ohm. Since sub-ohm coils operate at higher wattages than above-ohm coils, they usually have superior vapor production. Most of the vaping tanks in production today are sub-ohm tanks. The atomizer coils in disposable e-cigarette cartridges and pods, on the other hand, are usually above-ohm coils.

An atomizer coil for a vaping tank usually has an operational wattage range suggested by the manufacturer. You can find a coil’s suggested wattage range by looking at the side of the coil or checking the manufacturer’s website. Before using a given atomizer coil with your vaping device, you should confirm that the device supports the coil’s resistance and can operate within the coil’s suggested wattage range.

What Is Temperature Control Vaping?

Some vaping devices have the ability to estimate the temperature of an atomizer coil. Some materials – in vaping, those materials are most commonly nickel, titanium and stainless steel – change in electrical resistance in a predicable way when they become hotter. That property is called the material’s Temperature Coefficient of Resistance, and that’s the property that vaping devices use to estimate coil temperature. To try temperature control vaping, you’ll need a vaping device that supports it. You’ll also need a tank or atomizer with a nickel, titanium or stainless steel coil. Kanthal and nichrome coils don’t work for temperature control vaping because their TCR is too low.

When you use your vaping device’s temperature control mode, you set a maximum temperature that your atomizer coil cannot exceed. When the coil reaches that temperature, your device will reduce its power. Temperature control ensures that the vapor you inhale is always cool and smooth. It also prevents the harsh “dry hits” that can occur when you forget to keep your tank full.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Building My Own Vaping Coils?

Compared to using a tank with pre-made coils, building your own vaping coils provides a better experience in some ways. The primary benefit is that coil building is inexpensive. Pre-made coils typically cost at least $2.00 each. If you need a new coil every day because you enjoy coil-killing sweet e-liquids, you’ll love the fact that building a coil yourself costs only a few cents. Since rebuildable atomizers also provide large coil building platforms, they allow you to build larger coils than the coils that you’d typically find in vaping tanks. Since a coil with greater surface area produces more vapor, switching to self-made coils usually means that you’ll enjoy bigger clouds. It also means that you’ll run out of e-liquid more quickly.

The primary drawback of building coils is that it’s inconvenient. Replacing a pre-made coil in a tank requires only a few seconds – just twist out the old coil and twist in a new one. Building a coil from scratch, in comparison, requires several minutes of effort each time. When you’re new to coil building, setting up a new coil may take you as long as a half hour – and no matter how experienced you become, coil building will always take longer than installing a new pre-made coil.

What Coil Building Supplies Do I Need?

Over time, you may put together a very large and elaborate coil building kit. To get started, though, you’ll only need a few basic supplies.

  • Resistance wire (usually kanthal)
  • Wick material (usually organic cotton)
  • Coil jig or drill bit (for wrapping coils)
  • Wire clippers or sharp scissors (for trimming wires)
  • Ceramic tweezers (for adjusting hot coils)
  • Resistance tester (for confirming coil safety)

You can find many pre-assembled coil building kits that include all of the above items.

Should I Try Pre-Wrapped Vaping Coils?

Pre-wrapped coil assortments can greatly shorten the process of building coils by saving you the effort required to wrap your coils around a coil jig or drill bit. To use pre-wrapped coils, you’ll simply remove the coils from a box, screw them into your rebuildable atomizer, trim the leads and insert your wicks. Another benefit of using pre-wrapped coils is that those coils often use braided, bonded or twisted wires that are difficult to build yourself. The vapor production that you can get with those elaborate wires is often very impressive.

How Do I Build a Vaping Coil?

Providing a complete start-to-finish coil building guide is beyond the scope of this article. In general, though, you can expect the coil building process to work something like this.

  • Cut two lengths of wire from a spool.
  • Separately wrap both wires around a drill bit or coil jig to create two roughly identical coils.
  • Thread the coils through opposite sides of your rebuildable atomizer and trim the excess wire.
  • Test the coil resistance to confirm that your device can handle the load and that there is no short circuit.
  • Connect the atomizer to your vaping device. Pulse the coils until they emit a dull glow. Use your tweezers to adjust the coils until they glow evenly. This process is called dry firing.
  • Cut two lengths of cotton. Thread the cotton through the middle of the coils. Trim the ends of the cotton and fluff them with your tweezers. Tuck the cotton under the coils.
  • Wet the cotton thoroughly with e-liquid. The atomizer is ready to use.

What Are the Differences Between Spaced and Compressed Coils?

During the dry firing process, you’ll adjust your coils to eliminate hot spots. Some people eliminate hot spots by using their tweezers to push the wraps of the coils together. Others pull the wraps apart slightly. It’s a little easier to eliminate hot spots with spaced coils. In addition, spacing your coils may improve the resulting vapor production of your atomizer through better wick-to-wire contact. On the other hand, spaced coils have more nooks and crannies in which e-liquid can pool. Pooled e-liquid can cause an atomizer to spit and pop loudly during vaping. Some people build spaced coils out of necessity. Nickel and titanium do not support dry firing as other materials such as kanthal and nichrome do. With nickel and titanium, building spaced coils is the only way to ensure that you won’t end up with hot spots.

How Can I Build a Coil for the Best Possible Vapor Production?

When you’re building a coil for cloud chasing, the trick is to build a coil with the highest surface area possible. The greater a coil’s surface area is, the more effectively it can vaporize your e-liquid. You can accomplish that goal by using thicker wire, using a greater number of coil wraps, using twisted or braided wire or by switching from a single-coil atomizer to a dual-coil atomizer. Every increase in surface area has a corresponding decrease in coil resistance, and a decrease in coil resistance means that you’ll need a higher-wattage device – and a higher-output battery – to drive the coil safely and effectively. You can use Ohm’s law to determine the amperage that a coil will draw from your battery before you connect the atomizer to your device.

What Are the Different Types of Wires for Coil Building?

The most common types of vaping wires are:

  • Kanthal: An alloy of iron, chromium and aluminum. Kanthal is the most common type of vaping wire.
  • Nichrome: An alloy of nickel, chromium and sometimes iron. Nichrome has lower resistance than kanthal and is popular for some cloud chasing coils.
  • Stainless Steel: Popular for its flavor and adaptability. Stainless steel works with wattage-based devices and with temperature control devices.
  • Nickel: Changes greatly in resistance when heated and produces very accurate results with temperature control devices. Not safe in wattage mode.
  • Titanium: Alternative temperature control wire for those sensitive to nickel, but produces slightly less accurate temperature readings. Not safe in wattage mode.

What Are the Different Types of Wicks for Coil Building?

The most common types of vaping wicks are:

  • Cotton: Provides the best balance of good flavor, efficient wicking and low cost but has poor longevity and burns easily.
  • Rayon: Inexpensive and has much faster wicking action than cotton, but some people find that it produces an odd “plastic” flavor.
  • Silica: Extremely durable with excellent flavor characteristics, but much less efficient than cotton. Doesn’t support long or frequent puffs with sub-ohm coils.
  • Ceramic: Even more durable than silica but has very slow wicking action. Doesn’t support long or frequent puffs with sub-ohm coils.
  • Hemp: A bit more durable – but less efficient – than cotton. Some people find that it produces a strange flavor.
  • Stainless Steel Mesh: Has excellent flavor and wicking speed with above-ohm coils but has a time-consuming setup process because an error could result in a short circuit.

Is Building Vaping Coils Safe?

It’s important to check the resistance of each coil you build before using it. You should also continue checking the resistance periodically as you use a coil. As long as you do those things – and stick to coil resistances that your vaping device can handle – building coils is no less safe than buying pre-made coils. Make sure that you know the maximum continuous discharge rating of each vaping battery you use. With Ohm’s law, you can determine the amperage that a coil would draw from your battery at a given wattage. Stay well below your battery’s discharge rating.

How Should I Care for My Vaping Batteries?

If you treat it well and avoid stressing it with high-amperage loads, a vaping battery should provide perfect service for hundreds of charge-discharge cycles. If you’re always mindful of coil resistance, there’s no need to worry about stressing your batteries.

The next crucial thing to remember is that you should never carry vaping batteries in your pocket. Lithium-ion batteries are potent power sources. A metal object such as a key can potentially touch a battery’s positive and negative terminals and cause a dangerous short circuit. When you transport your batteries, you should always do so in a case that protects the batteries’ terminals.

Do you have a vaping device that charges via USB? Your device’s charging circuitry expects you to use a computer’s USB port. If you use a wall adapter, make sure that the adapter’s wattage and amperage match the specifications set by your vaping device’s manufacturer. Do not charge your vaping device with a “fast charger” for a phone or tablet.

The final crucial point of vaping battery safety is that you should always be nearby while your batteries charge. A battery charger should always discontinue the charge cycle automatically when the battery reaches its target voltage. In the rare event that a charger attempts to overcharge a battery, though, you should be there to take action. If a battery feels overly hot or emits strange smells, unplugging the charger immediately can help to prevent a fire.