Coiling and wicking 101 Everything you need to know about building coils

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Rebuild able atomizers are more versatile than a standard tank or clearomizer with pre-built coils. They offer more control over your e-liquid flavor and throat hit. Mastering vaping on RDA’s takes a bit of practice and understanding. You will notice you will improve and get better results with each build. RDA's produce more flavor than your average tanks. Still there are some differences between them. Luckily we reviewed some of the best rda's for flavor and can tell you exactly what's good and what's not

Of course there are a few variables you need to consider, like the inner diameter of the coil or the number of wraps but other than that it's a simple and fun process if you have the right tools. Here are my top coiling and wicking tips for clean and solid builds every time:


A DIY tool kit like the Coil Master DIY kit V2 is a great way to get everything required to build your coils in a single case and way cheaper than buying all the items separately; If it seems to expensive then you will need at least a $2 coil jig (the one with 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.5mm diameters) or a 2.0mm / 2.5mm / 3.0mm precision screwdriver, a pair of ceramic tweezers, a nail clipper and a pair of scissors;

Coiling kit for vaping


Few people know their wraps by heart. Before building your coil, use a calculator like steam engine (or a mobile app) to figure out how many wraps are required to achieve a certain resistance (given the type of wire and the diameter of the jig) and always make two extra wrap. After that just unwind a wrap at each end to get a clean and professional looking build;


If you're new to coiling then go for 28AWG Kanthal as it has the ideal resistance to build coils from 0.7 Ohms to 1.6 Ohms on a 2mm jig (or screwdriver);

Kanthal for vaping

And if we're talking about Kanthal wire, always dry burn your coil and make sure it glows from the interior to the outer edges before inserting the cotton. Use a ceramic head tweezers to compress the coil and a screwdriver to finely scratch it until you achieve the best results. If you don't have a ceramic head tweezers or you are touching the coil with something metallic make sure you do it only after releasing the fire button;

Some atomizers require the leads coming from the bottom and some require them coming from the top. To get the same number of wraps, just build your coil counter-clockwise see the difference;


Organic cotton (mostly Japanese Muji) and cellulose & cotton mixes (Fiber Freaks) have always been my favorite and it's something that I would recommend to anyone not sure about which type of wicking material is the best;

In the case of rectangular organic cotton pads, always cut your strip lengthwise for best results. If you cut it crosswise you'll notice that the cotton starts to fall apart (on some varieties) when you roll it. This normal and it's due to the alignment of the fibers within the pad;

Cotton for vaping

When cutting the cotton, make sure your strip is at least twice as thick the diameter of the coil and always peel off the two thing outer layers before rolling it (to increase the surface area that comes in contact with the e-liquid).

The cotton should pass through the coil with just the right amount of resistance (not too tight that it pulls the coil, but not too loose either because it will be prone to flooding); this takes a bit of practice but you'll learn to master the technique in no time;

Cut the ends of the wick so they are in direct contact with the juice channels and try to fluff them just a bit before applying a layer of e-liquid;


These coiling and wicking tips are only to boost your confidence because, like in any other line of work, practice makes perfect. Don't be afraid to ruin a few inches of vaping wire and don't feel bad if your coil turns out weird a couple of times. Nobody was born an expert and this is a process which requires learning from your own mistakes. Practice and you'll be surprised with the quality of your builds in no time! However if you fail and feel like getting a device with prewicked and pre coiled atomizers we advise you to check out our highest rated box vapes.

Posted by Dave Allan

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Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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