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The coil. The powerhouse of the vape. Where the rubber meets the road. But a lot of people don't necessarily know what makes any given coil different from another, or even how they work. And yet, more than almost any other part of your vape, they're the component that dictates what your vape is going to be like: sharp and hot, or cool and mellow? Producing barely any vapour at all, or chucking huge clouds?

One coil two coil red coil blue coil

Coils come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as you can probably see from our selection above. But before we get into what makes all of these coils different, let's establish what all of these coils have in common.

Strictly speaking, what you see above aren't actually coils themselves, but coil assemblies or coil heads. The coil head consists of a metal tube with a bunch of airholes in it and a connector at the bottom for seating the coil in its tank. The coil head contains the coil itself, which is made of a fine wire, and tightly-packed cotton, which acts as a wick and soaks up your e-liquid.

That's about where the similarities end.

Coil differences

One of the most apparent differences between coils is in the airholes. Some coils (and the tanks made for them) feature very restrictive airholes, for a 'tighter,' more cigarette-like draw. You'll see small airholes on coils like the Aspire Nautilus BVC or our very own H4 Pro Dual Coils. Other coils, like the VooPoo UFORCE U2 and almost anything by Smok have enormous airholes, for pulling through huge amounts of air and producing truly enormous clouds.

The insides are packed with cotton, which like we said above is all mostly the same. Some coil manufacturers use organic cotton because it's said to wick better.

But what's inside the cotton is the star of the show: the metal coil itself. The metal coils sits inside the e-liquid-soaked cotton and ramps up to an extremely high heat when the fire button is triggered, vaporising the e-liquid on contact.

How this happens in a real ballet of math and physics, but here's the short version. When the fire button is pressed, the circuit in the mod drives a bunch of power from the battery and into the coils. The amount of power that can flow into the coils relates to the resistance of the coils; lower resistance means more power, means more heat.

And voilà, vapour everywhere.

To coil infinity and beyond

The ways that coils can vary—in shape, in weight, in coil resistance, in airflow configuration, the life expectancy of the cotton—can have a wild effect on the experience of your vape at any given time. If you're not satisfied with the way that your vape feels, switching to a new coil is probably the easiest way around the problem.