New vapers are often confronted by a monumental wall of new terms. However, these terms are all useful and necessary to know so that you can start tailoring your vaping experience to your personal preferences as soon as possible, and in turn get the most out of your device.
Let’s go over one of the most overlooked components of a vape: the coil. More specifically, mesh coils vs regular coils. What’s the difference between them? What are the advantages and disadvantages to each one? The good news is that mesh coils and regular coils are actually more similar than they are different and both coils essentially accomplish the same thing — vaporizing your ejuice. However, there are some differences between them as well. Let’s dive right in.
What is a Vape Coil?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of regular coils versus meshed coils, it’s a good idea to understand what a vape coil is, and its role in converting your favorite e-juice to delicious clouds.
The coil is essentially a resistor that your battery mod passes current through to superheat vape juice into vapor. The thickness and material of the coil dictate the resistance of the coil through the laws of resistance – but let’s not bore ourselves with those too much.
The material, construction, and thickness of the coil all change the dynamics that a specific coil has. This means that there are several factors that determine how good a coil is for your specific goals.
Thankfully, there are great tanks available for both regular and mesh coils so, no matter which one you choose to use, you can still great an awesome vaping experience.
Regular coils are lengths of wire coiled into a spring shape. There are many different types of regular coils, ranging from simple round wire coils, to coils that use multiple wires to create a single strand. One type of regular coil that you may have heard of is called a Clapton coil. This is where a thinner gauge wire is tightly wrapped around a thicker gauge core. If you’ve ever seen a guitar string, they are quite similar looking.
Regular coils have been around for years, meaning they are very accessible for vapers.
When it comes to vaping with regular coils, you’ll typically be vaping with either single or dual coils, but there are even tanks that use triple and quadruple coils out there.
Here are some of the pros and cons of regular coils.
More options available
E-liquid lasts longer than when using mesh coils
Easy to build and install
Burn out faster
Can be inconsistent
Can be heavier on battery
Arguably less flavorful than mesh coils
What are Regular Coils Best Used For?
Regular coils have been around for ages and people still love them for good reasons. There is a greater variety of options for anyone that loves a bit of DIY as well.
Double, triple, and quad coil setups typically all offer warmer and stronger draws than their mesh cousins. That being said, these multi coil configurations usually require powerful mods that can supply enough power to heat the coils.
Regular coils are also a good option for anyone that values convenience. They are easy to build and relatively easy to install on a build deck. Mesh coils, on the other hand, can be difficult to install correctly and they are also notoriously heavy on e-liquid, meaning you need to top up your vape quite often.
Regular coils are also still the most common option when it comes to MTL vaping.
Common Types of Regular Coils
Simple Round Wire Build: Simple round wire builds are a single length of wire that is coiled into a spring shape. This is the simplest type of regular coil to build and is usually what most beginner vapers will build as their first coil. All you need is a spool of wire and something to wrap it around and you can make a coil! Simple wire builds can be built to different resistances depending on the material and gauge (thickness) of wire that you use.
While simple round wire builds are the easiest coils to make, they are also not as flavorful as their more complex cousins due to having the less surface area available to vaporize ejuice.
Clapton Coil: Clapton coils are made by taking a higher gauge (thinner) wire and tightly wrapping it around a lower gauge (thicker) wire. These coils have a slower ramp-up time than simple round wire builds, but the additional surface area makes them more flavorful. Clapton coils are more difficult to DIY than simple round wire builds but with a little bit of patience and the right tools, it’s more than possible to make one yourself.
Fused Clapton Coil: A fused clapton coil is made by taking a higher gauge (thinner) wire and tightly wrapping it around two or more lower gauge (thicker) wires. Fused clapton coils have even more surface area than clapton coils and thus produce even more vapor and flavor.
These are just a few of the most common regular coils that you’ll come across, but there are many more varieties of regular coils around.
There are several differences between regular and meshed coils, but the most noticeable one is that a meshed coil isn’t usually in a coiled spring shape. They’re usually a super-thin sheet of wire mesh that is then bent over your wick.
Mesh coils by design have similar resistances to regular coils, but still heat up evenly. The meshing construction also means they ramp up (heat up) quicker, making them more responsive than regular coils.
Because mesh coils have a larger surface area of the coil that is in contact with the wick, they generally produce more vapor and better flavor than regular coils.
Let’s check out some of the other pros and cons when it comes to mesh coils.
Excellent flavor (more surface area to vaporize ejuice)
Less dry hits (if installed correctly)
Too much vapor*
Heavy e-liquid consumption
More difficult to install correctly
*There are some concerns around inhaling too much vapor. If you’re really pushing the envelope of how thick your clouds are, you should watch out for any kind of cough developing.
What are Mesh Coils Best Used For?
Since their relatively new inception, meshed coils are becoming more widely used, both geographically and with the types of vaping they can be used for. You’ll no doubt find mesh coils in everything from sub-ohm direct lung to salt nic mouth-to-lung kits.
Meshed coils are also great for lower wattage mods as they don’t require the huge power outputs to get dense, flavorful clouds that regular coils need.
One of the biggest concerns for anyone wanting to try meshed coils is their notorious e-liquid consumption. The increased contact surface area with the wick means more liquid is used with each draw.
Mesh coils can’t be installed in just any tank and require a tank that is specially designed to accommodate mesh. Typically, these mesh tanks will have clamps where you insert the ends of your mesh and then tighten the clamps down.
Mesh coils are also more difficult to install correctly than regular coils. With mesh coils, you have to ensure that you don’t crease the mesh when installing them onto the deck or this will create hot spots. You also have to ensure that your wicking material, usually cotton, is pressed tight up against the whole mesh or you will also have hot spots and a nasty dry hit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between regular and meshed coils?
The biggest difference between regular and mesh comes down to how they draw power from your mod and convert that electrical energy to vapor.
Mesh coils deliver a larger heating surface area to deliver larger clouds without the need for high wattage.
On the other hand, regular coils essentially brute force their way to big clouds. They compensate for smaller surface areas by increasing both the number of coils and the power input.
Do mesh coils hit harder?
In terms of throat hits, mesh coils will typically provide a smoother hit than regular coils. Single regular coils tend to offer a moderate hit. The intensity of a throat hit increases with the number of regular coils as well.
Mesh coils also tend to give a cooler vape, so if you prefer warmer vapor, multiple regular coils are the way to go.
Do mesh coils last longer than regular coils?
Mesh coils last longer than regular coils as a result of even heat distribution throughout the resistor.
Regular coils suffer as parts of the coils will be heated much more dramatically than others, causing them to burn out sooner. They’re also prone to hot spots.
Mesh coils also save your battery. They typically require less power than multiple regular coil configurations that dish out similar clouds.
To Wrap Up
Mesh coils are an increasing trend in the world of vaping. They come with a slew of advantages over the tried and tested regular coils.
While regular coils are beautiful in their simplicity, they can require significantly more powerful devices to attain the desired clouds.
Meshed coils are a longer-lasting solution for anyone wanting to get tasty clouds at with less power involved. The biggest concern with meshed coils is their huge e-liquid consumption, and for some, the cooler, less-satisfying feel.
The best way to figure out which type of coil you prefer is by giving them a try!