Building A Coil

If you’re interested in building your own coils, take a look at this how-to-guide and learn about the basics of coil building as well as the materials required and important safety¹ precautions!

Whether you’re brand new to this whole vaping thing or you’ve been doing it for a while, the chances are you’ve encountered someone who swears by building their own coils. There are various reasons why somebody might want to build their own, such as the expense of buying pre-built coils, the ability to make your own unique builds that meet your personal vaping requirements or simply the satisfaction that can come from being hands on and creating something that you can enjoy.

What’s Required?

Before you build that fresh coil for your RDA you’ll need the following items to complete your build-kit:

  • Resistance wire. We recommend Kanthal for TC only vapers, Ni200 for wattage mode vapers or stainless steel if you like to do both.
  • A small screwdriver
  • Ceramic tipped tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Cotton
  • Your favourite e-liquid
  • An ohms reader

Preparing For Your Build

Before you begin your build it’s imperative that you have a good understanding of ohm’s law and that you know the specification of your batteries. Your battery specifications are essential in allowing you to work out what resistance you need to aim for with your coils and knowing how many wraps to make. This isn’t quite as daunting as it sounds thanks to handy online coil wrapping calculators.

Wrapping Your Wire

Now it’s time to get hands on! You should begin by cutting 5 inches of wire from the spool. The finished coil will probably only use about 3 inches of wire but starting with 5 inches makes for an easier build by giving you some extra surface area to hold onto while you’re wrapping.

Picking up your screwdriver, it’s time to start your wrap. Beginning at the handle of the screwdriver, gently wrap the wire around the shank (the long metal bit attached to the handle) and continue to wrap the wire tightly along the shank until you have the amount of wraps (or hoops) that you require, ensuring that you keep your wraps as close together as possible. The excess wire at each of the coil should be adjusted to face the same direction.

Installing The Coil

So you’ve built your first coil and now it’s time to install it on your RDA! Remove your RDA from your mod and loosen both of the posts in the RDA until the holes are large enough for the ends of each coil to slot into. Insert one end into the positive post and the other end into the negative post ensuring the position of the coils is as close to the center of your RDA as possible then tighten both of the posts to hold the coils firmly in place. Now that your coil is secure you can slide the screwdriver out of its center.

Check Your Ohms

It’s time to fire up that shiny new ohms meter! It’s imperative that you check your coil’s resistance before attaching the RDA to the mod. If you don’t get the resistance reading that you’re expecting for the amount of wraps you’ve produced, take a look at the coil and make sure that it’s not in contact with the posts or the base of the RDA. You can adjust the coil’s position with your tweezers but if this doesn’t cause the reading to match the resistance you’re aiming for then it’s simply a case of building another fresh coil and trying again.

Test Firing Your Coil

If your coil is achieving the correct resistance reading then it’s time to re-attach your RDA to your mod! Once it’s fitted securely you should fire a few short bursts, heating up the coil until it glows brightly. When the coil begins to glow you need to check that the whole coil is glowing evenly and if you find it’s glowing more in some spots that it is in others then you need to lightly squeeze the coils together with your tweezers. Make sure you don’t fire the coil while you’re applying the tweezers! Once the tweezers are no longer in contact with the coil, you can test fire again. Repeat this process until you get an even glow across the coils, that starts from the middle outwards.


There are many varied materials people use for wicking but organic cotton is the most popular thanks to the flavour it creates as well as the ease of placement. Cut enough cotton to leave half an inch on either side of the coil once its threaded through. Before threading the cotton through the coil, twist it so that it’s easier thread then simply push it straight through the middle. Don’t pack too much in there! You’ll need just enough for a snug fit as too little will burn too quickly, creating a nasty taste. Once the wick is threaded through the coil, trim the ends so that you have just enough to lightly touch the base of the RDA and bend the excess cotton down towards the base, allowing plenty of air to flow through the RDA to provide a better hit when you inhale.

Re-adjusting Before You Drip

Before you drip e-liquid onto your coil, you’ll need to check the coil hasn’t moved around at all during the wicking process. Using your tweezers, re-adjust the coil accordingly so that its steady in the RDA and able to fire consistently. Re-tighten the posts if necessary and for final peace of mind, test it again with your ohms meter!

Now it’s time on drip your favourite juice and enjoy your fresh new coils!

¹DISCLAIMER: Anything read in this article is for educational purposes only. If you decide to attempt any of the techniques listed below then you are doing so at your own risk. Always use a reliable Ohms Reader before putting a new build onto a device and make sure it corresponds with the lowest possible resistance. The ohms readout on a regulated box mod may not be entirely accurate, so please, think safety first!