How to Build Your Own Vape Coils
One of the great things about vaping is you can build and customise your kit to make something really special.
As they get more advanced, many vapers opt to build and maintain coils themselves rather than buying prebuilt coils or coil heads. It gives you more control over your vaping experience —such as building for big flavour, big clouds, or better battery consumption — and can save you money, too.
If you already enjoy tinkering around with your kit, building your own coils can be a fun and satisfying pastime.
The essential toolkit
If you're ready to take the plunge, here are the essential tools and materials you'll need to build your own coils.
1. Kanthal wire
Kanthal wire, most common and standard wire - the material you'll actually use to build your coil - is the first thing you need to get started. A spool of A1 grade kanthal costs less than a fiver and will make somewhere between 20-30 standard coils, so can be a great way to reduce your costs once you get into it. You can experiment with different wire types (stainless steel, nichrome, nickel, titanium) and gauges to help you change the temperature, vapour density and flavour of your e-liquid. If you go down this route, kits like our UD Wire Box are an easy and inexpensive way to experiment.
2. Wicking cotton
Next on the list of essentials is the cotton for your wick - you need undyed, unbleached 100% cotton that's sterile and safe for use. Japanese organic cotton is a popular choice because it's inexpensive, gives good flavour and saturates quickly. It typically comes in packs of 5 or 10 sheets.
3. Screw driver
A small screw driver is what you'll use to make your coils nice and even. You can use it to wrap the wire around tightly and then trim the ends down with your plyers. You can also use it to tighten the posts on your RBA and adjust and position the new coils once you've put them on the posts. Most advanced builders tend to use a drill bits as the'yre able to wrap narrower or thicker (in diameter) coils, then position it in the posts while using their screw driver to tighten the post screws. However, the most convenient tool for the job would be a coil jig. These allow the builder to better position the coils as they're built to assist in pushing and pulling the coil so it sits perfectly in place over or beside the air flow holes.
4. Diagonal wire cutters
A pair of wire cutters will help you trim the wire you use for your coil without too much additional fiddling. Most build kits come with a small set perfect for coil wires, but you can also find a mini pair at a good craft store as they're also often used for making jewellery. Thinner wire cutters allow you to get in between the wire leads to snip off the excess wire.
Tweezers are another useful tool to help you pinch and tighten your coil into place once you've fastened them in the posts of your RBA. A Pair of ceramic tipped tweezers work best - they should be strong enough to handle working with wire and provide good accuracy when pushing your cotton wick into place. These will allow you pinch your coil while firing your mod without shorting it, just be careful as a hot coil becomes very fragile!
A clean pair of scissors will help you trim your cotton wick to the size and shape you need. A dedicated pair that you reserve only for working with your vape setup will help keep the wick clean and free from any dirt or dust.
7. Coil kit
You can get all the pieces you need to build a coil individually or together as part of a coil kit. The UD Coil Mate 7 piece set and LTQ Vapor Coil Builder's Tool Kit are both popular options and have the added advantage of a carry case so you can keep everything together.
Learning to build your own coils
Learning to build your own coils takes time and patience. At first you might find your coils don't look as uniform as premade ones - but stick with it and you'll soon be a master at building coils that look as good as they perform. You'll also find a good coil builder and a vape coil building kit a great help.
If you need more information, check out our blog post on the benefits of building your own coils.