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Why are coils important for e-cigarettes?

An e-cigarette without coil is like a cigarette without rolling paper; it is indispensable for electric fumes. But why is there actually a coil in an electric cigarette, and does it matter what type of coil you use? On this page we explain everything about the use of coils, and what you should pay attention to.

Note: On this page we provide information about coils in e-cigarettes. It is not intended as sales advice for specific products.

What is a coil?

A coil is the part of the e-cigarette that absorbs e-liquid and ensures that the liquid evaporates under high temperature.

What parts does a coil consist of?

A coil consists of three parts:

Filament: This is a resistance wire that is wrapped in the coil. When the button on the electric cigarette is pressed, this wire is heated so that the e-liquid can evaporate.

Wick: This is literally the "wick", a piece of fabric (usually cotton) that absorbs e-liquid and brings it to the filament. You can often see this material, this is the white material behind the holes around the coil.

Housing: The filament and the wick are in a housing that is placed in the clearomizer. This way everything stays neatly in the right place.


Not every coil is the same, and many types are available for various applications. The resistance can vary greatly, for example, there are coils that are provided with extra filaments. The so-called "exotic" coils have a resistance wire that is braided.

Types of resistance wire

Each type of resistance wire has its own unique properties. These are the common types of resistance wires used in e-cigarettes:


This is the standard thread for coils. They are intended to vaporize based on the wattage. You can assume that the coil is made with kanthal, unless stated otherwise. Kanthal is also suitable for braided exotic threads.


Previously, mesh was mainly used to make wick, nowadays it is used for making coils. A mesh means that a fine structure is present, thereby creating a large surface for evaporation. When the mesh is heated, the vapor and taste are released. A high wattage is required before they start to glow.


This is in fact the housing that surrounds the filament. There is cotton around the ceramic part, there is also a glowing spiral. Different types of resistance wires are used in ceramic coils. The housing works together with the cotton as the wick. In addition, the spiral in combination with the ceramic ensures evaporation. Ceramic coils remain free of taste, which best enhances the aroma of the e-liquid.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel or stainless steel is also used in coils. It is possible to vaporise this on wattage but also on the basis of temperature. This is a unique feature for resistance wires. Although the experience of vaping is very similar to standard canteen, stainless steel will heat up faster.


With nickel-based coils, it is not possible to steam on wattage, the use is regulated with temperature at mods that have a temperature control. A higher temperature also means a stronger activation of the coil. With Ni200 coils there is a low resistance, this is due to the composition of this resistance wire. This results in a vapor that feels hotter.


Coils made of titanium can also only be used in electric cigarettes with a temperature setting, they are also called Ti coils. You set the desired number of degrees, this can be Celsius or in Fahrenheit. Here too, the temperature determines the strength of the vapor. The resistance of a titanium coil is slightly higher than the resistance of a nickel-based coil. The vapor experience is therefore also less hot.

Coil resistance

The rule of thumb is: A higher resistance gives less vapor at a lower temperature with more taste. A lower resistance gives more vapor with a higher temperature and less taste.

> 1.0 ohm resistor

When the resistance of the coil is higher than 1.0 Ohm, it will usually be made from smaller filaments of thin wires. This means that less power is required to heat up the filament. This has a favorable effect on the battery. The amount of vapor from these coils is somewhat lower, which also means that they are more economical with e-liquid. These types are particularly suitable for MTL e-cigarettes (Mouth To Lung).

<1.0 ohm resistor

These coils are made with larger glow coils and with thicker wires. This means that more power will be needed to get the filament to the right temperature. This has the side effect that the battery will drain faster. These coils produce more vapor but less taste. The e-liquid will evaporate faster so they are also more harmful in consumption. Coils with a resistance lower than 1.0 Ohm are usually called Sub-Ohm coils. They are generally used in DTL mods (Direct To Lung).

Number of filaments

There is a filament in a coil, this can also be more than one. This creates a larger surface for evaporation, resulting in more vapor. You can generally say that coils with more filaments also have a lower resistance. A coil with two glow plugs has half the resistance in theory. So you can divide the resistance of an incandescent spiral by the number of spirals present. With the HW coils from Eleaf you can immediately see how many spirals are present by the type designation; 1 glow plug for the HW1, 2 glow plugs for the HW2 and so on. Coils with more wires have a lower resistance, which means that the power must be higher for heating.

Exotic filaments

The so-called exotic filaments are braided in a different way. Where with a standard coil only one wire is present, with an exotic coil two or more filaments will be used. The thickness will differ per thread, by weaving them together, more surface is created for evaporation. This makes exotic coils suitable for vapors at a higher wattage. Because the surface for evaporation is higher, more vapor will occur, and the taste is stronger.

1. Clapton coil

This is a coil that consists of two resistance wires, a thin wire is wound on a thick wire. If the name makes you ring a bell; Clapton indeed comes from the famous singer / guitarist, because the thread looks a lot like a guitar string.

2. Alien coil

The basis of this coil is a Clapton wire that is stretched and has three core wires. A Clapton coil is wound around the core in the Alien coil. These coils are considerably wider than the Clapton coil.

3. Tiger coil

This coil is braided from two wires. This time it concerns a flat wire and a round wire. The appearance of the Tiger coil can be compared with barbed wire.

4. Hive coil

This is a coil that consists of four separate wires. Two wires are braided into one wire. The two duo wires are in turn braided together for a hive coil. You can compare the appearance with a strict DNA.

5. Notch coil

Finally a strange duck in the bite, because this coil is not braided from wire but made from stainless steel plates. They are first rolled until they are thin plates, where another motif is cut out. These thin plates are rolled up again into cylinders for use as a coil. They are very recognizable coils.

What is the best coil?

It is impossible to determine "the best coil" because it is a matter of personal preference. A lower resistance ensures more vapor that is also hotter, a higher resistance ensures less vapor that is cooler. When you use Sub-Ohm coils you will vapor this directly over the lungs, this is different from the standard MTL types.