Different materials for coil building 

Any serious vaper wants to build their own coils and get the best vaping experience. Before building your coil, it is essential to understand different coil building material. This will enable you to make an informed decision on which material is the best for your vaping preferences. While some wires are best for temperature control, some are best for wattage. Wicking material also matters. It is also imperative that you get the best wicking material that will not only last but also gives you the best flavor. Today, let’s focus on different building material and help you decide the best one for your vaping style.

Types of coil building material

There are 5 different types of coil building wires. All five wires come with different diameters. The diameter of a coil building wire is commonly referred to as gauge. The gauge is expressed numerically, and as it increases, the diameter gets smaller. This means that a 32 gauge wire is thinner than a 24 gauge wire. As the diameter decreases, the resistance of the wire increase. Therefore, a 32 gauge wire which is very thin, has a higher resistance than the thicker 26 gauge wire. Also, the 32 gauge wire heats up faster than the thicker wires. The common gauges you will find commonly, from the thinnest to the thickest, are 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, and 22. The five coil building wires that we are going to look at are: 

  1. Kanthal
  2. NiChrome
  3. Nickel
  4. Titanium
  5. Stainless steel


This is the most commonly used wire. As a matter of fact, most manufacturers use it to make premade coils. Kanthal wire is suitable for wattage, but it is poor in temperature control. It is the best wire for people who are just beginning to use rebuildables, because it is easy to work with. Moreover, it easily holds shape when you make loops with it, as it is stiff. Kanthal has excellent resistance to oxidation, and it is not only cheap, but also easy to find locally.

What are the pros and cons of Kanthal?

The advantages of Kanthal wire are:

  • It enables vapers to use variable wattage
  • It is easy to source locally
  • Holds shape easily giving newbies an easy time when building coils
  • It is cheap and compatible with mechanical mods

Kanthal has one significant disadvantage:

  • It is not compatible with temperature control (TC). This means that you cannot use it with TC devices. TC vape devices work with wires which detect when to regulate the wattage and current being sent to your device. As temperature increases, TC wires increase the resistance of your coil to reduce the current flowing to it and prevent burning.
  • Compared to other coil building wires, Kanthal gives off the dullest flavor. Your vape will still taste great, but not as good as with other wires.


NiChrome is an alloy that contains nickel and chromium. It works almost the same as the Kanthal wire does, though it has a faster ramp-up time (it heats up faster). Compared to Kanthal, it has less spring, but it still holds shape well, making coil building and wicking easy. NiChrome wires have a lower melting point than Kanthal wires. NiChrome is not easy to find so you might need to shop online for it. NiChrome can be used with TC devices. However, its Temperature Coefficient Resistance (TCR) is so low that devices struggle with it. TCR is the increase in resistance as temperature increases.

What are the pros and cons of NiChrome?

Some of the advantages of NiChrome wires for coil building are: 

  • NiChrome holds shape easily hence it won’t give you a hard time if you are building for the first time.
  • It has a faster ramp-up time compared to Kanthal

NiChrome has several disadvantages:

  • It has some nickel content which some people are allergic to
  • NiChrome has a lower melting point. Thus, too many dry burns can cause it to catch fire. When using them, start vaping with low wattages and do not forget to pulse the coils. 
  • NiChrome is hard to source locally, but you can find it in some online stores.


Nickel is also known as Ni200. Nickel wires are made of pure nickel, and they were the first wires to be used for TC. This wire is popular among vapers who love TC, and it is easy to find locally. Like all other coil building wires, Nickel has some advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of nickel

  • Nickel is the best wire for TC, and it is safe when used in this mode
  • This wire has a fast ramp-up time
  • Nickel is inexpensive and easy to find locally
  • It produces a decent flavor and improves the vaping experience

Disadvantages of Nickel

  • Nickel is an allergen, and some people react to it
  • The wires are soft as a result, they do not hold shape well and are hard to work with


Titanium coil building wires are made of pure titanium, which is compatible with TC devices. Titanium poses a danger to your health when heated over 1200F. It produces titanium dioxide which is toxic.

Titanium wires are not only easy to work with, but they also hold shape very well. Also, it is stronger than Ni200; therefore, it lasts longer.

What are the advantages of using titanium?

  • Titanium is easy to work with, and it holds shape well
  • It is strong; hence long lasting 
  • Titanium wire produces a clean, crisp flavor
  • Work well in TC mode

Disadvantages of titanium

  • Titanium is not compatible with wattage mode
  • When heated above 1200F, it becomes toxic
  • It is not readily available in local stores
  • Titanium wires are hard to extinguish in case of a fire

Stainless steel

Stainless steel wires are unique because they can be used for both wattage and TC mode vaping. Stainless steel wires are alloys made of nickel, chromium, and carbon. 

Advantages of stainless steel

  • Faster ramp-up time than Kanthal
  • Easily holds shape and is easy to work with
  • Compatible with both voltage wattage and TC modes

Disadvantages of stainless steel

  • It contains nickel which causes allergies for some people
  • Stainless steel is hard to source locally

Which wire is the best for me?

The best wire depends on the outcome you are looking for from your coils. Cloud production, ramp up time, wattage modes, TC modes, flavor intensity, and over performance are some of the guiding factors for most vapers. 

What about wicking material?

Another critical part of coil building is wicking material. Once you have installed your coils, the next step is putting wicks in them, and wicking material is equally important. When looking for the best material, vapers consider longevity, vapor production and flavor production. Wicking material has evolved over time, and vapers are no longer confined to cotton balls because there are many options to choose from. Here are the most common wicking materials:

Traditional cotton balls

Traditional cotton balls are not only cheap, but they also give off great flavor. In addition to this, it soaks up e-juice very well. Cotton balls are known to contain pesticides and bleaching material. Hence, once you buy them, it is essential to boil and rid them of any dangerous elements. Avoid using tap water for boiling as it could add more impurities to your cotton.

Japanese cotton

Unlike cotton balls, Japanese cotton is expensive. This cotton is the best for tank systems. Also, it gives a great flavor, and it lasts longer compared to cotton balls.


If you have joined online vaping communities, you might have come across the discussion on the safety of silica. Well, note that there are two types of silica namely Ekowool and crystalline silica. The first is safe, but the latter is unsafe. Ekowool has excellent fire resistance, and it is well braided, minimizing the chances of fibers coming off in your lungs.

Stainless steel mesh

The stainless steel mesh works best with genesis style atomizers. When you use this wicking material in drippers, you risk shorting your device and possibly causing fires. 

Rayon cellulose

This is the only wicking material that is both natural and synthetic. How so? Rayon naturally accrues in cellulose, but for it to be the wicking material we use today, it has to undergo lots of processing. This material wicks well, and it also carries flavor well.


Varying wire types and gauge sizes mostly influence your style of vaping. When combined with the right wicking material, vape wires can significantly improve your vaping experience. Aside from diameter and the wire type, the number of wraps you make also determine if you will get the perfect vape. It is important to note that TC wires must only be used with vape devices that have TC capabilities.

You may also like our article on squonking!

Caroline Sparks

Writer, Vaper, Advocate Have an idea? Comment below!