Drip Tips with Grant – Wire

Hey vape fans! in this installment of drip tips, we’re going to talk about wire! There are several different types of wires to choose from, but which is best for you? We’re going to take a look at the different types of wire, and what each one brings to the table.

Vapowire Kanthal Wire

So first I’d like to talk about gauges. The diameter of a wire is measured on the gauge scale. Most vape wire comes in 20-32 gauge. The thing about the gauge scale is that it goes backwards! When the number goes up, the size of the wire goes down. So a 32 gauge wire that you may expect to be very thick is actually quite thin- about the size of sewing thread.
How does this translate to our coil builds? Well, the thicker the wire, the less the resistance and the thinner the wire, the higher the resistance.

The first wire we will talk about is Kanthal A-1. This is a blend of iron, chromium, and aluminium that is specially designed to withstand high heat. It also has properties that allow it to be held in a form, making it very well suited to be used in our RBAs. You can get kanthal plated in many different types of metals if you wish, but good old fashioned kanthal is the choice for many vapers out there.

Next we have Nichrome wire. This is a blend of nickel and chromium and is also widely used for its high heat tolerance, but also because it is very easy to shape and even easier to get it to retain that shape. Many people are using Nichrome wire because of it’s low resistance per foot, which is much lower than kanthal. This means that surface area can be retained whilst at the same time keeping resistance low. I typically see this wire in builds that are used with a mech mod to get the super low resistance.

The next type of wire we have is called nickel wire or ni200. This wire has a resistance that is so low, that it has been called non-resistance wire, meaning there is almost no resistance when a current is applied. This type of wire is almost exclusively for building with the DNA 40 temperature controlled board. In fact, the DNA 40 relies on the almost non-existent resistance in order to gauge the heat that the coil will get to. Since heat changes resistance, it is easier to measure when you have a lower resistance, and also when the alloy you are using is sensitive enough to heat resistance changes like ni200.

Some of these wires also come in different shapes. You can get flat ribbon wire in both nichrome and kanthal that helps boost the flavor of your builds by adding more surface area. Flat ribbon is pretty springy, however, so a torch is a must have for building with it.

Whichever wire you decide to go with, make sure you are using the right type of battery for the build you are using. If you vape outside of the limits of your battery, you run the risk of endangering yourself and those around you.

That’s it for drip tips #8 folks, hope you were able to learn something about wire and the different types. Stay tuned for drip tips #9!

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Jason says:

    New to building coils. I have a kangertech subtank mini on a Kbox. Any suggestions on which wire to use and what gauge?
    Do you know what gauge and wire the RDA coils are that come with the subtank mini?
    Thanks for reading and helping me find my answers.

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