How and When to Change a Coil

All vapers deal with coils sooner or later. Coils have a huge influence on flavor, and not everyone knows how and when to change a coil. Here is an educational article on how and when to change a coil, to optimize your flavor and vape experience!

Before we get too far into our tutorial, let’s take a look at what a coil is, and what it does. The coil is a crucial element to the atomizer, which heats e-juice to the point of vaporization. It is a spiral of conductive material that transforms electrical power (from your battery) into heat. No electricity, no heat. Coils can be made of Kanthal, stainless steel, ceramics, nickel, and various other conductors. If it vapes, it has a heating element of some variety. Knowing as much as you can about your coil empowers you as a vaper.

Since the genesis of vaping, coils have advanced dramatically. The option of “building” your own coils in RDA and RTA atomizers has produced some truly awesome coils. A lot of atomizers come with pre-built coils at specific ohms, which takes time and effort out of the vaping process.


Nothing lasts forever. Coils have a life-span, like all things. You may notice a “burnt” taste, less vapor production, or leakage issues with your atomizer. These are all signs that your coil may need to be changed. If your coil and wicking material looks dark, crusted, or flat-out ugly, change that coil!

A lot of variables influence coil performance and longevity. Lower ohms means less resistance, which sucks more power from your battery to heat your coil faster. Heavier vaping means more demand from your coil. A casual vaper will have to change his or her coil less frequently than a vapomaniac.

Flavors also influence coil longevity. Sweeter flavors caramelize and “gunk up” coils faster than, say, a basic fruit. If you love dessert flavors, anticipate more coil changes. Other variables include acidity, viscosity (higher VG blackens coils faster), and length of time the firing button is pressed (longer vapes = less coil life).


Some flavor purists insist on changing their coils and wicks every time they change flavor. Some vapers only change their coils when it is absolutely necessary. Think of it like changing the oil in your car; different performance needs changes the upkeep necessity.

As a general rule, your coil should be changed if you experience any of the following:

  • Reduced flavor/vapor production
  • Leakage issues
  • Gurgling
  • Burnt taste
  • Lingering flavors
  • Uncanny ohm readings
  • Dissatisfaction with your vape in general

Heavy vapers should change their coils every five to seven days. Moderate vapers should change their coils every two weeks. Light vapers can get away with changing their coils every three to four weeks. These are general guides, and if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should probably change your coil sooner.


There is no universal method for coil changing. With such a wide variety of coil options in the vaping world, every atomizer has its own method options. Generally, you should ensure that you’ve emptied all e-juice from your atomizer. For tank users, make sure the tank is empty. For RDA folks, make sure excess e-juice is clear.

For pre-built and stock coils, the coil can be unscrewed from the atomizer.  Build decks usually have a hex-screw or allen wrench with which to unscrew your coil from the posts. YouTube is a great resource for finding specific tutorials on your atomizer’s removal process. No two atomizer models are identical, so some research may be required.

Pre-build coils can be screwed into the atomizer deck. Remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey! Make sure the pre-build coil is tightly fastened and primed.

For those new to building, I’d recommend checking out our Coil-Building Tutorial. Building can get extremely technical, and there is no limit to the expertise you can achieve in coil-building.

Insert the coil to the post-holes, screw them in with the proper tools, and insure your ohms are registering in the proper range. Wick, prime, and apply e-juice as needed.


As noted before, there is no universal way to change a coil. You may need to contact our Customer Service Department or prowl the Internet for advanced and specific techniques to change your coil. Learn as much as you can about products, techniques, and innovations

Caroline Sparks

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

  • Ken C says:

    If it still tastes funky after un-wicking, dry burning, rinsing (coil and tank), drying, re-wicking and priming.. That’s when I know it’s time to change the coil.

    • Josh Hanna says:

      That is the time I change mine too lol

    • Raji Fonte says:

      Thankz 4 that info i didnt know u had to do or could do all those things. I jus bought a vape off a friend yesterday and it came with no instructions. So i went back to find out how to use it, i find out 2 hours after i left him he died. Enlarged heart n high blood pressure. He kept saying he was vert tired. N had head aches the whole day. My point is i cant ask him how to work it now… So im here tryna figure it out. So thanks.

      • Raji Fonte says:

        Btw he was only 30 years old

      • Corey Gefroh says:

        We are very sorry to hear of your friend’s passing, that is never an easy thing to go through and we are sending you all of our condolences. You are very welcome for the information in this post and we are happy to hear that it was helpful to you! If you do need any other information or need any specific questions answered, feel free to contact our wonderful Customer Service Representative at support@mtbakervapor.com

        • ChrisB says:

          Kind of going thru same thing. Didn’t buy a vape but he left his juice here and passed away. So I’m smoking in a new vape in honor of him

      • Lorrie says:

        Was this because of vaping?

  • Matt says:

    Very helpful to someone new to vaping

  • Caleb says:

    I like to take 3 strands of wire and twist it all together and wrap that, great flavor production and they last a lot longer, you also
    Don’t need to change your coil every time you change you cotton, you can just get it hot and then run it under some water and it’ll get cleaner, then just re wick it, my coils usually last me months

    • Josh Hanna says:

      Twisted coils are super nice. I used one when I started vaping and then forgot about them. I need to go make one again.

  • Donovan Deredita says:

    how often should i change my coil in my tfv4 tank if im a heavy vaper? i dont use my rda much anymore to me dripping is just a hassle im too lazy todo.

    • Josh Hanna says:

      Depending on the flavors, I would change it at least every 2-3 weeks. If the flavors are sweeter it might be sooner.

  • Matt says:

    Good article. Thank you.

  • Tony says:

    Good to know. Thanks!

  • Steve says:

    I don’t change between flavors. I usually change wicks and dry burn my coils about every 30ml or so, when a slight burnt taste develops. I only change the coils themselves when the burnt/rotten taste remains after re-wick and dry burn.

    • Josh Hanna says:

      That sounds fair. That would be every 2-3 days for me. My coils burn fast it seems. I have to change those often.

  • Mike Clayton says:

    I usually just change it when taste starts to turn (burnt taste), sometimes though you can run warm water through it and get a couple more days out of it.

  • Thanks for the information. Awesome blog post!

  • Faith Rena Mims says:

    This helps me a little. Another Question though, I use a SMOK Osub One, I’m only on my second coil since around the 4th. I’m new to Vaping. I have only used three flavors and it seems that the burning taste is quite regular with me. I’ve gotten to vaping at 40 Watts now, and it happens very often that my throats gets burned. My friend who has been vaping for a while, said it was because of the high wattage, but I don’t seem to be getting enough flavor. I only use three flavors as I’ve said before, one is Coffee Café and the other two are Juice Roll-Upz and Resistance. If you could, please tell me how often I should change my coil. I’m also a heavy vaper, almost all the time vaping.

    • Corey Gefroh says:

      The lifespan of a coil is anywhere from 1-3 weeks typically. This time can be greatly decreased if the user is a heavy vaper. A burnt taste from a new or newer coil is usually due to the coil not being properly primed before it was fired. For sub ohm coils, you will need to use a high VG e-liquid with a lower nicotine strength (like 6mg typically) and the coil will need to be primed for 10-20 minutes so that the cotton wicking material has enough time to saturate with e-liquid. It is also best to start off with the lowest wattage for the coil after it has been primed and work your way up to your desired wattage. You also need to make sure that you are not setting your wattage higher that the ohm on your coil is rated for. If you have primed the coil correctly and are still getting a burnt taste right away, then the coil may have been manufactured incorrectly causing a defect, to which you would then need to install and prime a new coil.

  • Rebekah says:

    Will an old (2-3 weeks use) coil use up more liquid faster? It seems like I’m going through a lot more about the last half of the month. I have a Smok Baby Beast tank (with no leaks) & I stay within the wattage listed on the coil & prime correctly; & it doesn’t taste burnt but I’m a heavy vaper & use very sweet liquids (guava & nectarine infused cotton candy!) & have only been changing coils every 3-4(usually) weeks. Thanx for info, very helpful!

  • Pam says:

    I had an Icare vape for my starter I am fairly new. My son got me a little upgrade of the Smok QBOX as a birthday gift. I am a pretty steady user and the coils seems to be used up fast. Any suggestions on settings to make them last longer? Also the vent on the bottom you twist for the air vent , what is best to have it at for best flavor fuly opened or more closed? I feel opened more get less taste? TY

  • mike says:

    Hello, I am new to vaping .I have a Eleaf IKonn 220. My coil says I should vape between 50 and 130.I have the Ello mini xl tank with a eleaf hw3 coil. i need to try the higher ohm one they gave me and see which to order . I find it better at 30 or even 40 100 ya right its to hot and sounds like t is boiling it when I go that high.. I have heard gurgling it gets very hot the smoke also. I turned the temp down. I think I have crappy juice? Aint as much vapor as I would like. Someone told me try different juice?Anyways I have only had it for 2 days so far how do you change the coil when you have juice do you wait until its gone or pour it out and reuse it maybe get an eye dropper and suck it back out what does everyone do. I am gonna try Naked 100 Pog is it any good? Thanks, I do not know my pg vg ration on my juice also.I have a sub ohm vape dude at the vape shop said it was a good set up? I think I would like a dif tank and drip tip ppl say the Aspire will work anyone have the same one? Thanks.

    • Jeff says:

      I am a new vaper. I have had an Ikonn 220 with Ello tank for about 2 months. That setup comes with an HW3 and an HW4 coil. I had similar frustrating issues with what I feel is a quality mod and tank. I solved my problem by doing the following. First I learned about the different coils offered for that mod and how the differences affect the outcome (more/less vapor vs more/less flavor). Next and most importantly for me, I learned how to program that Ikonn 220. I figured out how to adjust ohms, watts, etc. and how to set up the box properly for the coil I was using. Next, I decided to try the HW2 coil at a lower wattage. The result is – and let me stress I am very new to this – the result is huge clouds of vapor and great taste. I am an ex FIFTY YEAR CIG SMOKER. Good luck to you.

  • Merranda Davis says:

    I use a smok alien 220. With an X BABY m2 coil. Run at 40-60 watts. Works about 3-4 weeks with sweet oils. Like peach rings or summer drink etc. Beautiful clouds fabulous taste. My first vape. I can’t complain. So much happier than smoking. I highly recommend for someone looking for less hassle with better experience. Easy coil Changes. Big plus for me. No smells. People are usually surprised I vape. Better than. Smoking where everyone knows. Because you smell strongly.

  • aaliyah c says:

    i have a vaporesso target pro. i judt changed my coil amd it still tastes strange and is now heating up faster. usually through the tank i can see the cotton slit but i just see writing am i doing it wrong? im new to this amd kov wont chamge my coil for me to understand how to do it. help!!!

  • Maurice Cuchet says:

    Hi All, I thought I would add my 2c worth…I started vaping with a pretty standard Starter Kit. The part that got me irate was how often I had to replace the pre-made coils due to high intensity vaping. I have since moved onto a VooPoo Drag Resin with Limitless RDTA tank. I learnt how to wrap coils, re-wick and DIY my own ejuice. I never realised unitl today, that I too need to re-wrap and replace coils every so often…thanks for the heads-up. Life is now good!

  • Good honest article, with some excellent advise. I bought my vape kit one week ago, for some weird reason I can’t kick my 11pm cigarette, but do not even crave one any other time of day. I bought a good brand cool fire IV, and it is perfect, am trying not to use too much, and after starting on 18mg I hope to go down to 16 next week and see how I go. Also plan to stop the 11pm cigarette, good luck everyone, this has to be 100 % better than smoking

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