Month: November 2015

Coils, and Wicks, and Vapor, Oh My!

It’s be almost right at a year ago that I bought my first vaping starter kit. It consisted of a EVOD battery and a knockoff of a Kangertech mini Protank that only held a few milliliters of liquid. While vape shops and sites are not legally allowed to call e-cigarettes and vapor products a “smoking cessation” device, frankly that’s exactly what they are – at least for me they have been. Over the following four months I went from a pack a day down to half a pack, to a few cigarettes a day to eventually quitting altogether.* As I found myself craving cigarettes less in favor of vaping, I also found myself upgrading my vaping gear as well. I eventually purchased a variable voltage Vision Spinner battery and switched from the plastic protank clones to glass tanks instead. I liked being able to change the voltage based on the different liquids or as the coils started to wear out a bit, but I soon found out that these types of batteries did not last long. I had two, and was soon having to charge one mid-way through the day. The variable voltage also tended to cause the liquid to break down faster and become bitter and burnt tasting – that’s no bueno. Why would I want to continue to vape if the flavor was going to change and become unpredictable? The answer was to upgrade once again to a “box mod” with variable wattage control.

Going to a variable wattage rig also allowed me to start using “sub-ohm” coils, which I admit I was previously critical of because I didn’t understand the appeal of producing that much vapor. I soon found that sub-ohm coils were not just about more vapor, but better vapor control and better flavor as well. It also meant that the liquid did not get overheated and start to break down since the lower resistance in the coils meant vapor was produced faster so I didn’t have to hold the button down for as long to get the same satisfaction. Battery life is also greatly improved; instead of a battery only lasting part of the day, I can vape all day and even part way into the next before having to switch them out. In switching to a mod and tanks that use sub-ohm coils, though, I have also discovered an interest in the hobbyist aspect of vaping, that of winding my own coils.

I was previously quite satisfied and ok with buying premade coils for my tank atomizers. When I decided to get a box mod (mainly for better battery life), though, I went with a starter kit that included a new tank as well. The Subtank Mini by Kangertech not only uses standard premade coils, but also comes with a mini Re-buildable Atomizer (RDA) for building one’s own coils. I did not attempt it right away. I spent quite a bit of time watching how to videos on YouTube, beginning with how to wick the tank I have since the mini-RBA already had a coil installed as well as a couple of spares. Once I realized how easy that was, I started watching coil building videos and refreshing my memory about Ohm’s Law. Now that I’ve attempted a couple of coils of my own and I’m pretty sold on the concept. Sure it produces more vapor, which I really wasn’t after, but in doing so I get much better flavor and find that I don’t feel the need to vape as often with the older EVOD and Vision batteries with “regular” coil tanks. Still, I need more practice with coil making. I still probably waste too much wire and cotton, but I’m getting better. I had the good sense to order a toolkit called the Coilmaster that includes everything to make coils right, including and ohm meter.

The only problem I have now is finding myself getting sucked into wanting to collect different RDAs and dripping style atomizers. I’ve always used tank atomizers because I could fill them up and they would last me the majority of the day. I’ve also tended to have more than one tank, each filled with a different flavor – if I start off vaping Caramel Cappuccino in the morning, I might want to switch to Skittles later in the day and having at least two tanks helps facilitate that. With drippers, though, all I would have to do is change the wick and give it a quick rinse. RDA drippers also seem to have more options when it comes to coils. I could do either a single or dual coil build, I could try different gauges of wire, or different styles such as twisted wire. I like the mini-RDA on my Subtank as it has been a good starter for a newbie like me, but it is only single coil and as I found out the hard way, it’s tiny size doesn’t allow for very many options when building. I’m pretty much stuck with a single coil that’s been wrapped around a 2.5mm post (I tried 3mm wrap but it ended up too large to fit).

I have no regrets switching to vaping instead of cigarettes. It’s more satisfying, it definitely smells better (my home office smells of maple these days), it’s healthier (3-4 ingredients vs 3000+ chemicals), and learning how to coil build gives me a new hobby. Now if we can just get the fools in government to stop believing the bullshit false studies that big tobacco keeps commissioning to try to discredit vaping… but that’s a whole different blog topic for a later time.

~ JC

* I am sure the fact that I bought my first starter kit right as winter was starting helped, since vaping meant I did not have to go outside in the cold like I did if I wanted to have a cigarette.