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Vape Wire 101: Which Wire Suits You Best?

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So, you’ve gotten into vaping. The smoke tricks, the exotic flavors, and the aesthetic have lured you in, but you’re stalling on what to do with this new hobby. There’s a lot of avenues to explore within the vaping community, making a large and potentially confusing cloud of possibilities.

One of the most exhilarating hobbies that vape enthusiasts rage over is creating their own unique mech mods. Officially beginning to adjust them, however, can be difficult. Choosing the type of wire to use can be an important but difficult step of that.

In this article, we’ll mainly focus on the differences between different types of wires (mainly discussing the more common Kanthal and Nichrome, and mentioning Stainless Steel, Nickel, and Titanium) and how they impact the vaping experience.

What’s the Difference?

Each kind of wire comes in different diameters, which are referred to as the gauge of the wire. Higher gauge numbers indicate a smaller wire diameter. A 30-gauge wire, for example, will be thinner than a 28-gauge wire, but wider than a 32-gauge wire. The gauges increase in increments of two and commonly range from 22 to 32. This chart compares all of the gauges and sizes.

The gauge of the wire impacts how quickly the wire can heat up or cool down. This impacts the wire resistance, or the wire’s ability to resist heat change. A thicker wire (lower gauges) will have a higher wire resistance since they have more mass, and it takes the pen more time to heat up a thicker wire than a thinner one.
rda coil build

What Are My Options?

There are five main types of wires used for vaping: Kanthal, Nichrome, Stainless Steel, Nickel, and Titanium. Different types of wire can impact the volume of the vapor and the permeance of the flavor, and choosing the right kind of wire in your mechanical mods can make or break your builds.

Kanthal:
Kanthal is the standard starter vape wire. As an alloy of iron, chromium, and aluminum, it’s malleable, easy to adjust, and can withstand high temperatures with little damage. Kanthal can be twisted or braided and will hold its shape pretty well, and is often prized for its affordability. Many people, however, think that Kanthal depresses flavors; at the least, it doesn’t emphasize juice flavors the way other wires might.

Nichrome:
Nichrome is considered the next step up from Kanthal. It’s a nickel and chromium alloy, which allows the resistance be lower as compared to Kanthal and for it to heat up faster. This allows for more flavor and vapor for a shorter time. This also makes it more susceptible to melting, so Nichrome users should be careful to ease into it to avoid melting the coils. It’s still easy to wrap but has less elasticity than Kanthal.

coil with cotton

What Else is There?

Stainless Steel:
Stainless Steel plays uniquely with the flavor of the juice, emphasizing crisp flavors for a strong, powerful taste experience. It has a fast ramp and has long performance time, but can be difficult to work with.

Nickel:
Nickel heats the fastest of the types on this list. It’s probably the hardest to work with, though, since it’s soft and unbalanced. Nickel has also been accused of being unhealthy to consume.

Titanium:
Titanium is controversial as many people view it as unsafe to use since it can release toxic compounds at high temperatures. However, studies have found that the exposure to metals has not been a significant safety concern. Many people use still use it, and prize it for being malleable, holding shape, heating up fast, and cooling down quickly.

So What?
Picking the proper wire can be difficult, but can lead to an amazingly unique vaping experience. In our opinion,

  • Kanthal is the best option for the beginner who just wants to gain some experience messing with wire and coils or as a standard go-to wire type.
  • Nichrome is best for more experienced coil builders looking for a new material to try to mess with to get a faster ramp.
  • Stainless Steel is best for very experienced coil builders who value fast ramp, strong flavors, and can handle coiling a difficult wire.
  • Nickel is best for the most experienced coil builders who can wrestle down a sensitive wire to get the fastest ramp.
  • Titanium is best for careful coil builders who will do their research to safely achieve the quick heat up and cool down times.

Selecting the right wire might be tedious, but we promise the investment will pay off big time. Get out there and start working on your own unique mech mod!

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