Custom Built Devices – Make My Vape

  1. Temperature control vaping
  2. Using different kinds of coils to create different effects
  3. Best wires to make your own coil
  4. Drip tips
  5. Using sub-ohm devices safely
  6. Building your own coils

 

Temperature control vaping

Temperature control is one of the ways you can customise your vaping experience.

It allows you to control how hot your vaporiser becomes, which in turn changes how much vapour is produced and how hot the vapour is.

This means you can adjust your vaping temperature to suit your needs.

The simplest vaping devices are fixed-power, which means they use a consistent wattage. 

More advanced devices have variable wattage which means you can adjust the power (and adapt the experience, usually by producing more vapour). 

Variable-temperature devices (usually mods for tank systems) not only allow you to manually control the wattage but also to set the temperature. 

This means that, instead of changing the wattage, you can change the temperature and the mod will automatically adjust to achieve the desired temperature.

How to change the temperature of your vape

If you have a mod with variable temperature control, you can simply set the temperature you want at the time and it will create that temperature.

If you can’t do that, there are other ways to vary the temperature of your vape.

You can increase the temperature manually by increasing the wattage as this sends more power through the coil and heats it up faster. 

To decrease the temperature, you simply decrease the wattage.  

You don’t need to have a custom-build e-cigarette to get variable temperature control – many of the ‘simpler’ vaping devices like pen systems have variable wattage options (some even have pre-set options so you can vary the temperature even if you’re new to vaping and not confident enough to go it alone yet).

The type of coil you use will also affect the temperature it reaches.

High-ohm coils will not heat up as much as sub-ohm coils, which are designed to get very hot very quickly. 

Go to Choosing coils compatible with your device for a guide to the ways in which coils can vary and how this affects your vaping experience.

Why use temperature control

There are several reasons why you might want to vary the temperature of your vape. 

It can affect the way your device functions as well as the experience of vaping.

  • Stop dry hits
  • By setting the temperature lower, you can avoid dry hits which happen when your coil burns the e-liquid faster than the wick can soak it up. 

    Turning the temperature down means the coil doesn’t burn the e-liquid as quickly and therefore you don’t get the dry hits, even with long inhales.

  • Develop the taste
  • You get to decide whether your vape juice tastes better hot or cold.  You might even want to change temperature for different e-juices.

    By lowering the temperature, you may find you pick up notes of flavours in your e-liquid that you couldn’t discern before.

  • Conserve e-liquid
  • Turning the temperature down means you will vaporise less e-liquid each time. 

    If you’re not interested in creating huge clouds, you can turn the temperature down and burn less e-liquid. 

    It means your vape juice lasts longer and you don’t need to re-fill your tank as often.

  • Sub-ohm vaping
  • Changing the temperature will affect the amount of vapour your e-cigarette produces. 

    Generally, high temperatures will create more cloud as it burns more e-liquid.

    If you want to produce a lot of cloud, you need to use a sub-ohm coil which has a high resistance and therefore heats up very quickly. 

    Go to Choosing coils compatible with your device for more information about sub-ohm coils.

    There are several materials to make coils. 

    It’s important to get the right one if you’re going to vary your temperature. 

    Stainless steel, nickel and titanium coils are compatible with variable temperature vaping.

    Go to Using different kinds of coils to create different effects for more information on coils and the effects they have on your vaping experience.

    As well as choosing the right coil and temperature for your e-cig, you need to choose the right e-liquid. 

    Go to What are PG and VG and what difference do they make?

      Safety while using variable temperature

      E-cigarettes are increasingly being designed with safety features in mind. 

      Most modern e-cigs will automatically cut out once the maximum safe temperature for that device is reached. 

      This means you can be sure you’re not going to damage your coil or cause the battery to get too hot.

      Mods with variable temperature options will maintain the set temperature rather than maintain the wattage and cause the temperature to steadily increase. 

      It’s an additional safety feature which is beneficial if you are building your own vaping device as it responds to the other variables (such as wattage and ohm-rating).

      Great devices with variable temperature

      There are lots of e-cigarettes with variable wattage control. 

      They can range from some simple-to-use devices to custom-build devices.

      The Coolfire Mini Slipstream Kit by Innokin is an all-in-one which is great for those vapers who want some control over their vaping experience but who don’t want to custom-build their device. 

      It is small (only 34 x 22 x 55mm) but it is powerful and has a variable wattage of between 6W and 40W.

      The Reax Mini Kit by Aspire is an all-in-one and has six pre-set wattage options so you can adjust the settings without it getting complicated. 

      They are displayed clearly and are easy to change.

      It also has adjustable airflow and a range of compatible coils so you can tailor your vaping experience to suit your needs without having to use a complicated tank system.

      The Drag 157W TC Box Mod by VooPoo is a mod for a tank system. 

      It’s got a high temperature range (100-315°C) and a large Wattage range (5-157W) so it’s perfect for vapers who want a lot of control over their vaping experience. 

      This particular mod, though, recommends settings as a default for those vapers who are still learning what their preferences are.

      This makes it ideal as a first-time mod for those looking to start customising their e-cigarette. 

      As you become more experienced and build your confidence, you can override the automatic settings to create your own.

      Next steps

      If you’re interested in adapting your vaping experience, read on to ‘Using different kinds of coils to create different effects’ which gives an overview of the kinds of coils available.

       

      Using different kinds of coils to create different effects

       

      Whether you’re looking for great flavour or cloud production, you need to use the right coil.

      There are a lot of different types that you can use in your vaping device and each one will have a slightly different effect.

      There are also many sub-divisions and variations, but these are the most common types:

       

      Single coils

      This is a single wire coiled round so it looks like a spring.  It is the simplest one you can get.

      They tend to last for a long time as they are so simple and are easy to clean and maintain. 

      By the same token, they are easy to re-wick.

      Your battery also tends to last longer because the coil is easier to heat.

      Single coils are the simplest ones to build yourself, so if you’re custom-building for the first time, it would be a good one to start with.

      When you use a single, you could save money as it vaporises less e-liquid so you use less. 

      Also, because you are only coiling one piece of wire, you’ll use less than with the more complex builds.

       

      Dual coils

      As you might expect, a dual has two wires twisted around. 

      This provides twice the heat and therefore twice the vapour so, if you like big clouds, it a better one to use than a single.

      Duals also have two wicks, which means that twice the e-liquid is absorbed and vaporised. 

      This is great for cloud-chasing but it does get through your e-liquid quickly.

      Because these produce more vapour, you’ll tend to experience more of a throat hit.

      However, having twice the build means you use twice the power so it will use your battery faster. 

      This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you’re prepared for it and have spare batteries or a charging cable with you.

      When you’re making duals, it’s important to get both coils identical in order to get the best performance.

      If you don’t, you’ll find one works more efficiently than the other and vaporises e-liquid faster.

      This can lead to dry hits from one coil while the other is fine and it’ll ruin the flavour of your vape juice, not to mention your wick.

       

      Twisted coil or the Clapton coil

      Twisted coils are two strands of wire twisted together in a certain way. 

      It is a length of wire with a much thinner wire wrapped around it, much like a guitar string (hence it was named after the famous guitarist).

      The term Clapton is used to describe this range of coils that have one wire wrapped around another. 

      There are variations such as a ‘fused’ Clapton, a ‘staple’, ‘tiger’ and an ‘alien’ one.

      They are all variations of the twisted coil, though.

      They have a slower ramp time than singles but their increased surface area means they produce more vapour and are considered to produce a more flavourful vape, as well. 

      They are popular for sub-ohm vaping (check out ‘Choosing coils compatible with your device to find out what you need to sub-ohm) but don’t need to be used exclusively for sub-ohm vaporisers.

      Claptons can be made from kanthal, stainless steel or nichrome for fixed-power vaping, although stainless steel can be used for both fixed-power vaping and temperature-controlled vaping.

       

      Tiger coil

      The tiger is a twisted coil made from a single round wire with a flat ribbon wire twisted around it. 

      By twisting two wires of different shapes, the tiger has more nooks and crannies and therefore more surface area. 

      This means it creates more heat and a denser vapour, which makes the flavour more intense.

      The ramp time is fairly quick.

      Generally, it’s slower than a single but faster than a twisted coil, so you can use a tiger to get the perfect balance.

      Tigers can be used for both MTL and DTL vaping (to clarify what the difference is between these inhaling techniques, go to ‘How to inhale properly).

      Once you can make a standard twisted coil, you’ll find it easy to make a tiger – you use the same technique, only you wrap a ribbon wire instead of a standard wire. 

      Once they’re built, tigers are a little thicker than twisted coils but they still fit into most standard vaporisers.

       

      Mesh

      Instead of being a wire (or set of wires), this is a mesh rolled into a cylinder.

      It has a huge surface area, which means it produces a lot of vapour. 

      The difference between mesh and twisted coils is how efficient they are – mesh coils have a similar surface area but are much more efficient.

      Mesh coils have a large surface area but are not very bulky. 

      To get a similar surface area from another coil, it would have to be a complicated build and would have a large mass, which would make it more difficult to fit in your vaping device.

      Bigger coils need more power to heat them but, as mesh coils are slim and compact, they don’t need a huge amount of power. 

      This means your battery will last longer while still producing big clouds.

      It also has a very short ramp time because it has such a small mass.

      The large surface area is also flat and therefore in contact with more of the wicking material. 

      This means that the wicking is more efficient as the mesh can vaporise the e-liquid from a larger portion of the wick.

      Traditional coils heat from the middle outwards and this variation in temperature can lead to dry hits if part of the build gets too hot and burns the wicking material. 

      Mesh, on the other hand, heats evenly and don’t have hot spots.

      It means you won’t have to suffer dry hits and your wick will last longer, too.

      Finally, mesh coils eliminate spitback and popping from your vape which occurs when e-liquid pools in the nooks and crannies between wires and then heats too quickly. 

      Because it has the surface area without having these recesses, mesh doesn’t have the problem of spitting (there are other ways to avoid spitback; to find out what they are, go to How to stop spitting and popping). 

      Also because it is such so slim, it cools quickly so your wick is less likely to be damaged by the coil remaining hot after you release the fire button.

      The downside of mesh is that it isn’t designed for MTL vaping. 

      It works much better with DTL vaping and is best suited to cloud-chasers.

       

      Strip coil

      The new strip coil, along with mesh, is the latest in coil design. 

      A strip coil is a strip of Kanthal which has a porous structure (it has holes in) which means it absorbs e-liquid faster. 

      It looks like a net and the e-liquid pools into the holes and is vaporised.

      Because strip coils have an even surface area, they heat e-liquid evenly and give quality flavour production.

      They are similar in design to mesh coils and have the same benefits of a larger surface area in a much smaller package.

       

      Next steps

      For more information about the materials used to make these, go to ‘Best wires to make your own coil’.

      If you want to tailor your vaping experience by custom-building your own vaping device, then check out ‘Temperature control vaping’ for an overview of what it is and how to do it or go to ‘Drip tips’ for a clear guide.

       

      Best wires to make your own coil

      Best Material to Make Your Own Coil

       

      Coils can range from the simple single coil to the most complex of builds. 

      If you’re starting to build your own coils, then you need to know about the different wires available.

      It’s important to be safe when you’re building your own vaporiser, so check out Using sub-ohm devices safely as well.

       

      Wire Gauge

      Both the material of the wire and the thickness of the wire have an impact on how your coil functions.

      It has an effect on flavour, vapour production and ramp time.

    1. Diameter of the wire
    2. The gauge refers to the diameter of the wire.

      The most popular gauges for vapers are 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32. 

      Perhaps contrary to expectation, the smaller the number, the larger the diameter of the wire.  For example, 22 is thicker than 24.

    3. Resistance
    4. As the thickness of the wire increases, the wire resistance decreases. 

      This means it’ll take longer for the wire to heat.

      Wires like 22 gauges are thicker and will heat relatively slowly.

      The thinner the diameter of the wire, the higher the resistance. 

      This means it will heat faster because the resistance is high and there is not a large area to heat up. 

      Wires like 32 gauges are thinner and higher in resistance so they heat faster.

      If you’re building your own coil, you need to know that the more wire you use (of any gauge), the higher the resistance will be. 

      This means that the more times you wrap the wire, the higher the resistance of your coil overall.

    5. Ramp time
    6. ‘Ramp time’ is the time it takes your coil to reach the temperature needed to vaporise your e-liquid.

      Generally, the more complex your coil build (and therefore the more surface area on your coil), the faster the ramp time.

      Different materials have different resistances and therefore different ramp times. 

      Stainless steel, for example, has a fast ramp time, whereas kanthal is significantly slower. 

       

        Types of coil wires

        There are five main materials from which vaping coils are made: kanthal, nichrome, stainless steel, nickel and titanium.

        Each one behaves slightly differently and should be used in the appropriate vaping device.

      1. Kanthal
      2. The advantages of kanthal is that it is easy to work and holds its shape, even when re-wicking. 

        This means it lasts a long time and so can save you money.

        It’s also cheap and is readily available. 

        It’s particularly good for single coil builds.

        One of the reasons it is such a popular choice is that it resists oxidation and therefore lasts a long time.

        The disadvantage is that it cannot be used with temperature control vaping, only fixed-power vaping. 

        The ramp time is also slower than with other types of wire (although that can be ideal for mouth-to-lung vapers who like to take long, slow draws).

      3. Nichrome
      4. The main advantage of nichrome over other materials like kanthal is that this wire has a really fast ramp time, heating up extremely quickly.

        Like kanthal, it is easy to work (although is slightly less springy than kanthal) and holds its shape well.

        The biggest disadvantage is that it doesn’t last as long as kanthal. 

        It has a lower melting temperature than kanthal which you should be aware of when vaping but it’s unlikely that your vaping device will exceed this temperature and cause any damage. 

        Nichrome is usually about 80% nickel and 20% chromium so anybody with an allergy or sensitivity to nickel may want to avoid it.

        It can only be used with fixed-power e-cigarettes.

      5. Stainless steel
      6. Stainless steel has the advantage of being the only coil material which can be used with fixed-power and temperature-controlled vaping. 

        It also creates a clear and flavoursome taste so you get the distinct flavour of your vape juice.

        Another advantage is that it has a high melting point and so it won’t be affected by dry burns. 

        It is easy to work and holds its shape well.

        It has a fast ramp time so it heats quickly.

        Finally, it is relatively inexpensive.

        Stainless steel comes in various grades, so you need to know which one you want to use and some grades are less springy than others. 

        One downside of this is that certain stainless steel grades are not readily available.

        It contains nickel but in a very small quantity.

      7. Nickel
      8. Nickel is one of the three types of wire that can be used for temperature-controlled vaping. 

        It has one of the fastest ramp times and creates a good flavour vapour.

        It’s one of the most readily-available coil wires and is not expensive to buy.

        The disadvantage of nickel is that it can only be used in temperature-controlled vaping.

        It is also very soft and so it’s difficult to work and doesn’t hold its shape.

        Obviously, people with a nickel allergy need to avoid it as, even if they use gloves to avoid handling it, there is the possibility that it will irritate their throat as they breathe in the vapour.

      9. Titanium 
      10. Titanium can be used for temperature-controlled vaping. 

        An advantage of titanium wire is that it is really easy to work with and holds its shape really well. 

        It’s a lot stronger than nickel and therefore lasts longer as it doesn’t break or bend out of shape.

        The main disadvantage of titanium wire is the fear that, when heated over 1130°F (610°C), it releases titanium dioxide, which is toxic. 

        The chances of this happening in an e-cigarette are slim but the possibility makes many vapers wary of using it.

        Another disadvantage is that it’s not as readily available as the other wires. 

        It cannot be used with fixed-power vaporisers, only temperature-controlled vaping.

           

          Next steps

          For more information about the different types of coils you can buy and build, go to ‘Using different kinds of coils to create different effects’.

          Also check out ‘Temperature control vaping’ and ‘Drip tips’.

          Drip tips and Drippers

          What is a drip tip?

          Every vaping device has a mouthpiece which can also be known as a drip tip. It’s the part of the e-cigarette from which you inhale the vapour.

          Varieties of drip tip

          Different types of drip tip will provide a different vaping experience.

          1. Size

            The two most common sizes of drip tip are 510 (which are narrow) and 810 (which are wide). 510 drip tips are mostly used for MTL vaping.

            Most of them have a bore of around 8.5mm (at the outer diameter of the base).

            810 drip tips are much more popular with cloud-chasers and they have a larger bore of around 12.5mm.

            Drip tips with a small bore create a small amount of vapour which has a rich flavour.

            Drip tips with a large bore have more airflow and therefore create more vapour, which is ideal for cloud-chasers.

            This is similar to changing the airflow settings on your vaping device to adjust the amount of vapour you get (go to ‘Getting the best flavour’ for more ways you can tailor your vaping experience).

          2. Material

            They can be made from Pyrex glass, ceramic, plastic, resin or stainless steel.

            The latter is popular because it ensures the drip tips are durable and long-lasting. Plastic drip tips are cheap and easy to find.

            They’re great if you want to try it and see whether you like it.

            There are more expensive ones made from plastic available and they are aimed at cloud-chasers with sub-ohm devices as the higher quality plastic is better at displacing heat.

            Resin is a particularly popular material for drip tips at the moment as it is as durable as plastic but it is much softer to touch and therefore much more comfortable to vape from.

            It also has the advantage of coming in a huge variety of colours and designs. Metal is also a popular material for drip tips as they are long-lasting.

            Aluminium and stainless steel are both durable and affordable, which is particularly good. However, they do retain heat which can get uncomfortable for sub-ohm vapers whose tips can get very hot, particularly during long vaping sessions.

            Glass can be particularly attractive as they have unique designs but they can be expensive.

            On a practical level, they are heat-resistant and provide a comfortable vaping experience but they are fragile and need to be looked after with a great deal of care.

          3. Long or short drip tips

            Very short drip tips, especially if they’re not high quality, are not usually heat-resistant so you can end up burning your lips unless you are very careful.

            We recommend buying good quality drip tips as this reduces your chances of getting burned. If you don’t like the heat on your lips, you can get a longer drip tip and a bottom-mounted coil.

            Also, you can take short rests between vaping so that your coil can cool down.

          What is a dripper?

          A dripper is part of an RDA. Rebuildable dripping atomisers, also known as RDAs , are often used by experienced vapers to enhance their vaping experience.

          When you build your own coil, fit it to your RDA and ‘drip’ e-liquid into it.

          The e-liquid goes directly onto the coil and soaks the wicking material.

          Drip a small amount of vape juice at a time onto the coil and vaporise it directly from there.

          It means you don’t need a tank or a pod to store your e-liquid. How to use a dripper

          When you use a dripper, you carefully drip e-liquid through the bore (middle) of the drip tip (or mouthpiece) and it goes directly onto the coil.

          It takes time to learn how to use a dripper efficiently.

          You need to work out how much e- liquid to add each time (so that you don’t run out and get dry hits, or add too much and cause it to overflow) and how long to leave it before adding more (for the same reason).

          Working out how long to leave it can be tricky unless you take consistent inhales as you vape so you vaporise the same amount of e-liquid each time.

          This makes dripping a skill that needs to be developed, but it can definitely be worth it.

          Why use a dripper

    There are several reasons why a dripper is brilliant, and they are useful for any vaper to have, especially if you’re mixing your own e-liquids.


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