Which types of vaping wire are best to use in what build?
Here we will compare a few wire types. NiChrome, Ni-200, Titanium, Kanthal, and Stainless Steel are all used in coil building for different reasons. Although these wires all can be used when building coils used in vaping devices, there are some important differences to note when considering which type of wire to use when building coils. This is why we are going to look into the specifications of these different types of wire and help you decide which wire will be best for you and your coil building ventures.
Nickel-Chromium Vape Wire
Nickel-Chrome wire, or NiChrome as it is referred, is the metal used back in 1905 when scientists realized it had anti-oxidizing properties. This allowed the metal to heated to high temperatures without being damaged through oxidation. NiChrome is used in most electric heating elements, hot-wire foam cutters, hair dryers, as well as household appliances and other tools. Since it can be heated over and over without breaking down, NiChrome has become the wire of choice for most pre-built coils that are made in China, as well as the preferred wire for cloud-chasing builds since it has almost no ramp-up time and reaches it heated point very quickly. NiChrome has a lower melting temperature as well as a lower maximum operating temperature than Kanthal. This means that a NiChrome coil will typically break down quicker than a Kanthal coil. But don’t worry, most devices don’t offer the power that it takes to reach the melting point of either NiChrome or Kanthal. In comparison, they both have features despite NiChrome heating up faster and Kanthal lasting longer. But If you suffer from a Nickel sensitivity, you might want to consider using Kanthal as it consists of Iron, Chromium, and Aluminum and does not contain Nickel.
Iron-Chromium-Aluminum Vape Wire
Kanthal resistance wire made its appearance in the e-cigarette community shortly after NiChrome and became an instant-favorite among coil builders worldwide. Due to its low cost, wide availability, and its availability in multiple gauges, Kanthal wire provides endless combinations of coil building configurations with different resistances for any style of vaping. Kanthal has a slightly higher maximum temperature, as well as a higher melting point than Nichrome. This means it lasts slightly longer than Nichrome. Some people say that Kanthal wire gives off a slightly metallic taste since it is composed of Iron, but others claim it does not. All in all, the functionality of Kanthal as a resistance wire makes it an easy choice for beginners that are interested in learning how to build coils for their vaping needs.
Titanium Vape Wire
Titanium wire is relatively new on the vaping market, and it is used in many pre-built sub-ohm coils built for Temperature Control devices. It is considerably stronger than Ni200, making it much easier to work with when building. Titanium is about twice as resistant as Ni200, allowing you to use considerably fewer wraps, and therefore less wire compared to Nickel when reaching your target resistance. One concern with using Titanium is the fact that it can heat up to a point of ignition. If Titanium ignites, you will see a flame that can not be put out; in which case you just have to let it burn out. Also worth noting are the dangers involved with the formation of Titanium Dioxide which can be harmful to your health if inhaled. Titanium Dioxide only forms in temperatures around 1,200°F (600°C). This may seem high, but remember that a brightly glowing coil can exceed temperatures of 1,300°F. A way to prevent the development of Titanium Dioxide is to keep from heating your coils up to the point of glowing, and you’ll never have to worry about combustion or the formation of Titanium Dioxide. If you see white powder or corrosion forming on or around your coil, be sure to dispose of the wire and wrap a new coil. Titanium Dioxide is very dangerous and can produce some serious side-effects if inhaled for an extended period of time. If you are unsure of your build or have any doubts about the look of your wire, just throw it away and start a new coil.
Nickel Vape Wire
Nickel wire, also called Ni200 has an extremely high-temperature coefficient. That’s why the first temperature control mods were made to use Ni200. Nickel wire is very soft and doesn’t hold shape very well, making it more difficult to wrap coils with when compared to Kanthal or Titanium. When wrapping Nickel, you must keep the wraps separated so the heat is evenly distributed along the entire length. Any closeness or touching of the wraps can cause potential hot spots to form that can cause the coil to short out or it can cause the temperature control device to read the base temp incorrectly. This is why many people have started twisting Ni200 with itself or with strands of Kanthal before wrapping the coils. The electricity will take the fastest route (the path of least resistance which would be the Ni200 wire) and the Kanthal will act as a backbone, supporting the Ni200 and holding it in place. This allows the Ni200 to heat equally throughout; however, it can be time-consuming. This is the reason some people think Ni200 too problematic; others swear it is the best metal for Temperature Control devices.
Stainless Steel Vape Wire
Stainless Steel is a mixture of Chromium, Nickel, and Carbon. It is a highly functional metal for vaping needs as it can be used for both wattage mode and temperature control (if the mod supports it). 316L Stainless Steel is medical grade metal that is widely growing in popularity and quickly becoming the go-to wire for temperature control devices. Since 316L is still relatively new on the vaping market, some older mods may not have the proper settings programmed to handle its temperature control properly. Some mods have TCR mode, where you can use Stainless Steel coils in Temperature Control mode as long as you set the TCR correctly. In comparison to Titanium, Stainless Steel feels much stronger and is easier to work with as it holds its shape better. The malleable features of Stainless Steel allow for easier building than Titanium with minimal springiness. Stainless Steel is easily obtainable and is cheaper than Titanium.
Conclusion on Vape Wire
The choices in types of wire have grown since the beginning and more types will become more readily available.Just decide if you are going to be using temperature control or strait wattage mode. This decision will cut your work in half when it comes to choosing which wire you will use when building your coils. Kanthal, Stainless Steel and Nichrome are the only wires (as of now) that you would want to use in wattage/variable wattage mode. Titanium, Ni200, and Stainless Steel are the only wires that you can use (as of now) with Temperature Control. When wrapping coils, always refer to Ohm’s Law Calculators and are sure to build coils that remain in the safe range for your device and battery specifications to avoid dangers of explosions and overheating. Build safely! Vape On!