How many types of electronic cigarette coils exist and how to choose the most suitable one

How many types of e-cig coils exist

Published on: 21/12/2022

Electronic cigarette and coil: the guide to the correct choice of resistance

How many types of coils exist?

If you are a beginner, you have probably noticed that there is some confusion on the subject, which does little to help you choose the right resistance for you, right?

That is why, with the aim of providing clarity, we have collected all the information on coils that every interested person should know.

Do you already have the impression that this article is for you?

Let’s get started!

Resistance selection guide

The role of coils in the electronic cigarette

Before going into the details of all the different types of coils, let’s talk about the basic elements of a vaping coil.

The variables to consider are wire material, resistance and coil shape or style, and each of these components is combined in a given coil to give it a unique profile and influence tank compatibility, flavor and steam production and vaping style (i.e. DTL or MTL).

Materials used for vaping coils include kanthal, nichrome, stainless steel, nickel and titanium. Of course, there are other options, but these are by far the most popular.

But let’s go into more detail:

  • kanthal: the original coil material, it is malleable and easy to work with;
    nichrome: an alternative to kanthal, nichrome is probably tastier and has a quicker ignition time;
  • stainless steel: is the most versatile option and is known for its strength and longevity;
  • nickel: is a very soft metal, which offers the fastest heating time and excellent flavor. The downside is that its softness can make it difficult to work with;
  • titanium: is the most expensive wire option, can be highly flammable and presents some general health and safety concerns.

Another key factor affecting coils is resistance.

This is a measure of how much the wire reduces, or ‘resists’, the amount of electric current flowing through it and is expressed in ohms. The higher the resistance of a coil, the lower the steam production.

In addition, resistance also affects the style of vaping for which a coil is suitable.

For example, sub-ohm vaping is generally considered the territory of direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping, while resistances above one ohm are typically used in mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping.

Read also: Electronic cigarette, diacetyl and popcorn lung: let’s clarify

Coil types: these are the most common

Whether you decide to make your own or prefer to buy ready-made coils, it is important to be familiar with the different types of coils available on the market.

For the vaper who opts for DIY, we have decided to briefly summarize some of the main coil types by expressing a difficulty level from one to ten.

If, on the other hand, you should decide to buy ready-made coils, let’s take a look at the most common models.

Clapton Coil

The name refers to its similarity to guitar strings and has a simple structure, consisting of a high-caliber wire around a low-caliber wire.

This coil offers a wide variety of sub-ohm resistances greater than one and a difficulty of 5/10.

Of this type we then have:

  1. the fused Clapton, which consists of a high-caliber wire around two low-caliber wires;
  2. the staggered fused Clapton, consisting of two Clapton cores with evenly spaced external windings;
  3. the alien Clapton, in which the structure is that of a de-cored Clapton with more than three wires.

The latter is the most complex, with a 10/10 level.

Staple coil

It has a very complex high-caliber structure with eight or ten ribbon cores and has a low resistance for sub-ohm vaping.

Construction difficulty: 8/10.

Coil types

Framed staple

In the coil is a high gauge wire around a stack of ribbon cores, enclosed between two round wires.

The structure is very thick and requires an extra-large deck. It has a low resistance for sub-ohm vaping.

Difficulty of construction: 9/10.

Tiger coil

Consists of two twisted wires, a round inscription and a flat ribbon. Suitable for both DTL and MTL vaping, it is slightly thicker but can fit most standard construction decks.

Difficulty of construction: 3/10.

Hive coil

Has a low resistance, especially suitable for DTL, and consists of two twisted wires twisted together.

Construction difficulty: 3/10.

Mesh coil and ceramic coils

This last section refers only to prefabricated coils. When buying ready-made coils, you are likely to be faced with three choices: standard, mesh or ceramic. In this case, we will focus on mesh and ceramic coils.

Mesh coils are made of stainless steel or kanthal;

Having a structure consisting of a strip of metal with holes, it guarantees:

  • a faster temperature rise;
  • more vapor and intense flavor;
  • greater consistency;
  • greater longevity;
  • probably better flavor quality.

As far as ceramic coils are concerned, keep in mind that there are two main styles of ceramics:

  1. a coil – usually made of kanthal – enclosed in a porous ceramic block which acts as both wick and protector;
  2. a coil encased in ceramic but using cotton as a wick.

This type has a few advantages: firstly, it increases the life of the coil and protects it from burns due to dry firing. Secondly, it guarantees an arguably superior aroma.

At the moment it does not enjoy the same popularity as mesh, which is why it becomes more complex to find compatible parts.

Read also: How to initialize a new resistor without burning it out straight away


In this article we have tried to give a concise overview of the main coil types.

Although they are probably the most important consideration when vaping, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, nothing is black and white.

Choosing the right resistance for you will always be a matter of preference, which is why there are so many different types to begin with! Secondly, many of the criteria and terms used when talking about coils can only be understood through trial and error. In other words, you will have to experiment to understand which coils work best for you.

So don’t be afraid to try out different vapes and coils to see which is your favorite: experimentation is one of the many joys of vaping, especially in the current state of rapid development of electronic cigarettes.

So, if you are looking for quality products, we are waiting for you on Terpy, the leading e-commerce in the sector in Italy (and beyond!).

See you soon!