Mesh Strips: Are They Really Better?
If you're unsure about whether to give mesh a go, then this article is for you! User-friendly and compatible with a wide range of build decks, mesh coils have become much more popular over the years, but there’s still a lot of confusion out there.
In this no-nonsense beginner’s guide, we’ll give you the facts on mesh vape coils. We’ll explain the basic principles of how they work, show you when and why they’re better than traditional coils (and when they’re not), and share our thoughts on where mesh technology is heading in the next few years.
Mesh or Traditional: Why Your Coil Type Matters
Mesh is a quantum leap in coil technology, and most vapers who try mesh don’t ever go back to traditional spring-shaped coils. Because of the way mesh is produced, and the way it makes contact with your e-liquid, it can:
Use less battery power
Last much longer (fewer replacements)
Help you avoid dry and burnt hits
Deliver a more intense flavour (a richer, denser cloud)
Fire up and cool down ‘faster’ (explained below)
Mesh doesn’t work for everybody. It’s not really suitable for mouth-to-lung vaping, and it uses up more e-liquid than traditional coils. Some vapers also feel that it’s not ‘hot enough’ for them (we’ll explain this later on). For most vapers however (especially sub-ohm fans), it’s a great choice, and well worth a try.
What Makes Mesh Better:
Mesh coils work are able to evaporate e-liquid much more effectively because of their shape: thin, flat sheets of porous metal offering high surface area and low mass. Bear with me here...
High Surface Area
When wicking a traditional heating coil, you need to thread a lot of cotton through a very tight tunnel in the centre of the coil. With a mesh coil, because the heating element is shaped like a sheet of paper, you just curl the mesh over into a dome or cylinder shape then stuff this large cavity with cotton. This allows much more of your e-liquid to come into contact with your heating element. When you push the fire button, you get a much bigger, richer cloud because more e-liquid can evaporate.
Because the metal in a mesh coil is so thin, it has a very low resistance compared to traditional coils. It takes less electrical current to get it up to evaporation temperature. Another benefit of mesh’s low mass is that it cools down to room temperature much faster than most traditionally-spooled coils. This helps you to avoid dry and burnt hits.
Why Mesh Coils Last Longer:
Mesh coils last longer than traditional coils because they don’t singe the wick as quickly as a traditional spring-wound coil. This is because of how the heat spreads out across the metal when you fire up your vape.
If you have a drip tip build deck, you’ll be able to see the difference for yourself. When you press the fire button, you’ll notice that the centre of the coil will glow first, then that glow will spread out until it eventually reaches both ends of your coil. This means that the temperature of a traditional coil isn’t the same from one end to the other — it’s hottest in the middle.
You can fix this temperature problem yourself to some degree with tweezers (see our guide on DIY coil building tools), but you’ll never get it absolutely perfect — there will always be small areas of the coil that are hotter than others. This causes issues when you’re vaping, because small spots of dry and singed wick will naturally occur over time. As soon as your wick starts to singe, there’s no turning back — the coil will get progressively worse until you get a burnt hit, and then you really just have to throw the coil out and start again.
With mesh, the whole coil heats up much more evenly. You don’t have as much of a ‘hot’ and a ‘cold’ spot problem, because the coil has been factory-engineered to a fraction of a millimetre — it heats up pretty evenly across the whole surface of the mesh. This makes it much harder to burn your wicking material accidentally.
Ceramics: The Next Big Thing In Coil Technology
Some of the latest mesh coil options (especially in the replacement market) are pre-coated in a ceramic material. Ceramic technology is brilliant, because it brings the e-liquid much closer to the heating element with none of the mess and risk of burning that you get with cotton. It’s the next step in vaping coil technology. You can see a full range of our ceramic coils here. New ceramic options are coming online every week so if you can’t see what you need yet, just let us know — we might be able to source it for you.
One Last Tip: Always Check Your Build Deck
If you’re thinking about using mesh for your rebuildable tank, just check that your tank will actually take a mesh coil. Most modern build decks will take mesh without any trouble at all, but it’s always worth double checking just before you invest. If your device isn’t compatible and you still want to give it a go, you can always treat yourself to a brand new tank!