Why do some vape coils last longer than others?-Ask the vaping expert

We sat down with vaping expert Liam Humberstone. We asked our Technical Director one of the frequently asked questions from our customers. Why do some vape coils last longer than others? This is what he had to say.

Not many vapers could have escaped the frustration of the coil inside an atomizer head reaching the end of its natural life. Flavour disappears, vapour diminishes, a slight burnt taste can become apparent, and life won’t feel quite right until a fresh coil is primed and functioning.

Coil life differs from one type of atomizer head to another. There are also variations between individual coils of exactly the same type. This is similar to old-fashioned “incandescent” light bulbs, and for good reason. Both rely on a heated wire filament to do their job. It is tricky to make coils that behave completely uniformly across production batches. My engineering “gut feel” is that we are doing better than many light bulb manufacturers, but an early coil failure is always a frustration.

How do vape coils work?
To understand why some coils last longer, we need to understand how they work, and more importantly, how they fail. The coil in an atomizer head heats e-liquid to around 260° Celsius so that it can be evaporated. E-liquids can be a little unstable around this temperature. Tiny amounts of carbonized e-liquid get deposited on the coil and the wicking material that contacts it. Any part of the coil that receives less e-liquid from the wick will run a little hotter. So, unless the coil and wick are in perfectly even contact, there will be areas where carbon builds up a little more quickly. Once enough has built up, flavour and vapour start to disappear.

Keeping power low, vaping gently and smoothly, and choosing more stable e-liquid flavours (e.g. Menthol) all help with longer coil life. I don’t bother with any of them myself. Some of my favourite atomizer heads are not the longest lived, so I always make sure I have some spares. It is a small expense to enjoy my vaping.