The best type of wire to use for your coil build depends on various factors like the type of device you’re using and the experience level.  Some wires are used for vaping with wattages, some with temperature control and one for both.

Here we’ll look at all the different types of wires to help you match your preferences. To do that we’ll need to the first look at the vape wire.

Do size and type matter?

Okay, both the size and type matters because of four reasons –ramp-up time, TCR, flavour, and vapour production. By varying the size and type of wire, you’ll get different flavours as well experience different challenges and opportunities while building.

Let’s dive right in.

Wire Gauge

Wires gauge refers to the diameter of your vape wire. Most vape coils even the most conventional ones used in vapes gauges are 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 in no particular order. Of course, they are others with odd number in sizes.

Actually, there no need for alarm these are just numerics. What’s important is the bigger the numerical size of the wire, the thinner the wire. For instance, 30 gauge is thicker than 32 wire gauge but thinner than 28gauge.

Generally, the resistance of the wire decreases as its diameter increases. Thicker wires like the 24 gauge have lower resistance than 28 gauge yet the 28 gauge heats up much faster. That means it takes more time to heat wires with a larger mass.

Note that the number of coils will have a direct effect on the resistance. The higher the number of coils, the higher the resistance.

Ramp Up Time

Ramp up time is the time taken by your coil to reach the temperature needed to vaporize your e-juice. In most cases, ramp up time is only apparent in multi-strand wires like claptons. But, as the size of the wire increases, they become more noticeable in single wire coils.

Ramp up time varies in different coil materials depending on their internal resistance. For example, stainless steel has the fastest ramp-up time in power modes. Then closely followed by nichrome while kanthal is slow to ramp.

Wattage and Temperature Control

There two types of modes in vaping –wattage mode and temperature control mode. Which of the two should you use for vaping?

 In wattage mode, some wires behave differently when at room temperature than when heated. For example, the resistance of nickel at room temperature can be 0.15 ohms. But the resistance goes way higher when heated and can be difficult to control.

That’s why we need temperature control. In temperature control vaping, you can use the Temperature Co-efficient of Resistance (TCR) of a given wire to regulate current that passes through the coil.

Like nickel is predictable after temperature increase so the resistance of the wire will be certain at given temperatures. A Temperature Control mod will determine the resistance of the coil as it heats up. Then lower the current passing through the coil to achieve safer temperatures.  

Let’s look at the type of wires used in vaping.

Types of wires

Kanthal is the most commonly used wire because it works in almost all devices. More types of wires used for coil building include:

  • Nichrome
  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel
  • Titanium

Let’s look at the characteristics of these wires.



Kanthal is a FeCRrAl alloy that consists mainly of iron, chromium (20-30%) and aluminium (4- 7.5 %). Kanthal wire does not rust easily to its good resistance to oxidation. It’s also characterized by high resistivity and can be used to temperatures of up to 1400℃ (2550℉).

If you’re just starting out, you’ll definitely love Kanthal wire. It a great place to start and super-friendly to beginners. Kanthal wire holds it shape while building it into coils hence making it easy to use.

Kanthal wires are best suited for wattage mode. Besides, it the most available and commonly used wire for building RDAs and RTAs.


  • Easy to work with
  • Holds shape well
  • Works in variable wattage mode
  • Easily available in shops
  • Cheap


  • Can’t be used in temperature control
  • Slow ramp up time



Nichrome is a non- magnetic alloy composed of nickel and chromium. Still, it may contain other metals such as iron in limited amounts.

Nichrome is said to be an advancement over the Kanthal wire. Nichrome wire has lower resistance and heats up much faster. They also maintain their shape while forming coils.

However, you should note that Nichrome has a lower melting point than Kanthal. Therefore, you need to be more cautious while ‘dry burning your coils. Nichrome wire can easily burn open. So, avoid rushing it to maximum wattage.

If you have a nickel allergy, avoid using nichrome wires for obvious reasons.


  • Easy to work with
  • Fast ramp-up time
  • Holds shape
  • Works in wattage mode



  • Contains nickel
  • Has a lower melting point than kanthal

  Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a double advantage over other vaping wire –can be used for both wattage mode and temperature control. It’s simply the perfect wire.

For stainless steel, there are many grades available. SSS316L and SS317L are the most commonly used grades. Others like 304 and 430 are also used but not so often. Stainless steel also maintains its shape and thus easy to build.

Like Nichrome, Stainless steel has a lower resistance than Kanthal for the same gauge. Note that you should build coils that don’t need to be pulsed for hotspots. Stainless steel wires tend to burn while you’re checking for hotspots at high wattages.

Steel is readily available and is also cheaper than Titanium.


  • Fast ramp-up time
  • Holds shape while coiling
  • Easy to work with
  • Compatible with both TC and wattage mode
  • Better flavour



  • Nickel content
  • Should not be dry burnt at high temperatures




Unlike the Nichrome, Nickel is entirely composed of a single component –Nickel. It’s best suited for temperature control and cannot be used in wattage mode.

Lack of stiffness is the primary drawback of nickel wires. It’s true that they can be easily into wires. But, once mounted, they can deform when wicking. Another drawback is that; it has nickel is the primary component. That means users that are allergic to nickel are left out.

Nickel is still relatively popular with some TC enthusiasts and also easily available.


  • Works in TC
  • Inexpensive
  • Fast ramp-up time



  • Its softness makes it hard to work with
  • Doesn’t hold shape
  • Has nickel content



Titanium is a temperature control wire. It heats up very quickly and cools down as well. Besides, it considerably stronger than Nickel.

But, there’s a catch.

Safety concerns have arisen regarding the use of titanium in vaping. Titanium releases Titanium oxide a poisonous component when heated at temperatures above 1200℉ (648℃).

In addition, Titanium can be extremely difficult to extinguish once it’s on fire. So, stay safe and don’t go burning Ti wires. That’s why most shops don’t even sell the wire. Titanium wires are easy to coil and maintain shape during wicking.


  • Holds shape
  • Easy to work with
  • Works in TC mode


  • Hard to find
  • Can be toxic
  • Risk of fire

What’s the best type of wire for coil builds?

Kanthal, Stainless steel and Nichrome are the three most popular wires in vaping. Most vapers love them because they are all power mode-it’s simpler.

Again, take note if you are allergic to nickel, avoid wires like stainless steel and nichrome which also have nickel present in limited amounts.

Kanthal is the most preferred wire type due to its ease of use and higher resistance. Mostly, Kanthal appreciated by Mouth to Lung vapers. MTL vapers prefer 26-26gauge Kanthal wire which to them can’t be replaced with any other wire.

Nichrome and stainless steel are excellent for vaping at very low-resistance which is good news for sub-omers. Sub-ohmers can vape at very low resistances and still benefit from faster ramp time. In addition, most vapers agree that stainless steel gives better flavour than kanthal.

In the race for temperature control wires, stainless steel comes out on top. However, stainless steel has nickel though in limited amounts. That means it doesn’t have adverse effects though you’re still advised to play it safe.

Enter Titanium.

Titanium is the perfect Temperature Control wire for vapers with a nickel allergy. Remember always take care not to overheat it.


Finally, the choice of wire can greatly impact your vaping experience. Some wires like stainless steel tend to have a better flavour than others. Some give faster ramp-up time than others.

By trying out different wire types and gauges with varying diameters and number of coils you’ll absolutely blow your mind with new vaping experiences. As you can see, it will definitely take some time to get the right wire for your coil build.  Once you figure out your preference, it’s important to note it down.

On the other hand, if you’re a seriously into vaping at one point you’ll definitely get in coil building. Maybe out of fun, financial reasons or trying your engineering prowess. When you get to that point you’ll need to look back at this post for reference. Actually, you should be advised, bookmark it.

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1 comment

  • Jonathan Usha

    Thank you,Thank you. Very informative.

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