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The Essential Coil Terms Glossary

A coil is an essential element of any vape kit: from complex and powerful box mods to compact pod mods. If you've just started vaping, you probably don't yet need to know all the intricacies of coil building and wicking. However, as your interest in vaping progress and you read articles or maybe even attend a few vape forums, you will start coming across some lingo.


In this mini-guide, we have gathered some essential abbreviations and terms related to vaping coils. The list below is by no means extensive and is only meant to give you a general idea about some most frequently used coil related worlds.


Coil abbreviations

BCC — bottom coil clearomizer. A vape kit with the heating element situated at the bottom of the vape tank.

BDC — bottom dual coil. A bottom coil device is a kit that contains a tank, a drip tip, a base, and an atomizer coil. The atomizer heads, in this case, are still one piece but they contain two coils.

BVC — bottom vertical coil. A device with a bottom vertical coil comes with a single vertically placed coil.

DCT – dual coil tank. A type of clearomizer that uses punched cartomizers with an e-liquid capacity ranging from 3ml to 6ml.


General coil terms

Wicking — the placement of material (like cotton) around a coil to keep it in contact with the e-liquid.

Wire — the material used in an atomizer's coil.

Wrap — the number of revolutions used in the wrapping of a coil (the more wraps, the higher the resistance)

Spit back — when a coil occasionally "spits" hot e-liquid when you take a draw.

Building a coil — making your own vape coils (for advanced vapers).

Coil jig – A thin metal tool for coil rebuilding.

Coil winder – a stainless steel tool for manual coil wrapping.

Coil priming — pre-saturating the wicking material with e-liquid before starting to vape. This is done to let the wick better absorb the e-liquid from the tank and deliver it to the coil.

Rebuildables — this refers to a tank/atomizer that lets a vaper build its own coil and wick (for advanced vapers).


Coil variations

Clapton coil — an advanced coil build used in rebuildable atomizers that looks like a guitar string.

Alien coil — a modification of the Clapton coil with a wire wrapped around three core wires.

Micro coil — a type of wire coil where the coil is wrapped tightly and with a short radius. Micro-coils typically require more wraps (compared to a standard coil).

Dual coil — vape mods that come with two coils instead of one. This translates into more vapor but less battery life.

Triple coil — a mod that comes with three coils to produce massive amounts of vapor.

Mesh or mesh coil — a type of coil with a mesh-like appearance.


Coil materials

Kanthal — iron-chromium-aluminum alloy. Key pro: can handle very high temperatures.

Key con: no temp mode functionality.

NiChrome — 80% nickel + 20% chromium. Key pro: high-temperature resistance. Key con: nickel is an allergen.

Ni200 — over 99% nickel. Key pro: great for temp control mods. Key con: low wire flexibility, nickel is an allergen.

Titanium — lightweight, high-strength, low-corrosion structural metal. Key pro: stronger than a nickel. Key con: can't be used in wattage mode.

Stainless steel — a steel alloy (with a minimum of 11% chromium). Key pro: works with both wattage and temp control mods. Key con: less consistent in wattage mode.

Ribbon Kanthal (also ribbon wire or just ribbon) — a type of resistance wire that is used for building coils. It has a flat rather than round cross-section, which makes for a larger surface area to conduct heat to the e-liquid. Those who prefer this type of wire say that it provides better vapor and a more intense flavor.


We've tried to gather some of the key terms that describe various coil processes in vaping. However, it's not that simple. As Dirk Gently from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency rightfully repeats: it's all connected. And lots of other notions and processes in vaping (while not relating to the coil directly) do involve coils and their elements. For a full list of vaping terms, check out our alphabetized Essential Vaping Glossary.

iQ Vape- Vape Smart, Vape iQ

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