In the world of vaping coils, mesh coils are unquestionably the hottest trend today. All of the major vaping product manufacturers scrambled to add mesh and strip coils to their product lineups in 2018, and with good reason – a mesh coil can provide a spectacular vaping experience with very modest hardware requirements. If you’re wondering whether you should try a mesh coil for your current vaping tank if one is available, we’ll give you a little spoiler: You absolutely should. If your tank doesn’t have a mesh coil available, though, the decision becomes a little more interesting.
Let’s learn more about what mesh coils are and how they can benefit your vaping experience.
What Are Mesh Coils?
To understand what makes mesh coils unique, let’s look at the design of a typical vaping coil.
A standard vaping coil is a single wire — or two wires, in the case of the above picture — twisted into a spring-like shape. Most atomizer coils have used that design since the beginning of the vaping industry.
Next, let’s see what a mesh coil looks like.
A mesh coil isn’t actually a coil at all – it’s just a strip of metal mesh, usually rolled into a cylindrical shape.
What’s the point? That’s what you’ll learn next.
Why Do Mesh Coils Exist?
Mesh coils are all about making the most of the heating wire’s surface area. If the interior of the coil has greater surface area, it’ll produce bigger clouds. If the exterior of the coil has better coil-to-cotton contact, you’ll have more efficient wicking and less hot spots.
Over the years, vaping product manufacturers and at-home coil builders have used many different tricks to increase the surface area of coils. You see one of those tricks in action in the picture above; the coil uses two heating wires rather than one. Some coils — such as SMOK TFV12 Cloud Beast King coils — use as many as 12 heating wires. Other coils use wires twisted or wound together.
Twisted and Wound Coils Require High-Wattage Devices
Twisting, winding and braiding wires results in coils with greater surface area. Greater surface area means denser clouds and richer flavors, but those techniques also have two problems. The first problem is increased coil mass. As the mass of a coil increases, the wattage required to drive the coil also increases. A high-mass coil has a significant ramp-up time before it reaches its maximum potential vapor production. Burned wicks are also common with high-mass coils because they remain hot for a while after you release the fire button.
Twisted and Wound Coils Have Spitback Issues
The second problem with Clapton coils and other twisted or wound coils is that their nooks and crannies create areas in which e-liquid can collect. When e-liquid pools on a coil, the coil tends to spit and pop when you vape. If you use a coil such as a Clapton coil, you may need to adjust your tank’s airflow or put a screen in place to prevent hot e-liquid from entering your mouth when the coil spits.
What Are the Benefits of Mesh Coils?
Mesh coils solve many of the problems with traditional cloud chasing coils because they combine high surface area with low mass. Those features combine to give you great flavor and vapor production in a coil that has very reasonable wattage requirements, heats up almost instantly and cools off quickly when you release the fire button. Using a mesh coil, in other words, means that you can chase clouds with the best of them and enjoy rich, bold flavors without owning a 200-watt vaping device.
In addition to providing a great vaping experience, mesh coils have two additional benefits that many people don’t consider.
Mesh Coils May Last Longer Than Traditional Coils
A traditional wound coil heats from the middle outward. You can see an example of that in the image above. By the time the outer wraps of a traditional coil get hot enough to generate vapor, the middle of the coil will be extremely hot. It may even be hot enough to burn the wick — and a burned wick ruins the flavor of a coil. Mesh coils, on the other hand, heat evenly and don’t have hot spots. Because a mesh coil isn’t as likely to burn the wick, it may last longer than a traditional coil.
Mesh Coils Work Quietly and Don’t Spit
One of the unpleasant things about using a traditional cloud chasing coil is that you’ll often hear a loud “pop” when you press the fire button. As we mentioned above, that noise tends to happen when e-liquid pools in the nooks and crannies of a wound coil. Those who don’t vape — and even many who do — find the noise unpleasant and disruptive. Since mesh coils have maximum coil-to-wick contact, they don’t really have any areas in which excess e-liquid can collect. Rather than popping loudly, a mesh coil tends to make a gentle “whoosh” sound when operating. You’re also much less likely to get hot e-liquid in your mouth when you use a mesh coil.
Do Mesh Coils Have Any Drawbacks?
No vaping product is perfect for every person and purpose, and mesh coils do have two potential drawbacks. The first drawback is that switching to a single mesh coil may result in decreased vapor production if you’re currently using a tank designed for extreme cloud chasing. You can find dual-coil and triple-coil mesh coil atomizers, but they aren’t common yet. A dual-coil or triple-coil configuration delivers performance comparable to that of any traditional cloud chasing coil. The trade-off, though, is that such coils have higher wattage requirements.
The second potential drawback of mesh coils is that they aren’t for mouth-to-lung vaping. To work for mouth-to-lung inhaling, a coil should be small with restrictive airflow. Mesh coils, on the other hand, tend to be wide with very open airflow characteristics. Although you don’t have to be an extreme cloud chaser to enjoy mesh coils, you will have the best experience if you prefer direct-to-lung inhaling.