-Authored by Michael A. Carey
There are currently two coil options for your tank or RDA atomizer, pre-made or self-made. But, which ones are best? The answer is multi-faceted. Let’s break them down into a few categories: 1) Your preference for flavor, 2) your hobbyist inclination, and 3) your budget and how much you value convenience and your time.
Let’s start with the first category, your preference for flavor. First, everyone’s preferences are different and everyone has an opinion. With that said, generally, a self-made coil is going to generate more flavor when you vape. Even though the components and concept of self-made and pre-made coils are the same, the ability for you to modify the resistance level and the more airy, amount and quantity of e-liquid that can be contained in the cotton of a self-made coil contribute to a greater level of flavor from the e-liquid.
On the other hand, pre-made coils like the Smok TFV8 Q2 , still deliver a good amount of flavor as well as come in a range of resistance levels and styles. If you are not a flavor fanatic, the right pre-made coil should deliver a satisfactory level of flavor when you vape.
Next, let’s review your hobbyist inclination. If you are going to build your own coil, it helps, but is certainly not required, that you have some experience and affinity for hobbies such model building, puzzles and crafts to name a few. Not only will you need the materials needed to build a coil such as wire like Coilart Kanthal A1 Wire and cotton like Cotton Bacon, you will also need tools, instructions, experience, time and more than anything, patience. If you have ever looked at the size of your atomizer you should notice that it’s small.
Then, you realize that the components that go into your atomizer are even smaller. So, the coil that goes into your atomizer is an intricate and small item. Therefore, you need small tools like the ones included in the Coil Master DIY Kit V3 . The wire used for coils itself is also malleable and can break easily. So, again, patience and dexterity are key. Lastly, despite all of this, please do not be discouraged. Like most things in life, the more you do them, the better you become. So, if you choose this route, practice often.
Last, let’s talk about your budget and how you value convenience and your time. If you are looking for truly the lowest cost option based on actual expense alone, making your own coils is likely going to be your best bet. A 30 foot roll of Kanthal wire will cost you around $3.50 and should make approximately 60 coils (don’t forget, if you are using 2 coils, that’s 30 builds), cotton will cost you around $5.00 and should fill approximately 20 coils and a build kit will cost you around a $50.00 one-time expense (that you can amortize over time). So, each self-made coil might cost around $1.41 ($3.50/60 + $5.00/20 + $50.00/60) or $1.72 for dual coil devices.
But, depending on the value (cost) you put on convenience and your time, pre-made coils may actually be the more cost-effective option. An average 5-pack of coils that fit the most popular atomizers is around $16.00. So, each pre-made coil costs around $3.20. This makes the difference in cost between a single self-made and pre-made coil around $1.75. While the actual expense delta is nominal at less than $2.00, it is 2.2x the cost of a self-made coil. However, it does not account for your time involved in making the coil(s) and cutting/rolling/inserting the cotton. So, the self-made vs. pre-made cost debate really boils down to how much of a value your place on convenience and your time.
In conclusion, whether you choose to make your own coils or you choose to purchase pre-made coils, you still get to experience and enjoy the pleasures of vaping. You will still get an ample amount of flavor and vapor production with either coil. From a cost and convenience perspective, you will have to make that determination yourself :) Either way, you are vaping and we appreciate and applaud you for doing so.
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