When you spend a bit of time reading vaping websites or browsing the selection at your favorite vape shop, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Mesh vaping coils are incredibly popular. If you have a vaping tank that was made fairly recently, there’s a good chance that a mesh coil is already available for it – and many current tanks are specifically made to provide great experiences with mesh coils. Have you tried a mesh coil yet? If you haven’t, we’ve got a short answer for you: Mesh coils are fantastic. If you’re still on the fence, though, this article is for you. Reading this article, you’re going to learn the pros and cons of mesh coils.
What Are Mesh Coils?
A mesh coil uses a strip of metal mesh – a bit like the mesh of a window screen – as its heating element. A standard vaping coil, on the other hand, uses a wire wound into the shape of a spring. The standard spring-shaped vaping coil has served us well for many years, but some problems appear when you attempt to increase the vapor production of that type of coil.
To increase the vapor production of a spring-shaped coil, you need to increase the coil’s surface area. In doing that, though, you also increase the mass of the coil. A high-mass vaping coil has a low electrical resistance and requires a high operational wattage for fast and efficient heating. The problem, though, is that we’ve just about reached the limit of what standard vaping coils can do. The most powerful cloud chasing coils already operate at well above 100 watts. To go much further would be impractical and potentially even unsafe – and that’s the main problem mesh coils address.
Now that you understand what mesh coils are, let’s learn more about their pros and cons – and find out how they address the biggest problem with traditional vaping coils.
High Surface Area and Low Mass
The metal mesh used to make mesh coils has little mass but spreads out over a wide area. That’s the ideal structure for a vaping coil because it results in a coil that has excellent vapor production and a low wattage requirement. When you use a tank with a mesh coil, you’ll enjoy virtually instant vapor when you press the fire button on your device. You’ll also enjoy enormous clouds that are full of flavor.
Are you currently using a standard wound vaping coil designed to produce big clouds? If you are, it’s likely that you use a two-battery vaping device because your coil operates at or near 100 watts. How would you like to get the same level of vapor production at well under 80 watts? That’s what’s possible with mesh coils; they can make smaller single-battery vaping devices viable in a way that they haven’t been in years.
Quiet Vaping Without Spitback
If you’ve ever dealt with a noisy, wet vape tank that pops, crackles and spits every time you press the fire button, you’re very familiar with some of the biggest drawbacks of traditional wound vaping coils – and the thicker the coils are, the worse those problems become. If you could examine the cross section of a wound vaping coil, you’d see numerous tiny spaces between the wire and wick. Condensed e-liquid pools in those spaces and causes spitting and loud noises. The pooled e-liquid also contributes to an uneven droplet size in the aerosol, giving the vapor a wet character.
If you could look at the cross section of a mesh coil, you’d see much better contact between the wick and the wire. Without the large spaces between the two, e-liquid has nowhere to pool. Mesh coils therefore tend to operate much more quietly than traditional coils. They rarely pop, crackle or spit. All that you’ll generally experience with a mesh coil is a smooth, quiet “whoosh.”
Mesh coils aren’t a cure for coil gunk. Coil gunk is the concentrated residue of sucralose, a sweetener that doesn’t vaporize cleanly. The sweeter an e-liquid is, the more quickly it will reduce the life of any vaping coil. That being said, a mesh coil can last significantly longer than a wound coil if you use unsweetened e-liquid. Mesh coils tend to last longer because the lower mass means that they heat up and cool down more quickly than high-mass wound coils. Wound coils, on the other hand, take some time to ramp up and tend to retain heat for a while after you’ve released the fire button. Those characteristics increase the risk of burned wicks.
If you replace a coil because you’re detecting a burned taste when you vape – and the coil still looks bright and shiny when you remove it from the tank – it’s likely that the coil’s residual heat has burned the cotton wick. That problem – all too common with wound coils – is virtually nonexistent with mesh coils.
Room to Grow
Unlike wound coils – which have just about reached their theoretical performance limit already – mesh coils still have plenty of room to grow. Even if your first mesh coil is just a single-coil atomizer, you’ll likely be awestruck by its vapor production. Already, though, companies are pushing the performance envelope by building dual-, triple- and quad-coil mesh atomizers. A quad-coil mesh atomizer has truly awe-inspiring vapor production with a wattage requirement that’s still quite reasonable. Manufacturers of mesh coils are also looking for other ways to increase vapor production further. Some manufacturers are experimenting with different mesh structures. Others are using laser cutters to add microscopic notches to their mesh coils, further increasing their surface area. While traditional wound coils appear to have reached an evolutionary dead end, you can be almost certain that mesh coils will continue to improve by leaps and bounds over the next few years.
Not Available for Older Tanks
The only real drawback of mesh coils is that they aren’t available for older tanks. If your vape tank is more than a year or so old, it’s unlikely that it has a mesh coil available. If that’s the case, you’ll need to buy a new tank if you’d like to experiment with mesh coils.
~ Jason Artman
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