Vaping can be quite a learning curve for new vapers. Whilst it is possible to get the ball rolling straight off the bat with a starter kit or disposable vape kit, one of the main differentiators between having a positive vaping experience and a negative one is ensuring that your coils are primed and ready for use before taking that first inhale from your device. It really can make all the difference and make our range of e-liquids taste as delicious as they possibly can be.
If you've ever experienced a nasty burnt taste as you've taken a drag from your vape after putting in a fresh coil, it's most likely because you haven’t primed your coil yet. Vaping before you have properly primed can completely ruin your new coil, wasting both your money and time. While you may be keen to jump straight in, having the patience to learn how to prime your coil can greatly improve the end result.
First and foremost:
What is a vape coil?
Inside every vape kit is a piece of hardware called an atomizer, which refers to the vape coil and the wick. A key component in any device, vape kits cannot function without their coil. It is responsible for heating the e-liquid, which in turn creates the vapour that is inhaled. Vape coils can be made from different materials such as kanthal or stainless steel, and the material can impact the way in which the coil performs. Wicking material (the part of your device that surrounds the coil) is most commonly made from cotton, and it also plays an essential part in the atomizer as it soaks up the e-liquid that is then then heated up and vaporised.
There are three main types of coils: standard manufacturer coils that are used in the majority of devices, pre-made coils and DIY wire. The different types of coils each have their own unique characteristics and benefits, but pre-built coils and DIY wire are the types that are more frequently used in rebuildables such as RDAs and RTAs.
No matter which type of vape coil you use, it is important to replace it regularly. This will help ensure that your device is functioning properly and that you are getting the best possible vapour production. It is important to note that coils typically need to be replaced every one to two weeks, depending on how frequently they are used.
What is priming and why is it important?
When you first get a new coil, it's important to prime it before you begin vaping. This will help ensure that your coil lasts longer and gives you a better vaping experience overall. If you don't prime your coil, you can end with a dreaded dry hit. Whilst these are not harmful, we can assure you, they are certainly unpleasant! Dry hits occur when the wicking material has not been saturated with e-liquid, resulting in a burnt taste. Definitely not as pleasant as the fruity or dessert-based flavours you would have grown used to!
To prime your coil simply means to soak it in e-liquid for a few minutes before using it for the very first time. This allows the wick to become fully saturated with e-liquid, so that it can heat evenly and produce consistent vapour.
Priming is one of those things that many vapers believe that they can get away without doing. Surely it's not essential, right? Well, it's actually very essential and especially when it comes to sub-ohm vaping. These devices utilise vape coils that are lower than 1.0ohms. They have a much lower resistance and are used with high powered vape devices which is precisely how the large clouds of vapour that are associated with sub-ohm vaping are produced.
How to prime a coil
Although essential, it is not difficult. Priming your coil is a lot easier than it sounds, and will save you having a burnt coil and having to replace it prematurely.
Here's a quick step by step guide to priming your coil:
- Start by unscrewing the base of your tank. If there is an old vape coil inside, remove it and simply replace it with the new coil. Many vape tanks have easy coil replacement mechanisms and it should fit in nice and comfortably.
- Take a few drops of e-liquid and drip them directly onto the cotton wick. Make sure that the wick is thoroughly soaked - but don't overdo it, as this can cause flooding.
- Once the wick is saturated, screw the vape coil back into the tank and fill it up with e-liquid.
- Let it soak for 10 minutes to allow the e-liquid to soak into the wick. This is an essential step, and we know it can be tempting to pick up your vape and take a drag but it's important to practice some patience here and wait 10 minutes.
- After waiting, unscrew the tank and blow gently through the vape coil to remove any excess e-liquid.
- Finally, screw the tank back together. and voila, your new coil has been primed and you're ready to begin vaping (well, almost).
Just like a new pair of shoes, we have to break in our newly primed coil before we start vaping. A lot of sub-ohm vape devices these days have variable wattage outputs, which can be extremely beneficial when it comes to using your new vape coil for the first time.
Set your vape to its lowest wattage output and take some very short, quick drags. On most sub-ohm vapes, this wattage output is normally 5 watts. After taking a few short drags, slowly increase the wattage in small increments and do the same until you reach your preferred wattage.
It serves several uses to prime a coil before gradually breaking it in. To prevent a burned flavour or coil damage, the vape wick replacement is first soaked. The coil life is thereby prolonged. Overall, the wattage and amount of vaping will have an impact on coil life but the goal is to maximise coil life.
How do I Prime MTL vape coils?
We've focused on sub-ohm coils up until this point, but MTL coils also need priming too. MTL vaping typically uses 1.0ohm coils or higher, and this higher atomizer resistance is what creates the more discreet vapour production. Nothing really changes when it comes to priming MTL vape coils, and in many ways it's more simple.
If you use disposable pods, you don't have to worry about removing and replacing coils. Simply just fill the pod up with your e-juice and let it saturate for 5-10 minutes. You also don't have to worry about dripping the vape juice onto the coil like you do with larger sub-ohm coils.
Coil priming should become an important part of your vaping skillset, and is not something to be overlooked! It is a simple process that is much more simple than it sounds at first, and will bring huge benefits. It's important for vapers to take on the responsibility of learning about their vape kits, mods, tanks, coils and more to get the very most out of their experience.