Surface Area Arms Race
In recent years we’ve seen a race amongst vape manufacturers to maximise the surface area of coils. It started with dual coils (which incorporated two wires), and that’s a process which continues today with coils incorporating multiple strands of wire in multiple coil holes.
One game changer was the original Cleito tank. Thinking outside the box, Aspire revolutionised cloud vaping with regulated mods by making more of the chimney (the vertical section in the inside of the tank) the coil, which increased the surface area. The Aspire Cleito, especially in its current form which uses a mesh coil, is still one of our favourite tanks today.
The arms race is far from over, and the one of the latest evolutions in coil technology is the mesh coil.
Why is surface area in coils important?
Vapour is created when e-liquid is heated up. E-liquid is heated when it comes into contact with the coil. The larger the surface area, the more e-liquid is heated up at the same time. And the more e-liquid is heated up, the more vapour you get.
Arguably, you also get a more intense flavour, although there is some debate over whether lower wattage vaping (which produces less vapour) is better for flavour.
What are mesh coils?
Despite their name, most mesh coils are actually a strip of metal with holes punched in them. This both maximises the surface area of the coil and, combined with a flat thin design, minimises their volume. The result? A much larger interface between the coil and the e-liquid.
Mesh coils can be made from stainless steel or kanthal (the material used for the Cleito mesh coils) – you can read more about these materials in our guide to coils.
Are mesh coils new?
Mesh is not completely new to the vaping world. It was originally used as wicking for rebuildable tanks before cotton took over as the preferred wicking material.
What are the advantages of mesh coils?
As you might have guessed, the big advantage comes from the large surface area. Proponents believe this leads to:
- A faster ramp up time (the time which it takes your coil to heat up).
- More vapour and more intense flavour, due to the larger surface area.
- A more consistent vape, due to the more even heat distribution.
- Long lasting. As heat accumulating in one area can lead to burning, this should also reduce the chance of burnt out coils, and some vapers have reported having coils that last for months.
- Taste: Some vapers have reported better flavour production from mesh coils than from regular coils.
- Power requirements: Needs less power to reach optimum performance
- Mesh coils are often cross compatible with existing tanks, meaning you can try mesh without getting a whole new tank.
What are the disadvantages of mesh coils?
As with all coils, when you increase the surface area of the coils, you use more juice. It sounds obvious, you can’t have large clouds and be economical with juice. That’s especially frustrating in the EU, as regulations limit the size of the tank to 2ml, leading to frequent top ups.
It’s also worth mentioning that if there’s any harm in vaping, it’s going to be down to the vapour inhaled rather than the nicotine. Public Health England estimate that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, but inhaling large amounts of vapour is likely to exacerbate that 5% risk. That risk doesn’t come from the nicotine, but from the vapour – so from a health perspective, at least until we know more, you’re probably better off with low wattage, single coil vaping.
Mesh coils don’t get as hot as Claption coils, so if you’re a vaper who likes a warm vape run at high wattages, then mesh might not be for you. You might also find that they work better with some flavours than with other flavours.
Tanks That Use Mesh Coils
Since we first wrote this post, mesh coils have become almost standard amongst sub-ohm tanks.
Still, some noticeable examples include the Aspire Odan tank, which combines mesh coils with efficient wicking for great vapour, and the innovative Falcon II tank, which includes a rotor design which funnels air up through the coil for more intense flavour.
Finally, the FreeMax Mesh Pro tank offers the option of double, triple and even quadruple mesh coils.
What do you think of mesh coils? Let us know in the comments below!