Modern Smoking Solutions Blog

RDA Coil Building

  • 4 Reasons to Drip: Your Guide to RDA Coil Building

    When it comes to vaping, there are many ways to partake in it, and there is no right or wrong way.  You will hear about vapers who are constantly telling you that you need to do it this way or that way, but what you need to be worrying about is the process of going from cigarettes to vaping to no nicotine vaping to eventually quitting

    That is what this movement is about.  It is about getting yourself off the addiction.  Now within that path, there are a number of ways that it can be done.  From pen style, box mod and tank, and then there is dripping.

    Dripping is literally the act of dripping e liquid onto coils that you wrapped yourself.  It is not as scary as many people would have you believe, but there are certain things that you will need to be mindful of, i.e. your batteries, the ohms that you are building to.

    But, if you believe that this hands on path is the way you want to go (I’m looking at you guys who are hand rolling your cigarettes especially), then let’s try to give you a bit of understanding.  (If you want to see how it’s done, skip to #4.)

    1. Dripping is for the hands on person.

    Do you enjoy using your hands to create? Well this is the portion of vaping that you will really enjoy.  Not only do you get to make something new, you can do it anyway you want to (within reason of course, damn math). 

    It’s also great for those who are looking to start vaping and roll their own cigarettes.  It’s a way to be able to customize your vaping experience just like you were when you were smoking.  You get to make your coil and wick exactly how you like it, which is hugely important for some of you.

    Also, once you understand how to do it and to make it well, almost all possibilities in the realm of imaginable can be done.  I’ve seen some pretty crazy builds come through the shop. 

    1. Coil Building causes you to know your device.

    That is not to say that you can just do it willy-nilly.  You really need to pay attention to what you are doing, but just by knowing that you are ahead of the game for many people.  You will know what your device is capable of, what your battery can do (understand your batteries people), and will know the ins and outs of wrapping in no time. 

    First Coil Attempt


    Actual first attempt for a coil, so you can do it as well.

    You will know what ohm you are at, what amps your battery is pushing, what your vg/pg split is on your e liquid.  It really is for the person who likes the all-encompassing factor of hobbies.  You purists will find yourself among these.

    1. Customized Vapor and Flavor Production

    Because you can build to any way you like, you can choose what you want.  Do you want better flavor? You can build it. How about huge clouds?  You can do that as well.  It is literally anyway you want it. 

    Have you seen these huge cloud competitions on the internet yet? Well they are not doing that without building their own coils.  They know what they want, and they build to it.  That’s what you get to do when you wrap your own coils.  Maybe your perfect vape is at .27 ohms instead of the standard sets of .5 or .2.  You can learn to do that.  It is all a matter of how seriously you want to take it.

    If you are more like me, you prefer the flavor portion of it more than the vapor production (I can hear the snickering from the back).  It is amazing how different some of the flavors that you have been vaping on forever will taste on an RDA.  You will taste some of the subtle hints that you wouldn’t normally get to in the prebuilt coils. It really can be a fantastic way to find a new flavor.

    1. You can start today if you really want to.

    Think it will take some time to get started on this whole idea? Well if you go into the shop, you can get you a RDA and you can get to wrapping.  We will watch over your first wrap with you or you can take it home and read this section to find out how to do it. 

    Things you will need:

    • RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer)
    • Kanthal A1 Wire: Usually comes in 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30 gauge. Most people will wrap with the 24 or 26 gauge wire, so it’s not a bad starting point.
    • Organic Cotton: something like KangerTech’s Japanese Organic or Cotton Bacon.
    • Clippers
    • Screwdriver (will be used to wrap coils and also to install on RDA, 3 millimeter in diameter would be preferred)
    • Ohm Reader: Essential, so don’t leave the shop without it.
    • Tweezer, preferably ceramic tipped as these can be used while firing your coil and won’t short out your build.
    • Needle nose pliers for pulling the wire tight.

    Now for a safety note: you need to check your coil builds on the Ohm reader before you start vaping.  It is important as you don’t want to be too low for you device.  You should also plan in a +/- 0.2 ohm variance.  It helps to keep you safe.

    This next portion may get a little long, but stick with it.  It is definitely worth it!

    Wrapping your first coil is going to be a bit intimidating, but just remember that you have no need to be perfect on your first wrap.  Just expect it not to be up to par so that when you decide to scrap it, you won’t be too upset.

    So for this first one, I’m going to give an example of what your coil should. It is a quick easy build that will get you to 0.5 ohms in resistance.

    You are going to take your screw driver and for your first one about 8-9 inches of 26 gauge Kanthal A1 wire.  As you get a bit more experienced in it, you will actually be able to cut this down, but it is easier to have a little more to work at the start.

    Take the screw driver and wire and with one hand you will hold and use the other to wrap.  Whichever way you decide to wrap, when the tail ends of the coil are facing in the same direction, count it as one wrap, and for this first coil we are going to want to end up with 7 wraps.  This is because we are using a 3 mm screwdriver and 26 gauge wire.  Each coil itself should end up as 1.0 ohms and when you put them together you will have yourself a 0.5 ohms coil build.

    To finish off each of these wraps you will want to make sure that each leg of the wire is facing the same direction and then snip off the wire.  Be sure to leave yourself a lead for attaching it to the RDA.

    Attaching it to the RDA

    It is a little tricky because you want to make sure that it will not touch the posts in the center, but also you do not want it to touch the outside of the RDA, as both of these could make it short out.  Now, the RDA has anywhere from 2 – 4 posts on it, where the outside posts are going to ground the wire (negative) and the inside posts are going to be your positive posts.  You have to attach the wire to both of them. (Look at the picture above; there are three with the outside ones negative and the inside post positive)

    For our build both of our wraps will attach to the center post and an outside one.  This is why we left the lead on the coil wraps as it will help us to position the wire in the RDA.  When you get it to where you want it, screw down the posts to hold it in place.  What you don’t want to do is screw it down so hard that it will cut the wire.  You want it to be tight and where the wire will not move.

    Once the wire is attached, you want to put it on your ohms reader and make sure that it reads want we set out to build.  If it is too low you will want to start again, but it should be fairly accurate. You definitely don't want to be building to low for your battery, so check out this site real quick to learn a little more about that.

    The next step is to work to get the hot spots out of your wires.  It is important as you want your coils to heat the same rate and cool down at the same rate from the center to the outside of the coil. Initially, you want to pulse your coil to see where it is heating up from.  And as this is your first coil, you will most likely have to put a little work into these ones to get them how you need them. 

    That is where the ceramic tweezers come in.  You are going to notice that there is space in between your coil so they aren’t heating up evenly.  What you want to do is to pulse your box while squeezing the coils together, until they heat up from the center out.  It definitely is easier with practice to make a more perfect coil. After you get it heating up perfectly, you want to strum your screwdriver over the coil to give it a perfectly even spacing.

    I promise you are almost done!

    The next step is to wick your coils.  The organic cotton that you have put aside is now to be used.  You will want to cut a strip of cotton for your wick.  You won’t need a huge amount for each side, and as you get a little more experienced you will be able to judge how much cotton you will need.  It is a little bit of trial and error for most people.

    You will want to take your cotton strip and roll both ends into a point, and then cut it down the middle.  Take the rolled ends and thread it through your coils and once they are in, even them out and cut them even.

    Take your tweezers and roll the cotton under into the juice well, being sure to leave some space under the coil for air flow.  After that, you will take your e liquid and paint your coils and cotton with it.  It will take a little more liquid then you think to get the cotton soaked, but don’t worry it really is just a learning experience.

    Do you want to see a video of someone doing it, then check out this post!

    Well there you have it. You built your first coil! Be proud of yourself!

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.

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