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Mesh coils differ to “regular” coils for many reasons and have some advantages as well as some disadvantages. In order to understand the differences, we explore and explain what they are and how they work.

What are Mesh Coils?

 

According to the Mariam Webster Dictionary, a mesh (when used to describe a material or a structure) describes a web-like pattern, the openings between the threads of a cord or net and the working contact (like you’d find between the teeth of gears).

In our case we can think of Mesh coils as a web-like pattern. Imagine a thin sheet of stainless steel with small holes punched through it at regular intervals. This is exactly what a mesh coil is. Mesh Coils can sit over the wicking medium or they can be wrapped around them in a vertical position – as is the case with almost all “plug & play” style coils.

Mesh coil construction

Typical Mesh coil construction 

QUAQ-Mesh-Coil-Technology-

How a mesh coil is placed inside a disposable device

What is a “Regular” Coil?

 

We must also understand what makes a “regular” coil. There’s little point in this article explaining the differences between the two if we don’t explain what each are in the first place.

A Regular coil is helical in shape (think of the threads of a screw) and is made of a single strand of a specific resistance wire like Stainless Steel or “Kanthal“. Regular coils can also be positioned horizontally or vertically, with the cotton wicking medium sitting inside or outside of it.

Alien-Coils

An “Alien” Coil. A complex series of twisted strands of resistance wire wrapped into a helical shape.

Staggered-Fused-Clapton-Coils

A Clapton coil. Another adaptation of a “regular” coil featuring a complex series of various strands of resistance wire wrapped into the standard helical format. 

How is E-Liquid delivered to coils?

 

The coil usually sits over (or is wrapped around) the wicking medium – which is almost always cotton. The cotton is responsible for delivering the E-Liquid to the coil via way of capillary action – this is the process by which a liquid is drawn through a narrow space without the assistance, or even in opposition to gravity. The narrow space in this instance is between the strands of cotton.

Capillary action occurs due to intermolecular forces between the E-Liquid and the surrounding cotton wicking material. When you dip a paintbrush into water you can see it being pulled up the bristles and it is this very same concept which acts to draw E-Liquid into the wick to the coil.

How do they differ?

 

Whilst Mesh & regular coils ultimately do the same thing – heating E-Liquid to produce a vapour, they have some subtle differences. Mesh coils are designed to provide a greater surface area with which to come into contact with E-Liquid via the cotton wick. The greater surface area means more even heating is provided so there’s typically a better flavour, as well as a better uptake of Liquid for fewer dry hits.

Since a mesh coil like the QUAQ Coil provides a greater surface area than a regular coil, the current provided to it is more spread-out which can actually assist in coil longevity. By now you’re probably aware that coils don’t last forever and will eventually degrade, firstly because of the constant fluctuation of heat and secondly because of the chemical make-up of the E-Liquid it’s in contact with.

Coil longevity is a big factor in the decision behind which device to get & what E-Liquid to use with it – with many people placing this at the top of their requirements, even over flavour production.

Mesh coils are the more recent of the two types and are now much more prolific in the industry as they’ve become the standard. In fact, the term “mesh” has become something of a buzz-word in the industry and is associated with better quality for flavour and vapour production.

Regular coils can still be found on much smaller pod-kit devices and some disposables but they are more commonly found in higher power rebuildable devices used by advanced vapers. This is because a mesh coil cannot be easily made without expensive equipment used to position and punch the tiny holes through the sheet material.

Regular coils can be “wrapped” easily and there’s a great many kits that can be used to assist in this. A popular trend among those who use rebuildable atomisers is to either wrap or buy custom coils with complex constructions like “Alien” coils or “Clapton Coils“. These types of coils are difficult to wrap but afford a much greater surface area even than most mesh coils.

One often overlooked aspect of Mesh coils is their quick-ramp up time. This is the time it take for the coil to reach maximum temperature. Most mesh coils have a fairly low resistance due to their construction and actually require less power than a standard coil of a similar resistance, meaning they will help to slightly improve battery power.

  Mesh Regular
Surface Area to size ratio Large Standard
Typical application Disposable, Plug & play coils Low power pod kits, Advanced rebuildables
Excels in  Flavour production Simplicity and ease of manufacturing/wrapping

What about Dual & Triple-core coils?

 

Available on the market today are a great many “dual”, “triple” and “quad” coils for a host of different brands. Most of these are made using your regular “helical” style coils and not mech coils. The advantage of a multi-core coil (like the Geekvape M series) is the increase in surface are available to heat the E-liquid – producing more flavour & vapour, though more power is typically required to heat a greater number of cores and simpler, smaller kits like the Xlim pro are limited to a single core in the interests of keeping the device compact.

Coil technology in vaping has changed dramatically over the years and most modern coils will provide great performance. Choosing the right coil for you can be a difficult task to get right and is often a simple case of trial & error.

Mesh Coil vs Regular Coil Conclusion

Mesh Coils Summary

  • Provide a greater surface area to size ratio for improved flavour
  • Can provide a greater “coil life”
  • Typically have a faster ramp-up time
  • Are mostly pre-built and found in plug & play style coils
  • Cannot easily be made

Regular Coils Summary

  • Tend to run hotter than mesh coils
  • Found in lower-power pod kits as well as advanced rebuildables
  • Can be wrapped by hand easily
  • A huge range of variations available from the simple, single strand type to Alien, Ridgeback, Staple coils & more