Just about every year, the vaping industry develops a new technology – or an existing technology comes of age – and that technology goes on to become the signature thing that defines the state of the art for vaping in that year.
In 2020, the defining technology in vaping was definitely the mesh coil. It’s difficult to remember any technology in the history of vaping that went from something that a few people were using – to something that was practically a requirement for any modern piece of vape gear – in the span of just a year. With mesh vape coils, though, that’s exactly what happened. If you aren’t using a mesh coil yet, this article is going to explain why you definitely need to upgrade without further delay. First, though, let’s take a brief look at how the vaping industry got to this point.
The manufacturer Freemax was the company that introduced most of us in the vaping community to mesh coils. Freemax didn’t invent the mesh coil; some users of rebuildable atomizers were already experimenting with mesh coils when Freemax released the Fireluke Mesh tank in 2017. The Fireluke Mesh was the first vape tank designed to use pre-built mesh coils. It was a big hit, and Freemax quickly followed that success with the release of the Mesh Pro tank in 2018. The Mesh Pro took everything that was great about the Fireluke Mesh and made it even bigger, becoming the first tank with pre-built dual-coil, triple-coil, quadruple-coil and quintuple-coil atomizers. As we approached the end of the decade, many people still felt that the Freemax Mesh Pro was the best vape tank on the market. For anyone to say that about a vape tank after more than two years on the market is truly unprecedented. It’s safe to say that the mesh coil truly came of age in 2020. Mesh coils were so obviously better than traditional wound coils that, by the end of 2020, they were seemingly everywhere. Virtually every new tank that comes out today has a mesh coil as its default coil option. The biggest vape manufacturers also released mesh coils for most of their existing tanks in 2020. If you can’t find a mesh coil for the tank that you’re using now, it’s probably because the manufacturer no longer makes coils for that tank. The speed with which mesh coils became ubiquitous in the vaping industry is truly impressive. So, what makes mesh coils so much better than traditional vaping coils? A mesh coil has two unique design elements that can bring some dramatic benefits to your vaping experience.
A traditional vape coil uses a wound wire as its heating surface. The traditional wound wire works well for vaping until you try to push the limits of that design for greater cloud production. Getting bigger clouds with a wound coil requires you to lower the coil’s electrical resistance, and doing that requires to use a thicker wire. By the time mesh coils hit the market, a typical cloud chasing coil had so much metal that you couldn’t hope to use a modern vape tank efficiently with a vaping device that generated anything under 100 watts of power. Clearly, asking every vaper to carry a dual-battery mod was a bit much. A mesh coil replaces the traditional wound wire with a strip – or sometimes multiple strips – of thin metal mesh. A strip of mesh has as much surface area as a coil made from high-gauge wire, but it has much lower mass and requires significantly less power to operate. A mesh coil, in other words, makes it possible for you to use a single-battery mod – or even a small vape pen– to get the level of vapor production that used to require a dual-battery mod. Unless you’ve used a high-end cloud chasing tank with a dual-battery mod, you’ve never experienced the high level of cloud production that you can get with a mesh coil. It gets better. The low mass of a mesh coil also has a second benefit in that it allows the coil to reach the optimal temperature for vaping almost instantly. When you use a tank with a mesh coil, you’ll get huge clouds from the instant that you press your mod’s fire button. A traditional cloud chasing tank has a lengthy ramp-up time; you need to give the coil a chance to heat up before it begins to produce serious clouds. Mesh coils have made ramp-up time a thing of the past.
So, the first benefit of mesh coils has to do with their surface area and weight. The second benefit, however, has more to do with a mesh coil’s shape. If you examine a traditional wound coil from the side, you’ll see that the contour of the wire creates ridges and valleys. In the valleys of the coil, the wire doesn’t touch the wick. E-liquid pools in those valleys, and that often causes traditional coils to pop loudly when they’re used. In the worst cases, the popping can cause the e-liquid to spray with such force that the coil spits hot e-liquid into your mouth. That’s an extremely unpleasant experience, and as a general rule, it doesn’t happen with mesh coils. That’s because a mesh coil has a flat cross section, so the coil makes firm, even contact with the wick. Since e-liquid has nowhere to pool, mesh coils typically operate almost silently and do not spit or gurgle. The fact that the entire surface of a mesh coil makes firm contact with the wick also means that mesh coils don’t have the hot spots that traditional wound coils often have. Without those areas of uneven heating, a mesh coil is much less likely than a wound coil to burn its wick during periods of heavy use. A coil that doesn’t tend to burn its wick is a longer-lasting coil, and people often report that switching from traditional coils to mesh coils increases their average coil life by anywhere from several days to several weeks.