What is a Clapton Coil?
What’s a Clapton coil, what’s the difference between different types – and how to make your own!
Today, we’ll discuss the origins of the Clapton coil, discuss how it works and why it has become so insanely popular, and what are some tips on picking one. For instance, those using sub-ohm tanks have likely encountered coil heads advertised as Clapton coils. Alternatively, you might have seen such coils being sold in ready-to-go wrapping, to match RTAs and RDAs. And of course, there is plenty of content all over social media featuring amazing photos and somewhat confusing videos.
So, for those new to the concept, let’s dial it back a little.
Essentially, a Clapton coil is just a type of vape wire which typically consists of a relatively thin gauge wire tightly wrapped around a wire core. The first one of those little beasts was created by the someone nicknamed mrdee3, an E-Cigarette Forum member. Playing his guitar, he suddenly realized that there is a lot of surface area on a guitar string. Struck by the idea, he turned a strand of 24-gauge kanthal in a drill whilst winding 32-gauge kanthal wire around it. Simple and genius.
Clapton coils have come a long way since then, and these days there are many types available, including but not limited to Staggered Fused Clapton, Alien Clapton, Framed Staple Clapton and many other with equally funky names. If you want to see some examples along with stunning macro shots, head over to Instagram and have a play with some hashtag searches. We’ll wait.
When to use Clapton coils?
Anytime you want to enjoy the following benefits:
- Enhanced flavour
- Better longevity
- Boosted cloud production
- General wow-factor as they are simply cool and exciting
How does the cloud production increase happen? Easy: it’s all about the increased surface area. The outer wire, wrapping around the bare-boned base one, creates additional nooks and creases, greatly increasing the surface area available. As a result, much more wire is exposed to juice, heating up more of it at the same time and boosting vapor production.
In turn, more heated juice and increased vapor production lead to more flavour notes becoming prominent, enhancing the flavour greatly. The coil basically creates a symphony of different temperatures, and at each temperature, the juice releases slightly different flavour notes. The core heats up much faster compared to the outer layer, unleashing the flavours that typically come out at higher power levels. At the same time, the lower temperature of the core still promotes the flavours that are staple at lower power levels. So much flavour at the same time!
Remember us mentioning all the creases and twists in the outer coil? They also trap some of the juice, acting like a wick, if you will. Some types of Clapton coils emphasize the wicking properties of the outer coil – for instance, the Alien Clapton (thanks for your genius invention, blueeyedgoon89) disperses the juice through the wire when wet.
Making your own Clapton Coil
There are a few easy approaches for this fun project, the simplest one probably being harnessing the core wire to a fishing swivel mounted to the end of the table or other sturdy surfaces. Clamp the other end of the wire very tightly in a drill and start spinning the drill with one hand, winding the other wire on with the spare hand simultaneously. Hold the outer wire by the spool and keep winding directly off that – this promotes neater results and uses much less wire. Don’t grab the spool too tightly though, or the wire can snap. At the same time, holding it too loosely isn’t great either as it creates uneven spaces in the wraps which can be rather annoying. Another pro tip is to try and keep a 90° angle between the wires.
It’s not a walk in the park initially, not going to lie, but once you get a hang of it, the stuff becomes quite easy, we promise. There are also nuances for different types of Clapton coils – e.g. the Fused one tends to get twisted, which requires some patience and a pair of good nylon tipped piles to resolve.
The best advice we can give is to start very slow and pick up the pace once you are feeling confident.
Buying a ready-made Clapton coil
Not feeling like a handyman? No problem – simply purchase your Clapton coil ready-made.
Consider what you want from the coil and go from there. A general rule is the bigger the coil, the hotter it will be – and, the lower the resistance. Multiple coils decrease the resistance significantly, akin to parallel coils. The best advice is to test a few and see what you like!