There’s no question about it — mesh coil tanks are hot stuff these days. We’d bet there’s hardly a vape shop left in the world that doesn’t have at least one mesh coil tank on the shelf. If you’re here, though, it’s because you haven’t bought one yet. Maybe you’re not sure what mesh coils are or what their benefits are. Maybe you’re already perfectly happy with the tank you have. We’re here to tell you, though, that buying a mesh coil tank is absolutely worth it. If you’re currently using a sub-ohm tank with a traditional wound coil, a mesh coil tank will absolutely upgrade your vaping experience. It may actually turn out to be a bigger upgrade than any other vaping product that you’ve purchased over the past few years.
It’s time to learn why.
Getting Started: What Is the Best Mesh Coil Tank?
If you want to go with a well-known manufacturer like SMOK, you can definitely do that if you want to buy a mesh coil tank. The SMOK TFV12 Prince has mesh coils available, and you can find those coils in just about every vape shop.
If you ask us, though, the best mesh coil tank for the money is the Freemax Mesh Pro. We’ve had two of them here for the past several months, and we’ve gone through several boxes of coils with nothing but happy clouds and absolutely no problems. You can find it at Savory Vapes.
We’re partial to Freemax because they were the first company to put out a mesh coil tank. They were also the first company to put out dual-coil, triple-coil and quad-coil mesh atomizers. The Mesh Pro works with all four configurations. We like the dual-coil configuration as a sort of sweet spot between big clouds and reasonable e-liquid usage. If you use the quad-coil atomizer, though, look out!
Coils for the Freemax Mesh Pro are very durable, thanks to the flax-cotton blend used for the wick. The threads are a little finicky, though, since the coil screws into both the top and bottom hardware. Our tanks have never leaked, and they offer astounding flavor and vapor production.
What Are Mesh Coil Tanks?
If you look inside a traditional atomizer coil assembly for a sub-ohm tank, you’ll see at least one metal wire twisted into a spring shape. That’s why we call them coils; they actually are coil shaped. Coiling a wire helps you get more of that wire into a small space, which is what you want when you need a tiny atomizer coil to generate enough heat to make vapor clouds. As you’ll soon learn, though, the coil shape isn’t actually the most efficient way to get those clouds.
When you look inside a mesh coil, on the other hand, you’ll see something that looks like a cylindrical window screen. A mesh coil isn’t actually a coil at all; it’s a strip of metal mesh with a wick packed around it. Why, you may wonder, would anyone go through the trouble of designing that when traditional wound coils are fine as they are? Actually, wound coils have a few major issues.
The Problem With Wound Vaping Coils
Traditional wound coils were fine during the first several years of the vaping industry. In recent years, though, the preferences of the typical long-term vaper have tended to include low-nicotine e-liquids and the best cloud production possible. Sub-ohm vaping took hold a few years ago, but that wasn’t enough; vaping product manufacturers have worked nonstop to create tanks with still better vapor production, and after every breakthrough, the public has still wanted more.
The primary way to increase the vapor production of a tank is by increasing the surface area of the atomizer coil. Some manufacturers do that by using very low-resistance heating wires. The thicker a wire is, the lower its resistance is. Other manufacturers do it by creating atomizer coil assemblies with many individual heating wires. The SMOK TFV12 series, for example, has atomizer coils with up to 12 wires.
The problem with increasing the surface area of a traditional wound coil is that doing so also increases the coil’s mass. The more massive a coil is, the more wattage it requires to heat up in an acceptable amount of time. The end result is that we now have some traditional vaping coils that require well over 100 watts of power and often still have fairly significant ramp-up time before they reach an acceptable level of cloud production.
Traditional atomizer coils, in other words, have reached their limit. They can’t get any better, and the best ones can drain a pair of batteries like nobody’s business.
What Are the Benefits of Mesh Coil Tanks?
Great Vapor Production, Low Mass
The genius of mesh coils is that they use their heating area much more efficiently than wound coils. The efficient design means that a mesh coil has plenty of surface area without the staggering mass that many cloud chasing coils have — and that means they can work at lower wattage ranges. The single-coil atomizer for the Freemax Mesh Pro, for example, has a suggested power range of just 40-70 watts. With such low power requirements for their extreme vapor production, mesh coils make single-battery vape pens and small box mods viable options for cloud chasing — something they haven’t been in years. High-end mesh coils, meanwhile, can outperform anything on the market.
Superb Vaping Experience
Have you ever tried vaping with a traditional cloud chasing coil? They don’t just take forever to ramp up; they also retain heat for a while after you’ve released the fire button. Since wound coils heat from the middle out, the middle of a wound cloud chasing coil gets extremely hot and often stays hot long enough to singe your wick. Cloud chasing coils also tend to pop and spit like crazy. Mesh coils, on the other hand, heat quickly and evenly. They also cool down just as quickly when you’re done using them. Between the even heating and excellent wick-to-metal contact, mesh coils operate quietly, don’t spit and tend to last much longer than traditional coils. The aforementioned Freemax Mesh Pro particularly shines in this area; its coils use flax fiber wicks for increased heat resistance.
We do need to note here that the longer average life of mesh coils does not mean that they are a solution for coil gunk. If you use sweetened e-liquid, you’ll get the same poor life from a mesh coil that you get from the coil you’re using now.