The Igo-L is a rebuildable dripping atomizer that is both incredibly simple to use, and performs amazingly well. It was one of the first RDAs I ever tried, and it is still the one I am most often reaching for.
This tutorial will show you how to do a simple wick and coil setup with an Igo-L. This is the setup I most commonly use myself, and while it is pretty Plain Jane, it only takes a minute to set up and it works flawlessly.
What You’ll Need
- Kanthal – I strongly recommend 28 gauge
- Wire clippers – I use a basic nail clipper
- 1/16 Drill Bit – This is a must. You can pick it up at Walmart for about $1.
- Cotton Ball – actually you only need about 1/8 of a plain old sterile cotton ball. You can get them at CVS for next to nothing.
- Pliers – not a must, but good for smoothing out your coil
- Igo-L – I got mine on Fasttech for $7.67. I own 4 of them.
Step 1: The Coil
You’re going to want to wrap a nice micro coil. If you don’t already know how to do that, I have a full tutorial here.
For this tutorial, I am doing 8 wraps of 28 ga Kanthal on a 1/16 drill bit. You don’t have to follow this exactly, but your results will be different if you don’t.
For starters, you are going to want a coil that looks like this:
If your coil does not look like the above, then go back and read my article on microcoils. It should be close – it’s ok if there are some gaps because we can fix those as we move to the next step.
This coil came out to 1 ohm for me.
Attaching the Coil to the IGO-L
There are probably multiple ways you can do this, but I will tell you how I do it every time.
First of all, you want to keep the drill bit through your coil. I find this helps keep it in place while you’re attaching it to the posts. I like to keep the legs on my coil pretty long for builds where it requires wrapping around a screw.
What you’ll need to do is loop the left leg around the center post. Then pull it tight and hold it there with your left hand, and tighten down the screw. Getting the first leg wrapped is the hardest part by far. Once you have that wrapped, the right leg should be easy.
I generally want no more than 1/4 inch between the coil and the posts. You can do less, but just make sure the coil isn’t actually touching the post itself.
It should look something like this so far:
Once you’ve got your left leg secured, test it by pulling some of the remaining slack and make sure it doesn’t come free. If it stays put, then go ahead and wrap the right leg.
Test the right leg and make sure it’s secure. You need to make double sure right now that both your legs are where you want them, because the next step is to clip off any of the remaining slack, and if your legs aren’t secure now, you will end up having to start from scratch.
So once you are confident both legs are secure, go ahead and clip off the excess with a nail clipper – as close to the post as you can get.
It should now look something like this:
At this point, you MUST CHECK YOUR OHMS. You should either have an APV that reads ohms, a multimeter or an ohm reader. If you don’t have one, stop doing this tutorial right now.
Otherwise, check your ohms. If you followed what I’ve done so far, it should come out to around 1 ohm.
Once your ohms check out, dry fire the atomizer until the coils glow, then take a pliers and lightly compress them together. Once the coils have been heated to glowing, they lose a lot of their spring, so it is pretty easy to get them molded into a tight coil at this point. You don’t need heavy pressure. If you push too hard you can make the coils overlap on one another which is no bueno.
Once you’ve got a beautiful coil like mine, you’re ready to wick it up.
Step 2: Applying the Wick
For this tutorial we are going to keep it super simple. This method of wicking the Igo-L is the one I use the most, and I find that it performs excellent and especially produces great flavor. It is a basic wick-through-the-coil setup.
So pinch off a piece of cotton ball. You don’t need much. Here’s how much I took:
You can see, there really isn’t much there at all. This actually worked out to be a perfect amount on my build.
The next thing you want to do is roll half of it to a fine point. You should end up with one pointy end and one end still fluffed out like a normal cotton ball. It needs to be pointy enough and narrow enough to fit through the coil
Once you’re wick is half rolled to a point, thread it through the Igo-L gently. I pull it through until the bulk from the fluffy end stops it from going any further. If you try to force the fluffy part through, you can mess up your coil, so don’t do that.
Sorry the picture is so bad, but you get the idea – one thin end, one fluffy end.
Now – take your clipper and clip off the excess on the thin end. You can clip it pretty close to the coil but leave a tiny bit of extra so it doesn’t try to slide back through.
We are going to use the fluffy end and make a little bed underneath the coil. You can take your 1/16 drill bit and carefully push the fluff directly underneath the coil.
You want to be careful that you don’t have too much fluff and end up choking out the coil. It should easily slide under without needing to force it. If it feels tight, you will want to trim some off. Once you apply juice to the wick, it will swell, so if it’s already a tight squeeze beforehand you will likely choke out the coil and lead to less vapor production and a harsher hit.
Your completed wick should look like this:
Once you’ve pushed all the fluff under, you are ready to go.
At this point I like the prime the wick really good – make sure it is completely saturated with juice. The cotton can absorb a lot, so give it a minute to soak in and make sure it’s all covered. You NEVER want to dry burn a cotton wick. It will likely burn right up and turn to ash and you’ll have to rewick it.
Once you’re primed, you can pop the cap back on and start vaping.
Things to Note
The single most important thing you need to know about the IGO-L whether you coiled it yourself or not, is that the position of the airhole is VERY important. You ALWAYS want your airhole to be aligned right over the coil. If you don’t have your airhole aligned directly over the coil, it will significantly reduce the amount of vapor produced and create a harsher hit. So if it starts hitting bad at some point, check and make sure the airhole is still aligned with the coil.
Additionally I like to take this a step further – I always try to keep the airhole pointing upwards when I am taking a drag – assuming you are holding your device in a somewhat horizontal fashion. If you are holding it vertical, I would still suggest pointing it outwards. I don’t know if it makes a huge difference, but I always do it and it has always worked great for me.
On my Igo-L, I drilled the airhole out to 1/16. I have used them for a long time with the stock hole, and it works OK, but I have found that my sweet spot is 1/16, which is convenient because that’s the same sized drill bit you just used to wrap your coil.
You can actually use that same drill bit, assuming you have access to a drill, and drill the hole out. It is super easy to do and only takes a second.
With a setup like this, the wick can theoretically last you for weeks, however, the longer you use it, the more likely your coil is to get gunked up.
If you replace your wick regularly, all you need to do is slip it out of the coil, then dry fire the atty to burn off all the gunk, then slide a new one through. If you do this with some regularity, you can keep your coil going indefinitely.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes simplicity is really the best approach. I have probably 50 different atomizers at my disposal, but the one I use the most, for sure, is the Igo-L. It just plain works.
This setup only takes me a minute or two to do now, and once you do it a few times it will become second nature to you.
If you can learn how to master the Igo-L, you can master any atomizer out there, so this is a great starting point.