The Art of the Parallel Coil: A Guide to Boosting Your Vaping Output

So a couple months ago or so, I started seeing these parallel coils popping up on Instagram. At first, I couldn’t even figure out if they were any different from a regular coil, so I didn’t think much of it. Then I finally figured out that a parallel coil is actually 2 coils wrapped next to each other.

I’ve recently gotten in some RDAs with nice big holes in the posts, which are ideal for parallel coil building, and I finally had my first go at it a couple of weeks ago. Right away, I was blown away by the flavor, throat hit and vapor production these coils offer.  Even with quick 1 second puffs, you can blow huge clouds.

I have spent the last couple weeks playing around with different parallel coil configurations on various atomizers. This entire time, the first and most simple parallel coil I have ever built has been my primary all-day-vape. After running some horrible juice through my tank for a review today, I ended up having to deep clean the entire thing with 99% alcohol (it still didn’t completely get the stench out), and as a result, I decided to redo my original parallel coil and whip up this guide to how I do it. I plan on doing a lot more advanced parallel coil tutorials with some other builds I have been testing out, so this is a great primer to get you ready.

First off, here’s a sneak peek of it in action:

As you can see, this thing puts out super crazy vapor very quickly. I haven’t had any desire to vape any other type of coil besides a parallel coil since I first set one up. Now I will show you how to do it.

WARNING: The following tutorial is for making a sub-ohm parallel coil build. Sub ohm coils can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. If you do not have the proper equipment or knowledge of batteries, please do not attempt this build. 

What You’ll Need

setup

  • You’re going to need an RDA – preferably one with big enough post holes to allow you to fit 2 pieces of kanthal through. I used a Crown RDA. Pictured is a Lotus, which also has fat post holes and I have done several parallel coil builds on it, but I don’t like it as much as the crown.
  • 28 Gauge Kanthal
  • a 5/64 drill bit
  • Cotton ball
  • Nail clipper

Optional

Setting Up the Coil

What we are going to try to do here is set up a nice parallel coil that should clock in around 0.4 ohms. Mine actually started out at 0.4 and jumped to 0.5 after a while. In the past, I have been really hesitant to do a lot of super sub ohm builds, which I would consider anything below 0.5, however this build really shines in the 0.4 range, and I am using good quality MNKE batteries when I run this on a mechanical mod. With any sub-ohm setup, though, you need to be really cautious.

With a parallel coil, the idea is basically to take 2 pieces of kanthal next to each other and wrap them around your drill bit in the same way you would with a regular microcoil. In fact, when you’re done, you should hardly even be able to tell you have a parallel coil – it should look very similar to a standard micro coil.

The first thing I do is cut off a nice chunk of kanthal. We are going to be folding it in half and using both halves, so you will want it to be twice as long as you would normally use.

Normally I don’t bother pre-heating my kanthal, but with these, I find it doesn’t hurt to quickly heat the entire strand of kanthal to help take away some of the spring and make it easier to wrap a good coil.

So what I will do is take a basic lighter and slowly run it across the length of the kanthal – wait until the portion under the flame glows orange, then continue moving the flame across until the entire thing has been heated to glowing. You don’t have to do this step – I have done it both ways.

Once that’s done, grab both ends of the kanthal and bring them together, then slowly pinch the other end together so that you end up with a long piece, pinched in half with both halves basically right next to each other. It should look something like this:

parallel-coil-1

As you can see, mine isn’t totally perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. They just need to be close enough together. The most important thing is that you want to avoid the coils crossing over each other. If you pinch the end too tightly, it will naturally twist the kanthal strands over each other, so the most important part of this step is making sure neither piece of kanthal ever crosses the other.

Now you are ready to wrap.

I am using a 5/64 drill bit for this build. You could definitely go bigger, but if you go any smaller it will make it harder to keep your ohms high enough – unless of course you are shooting for lower ohms.

Once you’ve got your drill bit ready, take your piece of kanthal and get a good grip on it. I usually like to start wrapping several inches from either end – I’ve found that the middle portion of the kanthal is the easiest place to start wrapping for lessening your chances of the kanthal crossing over each other.

So keeping really tight pressure on the kanthal, carefully make 4 wraps, with both coil legs ending pointed in the same direction.  I’ve found that if I make the wraps at a slight angle rather than straight up and down, it lessens the chance of the coils crossing over each other.

Once you’ve done that, you should have something that looks like this:

parallel-coil-2

You want to end up with something as close as possible to this. You’ll note that mine isn’t 100% perfect, but the coils are generally pretty uniform and not encroaching on each other. You can always tweak it a little if need be, once it’s attached.

Now that you’ve got this far, you are ready to mount the coil.

If you’re following my suggestion and using a RDA with large enough post holes, this next step should be really easy. Basically all you need to do is thread both sets of legs through each hole. Again, you want to make sure that they don’t end up crossing over one another.

I usually try to get my coil as close to the posts as I can without actually touching them. You want a little breathing room, but you also want to keep those legs as short as possible.

Once they are threaded, I like to tighten down the positive post about 50%, then tighten the negative post 50%, then go back and completely tighten both posts. I also keep the drill bit threaded through the coil during this process to keep the coil uniform.

Once you’ve done that, and confirmed that your coil is tightly screwed down, you can clip off the excess legs on the back side, and you should have something that looks like this:

parallel-coil-3

Here’s another view:

parallel-coil-4

You’ll see that other than the coil legs, it basically looks just like a regular microcoil.

At this point CHECK YOUR OHMS.

Before you fire the device, you need to make sure there aren’t any shorts and that your ohms are decent.

Once your ohms check out, you can dry fire the device until it glows, and then tweak the coil if need be. This is the point where it really comes in handy to have the ceramic tipped tweezers because you can tweeze the coils while you are firing them, and they are obviously FAR more pliable when they are glowing – in fact, if you do start messing with a ceramic tweezers, be careful not to compress them too hard because they can easily collapse on top of each other.

Once you have done this, you are ready to wick.

I’m not going to go too in depth on wicking this because it should be pretty self-explanatory.

Basically, I take a chunk of cotton, roll it between my fingers until it is tight and uniform, then carefully thread it through the coil . Once you have it threaded, you can gently roll both ends in your fingers as you are pulling it through.

On the Crown, I like to take one end and bring it up and over the positive screw in the center so that it will hopefully catch the liquid as I drip it into the atty and slide it right down onto the coil.

The Bottom Line

This is really an amazing way of wrapping coils. In fact, regular old microcoils seem pretty inadequate to me now after using mostly parallels and twisted kanthal builds for the last couple of weeks.

If you’re already well versed in wrapping a good microcoil, it shouldn’t take much of a learning curve to make the transition to parallel coils.

The biggest hassle is that they can be a bitch to attach if you are using an RDA with no post holes or post holes that are too narrow.

I have actually taken a 1/16th drill bit and widened the post holes on and RDA before and it worked just fine, so if you have one you don’t mind using as a guinea pig, you can always do that too. It’s probably even easier with a Dremel.

You really can’t go wrong with this build. Once you try it I’m sure you will be hooked.

Have fun and be safe.

6 comments on “The Art of the Parallel Coil: A Guide to Boosting Your Vaping Output

  1. TrashCat says:

    Awesome… Thank you so much for the guide!

    On a side note… I think it would be a great idea to date your articles… It’s always nice to know when something was published to help gauge whether it’s still relevant etc..

    Thanks again 🙂

  2. dani says:

    Hello, i just discovered your site, and I love it! I am new to rdas, and mostly do Google searches and end up at tons of different sites, but it looks like you answer just about every question I could possibly think of all in 1 place. I was wondering, the tutorial I followed to build my coils says to make sure your coil actually buts right up to the posts, with no space. It actually said to make sure the coil is touching the posts. I’ve read a couple of your tutorials and they say to make sure your coil does not touch the posts. What is the difference, and why do you recommend that the coil not touch the posts? I’ve only built the 1 coil, it is butted up to the posts, and it works ok, would it work better with a little space? I’m a complete noob, and would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    • sam says:

      The reason I wouldn’t have your coil actually touching the posts is because it could cause a short. It doesn’t particularly matter what distance between the outer edge and the posts your coil is positioned. The primary thing I try to do is make sure the coil isn’t touching any other metal parts of the atomizer. As long as you do that you should be good in most cases.

      • dani says:

        Oh, ok, that makes sense! It’s crazy how much info there is on the net that totally differs from other info! I just did my first micro coil following your tutorial and it’s working great, much better than that other one I tried. Now, I have another probably dumb question : how do you tell if your coil has a short? Aside from checking my batteries and coils on a multimeter is there something else I should be doing?

  3. Noah Eden says:

    Just found out about parallel coils today and this article was very helpful, will be wrapping one this evening.

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