What is Kanthal Wire and the differences between Kanthal Wire Gauge?
So you want to start building vape pen mods, you have an idea about Kanthal wire, but you’re not too sure how to use it right. Kanthal wire is pretty confusing at first, so after reading through this Kanthal Wire Beginners Guide, you should have a better understanding about the sizes that kanthal wire comes in, and what each size amounts to. When dealing with Kanthal wire the different size Gauge (AWG) will give you a certain amount of Ω (Ohms), so it is very important to understand which size Kanthal Wire Gauge will give you higher or lower Ω (Ohms).
It might be helpful to check out our Daedalus Coil Jig Tool
Kanthal wire is a ferritic iron, chromium-aluminium alloy and is used to build Rebuildable Atomizers (RBA’s)and Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA’s) for Mechanical Mods (Mech Mods). Kanthal Wire can be heated at temperatures up to 1400°C (2550°F). The actual type of wire size is identified by Gauge (AWG). Kanthal Wire can be used in many different sizes and on many different types of Rebuildable Atomizers. There are many different types of wick you can use to wrap your Kanthal wire around as well which will determine the outcome of your Ω (Ohms).
Kanthal Wire and Silica Wick
Kanthal Wire can be used for your silica wick build and in many different shapes, sizes and patterns. Some people do one turn on the silica (U Shaped), some use and “s” shaped, and some do pattens that cant even be explained. Silica is great with Kanthal Wire and there are endless possibilities when working with both of these items. Silica builds for Mechanical Vape Mods can generate some amazing clouds of vapor and depending on the type of Rebuildable Atomizer or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer your are using, great flavor as well.
Kanthal Wire and Ekowool
Ekowool Wick is similar to Silica in that its a rope style wick which can be used in many different shapes, patterns and sizes. Using Ekowool and Kanthal Wire will give you similar tastes and flavor as Silica but when working with Kantahl and Ekowool, the wick is a little more “intact” and wont fray as much as Silica. Ekowool runs a little bigger than Silica as well, so if you are used to a 3mm Silica wick, take a step down when using Ekowool and get a 2mm wick.
Kanthal Wire and Cotton Wick
Using Cotton wick and Kanthal Wire for Mechanical Mods will give you some of the best possible flavors you can imagine. Cotton is easier to work with as opposed to silica, but you are also limited to the type of build you can do. Cotton and Kanthal wire are a great places for you to start building Atomizers because the cotton and kanthal together are much more flexible. You can find Cotton balls at CVS or Walgreens, we recommend something that has not been bleached along with 100% organic cotton.
Understanding Kanthal Wire Gauge (AWG)
The typical Kanthal wire Gauge (AWG) ranges from 24 to 34 when building atomizers, and change in diameter as the Gauge (AWG) changes. To understand the Diameters of Kanthal wire you must know that the Higher the number Gauge (AWG) = thinner wire = higher resistance per foot and the Lower the number Gauge (AWG) = thicker wire = lower resistance per foot. When you are dealing with length, the longer the wire = higher resistance and the shorter the wire = lower resistance.
Below is an Ω (Ohms) chart for all you visual folks that will explain the Kanthal Gauge, Diameter and Resistance. Just remember when you are working with Rebuildable Atomizers (RBA’s) and Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA’s) that you must always BE SAFE and test your Ω (Ohms) on an Ω (Ohms) Meter before you hook anything up to your Mechanical Mod (Mech Mod or Vape Mod) and start vaping.
Kanthal Wire Chart – Gauge (AWG) Chart & Diameter Chart
Kanthal Wire Gauge (AWG) in Diameters
- 24 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.51 mm
- 26 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.40 mm
- 28 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.32 mm
- 30 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.25 mm
- 32 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.20 mm
- 34 Gauge Kanthal Wire = 0.16 mm
Kanthal Wire Gauge (AWG) in Resistance (68°F)
- 24 Gauge (AWG) = 0.17 Ω / in.
- 26 Gauge (AWG) = 0.28Ω / in.
- 28 Gauge (AWG) = 0.44 Ω / in.
- 30 Gauge (AWG) = 0.70 Ω / in.
- 32 Gauge (AWG) = 1.09 Ω / in.
- 34 Gauge (AWG) = 1.76 Ω / in.
Let us give you an example of what your Ω (Ohms) would look like:
- 24 Gauge (AWG) with a very short wire build, with 2/3 wrap (two coils on top, 3 coils on bottom) would give you a VERY LOW RESISTANCE which would result in VERY LOW Ω (Ohms). An example of your ohms would be .6 – .9Ω (Ohms)+.
- 34 Gauge (AWG) with a long wire build, with 7/8 wrap (seven coils on top, eight coils on bottom) would give you a VERY HIGH RESISTANCE which would result in VERY HIGH Ω (Ohms). An example of your ohms would be 2.5 – 2.9Ω (Ohms)+.
Always remember to make sure your Ω (Ohms) resistance and voltage in your battery create a current that is lower then you need per your Amps. Vaping between .9Ω – 1.9Ω is a very comfortable, soothing and delicious vape with any RDA or RBA. We recommend that stay between .9Ω – 1.9Ω to be on the safe side. For an example of correct and incorrect kanthal wire builds we are going to use the following items:
- Voltage: 3.7 Volts (Sony 18650 30AMP Battery)
- Kanthal Wire: Gauge 28
Example 1: (1.5 Ω) – NORMAL RESISTANCE KANTHAL WIRE BUILD
Here we are working with 1.5 Ω (Ohms) which is a perfectly normal build for anyone to vape. With a Voltage on our battery of 3.7 and a resistance or Ω (Ohms) of 1.5 we are in the clear zone. The combination of 3.7 volts and 1.5 Ω (Ohms) = 2.4 current or (Amps) which is less then our 30Amp battery so we have more than enough Amps to power our build.
- Voltage: 3.7 Volts (Sony 18650 30AMP Battery)
- Ohms: 1.5
Below is a screen shot of the Ω (Ohms) Meter App.Preview Changes (opens in a new tab)
There is a cool app (scree shot shown below) for testing your ohms/ voltage and current output called the Ω (Ohms) Meter App, the Ω (Ohms) Meter App can be downloaded for free at the app stores for free. We highly recommend downloading this app if you plan to build any type of Rebuildable Atomizers or Rebuilding Dripping Atomizers.
Example 2: ( .35 Ω) – LOW RESISTANCE KANTHAL WIRE BUILD
The combination of .35Ω (Ohms) and 3.7Volts = 10.5 Current (AMPS) which is less then the 30AMP battery you are using, so you are good to go!
Example 3: ( .09Ω) – EXTREMLY LOW (DANGEROUS) RESISTANCE KANTHAL WIRE BUILD
The combination of .09Ω (Ohms) and 3.7Volts = 41.1 Current (AMPS) which is more then the 30AMP battery you are using, so you will either need a battery with larger Amps or simply try another build with more wraps and higher resistance or 09Ω (Ohms).