Coils 101: The Differences Between RBA Wires – Kanthal, Nichrome & Ni200 Pure Nickel


Coils 101: The Differences Between Kanthal, Nichrome & Ni200 Pure Nickel RBA Wires


In the realm of mechanical mods and rebuildable atomizers there now are many different types of wires that an advanced vaper like you can use to create the coil that offers you the best vape you’ve ever had.

The most popular are kanthal A-1, Nichrome 80 and Ni200 Pure Nickel (although pure nickel wire is meant only to be used with temperature control capable devices and not for regular mech mods—more on that below). Here is a quick overview on the differences between these three types of wires most commonly used by vapers, so that you can figure out which wire works best for the type of vape you desire.


Kanthal A-1 Wire:

Kanthal A-1 wire is currently the most popular wire that RBA rebuilders use for their coils. This is due to its composition and characteristics. Kanthal wire is a ferritic iron, chromium and aluminum alloy and is heat resistant up to 2732 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kanthal became more popular than nichrome wire because of its higher melting point and it is more flexible and stronger than nichrome meaning it lasts longer in a build.


FIREWIRE RDA Resistance Wire Kanthal A-1


Characteristics of Kanthal A-1 RBA Wire:

- It is available in a variety of different sizes, which offer different ohm ratings when used with coil builds

- Gauges that are commonly used for RBA’s are: 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, & 32

- The higher the wire gauge the higher the resistance of the coil

- The lower the gauge the lower the resistance will be

- Twisting the wire will lower the resistance by half (you would have to double the amount of wraps you use if you want to achieve the same resistance as un-twisted wire shows)


Kanthal A-1 Wire: Gauge & Ohms Per Foot


Gauge AWG                         Ohms Per Foot

20                                       0.814

22                                       1.3620

24                                       2.1657

26                                       3.4436

28                                       5.4756

30                                       8.7065

32                                       13.8439



Nichrome 80 Wire:


Nichrome 80 is another wire type that gained popularity with vapers to use for their RBA coil builds. Although a lot of vapers still swear by it, slowly kanthal is starting to take its place. Nichrome 80 is an alloy of nickel and chromium, it is composed of 80% nickel and 20% chromium.

Compared to kanthal wire, nichrome is much less heat resistant at 2462 degrees Fahrenheit, but it heats up much quicker than kanthal. Because it heats up much faster, nichrome 80 is very popular among sub-ohm cloud chasing vapers.


FIREWIRE Resistance Wire Nichrome 80


Characteristics of Nichrome 80 RBA Wire:


- Available in many different sizes and ohm ratings for coil rebuilders

- Common gauges are: 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, & 32

- Has a lower resistance per foot in comparison to kanthal

- The preferred wire among sub ohm coil builders because it heats up quickly


Nichrome 80 Wire: Gauge & Ohms Per Foot


Gauge AWG                         Ohms Per Foot

16                                       0.2519

18                                       0.4002

20                                       0.6348

22                                       1.0155

24                                       1.6089

26                                       2.5711

28                                       4.0942

30                                       6.5000

32                                       10.1563



Ni200 Pure Nickel Wire:


Heat resistant up to 2624 degrees Fahrenheit, Ni200 pure nickel wire is a pliable and easily moldable wire. It is a metal alloy that has great thermal and electrical properties. It is not meant to be used on RBA’s as the only coil, this is due to the fact the nickel has no resistance.

It can be used to insulate the leads of kanthal or nichrome coil builds but more so, if it is to be used for a complete atomizer coil build it should ONLY be used on a mod that utilizes temperature control mods like the LAVATUBE 3 which houses the DNA 40 chip.


FIREWIRE Resistance Wire Ni200 Pure Nickel


Characteristics of Ni200 Pure Nickel Wire for Temperature Control Builds:


- Commonly available in the following gauges: 28, 30, & 32

-  Because of the Temperature Coefficient factor, only pure nickel wires can be used with the temperature control features of DNA 40 chip enabled devices like the LAVATUBE 3

- When used with a DNA 40 chip device like the LAVATUBE 3, the chip can calculate the temperature of the coil build by constantly measuring the resistance of the nickel wires when the device is activated. For this to be accurate though, the coil build must be room temperature before being placed on the device.


Read more about Temperature Control & Your LAVATUBE 3




Mech mods and RBAs are for advanced vapers only. They should not be used by beginner vapers who have no knowledge on how to use an ohmmeter or multimeter to check the resistance of their coil builds before use, or by individuals who do not have a basic understanding of how electronics operate.