If you’re new to using e-cigarette style vapes, you’re definitely going to want to know about how priming coils for e-liquid to get the best effect from your gear. This process of breaking-in your coils will make sure your juice gets worked through the device efficiently, and avoids ruining the coil and giving off a burnt taste. Priming is basically just making sure the cotton/wicking material has enough of the e-juice already running on and through it to ensure smooth hits that won’t burn the coil or your lungs. Does this all sound like a little much to you right now? Read on, and we’ll break it down real simple for y’all.

Priming E-Liquid Coils Cotton Wicking


First, some basics. Make sure you know your parts: coils, coil heads, atomizers, atomizer heads, wicks, burners – these are all pretty much synonymous, and whatever you call it, it has to be primed for best effect. Due to how most newer coils are designed, it can take longer for e-liquid to be absorbed. Priming is basically the process of ensuring the cotton (or whatever wicking material you’re using). This will help minimize the risk of burning the coil. Running the e-cig without a properly primed coil can be akin to running a car engine without water in the radiator; which is to say, begging for a burnout.

Priming Coil for E-Liquid


Some people go straight to soaking their coils, and if you wait long enough, this is usually…decent enough. However, even this is not necessarily a guarantee to get the coil effectively conducted.

For standard e-cig coils, it’s best to start by putting a few drops of e-juice directly into the holes on top of the coil; this will help begin the saturation process. If this is a large coil, then you can also add a few drops to the exposed cotton. Then, fill the tank with the rest of the e-juice. Completely filling the tank ensures a proper liquid level will be maintained for the priming process and gives the best chance of keeping the coil conducted.

Ideally, the liquid will fully saturate the coil before heating; you won’t want any dry areas on the cotton/wicking before you fire it up, as this will result in burning out the coil faster than usual. The more liquid absorbed into the cotton means the more efficiently the juice will be used, and there will be less chance of burnout.

There’s only a few units out there which really recommend leaving a bit of air (like the Joyetech eGo ONE VIT atomizer), so be sure to consult the instruction manual on your device. Otherwise, you can basically assume the tank can be totally filled.

Another way you can help prime the coil is to shake it up akin to using a drumstick; this is best used for eGo-threaded devices, so we don’t really recommend this method for 510-threaded devices (like most Kanger models). Anyway, grip the vape and lean it forward while the airflow valve is open. Air bubbles will start to flow into the tank, which will then create pressure to help push liquid into the coil. Don’t shake it too vigorously or the liquid will start to travel up the tube and on to your lips. This method is good for when you run totally out of juice but want to still use the coil, which is fine as long as the coil is still properly primed.

Priming Coils for E-Liquid - Submersion

Hitting & Quitting

Now, you can start taking dry hits, or a “primer puff”; this is when you pull from the vape without activating the heating mechanism. The suction from this action will help pull the liquid further into the absorbent material of the cotton/wicking, further soaking the coil and creating more conductant.

Start out by taking a few quick hits (5 should be sufficient); once this is done, try pulling at a low voltage if this can be adjusted. Be careful not to draw too hard or too often when dry, otherwise you risk flooding the chamber with e-juice and then eventually your mouth. On the other hand, if the cotton gets burned, unhealthy chemicals are then released, and your vapor will taste akin to burnt toast. You don’t want this.

Usually doing this for around 5 times should be enough to determine if the coil has been properly prepared. You may have to experiment a bit with your testing, as the specs for each device will vary to some degree.


Knowing how each part of your vape works, and preparing each piece accordingly, is a worthwhile investment for even casual e-smokers to invest in. What’s the point of investing in a cool piece of technology just to burn it (and your lungs) in the process? E-cigarettes and vapes are a great way to get away from the risks of combustion, so it only makes sense to understand how your coils work when you’re replacing them; this way, you keep things tasty and combustion-free.

Do you have any additional tips for priming your coils? Let us know in the comments!

About The Author

Content Specialist

Kevin is an everyman vaporizing aficionado who loves weird movies, noisy music, cuddling with cats, and turning people on to new and exciting developments in the vape world. He thrives on your rants and raves, so feel free to leave them both!

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