Resistance Wire - Kanthal/Nichrome

Discussion in 'Wick and Wire' started by TomCatt, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    There has been a run on the Kanthal A-1 resistance wire that's been for sale on eBay with the surge in rebuildable atomizers. I've done some research into the resistivity and composition of the various Kanthal and Nichrome wires.

    Kanthal is an alloy composed mainly of Iron, Chromium and Aluminum. The main difference between the composition of the different grades of Kanthal is the percentage of Aluminum.

    Kanthal A-1 has 5.8% Aluminum
    Kanthal A has 5.3% Aluminum
    Kanthal D has 4.8% Aluminum

    All grades have Chromium in the range of 20.5% to 23.5%.

    The remaining 70% - 75% is made of Iron.

    In my opinion, there should be no (or not very much) difference (in regards to vaping) between the different grades of Kanthal than the slightly different resistances (see the table below).

    Nichrome comes in various compostions. The main components are Nickel and Chromium.

    Jacobs Online carries Nichrome 60 (also called Chromel C). This is composed of 60% Nickel, 16% Chromium and 24% Iron.


    PnJ Resources carries Nichrome 80. This is composed of 80% Nickel and 20% Chromium


    At the temperatures we vape at, there should be no metallic vapors given off by these wires due to heat.
    It has been stated by a number of ECF members that Kanthal (A-1) gives a cleaner tasting vape than Nichrome and that Kanthal (A-1) is a stronger more robust wire than Nichrome.
    With either material, a thicker wire (smaller awg #) will, most likely, have a longer lifespan than a thinner wire.

    Resistance in Ohms/inch for the Resistance Wires

    Kanthal Grade----- A-1 ------ A -------- D ----- Nichrome 60 -------- Nichrome 80

    30 awg (Ω/in)----- 0.7 ------ 0.7 ------ 0.7 -------- 0.6 -------- -------- 0.5
    31 awg (Ω/in)----- 0.9 ------ 0.9 ------ 0.8
    32 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.2 ------ 1.1 ------ 1.1 -------- 0.9 -------- -------- 0.9
    33 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.4 ------ 1.4 ------ 1.3
    34 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.8 ------ 1.8 ------ 1.7 -------- 1.4 -------- -------- 1.4
    35 awg (Ω/in)----- 2.3 ------ 2.2 ------ 2.1
    36 awg (Ω/in)----- 2.9 ------ 2.8 ------ 2.7 -------- 2.3 -------- -------- 2.1

    Spreadsheet calculations for the resistances

    ETA: These ohms/inch numbers are a close average. Due to small variations in wiire thickness, if you cut a one inch piece of wire, the resistance may be +/- 0.1 or so ohms from the numbers in the table above.

    Always measure the resistance of a new coil set-up with a multimeter before attaching it to your battery.
  2. Suthrnbuckhunter

    Suthrnbuckhunter Ultra Member Verified Member

    Thank you...saved and printed...:)
  3. Suthrnbuckhunter

    Suthrnbuckhunter Ultra Member Verified Member

    Oh,and very nice spred sheet...
  4. Suthrnbuckhunter

    Suthrnbuckhunter Ultra Member Verified Member

    I actually just ordered from pmj yesterday,got the sample pack for 15.00 free shipping.I figured since Im a total noob to rebuilding,it would give me plenty of options to play around with...this info you posted will add to the enjoyment
  5. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member

    Thanks TC, quite a useful reference. :)
  6. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    If you find any errors there, as, let me know :D.
  7. WillyB

    WillyB Vaping Master

    Why didya leave out what is probably the best Kanthal for our rather unique requirements?

    Kanthal AE

    Maybe, but ohms for ohms the thinner wire will heat up much more quickly. A good thing?

    As far as taste, they are many who feel that it is the Kanthal that has the metallic/iron taste.
  8. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member

    Kanthal AE sounds nice, but I don't see anyone selling 32G (or awg). Got a link? :)

    For me I don't see it as a good thing, just more frustration. That's me though.
  9. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
  10. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member

    Hmm, 5lb for $250 from a stateside distributor is a wee bit steep. Maybe I should brush up on Swedish or whatever and go for the real source. Hopefully with all the recent demand some ebay sellers will ramp up their supply before I really need it. Trouble is my brother showed an interest in vaping and I was only able to leave him with a couple of feet.
  11. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    There's some ecig vendors carrying 32awg kanthal. Not sure about their shipping.

    Kanthal A-1 Wire, 32 Gauge .0080 Cig Cigarette
    32 gauge A1 Kanthal resistance wire | Silica Wicks

    AWG ------- Diameter ---------- Diameter -- Cross-section area
    Number ------ [Inch] ------------ [mm] ----------- [mm²]
    30 ---------- 0.0100 ----------- 0.255 ---------- 0.0509
    31 ---------- 0.00893 ---------- 0.227 ---------- 0.0404
    32 ---------- 0.00795 ---------- 0.202 ---------- 0.0320
    33 ---------- 0.00708 ---------- 0.180 ---------- 0.0254
    34 ---------- 0.00631 ---------- 0.160 ---------- 0.0201
    35 ---------- 0.00562 ---------- 0.143 ---------- 0.0160
    36 ---------- 0.00500 ---------- 0.127 ---------- 0.0127
  12. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    For the simple reason that I have not seen any readily available, small quantity sources for the Kanthal AE. If you know of any Willie, please let me know. I think I read somewhere that it is a much more expensive product than the other grades; but if someone starts selling it in (relatively) small quantities, I'll revisit it.

    I've not sat down and compared Kanthal and Nichrome(s) [and I have my doubts that I could discern a difference anyway]. But thanks for that Willie, I was just passing on what I've come across here on ECF. I had not seen anyone before saying that Nichrome gave a 'better tasting' vape. Although it would make sense that if there's going to be a metallic/iron taste, then Kanthal would be more likely to produce it with the higher iron content in it.
  13. slimest

    slimest Ultra Member

    TomCat, metallic taste etc is a fiction if you consider different heater material. Just use what is more convenient and useful for you.
    In commom Kanthal is more flexible and easier to make spiral. Also it is a little more resistant to heat/ And, finally, Kanthal has more resistance than nichrome - you need less length of Kanthal to achieve the same resistance. Sometimes it's pro, sometimes con.
    I use Kanthal in my atomizers.
  14. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    Thanks slimest

    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
  15. doats81

    doats81 Super Member Verified Member

    Great information. Thanks
  16. lefstep

    lefstep Full Member

    Nice spreadsheet, very helpful. Thanks!
  17. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member
    Glad you found it useful, lef

    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
  18. BJ43

    BJ43 Vaping Master Verified Member

    Supporting member
    Your wire chart on ohms per inch should be a sticky, I keep losing it, finally bookmarked it
  19. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member

    Supporting member

    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
  20. lefstep

    lefstep Full Member

    Useful indeed TomCatt! I'm looking to buy high resistant Kanthal for the Did and about to run out of the Kanthal it came with. From your spreadsheet, it seems that Kanthal A-1, 36awg is what I need? and the A-1 grade gives a cleaner tasting vape. I'm using the Did on a provari V1. Since it is incapable of going below 3.3 volts, I have problems with the 32awg. It takes forever to increase the resistance of the 32awg wire and can only heat up the coils by cycling to the provari's "AO" atomizer test. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
: provari, vamo

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