To choose a wire, it’s important to understand where it will be applied. For genesis-style or any other tank with a wick or stainless steel mesh you will need kanthal wire. For silicon or bamboo a nichrome wire will be a good choice.
Alloys differ in their composition, as well as characteristics.
Nichrome alloy, as the name implies, consists of nickel and chromium. It is soft and flexible, but more durable and does not blacken so fast. Kanthal alloy (manufactured by Sandvik Materials Technology) consists of iron, chromium, and aluminium. It features uniform heating and absence of spring effect.
Marking will tell you what metals comprise the alloy and about their resistance to high temperatures. Nichrome wires are marked Cr20Ni80, Cr30Ni70, Cr20Ni, etc., where the first number indicates the concentration of chromium, and the second – concentration of nickel. Kanthal wires are marked Kanthal A1 and Kanthal A1, with the former being more heat-resisting.
The thicker the wire is, the weaker the resistance.
There is no point in buying a VV model and trying to squeeze out maximum capacity from it. Optimal resistance ranges from 1.6 to 2.2 Ohm, and if it’s lower, we don’t recommend wrapping a coil. Five loops of 0.1 mm nichrome wire will provide you with 2.2 Ohm resistance, 0.2 mm nichrome wire (the most widely-used) – 1.2 Ohm.
Kanthal wire is usually 0.3 mm in diameter, 0.1 and 0.15 mm wires are used for making twisted coils that have larger heating area and higher efficiency coefficient.
An ideal fit for stainless steel mesh is kanthal ribbon wire 0.1 х 0.5 mm.
Diameters of wire can be checked in the AWG tables, where low wire gauge implies a large diameter.