Sub-Ohm vaping – The Ultimate Guide
Are you the kind of vaper who refers to themselves as a ‘cloud chaser’? Sub ohm vaping is an absolute must for those who love nothing more than creating vast impressive amounts of vapour. But how much do you really know about this vaping trend?
From getting the largest clouds to delving into those intense flavours, here we explore the world of sub-ohm vaping, looking at what it is, why it has become so popular amongst vapers, and how you can get the most out of your vape.
What is sub ohm vaping?
Sub-ohm vaping means to vape with a coil that is less than 1.0 ohms. Typically, using a low coil resistance of around 0.5 ohms with a powerful tank, sub-ohm vape devices mean allow vapers to benefit from a more flavourful hit that packs a punch and gives off much larger amounts of vapour when compared to other vape devices.
Is Sub-Ohm Vaping Dangerous?
Sub-Ohming has acquired a reputation for being potentially dangerous, and while it’s not suited to beginners, it’s when vapers build their own coils and mech mods that problems – fires, etc – can occur. Blast a powerful battery through a coil that can’t handle it and the coil will give up, the battery will discharge too fast and the result is a news headline.
Regulated mods have all sorts of safeguards, but if you are building your own then make sure you buy genuine batteries from a reputable dealer. Mechanical mods require advanced knowledge of Ohm's Law and an understanding of how far the battery can be pushed before it becomes a risk. You don’t need to be bogged down in the details of Ohm's Law if you are simply looking to vape with a standard device.
But these days it’s normal to get a sub-ohm mod with all the safeguards of regular mods. And most people can happily vape at around the 1.0 Ohm region without the need to go further below.
If you need more from your vape try a high-powered variable wattage or variable voltage mod. Sub-ohm vaping came about from the need to get more than what was available on the market at the time, but now there are so many great mods out there you might not need to sub-ohm at all.
What are the benefits of a sub ohm vape?
A sub-ohm vape is the ultimate in personalised vaping and can transform how you experience an e-liquid – but how? If you’re not convinced yet, here’s a rundown of the key benefits of sub-ohm vaping.
1. Intense flavour
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to what makes the perfect vaping experience, but if your passionate about a flavourful hit then sub ohm vaping is perfect. Due to the low resistance, a sub ohm coil can burn through large amounts of e-liquid at once, meaning you are treated to an intense burst of flavour with every draw.
2. Clouds of smoke
Whilst there are a range of vape devices on the market that can produce an impressive cloud of smoke, nothing can quite match up to the potential of a sub-ohm vape.
3. Throat and lung hit
Mouth to lung (MTL) vaping is popular amongst vape enthusiasts, but for those who prefer something a little stronger, sub ohm vaping is ideal. Thanks to low coil resistance and greater airflow, a hit on a sub-ohm vape bypasses the mouth and feels like a deep breath directly to the lungs for a satisfying experience.
4. Greater airflow
With most sub-ohm devices coming with adjustable airflow, you can cater your experience to your specific needs. It’s worth noting however that sub ohm vaping works best with greater airflow which is what achieves such impressive vapour clouds.
What devices are best for sub-ohm vaping?
Like with all kinds of specialist vaping, not every device will get you the desired results, and sub-ohm vaping is no different. Sub-ohm vape kits have been popular since around 2014 when the very first of its kind came out from vape giants Aspire.
Since then, the sub-ohm vaping world has expanded to allow both new and veteran vapers to experience all of the benefits with more ease than ever before. However, without the right type of vape kit, your sub-ohm experience could stand the risk of being sub-par.
Rebuildable tank atomizers
RTAs are ideal for those who want the freedom of building their own coils without the hassle of manually dripping. Unlike RDAs, rebuildable tank atomizers are a little more manageable for those who may just be starting out with building their own parts.
Rebuildable drip atomizers
Aimed at the more accomplished vaper, rebuildable drip atomizers, or RDAs are the more old-school option when it comes to sub ohm vaping. With RDAs you’re not just building your own coil but will also benefit from the experience of hand dripping your vape juice.
Whilst this certainly won’t appeal to all, this classic way of sub ohm vaping means you can switch-up e-liquids more quickly, and there are a range of innovative options on the market too such as the Vapeam Muse atomiser, which boasts an easy build deck and adjustable airflow.
Read our Guide to RTA and RDA Vapes.
Ideal for those looking for a quick and convenient experience, sub-ohm tanks use disposable pre-made coils which are better if you’re still new to sub ohm vaping or simply don’t want to spend time building your own coils.
There are a wide range of sub-ohm tanks on the market so it’s always worth doing your research to find one that suits your needs specifically. The Innokin Scion sub ohm tank comes with larger wicking ports and increased space for airflow to further improve that cloud chasing experience, not to mention its impressive wattage range.
What about sub-ohm vape juice?
Just like the right sub-ohm vape kit is required to get the most out of your experience, so is the correct e-liquid. Sub-ohm vape juice uses higher quantities of Vegetable Glycerin, or VG, compared to regular e-liquid making for a more viscous consistency.
VG is known for holding all of the delicious flavours of your e-liquid, and it is this thickness that makes sub-ohm vape juice so compatible with low resistance coils as they allow you to vape more liquid at one time, thus producing larger clouds of tasty vapour.
In short, standard e-liquid with a more even ratio of PG to VG would make for a harsh experience when used in a sub-ohm device. The higher amounts of VG allows you to safely vape and enjoy a smooth sensation that still delivers on taste and cloud production.
Nicotine strength for sub-ohm vaping?
Although sub ohm vaping is now more accessible to all types of vapers, opting for this type of vape kit can pose more of a risk if handled incorrectly. One area in which proper research is necessary is where nicotine content is concerned, as the power of a sub-ohm device could make for an unpleasant and potentially harmful experience if used with too much nicotine.
When it comes to sub-ohm vaping, e-liquid with 6mg of nicotine is considered as high as you should go, which is of course a stark contrast when compared to regular vape juice which can go anywhere up to 36mg. The main reason for this comes down to the amount of e-liquid that is inhaled with just one hit, meaning that the more nicotine present, the more inhaled with every puff. Thus, it is much safer to opt for no nicotine or 3-6mg.
If you are new to sub-ohm vaping, one way to easily navigate your way to the right nicotine quantities is to use shortfills. Shortfill e-liquid contains no nicotine and allow space in the bottle for you to add your own quantities, avoiding any risk of overindulging and allowing you to add as you go to find your own nicotine sweet-spot.
It’s fair to say that the key aspect of sub-ohm vaping, and why it has become so popular, is down to that low coil resistance. But how do you know which sub-ohm coil you should be opting for? Going for the wrong one could see your coil burning out in record time, so where do you begin?
With any vape device will come detailed user instructions that have been designed specifically with that product in mind, and sub-ohm devices and coils are no different. By following the instructions and doing your research into the product before purchasing, you can ensure you’re going for the best coil and tank to suit your needs.
Whilst any reputable seller will make this information readily available, it is always worth being at least a little aware of the following terms in order to help you make your decision.
If you’ve spent any time around vapers, you will almost certainly have heard the term ‘resistance’, but when it comes to sub-ohm vaping, this is a crucial part. Resistance in this instance relates to the coil of your vape device. The lower the coil resistance the larger amount of current able to pass through, thus the hotter your coil will get allowing for more e-liquid to be vaporized in one go.
Sub-ohm vaping works with a coil resistance less than 1 ohm in order to achieve that intense flavour.
Although coil resistance is imperative for a positive sub-ohm vape experience, so too is battery voltage. Sub ohm vape pens usually offer high wattage for a powerful experience, and this is as a direct result of high battery voltage. It is due to this that getting the right type of battery strength for your sub-ohm vape kit is crucial for a safe and satisfying experience.
Ohm’s Law is the complex aspect of sub-ohm vaping, and an understanding of how it works is important if you’re considering building your own RDA.
Three mathematical equations make up Ohm’s Law which relates to the three aspects of sub-ohm vaping: voltage, current and resistance. The Law is designed to demonstrate the relationship between these three components, and you only need to know two out of three values in order to calculate the voltage required to get a specific current.