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What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

15th Apr 2019

What is sub-Ohm vaping?

There is a lot of jargon to get your head around once you move into Sub Ohm Vaping. We examine what sub-ohm vaping is, how it works, and why it is popular. This is a basic guide. Ensure research and get advice when altering any device. Sub-ohm vaping aims to amplify both vapour production and create a more intense flavour.

There are plenty of sub-ohm e-cigarette devices ready to go. Using an e-cigarette that works with coils and a power level under 1.0 ohm resistance is considered sub-ohm vaping. The lower the coil resistance, the more wattage occurs.

This means that the coil reaches a hotter temperature faster. Therefore, this setup naturally amplifies the e-liquid flavour and aids vapour production. This is a must-have set-up for those serious about big vape clouds. Anything higher than 1 ohm is considered to be normal vaping or regular vaping. You may enjoy more vapour when using a high VG e-liquid and a “normal” e-cigarette set-up. High VG e liquids offer amplified and smooth vape clouds.

The popularity of sub-Ohm vaping (aka ‘Sub Ohming’) has grown enormously over the last five years. Sub-Ohm vaping is about firing ultra-low resistance coils to produce sky-filling vapour clouds. In terms of electrical resistance, 1 Ohm is pretty low. Sub-Ohm vaping mods, batteries and atomisers push the envelope even further. This equipment is designed to fire a coil with a resistance below 1 Ohm.

Why go for sub-Ohm vaping?

Vaping is all about choice. You can choose your e-liquid flavours, whether you opt for a high VG e-liquid or a more balanced PG/VG mix such as a 50% PG 50% VG liquid, nicotine strength, and more. Some different devices are available, sub-ohm and otherwise, for you to choose from. As well as producing outstanding vapour (similar to that produced by an RDA/RTA e-cigarette device), choosing the sub-ohm option allows you to ramp up the flavours from your chosen e-liquids.

Your vapour will also be warmer because it is heated at a higher temperature. This is something that many ex-smoking vapers have already experienced and enjoyed. In the recent past, sub-Ohm vaping had a cult status in the vaping community. Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction was (and is) the effortless production of superhuman vapour clouds.

Big clouds aren’t the only attraction. It’s widely believed that the whole sub-Ohm movement was originally driven by a quest for cleaner, fresher e juice flavour. There’s no doubt about the flavour superiority of a sub-Ohm coil wicked with organic cotton.

The increasing popularity of sub-Ohm vaping has helped to make variable wattage (VW) and temperature control (TC) mods much more widely available. By allowing adjustment of the power and coil temperature, these sophisticated mods allow you to vary the warmth of your vape. For some vapers, the experience is closer to the mouth feel of a traditional tobacco cigarette.

What do I need for sub-Ohm vaping?

The pace of change in the vaping equipment market is incredible. Luckily, for the vaping newbie, that means better equipment at a more affordable price. Just a few years ago, you’d need to invest in an expensive mod, a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA) and a spool of Kanthal wire. Before self-building your sub-Ohm coils, you’d also need to dig out a physics textbook to read up on Ohm’s law and basic electrical theory.

While a basic understanding of Ohm’s law is still pretty useful, you can now buy simple, sub-Ohm starter kits off the shelf from any vape store. The Geek Vape Obelisk 60 Kit comes with the sub ohm coil types ready to use with its powerful 2200 mah battery. The battery can be charged from any USB power source. This kit offers extensive control over your vape, including variable wattage, temperature control and adjustable airflow so it's an ideal advanced vape kit.

The Uwell Crown 4 Tank is well respected and comes with 2 x sub ohm coils Replacements are inexpensive and available from vape stores. This dependable tank must be teamed up with a mod with a minimum 55 Watt power output.

The Aspire Paradox box mod would give you the option of variable wattage (up to 75 Watts) and Variable Voltage, Variable Wattage and Bypass mode. These features are well worth having, and this top-quality mod is available at a very affordable price including free battery and free delivery.

Sub-Ohm Vaping vs Traditional Vaping: Key Differences Explained

In vaping, enthusiasts often encounter various terms and techniques that shape their overall experience. Two commonly discussed methods are traditional vaping and sub-ohm vaping. While both offer the opportunity to enjoy various flavours and nicotine strengths, fundamental differences set them apart.

Traditional Vaping:

Traditional vaping involves using a device typically known as a vape pen or e-cigarette. These devices are designed to operate at higher resistance levels, usually above 1.0 ohms. They commonly have a standard coil that vaporises the e-liquid by drawing power from the battery. Traditional vaping provides a balanced experience with moderate vapour production and nicotine delivery.

Sub-Ohm Vaping:

On the other hand, sub-ohm vaping pushes the boundaries of traditional vaping by utilising devices with coils that have a resistance below 1.0 ohms. This lower resistance increases power output, resulting in higher temperatures and greater vapour production. Sub-ohm vaping often requires more advanced devices, such as box mods or mechanical mods, which offer greater control over wattage and airflow.

Differences in Vapour Production:

One of the significant distinctions between traditional vaping and sub-ohm vaping lies in the volume of vapour produced. Sub-ohm vaping generates denser vapour clouds due to the increased power and airflow. This enhanced vapour production can create a more immersive and visually satisfying experience for sub-ohm vapers.

Nicotine Delivery and Throat Hit:

Another crucial difference is the effect on nicotine delivery and throat hit. Sub-ohm vaping provides a smoother and milder throat hit than traditional vaping. This is primarily attributed to the higher airflow and reduced nicotine concentration in sub-ohm e-liquids. With its higher resistance coils and smaller clouds, traditional vaping may result in a stronger throat hit and a more pronounced nicotine sensation.

Battery Life and E-liquid Consumption:

Sub-ohm vaping, a more power-demanding technique, requires larger battery capacities to sustain the higher wattage levels. Consequently, sub-ohm vaping can drain batteries more quickly than traditional vaping. Additionally, due to increased vapour production, sub-ohm vaping consumes e-liquid faster.

The Advantages and Benefits of Sub-Ohm Vaping

Sub-ohm vaping has gained significant popularity among enthusiasts due to its unique characteristics and enhanced experience. This vaping style involves atomisers with a resistance below one ohm, allowing for increased power and vapour production.

Enhanced Flavour and Vapour Production:

One of the primary benefits of sub-ohm vaping is the intensified flavour and increased vapour production. The lower resistance in sub-ohm coils allows for more electricity to flow through the wire, resulting in a greater amount of heat being produced. This increase in heat vaporises e-liquid more efficiently, leading to rich, dense clouds and a more pronounced flavour profile. The experience of sub-ohm vaping is often described as smoother, fuller, and more satisfying than traditional vaping methods.

Warmer Vaping Experience:

Sub-ohm vaping offers a warmer vaping experience, which many users find preferable. The increased power output and vapour production contribute to a warmer inhale, mimicking the sensation of traditional smoking. This warmer vape can provide a more satisfying throat hit for individuals transitioning from cigarettes to vaping.

Customisability and Personalisation:

Sub-ohm vaping allows for high customizability, enabling users to tailor their experience according to their preferences. With sub-ohm setups, vapers can adjust parameters such as airflow, wattage, and coil types. This level of control empowers users to fine-tune their devices to achieve the desired balance between flavour, vapour production, and throat hit.

Efficient Nicotine Delivery:

Sub-ohm vaping can be particularly advantageous for individuals seeking efficient nicotine delivery. The increased power and vapour production of sub-ohm devices allows higher nicotine concentrations to be used without sacrificing flavour or smoothness. This means vapers can experience the desired nicotine satisfaction more quickly and effectively than standard vaping devices.

Cloud Chasing:

Sub-ohm vaping has become synonymous with cloud chasing, a subculture within the community that focuses on producing massive vapour clouds. With sub-ohm setups, vapers can achieve impressive cloud production due to the increased power output and larger coil surface area. Many vapers enjoy the art of cloud chasing as it adds an element of fun and creativity to their vaping experience.

Battery Efficiency:

Contrary to popular belief, sub-ohm vaping can be more battery-efficient than higher-resistance setups. By utilising sub-ohm coils, vapers can achieve the desired level of power and vapour production at lower wattages. This results in extended battery life, allowing vapers to enjoy their vaping sessions for longer without recharging.

Wide Range of Compatible Devices:

Another advantage of sub-ohm vaping is the wide availability of compatible devices. Many reputable manufacturers offer a plethora of sub-ohm tanks, atomisers, and mods designed specifically for this vaping style. This variety allows vapers to choose from various devices that suit their preferences and budget.

Sub-Ohm Vaping Safety: Important Considerations for Beginners

Sub-ohm vaping has gained popularity recently as a more advanced and powerful style. It involves using a less than one-ohm coil resistance device, increasing vapour production and intensifying the flavour. While sub-ohm vaping can enhance the vaping experience, beginners should be aware of important safety considerations before diving into this style of vaping. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Battery Safety: Sub-ohm vaping requires a device with a high-capacity battery to handle the increased power demands. Investing in quality batteries from reputable brands and ensuring they are properly maintained and stored is crucial. Inspect batteries for any signs of damage, and never carry loose batteries in pockets or bags where they can come into contact with metal objects.

Ohm's Law and Understanding Resistance: Sub-ohm vaping involves lower coil resistances, which means higher current flows through the circuit. It is essential to have a solid understanding of Ohm's Law, which relates voltage, current, and resistance. By knowing these principles, you can calculate the safe limits for your device and avoid overloading your batteries or damaging your mod.

Adequate Ventilation: As sub-ohm vaping generates larger amounts of vapour, it’s important to consider ventilation. Ensure you vape in well-ventilated areas to prevent vapour accumulation, which could lead to discomfort or respiratory issues. Avoid confined spaces or areas with limited airflow, as excessive vapour can cause visibility problems.

E-Liquid Selection: Higher VG (vegetable glycerin) ratios are generally preferred in sub-ohm vaping. VG produces thicker vapour clouds and provides a smoother experience. Choosing high-quality e-liquids from reputable manufacturers is essential to ensure purity and avoid potential health risks.

Increased Nicotine Intake: Sub-ohm vaping can deliver nicotine more efficiently due to the larger vapour produced. Beginners should be cautious with their nicotine strength selection, as sub-ohm vaping may produce a more potent nicotine hit. It's advisable to start with lower nicotine levels and gradually adjust to avoid nicotine overdose or discomfort.

Choosing the Right Sub-Ohm Device: A Guide for Newbies

For vapers looking to enhance their vaping experience, sub-ohm vaping has become increasingly popular. Sub-ohm devices offer a more intense flavour, increased vapour production, and a satisfying throat hit. However, with the wide variety of sub-ohm devices available, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to choose the right one.

Battery Capacity and Mod Compatibility:

The first step in choosing the right sub-ohm device is considering the battery capacity and mod compatibility. Sub-ohm vaping generally requires higher power levels, so opt for a device that offers a battery with ample capacity. Additionally, ensure the device is compatible with your preferred mod to guarantee seamless integration and optimal performance.

Coil Options and Resistance Range:

The coil is crucial in sub-ohm vaping, directly affecting the production of flavour and vapour. Look for a sub-ohm device that offers a variety of coil options with different resistances. This allows you to experiment and find the coil that suits your vaping style and preferences. Additionally, consider the device’s resistance range, as it determines the versatility of the device for various vaping styles.

Airflow Control:

An essential feature of sub-ohm devices is adjustable airflow control. This allows you to customise the airflow to your liking, affecting the temperature, vapour production, and overall vaping experience. Look for a device that provides a wide range of airflow options, from tight to airy draws, enabling you to find your perfect balance.

Tank Capacity and Refilling Mechanism:

Tank capacity is crucial in sub-ohm vaping, as it determines how frequently you'll need to refill your e-liquid. Opt for a larger tank capacity device to minimise the need for frequent refills. Additionally, consider the refilling mechanism—whether it has a top-fill, bottom-fill, or sliding top-fill system—to ensure ease of use and convenience.

Safety Features:

When choosing a sub-ohm device, prioritise safety features such as short-circuit protection, overheat protection, and low voltage protection. These features help safeguard against potential risks and ensure a secure vaping experience.

Selecting the Right E-liquids for Sub-Ohm Vaping

Regarding sub-ohm vaping, selecting the right e-liquids is crucial for a satisfying and enjoyable experience. Sub-ohm vaping involves using a device with a coil resistance below 1 ohm, typically in the 0.1 to 0.5 ohms range. This lower resistance allows for increased vapour production and enhanced flavour, but it also requires specific considerations when choosing e-liquids. This section will advise on selecting the right e-liquids for sub-ohm vaping.

Max VG or High VG Ratio:

One of the key factors to consider when choosing e-liquids for sub-ohm vaping is the VG (Vegetable Glycerin) to PG (Propylene Glycol) ratio. High VG or Max VG e-liquids are ideal for sub-ohm vaping because they offer thicker vapour production, smoother throat hits, and increased cloud production. A VG ratio of 70% or higher is generally recommended for sub-ohm vaping, as it helps prevent dry hits and provides a more enjoyable experience.

Nicotine Strength:

When sub-ohm vaping, it is essential to consider the nicotine strength of the e-liquid. Sub-ohm devices produce a greater amount of vapour, resulting in more nicotine intake per puff. As a result, lower nicotine strengths are typically preferred to avoid excessive nicotine consumption. Nicotine strengths range from 0 to 6mg and are commonly used for sub-ohm vaping, allowing users to enjoy the flavours without overwhelming nicotine effects.

Flavour Selection:

Choosing the right flavours is a matter of personal preference, and sub-ohm vaping enhances the flavour profiles of e-liquids. Fruity, dessert, and beverage flavours work well with sub-ohm devices, providing a more pronounced taste. It is important to note that some complex flavours may require steeping, which involves letting the e-liquid age develop the desired taste. Additionally, selecting high-quality e-liquids from reputable manufacturers ensures a more consistent and satisfying flavour experience.

Safety Considerations:

Sub-ohm vaping produces more heat and vapour, which can strain the device and battery. Choosing e-liquids suitable for high-wattage vaping is crucial and does not contain excessive sweeteners. Sweeteners can caramelise and gunk up the coils more quickly, reducing the lifespan and impacting flavour quality. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your sub-ohm device is essential to ensure optimal performance.

A Peek Into The World Of Rebuildable Atomisers

If sub-Ohm tanks, with their disposable coils and massive e-liquid capacity, seem too tame, how about tinkering with a rebuildable atomiser?

Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA’s)

Evolved from homemade set-ups created by vaping old-timers. Even so, there’s still a thriving community of dedicated drippers who believe this is the way to go for the best clouds and flavours. The design is very similar to the atomiser in a sub-Ohm tank. Most RDAs are round metallic cups with electrical connectors for your self-made (or shop-bought) coils. The coils are fed by wicks – usually made from organic cotton. Before vaping, the e-juice has to be dripped onto the coils and wicks. The wicks must be continuously topped with more juice during each vaping session.

Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTA’s) have a slightly different design to overcome the hassle of regular dripping. An RTA's coil and connector deck are almost identical to an RDA. The wicking material draws e-liquid directly from the tank. You can carry on vaping if there’s e juice in your tank.

At this point, we need to say a few words of warning. RDA and RTAs need a certain level of skill and knowledge. Firing a dodgy self-built coil in a rebuildable atomiser can lead to equipment damage, burns or an exploding battery.

Is sub-Ohm vaping right for me?

While we don’t want to spoil the party, it’s probably worth checking if sub-Ohm vaping is your thing. Here are some of the cons:

  • Sub-Ohming is likely to increase your weekly vaping budget. Big clouds need a lot more e-liquid.
  • Big vapour clouds may be fun but will put you in the public eye. This can cause unnecessary hassle in public places and lead to grief at work.

What’s your vaping style?

Cloud chasing usually involves a direct lung inhale (DLI) style. If you’ve recently switched to vaping from traditional (analogue) cigarettes, you may be more comfortable with mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping. If you switch to DLI, you may need to drop your e-liquid nicotine level to 6mg or lower.

Sub-Ohm Vaping Points to Consider

There is a lot to recommend for a sub-ohm vaping setup. These points to consider are important and should be taken note of if you are looking to give sub-ohm vaping a try for yourself. Remember to get professional advice if you need more clarification.

Sub-Ohm Vaping and Batteries It is worthwhile considering that you will need more power due to how these devices work. In real terms, your battery will run down faster than usual.

If sub-ohm is for you, having spare batteries (1600mah e-cigarette batteries are often recommended for sub-ohm devices) and monitoring your battery usage closely is wise. When vaping this way, watch how hot your battery is getting. Switching your e-cigarette off is best to cool down if it gets too hot.

Sub Ohm Accelerated E Liquid Usage

Also, keep an eye on youre-liquid stocks. Again, as your cheap e-liquid will be heated higher than normal, you will get through it quicker. Watch out for dry vaping! No one wants a mouthful of dry or burnt coil-tasting vapour. Ensure your tank has enough e-liquid and monitor how fast it goes down. Thankfully we have a wide range of high VG e-liquid flavours at great prices.

Building a Sub-Ohm E-Cigarette

To build a sub-ohm device, you need to have a really good understanding of how e-cigarettes are powered, ohms, resistance and so on. If you don’t, buy a kit that is ready to go or do your research. If you don’t, you could easily overload the battery, and this causes problems which can be harmful to you.

E Liquid For Sub-Ohm E Cigarettes

High VG e-liquids are generally considered the best for use in sub-ohm e-cigarette devices. High VG juice naturally offers a higher vapour level than those with more PG. They also offer a smoother vape.

This is amplified via sub-ohm vaping. Remember the above points about nicotine strengths (no more than 6mg when using < 1.0-ohm coils) and that you will go through e-liquids quicker when vaping this way when making your choice. Thankfully we have plenty of e-liquids right here that fit the bill and are affordable enough to use in sub om vaping.

Maintenance and Care of Sub-Ohm Vape Tanks and Devices

Proper maintenance and care of sub-ohm vape tanks and devices are essential to ensure optimal performance, longevity, and, most importantly, a safe vaping experience. Regular maintenance routines can help prevent leaks, flavour loss, and reduced vapour production.


Cleaning your sub-ohm vape tank regularly is crucial to maintain flavour quality and prevent residue buildup. Disassemble the tank carefully and rinse the components, except for the coil, under warm running water. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush to scrub the tank parts gently. Rinse thoroughly and leave them to air dry before reassembly. For the coil, gently remove any excess e-liquid by tapping it against tissue or cloth. Avoid using water on the coil as it may damage the wicking material.

Coil Replacement:

Coils are the heart of sub-ohm devices and must be replaced periodically for optimal performance. Signs of a worn-out coil include muted flavours, burnt taste, and reduced vapour production. To replace the coil, empty the e-liquid tank, unscrew the old one and screw in a new one. Prime the new coil by adding a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the exposed cotton wick. Allow the coil to sit for a few minutes to ensure proper saturation before using it.

Battery Care:

Taking care of the battery is essential for both safety and performance. Regularly inspect the battery for any signs of damage, such as dents or tears in the wrap. If any damage is detected, replacing the battery immediately is crucial. Clean the battery contacts with a soft cloth or cotton swab to remove dirt or e-liquid residue. Ensure that the battery is charged using a compatible charger and avoid overcharging or leaving it unattended while charging.

General Upkeep:

Aside from regular cleaning and coil replacement, there are a few general maintenance practices to remember. Store your sub-ohm device in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or excessive humidity. Check the O-rings periodically for any signs of wear or damage, as they prevent leaks. Keep an eye on the e-liquid level to avoid running the tank dry, which can lead to a burnt taste or damage to the coil.

How safe is sub-Ohm vaping?

Modern vaping equipment is safer than it’s ever been. Knowledge is power, so keep yourself safe by visiting Reddit forums and watching YouTube vape videos.

The basic electrical theory will explain why your mod batteries must be the right way around. A little more research into Ohm’s law will help you to understand how voltage, resistance, and current make your coils glow.

Batteries are the most dangerous components in your vape set-up. Stay safe by choosing a battery that feeds Amps to your sub-Ohm coils. The Efest 18650 35A 3000 mAh is a great example.

These days, regulated mods are packed with safety features. Automated computer control handles short circuit protection, overvoltage and safety shutdown features. Even inexpensive mods like the IPV D2 75W TC and Kanger KBox 200W now have amazing features for safe, sub-Ohm vaping at high power levels.

Unregulated mechanical mods in combination with sub-Ohm tanks are potentially less safe. Good research and expert advice are vital if you’re a newbie planning this route. The most basic rules are a) to make sure that you vape with a vented mod and b) avoid sub-Ohming with a hybrid mech mod.

Is sub-Ohming a passing trend?

Over recent years, vaping store shelves have been groaning under the weight of new sub-Ohm tanks and high-wattage box mods. It looks like sub-Ohming is here to stay!

This doesn’t mean you must relegate an old mod to a dusty drawer. How about investing in a basic sub-Ohm tank? The interchangeable coils in modern sub-Ohm tanks like the Kanger Subtank Mini make slipping in a 1.2 Ohm coil and vaping with a lower-powered mod or battery easy. A basic mod with a 12 to 25 Watts power output will still chuck respectable clouds and deliver sensational flavours.

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