What is Sub Ohm Vaping? The Complete Guide

What is Sub Ohm Vaping? The Complete Guide

Sub Ohming is the final frontier for many vapers. If you started out with a simple to use mouth to lung vape kit, you might be wanting to step into cloud chasing territory. Bigger clouds, harder hitting flavour and lower nicotine levels sound good? Sub Ohm vaping might be for you. If it all seems a bit daunting and you don’t know where to start, seeing as we’re a friendly bunch, we’ll give you the low down. We’ll explain what Sub-Ohm vaping is, how to do it, why to do it and then some.

What Is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

Sub Ohm Vaping Is Turbo-Charging Your Engine. Please Explain? Sure.

Back in its baby days, vaping had pretty limited options. You had a few rubbish cig-a-likes to choose from that delivered minimal flavour, low nicotine hit and hardly any vapour. Since its inception in 2003, vaping and electronic cigarettes have come a long way. Enter: Sub-Ohm Vaping.


Sub Ohm Vaping Offers:

  • Higher power outputs

  • Higher firing temperature

  • Beastly clouds and epic flavour

  • A truly personalised vaping experience

Why Sub Ohm Vape?

Because it’s better. Seriously, you can buy all the pistachio creme brulee or Heisenberry in the world, but Walter White would be ashamed of you if you weren’t Sub-Ohm vaping.

Monstrous Cloud Production: Sub-Ohm vaping will generate thicker, denser and bigger clouds, making it the go-to choice for cloud chasers digging their high VG juices. Blowing a nuclear cloud out your mouth might not go down too well in an office doorway, but if you’re lucky enough to spend your days in a vape-friendly environment, this is literally the bee’s knees. A lot of vapers balance out the pressures of vaping etiquette by carrying a vape pen to work and saving the Sub-Ohm clouds for the privacy of their own homes.

Smoother, more intense flavour: While high PG liquids for mouth to lung devices can pack a pretty good punch on flavour, they’re nothing in comparison to a well-constructed Sub Ohm setup. Manufacturers have specifically developed some high VG e-liquids to accommodate low resistance, Sub-Ohm devices. Dinner Lady’s range are perfect for Sub-Ohm vaping. Also coming highly recommended, are the trustworthy Element and our in-house 70/30 flavours like Watermelon Candy Coconut, Apricot Mango and Caramel Coffee Custard.

A lung hit that satisfies: Some vapers, e.g. stealth vapers or “MTL” Mouth To Lung vapers aren’t looking for a deep lung-hit. Those who are, however, will find that Sub-Ohm vaping delivers- like, woah. There are, of course, Sub-Ohm tanks- basically a tank with a Sub-Ohm coil in it. However - don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking that closing down airflow on a Sub-Ohm tank will get you a good MTL hit. That’s like saying milk and beer are identical, because they’re both something you drink out of a glass. While mouth to lung vaping replicates the feeling of smoking, direct to lung vaping is a deep drag straight into your lungs.

Enjoyment and experience over nicotine hits: You’ll never be robbed of your nicotine hit, regardless of how you vape. As long as you choose some form of nicotine strength (or save dough by using Short Fills), you’ll still get your fix. Sub-Ohm vaping really is more about the experience, though. The clouds and the flavour take priority over the quitting smoker’s desperate need for nicotine. You’ll also get less of a throat hit from Sub Ohm vaping as you’re using high VG liquids.

How Do You Sub-Ohm?

Back in the dark ages, Sub Ohm vaping required a good understanding of Ohms law, wrapping your own wire, checking the resistance, wicking and dripping. These days, you can still do all of that (if you feel so inclined) but there’s a whole world of outstanding Sub Ohm tanks at your disposal. They’re built at some super low resistances, can handle high wattage and compete with even the most finely-tuned home made coils in terms of vapour production.

With one of those and a mod that can push out 40 watts or more of power you can have a great Sub Ohm experience that’ll give you great flavour and those atomic size clouds.

As far as how you actually inhale, the style is a little different from mouth to lung vaping. When you mouth to lung vape (as the name suggests) you drag vapour into your mouth, then down into the lungs. Sub Ohm vaping, also called direct to lung, bypasses the mouth. You inhale much more deeply straight into your lungs. Combined with increased air flow, low PG/high VG vape juice and more power from your mod you’ll get super-charged clouds.

Coil Resistance - What Is It And How Low Can You Go?

What Is Ohm's Law? - For The Physics Geeks

- Source: Wikipedia

The laws of physics mostly serve, you know, to keep stuff in place. Your microwave doesn’t fly into outer space because gravity holds it down. Your clouds will however billow well into your neighbour’s lawn with Sub-Ohm vaping and here’s why.

When resistance is decreased on the device (measured in Ohms), more charge can flow through the wire and you’ll need more wattage to fire your vape. This subsequently ramps up the amps needed to supply current. While this puts a bit of strain on the battery, the solution is simple. It’s called top-of-the-range devices. Still, we need to explain the wording.

Ohms (vaping’s OH-EM-GEE): An Ohm is a unit of measurement that refers to resistance. Like feet refer to length. Or pints to volume. Sub-Ohm, as the name suggests, refers to resistance below 1.0 Ohms, although many clearomizers measure between 1.2-2.0 Ohms.

Calculating Ohms: Ohm’s law applies to vapers who need to know the following: the higher the resistance, the cooler the e-liquid (and the lower the resistance, the hotter the e-liquid). Volts divided by resistance = number of amps. Before you “what has two thumbs and doesn’t give a toss”, remember that the result has knock-on effects when it comes to flavour and cloud production.

Coil And Battery Safety

How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Sub Ohm Vaping Device?  

Depending on the device and the manufacturer, most atomizers will range between 0.2-0.5 Ohms. Vaping resistance charts are great for figuring out how the resistance and voltage should match up, plus they’re handy for showing which combinations are safe. However, regulated mods will intuitively adjust the voltage output according to the coil in your atomiser.

From there, all you need to do is adjust the wattage (most coils will have a guide for “best” wattage ranges written on them if you’re unsure). Have a play around, some coils will give a better flavour pay off at certain wattage levels depending on the juice you’re using with them too.

No matter your level of experience, it’s important to follow these guidelines as an essential safety component to something that can go dangerously wrong if you’re just “messing around.” We wrote an entire blog post on general vape safety (and the myths surrounding exploding vapes).

Sub Ohm Safety (We're Mentioning It For A Reason)

If you’re looking to Sub-Ohm, educate yourself. No-one is asking you to become Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but you need to know what you’re doing if you use an unregulated mod. Follow the guidelines below as law (they are, after all built on the laws of physics), or shoot us a message any time- contact details at the end.

NEVER use a hybrid mech mod with a non-hybrid safe tank. “Extremely dangerous” doesn’t even begin to cover this one. The tank here must have a protruding 510 pin. If you’re unsure, don’t take risks.

The safest way to Sub-Ohm vape is with a regulated box mod like the SMOK Alien, Vaporesso Revenger or Innokin CoolFire IV. Be battery safe and always use authentic, non-damaged batteries suitable for Sub-Ohm vaping. 95% of people use 18650 batteries though some mods can adapt to 20700 or 21700 batteries too. Make sure you never exceed the amp limit on your batteries. If you don’t know, ask. IMR or hybrid lithium batteries are what you’ll be asking the vendor for- these are protected against failure.

Mech mod users with a Sub-Ohm tank should make sure it’s always properly vented. Never use a mod that doesn’t have visible battery venting holes. If reading this made you want to vent because SHUT UP WITH ALL THE PHYSICS, stick to a box mod and speak to one of our know-it-alls.

Of course, you don’t have to Sub Ohm. There are vape pens and starter kits as low as £14.95. 2022 is the disposable vape year, so if single use vapes are your thing then look no further than Elf Bar or Geek bars. The great thing about vaping is the sheer variety.

Nicotine Levels

When it comes to nicotine level, if you used to mouth to lung vape, you’ll need to re-evaluate this bit when you switch to Sub Ohm vaping. Using a direct to lung inhale hits a lot harder than mouth to lung when it comes to nicotine levels. The general rule to apply is: halve your nicotine level or use a maximum of 6mg (whichever is lower).

Nicotine also affects flavour, so when you use a higher strength in a Sub Ohm device you may find you get a harsher, more peppery flavour. You also want to completely avoid the use of nic salts (unless a banging nicotine headache is your end goal - which we doubt).

Choosing Your E-Liquid For Sub Ohm Vaping

While you definitely want to drop your nicotine level and do away with nic salts, when it comes to Sub Ohm vaping flavour options the world is your oyster. Most mouth to lung vapers will use a 50:50 VG/PG ratio to get a good throat hit and decent flavour. However, with higher powered devices being able to vaporise VG better (VG is thicker than PG, so needs more heat and wattage) you can choose from a bunch of VG:PG ratios.

The most popular option is 70:30 VG:PG as it still gives a great amount of flavour pay off, as well as delivering on cumulus sized clouds. The throat hit will be super mild too. 80:20 is also popular though you can go as high as 100% VG if filling your living room with vapour is your main goal. Just remember - the higher the VG the more power you’ll need and typically the less flavour you’ll get.

Adding to our previous point on nicotine, the lower your nicotine level, the better the flavour and vapour production will be too. Most Sub Ohm vapers will use short fills, mix with a nic shot and use a maximum 3mg strength. You can lower the nicotine strength according to your tastes and preferences (especially useful if you notice a 3mg is a little bit much if you have a super strong tank and mod).

Pre-Made Coils Or Rebuildable Atomisers

Three Ways To Enjoy Sub Ohm Vaping

RDAs are rebuildable drip atomizers, a.k.a Drippers. These were the original way to Sub-Ohm, although with one hand holding the mod and one hand dripping, this is for the die-hard aficionado lucky enough to have two hands free. These contain a deck where coils are built and attached using a screwdriver, with cotton for wicking. You drip the juice directly onto the coils and wicking material every few puffs. One of the big benefits of these is that, because the juice is vaped off so quickly, you can change flavour every few puffs.

RTAs are rebuildable tank atomizers. Basically, for people who want to build coils but don’t fancy dripping. RTAs are essentially Sub-Ohm tanks that require a bit of coil building (in exchange for the freedom to create coils that give the exact experience you want). Recently, many RTAs have been geared towards Sub-Ohm vapers with appropriate airflow options.

Sub Ohm tanks use disposable, pre-made coil heads, which is great for avoiding hassle. You can still get an experience comparable to an RDA/RTA by picking something like the HorizonTech Sakerz tank . Bear in mind that Sub-Ohm vaping will go through a lot of juice, but most Sub-Ohm vapers feel it’s totally worth it.

www.vapesuperstore.co.uk contains general information about vaping and vapour products. The information provided is not medical advice, and should not be relied upon unless explicity cited. We do not make any warranties surrounding the health benefits, reliability and accuracy of written copy across all pages on our website, including blog content and content posted on social media.

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Author Image: Dan Judd
About the Author: Dan Judd
Dan Judd, Head of Digital at Vape Superstore, has been a pivotal figure in the company since joining in 2018. Beginning his personal vaping journey in 2015 as a means to quit smoking, Dan not only understands the products but also the transformative power of vaping. Armed with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management & Marketing from Leeds Beckett University, Dan seamlessly blends academic prowess with real-world experience. Dan is committed to educating the wider community about the benefits of vaping and its potential in leading a smoke-free life.

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