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Sub-Ohm Vaping Guide

sub-ohm vaping guide


If you’re ready to make enormous clouds a part of your everyday vaping experience, you’re ready for sub-ohm vaping. Sub-ohm vaping is a style of vaping in which you combine a low-resistance atomizer coil with a high-wattage vaping device for extreme flavour and vapour production. Are you ready for the best the world of vaping has to offer? In this article, we’ll explain everything that you need to know about sub-ohm vaping and tell you how to begin.

Table of Contents

What Is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

Resistance — measured in ohms — is a property that describes the ease with which electricity flows through a component in a circuit. If a component has a lower resistance, electricity flows through it more easily. In vaping, the resistance of the atomizer coil is the figure that receives the most attention. If the atomizer coil in your tank or rebuildable atomizer has a resistance above 1.0 ohm, it’s an above-ohm coil. If the resistance is below 1.0 ohm, it’s a sub-ohm coil. So, sub-ohm vaping is using an atomizer coil with a resistance under 1.0 ohm.

What Are the Benefits of Sub-Ohm Vaping?

In a sense, the heating wire in your e-cigarette is like a water pipe. A wider pipe allows more water to flow through it. Likewise, a wider heating wire has a lower electrical resistance. If the lengths of two heating wires are the same, a thicker wire will have greater surface area than a thinner wire – and the surface area of the heating wire is one of the greatest factors influencing the vapour production of a vaping setup. Sub-ohm vaping is the by-product of the quest for more vapour. As people have built more complex atomizer coils using thicker wire gauges, the resistance of those coils has decreased. Using a sub-ohm vaping device means that you can use atomizer coils with higher mass and greater surface area for the richest possible flavours and the best possible vapour production.

What Are the Drawbacks of Sub-Ohm Vaping?

If you already vape, switching to a sub-ohm vaping setup will require a significant adjustment to the way you use your e-cigarette. With a smaller above-ohm e-cigarette, you’ll generally use a higher-nicotine e-liquid and inhale the vapour from your mouth to your lungs. With a sub-ohm vaping setup, on the other hand, there’s generally little air resistance. Sub-ohm tanks and atomizers can produce enormous vapour clouds, and the only way to achieve that level of vapour production is by inhaling directly to the lungs. Using a device that generates huge vapour clouds also means that you’ll need to lower the nicotine strength of your e-liquid. People who use sub-ohm vaping devices and tanks usually prefer nicotine strengths of 3 mg and 6 mg.

Switching from an above-ohm vaping setup to a sub-ohm setup will likely increase your recurring costs associated with vaping because switching to a device that generates larger vapour clouds means that you’ll consume more e-liquid. The good news is that competition among e-liquid makers in recent years has caused downward price pressure. Switching to a sub-ohm vaping setup today won’t cost nearly as much as it might have a few years ago.

The final potential drawback of sub-ohm vaping is that, if you’re a frequent vaper, you’ll have to make battery charging a constant part of your vaping routine. Using a sub-ohm atomizer coil requires significant battery power. If you buy a sub-ohm vaping device with a removable battery, it’s wise to also buy an external battery charger and a couple of spare batteries.

Is Sub-Ohm Vaping Only for Experts or Hobbyists?

Definitely not. There is an enormous range of products within the sub-ohm category, and many of those products are as easy to use as the smaller vaping device that you may already own. With some sub-ohm devices, it isn’t even necessary to inhale the vapour directly into your lungs. There’s a very big difference between a 0.9-ohm coil and a 0.1-ohm coil even though both are sub-ohm coils. Even if you decide to buy a sub-ohm vaping setup designed for direct-to-lung inhaling and huge vapour production, you’ll find that all e-cigarette tanks work in essentially the same way. Whether you use a tiny tank for beginners or an enormous tank for cloud chasers, the steps required to fill the tank or change the atomizer coil don’t really change.

What Do I Need to Get Started With Sub-Ohm Vaping?

To begin with sub-ohm vaping, you need to have a basic understanding of how Ohm’s Law works – or you at least need to become accustomed to using an Ohm’s Law Calculator. Ohm’s Law is a simple formula that allows you to determine the amperage flowing through an atomizer coil if you know the coil’s resistance and the voltage of the power source. You need to know the amperage that a coil will draw from your battery because every battery has a maximum safe current. You need to know the minimum supported resistance and maximum supported wattage of your vaping device – and the maximum safe discharge rate of your battery – before using your vaping setup with a sub-ohm atomizer coil.

Aside from a bit of basic safety knowledge, you need the following for sub-ohm vaping:

  • A vaping device that supports sub-ohm coils – many modern devices support coil resistances as low as 0.1 ohm.
  • A tank or rebuildable atomizer with a coil resistance of 0.9 ohm or lower – if the coil resistance isn’t under 1.0 ohm, it isn’t a sub-ohm coil.
  • At least one battery with a safe continuous discharge rating well above the amperage at which your coil will operate. For example, suppose you have a 0.5-ohm coil with a suggested operational range of 30-50 watts. Using an Ohm’s Law calculator, you’ll find that a 0.5-ohm coil generates a current of 10.0 amps at 50 watts. If your battery has a safe continuous discharge rate above 10.0 amps, the coil is safe to use with your device.

What Are Sub-Ohm Tanks?

If you already own a vaping device, you’re probably familiar with how vaping tanks operate. A vaping tank is a glass enclosure with an atomizer coil assembly in the centre. Using the tank creates a partial vacuum that draws e-liquid from the tank to the atomizer coil though the coil’s wick holes. A tank gives you plenty of e-liquid storage; you can usually vape for an hour or two after filling a tank. When the flavour quality begins to decline, you can replace the atomizer coil by removing it and twisting in a new one. The primary difference between sub-ohm tanks and other vaping tanks is that sub-ohm tanks have sub-ohm coils. To enable the coil to generate the most vapour possible, a sub-ohm tank usually has large airflow vents and a wide mouthpiece. Sub-ohm tanks are also frequently larger than above-ohm tanks.

What Are Rebuildable Atomizers?

Out of all the accessories available for advanced vaping devices, sub-ohm tanks are by far the most convenient and easiest to use. The problem with sub-ohm tanks is that each atomizer coil costs around £2-3, and a sub-ohm coil typically lasts a few days at the most. A rebuildable atomizer is a platform that allows you to build your own atomizer coils from heating wire and cotton. It’s a relatively small investment to buy a spool of wire and a large package of organic cotton, and if you buy your supplies in bulk, building a new atomizer coil costs a few pence rather than a few pounds. Using a rebuildable atomizer rather than a sub-ohm tank greatly reduces the cost of sub-ohm vaping.

Aside from reducing your recurring expenses, rebuildable atomizers have an additional benefit in that they typically allow you to build much larger atomizer coils than would fit in a sub-ohm tank. As you learned at the beginning of this guide, a coil with greater surface area can produce more vapour. When your coil building skill increases, you can coax far more vapour out of a rebuildable atomizer than you can a sub-ohm tank.

The drawback of rebuildable atomizers is that they lack the convenience of sub-ohm tanks. Replacing the coil in a sub-ohm tank is as simple as screwing in a new component. It takes only a few seconds. Building a coil from scratch involves several steps including wrapping heating wire around a post to create a coil shape, mounting the coil, trimming the wire leads, checking the coil’s resistance and more. Building a new coil may take up to 20-30 minutes. Only you can decide whether the time expenditure is worthwhile.

Learn More: Advanced Vaping Guide

Can I Use a Sub-Ohm Tank or Atomizer With the Device I Already Have?

If you purchased your vaping device within the last year or two – and it has a removable tank – there’s a good chance that it supports sub-ohm vaping. Look for the specifications of your device in the instruction manual or online to determine the device’s minimum supported coil resistance. You also need to know the device’s operational range in watts. If the sub-ohm tank that you want to use has a coil resistance and suggested wattage range that your device supports, the tank will work with your device.

If your device has a removable battery, you also need to know the battery’s maximum supported continuous current. Use an Ohm’s Law calculator to find out how many amps a given wattage and coil resistance would draw from your battery. If the amperage would be higher than what your battery supports, you’ll need to upgrade your battery.

Is Sub-Ohm Vaping Dangerous?

If you read the news, you’ve probably noticed that some people have experienced terrible accidents when vaping. Lithium-ion batteries are incredibly powerful and can vent hot gas when overloaded. In an enclosed chamber – such as the battery compartment of a vaping device – a venting battery can cause an explosion.

Most e-cigarette battery explosions happen due to user error when using mechanical mods. A mechanical mod is a device with a battery tube, a physical switch and no electronic components. A mechanical mod has no safety features, so using one means that you’re responsible for understanding battery technology and looking out for your own safety.

We sell no mechanical mods at Vapekit. The vape kits that you’ll find in our store have electronically regulated power delivery and multiple built-in safety features. A typical regulated vaping device has safety features that protect you from short circuits, incorrect battery installation, overheating and unsafe battery discharge rates. If you’re using a regulated device with built-in safety circuits, there’s nothing dangerous about sub-ohm vaping.

If you’re going to use any device with a removable lithium-ion battery – whether it’s a vaping device or a flashlight – you need to handle your batteries with special care. Don’t carry loose batteries in your pocket; carry them in enclosures that protect the wrappers and terminals. Every surface of a battery is conductive; recycle or re-wrap batteries with visible damage to their outer wrappers. Never exceed the safe continuous discharge rates of your batteries. Don’t leave batteries in a charger overnight, and never charge batteries while you’re out of the house.