With so many tanks out there, it can be hard to buy the best sub-ohm tank for your needs. This straightforward guide walks you through the process by explaining the qualities that differentiate vaping tanks. Are you looking for a quick way to enhance your vaping experience?
Here at Vapekit, we carry a wide selection of sub-ohm tanks that can instantly turbocharge the vapour production and flavour quality of your e-cigarette. Buying a new sub-ohm vape tank, though, is one of the most difficult decisions that you can make as a vaper.
How can you possibly choose the best sub-ohm tank on the market without actually using any of them? You can read reviews online or watch them on YouTube, but there's only so much that you can learn from someone else's subjective opinion.
In this article we will help you to understand the qualities that separate sub-ohm vape tanks so that you can choose the one that fits your needs with confidence.
Let's go through the basics. Sub-ohm vape tanks refer to ohms used to measure the resistance of the atomiser. At a particular battery voltage, low resistance coils operate at a higher wattage, producing more vapour and heat in the process. If atomiser coils have a resistance lower than 1.0 ohm, they are called sub ohm coils.
Related: What Is Sub-Ohm Vaping?
If everything else is equal, a coil with a greater surface area produces more vapour. To maximize the surface area for vapour production, some tanks use large atomiser coil heads with several individual heating coils.
Tanks with that design produce large, thick and flavourful clouds — but using a tank with several heating wires means that you'll need to compromise in some areas. If you use a tank that generates very large vapour clouds, you'll use e-liquid quickly.
A tank with a high coil surface area also requires a higher-wattage e-cigarette. If you use a device with a maximum output of 40 watts, you'll need to upgrade your device or choose a tank that demands less power.
One requirement of the TPD is that vaping tanks cannot be larger than 2 ml. Because some sub-ohm tanks have many individual heating coils, they have large atomiser heads — and a tank with a large atomiser head will store less e-liquid than a tank with a smaller head.
It'll also use e-liquid more quickly for the reasons described above.
You'll therefore need to refill the tank more often, which is not something many vapers like.
If refilling your vaping tank isn't high on your list of favourite things to do, you may want to choose a sub-ohm tank with smaller atomiser heads.
Do you use a smaller e-cigarette? If you do, you should pay close attention to the width of any sub-ohm vaping tank that you're considering buying.
Some sub-ohm tanks are very wide, and you may not like the look of a wide tank sticking out from the end of a narrow vape pen.
There's also a practical reason to choose sub-ohm vape tanks with a width that your vaping device can accommodate.
Suppose you're using a large tank that hangs over the edge of your mod. If you drop your mod — and the edge of the tank hits a table or the floor — you could end up with damage to the threading of your mod. Innokin Zlide, for example, is 22 mm wide, whereas the SMOK TFV9 is 28 mm wide — a big difference on a little device.
Apart from overall compatibility, factor in how large a tank you would feel comfortable and safe with when you make your choice.
Virtually all vaping devices released within the last few years support sub-ohm vaping. If you've purchased your device recently — and it is a variable-wattage device capable of reaching the suggested wattage range for a tank's coils — your device should support sub-ohm vaping.
If you have an older device with a built-in battery — or you're using removable batteries purchased more than a few years ago — you should check to confirm the amperage load that your device or batteries support.
Some older batteries and electronic cigarettes only support loads of a few amps — so they won't support a sub-ohm tank.
A modern battery such as the Samsung 25R supports a continuous load of 25 amps. Vape mods using two such batteries wired in parallel supports a continuous load of 50 amps. That's more than enough headroom to support virtually every tank on the market.
However, as a rule of thumb, you should always double-check whether your device supports sub-ohm vaping.
If you are using a drip tip when you vape, you should add its size to the list of your considerations when shopping for a sub-ohm vaping tank.
Drip tips come in standard sizes.Your two standard choices are 510 and 810. Some sub-ohm tanks have very wide mouthpieces for maximum vapour production and do not accept third-party drip tips.
If you need a tank that accepts third-party drip tips, you should check for that feature before buying one.
Some sub-ohm tanks are popular enough that companies have created third-party drip tip adapters for them.
If your coil wick gets bogged down with an excess of vape juice that gets into contact with the coil it will not be able to vaporise it properly, some of it will simply boil and, much like boiling water, create bubbles that pop up and out.
If the bubble bursts when you inhale, it will spit its hot liquid into your mouth, causing both an annoying or painful burning sensation and an awful taste. This event is known as spitback.
It is virtually impossible to avoid spitback entirely. A sub-ohm tank can generate massive vapour clouds, which is one of its main advantages, especially for cloud chasers. However, not all of the vapour actually reaches your mouth.
Some of it condenses inside the tank's chimney and runs back down to the atomiser. The condensed e-liquid forms large droplets that land on the coil rather than soaking into the cotton.
That's something that is hard to avoid, but there are other reasons for spitback too and some things you can do to help prevent it from happening or to fix it when it does.
Make sure you are using the appropriate wattage for your tank and type of liquid.
Look at the side of your tank or in the instructions to see what the manufacturer recommends. If you're vaping at the lower end of the wattage range your vape is capable of, it is worth increasing the wattage, a little bit at a time and no further than its max capacity, to see if that helps prevent spitback.
If your vape isn't hot enough to vaporise your e-liquid it is likely to start spitting at some point.
A high PG ratio makes for a thinner liquid and a thin liquid is not suitable for sub-ohm vaping. A ratio of at least 70% VG is recommended, but you can go higher.
When you prime your coil, make sure you don't oversaturate it with too much liquid or by dry inhaling too many times. Oversaturated wicking will cause inefficient vaporising and a greater chance of spitback.
Don't overfill your tank. If you do, your spitback is likely to be from excess e-liquid leaking into the coil chamber.
Depending on whether your tank was designed for mouth to lung or direct to lung inhaling, you might need to be aware of whether you are inhaling correctly.
Hard or heavy inhaling — whether long or short — or very fast, short, continuous drags are likely to draw too much liquid to the wick. This increases the chance that you might flood the coil, and the risk of spitback.
Try giving your vape tank a a couple of short, sharp flicks downwards — best done over a sink or towel. This should help clear off any pooled e-liquid.
If flicking isn't enough, take the tank off the device, open the air flow completely and blow through it a few times — over a sink or towel. Dry off any spatter from the tank and device, then replace the tank.
Hold down the button to fire your vape for a few seconds a couple of times, without inhaling, until there is no unusual popping, bubbling or gurgling noise. Just make sure you don't burn your coil, don't let it run dry. This can be an effective follow-up to flicking or blowing.
You can wick away excess liquid in the atomiser with a piece of paper or cloth rolled up thinly, by dabbing it in the centre of the atomiser to soak up stray drops. You can also empty the tank, remove the coil and let the excess dry off (but don't let it dry out) or rinse the coil with hot tap water and let it dry completely before using it again. If you rinse and dry you will need to prime the wick again before use.
Spent wicks are less absorbent than fresh ones, especially if they have started to caramelise. If that is the cause of spitback, you need to replace the coil.
Some sub-ohm tanks prevent spitback by using wide chimneys that help to deter the condensed vapour from forming large droplets, other tanks block the vapour path with screens or spiral inserts to stop spitback.
You can also use a drip tip with a spit guard.
If atomiser spitting is a serious problem for you, it's wise to buy a tank or drip tip with a design that mitigates it. Alternatively, consider using a lower powered vaping device.
Do you like a flashy vaping setup that can serve as a conversation piece, or do you prefer something a bit more understated?
From rainbow snakeskin patterns to plan stainless steel and gunmetal, you can find sub-ohm tanks with every type of design that you can possibly imagine.
Some companies — such as SMOK — manufacture mods in a variety of distinct colours and offer tanks with designs that you can mix or match. Other companies are more utilitarian in their aesthetics.
The physical design of a sub-ohm vaping tank is one thing that you don't need to watch a YouTube review to appreciate; just look at the pictures right here at Vapekit.
Considering the abundance of possible choices, you're certain to find something with a look that works for your style.
There are two ways to inhale e-cigarette vapour. You can inhale from mouth to lungs — as if you were smoking — or you can inhale directly to the lungs.
If a sub-ohm tank has a wide mouthpiece, a wide chimney and large airflow holes, it's designed for direct-to-lung inhaling.
Most sub-ohm tanks fit the latter category. There are, however, some sub-ohm tanks designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling.
Look for a tank with a narrow mouthpiece and smaller air holes if you prefer to inhale the vapour from the mouth to lung.
If you've never heard of the razor-and-blades business model, get ready to learn more about it when you buy a new sub-ohm vaping tank.
Sub-ohm tanks typically don't cost very much as the manufacturers earn most of their money from the replacement coils. A new atomiser head for a sub-ohm tank costs about £2-3 depending on the complexity of the design.
If you're thinking of getting one of those fancy sub-ohm tanks with many heating wires packed into each atomiser head, you'll pay more for replacement coils.
Choose a tank with a coil replacement cost that you can afford — especially if you prefer sweet e liquids. Sweet e liquids leave a residue that can kill coils quickly, or at least significantly decrease your coil life.
Every sub-ohm tank includes at least a few accessories. Although accessories alone may not greatly influence your buying decision, it's wise to compare the ones included if you're on the fence about buying two different sub-ohm tanks.
Some of the typical accessories that a sub-ohm vaping tank may include are spare coils, replacement glass, spare o-rings, silicone caps, and extra drip tips.
Spare coils are particularly valuable because a few extra coils can allow you to use the tank longer before you need to buy a box of coils. As a rule of thumb, it's always best to buy a tank that includes at least one replacement coil.
A sub-ohm tank should have a glass enclosure. Glass resists heat and can tolerate an occasional bump without breaking. Unlike plastic, a glass enclosure can also support any type of e-liquid.
For instance, some plastic tanks crack after extended contact with cinnamon or citrus e-liquid flavours.
Ideally, you should choose a tank made with borosilicate glass. Some manufacturers and vendors may use the term "Pyrex" to refer to borosilicate glass.
Although Pyrex doesn't actually make glass for vaping tanks, you can be fairly confident that a tank labelled "Pyrex" does use borosilicate glass.
The main benefit of borosilicate glass is that it doesn't expand and contract due to changing temperatures as standard glass can.
Since a sub-ohm tank can become very hot during use, borosilicate glass can help it retain its structural integrity and not crack during periods of heavy vaping.
Generally speaking, you can use any liquid you want for sub-ohm vaping. However, it doesn't mean you should, as not all e liquids are suited to be vaped in sub-ohm tanks.
If you want to get the most out of your e-cigarette with a sub-ohm tank, it's best to use a thicker vape juice that will produce a bigger cloud of vapour.
To be more specific, you should vape using a liquid high in the diluent vegetable glycerine (VG). VG is the thick liquid responsible for generating clouds of vapour, thickening the e-liquid.
And why a high VG e-liquid? Because it holds better in the sub-ohm coils. Keep in mind that a sub-ohm coil is bigger than a higher resistance coil. If the e-liquid is too thin, it might run through the coil, causing leaking.
When shopping for a high VG juice for your e-cigarette, look out for a PG:VG ratio (PG means propylene glycol). Best high VG e liquids for sub-ohm coils should have a ratio of 30:70 or 20:80 in the VG's favour. The thicker the juice, the more vapour it will produce.
Sub-ohm vaping has been the talk of the vaping community for a while now. Is sub-ohm vaping the right thing for you?
If you've decided to join the ranks of sub-ohm vapers yourself, we hope you feel you know how to proceed after reading this guide.
If you're still not sure and want to know about another option with a similar vaping experience, compare techniques in our 'Dripping vs Sub-Ohm Tanks — which is better?' guide.