A Beginner’s Guide to Sub-ohm Vaping
If you’ve ever considered trying sub-ohm vaping, odds are that you’ve heard it’s an excellent way to take your vape experience to the next level. Sub-ohm vaping has grown increasingly popular in the vaping community, but there’s still quite a bit of mystery surrounding this vape style – particularly for those who have yet to try it. The absence of widespread understanding of the topic has unfortunately led to a certain amount of controversy surrounding sub-ohm vaping, with many people unsure whether or not it’s safe. The good news is, with a bit of education and a smart approach, sub-ohm vaping can be a safe, enjoyable way to maximize flavor and vapor production.
Wondering how you can try sub-ohm vaping for yourself? Here’s a handy guide to everything you need to know to get started safely, including what exactly it is, how to do it, and what supplies you’ll need to make the most of your experience.
What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?
Many vapers are surprised to learn that sub-ohm vaping is actually rooted in science, specifically a physics concept known as Ohm’s Law. This law of physics was created by German physicist Georg Ohm, who established that when an electrical current passes through a conductor from one point to another, it will be directly proportional to the supplied voltage and inversely proportional to the conductor’s resistance. To break it down in plain English, Ohm’s Law essentially means that the lower the resistance and the higher the voltage of your device, the higher level of current that can pass through it (and vice versa).
In the vaping world, this complex physics concept has opened the door for devices that boost the amount of usable vaping power, allowing vapers to use lower resistance levels as a way to maximize the flow of current. This, in turn, produces incredibly flavorful, voluminous clouds that most vapers find impossible to resist.
How Does Sub-Ohm Vaping Work?
Initially, vapers attempted to bump up battery power as a method for reaching new flavor and vapor heights. The reasoning was that with higher voltage, higher power levels could be achieved. As it turned out, amperage limits quickly showed vapers that this method wasn’t going to work – so, it was back to the drawing board. It was discovered that when the resistance was reduced, a greater current flow was possible, allowing for flavorful, fluffy clouds unlike ever before.
Even for novice vapers, the concept of resistance level is something they’ve seen at least in passing. Atomizer coils are always labeled with their specific resistance level, which is defined in ohms and directly connected to the amount of current that will be able to run through that specific coil. The lower the resistance, the greater the potential for current (even as the voltage is kept constant). In turn, the coils can reach a higher temperature and more effectively vaporize your e-juice of choice.
Most standard atomizer coils fall between 1.5 and 3 ohms, whereas specifically-designed sub-ohm coils have resistance levels of 1 ohm or less.
In order to try sub-ohm vaping, you’ll need one of the following set-ups:
- An RDA (rebuildable dripping atomizer), which requires you to manually drip the e-liquid every few puffs
- An RTA (rebuildable tank atomizer) that utilizes a clearomizer and built-in coil (eliminating the need for manual dripping)
- A specially-designed sub-ohm tank, which is often compatible with a wide range of vape mods and uses disposable coils
What’s a Sub-Ohm Tank?
For quite some time, sub-ohm vapers had very few options when it came to their vape set-up – and plenty of challenges. For those that chose an RDA, manually dripping e-juice onto the wick was a major hurdle in terms of convenience. Vapers who used an RTA had a considerably easier time, and this option still remains fairly popular today.
However, when sub-ohm tanks arrived on the market, the vaping community was changed for the better. These tanks make it simple and straightforward to sub-ohm vape anytime, anywhere, providing an incredibly user-friendly, high-performance experience. Nowadays, most sub-ohm tanks can be purchased as an “upgrade” to the mod of your choice, as long as the mod operates at 30 watts or higher. The major difference between sub-ohm tanks and RTAs lies in their coils: a sub-ohm tank uses disposable coils, unlike an RTA. Now, you can easily purchase a sub-ohm tank from nearly every major vape brand, with plenty of options to customize your experience top to bottom.
The Best E-Juices for Sub-Ohm Vaping
Technically, you can use just about any e-juice for sub-ohm vaping – but you definitely don’t want to. Sub-ohm vaping requires a much higher temperature than standard vaping, and not all e-liquids can stand up to the heat. If you choose the wrong e-juice, you’re going to end up with a disappointing (and possibly very unpleasant) vape experience, with vapor that is flavorless or even burnt-tasting.
Pay close attention to the VG/PG ratio of your vape juice, looking for one with a well-balanced ratio. Additionally, you’ll want to choose a juice with high-quality ingredients to make the most of your sub-ohm experience. For some sub-ohm vapers, a slightly higher ratio of VG to PG is preferable for a reduced throat hit, while others also prefer lower nicotine levels when sub-ohm vaping. With a bit of experimentation, you can find the perfect juices for the sub-ohm vape you enjoy.
Sub-Ohm Vaping with VV/VW Devices
Another topic within sub-ohm vaping is the dual concept of variable voltage (VV) and variable wattage (VW). With modern-day devices, you actually don’t need to worry about purchasing a VV/VW device, because there are plenty of options for high-powered, regulated devices on the market. In years past, sub-ohm vaping required a certain amount of risk, with vapers manipulating devices to achieve high power levels that went beyond safe capacity. Thankfully, manufacturers now design sub-ohm setups that make it simple to calibrate to your chosen resistance level and adjust as needed, all while performing considerably better than old-school options.
Sub-Ohm Vaping Safety
No matter how you choose to vape, battery safety is important. However, it becomes especially critical with sub-ohm vaping. Make sure you’ve selected the right battery for your device and consider choosing an unprotected IMR or hybrid lithium battery. These types are among the most popular, mainly because they are typically safer due to their special structure and chemistry. Never use batteries from an unknown or cheap brand, and always toss damaged or dented batteries – it’s just not worth the risk.
Batteries with high continuous amperage limits are often ideal for sub-ohm vaping, though you should always stick to the specific amperage limit of your chosen battery. Also, take the time to do a quick check with an Ohms reader, just to make sure your batteries are at an appropriate resistance level.
Good maintenance practices are another aspect of all-around good vaping, but especially if you’re using a sub-ohm setup. Regularly complete a quick check of all contacts, threads, vent holes, and the switch, particularly focusing on the feel of any spring-loaded switches. Always use the locking mechanism on your mod as a safety backup.
It’s critical that you never use an unvented mod to sub-ohm vape, because you could be creating an incredibly dangerous situation. Vents are required for the escape of the high heat levels in a sub-ohm device, and also provide a way for gases to escape if the battery fails. Large vents in generous numbers are always a good idea.
Finally, choose a mod with a fairly low voltage level, preferably one with a single-piece tub, fixed position contacts, and a magnetic switch. These design elements can contribute to the ultimate (and safe) sub-ohm vaping experience.
Pros of Sub-Ohm Vaping
Sub-ohm vaping is so popular because it offers an easy way to crank up the flavor and quality of your vapor production, taking everyday vape sessions to new levels. With today’s sub-ohm options, it’s also a very safe, user-friendly way to maximize your vape. Plus, there are many ways to customize your vape experience when using a sub-ohm setup, allowing for the ultimate in flexibility and versatility.
Recommended Mod Kits for Sub-Ohm Vaping
One of the easiest ways you can prepare for sub-ohm vaping is to choose a starter kit, which will ensure that you’re set up with all the compatible pieces you need. There are a wide range of styles, brands, and price points to choose from, making it fairly easy to find one that works for you.
VaporFi stocks a great variety of sub-ohm kits, including many from the top brands in the vape community. Here are just a few of our customer favorites for sub-ohm vaping:
- SMOK Devilkin 225W TC Vape Starter Kit w/TFV12 Prince Tank
- Sense LinkedVape Arrow 230W TC Vape Starter Kit
- Wismec Reuleaux RX2 21700 Vape Starter Kit w/ GNOME Tank
- SMOK X-PRIV 225W Vape Starter Kit with TFV12 Prince
Everything You Need for Sub-Ohm Vaping from VaporFi
Ready for your first sub-ohm experience? Get everything you need to get started from VaporFi, your number one vape retailer. Our selection of sub-ohm vape devices and accessories are top quality, so you can shop with confidence knowing that you’re browsing the best of the best. From premium e-juices to sub-ohm tanks, VaporFi has it all at the best prices in the business.
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