Sub-Ohm Vaping | The Ultimate Guide

When current passes through a conductor, it meets resistance. The measurement unit for resistance is  the Ohm. Vaping with coils that have a resistance of less than 1 Ohm is known as sub-ohm vaping. Sub-ohm vaping has undergone a considerable transformation over the past couple of years. Nowadays, it is easy to find prebuilt batteries that are capable of sub-ohm vaping. Also, it is easy to find readymade coils for this kind of vaping. In the past, you had to make your own coils and use them in a mechanical mod. What makes sub-ohm vaping most enjoyable for most vapers is the large clouds it enables them to produce. Here’s everything you need to know about sub-ohming:

How does sub-Ohm vaping work?

In this approach to vaping, you increase the battery power on your device to get more clouds. Power alone, however, leads to excessive heating. Excessive heating for a long time damages coils, causes the vapor to be uncomfortably hot — burning your wick. To avoid this when using high battery power, sub-ohmers combine low resistance coils with more airflow. Opening the air holes of your device fully ensures that you get enough vapor and it prevents high power from diminishing the quality of your vape.

How does a low resistance coil improve sub-ohm vaping?

The less than 1 Ohm resistance in coils allows more electricity to flow; hence more energy gets into your vaping device. High current enables the coils to heat up faster and reach higher temperatures than those with which coils with more than 1 Ohm can reach. As a result, the coil can heat up more e-juice. This kind of heating combined with good airflow leads to excellent cloud production. It is important to note that because more e-juice is heated up, your sub-Ohm tank will run out of juice quicker than other vape devices above 1 Ohm do.

What is a sub-Ohm tank?

Sub-ohm tank is both a generic and specific marketing term. Generically, a sub-Ohm tank is any atomizer where the resistance of the coil is less than 1 Ohm. As a marketing term, it refers to a tank with a coil resistance of less than 1 Ohm that comes with a pre-made removable atomizer head containing coils and wicking material which screws into the base of the tank and can be replaced with a new head. Sub-Ohm tanks are also referred to as sub-Ohm clearo ranks, sub ohm clearomizers, or sub tanks.

What is the difference between sub-ohm tanks and RTAs?

Sub-Ohm tanks and Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTA) are both used for sub-Ohm vaping and as a beginner, you might wonder what sets the two apart. Sub-tanks use pre-made factory coil heads while RTAs have a deck on which you can install your own homemade coil heads and wicks or those which you buy from a manufacturer. Manufacturers nowadays, however, offer RBA deck heads for sub-tanks, and this has diminished the clear lines that define the two sub-ohm vaping devices.

RTAs have more spacious high-quality build decks, but sub ohm tanks are also catching up with that. Some manufacturers now make clearo ranks with great velocity-style build decks. Generally, RTAs have features that sub tanks lack, such as e-liquid flow control.

How can I get the most out of my sub-ohm vaping device?

Keep tissues or paper towels

Sub ohm vaping is pretty messy. E-liquid gets spilled and leaks often and this could gunk up your air holes and require you to use more power to get enough vapor. To prevent this, open your device often and clean excess e-juice with tissue or paper towels. 

Replace coils when necessary

If you notice that the flavor and vapor that your device produces has diminished, it is time to change your coils. Coils get damaged in one of two ways, the wicks get burned and stop soaking up with e-juice or the coils gunk up with residues. When refilling your tank, always look at the wicking material. If it appears blackened, change your coils.

Prime and break in coils

New coil heads should be primed before first use. Priming helps to eliminate dry hits, optimize flavor intensity, and increase the longevity of a coil. To prime your coil, place drops of e-liquid on the wicks till they are entirely soaked up then fill the tank with e-liquid and take 4-5 gentle draws without firing your sub tanks. Leave the wicks to absorb the juice for ten minutes. After the time elapses, use a tissue to drain excess e-liquid.

After completing these steps, break in your coil by starting it at a lower than usual wattage and working your way up to your standard wattage. Ensure the first 10 draws you take are shorter than usual. Breaking in prevents excessive heating of the new wire.

Is sub-ohm vaping different from regular vaping?

Aside from the usual less than 1 Ohm coil resistance, sub ohm vaping differs from regular vaping in many ways:

Sub ohm vaping uses the direct to lung vaping method which gives a more satisfactory throat hit compared to the mouth to lung method used with regular vape devices. Sub ohmers prefer direct to lung vaping because the volume of your lungs allows you to take in more vapor and as a result, produce more clouds. 

Sub ohm devices tend to use up more battery power, and you cannot use as much nicotine as you use in regular vaping. In addition to this, sub-ohm vaping is more about cloud production. More significant clouds require more juice so this approach to vaping consumes more e-juice compared to regular vaping. 

Can I use any e-juice for sub-ohm vaping?

This vaping is best done with high viscosity VG based e-juices. VG based juices are suitable for immense cloud production. Also, because they are thick, they do not vaporize as fast as PG based ones and this prevents your wicks from getting burned.

Which nicotine levels should I use for sub-ohm vaping?

When sub ohming, your body absorbs more nicotine due to the immense amounts of vapor produced. That said, you cannot use regular vaping nicotine levels for sub ohming as you risk getting painful throat hits. Most vapers use a concentration of 1 to 3mg/ml nicotine.

How low can I go into resistance?

Some vape devices go as low as 0.16 Ohm; hence you can go very low. It is worthy to note that the lower the resistance, the more the power required to power up your device. A 0.16 Ohm coil, for example, cannot power up on a device with less than 50 watts. In fact, to get decent clouds from it, you will need to go to 70 watts and above.

If you are just starting out, you should use less extreme coils and lower wattages. In doing so, you minimize the risk of burning your coils.

What is temperature control in sub-ohm vaping?

Temperature control is a great way to prevent coils from burning up, and that is why some manufacturers add this useful feature to tanks. Traditional devices allow you to control temperature by adjusting air holes which you can open halfway or fully depending on the amount of airflow you want. 

Temperature control devices measure the resistance of your coil and work out the appropriate temperature for the wattage you are vaping on.

When you set your battery to 70 watts, for instance, your battery will continuously send 70 watts to your coils. When you take very long drags, your coils heat up more, and once the temperatures become too high, you lose flavor and risk burning your wicks.

Temperature control devices minimize the power sent to your coils by maintaining a constant temperature in the device. 

Is sub-Ohm vaping safe?

Sub-ohm vaping can be risky. You’ve probably heard that some people have had devices explode in their faces or hands. When done incorrectly, sub ohm vaping can cause fires or dangerous explosions. Thus, it is essential to understand the Ohm law before beginning this approach to vaping. This law comes in handy if you have to make your coils or when you are installing pre-built coils. It helps you to understand how high you can go regarding voltage/wattage and minimizes the risk of fires and explosions.

Also, ensure that you take battery safety measures such as transporting batteries in cases and avoiding overcharging them. Once the life of your batteries is diminished, make sure you buy replacement batteries from trusted manufacturers, and not dubious online sources. 

Most importantly, do not use a hybrid mechanical mod on a non-hybrid tank. Tanks for mechanical mods ought to have protruding 510 pins. Mechanical mods should have enough air holes for ventilation. If you are unsure about the tank to use, buy regulated boxes from manufacturers. 

What are the benefits of sub-ohm vaping?

Sub-ohm vaping has many benefits:

The first and most apparent is vapor production. Sub ohm vaping offers satisfaction to cloud chasers by enabling them to achieve dense clouds and do vape tricks with them. This approach to vaping is preferred by vapers who want to take their vaping experience to a whole new level — like competing in vaping competitions.

Secondly, sub ohming gives intense flavor to vapers which is very enjoyable. The increased vapor in sub ohm tanks enables you to enjoy more intense flavor compared to that which conventional vape devices would offer you. 

Finally, sub ohm tanks produce warmer vapor which is cooled down by the air holes so that it does not burn your lips. This warm vapor satisfies nicotine cravings better.

What are the cons of sub ohm vaping?

First, too much vapor can be overwhelming and even be irritating in public places. Most non-vapers tend to view vaping as dangerous when they see the intense cloud produced by sub ohm devices. 

Secondly, sub ohm vaping consumes more e-juice which might prove to be expensive in the long run. 

Finally, because of the high temperatures used, coils and wicks tend to burn out faster, and replacement needs to be done every one to two weeks.

Final take

Sub ohm vaping is considered the best type of vaping by people who use it. Once most people begin sub ohming, they never want to go back to regular vaping. The nicotine satisfaction is great, and you get an intense flavor and huge clouds. However, before you begin, it is crucial to understand ohm law and general sub-ohm safety. This guide will help you have smooth sailing.

You may also like our article on vape wattage!

Caroline Sparks

Writer, Vaper, Advocate Have an idea? Comment below!

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