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Sub-Ohming 101: A How-to Guide

Sub-Ohming 101

Vaping has come a long way.

Back in the dark ages, your options were pretty much limited. The e-cigarettes of the day were mostly below-par cig-a-likes that were known for their negligible flavour, almost zero vapour and a low nicotine hit.

But the landscape has evolved immensely over the years. For the better.

What is Sub-Ohming?

In layman’s language, sub-ohming (or sub-ohm vaping) is vaping with a device whose coil has a resistance of less than 1.0 ohm. Anything above that (1+) is above-ohm vaping (aka regular vaping).

If physics is not your forte, an ohm is the unit of measurement for electrical resistance, sometimes denoted by the symbol Ω. It’s just like we measure length in metres or electrical current in amps.

Think of sub-ohming as vaping on turbo. Everything is amplified – the flavour, the vapour and the hit; even the device itself, bar the coil’s resistance.

Because in vaping:

Lower Resistance = Better Performance

And it is this better performance that makes sub-ohm vaping appealing to many vapers.

Here is what we mean.

Why Sub-Ohm Vape?

There are many reasons for choosing sub-ohming over regular vaping.

Improved Flavour

There is a way you can improve the flavour of a vape without a sub-ohm device: by opting for high PG juices and using them in mouth-to-lung vaporisers.

However, a sub-ohm setup is the cat’s meow when it comes to improving flavour. When coupled with the right e-liquid, the flavour you get from a sub-ohm is smooth and intense. The flavours are fuller and you can taste them in all their glory.

Massive Clouds

There is a reason cloud chasers use sub-ohms when going about their business. Sub-ohms generate thicker and bigger clouds and put up quite a show when used with high VG juices.

This is because in addition to sub-ohming VG juice, there is more heat being produced by the coil, which combines with the increased airflow to culminate in thick plumes.

Sub-ohms also have a wider mouthpiece compared to normal devices. This allows for direct to lung inhalation (as opposed to mouth to lung) which is the ideal inhalation style for cloud production.

Satisfying Hits

With bigger vapour being inhaled, it means a more robust hit of nicotine, and this keeps you satisfied for longer.

It is good to clarify one thing here, though. Since sub-ohms use VG-heavy juice, the nicotine strength in the juice is much lower. It is recommended to use less than 6mg e-liquid, although by default most sub-ohm e-liquids range below 6mg/mL (typically falls between 0mg-6mg).

This is because there is more vapour going into your lungs, something reinforced by the fact that most sub-ohms are direct-to-lung devices – the vapour goes directly into your lungs.

Due to the massive vapour being inhaled, however, you will still experience a satisfying hit, especially with 6mg e-liquid. For those who want to bump it up a notch, shortfill e-liquids provide you with an avenue to do just that.

These three are the main draws for sub-ohm vaping. The flavour and clouds take more priority over the vaper’s need to quench their nicotine craving, though.

This is due to the fact that sub-ohming is all about the experience.

How Do You Sub-Ohm?

As you will have surmised by now, sub-ohming requires you to have – yup! – a sub-ohm.

Originally, this form of vaping was a little challenging because in addition to having a grasp of Ohm’s Law, you had to be versed with the craft of checking the resistance, wrapping your own wire, wicking and dripping.

While you can still do that if you so wish, these days we have an array of sub-ohm tanks at our disposal that make the job easier since everything has been done for us.

Today, sub-ohm tanks are available in three major types:

RDA’s – Also known as drippers, re-buildable drip atomisers were the first in the market. These atomisers did not have a tank so you had to drip e-juice onto the coil and wick every couple of draws. High-level cloud chasers still use them as they believe RDA’s offer them absolute control, but the coils have to be built using pre-rolled wire.

RTA’s – Rebuildable tank atomisers are more like the upgraded version of conventional RDA’s. But rather than keep dripping every few puffs, RTA’s have a tank that holds the excess e-liquid. RTA’s are more like top-notch clearomisers fitted with a re-buildable coil. For this reason, they promise lots of vapour while still delivering a clean and solid flavour.

Sub-Ohm Tanks – This is the latest tech that has completely revolutionised the sub-ohm game. These tanks eliminate the hassle (and cost) that was sub-ohming, especially the headache of sourcing for the proper equipment, including a mechanical mod, good batteries, the right coil, organic cotton and more. Sub-ohm tanks differ from RTA’s in several ways, most notably the use of premade coils in the former, versus RTAs which necessitate the user to build their own.

Are there any Drawbacks to Sub-Ohming?

Not much.

The most obvious is the fact that since sub-ohm vaping is designed to bring out the best in terms of flavour and clouds, it is not ideal for users looking for nicotine satisfaction. Unless, of course, you work around this by using shortfill e-liquids.

The other drawback is the cost.

The nice flavour and thick white plumes are not without costs. The initial investment aside, sub-ohming also uses up more e-liquid, so running costs are steeper compared to normal vaping.

Is Sub-Ohming Dangerous?

Well, there is no definite answer to this question.

The truth is, as with any form of vaping, there are some potential risks if you do not follow the basic safety rules. A lot of the risks can be traced to the battery.

Suffice to say, if you follow vaping safety tips, you should be on the safe side.

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