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Sub-Ohm Vaping

So what exactly is the deal with Sub-Ohm?

It's really not all that complicated. It's just a simple matter of resistance. 

For a while now, the "rage" has been Sub-Ohm vaping. To a lot of beginners, and even long time vapers who are just happy with their current set-ups, this is a confusing twist that really shouldn't be. After all, its not any different, we're really just talking about a variation of the same equipment and principles all vaporizers use. 

The Basics: Electrical Principles

Vaporizers work on very basic electrical principles, using a battery to power an electrical heating element which vaporizes e-liquid. While they might look different from brand to brand and style to style, they all work pretty much the same. Your battery provides an electrical current, which flows through your atomizer coil. That current, based on the resistance value of your coil, will create more or less heat. 

Variable Voltage

For those familiar with variable voltage vaping, this is a very simple demonstration of how the principles involved work. When you turn up the voltage, you are are increasing the current of power to your atomizer coil, which will make it heat up faster, making more vapor, more quickly. While you're increasing voltage, what it is really doing is turning up the "heat".

 

Sub-Ohm: Turning up the power (or down the resistance)

To this point, we haven't discussed numbers, but we've talked about resistance. Resistance is basically the difficulty an electrical current has moving through a given material. Materials like Glass are considered Insulators because electrical currents have a lot of difficulty moving through them. They have what we would call high resistance. Materials like gold, platinum, and copper are what we call conductors because currents move easily through them. They have what we would call low resistance. 

The Atomizer Coil

All atomizer coils have a set resistance rating. The resistance of a material is measured in Ohms, and for years, atomizer coils hovered in the 2 Ohm range. They were designed to give a single puff of vapor over a second or two. As vaping evolved, coils began to be created that had resistance ratings lower than One Ohm (thus the moniker Sub-Ohm), and these coils acted very differently than traditional higher resistance coils, and required a completely different kind of hardware to properly power them. 

All atomizer coils work on the principle of a positive and negative terminal with a piece of wire connecting the two. When a current (power) is moved through the wire, it heats up depending on how much power is being sent and the resistance of the wire the current is moving through. The variable that makes Sub-Ohm different is that the lower resistance rating means it takes longer for these coils to heat up, OR, you can make them heat up faster, but you have to use a higher current (more power). 

The Power Source (Battery)

It might seem funny to talk about batteries when you're talking about coils, but they're completely connected in vaping. Your battery provides current, which can be measured in Amps, Volts, or Watts. This current, however it's measured, will determine (in combination with your atomizer coil) the heat of your overall vape, meaning how much vapor you create and how "warm" that vapor is. Making sure you have a power source that fits your resistance is critically important. Batteries that are pushed beyond their capacity can fault or short catastrophically, so it's always important to understand the mechanics of what you are using, and how to use it properly. 

 

The Sub-Ohm Experience: How It's Different

Overall, there's little difference between an EVOD style tank or a SUBTANK. They function exactly the same, the difference is the battery you use to power them, the resistance of the coil, and the amount of airflow moving through the atomizer. In the Sub-Ohm game, airflow is a crucial component. When you're turning up the heat, it's important to have a way to vary that heat so you aren't burning things that aren't meant to be burnt. That's what your Airflow is for. 

Many Sub-Ohm vapers are what's called "lung-vapers," meaning they breath the vapor directly into their lungs like a breath. With lower nicotine e-liquids this is not harsh on the throat and produces the large clouds of vapor that Sub-Ohm vaping is known for. It is still possible to "mouth vape" on sub-ohm equipment as well, filling your mouth with vapor and then inhaling a smaller amount, but in general, it is poorly suited to this type of vaping. Most vapers who are making the transition between the two take about a day before they are fully comfortable with the switch, and few ever go back. Why? Most say they get better flavor out of their e-juice and a more satisfying overall experience. However, there are those who certainly are not fans and, even after trying it, will stick to their tried and true. Like a lot of things in vaping, it's a matter of what you're comfortable with and figuring out what works best for you personally.