Last updated on March 30th, 2018
Is Sub-Ohm Vaping Safe or Dangerous?
Sub-ohm vaping is becoming very popular, especially with advanced vapers who want more control of their vaporizers. They want to create greater flavor and cloud production. Although advanced vaporizers capable of handling the heat generated by these “low resistance” coils are available from reputable ecig companies, sub-ohm vaping still comes with risks. You could have problems such as overheating your battery and burning out your coils, (not to mention burning your throat).
Definition of Sub-ohm Vaping
Best ECigarette Guide’s Glossary of Vaping Terms describes sub-ohm vaping as a method to create greater vapor production – where the ohms of the coils have a resistance of less than one ohm. Resistance is directly related to how hot things get.
Atomizer coils with low electrical resistance (lower ohm numbers) create more heat and a warmer vapor. Those with high resistance (or higher ohm numbers) produce a cooler vapor.
When the ohm resistance decreases, the amperage, (the amount of electricity used) must increase, so a higher wattage is needed.
Very technically speaking, your battery’s voltage and atomizer’s ohms determine your final wattage. Voltage (volts) means electrical pressure (or the force of the electricity) while the ohms resist that pressure.
Is Sub-ohm Vaping Safe?
Yes and No. Increased amperage puts a strain on the battery creating a lot of heat. Your atomizer coils get pretty hot too. That’s why it’s imperative that you are aware of the amperage limit of your battery. If you go over that limit, your coils can set fire or worse, your battery can explode.
Sub-ohm vaping is possible (and pleasurable), but you really have to pay attention and follow the directions. This applies even when vaping on a practically fool-proof advanced vaporizer which adjusts the voltage automatically to the wattage. Most of the better vapor companies sell these types of Vape Mods.
I know it’s easy to get carried away experimenting with home-made coils, sub-ohm attys and over 50 watts of power. After all, massive clouds are very cool, but they will never be bigger than an “exploding ecig” headline.
Tips for Safe Sub-ohm Vaping
- Keep it Clean
A clean ecig always improves your vaping experience, but when it comes to sub-ohm vaping, keeping your tank, atomizer, threads, vent holes, and contacts clean keeps things from clogging and malfunctioning.
- Give it Air
All sub-ohm experts will tell you that air supply will not only make your sub-ohm vape more pleasurable, it will keep your vape product from overheating. I’m talking about getting a clearomizer (tank) that has adjustable air holes such as an Aspire Nautilus or any of VaporFi’s advanced tanks.
As for your battery, it needs air too, or I should say proper ventilation. The vents allow heat to escape during normal use, but they also allow gases to vent just in case of battery failure. There are some unvented MODs out there you should avoid like the plague. Stick with the top commercially available models that are well vented.
- Be Mindful of Warning Messages
All of the top Vape Mods will have warning indicators that let you know if you’re battery is getting too hot. They don’t (as yet) come with alarms or whistles, so pay attention to any messages that appear on your battery.
- Mind the Drop
Look for a MOD vaporizer that has a low voltage drop. What’s that? When the electricity travels from your battery, through your device to your coils there is a drop in voltage that is measurable. If it has to pass through several chambers, the drop increases. It’s best to avoid MODs and tubes that have several movable parts (like a telescoping tube). Choose a single piece box or tube.
Ready to buy a high powered Mech Mod? Here’s the ultimate safety guide
Vaporizer Battery Selection and Safety
Many advanced MOD vaporizers that offer higher wattage capabilities (usually 7w-50w) are excellent for low ohm/high voltage vaping. Again, read the product description before you buy your Vape Kit. If the kit comes from a reputable source and is designed for Sub-ohm vaping, you can purchase with confidence.
Whatever battery you use, remember, a wet battery is a ruined battery. Toss it! If you leave your vaporizer in the car for several hours on a summer’s day, throw it away! Ditto for a well-chilled battery. This is true for all e-cigarette batteries.
What About Flavor with Sub-ohm E-Liquids?
Sub-ohm vaping really works best when you use a Max VG e-liquid. One thing to note is that higher VG ratios lessen the flavor intensity of your vape. That’s because you’re getting less (or no) propylene glycol which holds the flavor well. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor for clouds. Look for quality Max VG ejuice and buy a small bottle to test out for flavor. Some companies let you add extra shots of flavor and some, like Kai’s Virgin Vapor come full flavored right out of the bottle.
Adjusting Your Throat Hit – When you vape with a low ohm resistance (down to 1ohm), expect a hotter (and harsher vape). Sub-ohm vaping gets even hotter. Some vapers enjoy the extreme throat hit, but most have to make some adjustments to their e-juice.
- Another good reason to use Maximum VG e-liquids is because they have less of a throat hit.
- Use a lower nicotine level. (typically 6mg/ml and under). Nicotine has a natural “peppery” taste which really intensifies your throat hit.
So…Is Sub-ohm Vaping Worth It?
Advanced vapers (especially those who love to rebuild their atomizers) say, yes. Cloudchasers will agree that creating the ultimate vapor cloud takes a serious knowledge of both sub-ohm technology combined with experienced DIY skills.
Intermediate Vapers will discover that it’s easy to find well made Vape Mods designed for both Sub-ohm vaping and safety.
Those vapers who prefer a more carefree, less “hands on” vaping experience and are simply looking for an way to fine-tune their vapor and flavor quality, can stick with variable volt Vape Mods and Pens that are designed for above 1ohm resistance.
At the writing of this post, the majority of vapers enjoy mid-range ohm resistance atomizers that fall between 1.8 – 2.8 ohms, but if you’re ready to venture into sub-ohm territory, follow the guidelines and above all, remember to put safety first.
Where to Buy the Top Vape Mods for Sub-Ohm Vaping
We recommend three companies that offer Vape Mods and Vaporizers that have built-in safety features. They’re designed to shut off if your devise gets too hot. Most companies have great videos, all have tutorials and customer services agents to help you vape safely and better understand Sub-Ohm Vaping.
Need to Know about Selecting the Perfect Ohm Resistance for your Atomizer? Here’s the guide and the chart.