Beginners Guide to Vaping:
Introduction to Sub-Ohm Vaping
What is Vaping?:
Now that you've learned everything you can about the basic's of e cigarettes, we can start teaching you about some more of the bells and whistles that come along with customization and upgrading your electronic cigarette to a sub ohm device. Although it is not for everyone, some people really do enjoy the experience they get out of a higher powered or sub ohm device.
Glossary for Sub-Ohm Vaping
Ohms/Resistance: The resistance of the wire inside the atomizer is read in terms of Ohms. The resistance or ohm of the coil determines how quickly and how hot the liquid vaporizes. An easy way to look at it is the closer you to get 0.0, the hotter the vapor will be. Use an ohms law calculator for safety if you are just starting to build your own coils.
Sub Ohm: The term used to refer to low resistance coils, this includes all coils under 1.0 ohm of resistance. Sub ohm burns hotter than non sub ohm so it vaporizes more e liquid and produces more vapor than the traditional vape pens.
Volts: Volts are a unit for measuring for electrical currents. In your electronic cigarette, volts are the amount of power from your battery that is being applied to power your atomizer.
Watts: Watts are a unit for measuring for electrical currents. We use watts to specify the rate at which electrical energy is distributed. In sub ohm vaping, watts is the most commonly used unit of measure.
Variable Voltage / Wattage: Variable voltage or wattage simply means you can change and control the power on your electronic cigarette. Every device with this function will have a limit that you can go up or down to, within that limit you can adjust your power to your liking. Changing the power will give you more control over your temperature and rate of vapor production.
Milliamp Hour (mAh): Most commonly seen as mAh, an abbreviation for milliamp hour, it is a unit for measuring electric power over time. Generally it is used to describe the total amount of energy a battery can store at a time and how long before the battery will need to be recharged. For sub ohm vaping, you want to have at least 1000 mAh to get adequate vape battery life.
Airflow: With electronic cigarettes you need air to be applied to the atomizer in order to pull the vapor production away from it and into your mouth. The airflow is located either on the top or the bottom of the tank and is generally, but not always, adjustable. The less airflow you have the tighter the draw you will receive, it will also produce more of a throat hit and you draw on it more like a cigarette with a mouth to lung approach. The more airflow you have the more open the draw will be, it will produce more vapor and a smoother throat feel while doing more of a direct lung inhale, although the mouth to lung hit is still do-able.
Propylene Glycol: Manufactured in large quantities for a wide range of uses, it is used in electronic cigarettes to hold the flavoring and nicotine in the e liquid. Typically seen abbreviated as PG, it is a lot thinner in viscosity than VG causing more of a throat hit to occur. Some people can experience an allergy to PG and it generally shows up as a mild skin rash, if this happens to you try looking for e liquid that is as high in VG as you can find. PG is a dehydrating agent and can make your throat and mouth feel very dry, so make sure to stay hydrated!
Vegetable Glycerin: Almost exclusively derived from plants, it helps bind the e liquid and is very thick in viscosity. Typically seen abbreviated as VG, it creates denser vapor production and is a lot smoother on the throat than PG. Most sub ohm style devices prefer a high amount of VG because of the way the sub ohm atomizers are designed.
VG / PG Ratios: Within the e liquid used for electronic cigarettes there are four components, Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) are the two main ones (The other two are nicotine and flavoring). Each different e liquid is going to have a different ratio of VG to PG, VG is very thick in viscosity compared to PG and some atomizers are picky on whether they like thinner or thicker e liquid.
RDA / RDTA: RDA stands for “rebuildable deck atomizer” and RDTA stands for “rebuildable deck tank atomizer.” Deck refers to the base where you would install your home built coils, on an RDA there is no tank that holds your e liquid, instead you drip the juice directly onto your coils and wick material and re-drip every few hits. With an RDTA it's like taking the manufactured atomizer in your sub ohm tank and just doing it yourself.
External Battery Cell: A rechargeable power source, typically lithium-ion, that is placed inside your device to power it. An external battery cell can be charged through the device or removed and put on a separate, external battery charger; once it is completely dead you can just replace the battery itself. Some devices can use more than one external battery cell, if yours uses more than one you will have to take the vape batteries out and charge on an external charger in order to keep them running at the same volts.
Internal Battery Cell: A rechargeable power source, typically lithium-ion, encased inside your device to power it. An internal battery cell is charged through the electronic cigarette and is not removable. Once it is completely dead and no longer takes a charge the full device needs replacing. There are many different box mods that use internal vape batteries, all with different mAh's.
Internal VS. External Vape Batteries
There are both pros and cons to either style of vape batteries, picking out which is best for you will help narrow down your options when it comes to picking out a new sub ohm vape pen or box mod. Ask yourself, are you good at remembering to charge your electronics? Are you good at keeping track of things? Are you hands on? If the answer was no to those questions, you'd probably work best with an internal battery cell. That way you can charge it whenever it happens to go dead, as it is just a simple plug in charge and you won't have to keep track of a charging dock or extra batteries. Now if you answered yes to those, you'd probably work best with an external battery cell. What's nice about the externals is that you can always keep an extra charged battery on hand for when yours dies, that way you can just pop in a new battery instead of having to wait for your device to charge.
Device size and battery life is another thing to consider when choosing which battery option works best for you. Generally, but not always, external battery cells will leave your device being a bit bigger or bulkier in order to support the size of the battery. However, most external battery cells have longer battery life than the internal cells do, especially when you consider those that take multiple battery cells. The average external battery used in sub ohm box mods is known as an 18650 (although there are a few others used here and there such as the 18350 and the 26650), the mAh of 18650 batteries usually ranges from 2200 – 3200 but keep in mind you can get multiple cell devices to support longer battery life. Where as the average internal battery mAh ranges anywhere from 1100 – 5000 and you can't add on any more to what is built in already.
Different Kinds of Sub-Ohm Devices
There are two main types of sub ohm e cigarettes, cylindrical or pen style and box box mods. There are benefits to both but usually one or the other works best for an individuals lifestyle. Cylindrical sub ohm vape pens are generally smaller for convenience when traveling and come in either “all-in-one” type units where the tank is built onto the battery or in two pieces so the tank can be interchangeable. These vape pens are usually seen with internal battery cells but there are a few pen styles that support an external cell. Sub ohm vape pens usually do not have any variable wattage/voltage functions, although they can still turn on and off, this means that for the majority of them you cannot turn the power up or down to your liking. Some people love that simplicity but on the other hand, some people want more control over their electronic cigarette.
As for box mod sub ohm devices, these are usually larger and boxier, although not typically a perfect square. Most of them regularly come as two part devices, meaning the tank is interchangeable, but there are still a few “all-in-one” box style units. These e cigarettes can come as internal or external battery cells, most popular being external due to their longer battery life throughout the day, especially considering you can have multiple cell units. The external cell(s) is also beneficial in the fact that it can usually provide more power than the internal cells. The vast majority of sub ohm box mods are variable wattage/voltage, so you have the luxury of adjusting power settings to your liking; some people do not enjoy that aspect due to it being overly complicated to them, but if you're comfortable with technology it really is convenient.
Different Types of Sub Ohm Atomizers
Just as with standard coils, there is a variety of options when it comes to atomizers for your sub ohm vape pen. With your starter device, if you got different resistance coils you probably didn't notice too much of a difference in how they hit and that's only because before you get into sub ohm levels of resistance, the ohm changes are so minor. For example, if you had a Kangertech EVOD the different coils available are 1.5, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2 ohms; as with sub ohm atomizers the different levels can range all the way from 0.1-0.9 ohms. Not only are there a lot more options as far as resistance but when you get into sub ohm vaping, you also see a lot more availability in different wick and wire material such as ceramic wicks and nickle wire. Certain types of wire can only be run on certain temperature controlled settings, these include nickle (Ni) and titanium (Ti) and you would need an e cigarette that has those settings if you wanted to try it out. The benefits to those settings are slightly improved flavor and a different draw, meaning instead of continually building up power until you're done inhaling, this setting allows the power to reach a certain temperature before it dies off and restarts the power. Think of it kind of like a wave, the power goes up then back down, then up and back down. Some people really enjoy the temperature controlled aspects and some people could care less, its all about what works best for your style and what you want out of your vape pen.
Picking Which is Right for You
Now that we've given you the basic's of sub ohm vape pens it's time to pick which one is right for you. Some people are hesitant at first, they know they want more power but can be intimidated by all the options and information. If you're in that position, go for something that has a wide range of atomizer options and maybe even variable voltage in case the power that the device gives off is more than you can handle at first, then you can turn it down and turn it up when you're ready. A perfect fit in that case would probably be something along the lines of a Joyetech Evic VTwo or VTwo mini. Now if you're wanting to try out sub ohm but think you might not end up liking it as much, you might want to go for something along the lines of a Joyetech AIO (all-in-one) or AIO Pro-C because it's a lighter option with not so much power.. The next few articles will cover everything about those devices, so if you end up getting one or are wanting more information before you dive in, keep reading, we've got you covered.