All About Sub-Ohm Vaping – The Perks and the Problems

Last updated on February 10th, 2022

all about sub-ohm vaping

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 E-Cigarette 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 sub-ohm atomizer coils get pretty hot too, which is why they don’t last as long as above ohm coils.

Sub-ohm TC box mods usually take rechargeable batteries. If your starter kit doesn’t come with batteries, you must follow the kit instructions to learn the size and amperage of the batteries you must use. 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.

Cloudchasers sometimes get carried away experimenting with home-made batteries, coils, and mega 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, cleaning your tank, atomizer, threads, vent holes, and contacts keeps things from clogging and malfunctioning. 

Read: How to Properly Clean Your Vaping Device Parts

Vaporfi Hybrid Volt

Vaporfi Volt Tank with Airflow Control

  • 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 tank that has adjustable air holes. You’ll get the best vape choosing a model recommended by the manufacturer. 

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. 

Read: Where to Buy the Top High VG eLiquids

Adjusting Your Throat Hit 

When you vape with a sub-ohm resistance, expect a hotter (and harsher vape). Some vapers enjoy the extreme throat hit, but most have to make some adjustments to the wattage and/or airflow. 

Use a lower nicotine level. (typically 6mg/ml and under). Nicotine has a natural “peppery” taste which really intensifies your throat hit.

man vaping

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 know 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 two companies that offer a wide selection of Sub-Ohm Vape Mods and Vaporizers that have built-in safety features. They’re designed to shut off, if your device gets too hot. These companies have great customer services agents to help you vape safely and better understand Sub-Ohm Vaping. Check out these trusted sellers.


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    • ethan on April 16, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    • Reply

    So I bought this sub ohm tank the Ijuse ECM atomizer (2ml) 0.15 ohms and its 30-70 wattage the EC-N 0.15ohm head using the eleaf 5000 ohm battery mod 80w. I take about 3 puffs around every 5 to 7 minutes and its a mesh coil also. My problem is that so I used it all day today from this morning at like 10 am to half 6 pm and it gets really hot like a hot plate kind of temperature and it doesnt last long at all because i used a EC-M 0.15 ohm yesterday and burned out 18 hours after using it and the cotton was black and really rough throat hits where it burns my throat and the tank yesterday after it got burnt it made my battery heat up. I feel like buying a different tank because i feel like its not quote on quote worthy for my mod. im constantly anxious that it’ll end up like the other coil and I need to consider buying more coils for that tank or buying a brand new recommended tank. As I am using this coil at this minute i feel like its dying out already and the coils are meant to last 7 days which I call bull on that. Ive just got into vaping but learnt about mods and egos and e-cigs and that and know my knowledge on tanks and mods but I feel like this isnt my fault that this tank is become anxious worthy to me. I would like a reason to why this is happening to me ASAP and a next step on where to go from now because Im a cloud chaser and flavour chaser and in need of some advice. Thank you for reading this and hope you can help a person out. :)

    1. Hi Ethan,

      Sorry you are having problems! The Specifications for the mod you seem to be using – The
      Eleaf iPower 80W 5000mAh Temperature Control Mod is:

      Resistance Range: 0.05-1.5ohm for Variable Temperature Control Mode
      Resistance Range: 0.1-3.5ohm for Variable Wattage and Bypass Mode

      As you have discovered, Eleaf EC-M/EC-N Coils are not compatible with your mod. They are only compatible with: Eleaf iJust S, iJust 2, ijust 2 Mini, Melo,Melo 2, Melo 3, Melo 3 Mini, Melo 3 Nano, Pico, Pico Mega, iStick Power Nano. I’ve been searching where to buy the correct coils for your device, but unfortunately I cannot find them. Even sites that sell eLeaf Mods no longer carry the atomizers for the eLeaf iPower.

        • ethan on April 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm
        • Reply

        Hey Gary,

        So.. I did my research and found something.

        Saw that this guy on reddit found that he loves the eLeaf iPower with a griffin 25 RDA tank on it was really good. Thats the first one I found and im sure it doesnt have to be same brand. I think the tank was just cheap and funny enough I might’ve possibly overvaped it yesterday as I was quitting smoking and got onto vaping, I was probably too excited and loved flavours too much so i vaped it away and discovered mesh coils dont last long. I am going to try the griffin 25 RDA or better ones and hopefully the coils will last at least 1 and a half weeks each as I plan to use them. Thank you for going through the trouble to help me and search for compatible coils for me. I also think the mod was too advanced for these coils and found out that my tank is part of a starter kit. Just gonna experiment with my mod and see where I go as im a beginner, hopefully I havent wasted my money on this mod and having to buy another one. Thank you for your assistance and happy vaping. :)

        1. Hey Ethan,

          Hope the griffin 25 RDA tank works for you!

          Happy Vaping,

    • PJ on April 26, 2017 at 4:46 am
    • Reply

    Its a must read and must know stuff about sub ohm. I tried a few sub ohm devices so far, but I did not like the fact that it makes you suck so much vapour while the purpose of vaping in the first place was to not smoke. Smaller e cigarettes work for me. But for advanced vapers who love making clouds, these devices might be quite great.
    As long as info provided are not misleading but factual, it should be blogger’s right to recommend any product. Thanks Gary

    • Laurie Shoemaker on March 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Gary
    New to vaping and very lost. I need to know if I can put a Kangertech topbox nano battery pack and a mini CE3 top together? Or will I blew something up?

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Thanks for visiting BECG and for your inquiry! The two parts you mentioned are not compatible.The CE3 is a small vape pen, while the Kanger topbox is a larger, more powerful vaporizer. Even seasoned vapers will stick with the same manufacturer for a battery and tank for the best performance (and because of warranties). Even if your tank can be screwed onto a battery it still may leak, or the wattage may be too high or not powerful enough.

    • mathew stevens on March 3, 2017 at 9:26 am
    • Reply

    I started sub ohm vaping with a smok helmet found the flavour and clouds great just to small would do the 2ml of juice in no time. So I just purchased the smok gx350 with the tv8 cloud beast. It is a big mod box but not the biggest the battery life is amazing the tank is massive and the slide top for filling is excellent. The flavour and clouds are just what i was looking for 2 days in I am very happy..Got the gx350 cloud beast tank 4 batteries charger and a juice for €150 from my local vape shop.

    • Tony A. on February 16, 2017 at 9:22 am
    • Reply

    I think you should just avoid chain-vaping. Or get e-liquids that don’t taste so good :D then the problem is solved by its self.

    • Reece on August 26, 2016 at 1:35 am
    • Reply

    Is it best to use higher Ohm coils for bigger clouds and vapor?

    1. Hi Reece,
      Use subOhm coils for the biggest clouds. Here’s a helpful article that will explain.

    • Reece on August 20, 2016 at 1:51 am
    • Reply

    Hi guys I’m a newbie to sub ohm vaping I wanted to know how do you get massive clouds with an I just S and what tanks are compatible with the I just S how to minimise the amount of e liquid you use?

    1. Hi Reece,
      The best tank for your battery is the is the eleaf ijust s sub ohm tank. Get it cheap here at directvapor. Fewer refills and big vapor with any ijust s sub ohm atomizer also sold at DV

      Happy vaping!

    • Alex on July 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm
    • Reply

    For someone just getting started with sub-ohm vaping, this post was really helpful. Do you recommend a specific brand/type? Thank you.

    1. Hi Alex,

      Thanks for posting your question. I recommend a MOD with plenty of safety features and LED warning features. I would also start out with a model that has no more than 50watts of power as that may be sufficient for your needs. I’m familiar with the VTube but you still have to follow the directions to a tee. The Eleaf iStick is cheaper, gets mixed reviews and has fewer warning features.

    • Yvette on July 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for clearly explaining sub-ohm vaping. I recently attended a vaping convention and met many vaper hobbyists who are experimenting with sub-ohm vaping, mainly to create the ultimate vapor cloud. As a woman who is thrilled just to find something that got me off tobacco cigarettes, I’ll stick with my iTaste MVP2 box mod. It’s pretty basic, but powerful enough for great clouds and full flavor.


    • Bill on July 14, 2015 at 10:35 am
    • Reply

    Did Vaporfi who is probably the most over rated for reasons of paying for articles like this PAY for this review too? There are many mods out that are as good and better than anything Vaporfi has. The SX mini is a far superior device, and I can think of 10 off the top of my head less expensive by far and as well built.

    1. Thanks for contributing here Bill,

      First, I must say that our reviewers are never paid by ecig manufacturers to review their products! Regarding VaporFi, I don’t understand why you would think that this particular post promotes their products. If anything it steers beginning vapers away from VaporFi’s advanced Mods. I did check on the MOD you recommended and it retails for $209.99 without a battery. Vaporfi’s VOXII which is a similar product (and gets good reviews on many sites) retails for $169.99 comes with a battery. The kit comes with your choice of one of three advanced tanks and sells for $199.99.

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