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Above-Ohm Vaping vs Sub-Ohm Vaping

Above-Ohm (1+) Vaping vs Sub-Ohm Vaping
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More and more people are starting to vape every day. With the flood of new types of devices on the market, and many of our old favorites no longer being produced, a lot of experienced vapers will be looking for new devices as well. When going to pick out a vape, whether it’s your first or the next in a long line of upgrades, you may be wondering which type is right for you. There are more devices on the market than you can count so to keep things simple we will break down the two most common types. Then your favorite Pink Spot Vapors employee can help you find the device in that area that will best suit your vaping needs.


regular ohm coilAbove-ohm vaping, or vaping with a device that uses coils that read at 1 ohm or higher is where most experienced vapers started at one time or another. Though coils can be anywhere over 1 ohm, the most common coils read either 1.8 ohms or 2.5 ohms. The tanks that use these coils tend to be smaller in size and can be run on both small low powered devices and larger more powerful devices. Having a larger more powerful device will not give you a more powerful hit while using coils of 1 ohm or higher; because these coils can only handle a small amount of power. Using more power will only burn out your coil and cause your ejuice to taste terrible. You also need to know whether you are using a single or dual coil. Dual coils will allow you to use a slightly higher power setting and give you a small boost in vapor production, and may also improve flavor. Knowing whether you have a single or dual coil is very important while using coils that read over 1 ohm. For example, a single coil that reads 1.8 ohms can voltage anywhere from 3.0v to 3.5v. We recommend avoiding wattage mode on coils of this type, as most devices do not offer a low enough wattage setting to prevent your coil from burning out prematurely. Now in the case of a dual coil reading 1.8 ohms you can use a bit more power. You can run up to 4.3v as well as use wattage settings from 6.5w to 9.0w for best results. A dual coil consists of two coils running together in one coil unit and therefor can handle more power at once.

The other major difference in vaping devices using coils over 1 ohm is the draw you must use to get the best performance out of your device. With this type of coil you want to use Mouth-to-Lung hits (very similar to when you smoke a traditional cigarette). As you take a draw, you are pulling juice into the coil through the wicking material. The coil inside this wicking material is being heated by electricity and vaporizing the ejuice. You want to pull lightly, draw the vapor into your mouth and then inhale it from your mouth into your lungs. If you pull too hard on a device using this type of coil system, the wicking material can become over saturated and the heated coil will not be able to vaporize that amount of ejuice. This can cause the excess juice to leak from the bottom of the tank or even be sucked up into your mouth. Vaporized ejuice can be delicious (such as Pineapple Whip!), but unvaporized ejuice can be quite the opposite. Due to the relatively low power of the coil, it cannot vaporize a large amount of ejuice at one time. This allows you as a vaper to use a wide range of nicotine levels from 0mg, 3mg, and 6mg all the way to 24mg and 36mg. Near the end of your coil’s life, it may not run as efficiently as it did as a fresh new coil. This may mean you need to pull softer to avoid flooding the wicking material, or if you are able, turn the power up a little to help the aging coil function better.


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sub ohm coil
Sub-ohm vaping or vaping with a device that uses a coil that reads less than 1 ohm, used to be considered a more advanced form of vaping; reserved for the dedicated hobbyist. With the introduction of sub-ohm tank systems with prebuilt coils, this is no longer the case. More and more vaping novices are choosing to skip the introductory, low powered, “beginner” devices, and start their vaping tenure using a more powerful device that can produce a larger cloud, more satisfying hit, and more flavorful vaping experience. Sub-ohm coils tend to be used in larger tanks with more juice capacity, and on larger more powerful devices. Usually the devices are larger to allow for more battery capacity; since using higher levels of voltage or wattage requires more Milliamp hours or MaH to power the coils all day. There are however smaller devices with the capability to run these more power-hungry coils. Just don’t expect them to get you through a full day of vaping. There is a much wider variety of sub-ohm coils to fit the needs of many different vapers. Coils ranging from 0.15 ohm to 0.9 ohm, containing single coils, dual coils, and even up to dodeca (12) coil units. These coils can also handle a wide range of power settings from 3-8v or 5-220w. This can give the vaper much more choice in exactly how they want their device to perform. Due to the wide range in choice and performance ability, most coil manufacturers have taken to printing the suggested power settings for each coil on the side of the coil unit to avoid confusion. So if using a sub-ohm tank system check the suggested power settings for your coils.

Sub-ohm coils also require you to draw differently to allow the coil to function properly, and to give you the best performance from your device. A Straight-to-Lung draw is used when sub-ohming. As you take a draw, the vapor is going directly from your device to your lungs. Just like breathing. Due to the high levels of power being pushed through this type of coil, the vapor can become very hot. Keeping your airflow open to a larger setting can help keep sub-ohm coils cool. Sub-ohm coils also function better the harder you pull on your device. Where pulling too hard on a coil 1 ohm or higher can cause the coil to flood, sub-ohm coils count on you pulling harder to help the proper amount of juice to flow into the coil, as well as to create more airflow to keep the coil cool. Pulling too softly can cause to much juice to collect on the coil, and cause it to leak; or result in too much heat buildup, and cause the vapor to become uncomfortably hot or burnt. Pulling on a device using a sub-ohm coil is a lot like pulling on a hookah. Long pulls directly into your lungs will give you the best flavor and results in most cases.

Though these two types of vaping seem to be very different it is important to remember these devices are still basically the same thing. They are simply a power source used to heat a coil that vaporizes your favorite ejuice (check out Strawberry Griddlecake). They may require more power or less power, more airflow or less airflow, and a specific type of pull to get you the best performance; but they all need to be used safely. If you have any questions about the best way to use your favorite vape, please call, email, or come into your nearest Pink Spot Vapors location. We will be more than happy to walk you through exactly how to best use your device.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Rizzo

    A good rule of thumb is to draw as hard as the device allows… and then slightly harder. Let the device guide you. The article is very correct. So many people try to get a better hit by “sucking hard” on a low airflow, above 1 ohm device (BCC, IJust, Protank2 &3 or similar.)

    On the other side, many folks “sip” on a subohm device (IJust 2, Melo 2, 3 &4, Alien Baby Beast Big Baby, Super Mini, and almost all other new tanks and Mods sold after 2016) that is designed to have a full pull. A full confident draw allows cool air to smooth out the heat of the more boisterous newer coils.

    Match your draw to the allowed airflow for best results.

  2. Sheri Venezia

    First, I want to thank for being the great company that you are!! The only e-juice I like is a pink spot vapor! Secondly, thank you very much for the explanation on sub-ohm and above-ohm vaping. I am not new to vaping, but I used the same one for several years until they stopped making parts for it. I took a step up and got a much bigger, powerful device about a year ago and I still didn’t understand all the different coils that were included in the kit. Your explanation helped a lot. You guys ROCK!!!

  3. BrotherBob

    Best definition of MTL/DL I have ever read. There is far too many self serving informational write ups being distributed. The information in Above-Ohm (1+) Vaping vs Sub-Ohm Vaping is true to my experiences as I see it.

  4. Dale Hall

    Being fairly new to vaping, this was an extremely helpful definition of the two types of vaping, as well as the methods for utilizing the two different ways ( MTL and DL). Thank you for the informative article, I am today 2 days cig free!!

  5. Andrew

    Thanks for this.. Being using a nautilus and provari for 3 years with 1.6 ohm coils. Just bought a geekvape aegis and sub ohm tank. Didn’t realise drawing harder gives a much better vape. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Megan

    I’m very new to vaping and got a vape at a local store. The guy put in the sub-ohm coil (.25ohms) and it burnt out in 3 days. I’m not sure if it’s something I did or if it just wasn’t the right coil for me. I have a 1.2ohm coil in the box, would it be okay for me to use that coil? My juice is 0mg 65vg/35pg.

    1. Pink Spot Vapors

      Megan, Im curious about what wattage you are using. Also what device and tank? The 1.2ohm coil will require you to reduce the amount of wattage. Its always better to start low and work your way up until you get the taste and hit you are looking for. Also when changing coils make sure you drip some of your e-Liquid onto the cotton than install into tank. Fill the tank and let it sit for a few minutes to make sure that coil is saturated before vaping. Happy Vaping Megan I hope this helps your vaping experience.

  7. Pauline

    I’m looking for the best set up to vape medicinal cbd oil specifically
    I’m confused about the mah and ohms
    Am I right in thinking I really want a large capacity battery yet with a sub ohm so I can get decent amount of cbd at a time
    What would I be searching for?
    I have Tourettes and rheumatoid arthritis so it will be internet shopping for sure .. please help by either suggesting a vape perfect for cbd specifically or helping me know what products I can ‘build’ myself so I can get decent amount of time between charging
    I currently have been using a TECC Apek vape with I think is a 650mah and 1,6ohm
    But when I am using I noticed I’m looking for bigger draw and this means the vape heats up … I’m guessing this is possibly because I don’t have a powerful enough battery?
    I hope you guys can help a confused middle aged woman

    1. Pink Spot Vapors

      Pauline, we do not sell CBD and I am unfamiliar with it so I reached out to a friend that has more knowledge than I. This is how he responded:

      So CBD oil can be tricky so if it is a VG/PG base it will work in standard vape tanks but if the CBD is a 90/10 you will defiantly need to dilute it with some juice and should work fine in a regular tank! But if it is a oil base you DO NOT want to use it in a tank that is made for ejuice you will need a actual tank for oil that uses a ceramic coil or a quartz coil so it can burn properly and not gunk up. If you use anything other than quarts or ceramic you tank will burn out very quick!

      Here are tanks that would work for actual oil–478QXXvHu2Pz7g17s6wJzy_ob6fZBsZy3S0aApuzEALw_wcB

      Hope this info helps.

  8. License to Vape

    Decent article on Sub ohm vaping vs above ohm vaping. Would also love to see how these 2 also differ on battery usage, vaping flavor and cloud production on a sub ohm build vs above ohm build. Thanks for the information.

  9. Loren

    Nice post

  10. Jamikal

    Hi guys .I’m on day 5 vaping, I got a lot of knowledge regarding vape : composition, way, ohm v vaping chart .. I’m using over-ohm vaping 1.6 ohm 3.4 v ,really I’m satisfied, the thing which I want to know is: the role of airflow through the coil how to affect favouring & clouding ? tnx

    1. Pink Spot Vapors

      Jamikal, From my experience, airflow is a personal preference. Mouth to lung vapers like a tighter draw, which means less airflow. You will get more vapor production with wide-open airflow vs. a closed airflow. This is caused by more air hitting the coil. Taste, for me, is not affected by airflow. Congratulations on day 5 of vaping! Happy Vaping!

    2. Jamikal


  11. Kevin

    I am a new to the vape world. I bought the vapresso target mini and I was very happy with it’s perfomance. But I was lacking the knowledge and the nuances of sub-ohm vs above ohm and vg/pg etc.
    I was a heavy smoker so the juice which I had was a 3mg and I was craving more, So I went online and got a 18mg juice (Five pawns 50/50 and Grndrsrv 70/30 ) . Excited to try them , I filled up the tank and first draw I took was pure disgust. Burnt taste, nasty choke. Changed the coil to the 0.6ohm and same thing happened even with the 2nd juice. Ended up changing my coils and unable to enjoy or truly experience those juices and I am utterly lost in the endless options. Can someone simply tell me what device do I need to able to vape those 18mg juices and preferably be able to try nic salts or just stay on the lower concentrations ? Is there such a flexible option ?
    Thanks ! and sorry for the long post.

    1. Pink Spot Vapors

      A jump from 3mg to 18mg on a sub-ohm is HUGE. Try a 6mg. Most people do not sub-ohm higher than 6mg.
      Your 18mg juice would work in a pod-style device (think Juul) or in a Mouth to Lung tank (MTL) like the Innokin T20S or Aspire Nautalis running coils of 1.5 ohm or higher.
      I hope this helps!

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