Sub-ohm vape tanks have other advantages. They have large e-juice capacities; they are easier to use than rebuildable atomizers, and they provide the most satisfying cloud-making experience, outside of using RBAs.
Best Sub-Ohm Tanks
The tanks here represent only a smattering of all the options available to sub-ohm vapers. It is not an exhaustive list, but all the possibilities here either met or exceeded standards like e-juice capacity, build durability and of course, vapor production, both cloud-size and flavor profile.
What Is a Sub-Ohm Tank?
A sub-ohm tank is an atomizer that uses low-resistance coils, anything less than one ohm. All the best sub-ohm vape tanks, and by extension, sub-ohm vaping, produce massive vapor clouds, as the coils inside “resist” high-power outputs less than fixed-ohm or above-ohm coils.
How Does a Sub-ohm Tank Work?
All the best sub-ohm tanks work according to Ohm’s law, which states that the current between two points in a circuit is proportional to voltage. A vape rig, even the best sub-ohm tank for flavor is like a circuit with the two ends being the battery and the coil in the tank.
If the coil in the tank has a low, or sub-ohm resistance, then it can conduct more current (via a higher power output). Higher power output is what makes those huge clouds possible. The resistance of the coil also depends on the wire material inside, as well as its thickness.
In pre-made, stock coils the wire material varies between stainless steel or Kanthal, but vapers can’t choose the thickness. In rebuildable atomizers, vapers can choose the gauge (thickness) of their wire, as well as how many times they wrap the coil, increasing the overall surface area and lowering the coil’s resistance.
What Are the Essential Parts of a Sub-Ohm Tank?
The most important parts of a sub-ohm vape tank are the following:
- Coils: the coils are the heating element that produces vapor (aerosol), they are usually made from stainless steel or Kanthal wire, and now they are often mesh-shaped, rather than being linear wire
- Wick material: “coils” consist of the metal wire that heats the e-juice, and the wick material that absorbs the e-juice, standard wick material is organic cotton, but lately, makes have been using other materials like wood pulp, bamboo, or flax
- Airflow: there are no clouds without airflow, every sub-ohm tank has some airflow vent that is adjustable so users can choose their level of airflow
- Wide-bore drip tip: the mouthpiece of a tank plays an important role, especially in sub-ohm vaping, the more full the drip tip, the more vapor that comes out of the chamber
- Filling method/top cap: the fill method of even the best sub-ohm tank for 2019 matters as it goes to making the unit easy-to-use, tank makers have come up with many styles of the filling method, but the three main ways are top-fill, bottom-fill and side-fill
Those are the individual parts/components of a tank that matter most for sub-ohm vaping. The build material and e-juice capacity of a tank does not matter as much to creating a sub-ohm experience. A tank with a 2ml e-juice capacity can still create a sub-ohm vape, while all sub-ohm tanks feature stainless steel and glass in their builds.
Why Should I Sub-Ohm?
In one word: clouds. Sub-ohm vaping, and the best sub-ohm tanks were made for creating clouds of vapor rich with flavor and texture. Pre-sub-ohm vape tanks could not produce the giant cloud trails desired by sub-ohm vapers.
They tried to instead use batteries with higher capacities and outputs, but there is only so much power that a battery can output, without risking damage. That is when vapers started experimenting with the resistance of the coil material inside their atomizers. More significant clouds are not the only reasons people sub-ohm vape.
A few of the other reasons include:
- Flavor boost: with sub-ohm vaping the clouds are more significant, but so is the flavor, for the simple fact that sub-ohm coils create more vapor, which is loaded with more flavor
- More intense hit: vapers use low or even no-nicotine e-juice with sub-ohm tanks, the reason being that too much nicotine in a sub-ohm vape can be overpowering; a nicotine level of around 3 or 6mg is enough to deliver that satisfying nicotine hit
- Warmer clouds: high power output leads to warmer, even hotter, clouds, which is why some vapers prefer the best sub-ohm tank, as they produce a different type of cloud than smaller, low-power devices
- Vape tricks: sub-ohm vaping gave birth to the sport of competitive cloud-making, which has taken off as a subculture within the vaping community and could only be possible with the best sub-ohm vape tanks on the market
While these are the reasons people choose to vape sub-ohm, many reasons keep people away from vaping even the best sub-ohm tank for flavor.
The Reasons Not to Sub-ohm Vape
While sub-ohm vaping remains the favorite style of some, others prefer a less intense, mellower, more discreet style of vaping. As sub-ohm vaping requires a passing knowledge of Ohm’s law, and the laws of electricity in general, it can turn off people who want a simple, straightforward device.
These are some of the reasons that people do not want to sub-ohm vape:
- Clouds: the same reason people love sub-ohm, is the same reason people do not like it; things can get cloudy, especially in an enclosed space, even in an open space, and it’s rude blowing clouds into people’s faces
- Draining batteries: more power output means batteries get drained quickly, more so than with other tanks and mods so that those vapor hits will be intense and savory, but the batteries will run out faster
- E-juice killer: as the coils vaporize more juice, the e-juice depletes faster, like with batteries, so in the end, vapers are using more of their liquid than they would with an above-ohm device
- Heavy equipment: big clouds not only means having the best sub-ohm tank, but also the mod, which is large in itself, so tank and mod together are difficult to carry around everywhere
- Safety: sub-ohm vaping has a lot of rules, rules that people should be familiar with before they start vaping with high-capacity batteries, and sub-ohm coils, as ignoring these rules could result in injury or damage to your mod and tank
How to Choose the Best Sub-ohm Tank for You
In the previous sections, we covered all the crucial parts of a sub-ohm tank, so choosing one from among the hundreds of units out there should not be that difficult. Of course, there are other things to look out for when making a move to sub-ohm vaping.
- Build quality: the standard for all tanks is the stainless steel/glass combo, but going further than that, some designers use different glass types, or material like resin, carbon fiber, or ULTEM for their drip tips
- E-juice capacity: the e-juice capacity for sub-ohm tanks ranges from 2ml to 9ml, it’s up to the user to decide which amount is right for them, keeping in mind that the coils will vaporize a lot of e-juice, fast
- Airflow: airflow is essential to big-cloud vaping, but every tank has a unique airflow system, with dual, triple, even quad vents, either at the top of the tank or the base of the tank
- Versatility: are there things you can change about the tank, like the e-juice capacity? Can it take different coil types, with a different resistance? Can it become a different type of tank, like an RBA? Can users change the drip tip and add their own? These are all questions one should ask before buying a sub-ohm tank
Important Things to Know about Sub-ohm Vaping
Sub-ohm vape tanks only work with two kinds of vape device:
- A regulated mod with an internal control board, and built-in or removable lithium-ion batteries
- A mechanical mod with no internal circuits that uses the unregulated power of a single battery
Regulated mods can handle a specific resistance range, which is always listed in the product specifications. The lowest regulated mods can go around 0.1ohm, but always check to see what the actual range is before buying it.
The resistance range for a tank depends on the coil inside and what it can handle. Stock atomizer heads always list their ideal vaping range, expressed in wattage, as well as the resistance given in ohms. With that said, sub-ohm tanks are not always the best to use with mech mods, but more about that later.
Mechanical mods, however, as well as rebuildable atomizers, can go even lower, as the user determines their limitations. Technically, a rebuildable atomizer (RBA) is also a sub-ohm tank, as builders make their coils with even lower resistance than stock coils.
That is the difference, though, between RBAs and sub-ohm vape tanks – vapers have to make the coils for RBAs. With tanks, the coils are pre-made, and users need only install them or replace them when they expire.
Regular and Hybrid 510 Connectors
For anyone thinking they can stick their sub-ohm tank onto their mech mod, think again. If a user attaches a sub-ohm tank with a non-protruding 510 positive pin to a hybrid mechanical mod, bad things can happen.
This is because a sub-ohm tank with no protruding positive pin attached to a hybrid top cap comes in direct contact with the battery. The contact of the tank’s positive AND negative pin to the battery can cause a short, possibly an explosion.
This is a particular scenario, as most vapers who vape with RBAs and mech mods know this already. But, in case someone wants to use their sub-ohm tank on a mech mod, they should make sure of the following:
- The mod has a non-hybrid top cap that separates the positive pin from coming in contact with the battery
- If the mod does have a hybrid top cap, they should make sure the tank has a protruding 510 positive pin, or an adjustable 510 pin so a user can extend the pin out
The Last Word on Sub-ohm Vaping
Sub-ohm vaping only emerged after vapers started creating low-resistance coils. It came from a desire to create a more intense vaping experience, and by and large, they succeeded. Sub-ohm vape tanks and coils are now standard, or they at least have a prominent place among other vaping styles. There has been a backlash, though, as it is not for everyone.
Vapers interested in a more discreet, smoking-like experience have turned to smaller, less powerful pod mods in response to sub-ohm saturation. Only, these pod mods, at least the ones that have removable coils, offer a sub-ohm vaping experience as well. This goes to show that no matter the advances in vaping, or whichever way the winds blow, sub-ohm vaping is here to stay.