The Sub-Ohm Tank Trend – They’re NOT Right For Everyone…
If you're anything like me, you've been overwhelmed by the laundry list of sub-ohm clearomizers hitting the market; Aspire Atlantis, Kanger Subtank, Arctic, Delta II, Freemax Starre, Herakles, Matrix, Melo, Vapor Chaser… just to name a few. Sub-ohm tanks are undoubtedly the hottest trend in the vaping industry, and for good reason. For experienced vaping enthusiasts and cloud-chasing veterans, sub-ohm tanks are a welcomed advancement in technology; simplifying the process of sub-ohm vaping and making it more convenient, safe and efficient. But if you're a newbie or unfamiliar with the term “sub-ohm”, you're sure to be confused.
Brief History of Sub-Ohm
So what is sub-ohm vaping? Without getting overly technical, whenever you use an atomizer with a resistance below 1 ohm, you're entering into the realm of “sub-ohm.” In the past this term was reserved for only the most advanced vaping enthusiasts, who had no choice but to lower the ohm-rating of their coils to increase vapor production on their unregulated, mechanical mods. Without the ability to adjust wattage or voltage, sub-ohm coils were the only way to achieve big, voluminous clouds. There were no prebuilt tanks and the coils were handmade with custom tools, wire and cotton. Rather than filling a tank, many users “dripped” e-juice directly onto the coil, resulting is huge clouds of vapor and pure, unaltered flavor.
Although “dripping” and coil building still exist, the complexities of this style of vaping are more than enough to scare the average vaper off. Not only can it be complicated and time consuming, but sub-ohm vaping with unregulated mechanical devices comes with a unique set of safety challenges. Any one who goes this route needs to be extremely familiar with Ohms Law, referencing a vaping power chart regularly.
The Age Of Sub-Ohm Clearomizers
And then (within the last 12 months) comes along easy-to-use sub-ohm clearomizers. Basically, these products have taken what rebuildable atomizers (RBAs, RDAs and RTAs) have been doing for years and put it into a convenient, affordable package. This means prebuilt, low resistance coils and tons of airflow, without the need to constantly rebuild or construct parts. And with a large reservoir to store your e-liquid, there's no need for “dripping” after every few puffs.
Popular Sub-Ohm Tank Systems:
- Aspire Triton 2 Tank
- Freemax Starre Pro Tank
- Herakles Plus Sub-Ohm Tank
- Kanger Subtank Mini
- Smok TFV4 Mini Sub-Ohm Tank
The Most Obvious Advantage… MASSIVE CLOUDS!
The most obvious advantage to sub-ohm tanks is the ability to produce massive clouds of vapor. On an unregulated, mechanical device this is achieved by both the lower ohm rating of the coil and the dramatic amount of airflow. Once again, without the ability to adjust wattage or voltage, the most effective way to increase vapor production on a mechanical mod is to reduce the ohm rating.
With a regulated mod, on the other hand, you can accomplish the same objective by increasing the wattage or voltage being supplied to a standard tank or atomizer. This begs the question, is a sub-ohm tank really necessary with a regulated APV? Although this is certainly up for debate, it's not necessarily the sub-ohm aspect of the tank that causes it to excel, it's other parts of the design such as big adjustable airflow holes, wide bore drip tips and large e-liquid inlets that cause a sub-ohm tank to produce bigger, more impressive clouds of vapor.
PLEASE NOTE: Not every regulated mod is designed for use with sub-ohm products. Be sure to check the resistance compatibility of your device before you purchase a sub-ohm tank.
The Downside Of Sub-Ohm Tanks
Although a sub-ohm tank is sure to put out tons of vapor, the same design features that cause them to excel in the vapor department can also negatively affect their performance in other areas. One of the most obvious impacts is that you'll use significantly more e-liquid with a sub-ohm tank. A sub-ohm tank doesn't use e-juice anymore efficiently than a non-sub-ohm one, it just burns hotter and vaporizes it quicker. Expect to refill much more frequently, and don't be surprised if your e-juice budget grows after you go sub-ohm. You can also expect to recharge more often due to the increased power draw.
Another major difference that isn't often discussed, is that a completely different style of vaping is required to use a sub-ohm tank. Most people who smoke traditional cigarettes take what is known as a “mouth to lung hit.” In other words, they draw a puff into their mouth, and then inhale into their lungs. Many vapers still prefer this method, but sub-ohm tanks are designed for straight lung hits -bypassing the mouth draw. Not only does this method differ from traditional smoking, but some vapers find it uncomfortable. Personally, I feel like I get less flavor from a direct lung hit and it isn't nearly as enjoyable.
Yes, most sub-ohm tanks have adjustable airflow, but even at the lowest settings it's tough to take a traditional drag on a sub-ohm tank. In fact, sub-ohm tanks work the most effectively with the airflow holes wide open, which keeps the vapor and coil cool. A mouth-to-lung hit will work on a sub-ohm tank, but it won't work well and you're better off with a standard tank system.
Sub-Ohm Tank Pros and Cons:
- Massively increased vapor production
- May produce better flavor, depending on the coil and wicking material
- Vaporizes e-juice much more quickly, which also increases vaping costs
- Higher amp draw reduces battery longevity
- Traditional mouth-to-lung hits are not as effective
- Can be dangerous, if safety precautions aren't followed
Is a Sub-Ohm Tank Right For You?
In general, sub-ohm tanks are designed for experienced vaping enthusiasts who already understand the principles of sub-ohm vaping, or for those that are looking to advance their skills and transition from a more traditional, tank-style system.
If you're all about the CLOUDS and don't mind burning through more e-juice and spending a bit more money, a sub-ohm tank might be worth considering. Just remember that it won't provide that traditional smoking feel, and if direct lung hits AREN'T your thing, you're likely to be disappointed by a sub-ohm tank.
By nature, sub-ohm tanks burn hotter and have some inherent dangers, so if you're going to experiment with sub-ohm tank be sure that you're using a sub-ohm compatible device with the appropriate resistance rating.
For first-time users I would recommend a mid-wattage regulated vape mod that has some built-in safety protections; but if you'd like to go the mechanical route, be extremely cautious and be sure to get fully educated first.