Is a Sub-Ohm Tank Right For You?

Is a Sub-Ohm Tank right for you

Sub-ohming tanks have quickly established themselves as our industry’s hottest segment, with Aspire, Kanger, Joyetech and Smok all releasing their own new models over the last few months. The Aspire Atlantis, Kanger Subtank, Joyetech Delta II and Smok Vapor Chaser all represent an exponential leap forward in terms of vapor production and flavor clarity, delivering an experience that has historically been the exclusive purview of folks with ohm readers and spools of wire.

Technologically speaking, these new tanks aren’t doing anything mind-blowing — they’re essentially taking what RDAs and RTAs have been doing for years and putting it on a production line. Specifically, this means lower resistance coils and more airflow, which sounds like an obvious solution to anyone that knows their way around a coil jig.

Experienced vapers also know that this style of vaping comes with its own fair share of rules and complications, but there’s a tremendous percentage of the vaping community that doesn’t know (and doesn’t care to know) the first thing about Ohm’s Law. And that’s totally fine; we’re all here for different reasons. But there are some important facts of life that go with these new sub-ohming tanks, so let’s take a look at how the newest generation of tanks differs from what so many of us have become accustomed to.

More Vapor, More Juice

Kanger SubtankFirst and foremost, these sub-ohming tanks use more liquid than a traditional clearomizer, such as the Aspire Nautilus or Kanger Aerotank series. I’m not talking about liquid capacity here either, rather that these tanks go through liquid more quickly as a result of how they’re designed. Sub-ohming tanks do indeed create huge plumes of voluminous clouds, but this isn’t accomplished through any super-efficient, next-level engineering wizardry. The tanks merely vaporize more liquid in a shorter period of time, which means that they need to be refilled more frequently. Unless a given user is vaping less often after switching to one of these new tanks, their e-liquid budget will likely have to increase, which will be a consideration for many.

There are greater considerations than increased liquid spending when purchasing a sub-ohming tank, however, due to the fact that they all include coils with a resistance of less than 1 ohm. These coils are what make these tanks perform as fantastically as they do – sub-ohm coils heat faster and produce more vapor, which is the whole point of these new units. They also require more power to function, due to the physics of Ohm’s Law.

Coil Complications

In a nutshell, the lower a coil’s resistance is, the more watts are required to produce the user’s preferred voltage. Let’s say for example that someone prefers vaping at 3.8 volts. In order to get those volts with a 1.8 ohm coil, that person’s device only needs to be capable of producing around 8 watts of power, which every variable wattage device should be capable of doing.

However! Getting those same 3.8 volts from a 0.5 ohm coil requires 28.8 watts, which is a lot more to ask. Additionally, many devices also have a minimum ohm-load requirement of at least 1 ohm, as a form of battery protection. Put both of these considerations together, and it means that an enormous segment of the market’s most popular devices, such as the MVP2 or iStick, are incapable of firing the sub-ohm coils that come with these tanks. For many users, a new sub-stank will also require the purchase of a brand-new device.

Smok Vapor ChaserOnce that shiny new device has been purchased, another unexpected complication arises: Shorter battery life. All those watts have to come from somewhere, after all, and the difference in battery longevity between running at 10 watts and running at 30 watts is a substantial one. My IPV Mini, for instance, has a 2500 mAh EFEST 18650 battery in it, which lasts me about two days on a 1.6 ohm Nautlius BVC coil at 10.5 watts. That exact same battery only lasts a few hours when running a modest 0.8 ohm build on my RDA, due to needing twice as many watts to reach my preferred 4.2 volts. There’s also the added detriment that running such low resistances wastes energy as heat inside the battery cell itself, which reduces the overall lifespan of the battery.

The last major difference, at least as far as the coils are concerned, is the price. Using VaporBeast’s prices as an example, Kanger Aerotank users can get a pack of five replacement coils for $8.95. A pack of 5 Kanger Subtank coils, however, go for $15.49. The same is true with the Aspire Nautilus and Aspire Atlantis: $12.49 for 5 Nautilus BVCs and $18.95 for 5 Atlantis coils. These prices will vary depending on the outlet, of course, and word on the street is that these coils do last a fairly decent amount of time, but the price difference is still something worth thinking about when considering an upgrade to a sub-ohming tank.

New innovations will always crop up as our industry continues is ceaseless march forward, and each will bring with them new sets of pluses, minuses and caveats. As consumers, it behooves us to do the research and truly understand what we’re getting into with every purchase, which in this case is a one-to-one trade off between performance and affordability.

For many of us, more vapor and better flavor will be worth whatever concessions we have to make elsewhere, while for others, increased spending on liquid and coils just isn’t an option, never mind having to buy a whole new device. Regardless, when compared to rebuildables sub-ohming tanks are still the easiest, safest way to enter the world of direct lung inhales and cloud chucking, should that be a journey you wish to take.

Also Read: The Best Sub-Ohm Tank Comparison

45 COMMENTS
  • wildwildwest 01/28/2015

    Very well written, and in a way most new sub-ohmers will be able to understand. Thank you.

  • Galactic Vibrations 01/28/2015

    The sub-ohm tank is the greatest vaping innovation since the first mods. I love my subtank! Paired with a $30.00 dual18650 box mod from Fasttech I can vape away for 2 days before needing a battery charge. Nice article, Jordan 🙂

  • Santi 01/28/2015

    Thanks for your advice. Happy vaping!!!

  • John 01/29/2015

    Sub ohm the term has been tossed around for a few years now as the holy grail of vaping. It generally means a coil measured below 1ohm. To a purist it means going to ridiculous low levels like 0.05ohms etc. These tanks,offer a way for the average vaper to get the sub ohm experience without using an rda and making their own coils. Thing is I’ve found that you can get a sub ohm result with the right device and a higher ohm coil. The high wattage regulated device allow for this. Again the purist will argue this is not so and definitely not cool. Great write up on these tanks and great advice for those looking into this area of vaping.

    • Rob 10/12/2015

      oh? that’s informative. what would you recommed to pair with a high ohm coil? i have been using 1100 mAh variable voltage batteries, would they suffice, or would something a bit higher like a 1300 mAh battery deliver a preferable result? would you say it similarly drains the battery with the quickness?

      • Nathan 10/12/2015

        A higher ohm coil requires less power so you battery will actually last longer. Its up to you if you need a larger battery but 200mah won’t make a huge difference.

  • michael 01/30/2015

    Very well written indeed thank you so much for this information.

  • justice, Brian 02/03/2015

    Looks like I need to step up my gear….

  • western12 02/04/2015

    After dealing with a constantly leaking orchid and a lackluster Kayfun, the new Atlantis is a monstrous cloud of reliable and consistent pleasure…

  • Colton 02/07/2015

    Cool didnt know some of that

  • iTiger 02/07/2015

    I love my Subtank Mini. I like to run it with the rebuild deck to save money on wicks; but I do keep a couple wicks on hand for if I don’t have time to rebuild.
    I’ve also found these wicks last 3-4 weeks and I’m a very heavy vapor.
    I’ve found that the subtank is great for somebody like me that doesn’t feel satisfied with smaller vape gears limited vapor production but doesn’t have time to stop and drip threw out the day.

    On another note I just saw the upcoming Horizon Tecg Arctic sub ohm tank will have 0.2 ohm and 0.5ohm wicks and with the 0.2ohm can be used up to 100 watts.

    • Nathan 02/07/2015

      0.2ohms is super low, you have to really know what your doing to vape safely that low.

      • Austin 07/15/2016

        What are the safety considerations? I got the arctic and vape at .2ohms. I get nervous at the .5ohms because it uses considerably less wattage and I feel like the amps are too high in my Evic VTwo Mini but idk. I’m researching like crazy because I don’t want a battery to blow up in my face. All I want is to replace my cig consumption with something easy that tastes good and works when I want. The 0.2ohms does this just fine but the battery life is a little to be desired.

  • txgirl3eb 02/12/2015

    thanks, very informative!

  • Zombie 02/15/2015

    I used the Kanger Sub on an Eleaf 50w tonight. I was clouding like the RDA’s at 32 watts. Having used RDA’s tanks and even the first little sticks from Europe, I find the sub tank a happy middle ground. It gets me the nic I need to sate a craving quicker than an aero and it isn’t as messy as a RDA. Nothing worse than an e liquid handshake.

  • Ulf 02/19/2015

    I got both the Kangertech Mini and the Aspire Atlantis.
    If you ask me the Kangertech wins in flavor and also in versatility due to the fact that you can also build your own coils. But, the Aspire wins in airflow, not by much there is just a slightly better airflow as it opens a little more. Also the Atlantis has 4 holes into the cotton where the Kanger have 2.

    I have read some people complain about the ceramic in the Atlantis, and just to be clear, the ceramic is not in the cotton. The cotton used in it is just like in the Kangertech organic cotton, but to prevent soaking (perhaps due to 4 holes for the liquid) there is a thin ceramic film surrounding the cotton. This is as far as i can tell nothing that have compromised vaping or flavor but it makes it a bit harder to rebuild/rewick the pre-made coils if you should choose to do so.
    You can choose to just replace the cotton or both the wire and the cotton, youtube has the answers to any questions about that.

    Buildquality on both are topnotch, nothing to complain about except maybe on the Kangertech Mini where oil seem to leak between the glass and the metal frame (wich goes inside the glass tank) so no leaking out from the tank.
    The driptip might get a bit warm on it too as i have not yet managed to get the tip on the Atlantis to get hot or warm no matter how hard i tried.
    Solved it on the Mini by replacing the driptip to a skull one that gives a lot cooler vape.

    The only drawback on the Atlantis compared to the mini is that it sounds a lot more when you vape, but that is no major just something i have noticed.

    Currently using both tanks on a Grand Innovations GI2 @27-30w (or roughly 3.8-4.0v) with dual Sony VTC4 and that is where i think the sweetspot is for me, some might want to get below that for a slightly cooler vape. This also tells you that any mechmod would hit the sweetspot just right.

  • Keith Younf 02/28/2015

    Thank you for this article it was helpful I’m on my way to get a sub ohm tank right now it’ll be fun I am intrigued by the flavor I get from sub ohming and not always into dripping. I’m very excited that these tanks are now on the market

  • VH fan 03/06/2015

    It’s a good thing to know what type of vapor you are . If you are satisfied with vaping the more common tanks and clearo’s out there then think twice about going down this route.

    I have tried all different types of vaping including trying countlessly different ohm builds, different devices , different wattages , wire gauges etc.. and i much prefer the flavor and benefits i get from not going sub ohm .

    Remember, everybody has their own preferences , just make sure you don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to delve into the sub ohm World to get a more than satisfactory vaping experience .

    It’s just not true for a very large percentage of vapors out there.

    • geo 03/15/2016

      I’m with u.

      Love my Nautilus and Nautilus minis…1.8 makes a fine, smooth and cool cloud.
      Been on these for a year now and lovin evry minute of it.
      Tried subs, temp control and keep going back to the Nautilus.
      Ive never wanted to look like I’m on fire and even think the industry is barkin up the wrong tree.
      Maybe if we weren’t blowing clouds, the non vapors wouldn’t fear us.

  • Cindy 03/13/2015

    I think you just saved me a lot of money. Was tempted to go sub ohm but think I’ll stay right where I am now. Excellent, informative and honest article. Thanks

    • Nathan 03/13/2015

      Now that’s what I like to hear! You can always try one later when there cheaper.

  • Analogfree 03/19/2015

    First sub tank was the Atlantis, but when that got lost I replaced it with a Delta II (mostly because of the rebuildable deck). The delta II is amazing. Having vaped both now I am so happy I lost the Atlantis. The Atlantis isn’t a bad tank but the delta for airflow and flavor are amazing.

  • CJ 04/04/2015

    I have an Aspire Atlantis and am rather disappointed. Sure, it makes lots of clouds but the flavor is almost non-existent. Due to the extreme heat these tanks use, it largely destroys flavor. I do like the smaller versions of these big tanks, such as the Aspire K1. It’s more of a balance between clouds and flavor. What’s the point in vaping if you don’t enjoy the taste? Not to mention, it does use less e-liquid. The best flavor overall I think comes from small clearomizers, you just have to suck too hard to draw vapor from it, which gets a little annoying.

  • Chris cole 05/10/2015

    I got a couple different sub tanks and I still use my mini nautilus most of the time.I find the flavor to be better and overall the system lasts longer for on the go vapes

  • Robert Hall 05/18/2015

    What’s up guys? I’m A newbie to the whole world of vaping, I just recently won a zero modz 50 watt box mod.As I said I’m a newbie, so any advice on what style tank I should be using with it..

    • Mark 05/18/2015

      The Zero is a great mod! I have one and absolutely LOVE it! The mod just “feels” right… You know? If you go with any of the sub ohm tanks that can use Aspire coils (Atlantis, Melo, Sega, etc) you can run the AnyVape rebuildable coil head and save yourself a tone of $$$ in the long run should you decide rebuilding is up your alley. Honestly, I still run my TOBH V2 RDA more than anything else. The new sub ohm tanks give great vapor and flavor (and they look really slick on the zero), but dripping still (IMHO) just can’t be beat.
      Good luck with the Zero! If 50 watts will do the trick for you, I think you’ll find it hard to replace.

  • Robert Hall 05/20/2015

    Thanks, Mark..Will check on some of the options you gave..

    • Paul 03/22/2016

      So if I put a coil that’s over 1 ohm on the istick 40w will that run in temp control mode or power mode or is that a really stupid question?

      • Nathan 03/22/2016

        You need special wire like Ni-200 to run in temp control mode

  • Melody Marrone 06/01/2015

    If the istick and the itaste mvp aren’t compatible with these sub ohm tanks, could you recommend a good 30-5w box mod that will work with these sub ohms? I was looking into getting a subohm this week and was gonna order the istick but apparently I can’t now, so I need advice on a new brand!

  • Mike 06/09/2015

    The money debate shouldn’t be about how much the tanks and coils cost, it’s really about how much more you will have to spend on juice. I went from going through a 15 ml bottle of juice on average in 1.5-2 weeks with my old tank to using 50ml of juice a week with an Aspire Atlantis 2. Spending more on juice now than I ever used to on cigarettes so I’m going back to the old tank. Something to think about if you are going to try sub ohm set ups.

  • DyNama, Ohio 07/13/2015

    I’ve come back to reread this article several times. I love browsing ecig stores online and there is an overwhelming trend to sub-ohming but I keep deciding it’s not for me. I regularly vape at my non-smoking McDonald’s and I find non-vapers–everybody else at McDonald’s, I’m the only one–react negatively to big clouds. I tell people that even big clouds are practically harmless, and they remind me I used to say that about cigaret smoke too (I did). I’ve decided to keep my clouds down to about what I used to get from cigarets.

  • huckles 07/27/2015

    You failed to mention that some sub Ohm tanks offer an optional RDA deck for those that desire can build their own coils . I love all my sub Ohm tanks . I’ve gone for 3 day’s w/o Recharge !!!

    • huckles 07/27/2015

      Correction on my comment some sub Ohm tank offer an optional( RTA deck) for those that desire to build their own coils . I just realized this is an old article now we also have TC MODS that solve the heat issues .

  • Mikeyboy113 10/10/2015

    I really want to enjoy serious sub ohm vaping enough to quit smoking. To say I do would be a lie.I have 4 tanks now including Crown, Atlantis 2, Arctic, and Kanger mini. The last 2 are the only ones I enjoy. Overall, i dont like the heat, need for direct lung inhale, and tendency to cough. I also miss the quicker nic response.

    Any suggestions aporeciated.

    • Nathan 10/10/2015

      If you don’t like the heat and direct to lung inhaling you may be better of with a non sub ohm tank like the Nautilus.

  • ivan 11/03/2015

    Hi everyone….newbie vaper here……..i have one question if anyone can help me out with……..I am currently using the EGO MEGA……….BUT I FIND THE VAPOR USING THE 0.5 OHM COIL TOO HOT FOR MY LIKING……..CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND ME SOME OTHER TANK THAT WOULD GO WELL WITH THE EGO MEGA…….AND ALSO PROVIDE A COOLER VAPE AT A SUB OHM LEVEL………ANY HELP WHATSOEVER WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED……I CANT AFFORD A MOD SO PLEASE SUGGEST ME A TANK THAT WOULD WORK WITH THE EGO MEGA

    ALSO……THIS MIGHT SOUND CRAZY…….BUT WILL USING A MENTHOL FLAVORED EJUICE WITH THE EGO MEGA TANK SOMEHOW REDUCE THE HIT ON THE THROAT AS I CANT BEAR TO INHALE THE VAPE FROM THE CURRENT TANK ,I.E, THE EGO MEGA, WITHOUT COUGHING UP…..IM CURRENTLY USING HALO TRIBECCA (3 MG)

    THANKS GUYS

    • Nathan 11/03/2015

      Why not try the 1.0ohm coils for the tank you are using.

      • ivan 11/04/2015

        i do use the 1 ohm coils with this tank…….and i very much like the vapor produced by them but the flavor just isnt there……people just rave abt flavor when using sub-ohm coils……any suggestions

        • Nathan 11/04/2015

          I have never used the tank your using but I would assume the flavor would be better in a 1ohm coil and the vapor would be better in a 0.5ohm coil.

  • Mike 11/04/2015

    If you are having flavor issues you need to try a different mix of liquid. I use a. 3 ohm on my mod and I have no issue with flavor. The vg/pg ratio in your liquid is probably wrong for low ohm vaping. Talk to your shop about it.

  • Kimberlie 11/27/2015

    Hi everyone, I’m new to the vaping world, litterlly only a couple weeks in. Decided to quit regular cigarettes after 26 years. I started with the disposable cigalikes, but the nicotine content was still too low. So I got a vape pen, I have two of them and I find I’m using both of them throughout the day. I’m a pretty heavy hitter on both, and using 2.4% nic content 70/30 blend. I still feel like I’m not getting enough nicotine with both of them, and smoking regular cigarettes in between. I would love some advice on where to start for the correct nic content and a good beginner mod box starter kit, the whole shebang if you will. Too lazy and unknowledgable at this point to build my own. Does anyone have suggestions? Than you in advance.

  • Nikko 12/25/2015

    The Kanger sub tank mini is a very versatile tank. It comes with three different coils so suit your needs. The OCC .5 coil has a very good flavor with plenty of vapor production and you can run it on a 30w stick. I’ve also used the RBA with the supplied coil and made my own wick, very easy to do. Watch some videos on youtube and try it yourself, it just takes some practice.I have not tried the 1.5 ohm head. My next experiment is to try a clapton coil in the RTA.

  • geo 03/15/2016

    Hey Kim
    I’ve been at it a while and tried many different directions.
    The combination that has been most successful when converting friends has been:
    eleaf for simple and reliable power.
    Aspire Nautilus and Nautilus Mini with 1.8 ohm coils.
    These tanks will give you a nice mouth to lung draw that is easily adjustable for more or less air flow which is similar to smokes.
    Direct lung hits feel more like smoking through wrapping paper tube.
    good luck
    geo

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