Is Sub Ohm (DTL) Vaping Any Good? (Things To Know)


Sub ohm vaping otherwsie known as DTL (Direct to lung) has been the industry standard of vapers for many years.

DTL is the main way most experienced vapers get the most out of vaping.

Lets see how good sub ohm vaping is….

What Is Sub Ohm Vaping?

Sub ohm vaping is a term and style of vaping due to the lower resistance of coils installed into a vape tank that is below 1 ohm. This resistance is chosen to offer more power creating a more flavorful, warmer and denser vapor for a direct to lung way of vaping, needing less nicotine. This style is largely used by more advanced users but also beginners.

Why Use Direct To Lung (DTL) Vaping?

Direct to Lung (DTL) uses less nic and provides more flavor due to the larger amount of vapor produced. Essentially there is more volume and therefore less nicotine is needed to get the same hit.

DTL devices usually have more features such as adjustable power, temperature control, and they support various types of material coils.

Eliquid is usually available in a variety of ratios of VG/PG (you can read our article here about it). The VG is the main carrier and thicker. With DTL devices and the majority of liquid on the market, the VG is usually in the ratio of 70/30 or 80/20. This gives a much more smoother delivery. As most of the bottles available are of larger size, there is much more variety available for sub ohm or DTL vaping. It is also proportionately cheaper.

The devices do tend to be bigger, and as such last longer in use. This can be a down side for people wanting something very small and discreet but today the market offer many very compact options in all styles.

Type of E-Liquids To Be Used For Sub Ohm.

It is recommended that users of sub ohm tanks to not use high nicotine strength and to not use any strength higher than 6mg.

Most users of sub ohm tank will use 3 mg and the liquid will be a 70 % VG to 30% Pg mix. This is the optimum ratio for sub ohm tanks and is the most common type of liquid to the market and produced by the main brands and flavours across the world.

In the UK and EU e liquids that are over 10ml must follow TPD regulations meaning that most 70/30 liquids will contain 0mg of nicotine and will require what is called a nicotine shot to be added to eliquids. 

These bottles are 60ml bottle but contain 50ml of liquid with enough space for a 10ml nicotine shot to be added. Once added it is a simple shake to mix the shot with the contents of the bottom to blend everything together.

What Are The Best E-liquids For Sub Ohm

Many brands will offer liquids for sub ohm vaping but also for MTL being 50% VG and 50% Pg and higher nicotine strengths.

Such brands like Dinner lady, Charlie’s chalk dust, Wick Liquor, Anarchist, Twist and Element E Liquids are some of the most popular and we’ll know  brands offering liquids for sub ohm vaping.

Can You Use Nic Salts In A Sub Ohm?

Yes you can, although more designed for MTL vaping as it more accurately replicats the delivery of a cigarette, with less harshness. Nic salts come in 5, 10, 20mg 

But ideally for DTL you would use 3-6mg free base nicotine. You can read more about our Nic Salt article here….

What type Of Device Can Sub Ohm?

Most devices are capable of sub ohm vaping but sub ohm vaping is more determined by the type of tank and coils used. As long as the tank is capable of using a coil over 1 ohm you can use any device that can out put the power required by the coils for example if the coils is 0.5 ohm and requires 40 – 50 watts a device that is capable of 80w is more than capable to provide a great experience.

How Do You Know If Your Vape Can Sub Ohm?

Most devices can sub ohm as long as the device can output the power required for the coils used for the tank and as long as the device can read within the expected tolerances of the coils. 

Difference between sub ohm and MTL

There are 2 main differences between sub ohm vaping and MTL the most notable is the inhalation, sub ohm vaping is taken direct to the lung while MTL is taken mouth to lung.

The other difference is the type of E-Liquids used for the both, sub ohm uses thicker 70/30 liquids and lower nicotine and MTL often uses 50/50 and higher nicotine such as 6mg or higher.

Sub ohm vaping is often more flavorful compared to MTL vaping, especially with rebuildable products with more increased flavour and vapour production.

MTL products can also use 70/30 liquid at a lower nicotine but these MTL tanks are typically rebuildable tanks like the Hell vape MD rta but also can be used in replaceable coil tanks like the Aspire Nautilus 3 tank.

Is Sub Ohm Vaping Better?

Sub oh vaping is one of the most common ways of vaping in the market. Many vape shops and retailers offer more sub ohm kits than MTL devices.

Many users will prefer sub ohm vaping largely due to the increased performance from vapour production and flavour however sub ohm vaping can consume more e-liquids due to the increased power.

What Is The Method For Sub Ohm Vaping?

Using a sub ohm device is very simple, there are a few easy steps to follow.

Make sure the sub ohm tank is filled with liquid and to wait 5 – 10 minutes when using a fresh coil as E-liquid may not have completely soaked into the coil.

Some devices may self detect the resistance of the coil and set power levels accordingly but it is good practice to see what the recommended power level for the individual coils is and adjust power to the desired power level.

Devices that do not have a screen may self regulate power to the coils installed

You should bring the device and mouth piece to your mouth and put the drip tip into your mouth and then push the fire button.

Next breath taking the vapour straight to your lungs. Some people may cough when first experiencing this, this is normal what you can do is turn down the power to acclimate yourself to the sensation.

After inhalation exhale normally and repeat a few times till you feel satisfied by the vapour or by the nicotine if any from the e-liquid chosen.

Mouth to lung or MTL is slightly different on the inhalation as it is a two step process. This is taking it into your mouth for a brief second and then taking it to your lungs. This is more similar to the way smokers normally take in smoke from cigarettes.

Which Is Better For Me DTL Or MTL?

This is dependent on the users preference as some people may prefer mouth to lung compared to direct to lung and vice versa, both are great options however MTL may be easier for beginners / users quitting smoking due to the similarity.

It is important to know if you were to put a direct to lung sub-ohm tank onto a device that is designed for MTL the device may be underpowered as most of these devices have a maximum power of 40 to 50 watts and most sub ohm tanks can require 40 watts or more.

Why Use Direct To Lung Vaping?

There are many reasons you users prefer sub-ohm vaping and why sub-ohm devices are more common to the market.

This is due to the ability to use less nicotine in e liquids often most users of sub ohm tanks will use 3 mg nicotine strengths which come in a vast variety of flavours from deserts, creams, fruity and many in between. This option opens many doors and can make it easier for many people to find the perfect flavour for them

Sub ohm device will typically have more features such as temperature control using temperature sensitive wires like nickel, stainless steel or titanium, this mode allows for more control and can prevent dry hits however can be a learning curve to fully understand.

Other features may include boost features which deliver an increased boost of power at the very start of pressing the fire button on the device to remove any delay in ramp up.

While using sub-ohm devices you can also purchase large e liquid bottle sizes making it easier for the on the go users.

Sub-ohm devices come in a variety of shapes, sizes and battery availability with some devices taking 1, 2, 3 or even up to 4 batteries as well as some having built lipo batteries. Sub-ohm devices can typically last longer compared to other devices, especially devices with removable rechargeable batteries like 18650, 20700 or 21700 batteries.

Sub ohm vaping will give users much more vapour production with an increased amount of flavours as well as a smooth creamy sensation when vaping due to the amount of vapour, this is especially more noticeable with mesh style coils and combined with cream or custard flavoured e-liquids.

With sub ohm vaping you must remember for the best experience to not use high nicotine  strengths or high Pg content eliquids as this can be harsh and an unpleasant experience when vaping.

Is Sub Ohm Vaping Safe? 

Sub ohm vaping is very safe, in fact it is approved as almost 90% safer than smoking. In the UK and EU the TPD ( tobacco products directive) regulates quality and production of E-Liquids containing nicotine ensuring the products meet industry standards and safety.

Most of Europe support this and have a very strict directive where liquids must be heavily tested to provide proof of their safety, and making sure there are no nasties. Infact In the UK there are many vape stores inside hospitals!

Most of the main ingredients in e-liquid are found in many pharmaceuticals and foods.

The onboard chipsets in DTL devices are usually more advanced and therefore offer a high level of safety features for the user.

The higher level of VG (vegetable Glycerin) also means the vape is less harsh and safer, coupled with the fact there is very little nicotine. The average DTL vaper will use 3mg strength in nicotine. This essentially is the amount of nicotine per ml of liquid. As a comparison, you would need to vape 3ml of nicotine to have consumed the same amount as a cigarette. Vaping 3ml takes quite some time, but due to the purity of the nicotine, you still achieve the same hit required.

Sub-ohm vaping can be very safe as many liquids and products have been tested and pass through quality control measures before entering the market.

Sub-ohm devices have an array of built in safety features such as short circuit protection, temperature protection, automatic timed cut off, reverse battery protection, over change and many more. 

What Is The Best Resistance For DTL Vaping?

The resistance is the ohm’s or reading of the coil used. Coils vary from 0.1 ohm to even 5 ohm. The resistance you use will need different power settings. Each resistance with give a different vape experience and vaping at the wrong resistance will either under power the coil or over power it and burn it out. This is the same if you were to try and sub ohm a MTL coil and vice versa.

There is not real best resistance for sub ohm vaping as there are many many different sub ohm tanks offered on the market with even more coil options. The best option is dependent on what the user really wants from the tank with some tank offering more flavor then vapor and vice versa. 

Some users will prefer mesh coils which is typically a thin sheet of stainless steel or kanthal perforated with many holes or a woven design to create a larger surface area to create more flavor and vapor. 

Bands like Smok, Horizon tech, Aspire and Voopoo offer mesh options coils for their tanks and can typically last longer than traditional wire coils.

How Long Does Sub Ohm Vaping Last?

Sub-ohm kits can last a long time with some kits, mods and tanks lasting up to 5 years with regular care and maintenance.

Sub ohm coils will depend on the user but most replacement coils can last 1 – 3 weeks this is also dependent on the liquid used as some e liquids contain more sweeteners which can shorten the life expectancy and burn out the coil quicker.

Battery life is also dependent on the user as well as power levels selected to run the desired power for the chosen coil or coils, however you can typically expect sub ohm devices to last 1 – 3 days from a full charge.

Liquid consumption may vary depending on power settings and coil type with a 60ml bottle and a device set to 50 watts you can expect it to last 3 – 7 days.

What Do I Need To Buy For Sub Ohm Vaping?

There are a few things you will need to sub ohm vape most important is a sub-ohm capable device and tank. There are many options from brands, styles, design, shapes, battery capability all offering different needs for users.

Once you have chosen the device or kit you will need only a few things to maintain great usability of the device which is the desired e liquid, replacement coils, keeping the battery or batteries charged and if buying separately a sub ohm tank to attach to the chosen device.

Tips & Tricks For Using DTL

There are some very useful tips to remember when using any device to ensure your experience is optional for you and to maintain the device that works for you and lasts a long time.

Cleaning the tank regularly when replacing the coils is a great start, this will prevent leaking, lint or foreign parts entering into the tank or accidentally having them enter your mouth.

Not over filling the sub-ohm tank all the way is also a great way to prevent leakages as if the tank is overfilled pressure differences may cause the tank to leak.

Changing coils regularly is a must and it is advised to change the coils once every 3 week even if the coil has not burnt out this is good hygiene to replace.

If the tank floods or leaks you can fix it by replacing the coils, checking o ring and seals in the tank and making sure all components are screwed down tight.

 To get out the excess liquid from the base of the tank you can wrap s tissue, paper towel or cloth around the air flow and blow sharply into the tank without pressing the fire button, this will expel excess liquid out of the airflow.

What Are The Common Issues With DTL Vaping?

Some common issues that may occur with sub-ohm devices and tanks may not always be user error but these common issues can be easily avoided by following some simple steps.

Priming coils is one component that is often overlooked priming coils refers to before installing a new coil you put some e liquid on time the cotton sexton of the coil and let it soak in this will ensure your coils are ready to use right away rather than waiting. This will also help to prevent dry hits as well 

Changing coils is a must and is to be done if you yeast the coils is burnt or at least every 3 week to prevent leakages and lint from entering the tank.

Incorrect wattage settings can cause excessive use on the coils and burn out quicker as well as excessive battery drain meaning you may not get as long from the device. Coils will have a recommended wattage range on the side of the coil as well as on the packaging.

Filling correctly will ensure you do not have leaks as well as some tank will have a minimum liquid level indicating to not let liqu6 reach below the line this is there to prevent dry hits and the coils from burning out 

 Have airflow adjusted is one thing that is often missed and overlooked in many cases and is good practice to check the airflow is open before use as if the airflow is closed off you may unexpectedly burn the coil.

Coil connection is secure and will ensure that you do not get a short circuit warning and have a no atomizer warning come up on the device. You can check this by looking through the air flow and see if it is making a connection as well as furring the device.

Battery issues may occur if the battery is too low on charge / percentage as the device built in protections will prevent the device from firing to not put stress on the battery. You can either fully charge the device or replace the batteries if the device uses replaceable batteries.

What Are The Best Sub Ohm Kits To Buy?

With many brands offering sub ohm kits they’re have been many popular kits available over the years and that are still very popular today.

Sub ohm kits however can also use MTL tanks as the tanks on the devices are detachable or can use MTL coils but these coils are not always the best option as the tanks are usually especially designed for sub ohm direct to lung vaping.

Voopoo drag 3 kit 

Geek vape Aegis 2 kit

Smok Nord 4 kit

Vaporesso Target 100 kit

What Are The Alternatives to DTL vaping?

There are two main types of vaping being sub ohm which is mainly direct to lung and MTL vaping, however there is an option in between.

This is called restricted DTL, this is similar to MTL but with a slightly wider air flow allowing more air to pass through the tank. This can offer more flavor than some MTL tanks.

Rebuildable products are also a good alternative to sub ohm tanks as you can retain sub-ohm use but have more flavor however this will require more knowledge due to the more complex use as users will need to either build their own coils and install in the rebuildable tank or RDA.

Final thoughts

Sub ohm vaping is a great option for many users offering great flavour from the sub-ohm tank as well as a variety of coil options for users to get the best experience possible. With many brands offering sub-ohm kits it is a very easy operation to start your experience.

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