What Is The Difference Between Classic v Sub-Ohm Vaping?

What Is The Difference Between Classic v Sub-Ohm Vaping?

Matthew Abercrombie |

There are two ways to vape. The classic style is known as “mouth-to-lung” (MTL) which mimics cigarette smoking. The newer style is sub-ohm vaping which is straight to lung or direct inhalation (DL).

Sub-ohm is also known as ‘cloud-chasing’ because of the huge plumes of vapour it produces. The e-liquid used to sub-ohm has a higher VG content so is a smoother vaping experience and comparable to Hookah.

Classic vaping uses a higher PG content so is harsher on the throat. It’s important to find the right balance for you. Read more about PG and VG in this article.

All e-liquids contain PG and VG content but have different proportions depending on the results you want from your vaping experience.

Some sub-ohm devices require e-liquids with maximum VG content; typically 80/20. Classic e-cigarettes will usually have a ratio of 70PG/30VG. However, you can balance the ratios to suit your preference.

There are some important points to note between the differences. The type of vaping style will determine the equipment you buy. You can’t sub-ohm with e-cigarettes designed for classic vaping.

The 3 key differences between classic vaping and sub-ohm:

Coil Resistance

Sub-ohm atomisers use a coil which is less than 1ohm. A low coil resistance allows more electric current to flow through it so the coil heats up faster and at a higher temperature.

The advantage of this is a richer flavour and thicker vape clouds - hence why sub-ohm vaping is known as ‘cloud-chasing’. The disadvantage is the e-liquid does not last as long.


Sub-ohm tanks have a superior airflow system. This allows more oxygen to penetrate the atomiser so you get a bigger mouthful of vapour - enabling you to create huge vape clouds.

Classic e-cigarettes produce less vape clouds so are arguably better suited to vaping in public.

E-Liquid Use

Sub-ohm tanks use much more vapour than classic vaping. Your stash, therefore, doesn’t last as long and is more expensive. This is the only downside to sub-ohm vaping.

It’s also recommended to use e-liquids with a lower concentration of nicotine when sub-ohm vaping - ideally less the 6mg. Anything higher than that can lead to nausea.

Why is sub-sub-ohming so popular?

Vaping boils down to personal experience. Whilst sub-ohm is the most popular method of vaping, it doesn’t necessarily mean its the best option for you.

One of the main reasons for its popularity is because VG e-liquids produce more diverse flavours and have a sweeter taste.

However, classic vaping has more PG content which carries flavour but is not as sweet. VG flavours are more acquainted with shisha.

Sub-ohms tanks, in the main, are also better engineered but are typically more expensive. If you want to produce giant vape clouds, sub-ohm atomisers are the best option.

Now you understand the difference between classic e-cigarettes and sub-ohm atomisers, it should be easier for you to make an informed choice of how you want to vape. If you’re still not sure, give us a call and we’ll talk you through the finer details.

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