Classic Vaping Vs Sub Ohm

Discover which style of vaping is right for you with our guide to Classic (MTL) Vaping vs Sub Ohm (DTL Vaping. 

Over the last decade, vaping has bloomed into a hugely popular and dynamic pastime, offering something for every taste and preference while helping millions of smokers ditch the harms of traditional tobacco products for a far safer alternative. As vaping technology has evolved, we’ve seen several styles of vaping emerge that appeal to different kinds of vapers. Among these styles, Classic Vaping and Sub-Ohm Vaping stand out as two of the most common methods of vaping, each with its unique appeal and characteristics.  

Whether you're new to vaping or considering switching up your style, understanding these differences can be key to a great experience. This blog aims to demystify Classic Vaping and Sub-Ohm Vaping, helping you to choose the right style that best aligns with your personal approach to vaping. 

What is Classic Vaping? 

Classic Vaping is a somewhat redundant term nowadays and is more commonly referred to as Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) Vaping. This style of vaping most closely mimics the experience of smoking traditional cigarettes. It involves drawing vapour into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs, similar to how you would have smoked a cigarette. This style is particularly appealing to those newly transitioning from smoking to vaping or vapers who prefer a more discreet level of vapour from their e-cigarette.  

Characteristics of Classic MTL Devices

MTL devices are typically characterised by their high-resistance coils (above 0.8ohm, but typically 1.0ohm or higher), lower wattage output, and tighter airflow, designed to simulate the draw of a cigarette. These devices range from simple pen-style vapes and disposable vapes to pod kits, which all offer easy operation and portability. 

Sub-Ohm vapingSub-Ohm vaping

The Best E-liquids for MTL Vaping

The e-liquids best suited for MTL vaping usually have a higher Propylene Glycol (PG) content, with High-PG e-liquid providing a stronger throat hit and carrying flavour more effectively. 50/50 vape juices are also great for MTL, and offer a perfect balance of throat hit, vapour output and flavour. Nicotine Salts are also popular in MTL vaping due to their ability to deliver higher nicotine concentrations without harshness, making them ideal for smokers looking to switch. 

MTL vaping is a style enjoyed by many – perhaps even the majority – of smokers for its simplicity and effectiveness, especially for newer vaper who enjoy a familiar experience that (safely) mimics the form of smoking they’re accustomed to.

What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?

Sub-Ohm Vaping takes the vaping experience to new heights, emphasising large vapour production and intense flavour. As with ‘classic vaping,’ a more contemporary term for this style is DTL (direct-to-lung) vaping. With DTL vaping, you draw the vapour directly into your lungs rather than hold it in the mouth first, as with MTL vaping. The prefix "sub-ohm" refers to vaping using a device with a coil resistance of less than 1ohm. This style is favoured by those who enjoy vaping as a hobby and are keen on experimenting with their devices to create the biggest clouds and richest flavours possible. Not for nothing do such vapers proudly identify as ‘Cloud Chasers.’ 

Characteristics of Sub-Ohm DTL Devices 

Sub-Ohm devices, also categorised as advanced vape kits, are known for their powerful batteries and low-resistance coils, capable of heating a larger amount of e-liquid at a higher temperature. This results in more vapour and a warmer vape. These devices often come with advanced features such as Temperature Control, Smart Mode, and adjustable airflow controls, allowing vapers to customise their vaping experience to their liking. From box mods to advanced pod systems, Sub-Ohm devices offer lots of control over your vaping, with a range of settings for a truly optimised vape. 

Sub-Ohm vapingSub-Ohm vaping

The Best E-liquids for Sub-Ohm DTL Vaping 

The ideal e-liquids for Sub-Ohm vaping have a higher Vegetable Glycerin (VG) content. VG is thicker than PG and produces denser vapour clouds, along with a smoother throat hit. High-VG e-liquids are perfect for those looking to enjoy big clouds and a less intense throat hit, making them a popular choice among cloud chasers. Additionally, the flavour profiles can be more pronounced and varied, offering a wide palette for the taste buds. 

Sub-Ohm vaping is more than just a method; it's a lifestyle choice for many in the vaping community. It appeals to those who are enthusiastic about their gear and enjoy the process of tweaking and customising their setups for the best performance. While it might require a bit more knowledge and experience to get started, the payoff in vapour volume and flavour intensity is well worth the effort for many. 

Nicotine strengths explainedNicotine strengths explained

Key Differences Between Classic Vaping and Sub-Ohm Vaping

Understanding the distinctions between Classic (MTL) Vaping and Sub-Ohm (DTL) Vaping is crucial for vapers who want to home in on their ideal vaping experience. Here are the key differences that set these two styles apart:

Vapour Production:

  • Classic MTL Vaping produces a modest amount of vapour, mimicking the smoke output of traditional cigarettes. It's perfect for vapers who prefer discretion. 
  • Sub-Ohm DTL Vaping, on the other hand, is all about producing large, dense clouds of vapour. It's best for vapers who enjoy cloud chasing and a more visually impactful vaping experience. 

Throat Hit and Nicotine Intake:

  • Classic MTL Vaping offers a pronounced throat hit, especially when using high-PG e-liquids or nicotine salts. It allows for a higher nicotine intake, satisfying former smokers' cravings more effectively. 
  • Sub-Ohm DTL Vaping typically results in a smoother throat hit, due to the higher VG content in the e-liquids used. This style often involves lower nicotine levels, as the large volume of vapour delivers nicotine more efficiently. 

Flavour Experience:

  • Classic MTL Vaping is known for delivering clear and precise flavours, making it ideal for vapers who prioritise taste over vapour production. 
  • Sub-Ohm DTL Vaping enhances the flavour experience by heating more e-liquid at a higher temperature, offering a more intense and often more nuanced flavour profile. 

E-Liquid Compatibility:

  • Classic Vaping is best paired with high-PG, 50/50 e-liquids or nicotine salts, which are thinner and provide a stronger throat hit and higher nicotine strength. 
  • Sub-Ohm Vaping works well with high-VG e-liquids, which are thicker and produce more vapour, offering a smoother vape with less nicotine hit per puff.

Device and Coil Requirements:

  • Classic MTL Vaping devices are generally simpler, with higher resistance coils (above 0.8ohm) and lower power requirements. They're user-friendly and often more portable than advanced vape kits. 
  • Sub-Ohm MTL Vaping requires more advanced devices capable of handling low resistance coils (below 8ohm) and higher wattages. These devices offer more customisation options but can be bulkier and more complex to use.

Don’t know which coil to use with your device? Use our handy Coil Finder tool.

What is RDTL Vaping?

In recent years, a fresh style of vaping has emerged that aims to offer the best of both MTL and DTL. RDTL means Restricted Direct-to-Lung and is a happy medium between the two styles: not as breezy as DTL but not as tight as MTL. It’s a very versatile style that works with most types of e-liquids but requires a certain amount of manual adjustments to airflow and experimenting with coil resistances to enjoy fully. You can read more about RDTL vaping on our other blog.

Choosing Your Vaping Style

The choice between Classic Vaping and Sub-Ohm Vaping ultimately comes down to personal preference. Whether you value discreetness, a tactile throat hit and intense flavour or prefer massive clouds and rich, velvety flavours, there's a style that matches your needs. Consider what aspects of vaping are most important to you—throat hit, cloud production, flavour intensity, device complexity, or nicotine satisfaction—to guide your choice. 

No matter which you adopt, both styles have their unique benefits and cater to distinct aspects of the vaping experience. Remember, the beauty of vaping lies in its versatility and the ability to tailor your experience to fit your lifestyle and preferences. And if you ever find yourself in doubt or need advice on making the best choice for your vaping needs, our Customer Services Team at Vapestore is always here to help, offering expert guidance and support. 

Happy vaping!

Classic Vaping Vs Sub Ohm

What is Vaping?

When most people think of an electronic cigarette, they think it’s ‘like smoking’. In fact, there is no ‘smoke’ involved, merely vapour. If you enjoy vaping, you are in fact ... a ‘vaper’.

The term ‘vaping’ and ‘to vape’ is merely describing the action of using an electronic cigarette, which is defined by a delivery system which supplies you with the nicotine you crave without all the other harmful effects you would be exposed to with regular tobacco smoking. This delivery system simply uses nicotine which is the main component in e-liquid, a battery, a coil (heating element of the device) and a tank to fill with e-liquid.

In August 2015, E-cigarettes were proved by PHE* to be 95% less harmful to you than tobacco, so it’s no wonder the e-cigarette market currently makes up 8% of the tobacco industry (a huge number considering e-cigarettes have only been around in recent years!)

*PHE – Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK.

What is vaping?What is vaping?

Classic Vaping

There are two methods of vaping. The first is classic style or "mouth to lung" (MTL) as it is also known. This mimics the same way as smoking tobacco cigarettes - you draw the vapor into your mouth, then inhale into your lungs. The e-liquid used for classic vaping is normally a higher PG* to VG* ratio, and the coils used are normally somewhere between 1.6ohm and 2.4ohm resistance, designed to give you the ‘throat-hit’ that a normal cigarette would.

See our range of classic vaping kits.

Classic vapingClassic vaping

Sub-Ohm Vaping

The second style is "Sub Ohm" vaping or straight to lung/direct inhalation (DL), also known as ‘Cloud-Chasing’, which gives out much, much more vapour than classic vaping and a smoother throat hit. The user inhales the vapour directly into their lungs. The e-liquid used for sub ohm vaping is normally a higher VG* to PG* ratio, and the coils used in the Tank/Clearomizer/Atomizer* are normally somewhere between 0.5ohm and 1.5ohm resistance, hence the term sub ohm (below 1ohm). Due to the amount of vapour you are inhaling, e-liquids for Sub-Ohm devices are made with a much lower nicotine percentage. This method has become very popular in the UK and USA since the end of 2014.

See our range of sub-ohm vaping kits.

Sub-Ohm vapingSub-Ohm vaping

*PG/VG – two main components of our UK made e-liquid. PG stands for Propylene Glycol and VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin. A high or Max VG liquid would be thicker in consistency than a high PG liquid. VG is essentially a thickener and PG a thinner. The Vapouriz Group use a Propylene Glycol of high-quality pharmaceutical grade organic compound, which combined with nicotine and other flavourings, helps to promote a great ‘throat-hit’. Glycerin itself is a sweet-tasting and viscous liquid which helps to produce more vapour and holds more flavour.

*Tank/Clearomizer/Atomizer - all of these are terms for the mouthpiece component for an e-cigarette or box mod devices. This is the part in which the coil sits, and where the e-liquid is filled.

Key Differences Between Sub-Ohm Vaping and Classic Vaping

Classic vaping is designed to mimic the sensation of a normal cigarette, thus giving you a powerful throat-hit and has the ability to use high nicotine e-liquid suitable for satisfying heavy smokers.

Sub-Ohm vaping is a much smoother draw, more comparable to Shishaa for example, which is only available in much lower nicotine strengths, such as 0mg, 3mg or 6mg, due to the amount of vapour or ‘cloud’ that one would receive.

Sub-Ohm devices require a MAX VG e-liquid. This ratio is usually around 80VG:20PG, whereas classic e-cigarettes require a higher PG e-liquid, usually with a ratio of roughly 70PG:30VG. This is due to the varying resistances running through the coil inside different devices.

See the chart below for a summary.

Nicotine strengths explainedNicotine strengths explained

Why Is Sub-Ohming So Popular?

Sub-Ohm vaping has developed so much in recent years it now provides a platform for novice vapers to not only cut the habit but also to understand more about the industry. It also allows individuals to customise devices to their own standards and preferences.

RTAs*, RBAs* and RDAs* are now more popular, widely used methods across both the UK and the rest of the world. This allows an individual to buy the components as well as access the instructions (which are widely spread over the internet) to be able to re-build their own coils and adjust the settings of a device in a way suitable to their preferences — opening up many doors to the public.

To summarise, the main reasons why Sub-Ohming has become so popular are:

  1. Much denser clouds due to a high VG liquid, which in turn mean that there is a totally different inhalation/exhalation sensation compared to both classic vaping and cigarette smoking.
  2. High VG liquids hold more diversity with regards to complex flavour combinations.
  3. Due to the density of the cloud, one can taste much more flavour of the e-liquid while Sub-Ohming, compared to classic vaping.
  4. Generally speaking, Sub-Ohm devices are better engineered than standard e-cigarette pens due to the fact they are more robust and have a solid structure.
  5. More diversity with airflow, types of coils, wire, cotton, wattage etc, so much more input and creativity permitted for individuals.
  6. Financial savings as dripping onto coils and RBA’s tend to be substantially cheaper than regular vaping as you don’t need to buy the coils themselves, only the components to make them.
Popular sub-ohm kitsPopular sub-ohm kits

*RBA - ReBuildable Atomizer; Encompasses all variations of a rebuildable device.
*RTA - Rebuildable Tank Atomizer; A pressure differential tank system that holds juice to feed the atomizer. More convenient for on-the-go usage as they can automatically saturate the wick and carry a lot of juice.

*RDA - Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer; No tank to hold juice, you drip onto the coil/atomizer directly whenever the wick goes dry. Typically, a 510 base sufficient to hold a coil(s), with a small well to drip juice into. Often the most flavourful, and most often used for sub-ohm vaping. Although can be slightly inconvenient as you will need to re-drip often if you are a heavy vaper.