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Vaping, Ohms, Watts

Confusion about ohms, watts and voltage are common among vapers. Many of us want to understand these principals and how they affect our vaping experience. However, it’s important to remember that not every vaper needs to understand ohms, watts or voltage to enjoy vaping.
Some vaping kits are designed so that vapers can adjust their vaping experience, while others are intended to be simple and non-adjustable. With non-adjustable kits, vapers don’t have to worry about ohms, watts or voltage to have a great experience. Just check out the reviews and descriptions to find a device that suits your needs, whether you’re looking for big clouds or a long battery life.
But if you’re a vaper who enjoys customising their experience or knowing the science behind how ohms, watts and voltage affect vaping then it’s worth understanding these principles. Resistance (measured in ohms) and voltage can affect the intensity of throat hit and flavour as well as size of the clouds produced when vaping. Adjusting these values on variable devices or switching between different kits can create a vaping experience that will appeal to different people.

Basic Information

Vaping devices use a battery to power a heating coil which is used to vaporise e-liquid. The heat and capacity of the device is affected by the resistance, current, electrical potential difference and power consumption of the circuit as well as the battery capacity.

Resistance: how much electrical power can pass through the coil, measured in ohms.

Current: the amount of electricity passing through the coil, measured in amps.

Electrical potential difference: the difference in electrical charge between two points in the circuit, measured in voltage.

Power consumption: the amount of power drained by the circuit, measured in watts.

Battery capacity:The storage capacity of batteries, measured in milliampere hours.


Ohms are a unit of resistance that measure how much electrical power (watts) can pass through the heating coil. Lower resistance means more watts which creates more heat. But lower resistance isn’t always a good thing and the level of resistance you need will depend on what vaping experience you’re looking for.
Lower resistance coils generate more heat and vapour. The vapour will also be warmer and in some devices the flavour more intense. But lower resistance coils will also drain the battery more quickly, burn through e-liquid faster and will cause your device to wear out.
Higher resistance coils will generate less heat and vapour, creating vapour that is cooler and potentially less flavourful. However, higher resistance coils will also be less intensive on your equipment, use e-liquid less quickly, drain the battery slower and are less likely to produce a dry hit.
Resistance is a matter of personal choice and it can be useful for new vapers to experiment to see what they prefer. Some e-liquids also behave differently depending on the resistance, so this might influence your choices.

Sub Ohm Vaping

Sub ohm vaping involves using vaping equipment where the coils have a resistance of less than one ohm. This creates more vapour with each hit without the drawbacks of producing excessive heat or burning the wick which alternative methods for producing more vapour can suffer from.
Sub ohm vaping works through coil resistance creating more heat. Combine this heat with increased airflow and that’s how sub ohm kits produce more vapour without putting the same strain on the battery as other techniques for larger clouds.
While sub ohm vaping is ideal for cloud chasers or anyone looking to produce thicker clouds, it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some vapers find it too showy or even antisocial, but it can be a very fun experience for those who enjoy it.

Ohms law and making your own coils

The heating coil in vaping devices becomes worn and damaged over time and with open vaping systems the coil can be removed and replaced. Replacement coils with different resistance ratings can be brought from vaping stores or online, but some vapers like to build their own coils.
When building a replacement coil, vapers need to understand two things, ohms law and the calculation for working out the number of wraps to produce the desired resistance.

Ohms law describes the relationship between voltage, current and resistance and can be used to work out one of these values if the other two are known. The ohms law calculation that’s useful for vapers is Current (Amps) = Voltage (Volts) Divided by Resistance (Ohms). This means that if you’re vaping with a 1.5ohm coil and a 4.2volt battery then the current being drained from the battery is 2.8amps (Current = 4.2/1.5 = 2.8A)
When building a coil, the number of times the resistance wire is wrapped changes the resistance of the finished coil. Vapers building their own coils need to know the resistance they are aiming for as well as the number of wraps needed to reach the desired resistance. The number of wraps needed is affected by the wire’s resistance, thickness, diameter of the coil and other factors. There are online coil wrapping calculators to help vapers when building their own coils.

Voltage And Wattage

Resistance isn’t the only factor that influences vaping experience, voltage can also make a big difference. Variable voltage devices allow vapers to adjust the amount of power flowing through the heating coil. Changing the voltage will also affect the power being drained from the battery (watts). Some devices allow vapers to adjust the wattage rather than the voltage so vapers can choose the power output instead of the potential difference, but the end results are the same. Increasing the power in a lower resistance coil will create more vapour, but it can also wear out the atomiser more quickly and increase the risk of a dry hit. Some vapers like the freedom to customise the resistance, voltage or watts of their device to create the exact vaping experience they’re looking for. But other vapers are happy to keep things simple, choosing a device that’s right for them while leaving the resistance, voltage and watts alone.

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