- What is a sub ohm tank?
- How does a sub ohm tank work?
- What are the advantages of sub ohm tanks?
- What are the disadvantages of sub ohm tanks?
- How to clean a sub ohm tank
- What are the best coils for sub ohm tanks?
- What e-liquid should I use in a sub ohm tank?
- Where to buy sub ohm tanks?
- What’s the best sub ohm tank for you?
If you want to chuck some huge clouds, sub ohm tanks are the best way. Their performance rivals that of an RDA or RTA, but they utilize disposable coils. Sub ohm tanks—also called subtanks—provide a direct lung vape using low-resistance replaceable coils.
Sub ohm tanks are among the most popular vape tanks available. Choosing the right one for you can be confusing because of all the options. But we’ve made it easy by narrowing the list down to the best sub ohm tanks currently available.
Horizon Falcon Legend
The aptly named Falcon Legend is the latest entry in Horizon’s legendary sub ohm tank line. The tank is compatible with all the M and F series coils and introduces the M6 and M8 coils with “parallel grid tube-shaped integrated mesh coil” tech. The Legend holds 5 mL of juice and comes in five color options.
Freemax Fireluke 4
The fourth iteration of the Fireluke is Freemax’s best tank to date. Coming from the industry leader in coil design, it adopts the FM COILTECH5.0/Double-D Mesh coil technology, stated to achieve a 50% improvement on flavor and heating speed. The tank measures 28 mm, holds 5 mL, and is compatible with a whopping 17 coils.
VAPORESSO iTank 2
The sequel to the excellent iTank comes with an updated filling system, a larger anti-leak base, and an improved airflow design. But most importantly, it is compatible with one of the best-performing coil lines, the COREX-powered GTi line. The iTank holds up to 8 mL and comes in six colors.
Known for their high-quality coils, Horizon introduces two new coil structures with the Aquila: an encircle dual mesh and a parallel quadruple mesh coil. The top cap features a click spring loaded design for easy filling. The tank measures 28 mm in diameter and holds up to 5 mL of e-liquid. Available in five color options.
Geekvape Z FLI
Since the release of the original Zeus tank, Geekvape has been the leader in the top-airflow sub ohm tank market. The Z Fli tank comes with a flip-top filling design, a 5.5 mL juice capacity, and a new coil line (Z XM) that promises to double the lifespan of your coils. Available in five color options.
What is a sub ohm tank?
Sub ohm tanks are made for atomizers designed for maximum cloud output. These atomizers have resistance levels under 1 ohm (sub ohm…get it?), and when combined with major airflow from deep inhalation and a high-wattage mod, they produce a lot of vapor. Subtanks combine the experience of sub-ohm dripping with the convenience of a tank. Now, anyone can be a cloud chaser!
Made for direct lung (DL) vaping, sub ohm tanks use pre-built coils that make the process simple. Most coils use cotton wicking, although manufacturers have recently begun using other materials like wood pulp and more advanced coil designs like dual- or triple-mesh. These innovations have had a big impact on flavor quality.
How does a sub ohm tank work?
A sub ohm tank works just like any vape tank, but is geared toward a high-power setup. They run on replaceable coil heads, which attach to the base of the tank. The vape juice is absorbed by the wick and fed to the coil, which turns it into vapor when heated by the mod’s battery. Most modern subtanks are filled from the top, so you can easily top up your tank without removing it from the mod.
When you puff on the tank, the suction pulls the e-liquid into the coil. Sub ohm tanks use wide-open airflow, so the user has to hit it hard. That is what provides the direct-lung draw and keeps the coils from overheating.
What are the advantages of sub ohm tanks?
- More convenient than rebuildables
- Big clouds
- Intense flavor
- Compatible with high-VG e-liquid
The main advantages of a sub ohm tank are clouds and convenience. They were invented to make sub ohm vaping more accessible. Early subtanks, while convenient, didn’t perform as well as rebuildable atomizers. But in the last few years, sub ohm tanks have improved radically. No longer do vapers need to build their own coils or understand Ohm’s Law to enjoy big clouds. Vapers using sub ohm tanks buy replacement coils at the vape shop or online, and just pop a new one into place when the old one gets worn out.
Sub ohm coils work best with high-VG e-liquid, which produces the most vapor at high wattages. The flavor produced by a subtank is intense. Because of the massive amount of vapor produced, sub ohm vapers are able to experience the full range of flavor notes in complex high-VG juices.
Newer sub ohm tanks sometimes offer a variety of coils with different wattage ranges, materials, and even coils designed for use with temperature control mods.
What are the disadvantages of sub ohm tanks?
- Not suitable for MTL vaping
- Fast battery drain
- High liquid consumption
- Not discreet
- Purchasing coils
Sub ohm tanks aren’t attractive to vapers who prefer mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping. You simply can’t get that tight cigarette-style draw of a good mouth to lung tank, even with the airflow closed down. Because a subtank requires a lot of airflow to work properly, you generally have to use e-liquid with low nicotine levels (and inhale a lot of it).
A sub ohm tank on a high-wattage mod also isn’t made for stealth vaping. Far from it—in fact, nothing makes a vaper more visible than carrying a big mod and blowing gigantic clouds!
Because of the power they use, sub ohm tanks drain batteries quickly, requiring frequent battery changes or recharges. And because of their high vapor output, they go through a lot more e-liquid than MTL tanks or pod vapes. This may be a consideration if you insist on using expensive premium e-juice. Replacing coils is another expense to think about, although most sub ohm vapers have gladly traded in their coil building kits for the ease of drop-in replacement coils.
How to clean a sub ohm tank
A clean sub ohm tank improves flavor and prevents performance issues. There is no limit to how often you can clean your tank, but it’s best to give your tank some TLC at least every time you change flavors, replace a coil, or notice residue build-up in hard-to-reach places.
Sub ohm tanks can usually be taken apart for cleaning. Be sure to remember which piece goes where and place them in a neat tray or bowl to prevent them from getting lost. Important note: you cannot clean the coils themselves!
You can use warm water, propylene glycol (PG), an ultrasonic cleaner, household items like baking soda, ethanol (NOT rubbing alcohol), vinegar, and even cheap vodka to clean the glass and metal parts of the tank. You’ll also need paper towels or a lint-free cloth—and maybe Q-Tips.
Place each individual component under running water for a few minutes, or put warm water in a bowl and submerge them. Repeat the process until all the gunk and residue have been removed. Then, take each piece out, rinse them under running water, and dry them with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. Assemble only when the pieces are completely dry.
When using propylene glycol, fill a bowl with the liquid and let your tank sit there for 1-2 hours. Rinse thoroughly with running water—or let it dry without rinsing. The same process works with vinegar, ethanol, or vodka. Note that any of these products (except PG) can leave flavor-destroying residue in your tank if not rinsed very thoroughly. That goes double for dish soap, which we do not recommend.
You can use an ultrasonic cleaner to bring your tank to a shiny, new state. Fill the chamber with water, let it run for ten minutes, then rinse and thoroughly dry. An ultrasonic cleaning can remove tiny deposits of residue that are impossible to reach any other way.
What are the best coils for sub ohm tanks?
Unless you’re rich or work in a vape shop, you’re probably going to have to trust someone else’s advice when choosing a sub ohm tank and coils. That’s the whole point of this article. Our testers have tried them all and suggested tanks that will work well for most DL vapers.
For the most part, coils are made to fit specific tanks—and those tanks only. If you like one company’s tank design best, but prefer another manufacturer’s coils, you can’t put them together, because they won’t fit. Your best bet is to try a popular tank (and its proprietary coils) that knowledgeable people recommend.
Companies with great reputations for high-performance coils include Freemax, which has really perfected the mesh coil. Their tanks are also highly regarded. Popular around the world, VAPORESSO makes solid tanks and coils that are widely available. Horizon also makes quality atomizers and coils, directly competing with Freemax. Finally, UWELL has been focusing on the pod market during the last couple of years, but the company’s Crown sub ohm tank line has always had some of the best coils.
Once you’ve chosen a tank, you’ll want to get coils in the right resistance for your preferred style. Most tanks nowadays offer coils for different styles of vaping. Vapers who prefer wide-open DL inhaling will want the lowest of low-resistance coils, while restricted direct lung (RDL) users will prefer higher resistances for a slightly less-open draw.
As a rule of thumb, the recommended resistance for high-wattage DL vapers is the 0.15-0.2 ohm range, and mid-wattage RDL vapers should get coils within the 0.3-0.6 ohm range. Sub ohm tanks don’t usually offer MTL (mouth to lung) coils, but if your tank does, the resistance will usually be 0.8 ohm and above.
What e-liquid should I use in a sub ohm tank?
The best e-juice for sub ohm tanks goes beyond flavor preference. You’ll need to consider a few things, including and the type of nicotine the e-liquid contains, and its PG/VG ratio.
Nicotine e-liquids fall into two categories: regular nicotine (sometimes called freebase) and nicotine salt. Regular nic comes in low to medium-strength options and offers greater flavor complexity and cloud production, while nic salt offers faster absorption and greater satisfaction in higher strengths. Freebase performs better for sub ohm vaping, while nic salts are almost always used in mouth to lung setups with 1.0-ohm coils and above.
For sub ohm tank use, most people prefer regular nicotine to nicotine salt at relatively low strengths (anywhere from 0 to 6 mg). Sub ohm vaping produces a hefty amount of vapor, which means that high-strength liquids will quickly overload your nicotine receptors when using a sub ohm vape. Symptoms of overdoing the nicotine level include becoming lightheaded, and experiencing headaches and nausea.
Another factor to consider is the PG/VG ratio. PG is short for propylene glycol, and VG means vegetable glycerin—the two primary ingredients in e-liquid. VG has a thicker consistency and offers a smoother throat hit in sub ohm vaping. On the other hand, PG is less viscous but carries more flavor and offers more throat hit. When it comes to cloud production, VG wins hands down.
High-PG vape juice can make for a harsh, uncomfortable vape in a sub ohm tank. It’s also thinner and can cause leaking, due to subtanks’ often-large airflow openings.
For sub ohm vaping, a 50/50 ratio is acceptable, but for maximum flavor and vapor we recommend e-liquid with 70% or higher VG content.
Where to buy sub ohm tanks?
The sub ohm tank you buy will depend on your vaping preference and the features you like. Once you’ve made a choice, you can visit the brand’s official website to get more information about the tank, like what kind of coils are available for the atomizer and their resistance ratings. Cloud production, flavor, user convenience, and coil replacement are a few elements you can take into consideration when buying a new sub ohm tank.
We suggest buying sub ohm tanks and coils from reputable online vendors or respected vape shops. Retailers that offer some sort of buyer’s guarantee inspire trust and confidence, as they are likely to have original tanks and offer support in case something goes wrong.
As with all other vaping products, buying sub ohm tanks from websites you’ve never heard of (or directly from online Chinese retailers) can be risky. There are counterfeit products out there.
What’s the best sub ohm tank for you?
With hundreds of sub ohm tank options, choosing the right one can be confusing. We have listed some of the best ones, tested by us, to help in your decision. Here are some final things to consider when choosing the perfect subtank for you:
- How much e-liquid does it hold? If you don’t want to refill it constantly, look for high capacity. If you don’t mind refilling, find a tank with an easy-to-fill design.
- Crave great flavor? Seek a newer tank that uses mesh and advanced wicking materials.
- Popular sub ohm tanks are popular for a reason. A lot of people like them, and you’re probably more likely to find replacement coils when the tank isn’t brand new anymore.