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Ecigarette Parts: Ohms Explained

If you’ve been looking at cartomizers, atomizers, or tanks you’ve undoubtedly seen the “ohms” rating or “Low Resistance (LR)” listed along side such products. Many of these items are available for sale in various ohm ratings. Even if you know what the term means, if you’re new to electronic cigarettes it likely presents some form of confusion when you’re just looking to order replacement atomizers or want to try the latest cartomizer. I’ll try to provide some clarity regarding what ohms actually mean and how it applies to ecigarettes.

In layman terms ohms is a measure of electrical resistance or how freely electricity is able to travel through something.
Ohms can also be represented using the following symbol Ω.

When we’re talking about ohms and ecigarette parts what we’re really concerned with is what kind of heat the coil is generating to evaporate our eliquid.
There are effectively 2 things that determine how hot the coil element gets; battery voltage and the ohm rating of parts attached to the battery. Higher battery voltage and lower resistance both create more heat for evaporation. Heat produced by the ecigarette will impact flavor, vapor production and your overall experience. Using ohms we can fine tune the vapor production and flavor that best matches the batteries we own.

Lets take 2 cartomizers assume they are made by the same manufacturer, but each has different ohm ratings as follows. 1) Low Resistance (LR) 1-1.5 ohm Cartomizer and 2) Standard 2.2-2.8 ohm Cartomizer. Here is a general overview of differences one should expect between them.

Lower ohms or Higher Voltage

Allow more electricity to flow
Creates more heat at the coil
Creates more vapor
Provides warmer vapor
May intensifying or diminish flavor
Will drain your battery quicker
Dry hits are more likely
May cause premature battery failure
Uses more juice per puff, more refilling
Higher ohms or Lower Voltage

Allow less electricity to flow
Creates less heat at the coil
Creates less vapor
Provides cooler vapor
May intensifying or diminish flavor
Will drain your battery slower
Dry hits are less likely
Doesn’t cause premature battery failure
Uses less juice per puff, less refilling

As you can see the general trade off’s between the two are pretty obvious. However, you might find yourself still asking, “so which ohm rating cartomizer or atomizer should I be purchasing?”. Well I hate to break it to you but there’s no definitive answer to this. Keep in mind there is a lot of personal preference between individuals, and also a difference in equipment and ejuice. Optimally you want to get the lowest ohm rating that won’t result in too many dry hits. This will give you the best vapor production and usually the best flavor.

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Responses to “Ecigarette Parts: Ohms Explained”

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  1. I’m a newbie to the e-cigarette world and I was highly confused about ohm ratings. This article was extremely helpful in understanding how it works!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Great post – thank you!

  3. I’ll second what the first commenter said, great reference, easy to read and understand. Thanks!

  4. Agreed, thank you for the post, it really helps and explains alot.

  5. How do I refil stuffing in cartomizer when theres a small plastic tube in the middle connected to small wires?

    • You don’t refill the stuffing in the cartomizer.
      After a few refills of juice you just throw it out and replace with a fresh one as it’s performance declines.

  6. I have a question If I have a 1300mah ego battery with 3.3-4.2v non adjustble will a 2.4 ohm be ok I dont like the big throat hits were it burns but I like a lot of smoke when i in hale I use about nicotine mixed with a flovor so I get about 6 mg of nicotine

    • 2.4 will work for a single coil cartomizer on your battery, though personally I prefer the 1.7ohm single coil. Dual coil cartomizers will need to be a lower rating, only something like a 1.5ohm dual coil will run on your battery.

  7. Thanks- explained it great :)

  8. nice post… this explanation is wonderful as it is very simple for us who do not like math so much… :-)

    Joseph Anthony Gahol at July 22, 2013 2:19 am
  9. Hi im using segelei zmax v2 and im quite confused with the ohm ratings too. If im using a 28awg wire whats best ohm can i have to get a perfect clouds without hurting ur throat by the heat. Very much heat. And on what voltage?

  10. Thanks for the post.

  11. I’m fairly new to vaping and I haven’t found quite the clearomizer I like. I have ego batt 900, any ideas of type that has a good STRONG throat hit?

    • Personally after years I’m still currently settled on DCT tanks. They last the longest, and I like the light draw. Plus they’re the cheapest to replace. Throat hit would be more to do with the liquid. Higher nicotine liquid, and some specific ones are quite a bit stronger on the throat hit. Which liquids are you using?

  12. Finally some one who explained things in a laymans terms, great post.
    I’m new to Vaping and found the starter kit from E-Cig website, CE5 with 1100 batt, the CE5 leaks a fair bit and the o-rings disapear after a short time, proberly melt, but since the clearomisers are replaceable quit cheaply its ok.
    I’m thinking of buying a Joytech batt but I’m not sure to go for variable voltage or not.

    Alt Lexington at September 3, 2013 8:47 am
    • I would definitely go variable, however the 650mah twist is about as long as a 900mah standard. That’s really the only potential downside I could think of.

  13. I have the ego-Ctwist, with the pro tank. I buy the 2.4 atomizers but I’ve notice that they burn out easily. Am I buying the right atomizers ? Or should I buy a less resistance atomizers ?

    • I don’t have experience with that specific tank. I’m not certain when you say they burn out, they actually stop working or start tasting burnt? 2.4 ohm should work well with the ego-C, you can adjust the voltage from 3.2 to 4.8 on the twist. I would start from 3.2 and turn it up a little at a time until I get good vapor. 4.8 might give a burnt taste but I would expect anything around 3.8-4.2 to be a good range give or take. How long do the atomizers actually last?

  14. @Roseanna: I would suggest a 1.8 ohm… I use a similar battery and have found that a 1.8 is just right! I have tried a 2.2 and a 1.5 and neither were quite there. The 1.8 brings the most flavor and vapor production, but does not create any hotter of a vapor that the 2.2.

    If you want decreased throat hit and more mellow adjust your pg/vg ratio!!

  15. @Ross DaBoss: especially a 1.8 ohm kanger T3s!!!

  16. I’m new to vaping and where I go to get my supplies is at a Kiosk but I did find some web sites that have my supplies. When I get my stuff at the Kiosk it doesn’t say exactly what product I am using. I have a smokepass battery which I finally found out is a Kanger KR808-1 battery. I started with cartomizers and now do Clearomizers. They don’t have numbers on the packets so I checked websites and ordered by sight what I had and found which ones go on my type battery. Now it’s the ohms I didn’t know about. It doesn’t say which ohm I am using and one site says it can be ordered in two different ohms. It’s confusing. I like what I am using. I have a KR808D-M3 clearomizer but I don’t know the ohms. What should I use? Is there something better out there? This site is helpful definitely.

  17. great site, so informative it’s sublime.Good job!

  18. For less throat hit, try juice with more VG and less or no PG. VG is smoother. Little less flavor but you get used to it. But you will get more cloud. Try http://www.BareNakedJuice.com. They are known for VG but will mix some PG if you want.

  19. I have a 510 variable small ego battery I was using a vivi nova tank and ran out of coils so I ordered some but they only have 4.0 ohm resistance I thought ok, mine goes that high it will drain my battery but it will work, well I’m not getting almost any vapor. I looked in the coil (I’ve even done the DIY coiling) so I’m kinda decent at switching out coils and whatnot my question is on these 4 ohms I see two little pieces of cloth looking stuff on both sides of the coil and thread..if I try and remove that u think it’ll help bring the level down cuz this isn’t working and I can only think to try and trade to my local shop but they are super pricey anyone know what I’m saying or can point me to a video on how to make this a lower resistance so I’m not pulling with all my strength and not getting any vapor (some not good tho) thank please let me know!

    • No that won’t work. The resistance is based on the wire thickness. You won’t be able to change it. You either need to up the voltage, or get a lower ohm head.

  20. thanks..finally is somebody explaining this :)

  21. I was trying to figure out do I need to get a higher ohm to operate the battery’s that are VV up to 5 volts? Does it matter on performance? If I use a higher ohm will that make the coil last longer for the higher voltage settings?

    Also, for everyone that is worried about their cartomizers melting or wanting to replace the wick (coil) they do make cartomizers that you can replace the coils you might have to pay a little extra up front, but the maintance costs are a lot less. Look up the MT3, Kangertek, EVOD, and the Mini Protank are good brands.

  22. I’m going to buy an ego c twist battery 1000 mAh and I was wondering if someone could inform me on what would be a good clearomizer or cartomizer or whatomizer I use a standard kit with a standard tank I am particularly interested in a rank with a bottom coil and seeing as how low ohms helps with a better taste if could someone tell me what tank with a bottom coil would be good for the ego c twist battery 1000 mAh

  23. I’m going to buy an ego c twist battery 1000 mAh, and I was wondering if someone could inform me on what would be a good clearomizer or cartomizer or whatomizer. I use a standard kit with a standard tank I am particularly interested in a tank with a bottom coil and seeing as how low ohms helps with a better taste if someone could tell me what tank with a bottom coil would be good for the ego c twist battery 1000 mAh

  24. I have been vaping for about 2 years now. I never knew what the ohm ratings meant before. This was very informative. I currently use the Pure (or Vision) 1100 mAh spinner battery (variable voltage) with the Vivi Nova V2.5 tank. I run the 2.4 ohm atomizer that it came with and had been considering going up to the 3.2 ohm, but now I’m thinking what I have is perfect for me. Thank you for the great information.

  25. Hi,
    M going for an e cig and i have been reading about it for the last 2 hours until i found this easy explanation. I clearly want to use eGo clearomizer but i am confused in a lot of manufacturers, if you can help me with it, i ll appreciate it. I want with following features,

    No leaks, easy to clean or wash, one which doesnt need to change coils, larger (3 to 4 ml) tank, i dont know about batteries and ohm and voltage so i hope you ll help me with that as well, moderate to strong hit (i smoke dunhill lights usually[10 to 15 cigarettes daily]), i want one which doesnt need to replace parts so oftenly except eliquid obviously, price range $60 to $80, and which type of eliquid to use (non flavored).
    I hope you ll come up with a good 1 for me, thanks alot

  26. I’ve been vaping for about 11 months now and I got lucky picking out my first kit with two 1300ohm Vision Spinners. I think I got the first of the Rainbow colored ones, that I love. Not so much the light pink because the covering gets stained-it’s different material. My first tank was a cheap disposable; I tried several different clearos until I bought my Protank 2. It’s great for so many reasons, one being the ability to easily switch flavors without a strong juice taking the tank over. It came with a 1.8 and 2.0 ohm coil but if I dial up the voltage to at least the 4 volts that I prefer, the juice tastes burnt. I’ve tried different juices with same results and now I just buy at least the 2.5ohm coils and don’t have the burnt taste. I’m all about good vapor production, though, and I think I’m getting a decent bit. I did increase my VG amount to a 50/50 mix- if I went with 80 VG, 20PG would it gunk up my coils more? I’d love to own a Provari, I can’t believe the vapor I see on videos but $200 for a kit seems excessive. Do you have any tips on a less expensive way to achieve the same results? Thanks for a much needed guide.

  27. I run eGo VV batteries (600mAh – 1300mAh) and if I use a 1.8ohm bottom coil in my clearomizer my voltage is 4.2v for the best taste/vape/hit. If I use a 2.4ohm coil on same clearomizer my voltage must go down to 3.2-6 to get the same experience as a 1.8ohm. This is based on the same equipment, same juice.

    These are settings I’ve experienced. My batteries usually last at least 2 days of pretty constant vaping, regardless if I’m using a lower or higher mAh battery. I find that lower ohm coils (1.8) with a 4.2v setting on my battery is my favorite setting for the juice I use. (Lion Head from Madvapes.com)

  28. I have a unitank made by kangerteck with a 2.3 ohm heating coil my battery is a variable voltage. The viltage.on my battery will hit 4.8 and it burns the hell out of my heating coil it tastes like campfire what ohm heating coil do I need for the good resistance.

    • Usually at those voltages the batteries are adjustable, in which case I would turn it down to 3.5v – 4.2v roughly.
      Sometimes wicking with various atomizers is a problem, especially depending on juice thickness. I don’t have experience with the kangerteck but if it still burns at a 3.2 or 3.5 volt setting that could be the problem.

  29. What is the difference between having a “coil” & not having a coil in the ecig?

  30. Hey I have an itaste mvp with a kangertek aero. Is there any problems I should expect

  31. 2.4 to 2.5ohm atomizers are perfect for your eGos people. :-) They all typically run regularly between 3.8 & 4.2v, so you’ll get the longest life out of a 2.4 to 2.5ohm option.

    If you run something like a 1.8ohm, you’ll burn through those babies at a faster rate. If you go higher… 2.8ohm, same thing.

    I hope this is clearer. :-) No guess work.

  32. Btw…. same ohms for a VV eGo. 2.4-2.5ohms

  33. @Audra: Those *little cloth things* are the wicks, they are really tiny ones though, sometimes it helps to *prime* them before first use, what that means is take one drop of ejuice per *little cloth thing* to prime the atomizer. As for you not getting very much smoke, you may have more than one problem 1st) youre using a 4 ohm coil/atomizer, that means more electricity is allowed to pass through it instead of getting caught in the atomizer causing it to heat up, go for a lower rating, id say about 2.5 ohms. 2nd) youre ejuice may be a contributing factor, try a 50/50 mix of PG/VG.

  34. @shino: I’m vaping itaste mvp v2.0 with Aspire Nautilus tank best tank you can buy in my opinion adjustable air flow and dual coil atomizer I’m in love with it nice cloud and taste is amazing

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