Ok, so if you are on this page we can safely assume that like me, at one time, you are not sure what ohms means or what ohms you should get for your clearomizer or tank device.
First and foremost, STOP reading the forums and blog posts for recommendations. Just because someone has a YouTube Channel, a blog, or seems to be an expert, it doesn't make it so and even experts have their own personal preferences that might not line up with your own. Every person on the planet is unique which is what makes us humans so awesome :)
Every person will have a different take on what ohms to get because for them a higher or lower ohms may be perfect. Each person develops his or her favorite and some will fight like mad to get their opinion heard from the mountain tops. Ignore them.
I use 2.5 ohms exclusively, I love them, I can't stand lower resistance, so should you listen to me because I am a vendor? NO, absolutely not. This is my personal preference and not worth a hill of beans.
Do you know the old saying "One mans trash is another mans treasure" ?
Well it's perfectly accurate in the world of vaping. It doesn't matter if the person is a seasoned vaper (or highly respected blogger or reviewer) do NOT blindly take their advice or what they have to say into consideration. Instead let basic facts and experience guide you.
What are the basic facts?
Let's start easy and go from there.
If you don't have the time to spare I will hit you with the number one fact.
Any Ohm rating between 2.4-2.8 is the number one "ohm" chosen and is considered "standard", it is default in almost every clearomizer that comes out of the factories and is the number one (by far) ohm range chosen for replacement coils by consumers. It is, for many, the "sweet spot" the default ohm that causes the least amount of problems with the most average vape.
If you are unsure and want to order what came in your clearomizer or tank, get 2.4-2.8 ohms (2.5 being the most common) it is most likely a match. Unless we are forced to otherwise, or the manufacturer or device doesn't offer it, most items on our website comes default with that ohm range. (although honestly, that is rapidly changing, so check the description always)
Next up is what I consider to be the best strategy for figuring out what coil is best for you. Are you ready? Ok, here is my expert advice...
TRY THEM ALL
"Yea, nice try, a vendor trying to get me to buy all the ohms, very sneaky Eric" - what a salesman!
But honestly, it's not like that.
The only true way to get sense of what different ohms are like and what is best for you is to actually try them. I can (and will) list all the advantages an disadvantages below but you'll never really know until you try them. You could be using standard ohms right now and missing out on what you truly love.. or you could be using low ohms and wondering why everything tastes burnt!
The actual differences
Lower Ohm coils:
Creates more heat at the coil which in turn can create more vapor
Provides warmer vapor
Will drain the battery faster
May cause dry hits (burning)
May cause premature battery failure
Uses more liquid
Standard or "higher" Ohm coils:
Creates less heat at the coil which can create "less" vapor.
Provides cooler vapor
Will drain the battery slower
Uses less liquid
NEW to 2015: SUBOhms
Subohms is an ohms rating below 1.0, these ohms create high heat and loads of vapor! Awesome?
In my personal opinion, no. Subohms to me is a mystery, I have yet to try any subohms that works for me, I wheeze, almost choke and generally feel a tightness or loss of breath when I try them. This doesn't mean it's not for you, just that it's not for me. The issue with subohms though is that it requires specialized equipment. The right batteries that can handle the voltage draw and devices that can output the proper wattage. It's not overly complicated but it does require someone to think about what they are doing. So, I will not be going over subohms here anymore than I have already. In my opinion, subohms are for people who already know the facts about voltages, wattage, power draw, amps and ohms. It is not in any way for beginners in my opinion.
So based on this list (ignoring subohms) it would seem that both have their pro's and con's and that's very true!
Ok, great, so now you know the pro's and con's but you still do not know what "standard" and "low" are.
What is considered low and standard/high ohms?
Generally speaking a Low ohm coil is between 1.5-1.8ohms and a standard ohm coil is generally between 2.4-2.8 and high ohm is anything 3.0 ohms or higher. There are coils that go higher and lower than these ratings but because they are specialized, we do not need to cover them.. yet (see below)
What ohms can I use on my standard eGo battery?
A standard ego is generally between 3.3 and 3.7 volts, if you have a standard battery you can use any ohm between 1.8 and 2.8ohms without worry. It will work and perform fine. Other ohms, whether higher or lower, will require a specialized battery or mod, stay away from higher and lower range ohms until you know what you are doing. A lower ohm that 1.8 can damage your battery and a higher ohm can producing less than desirable reults.
What ohms can I use on my variable voltage or variable wattage eGo battery?
A VV (variable voltage) or VW (variable wattage) ego can generally be set by the user between 3.3 and 6.0 volts, and 4 and 10 watts (depends on the specifications of the battery) if you have a VV or VW (or VV/VW) battery you can use any ohm between 1.5 and 2.8ohms without worry. It will work and perform fine, you just need to "set it" to what works best for you. Variable type batteries are best if you are going to expeiment or you have multiple devices with multiple ohms.
The Dangers of low ohms.
As you can see above, the low ohm seems to produce more vapor, so that's best right?
Not always, vapor volume does not always equal best vape. The issue with low ohms is they create a higher heat on the coil, in turn this vaporizes more liquid and produces more vapor but the drawback is that this stresses not only the battery but the coil, resulting is a shorter life for the coil, more liquid being used and a shorter battery life (both in charge and in overall life). It can also cause gunk to build up faster on your coils requireing you to replace them more often.
Depending on your liquid (if it's thick) a low ohm can burn out and die really quickly if the liquid is not flowing to the coil, this is because a wick and coil need liquid to atomize, if there is no liquid, the wick gets burned, the coil gets stressed and the coil can die prematurely.
Now that sounds bad bad.. But not really.
So you have to change the coils out quicker, you have to order more liquid, you might have a battery die sooner. Is it really that big of a concern? Not if you like the vapor it produces. The entire point of vaping is to remove yourself from the analogs and the best way to do that is to find something you like that will keep you off analogs for good. If you like the warmer vape and more vapor, stick with the lower ohms.
Ok, so that means standard ohms are not as good right?
No! Who said that? He needs to be gagged!
A standard or higher ohm gives a different vape, that is all, not all of us like the warmer and harsher vape of a low ohm and that's where the beauty of choice comes in. I mentioned before I use pretty much 2.4-2.6ohms for myself and I will stick to that. I dislike the warmer vape and I don't care to have a smoke stack type of vape plume coming out of my mouth. To me lower ohm is a harsher vape and I end up tasting "burnt" flavors. But You may LOVE it.
There are no "damaging" drawbacks for standard/higher ohms, they will not stress the battery, will not burn out a coil (usually) and will not harm the battery, but it isn't as intense a vape (and in many cases this is a good thing).. it's a tradeoff like most things in life. You'll really have to decide for yourself.
How do they affect flavor?
Good question, the lower ohms generally (but not always) produces a more intense vape, and this does not mean "more flavor", but this also has a lot to do with the liquid and the manufacturer, not just the ohms. To me, standard ohms produce better flavor because it doesn't burn as hot, but I will have a virtual riot on my hands if I said that it was an absolute. There are just as many people who say the opposite. Vaping truly is subjective. But one thing is for sure, different ohms can and will change the "flavor" of the vape liquid.
How about Voltage, how does that affect the ohms?
Because I wrote this article to familiarize people with the basics of ohms, we cannot get fully into voltages and ohms and how they work together other than the little we have already gone over, but I do have a section on it here titled How to determine what resistance for what battery. And also a Understanding Resistances here. Check those out for more detailed information on matching up voltage to ohms.
You have given me a lot of information but still haven't told me what to get!
Well that's the rub, I cannot tell you what to get, just like the bloggers, reviewers and your friends on the forum, no one can tell you what is right for you. YOU have to decide that. With the basic knowledge above you can make a slightly more informed decision, but until you try the different ohms, you will not know if the pros outweight the cons and vice versa.
Update 2015: Subohms
As with everything, there are extremes on ohms and coils. I really do not recommend subohms for anyone who is not already familiar with the terms of electricity. If you know nothing of amps, volts, watts and ohms, then you have no business using subohms. There are penty of resources out there for subohms and what it requires and although we do sell subohm products I do not feel comfortable giving out advice on subohms. I am not an expert myself so everything I post will just be what I have gathered from others. You should do your own research. Suffice to say that if you get a standard ego battery and a standard atomizer and standard ohm ranges on 1.8-2.8 you'll be just fine and be able to determine what is best for you. If you find after a while you are not satisfied and want to be like those guys on YouTube with a room full of vapor, then you can research it and decide.
Update: My Opinion
A bunch of nice people have contacted me to say this guide wasn't helpful because I did not recommend anything. Although that is not technically true the reason I cannot give you an absolute is simply because I am not you. If you really want my opinion, I will share with you what I usually vape.
A variable voltage (or wattage) device set to anywhere between 3.8-4.2 volts and a 2.0-2.5ohm coil. That's it, that's my sweet spot (depending on the item), yours will most likely be different.