From all my experiences, the wicking material used in your disposable atomizers, your wicking method and type of wick in your rebuildable devices is going to be the biggest factor in what e-liquid blends you’ll want to target for use. Airflow will also come into play. You’ll first want to gauge what your preference is for throat hit, vapor production, Airflow, and flavor. Then put together your ideal setup(s) to meet that preference.
Most Common E-liquid Blends
Max VG (Vegetable Glycerin) are blends where the mixer will use as much VG as humanly possible. You can get flavoring suspended in VG but this isn’t very common as VG in comparison to PG isn’t very efficient for carrying or blending flavoring.
A Max VG blend will be great for a smooth vape, very little throat hit (high % nic will add to throat hit), and tons of vapor production. Most cloud chasers, if not all, vape max VG with 0mg nic so that they can get the most vapor with the least amount of throat hit. The trade off is less overall flavor from the lack of PG, which cloud chasers are not exactly worried about. So if you were to vape a 50/50 blend then a Max VG blend in the same device at the same wattage, you’ll notice more flavor from the 50/50 blend but also a stronger throat hit. One thing to note is that heat promotes flavor. [highlight background=”” color=””]You can bring out tons of flavor from a Max VG blend by upping the power giving the liquid more heat from your coils.[/highlight] Knowing this, a Max VG blend is going to shine in devices that can handle a lot of power and provides adequate airflow to keep things from overheating and/or burning. Good quality RDA’s and RBA’s that have larger liquid channels to accommodate thicker liquids are ideal for Max VG blends. Just a word of advice, if you’re just starting out vaping it’s always best to start with a company that has e juice samples or sampler kits so that you can not only get a taste for several of their juices, but so you can also see how your rebuildable device responds to e juices that vary in color, thickness, and sweetness.
70% VG 30% PG
This is an all around great blend for many applications. It will contain 70% volume as VG and 30% volume as PG. It gives the mixer flexibility in their blend when mixing. It will still have that signature smooth, light throat hit that you’ll find in most Max VG blends, but it also carries more PG, which makes the liquid thinner and promotes more flavor. This blend will work great in RDA’s, most RBA’s, and is a go-to blend for all the new Sub Tanks hitting the market. You can also get away with using this blend in some clearomizers. But I wouldn’t suggest it, better off going with the next blend in my opinion.
50% VG 50% PG
This is a go to e-liquid starter blend for all those people looking to start vaping and who are picking up their first ‘dipping a toe in the water’ eGo kit. A 50/50 blend will work like a dream in the more basic clearomizers with disposable coil heads. If you’re the type of person that would rather go all out with a high power device and a nice tank this blend will still be fine, but I would suggest also trying a 70VG/30PG to see what you like more. This blend in an RDA, will work but expect some spit back if you accidentally over drip.
Thinner liquid tends to not ‘stick’ to the coils so much, causing some popping and spit back at higher watter/voltage. Also some serious throat hit at higher wattage. In some cases with RBA tanks the liquid might be too thin, causing some leaking. This can also be cause by too little airflow or too little wicking material, see below where I discusses this potential issues. Thicker and/or sweeter e-liquid in a device that isn’t meant for it may turn your coil black.
I know a couple people that like to vape high PG blends. 60% PG / 40% VG or even more on the PG side because of the throat hit. The more PG the bigger (or harsher) the throat hit. They like that cigarette emulating burn. PG does promote flavor but only to an extent. I personally couldn’t tell the difference from a 50/50 blend to a 60/40 or even 70/30 high PG flavor wise. Throat hit on the other hand, can feel the difference. Unless you have a tank system that needs very thin liquid or really, really, really like a serious throat hit, might be better served with a 50/50 or higher on the side of VG. Again, preference is what matters here. I’m sure some cartomizer applications would be greatly suited for high PG blends.
Distilled water blends
If you have a PG or VG allergy this will be a great option for you. Getting a VG/Distilled Water blend you are going to suffer a flavor and mild throat hit loss. On the bright side and most importantly, you won’t be suffering from your allergy. Most flavor makers offer their flavors suspended in Distilled Water.
PG/Distilled water blends are extremely brutal on the throat. They offer great flavor, but very little vapor production with a nuclear throat hit. If I had a VG allergy I would 100% use this blend just to stay off cigarettes. Just keep the wattage/voltage low with high resistance atomizers and good airflow. It can be tolerated.
For you rebuilders out there, what type of material used for your wick can dictate the blend you use. Using Silica or similar materials will have naturally slow capillary action. Thinner liquids will be better suited so you can optimize this action and get liquid to the coils at a steady rate and minimize dry hits. Sure it’s possible to drip a Max VG blend directly onto the coils, but don’t expect the silica or eco wool to absorb liquid from the deck and bring it to the coils or draw liquid out of a tank in a timely fashion.
Using Ball Cotton and the many Cotton Pad variants have great capillary action. Ball Cotton has slightly less capillary action than the Japanese Pad types because the tiny fibers in Ball Cotton all run parallel to each other while the Pad variants do. There is also Rayon, a synthetic, silky material which has better capillary action then Ball Cotton but not quite as good as the Pad types. I used Rayon for quite some time with great success. It has great flavor right out of the gate, whereas Ball Cotton usually has a break-in period when it can taste a little earthy. After trying Pad type cotton, such as Koh Gen Do or Muji cotton, I haven’t looked back. I don’t taste the break-in period that I do with Ball Cotton and I get better wicking action than I do with Rayon. Koh Gen Do is a great all around wicking material that is capable of being used in most, if not all, applications. If anyone wants to try Rayon, I have a 5lb box (pretty much a life time supply) laying around, would gladly cut off 100ft or so of it for you. Just leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
Airflow effecting wicking is only going to apply in tanks that use a vacuum, and the airflow will effect the flavoring and heat. Less airflow, the hotter things gets, which will produce more flavor. Finding a good balance that works for you is what you should be after. Airflow effecting wicking is a fine balance you need to practice and experiment with.
An example (with Bottom Coil Clearomizers and RBAs like a Kayfun or Goblin), lets say I like to mouth to lung inhale my vape. This would require fairly closed off airflow. Since my airflow is closed down when I take a draw I’m going be applying negative pressure inside the tank, with the vacuum inside the tank (the bubble above the liquid inside the tank) is going to want to draw more e-liquid in. So if I don’t have enough wicking material I’ll draw in too much liquid and flood my coils. If I have too much wicking material it will blow the flow, no matter how hard I draw, causing dry hits. The more you open the airflow the less negative pressure you’ll apply so you’ll have to learn to balance your wicking material. The more airflow you have, the less material you’ll want to use for efficient wicking, but the less airflow you have the more material you’ll want to use to keep from flooding. It’s a fine balancing act.
This doesn’t apply to RDA’s, as there is no tank or vacuum to worry about, so feel free to stuff the maximum amount of material as you can in those coils (rule of thumb is not so much that the coil(s) will shift around while trying to pull your material through) and vape away.
Nic Level E-Liquid Blends
Deciding how much nicotine to add to your e-liquid is yet another fine balancing act you need to tackle by trial and error. It starts off depending on how much you smoke (if you are not a tobacco user, I strongly suggest you stay away from nicotine altogether). Myself, I was a pack a day smoker. I started with a $35 Kanger EVOD kit with 18mg nicotine Liquid. I realized immediately that it was too strong with how I was vaping. The convenience of my little vaporizer had me wanting to puff on it all day. With cigarettes, I would have to stop what I was doing, go outside, smoke and come back in. I didn’t have this issue with my vaporizer, I could take puff after puff.
My next e-liquid order I stepped down to 12mg and it was a noticeable difference and worked great with my little EVODs. I also did my best to taper my usage and not chain vape myself to a nicotine headache. Then I upgraded to a more powerful vaporizer, 12mg became too strong, time to step it down again. You where this is going. From what I gathered over my experiences and talking to many other people that use vaporizers. The balance point seems to be, a pack a day can be curved with around 12mg per ml of e-liquid. Work from there. 2 packs a day? Maybe 18mg or stronger. Less then a pack a day? 6-8mg might be a good place to start.
To conclude this suggestions post, I will say this: Most things are subjective and something I covered here might not work for you. The best advice I’ve ever received is guidelines or common knowledge and the recommendation that I try anything and everything I can until I’ve found what works best for me. So take all suggestions here as just that, a suggestion. This is in no way a be all, end all guide line for the perfect E-liquid blends. Build off the information I’ve gathered over many, many months of trial and error and find what makes a great vaping experience for you.
As always, stay healthy. Until next time…