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E-Liquid Compared: Finding The Right Vape Juice For You

Types of E-Liquid Compared: Finding The Right Vape Juice For You

Choosing the right type of e-liquid is crucial for an enjoyable vaping experience. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for you. This guide will help you understand the different types of e-liquids, their characteristics, and how to choose the right vape juice for your needs.

PG vs. VG: What’s the Difference?

PG vs. VG: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the levels of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) you prefer is an important decision when selecting an e-liquid that works best for your preferences. Both have unique characteristics that affect the flavour, throat hit, and vapour production of your vape. 

Most e-liquids, including nic salts, are made from a combination of both PG and VG, to which nicotine and flavourings are then added. There are high PG and high VG options available for vapers who prefer the benefits of one over the other. High VG e-liquids are typically 70/30 or 80/20, with high PG e-liquids typically a 50/50 mix.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Propylene Glycol, or PG, is a common base used in e-liquids. It is known for its ability to carry flavour well and provide a stronger throat hit, similar to that of traditional cigarettes. PG is thinner than VG, making it less likely to build up residue on your vaping device's coils.

Characteristics of High PG E-liquid:

  • Provides a stronger throat hit.

  • Carries flavour more effectively.

  • Thinner consistency.

Who High PG E-Liquid Is Best Suited For:

  • Vapers who prefer a stronger throat hit.

  • Users of devices with smaller coils and wicking ports.

  • Those who prioritise flavour intensity.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

Vegetable Glycerin, or VG, is another common base used in e-liquids. It is thicker than PG and produces more vapour, which can be appealing for cloud chasers. VG also provides a smoother throat hit and is less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Characteristics of High VG E-Liquid:

  • Produces more vapour.

  • Provides a smoother throat hit.

  • Thicker consistency.

Who High VG E-Liquid Is Best Suited For:

  • Vapers who enjoy large vapour clouds.

  • Users of Sub-ohm and high-wattage devices.

  • Those who prefer a smoother vaping experience.

Nicotine Salts vs. Freebase Nicotine

Nicotine Salts vs. Freebase Nicotine

Nicotine is available in two primary forms in e-liquids: nicotine salts and freebase nicotine. Each type offers distinct advantages and can significantly impact your vaping experience. 

Traditionally, freebase nicotine has been used in most e-liquids. Introduced more recently to the market, nic salts have been making significant gains in popularity as they are able to deliver high nicotine levels with a great flavour profile.

Nicotine Salts

Nicotine salts are made from a form of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. They are known for their smoothness at higher nicotine concentrations, which makes them ideal for those who need a strong nicotine hit without the harsh throat hit often associated with higher strength freebase liquids.

Since the introduction of disposable vapes, and the vast array of popular flavours they brought to the market, nic salts for reusable devices have become more popular thanks to their combination of strength and flavour. However, their high nicotine levels also makes them less well suited to sub-ohm devices that experienced vapers may prefer to use. Find out more about what nic salts are.

Benefits Of Nicotine Salts:

  • Smoother hit at higher nicotine levels.

  • Faster nicotine absorption.

  • Less impact on flavour.

Who Nicotine Salts Are Best Suited For:

  • Former heavy smokers requiring higher nicotine levels.

  • Users of low-wattage or pod-based devices.

  • Vapers looking for a strong nicotine hit without harshness.

Browse Nicotine Salts

Freebase Nicotine

Freebase nicotine is the most common form of nicotine used in e-liquids. It’s available in a wide range of flavours and strengths, including nicotine free and low nicotine options.

This type of e-liquid typically delivers a stronger throat hit than nic salt liquids, especially at higher concentrations, making it suitable for vapers who enjoy the sensation similar to smoking traditional cigarettes. Freebase nicotine is versatile and works well with a wide range of devices, particularly high-wattage and sub-ohm setups.

Benefits Of Freebase E-Liquid

  • Stronger throat hit.

  • More versatile with various devices.

  • Available in a wide range of nicotine strengths.

Best Suited For:

  • Vapers who enjoy a pronounced throat hit similar to cigarettes.

  • Users of high-wattage and sub-ohm devices.

  • Those who prefer lower nicotine strengths.

Browse All 10ml E-Liquids

Shortfills & Nicotine Shots

Shortfills & Nicotine Shots

Shortfills and nicotine shots offer vapers a flexible and customisable way to enjoy e-liquids. Available in larger sized bottles, including 50ml and 100ml options, they are convenient and great value while providing the freedom and flexibility to adjust the level of nicotine to your personal preference. 


Shortfills are large bottles of e-liquid that do not contain nicotine. Both 50ml shortfills and 100ml shortfills are supplied in bottles with extra space for the addition of nicotine shots, allowing vapers to customise their nicotine strength. As shortfills don’t contain nicotine, they can legally be sold in larger volumes than e-liquid containing nicotine, which can only be sold in 10ml size bottles.

What Shortfills Are and How They Work:

  • Typically come in 50ml, 100ml, or larger bottles with space for nicotine shots.

  • Zero nicotine strength, available in higher VG mixes and a fantastic range of flavours.

  • Users add nicotine shots to achieve the desired nicotine strength.

Benefits and Best Practices for Use:

  • Cost-effective for regular vapers.

  • Customisable nicotine levels.

  • Ensure thorough mixing by shaking well after adding nicotine shots.

Browse All Shortfills

Nicotine Shots

Nicotine shots are small bottles of concentrated nicotine designed to be added to shortfills. They allow vapers to tailor their nicotine intake by adding the amount of nicotine they require to produce their perfect strength of e-liquid.

How to Use Nicotine Shots with Shortfills:

  • Add the appropriate amount of nicotine shot to your shortfill bottle.

  • Shake well to mix thoroughly.

Benefits and Customisation Options:

  • Flexibility in nicotine strength.

  • Easy to mix and use.

Browse All Nicotine Shots

Choosing the Right E-Liquid for Your Device

Choosing the Right E-Liquid for Your Device

Selecting the appropriate e-liquid for your vaping device is essential to give you the best vaping experience. Different devices have varying requirements and work best with specific types of e-liquids.

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) Devices

MTL devices are designed to mimic the draw of a traditional cigarette, making them ideal for higher nicotine e-liquids and nicotine salts.

Recommended E-Liquid Types and Nicotine Strengths:

  • Higher PG e-liquids for stronger throat hit.

  • Compatible with all e-liquids including freebase and nic. salts.

  • Nicotine strengths: 3mg up to 20mg (no restrictions).

Direct-to-Lung (DTL) Devices

DTL devices produce larger vapour clouds and are suitable for lower nicotine e-liquids with higher VG content.

Recommended E-Liquid Types and Nicotine Strengths:

  • Higher VG e-liquids for more vapour production.

  • Freebase nicotine for a more intense throat hit.

  • Nicotine strengths: 3mg is most popular, with up to 6mg used (lower strengths are recommended to avoid harshness and nicotine overdose).

Sub-Ohm Devices

Sub-ohm devices are a type of DTL device that operates at resistances below 1 ohm, producing massive clouds and intense flavour. They require e-liquids with specific characteristics to function optimally.

Recommended E-Liquid Types and Nicotine Strengths:

  • High VG e-liquids (70% VG or higher) for maximum vapour production.

  • Freebase nicotine to complement the intense throat hit and flavour.

  • Nicotine strengths: 0mg, 3mg, 6mg (due to the high vapour production, lower nicotine strengths are recommended to avoid harshness and nicotine overdose).

The Best E-Liquid For You

The Best E-Liquid For You

Finding the right e-liquid depends on your vaping habits, preferences, and the type of device you use. Here are some common scenarios and the best e-liquid types for each:

1. Former Heavy Smokers

Requirement: Looking for a strong nicotine hit to replicate the sensation of smoking.
Recommendation: Nicotine salts with high nicotine concentration (18mg-20mg) for a smooth yet potent experience.

2. Cloud Chasers

Requirement: Enjoy producing large vapour clouds and using sub-ohm devices.
Recommendation: High VG e-liquids (70% VG or higher) with lower nicotine levels (3mg-6mg) to maximise vapour production.

3. Flavour Enthusiasts

Requirement: Prioritise rich, intense flavours and a satisfying throat hit.
Recommendation: PG/VG balanced e-liquids (50/50 or 60/40) for a good mix of flavour and vapour, with freebase nicotine for a stronger throat hit.

4. Stealth Vapers

Requirement: Prefer discreet vaping with minimal vapour production.
Recommendation: High PG e-liquids in low-wattage MTL devices, with moderate nicotine levels (6mg-12mg) for a satisfying but subtle experience.

5. DIY Vapers

Requirement: Like to mix and match flavours and customise nicotine levels.
Recommendation: Shortfalls with nicotine shots for flexibility in flavour and nicotine strength, allowing for personalised blends.

6. Disposable Vape Users

Requirement: Wanting to switch to refillable devices and enjoy a similar vaping experience.
Recommendation: Nic salt e-liquids offer the same great flavours, smooth experience and nicotine levels as disposables at a much more cost effective price.

Find E-Liquid To Suit All Requirements

Find E-Liquid To Suit All Requirements

Here at Steam we stock a wide selection of e-liquids from leading brands. Whether you’re looking for great tasting nic salts as an alternative to disposables, or prefer low nicotine, high VG shortfills for the best sub-ohm experience, you can find everything you need in our range.

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