What is an E-Liquid Calculator?

By Samuel Lawrence

Image of a calculator

If you already use vaping products, you’ll no doubt be aware there are dozens of e-liquid calculators – also known as ‘vape calculators’ – on the web.

E-liquid calculators can be helpful to ensure that just the right amounts of PG, VG and nicotine are present in a ready-made e-liquid. The types of pre-mixed e-liquid you can use will be dependent on the kind of vaping device you have – and, with so many different types on the market, it means that experiences can vary.

Some pod based vape systems offer a simpler option in this respect. With such devices, pre-filled ‘pods’ are used with the main device. Once the e-liquid in the pod is fully used up, a new pre-filled pod is purchased. The liquid in each pod is specially chosen to work with the system in question and so there is no need for an e-liquid calculator to work out which e-liquid would be best.

What you need to know when considering which e-liquid to go for

Vaping uses liquids known as ‘e-liquid’, ‘e-juice’ or ‘vape juice’. The continued growth of the vaping industry has seen an exponential rise in the number of e-liquids on the market, but with thousands of e-liquids available, what are the main things to consider to ensure the e-liquid you buy is the right one for you?

The key elements you will want to consider will be VG and PG ratios, nicotine strength and flavour. If you have a lot of vaping experience, an e-liquid calculator app can help you find the right e-liquid for your vaping device.

If you want to make an informed decision, the following guide should help you get a quick overview of some of the fundamental elements you need to consider.

What is VG (vegetable glycerine)?

VG (vegetable glycerine) is a natural derivative of vegetable oil. It is used to thicken the consistency of e-liquids – and produces much denser vapour clouds. VG also adds a slight taste to e-liquids and will typically provide a much ‘smoother’ vaping experience.

Though non-toxic, the heavy viscosity of VG in e-liquids often reduces the life of vaping devices. High levels of VG in your e-liquids will increase the likelihood of clogging up the device’s coils – for this reason, VG is generally mixed with PG.

What is PG (propylene glycol)?

PG (propylene glycol) is a synthetic additive in the same chemical group as alcohol.
PG has a much thinner consistency and for this reason is less likely to clog up your vaping device. Being both tasteless and odourless, PG does not affect the flavour of your e-liquids.

When added to an e-liquid, PG also provides the ‘throat hit’ that is often associated with smoking cigarettes – which many vapers consider an integral part of the vaping experience.

What do you need to know about nicotine strength?

E-liquids are available in a variety of nicotine strengths. The nicotine strength of the e-liquid is indicated on the container either as a percentage or displayed in milligrams per millilitre (often shortened simply to ‘mg’).

Generally, higher nicotine strengths are used by people used to a higher consumption of nicotine – for example, those that were previously heavy smokers before switching to the use of a vaping device. There are also lower nicotine strengths – and, indeed, nicotine-free liquids available.

If you want to know what strength e-liquid is right for you, you should read our Guide to Nicotine Strengths – which provides a helpful breakdown on how the pre-mixed e-liquid strengths available in the UK could be considered comparable to the number of cigarettes smoked.

What flavour should you choose?

Naturally, when choosing e-liquid flavours, it will come down to personal preference. However, there are now many hundreds of e-liquid flavours on the market – so, if you’re new to vaping, it can often feel slightly daunting.

As a smoker who is new to vaping, you may have no idea where to start. In this case, it might be worth beginning with a tobacco or menthol flavoured e-liquid, which will give vaping a more familiar taste.

What is the best mix for vape juice?

The best mix of e-liquid really depends on what you are looking for from vaping.

If you’re using vaping to go ‘cloud chasing’ – and create vast plumes of vapour with your vaping device – then you will want to choose an e-liquid with a higher proportion of VG. If you’re looking for a better alternative to smoking, but still want that cigarette ‘throat hit’, a PG-heavy e-liquid would make sense.

When it comes to e-liquids, the best mix for you will largely come down to a matter of personal choice – and the number of flavours and ratios of liquid available offer a wide variety to choose from.

However, you should also consider the type of vaping device you are using – and investigate what the manufacturer recommends. As an example, comparing a ‘cig-a-like' to a box-mod, the advised mix of PG/VG will be very different.

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