For a 100ml shortfill, you would need 2x 18mg nicotine shots, and for a 50ml you would need 1x 18mg nicotine shot to make 3mg of e-liquid. 3mg is the recommended strength for shortfill e-liquid as it’s vaped in a sub-ohm set-up. These higher-powered devices heat the liquid quite high, allowing you to take bigger drags than usual. Because of this, you inhale a lot more nicotine per drag, so if the nicotine is too high you can have a bad experience.
There are many varieties of nicotine shots, but they vary in nicotine strength, ratio, and sometimes taste. The three most popular nicotine shots for 70/30 shortfills are:
- 100% VG 18mg Unflavoured Shots
- 70% VG 18mg Ice Shots
- 50% VG 20mg Nicotine Salt Shots
The 100% nicotine shot is great to keep the thickness of the liquid. Ice shots include nicotine and a flavouring that makes your shortfill icy and cool. Ice shots are great when you have a fruity e-liquid and want to make it cold and refreshing. 20mg nicotine salt shots are popular too, as they include salt nicotine which some people feel is smoother on the throat. The salt nic shot from Nic Nic is a 50/50 VG/PG ratio, this means your liquid won’t be as thick as before you added your nic shots.
There isn’t subjectively one nic shot that is better, it’s completely down to personal choice. The nicotine shot you choose will be dependent on the kit you’re using and the ratio of the shortfill.
Yes, you can vape shortfill without adding nicotine. Some people top up their shortfills with a base mix which compiles of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). This does not affect the flavour of the shortfill but makes sure that you have 120ml of e-liquid to vape without losing any flavour. If you don’t add base mix you will still get to vape 100ml, and the flavour may taste stronger. Some people who have quit vaping nicotine still enjoy having the habit of vaping and puffing on something, so no nicotine is the best option for them.
To add nicotine shots to a shortfill you need to remove the cap and the nib. Different brands sometimes vary in the lids they use. If you struggle to open the nibs on a bottle there are tools which can help, like the Alpha 3-in-1 Bottle Cap Remover. This tool minimises the faff and effort it requires to open it. Traditionally, you would need to use the cap and try and pry out the nib. Once you’ve added your nicotine shots, you must mix the shortfill well. This is because the nicotine you’ve just added will sit at the top of the bottle so when you fill up your tank it will be harsh and only nicotine. Some people like to steep their e-liquids (leave them to stand) after adding their nicotine shots to develop flavour and mix thoroughly. Steeping the e-liquid lets all of the flavours and nicotine blend together well and reach their peak flavour. The e-liquid may get darker which is natural and just happens due to the mixing of the flavours and the nicotine.
100ml and 50ml bottles usually work out cheaper than purchasing many 10ml bottles, however, you need to make sure that the shortfill e-liquid you purchase is suitable for your device. If you vape 50/50 vape juice or nic salt vape juice then finding the perfect shortfill to save money may be trickier. Most shortfill e-liquid comes in a 70VG/30PG ratio or higher and isn’t suitable to use in a pod kit or a MTL tank. Higher power kits that use shortfills usually use more e-liquid than a smaller MTL kit, so a 100ml bottle is easier to purchase and fill up your kit with than lots of 10ml e-liquids. The average 100ml shortfill costs anywhere between £10-£20. With the average 10ml e-liquid costing £3.49, 100ml of this would cost £34. However, you do need to purchase nic shots with your shortfill if you vape nicotine.
The best kits to use with shortfills are high-powered kits that utilise sub-ohm coils. Shortfill e-liquid is usually too thick to be used in a pod device. The smaller, lower-powered devices can’t heat up the thick e-liquid enough, and it doesn’t wick properly in the cotton and can produce a dry hit. This is uncomfortable and tastes horrible causing a really unpleasant vaping experience. Some of the most recommended tanks for shortfill are the iTank, Sakerz, and the PnP Pod. These tanks are compatible with coils that have low resistance (under 1.0ohm). These coils can suitably wick the thicker e-liquid and create thick and tasty clouds.