E-liquid Compatibility – Can You Use Any Liquid for Your Vape Pen?

There are lots of different types of vape devices on the market, and the device you use is likely to in turn have an impact on the e-liquid you use too, as some e-liquids will suit some vapes better than others. 

New vapers in particular might think that they can buy any liquid for any pen, or that the flavour of the e-liquid is the only consideration, but that’s not the case. If you want to find out which e-liquids suit your vape pen, and how to know if your e-liquid is compatible, just keep reading on.

What E-liquid Options are There for Vape Pens? 

Most e-liquids contain both propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), but the PG/VG ratio can differ for each e-liquid, and some ratios are better suited to different types of vapes. There are some e-liquids that’ll be 100% PG or 100% VG, but most of the time the ratio will be something like 70/30 either way, or a 50/50 split.

PG is a thin and odourless liquid, and an e-liquid with high PG will provide a more intense throat ‘hit’, similar to the feeling of smoking a cigarette. The main role is PG is to carry the flavour of your e-liquid – being thinner than VG, flavourings find it easier to mix into, giving a more complex flavour profile. 

VG is thicker and while colourless has a slightly sweet taste. High VG e-liquids produce more vapour than high PG e-liquids, so they’re often used by vapers who want to maximise aerosol production and make denser clouds.

A 50/50 e-liquid offers a balance between vapour production, a ‘hit’, and flavour. It’s best suited to devices with lower power to get the result of large clouds but not an overpowering flavour – when used with higher-voltage devices, the e-liquid might taste a little burnt. However, for most devices this will be suitable. 

Another option is shortfill e-liquid. This type of e-liquid comes in a bottle that’s filled in part with a 0mg, or nicotine-free, e-liquid. With the extra space, you can pour in a nicotine shot – these are small bottles of e-liquid with no flavour but a high concentration of nicotine. A standard 10ml nicotine shot might have 18mg, so when added to a 50ml bottle of shortfill e-liquid to make a 60ml e-juice, the nicotine content would be 3mg. Shortfill e-liquid can be suitable for a number of vape devices.

How Do I Know if My E-Liquid is Compatible? 

When selecting an e-liquid that’s right for your device, it’s worth considering the PG/VG ratio. Higher PG e-liquids tend to be well-suited to devices with lower power and a lower-resistance coil, so they’re a good fit for a lot of vape pens and starter kits – people who’ve recently switched from smoking often prefer high PG vape juice anyway, as the sensation provided is closer to that of smoking. Many people, when starting out vaping, will consider 50/50 e-liquids too, which can be used with most vape devices.

In comparison, high VG e-juice tends to be better-suited to sub-ohm devices and vape mods in part due to the thickness of the liquid – more power and larger coils are needed to help in absorbing the liquid. These devices often don’t work as well with high PG vape juice, as the more intense throat ‘hit’, and the increased vapour production can mean an uncomfortably harsh inhale. 

As a general e-liquid compatibility rule, high VG vape juices are best for larger sub-ohm devices, while high PG e-liquids fit vape pens, starter kits and lower-power vapes – to get the most out of the vaping experience it’s best not to use just any liquid for any pen.

For more information about PG/VG ratios you can take a look at our guide to e-liquid calculators here

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