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Published by Steam Turbine in the blog Steam Turbine's blog. Views: 13303

3: The Variable voltage/wattage devices

This is where things get interesting. What is a variable voltage or wattage device?

In its most simple form, a variable device is a battery that allows you to adjust the power that will be pumped into your atomizer.

Despite its name, an atomizer is a very simple piece of hardware and all of them work using the same principle. It is composed of an absorbent material that will hold your e-liquid called a wick, and a little piece of wire that is wrapped around that wick called a coil. When you fire the device, the coil becomes so hot that it boils and evaporates the e-liquid held inside of the wick and is then inhaled by the user.

So what does that have to do with variable devices?

When adjusting the voltage or wattage of your battery, that coil will get hotter or cooler, exactly like the options on these fancy toasters: bagel or normal bread. This will heat the e-liquid at varying temperatures, producing more or less vapor. If it is too hot, all the liquid that your wick contains will evaporate very rapidly and you will most likely get an extremely bad flavor and harsh throat hit (the “smoking sensation”) because the wick became dry while you were inhaling. On the other hand, if the coil doesn’t get hot enough you will get very little vapor, very little flavor and very little throat hit.

So a variable device will grant you the power to find your personal “sweet spot” that will produce the optimal amount of vapor while preserving the flavor and the throat hit on a given atomizer. This is considered by a large majority of vapers to be the best way to get a satisfying vape.

Is there any difference between voltage and wattage devices?

Absolutely! Although the end result will be the same i.e. you will get to tailor your vape experience to your likings, there is a fundamental difference between the 2.

But before getting into it, we must briefly talk about some super easy, basic electrical stuff.

The coil that we were talking about earlier is nothing more than an obstacle to the electricity that comes running out of your battery, meaning that electricity have a hard time going through it and when electricity have a hard time going through something, it heats that thing up: this is true for your oven, toaster, hair dryer and everything else that heats up when your apply electricity to it. This phenomenon is called “electrical resistance” or simply “resistance” or “ohms (this is a value assigned to a resistance level ex: 2 ohms is more resistant than 1 ohm)”.

As mentioned earlier, not all atomizers are created equal , therefore some coils will have higher or lower resistance level depending on what you buy. So let’s move on to what these devices do.

A variable voltage device will let you adjust… wait for it… the voltage of your battery! Grimmgreen, very candidly describes variable voltage devices as follows: “The higher the ohms, the higher the voltage, the lower the ohms, the lower the voltage”.

This is basically all you need to know to operate a variable voltage kind of device. But let me try to explain what it does a little further.

By raising or lowering the voltage of your battery, you change the power (measured in watts) that your coil will receive given a certain resistance. For example: a 2.0 ohm coil fired at 3.7 volts will pump into your coil 6.8 watts of power. But if we change the resistance of the coil by attaching a different atomizer onto our device but don’t change it’s voltage, let’s say a 1.5 ohm coil instead at that same 3.7 volts we will get 9.1 watts of power.

Therefore, we will experience a different vape (stronger in this case) if we don’t adjust the voltage of our battery when we screw on an atomizer that have a higher or lower resistance level.

We can summarize all of this crap as follows: changing the voltage of your device will automatically adjust the wattage (or power) that your coil will receive.


The variable wattage device will do the exact opposite: changing the wattage (or power) of your device will automatically adjust the voltage of your battery.

Although the variable wattage device is less common, a lot of vapers finds that this is the most convenient option since no matter what resistance you screw onto your device you will always get the same power (watts) to your coil. You do not have to worry about resistances anymore, just set your device to the power you like the most, leave it as it is and then hop from one atomizer to the next without the need of adjusting anything!

Welcome to the wonderful world of variable vaping!

The most popular “noob” devices are the eGo Twist and the Vision Spinner. They are great devices for new vapers who wants to try what variable vaping as to offer. Some more “advanced” devices like the Vamo, the Sid or the Provari will enable you to measure the ohms (resistance) of your atomizer, see the remaining life of your battery and a few more options. Some of them will even let you adjust both the voltage or wattage on the same device.
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