A Guide to Shortfill

A Guide to Shortfill

Shortfill e-liquids have become a popular way to enjoy vaping for many people. Their origins are tied to the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) regulations, which came into effect in May of 2017.

Despite having been around for a while now, there are many questions surrounding how best to use them. For new vapers in particular, they will require some explanation. If you are curious about whether or not shortfills are right for your vaping journey, then stick with us as we tell all in this handy guide!

What is a Shortfill E-Liquid?

While different brands have slightly different approaches to shortfill e-liquids, they all share these common properties:

  • They are high-VG e-liquids with a thick consistency because of the extra Vegetable Glycerol (VG) in their recipe. This means they produce big clouds when vaped!
  • They are only ever sold in 0mg nicotine free, and require a nic shot to be added by the user to create a nicotine strength they are happy with, after the point of sale.
  • They come in as wide of a variety of flavours as traditional 10ml vape juice ranges, and in some cases can be even weirder and wackier than their smaller counterparts.
  • The most common type of bottle they are sold in are called “chubby gorillas” (we know, a bit odd!) sometimes people in the know will call them “chubbys” – if you hear a vaper use this term, they aren’t mocking chunky people, they are probably a shortfill user!

You can learn more about what goes into e-liquids in our guide!

What is a Nic Shot?

Nic shots only exist because of shortfills. They are never intended to be vaped on their own, and with no flavour and high nicotine content that is for good reason!

  • Nic shots typically contain a high concentration of nicotine, our LiQuid Nic Shots for example are 18mg. This is because when added to the larger volume of vape juice in a shortfill, the nicotine is diluted to a much lower strength overall.
  • Nic Shots are only ever 10ml in size.
  • You can use either freebase nic shots, or nic salt shots depending on your preference.
  • Most nic shots are high-VG like their shortfill partners – this is to avoid diluting the thickness of the juice when the two are mixed together.

You can learn more about nic salts, nic shots, shortfills and other e-liquids in our blog, How to Vape Properly

How To Mix Shortfill E-Liquid

Please note because of the differences between brands, you should always take care to note:

  • The strength of the Nic shot
  • The PG/VG ratio of your shortfill and nic shot (they should match ideally)
  • The size of the shortfill measured against the number of shots required to create your desired strength.

LiQuid Shortfill Mixing Guide

Our shortfills and nic shots have been designed to work perfectly together, the shortfills are filled to 50ml, in a 75ml bottle. They are both 80VG/20PG and are dosed to allow easy strength creation without complicated maths! See our guide below:

1 x 50ml HVG 0mg Shortfill + 1 x 10ml 18mg HVG nic shot = 60ml of 3mg HVG vape juice

1 x 50ml HVG 0mg Shortfill + 2 x 10ml 18mg HVG nic shot = 70ml of 6mg HVG vape juice

Even when adding 2 x nic shots, there will always be 5ml of headspace to allow for steeping after your shots are added.

To mix:

  • Open your shortfills tamper-proof cap
  • Place the cap sideways against the bottle, with the edge of the cap inserted into the small groove you can find beneath the nib.
  • Firmly press the cap into the groove, and rotate like a can opener.
  • With minimal effort the nib will pop up, allowing you to remove and add your nic shots.
  • Simply pop the nib back in and replace the cap.
  • Shake and allow to stand for up to 10 mins before adding to your vape tank and enjoying!

Different shots and shortfills

As we have said, some brands are different – some offer bigger bottles or different shot strengths, here is a little guide to help you make the most of your shortfills, even if they didn’t come from us – but we’d love it if they did!

 E-liquid (ml) Strength of 10ml Nic Shot (mg/ml)  Nicotine Shots Final Result
50 9 1 1.5mg in 60ml
50 12 1 2mg in 60ml
50 15 1 2.5mg in 60ml
50 18 1 3mg in 60ml
50 20 1 3.3mg in 60ml
80 9 2 1.8mg in 100ml
80 12 2 2.4mg in 100ml
80 15 2 3mg in 100ml
80 18 2 3.6mg in 100ml
80 20 2 4mg in 100ml
100 9 2 1.5mg in 120ml
100 12 2 2mg in 120ml
100 15 2 2.5mg in 120ml
100 18 2 3mg in 120ml
100 20 2 3.5mg in 120ml

What Device Should I use to Vape Shortfill?

Shortfill vape juice is designed for use exclusively with higher powered sub-ohm vaping devices. This is because they have coils with bigger wicking ports to allow the thick juice to absorb properly. Not only this, but they also pack enough punch to vaporise all that juice and create massive clouds!

While some HVG juices will work with 50-50 style devices, this is not advised as it can lead to poor performance and dry burn which is not a pleasant experience!

Can I buy Shortfill E-Liquid with Nicotine Already Mixed In?

No, and if you see one out there claiming to be pre-nic’d then stay well clear, it is likely an illegal unregistered product.

In 2017 when the TPD regulations were brought in, the industry was faced with many rules designed to help make vaping safe and regulated for consumers so they could shop and inhale with confidence. One such rule limited the sale of a nicotine containing e-liquid to 10ml bottles or smaller.

This created a problem for users of high-powered sub ohm devices, which consumed thick high-VG e-liquids pretty quickly! Pre-TPD, vapers were getting used to buying bigger bottles of fully mixed vape juice, including nicotine. You can imagine the disappointment when suddenly their convenient alternative to carrying pockets full of 10ml bottles was suddenly illegal – Enter, Shortfills!

The vaping industry realised that the only vapers who really benefitted from bigger bottles were sub-ohm vapers. In response, brands began producing high-VG e-liquids without nicotine – because of this, they weren’t affected by the TPD regulations.

Of course, what’s an e-liquid without the nicotine we crave? Well that’s where Nic Shots came in! by underfilling the large volume bottles, users had enough room to add nic shots to their juice, allowing them to create a nicotine strength they would want to vape – most commonly 3mg or 6mg as these are popular HVG vape juice strengths.

That’s why they are called shortfills – because they are short-filled

Are Shortfill e-liquids good or bad

Ultimately shortfill e-liquids not only grant the freedom to create a HVG e-liquid with the perfect strength for your needs, but they also allow sub ohm vapers to carry a more practical amount of vape juice with them to keep those cloud-beasts topped up!

They might have been born of a loophole in the regulations, but ultimately they are a good thing for the vapers who use them – and if you are worried about the fact being 0mg means they do not have to be tested – all of our LiQuid shortfills are fully compliance and quality tested regardless of the law – we want to ensure our juices are the safest and highest quality possible for our customers!



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