What Are Shortfill E-Liquids?

In the UK and Europe, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is a regulation that controls the distribution and use of e-liquid with nicotine. For those who vape, the three most important aspects of the TPD are that it limits the nicotine strength of e-liquids (20 mg), the capacity of vape tanks (2 mg) and the size of e-liquid bottles containing nicotine (10 ml). The idea behind these limitations is that they minimize the chance of nicotine poisoning if a pet or child ingests e-liquid. For vapers, the limitations weren’t a terrible inconvenience – not at first, anyway. In recent years, though, sub-ohm vaping began to take hold, and the TPD became more troublesome.

As vape tanks grew ever more powerful, 10 ml of e-liquid became almost an insignificant quantity. Today, people who use sub-ohm vaping equipment tend to prefer nicotine strengths as low as 3 mg and may go through 20 ml of e-liquid or more in a single day. To satisfy cloud chasers, e-liquid companies began to package their e-liquid in boxes containing many small bottles. That’s an inconvenient way to buy e-liquid, though – and it’s also a lot of wasted plastic. Shortfill e-liquid is the solution to that problem, and you can find it at finer vape stores such as Nova Vapes.

What Is Shortfill E-Liquid?

A shortfill e-liquid is a large bottle of nicotine-free e-liquid that isn’t completely full. Since shortfill e-liquid contains no nicotine, it’s possible to sell it in large bottles without violating the bottle size limit of the TPD. The two most common bottle sizes for shortfill e-liquid are 60 and 120 ml (containing 50 and 100 ml of e-liquid respectively), although it’s possible to find much larger bottles as well. You buy the nicotine separately and add it to the e-liquid yourself. Although the process of using shortfill e-liquid might sound complicated, e-liquid manufacturers have actually made it quite easy.

The primary benefit of shortfill e-liquid is that it removes the necessity to buy your e-liquid in many small bottles. If you’re using powerful vaping equipment such as a tank with a mesh coil, you go through a significant amount of e-liquid every day and might even have to carry multiple 10 ml bottles of e-liquid just to get through the work day. With shortfill e-liquid, you can carry just one bottle at a time. A single 60 ml shortfill bottle of e-liquid will also generally cost less than a box of six 10 ml bottles – so switching to shortfill e-liquids can save you a significant amount of money over the long term.

How Do You Use Shortfill E-Liquid?

When you buy a bottle of shortfill e-liquid, you’ll also need to buy at least one nicotine shot. A nicotine shot will most commonly contain 10 ml of unflavored e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 18 mg, and you’ll need to buy enough nicotine shots to fill all of the empty space in your bottle. A 60 ml shortfill bottle requires one nicotine shot, and a 120 ml bottle requires two shots.

To mix your shortfill e-liquid, you’ll take the large bottle and remove the cap. If the cap is stubborn, you may need to use a tool to pry it off. Next, you’ll open your nicotine shot and empty its entire contents into the shortfill bottle. If you have a 120 ml shortfill bottle, add two nicotine shots. When you’re done, your shortfill e-liquid will have a final nicotine strength of 3 mg. Replace the bottle’s cap and lid. Give the bottle a good, long shake to distribute the contents thoroughly. Fill your tank and vape!

Shake Shortfill E-Liquid Frequently

When you use shortfill e-liquid, the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t exactly the same thing as a standard e-liquid made in a commercial laboratory. Standard e-liquid is produced with industrial equipment that mixes the ingredients so well that they’re extremely unlikely to ever separate. When you’re mixing the ingredients yourself, on the other hand, some separation may occur. It’s a good idea to shake a bottle of shortfill e-liquid each time you fill your tank.

Does Shortfill E-Liquid Have Any Drawbacks?

Less Convenient Than Pre-Mixed E-Liquid

The biggest drawback of shortfill e-liquid is that it’s inconvenient. When you buy pre-mixed e-liquid, you don’t need to do anything apart from opening the bottle and filling your tank. Mixing a shortfill e-liquid, on the other hand, does require a few minutes of effort. If you’re not in a rush to add extra steps to your usual vaping routine, you may actually prefer spending a little extra money and continuing to buy your usual 10 ml bottles of e-liquid.

Potential Mess and Spillage

The next drawback of shortfill e-liquid is that using it can sometimes be messy. If you’re not careful when mixing a bottle, you may get a little e-liquid on your hands or on your work surface. Spilling is also a possibility. If you happen to knock over a shortfill e-liquid bottle after removing the cap, you could lose the entire bottle. It’s almost impossible for that extremely unpleasant event to happen with a standard 10 ml bottle.

Potential Diluted Flavor

With shortfill e-liquid, it’s important to buy from a manufacturer who really understands the shortfill process. When you buy a shortfill e-liquid, 1/6 of the bottle will be empty. You’ll fill that space with a nicotine shot that contributes absolutely no flavor. The nicotine shot, in other words, will dilute the e-liquid. To compensate for that, an e-liquid manufacturer should add extra flavor to its shortfill e-liquids. That way, when you add the nicotine shot, you’ll end up with an e-liquid that tastes the same as a pre-mixed 10 ml bottle. If you buy a bottle of shortfill e-liquid and find that it tastes weak after you add a nicotine shot, the manufacturer of that e-liquid doesn’t add extra flavor to its shortfill e-liquids. You can either put up with the diluted flavor, or you can buy the company’s 10 ml bottles instead.

Author: Jason Artman

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