Which E-liquid is right for me, Freebase, Nicotine Salts or High VG?

Published by Paul Larter on 9th Sep 2021

Over the past 20 years, vaping has evolved on hardware and in the various different types of e-liquids. It is hard finding your way at first with so many different device options and experiences on hardware, and then finding the right e-liquid is another challenge altogether.

One of the most critical parts of success in vaping is finding the right flavour but it doesn’t stop there. As the consistency and e-liquid base type can also be a huge factor.

We currently have 3 named variations of the most popular types of E-liquid.

●Freebase - PG50% / VG50% or more PG heavy

●High VG – Normally PG30% ± / VG70% ±

●Nicotine Salts – Normally PG50% / VG50 with some variation

VG (Vegetable Glycerine), PG (Propylene Glycol)

Firstly we have Freebase E-Liquids. These were the first type of e-liquids to be released and are still popular today. These are normally more dominant in PG and provide a bigger throat hit, especially on the higher nicotine levels. Many people like this as you feel like you are getting more impact and many vapers love this bite and with other people, they can find this a bit scratchy on the throat on high nicotine levels. It takes a bit of getting used to but vaping started on freebase predominantly and all the early success from vaping came from this formulation. These are normally available in 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg, with 12mg and 18mg carrying quite a strong bite level. There is also a percentage of people that have allergies to PG, with symptoms like a very itchy throat, headaches, mild skin conditions to name a few, which is why high VG and PG-Free e-liquids exist.

Normally referred to as 50/50 e-liquids, Freebase or PG e-liquids.

Next High VG E-Liquids came onto the scene. With the pen vapes imitating smoking the industry was looking for something that offered high performance for many people craving more vapour production. This was when Ecig mods started coming into play, with higher wattage options and vastly more clouds, and then eventually the box mods followed. Over a couple of years these were made with higher wattage capabilities and vapers discovered with larger volumes of cotton and fatter coils, these produced vastly more vapour and flavour. These are typically 70% VG or higher. The only issue with this new trend was with a larger volume of vapour, you automatically get a much bigger throat hit and anything over 6mg just has too much throat hit. This meant that anyone making the switch to vaping from being a heavy smoker had a high chance of failure, as although you maintain your habit, you didn’t get the essential nicotine required to actually give up. So although very pleasant this should be directed more to vapers who have successfully given up smoking and have weaned down to a 3 or 6mg.

Please note: If you would like 100% PG free as you have an allergy to PG, Please do reach out to us as we now have some great 100% VG e-liquid options.

Normally referred to as High VG e-liquids, Cloud Chasing e-liquids, Sub-Ohm e-liquids or more recently Short-fill e-liquids.

Now more recently the Nicotine Salt E-liquid. Salt nicotine is freebase nicotine mixed with an acid from the tobacco plant. When mixed with an acid this lowers it on the pH scale, resulting in a smooth and fast deliver, almost as fast as a cigarette does. Nicotine salts normally come in either 10mg or 20mg in the UK with some brands offering even lower levels of nicotine. Nicotine salts have been a huge breakthrough to help people give up smoking as they have a reduced bite and increased satisfaction level providing a solution. Nicotine Salts typically are 50/50 base but there are a few in a higher VG. Although nicotine salts can be used in box mods with higher output most vapers use nicotine salts with POD systems and mouth to lung vaping equipment these days.

Normally referred to as Nic Salts, Nicotine Salts or Salts.

Choosing what is right for you.

We would suggest trying both the nicotine salts and freebase to start with if you are new to vaping. Here is a brief guide of strengths we would normally associate to an equivalent smoking amount. There are some variables on the type of cigarette as it makes a difference if you smoke Lights, rollies or strong cigarettes. But we are always here to advise you should you need any guidance.

As a rule of thumb.


1-5 cigarettes per day – 3mg to 6mg

5 – 10 cigarettes per day – 6mg to 12mg

10 – 20 cigarettes per day – 12mg to 18mg

Nicotine Salts:

Lower levels of smoking refer to freebase.

5-10 cigarettes per day – 10mg

10 – 20+ cigarettes per day – 20mg

High VG:

Normally for the established vaper or people with a PG or Propylene glycol allergy

1 – 5 cigarettes per day 3mg or 6mg

Although all e-liquids work in all devices, beware you may go through the coils quickly and taste the burn on the coil much faster if you don’t use the right device for the right e-liquids base.

Anything with a resistance 0.5ohm or lower is for high VG e-liquids

For all resistances above 1ohm these are predominantly for either Freebase or Nicotine Salts.