VU201 Intro to Variable Wattage

Welcome to another exciting lesson from Vape University, at In this lesson, we're going to talk about the advantages of variable wattage vaping equipment, for those looking to take the next step up from starter kits. We'll discuss what variable wattage is, how it works, and its advantages.

To begin, we're going to address what variable wattage (VW) is, and in order to do that, we're going to need a touch a little bit on the basics of electricity. Don't worry: this isn't a deep dive into integrated circuits, and the great advantage of variable wattage devices is that you generally don't have to think about this stuff, but it is helpful to understand what the device is doing.

Any electrical circuit can be characterized with three values: wattage, voltage, and resistance. The mathematical equation here is W = V²/R, where W is watts, V is volts, and R is resistance in Ohms (generally represented with the Ω symbol). We'll discuss these more in depth in our lesson about rebuildable atomizers, but in general, voltage is the amount of electric potential, or the amount of power available to the circuit; resistance is a measure of how easily electricity can flow through the circuit; and the wattage is thus the product of those two values, and thus the amount of work being done. Resistance is slightly counter-intuitive in the sense that a lower resistance will result in a higher wattage, because more electricity can flow through the circuit.

Most beginner starter kits are not variable wattage, so as the day goes on and the battery loses charge, there are fewer volts available to the circuit, and thus the wattage begins to decline. If you start the day with a fully-charged 4.2 volt battery into a 1.5Ω coil - remember, Ω is resistance in Ohms - you're getting 12 watts of work done at the coil. But as the day goes on, and that battery descends to 3.7 volts, you're down to just 9 watts of work. Less wattage means less heat, which means less vapor and less flavor.

Variable wattage devices, on the other hand, use a tiny computer and that W = V²/R equation to produce the same wattage no matter the voltage the battery is putting out. They automatically compensate for changes in battery voltage, giving you a consistent wattage from the batteries' full charge to their lower charge limit - usually about 3.7 volts. Consistent wattage means consistent heat, which means consistent vapor and flavor!

Eleaf Pico Resin mod with Smok TFV8 Baby Beast tank
Eleaf Pico Resin mod with Smok TFV8 Baby Beast tank

These VW mods come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Some have maximum wattages as low as 10 watts, and others as high as 350 watts or more! Some are made of stabilized wood and are truly works of art. Most are some combination of metal and plastic, and will hold one or two batteries, though some hold as many as four! Nearly all VW devices have a screen so you can read the wattage you've set, and these screens will also display, generally, at least the remaining battery charge, the current wattage, the resistance of the coil, and sometimes the voltage currently being used.

Remember, the higher the wattage, the more heat and thus vapor are produced, but all coils have a maximum wattage they can accept without burning the cotton or being damaged. Generally, this maximum wattage will be printed on the replacement coil itself, but a good rule of thumb is to set the wattage wherever it needs to be to produce 4 volts; this is a good starting value, from which you can adjust up and down. (It's worth pointing out here the Vaporesso Nebula, discussed in detail in our Vaporesso Nebula Unboxing video, which has a smart wattage function that will automatically adjust itself when a new coil is put in, preventing accidental coil over-wattage. A very useful feature, to be sure!)

Variable wattage devices are both more powerful and more flexible than fixed-wattage devices like beginner starter kits, and are available in a couple of our advanced starter kits, which give you the convenience of a starter kit with the power and flexibility of a variable-wattage device. If you're ready to take the next step, a variable wattage device has all the features and advantages you're looking for!

Kanger Topbox starter kit
Kanger TOPBOX Mini TC-75 Starter Kit

That's all for today's lesson on the basics of variable wattage vaping devices. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us, either by phone at 855-647-8373, by email at, or via live chat on any page of If social media's more your thing, you can find us on Facebook or Instagram: we're always happy to help!

Thank you for joining us today at Vape University. Class dismissed!

For a lesson you can watch and listen to rather than just read, check out the video version of this lesson, below!

WARNING: This product contains nicotine.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

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