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What are Shortfill E-Liquids? And Why They’re the #1 Choice For SubOhm Vapers

bottles of e-liquids

Shortfill e-liquids are larger bottles of e-liquids that are “shortfilled” with nicotine-free e-liquids.

The most common shortfill bottles come as 60ml containers that contain only 50ml eliquid.

From here, vapers can add their own nic shots to the remaining 10ml space. These nic shots are mixed with nicotine-free e-liquid to make the regular e-liquids we all know and love.

Why Do Shortfill E-Liquids Exist?

Shortfills became necessary after the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) reduced the legal container size of e-liquids to 10ml.

For many vapers, this regulation was unwelcome. Some simply preferred to have a larger bottle size, while for others, the excess packaging was an environmental problem.

For sub-ohm vapers especially, these bottle sizes weren’t ideal. Sub-ohm vapers like to use high-wattage devices with lower nicotine strength juices.

To get around these restrictions, manufacturers started offering bottles of nicotine-free e-liquid that consumers could fill up at their own convenience. Additionally, it gave vapers more control to vape at their desired nicotine concentrations.

Can You Vape a Shortfill E-Liquid?

Yes, shortfill eliquids are perfectly safe to vape; however, they are nicotine-free. If you want to turn them into a bottle of standard juice, you need to add one or two nic shots.

Can You Vape a Nicotine Shot?

In theory, yes. Nic shots are flavourless 18mg nicotine strength versions of either PG or VG liquid.

They are safe to vape, but to me, there is something grim, joyless, and eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984 about vaping a flavourless liquid.

It’s much better to use them as they were intended: to be added to a flavoured shortfill bottle.

A nic shot bottle

What Types of Nicotine Shot Are Available?

Nicotine shots come in a few different forms, each suitable for specific types of vaping.

50/50 Nicotine Shot

These eliquid shots are generally freebase nicotine and contain 50% Propylene Glycol (PG) and 50% Vegetable Glycerine (VG). For many vapers, 50/50 is the sweet spot. These shots are great to be added to 50/50 shortfill e-liquids.

Nic Salt Shots

These shots contain nicotine salts. Nicotine salts have a smoother throat hit that allows nicotine to be absorbed at a quicker rate. Overall, it has a more similar experience to smoking and has become immensely popular over the last few years.

Nic Salt Shots come in various flavours like high VG (70-100%) or 50/50 blends.

Nic Cool Shots

These are like other nicotine shots, except they contain a cool dash of menthol to give the shortfill flavour an iced edge.

High VG Shots

These nic shots usually come in ratios of 70/30 or 80/20 VG. High VG shots are excellent for mixing with high VG flavour eliquid.

How Much Nicotine Do You Need To Add to Your Shortfills E-Liquid?

The real question here is, what nicotine strength do you want to smoke at? 3mg or 6mg?

Most Shortfill bottles come in containers that hold 60ml of e-liquid but only contain 50ml e-liquid. So, where is that missing 10ml?

It’s in your 10ml nicotine shot bottles!

Each 10ml nicotine shot generally contains 18mg of liquid, i.e. 1.8% nicotine strength. However, some shots contain as much as 20mg.

So let’s take a quick look at how you can add your own nicotine to a flavoured e-liquid short fill bottle to achieve the right strength.

Typical Shortfill Bottle Sizes

The Shortfill e-liquid bottles range we sell come in the following sizes:

  • 50ml
  • 80ml
  • 100ml
  • 200ml

However, 50ml bottles (with a 10ml space) is the most common form sold or found online.


Shortfill Mixing Guide

Shortfill bottle Nic Shot Total E-Liquid E-Liquid strenght
50ml 1 x 10ml of 18mg 60ml 3mg
40ml 2 x 10ml of 18mg 60ml 6mg
80ml 2 x 10ml of 18mg 100ml 3.3mg
100ml 2 x 10ml of 18mg 120ml 3mg
4 x 10ml of 18mg 240ml 3mg

A mixing guide for shortfill e-liquids

How Do You Mix a Shortfill E-Liquid?

Note: This guide is made for turning 50ml bottles  — with a 10ml space for nicotine shot — into 6oml bottles of 3mg. However, you can apply the basic principle to other bottle sizes.

Additionally, in this guide we use a Shortfill Bottle Opener Tool. 

These lightweight and portable tools make popping the nibs off your e-liquid bottles very easy.

We highly recommend you use them when mixing your shortfill liquids. 

Step #1.

Remove nib on nic shot
remove nib on shortfill bottle

Gently remove the nozzle from your 50ml shortfill and your 10ml nic shot bottle using a shortfill bottle opener.

STEP #2.

Squeezing a nic shot into a shortfill bottle to mix a 0mg bottle into a 3mg bottle

Squeeze the nic shot into the shortfill bottle until you’ve reached your desired nicotine strength. (see our table above)

STEP #3.

when full, replace the cap on the shortfill bottle.
putting nib back on shortfill bottle
when making a shortfill bottle, shake the liquid well to ensure the shortfill and the nic shot are combined.

Discard your empty nic shot and replace the nozzle and cap on the larger bottle. Once the container is sealed, give it a gentle shake for a few minutes to mix the liquids.

STEP #4.

after shortfill and nic shots are mixed, allow them to sit for 1-2hrs to blend further

Allow it to sit and steep for about an hour.

How Do You Increase the Nicotine Strength of a Shortfill?

In the example above, we’ve shown you how to change a 50ml shortfill bottle with 0mg nicotine into a 60ml shortfill bottle with 3mg nicotine juice.

This is perfect for someone who smokes 3mg vape juice. However, if you smoke 6mg e-liquid, you’ll need to use extra nic shots.

One way you can do this is to take an empty and cleaned out 10ml e-liquid container and decant 10ml of the nicotine-free eliquid into this bottle. From here, you’ll have a 40ml bottle to which you can add 2oml (i.e. 2 x 10ml nicotine shots).

Of course, you can modulate this method with your favourite freebase nicotine shots or nicotine salt shots, but be careful. Diluting the vape juice excessively with nic shots can change the flavours of the juice. Additionally, there is a risk that you’ll mix in too much nicotine. These higher doses might make you feel a little sickly.

Is There a Shortfill E-Liquid Range For High VG or High PG Vapers?

Yes, shortfills are made to accommodate all vape preferences. However, some of the larger vape juice containers are (80ml, 100ml, 200ml) are less common, meaning you’ll have less choice of flavours.

Additionally, both high VG and high PG e-liquids are available as shortfills. Because they largely cater towards sub-ohm vapers, 70%VG/30%PG is one of the most common configurations.

What Are the Benefits of Shortfill E-Liquid?

There are many benefits to shortfills.

#1. Kinder to the Environment

Less plastic, less packaging, and less waste. A 50ml shortfill plus a nic shot produces less waste than six separate 10ml e-liquid bottles and packaging.

#2. Full Control

Users will have full control over the nicotine strength. They are free to use the space in larger bottles to fill with their own nic shots.

#3. Cost-Effective

The cost of a 50ml shortfill bottle and a 10ml nic shot is generally lower than the price of six separate 10ml bottles. Of course, there are lots of mix and match deals that can close the price.

What’s The Best Flavour Shortfill?

Like with much of the vaping industry, there is no “best flavour”; there are only flavours that you like. Mixed berries, blood orange, juicy berries, blueberry, cream, coffee, cherry… The list goes on. You’ve just got to try a few different types, and soon enough, you’ll find your best flavour.

What Vape Kits Can Shortfill E-Liquids Be Used With?

Most shortfills are 70% VG. As mentioned previously, this is because they were originally marketed at sub-ohm or direct-to-lung vapers. Therefore, sub-ohm vape kits are best served by these e-liquids.

However, over recent years, more shortfills are coming available that feature higher PG content, an example of this is the Love Your Coil Shortfill E-Liquid range that can be used with basic starter vape kits.

Should New Vapers Buy Short Fill E-Liquids?

If you’re new and you’ve just got, or you’re just looking for, your first vape kit, you might want to hold off on buying a larger container for a little bit.

For starters, what if you don’t like the flavour? You could be stuck with 60ml of, for example, mixed berries e-liquid that is no good to you.

Secondly, while it is a straightforward process, the less messing around at the start, the better. If you want to stop smoking, just concentrate on the beginner vape kits that you think will help first and buy a mix of eliquid you think you’d like.

Once you find a flavour you love, maybe it’s time to consider investing in a 50ml shortfill eliquid.


To recap, shortfill e-liquids are bottles of nicotine free e-liquid that leave space for nic shots.

They came about as a response to TPD regulations that restricted manufacturers to making 10ml bottles of e-liquids.

These bottles are great for sub-ohm vapers and anyone who wants 3 or 6 mg liquids in sizes 30ml or more. Additionally, they can save you a few pounds.

So there it is; a short and sweet guide on shortfill e-liquid. If you need advice on your first order or have questions and need more help, get in touch with support via email.


What are Shortfill E-Liquids? And Why They're the #1 Choice For SubOhm Vapers
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