A photo collage showing a person holding different types of vape juice

What Are the Different Types of Vape Juice?

There are many different types of vape juice, and it’s essential to know which is which as they often require different coils or kinds of vape kits to atomise. The only universal constant in vape liquid is that they all contain vegetable glycerine (VG), but there’s a world of difference between bar salts and high VG shortfills.

We will review all the different kinds of vape juice, highlighting the vaping preferences best suited to a given juice variety. Ideally, this guide will help you determine which juice your vape kit needs, or in the case of total beginners, you’ll know which vape juice you should start with.

Different Types of Vape Juice Comparison Table

There are two main types of vape juice: MTL vape juice and high VG vape juice. High VG vape juices are often sold as large-bottle shortfills, whereas MTL e-liquids can come in many forms, from freebase to nic salts, 50/50 to bar salt e-liquids. Let’s take a closer look at the technical side of different e-liquid types:

Vape Juice TypeFlavourCloudsAvailable Nic StrengthsPG/VG RatiosVaping Style
Freebase8 / 10 5 / 10 0mg, 3mg 6mg, 12mg, 18mg 50VG/50PG, 70VG/30PG, 30VG/70PGMTL, DTL 
Nicotine Salts (Nic salts) 8 / 10 4 / 10 3mg, 5mg, 10mg, 12mg, 18mg, 20mg50VG / 50PGMTL 
Bar Salts 10 / 10 4 / 10 3mg, 5mg, 10mg, 12mg, 18mg, 20mg50VG/50PGMTL 
Shortfills 7 / 10 10 / 10 0mg (Can be increased with nic shots)100VG, 80VG/20PG, 78VG/22PG, 70VG/30PG, 50VG/50PG, 30VG/70PGMTL, DTL 
High VG 7 / 10 10 / 10 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg100VG, 80VG/20PG, 78VG/22PG, 70VG/30PGDTL 
MTL Vape Juice9 / 10 5 / 10 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 10mg, 12mg, 18mg, 20mg70PG/30PG, 60VG/40PG, 50VG/50PGMTL 
50/50 Vape Juice9 / 10 5 / 10 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 10mg, 12mg, 18mg, 20mg50VG/50PGMTL 

Freebase Vape Juice

A photo collage showing different freebase e-liquids

Freebase vape juice uses a traditional nicotine solution often referred to as ‘freebase.’ These e-liquids tend to have a slightly rasping effect and a throat hit that many find satisfying, though nicotine salt e-juice is available for those who find it irritating.

Freebase nicotine e-liquids can be both MTL and DTL, depending entirely on the vegetable glycerin-propylene glycol contents.

Nicotine Salts (Nic Salts)

A photo collage of a person holding different nic salts.

Nic salt vape juice or nic salt e-liquid adds benzoic acid to reduce the alkalinity of the nicotine solution. This results in e-liquids with far smoother inhales with no chest or throat hit. Many new vapers prefer this gentle vape liquid, though some who have been vaping for years miss the freebase nicotine rasp.

For a more comprehensive study on these e-liquids, check out our nic salts guide.

Bar Salts

Different bar salts in a photo collage

What are bar salts? They’re the newest variety of e-liquid, using nic salts for a lessened throat hit and more pronounced vape juice flavors to replicate the distinctive taste and ‘feel’ of disposable vape pens. With disposables being banned soon in the UK, many Brit vapers are turning to bar salt e-liquids in refillable vape kits to continue enjoying the e-liquid flavours they’ve grown accustomed to.


A photo collage showing different shortfill e-liquids

Shortfills are a clever workaround of the UK’s Tobacco Products Directive, which mandates 10ml bottle size limits for any e-liquids that contains nicotine at the point of sale. Shortfills are larger bottles with no nicotine, with space left in the bottle so that the vaper can legally add nic shots after purchasing the shortfill.

Shortfills are usually high-VG and often require a sub-ohm vape kit; however, there are 50/50 shortfills available for MTL vapers with less powerful vape kits. If you like the idea of this vape hack, we have a valuable shortfills primer to help you understand how to use shortfills.

High VG

A photo collage showing different high VG shortfills

High VG e-liquid contains more vegetable glycerin in their base mix than propylene glycol. This results in a thicker e-liquid, which produces a much larger cloud. High VG juice is also smoother to inhale, with vegetable glycerin acting as a primary ingredient in many cough syrups.

Remember that you won’t be able to vape high VG vape liquid with MTL vape coils, as it’s too thick to absorb efficiently. For more DTL tips, read our High VG guide.

MTL Vape Juice

A photo collage showing different MTL vape juices from different brands

MTL vape juices are intended to replicate traditional cigarettes, with low vapour production, and are inhaled from the tank the same way you drink through a straw. MTL vape juice is quite a significant umbrella term, covering 50/50, nic salt and bar salt vape liquids, and several shortfills. MTL vape liquids will always have either a 50/50 mix or a high propylene glycol content and require MTL vape devices.

If you need clarification, read our MTL vape juice guide for a more detailed explanation.

50/50 Vape Juice

A photo collage of a person holding different bottles of 50/50 vape juice

50/50 vape juices contain an equal measurement of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol in their base mix. This results in a thinner consistency e-liquid, which is intended for MTL vaping. 50/50 e-liquids can be freebase, nicotine salts and bar salts, and there are some 50/50 shortfills available as well. 50/50 vape juice is very popular with new vapers as the sensation of vaping it feels similar to smoking a traditional cigarette.

Follow the link for more detailed 50/50 vape juice facts.

DIY E-Liquids

DIY e-liquids are vape liquids that have been made at home rather than produced by e-liquid brands. While it may seem daunting, our DIY vape juice guide will show you that it’s actually relatively easy to make your own vape juice. DIY juice can be MTL or DTL, freebase or nic salt; it all depends on the base mix you use and the variety of nic shots you choose to use if you add shots to satisfy nicotine cravings.

70% vg
[2 Reviews]

3 FOR £9.99 – MIX & MATCH…

[6 Reviews]
vanilla tobacco

Need More Help?

As you can see, there are many different kinds of e-liquids. Ultimately, however, they mostly fall into two different categories of MTL vs. DTL, with some variations in nicotine strengths and type. We hope this has been useful to you as you prepare to shop for vape juice.

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