How to Use Shortfills: A Beginner's Guide

Whether you're new to vaping or just shortfill e-liquids, it can be confusing. There are many different types of e-liquids, and each has its own very specific purposes. However, there's nothing to shy away from as once you've read our guide on how to use shortfills, you will be an expert in this department. 

We're going to break down exactly what a shortfill is, why they were created in the first place, and how to use them properly. 

What is a shortfill?

Shortfill e-liquid is a type of e-liquid that comes in a larger bottle than standard e-liquid bottles. Shortfill e-liquids are usually sold in 60ml or 120ml bottles, and contain 50ml or 100ml of e-liquid respectively. The extra space at the top leaves enough room for vapers to add a nicotine shot which is sold separately (more information on nicotine shots below). 

Additionally, there are several PG/VG ratios available. The majority of shortfills have a 70:30 VG to PG ratio, however you can obtain high VG blends with an 80:20 ratio for even bigger clouds of vapour. When it comes to flavours, vapers have an almost endless amount to try. Shortfill e-liquids come in a wide array of different flavours from fruit, dessert, drink, bakery and so many more weird and wonderful flavour combinations to try. 

Why were shortfills created?

In 2017, TPD EU regulations came into effect that prohibited e-liquids containing nicotine being sold in bottles larger than 10ml. As well as this, these regulations also made it so these bottles cannot have more than 20mg of nicotine in them. This is why every e-liquid that you see on the market that contains nicotine comes in a 10ml bottle, be it a nic shot, nic salt, or nic salt shot, and has a maximum nicotine strength of 20mg. 

This is where shortfill e-liquids come in. Because they have 0mg of nicotine in them, there is no regulation on the size of these bottles. They are created with a small bit of space in them for vapers to add their own nicotine shot to create a bottle larger than 10ml with nicotine in them, hence their name 'short - fill'. 

Shortfill e-liquids are a cost-effective way to get more e-liquid for your money, and are also perfect for vapers who want to make their own e-liquid blends. Nicotine shots can be added to shortfill e-liquids to create a custom nicotine strength, and the extra space in the bottle also allows for a greater variety of flavourings to be added.

Nicotine shots

Nicotine shots (nic shots for short) are flavourless bottles of nicotine that are made for one purpose and one purpose only - being added to shortfill bottles. Nic shots come in 10ml bottles and are not intended to be vaped on their own. Nic shots typically have a nicotine strength of 18mg. 

How do I use a shortfill?

Shortfill e-liquids are a great way to get your nicotine fix without having to worry about carrying around lots of small bottles. As mentioned, there is a bit of space left in the bottle of e-liquid. This leaves room for you to add a nic shot, which is a small bottle of concentrated nicotine that you can use to top up the shortfill. 

  1. Remove the cap of your shortfill e-liquid and place it to the side. Make sure you don't lose these as you will need them later. 
  2. Next, unscrew the cap of the nicotine shot and tamper the seal. Slowly decant your nic shot into the shortfill bottle, squeezing slowly to ensure that you do not spill any of the nic shot anywhere. 
  3. Once you have combined the e-liquids, put the nib and the cap back on the shortfill bottle and shake thoroughly to help evenly combine the nicotine throughout the e-liquid. Because shortfill e-liquid is thicker and more gloopy than other forms of e-liquid, it can require a thorough shake. 
  4. You can then start vaping as normal. Shortfills are a great way to get more e-liquid for your money, and they make it easy to carry around a larger amount of nicotine without having to carry lots of small bottles.

Are shortfills right for me?

Shortfills are best for sub-ohm vapers because of their high VG content. VG, also known as vegetable glycerin, is a thick, viscous substance that produces a lot of vapour when heated. This makes shortfills ideal for sub-ohm vaping, which is when you use an atomizer with a resistance of less than one ohm. Sub-ohm vaping produces more vapour than regular vaping, so shortfills are the perfect e-liquid for people who want to produce large clouds of vapour.

Explore our range of sub-ohm vape kits to find one that suits you. 

How to figure out the right nicotine strength

Knowing how many nicotine shots you can add and want to add to your shortfill e-liquid is essential to having a satisfying vape experience. This can seem like one of the most complicated parts, but we assure you it's a lot more simple to get your head around than it may first seem. If you decide you want to add nicotine to your shortfill, it's important that you know how much you need to combine to get the right strength.

Adding one 18mg nic shot to a 50ml bottle of shortfill will result in a vape juice with 3mg of nicotine. With 100ml bottles of shortfill e-liquid, there is space for two nic shots to be added to that bottle which will result in 3mg of nicotine.


Ready to find your new favourite shortfill? Browse our full shortfill selection or check out our guide to the best shortfills you need to try this summer.

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