Free delivery over £15

What are Shortfill E-Liquids?

by jamie - 7 minute read - February 26, 2024 -

What are Shortfill E-Liquids?

Shortfills are among the most popular e-liquids, offering vapers more flexibility with their experience. They get their name because they come in large bottles with space for nicotine shots – they’re short-filled.

While traditional vape juices are available in 10ml, you can find shortfill bottles ranging from 50 ml to 200ml. You can fill them up with a flavourless nicotine shot, enabling you to enjoy delicious vape juice flavours and customise your vaping experience.

Which ingredients do shortfills use?

Along with the traditional flavourings found in all e-liquids, shortfills utilise a combination of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine.

Most have a high VG ratio, saying that, 10ml blends typically use a 50/50 PG and VG ratio. The main reasons for this are cloud production and a thicker e-liquid that aligns with sub-ohm vaping preferences.

However, you can find 50/50 shortfills, which are more suitable for vape pens or other mouth-to-lung devices.

Why do shortfills have no nicotine?

In 2017, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) strengthened its regulations, specifying that e-liquids containing nicotine must be no larger than 10ml.

Before the TPD regulations came into effect, people could buy large bottles of e-liquid pre-filled with nicotine, but the maximum size meant many people weren’t happy with the changes.

Shortfill e-liquid was created to give vapers more savings AND let them choose how much nicotine they add to each blend. They also ensure vape brands comply with the laws while giving customers more flexibility.

What sizes do shortfills come in?

Nicotine-free e-liquid comes in various sizes, depending on where you shop and what you want. Standard shortfill bottles are usually around 60ml, with 50ml of flavoured vape juice and a gap of 10 ml that enables you to fill them with your own nicotine shots.

However, serious vapers or those who want a little more bang for their buck can enjoy larger bottles, including 100ml, allowing you space for two nic shots. Some larger short-fill bottles can also be 200ml, but these are less common.

Which nicotine shots are available?

Most nic shots are available in either freebase nicotine nicotine or nic salts. While freebase nicotine is the most common form, nic salts are ideal for vapers who want to satisfy their cravings quickly, as the body absorbs them faster.

  • Freebase nicotine: Ideal if you want a stronger throat hit and to create large vape clouds, freebase nicotine shots are popular among sub-ohm vapers.
  • Nicotine salts: Mouth-to-lung vapers and smokers who are transitioning to vaping use nic salts because they relieve their cravings quickly but offer a smoother throat hit.
  • Ice Shots: If you have a favourite flavour but want to add an icy blast, these nicotine shots are freebase forms with a menthol twist.

How do I add nic shots to a shortfill?

When you first use shortfills, you might feel they’re complicated – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Following these simple steps ensures you can unwrap your nicotine-free e-juice and start vaping immediately:

  • Unwrap your short-fill bottle and nicotine shots, then calculate how much you’ll need.
  • Take the cap off of your shortfill e-liquid. Some nozzles are easy to remove, but you might require a special tool. You can usually get these from any vape supplier.
  • Open your nic shots and pour them into the shortfill bottle, being careful not to spill nicotine on your hands.
  • Shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure the nicotine and vape juice blend well.
  • If you want to start vaping immediately after adding nicotine, that’s fine – but many people leave their shortfills to steep for a while, which can result in a stronger flavour.

Should new vapers use shortfill e-liquids?

There’s no set answer to whether new vapers should use shortfills because it depends on numerous factors, including your preferences and experience. However, before using them, it’s important to remember that shortfills are designed with specific vaping needs in mind.

Direct to lung vapers

Shortfill e-liquid is most popular among DTL vapers, allowing them to customise their experience and create huge clouds. However, some mouth-to-lung vapers might also use it, but the liquids are often too thick for starter kits and vape pens.

Finding a device recommended for shortfills means you can enjoy its flavour without sacrificing your experience.

Nicotine strengths

When you first begin vaping, it will feel like a whole new world of opportunities. Most people start with traditional pre-filled e-liquid bottles, as they know how much nicotine they’ll use, whereas shortfill e-liquids require more experience.

Beginners might find they struggle to understand how much nicotine they require, but once you get used to vaping, you can experiment with different nicotine strengths.

The pros of shortfills

There are numerous benefits of shortfill e-liquids, including their versatility and customisation features. If you’re looking for a convenient way to get your nicotine fix, shortfills will deliver. Let’s explore their main advantages.


Sure, you can get larger pre-filled bottles, but these don’t align with the regulations, so you’re purchasing e-liquids that aren’t confirmed to be high quality. Buying vape juice from countries without regulations could also mean you’re putting yourself at risk of health conditions.

They might contain banned ingredients, resulting in popcorn lung and other respiratory disorders.


Pre-filled e-liquids are great if you’re on the move, but they’re not ideal if you want more flexibility. For example, you’ll need to compromise if a retailer runs out of your favourite flavour or strength. With shortfills, you can adjust the nicotine strength to your preferences.


Many people save money using shortfill e-liquids because they’re more cost-effective than buying 10ml bottles. Purchasing the flavour and nic shot bottles separately usually works out to less than buying pre-filled bottles.


E-liquids often have plastic bottles, so buying multiple 10ml bottles means you’ll need to wash and recycle them. As shortfills last longer, they’re the more sustainable option. Also, you won’t need to restock as much, giving you more convenience.

The cons of shortfills

Despite their many benefits, shortfill e-liquids have some disadvantages – as with anything else. However, the following cons are relatively minor compared to the benefits shortfills offer.

You’ll need to mix them

Unless you plan on vaping with no nicotine, you will need to add it to the shortfill mix. Depending on the brand you use, this can be challenging at first. However, once you get used to removing the lip, it’s easier to manage.

Nicotine shouldn’t come into contact with the skin, and we advise using gloves when you’re new to shortfills, as this will protect your hands from any spillages.

Storage problems

If you buy larger bottles, finding a space to store them can be challenging. However, most people can find space to carry around a 100ml shortfill or smaller bottles. Transferring the vape juice to a smaller bottle can also be beneficial when you’re on the go.

Nicotine overdoses

Overdosing on nicotine isn’t a common occurrence, but if you ingest too much of it, there can be serious health consequences. Common symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea, dizziness and heart palpitations.

When filling up your shortfill, it’s best to add the nicotine shots together and open a new bottle when it gets to near the end. Using our nicotine calculator can also protect you.

The nicotine shot calculator

Our helpful calculator lets you evaluate how much you need for each shortfill. Using it ensures you don’t overdose on nicotine and makes it easier to get used to a larger bottle size.

Shortfill ml  Nic Shot Strength Number of Shots  Total Strength 
50 9 1 1.5mg 
50 12 1 2mg
50 15 1 2.5mg 
50 18 1 3mg 
50 20 1 2.2mg 
100 9 2 1.5mg 
100 12 2 2mg 
100 15 2 2.5mg 
100 20 2 3.3mg 

Get great deals on shortfill e-liquid

Shortfill e-liquids will continue to grow in popularity, and their availability means you can experience some epic flavours. Whether you’re a traditionalist and prefer tobacco flavours or love fruity-themed shortfills, we have something for everyone.

The Blue Razz Lemonade will take you back to the days of Slush Puppies, while the Banana Ice flavour combines creamy bananas with a menthol blast.

If you’re looking for fantastic savings and shortfill e-liquid that will last a long time, our 100ml shortfill e-liquids come in a range of weird and wonderful flavours, including Cake Drip, Bubblegum Drumstick and many others to discover.

With speedy UK delivery and a dedicated team of enthusiasts ready to offer advice, we’re the easy way to enjoy vaping.

Author Avatar
Vape Expert