Sub Ohm Innovations Short Switch Competition Mod, or Sub Zero Shorty as it is more commonly known, is one of the latest competition style mechanical tube mods to come out of the famed Sub Ohm Innovations stable.
Sub Ohm Innovations is an American company, founded in Sacramento, California and headed by Cale who comes from a family of inventors and has himself been a machinist for the past 7 years. The famed Big Dripper was actually the first product to come out of the Sub Ohm Innovations stable, way back in 2014, after Sub Ohm Innovations had spotted a gap in the market for an atomizer that could be vaped all day at high wattage without the need to drip constantly.
Since then, Sub Ohm Innovations have grown into one of the most well respected manufacturers of atomizers and mechanical mods primarily geared towards cloud chasers, mainly in part due to the top notch build quality and supreme performance found within a Sub Ohm Innovations product.
The Shorty is a high performance, competition mechanical mod sporting a 24mm width, and constructed of thick C145 copper for maximum durability and conductivity. It's designed to offer as little voltage drop as possible to ensure the best possible performance, and features a switch mechanism quite unlike any other found on the market today.
I've been using the Sub Zero Shorty since the day I purchased it for the past few months now, here's what I thought...
- 24mm width
- Single 18650 cell mechanical mod
- Thick C145 copper construction for a hefty feel and conductivity
- 8 point Clutch Contact for maximum consistency and efficiency
- Sub Ohm Innovations signature Short Switch
- Excellent venting for safety in the event of catastrophic battery failure
- Silver plated contacts
- Adjustable contacts for compatibility with all 510 threaded atomizers
- 12mm reverse threaded contact for positive battery pressure
- Efficiency of >99% at 0.1ohms for extremely low voltage drop even with the lowest resistance builds
What's in the box?
The Sub Zero Shorty comes packaged in a black Sub Ohm Innovations presentation box, and a metallic authenticity card is contained within.
Design and build quality
When I first removed the Sub Zero Shorty from the box I was instantly endeared with its appearance. It has a 24mm width, so perfect for 24mm RDAs, and features a clever adjustable silver 510 contact. You simply turn the 510 connector in order to get a flush fit with your atomizer, however this may take you a few tries to get right!
Build quality in the whole is outstanding. The Sub Zero Shorty sports a thick C145 copper construction, which feels neither too light or too heavy. It's just about perfect in hand. No sharp edges are present, threading is buttery smooth, and I couldn't find a single flaw on the Sub Zero Shorty. It's easy to disassemble the parts and maintain too, I'd recommend a good clean once a week to keep it all in order.
A number of finishes are available with the Sub Zero Shorty, I personally purchased the Black Cerakoted finish with my Sub Zero Shorty mod, which has a top drawer black scratch resistant finish, and it looks absolutely stunning when paired with the CSMNT RDA, Skill RDA or Sub Zero 24mm Competition RDA for example.
Sub Ohm Innovations designed a switch mechanism that sets the Sub Zero Shorty apart from other mechanical mods on the market. It uses the Sub Ohm Innovations signature Short Switch, and when this is pressed the contact pin connected to the battery separates the four parts of the battery connection plate, these then make a circuit between the battery and build by making contact with the solid copper. This gives you an eight point contact for minimal voltage drop and maximum performance. Ample venting is present in case of catastrophic battery failure.
No matter where you press the switch, thanks to the innovative design of the 8 point Clutch Contact, the Shorty will fire and it will fire consistently as well. The throw is absolutely perfect, and it's amazingly responsive too. No locking ring is found on the Shorty, so you do need to bear this in mind when carrying it around with a battery cell inside, however you can stand it up on its own and it won't fire. I've carried mine around in my pocket without it firing once, however you do so at your own risk!
What astounded me with the Sub Zero Shorty was just how hard it hits, and it keeps it up too, even as the voltage in the battery decreases. The first time I used the Sub Zero Shorty, I was running a 0.5ohm Kanthal Clapton coil in the CSMNT RDA, not really a build I would normally use on a mechanical mod but it was the nearest RDA to hand at the time, and the ramp up time was near instant. I got a ferocious hit from this which made me very happy indeed!
Soon after this, I hurriedly rebuilt the CSMNT RDA with a dual stainless steel 316L coil build, coming out at 0.18ohm, which is as low as I go on mechanical mods these days. This was perfection for the CSMNT I felt, the coils ramping up instantly and a massive amount of vapour produced.
Since then I've tried numerous RDAs with a varying range of builds on the Sub Zero Shorty and not once have I ever been disappointed with the performance. It hits harder than any other mechanical mod that I've used before, and with a little bit of maintenance each week it still performs as well as it did when I first took it out of the box.
You do need to take great care when using the Sub Zero Shorty and other mechanical mods, as it is a fully mechanical mod this is absolutely not for beginner vapers, you do need to have a good knowledge of ohms law, build within the capabilities of your batteries and always test a fresh build for short circuits and stable resistance on a regulated mod first. Only ever purchase battery cells from reputable battery sellers- I would highly recommend Ecolux or Fogstar.
During the past few months that I have owned the Sub Zero Shorty, it's become a mod that I use on a daily basis, and it is without a doubt my favourite competition style mechanical mod of all time. It's just completely reliable, offers the best build quality I've experienced with a mechanical competition mod, it looks absolutely stunning, has an outstanding switch mechanism and it performs faultlessly. I know that I can pick up my Sub Zero Shorty and get top performance out of it each and every time. I still prefer a mechanical mod to a regulated one, as I just love the experiences I get from them.
If you are in the market for a new high performance mechanical mod, I wouldn't hesitate to consider looking at the Sub Zero Shorty. I felt it offers real value for money, and will be a timeless part of anyone's collection with the correct maintenance. The Sub Zero X mechanical mod has also just hit the market over here, which is looking like a mod I'll definitely have to get my hands on given how happy I am with the Shorty, so stay tuned for a future review on that!
I purchased the Sub Zero Shorty from Custom Vapes, where it is currently on sale at the time of writing. The Sub Zero Shorty is available here https://www.custom-vapes.co.uk/product/black-short-switch-subzero-competition-mod-by-sub-ohm-innovations/