Understanding Atomizers, Cartomizers and Clearomizers

Cartomizers vs Clearomizers vs Atomizers

As vaping becomes increasingly mainstream, many people find themselves confused about e-cigs, how they function and what the perks are. Unfortunately, a dearth of straightforward information about atomizers, cartomizers and clearomizers does nothing to help the situation. Despite the fact that they’re some of the most basic vaping equipment, a lot of people are clueless when it comes to them.

Most people, including plenty of vapers, are unaware of their differences. However, becoming familiar with this information is essential if you want to get the most for your money and enjoy the best possible experience. Here is a guide to help you understand what these parts are, their purposes and how they will affect your use of e-cigs in general.

Most e-cigs consist of three parts: The tank, atomizer and battery. The atomizer’s task is to vaporize the liquid. In some cases, the liquid and atomizer have another part between them called a cartomizer or clearomizer. Basically, both of these components contain an atomizer, which is the principle behind every e-cig design available.

How Do Atomizers Work?
Atomizers possess a coil, which is operated by the battery. This coil heats rapidly and turns the liquid into vapor. If the atomizer isn’t paired with a clearomizer or cartomizer, the liquid comes into direct contact with the atomizer. A wick on the underside soaks up the liquid and controls how much of it the coils can vaporize at once. This process, which is known as “dripping”, prevents excess vapor production and makes the liquid last longer.

Dripping Onto The Atomizer
This involves dripping the liquid directly onto the e-cig coils. While it’s efficient and effective, it can be also be tedious and complicated. With nothing standing between the coil and liquid, you get the flavor at its most potent. It also prevents excessively hot vapor from being produced. Some other designs actually scorch the liquid, creating off flavors and smells. With dripping, that’s rarely an issue.

Unfortunately, using just an atomizer tends to be messy and cumbersome. You’ll likely need to clean your pen a lot, and removing the viscous, thickened residue can be an exercise in frustration. Furthermore, if the pen isn’t held or stored correctly, the liquid may flood it. A lot of new vapers are unaware of this and accidentally wind up with a huge mess that can be hard to clean up.

It’s still possible for the atomizer to produce burned flavors, at least if you keep using the e-cig once the tank is empty. Familiarizing yourself with the number of drags you can expect from every fill can help prevent that. Each of these problems can be avoided by simply learning how to use the e-cig correctly.


The great thing about clearomizers is that, as their name suggests, they’re clear. This allows you to easily determine the amount of liquid remaining, which also helps you avoid the dreaded burned flavors and odors. If you have a hard time recalling how many puffs you can get with one fill, a clearomizer can solve that for you.

Clearomizers are available in a handful of sizes. Choosing a larger model lets you enjoy longer vaping sessions between refills.

Burning might also occur with a clearomizer, even if there’s adequate liquid. When this happens, it means the wick is dry. Simply tilt the pen until it absorbs some liquid.

A clearomizer allows for better control over how much liquid is being used than an atomizer alone. You can alter the rate of liquid usage by adjusting the wick manually.

These devices even offer greater customization potential, although this is generally only recommended if you’re a an experienced vaper. For instance, you could try using more coils to create larger quantities of vapor, or changing wick types to achieve your ideal flow of liquid. In addition, clearomizers often include an atomizer head. They need replaced fairly often as they burn out over time. Fortunately, this is an easy and inexpensive process.

What Types of Clearomizers Are There?

Clearomizers come in a few different variations, each with their own pros and cons.

Top Coil Design: These produce a very pleasant vapor thanks to their proximity to the atomizer head. Because top coil designs can be filled through the top, refilling is simple and quick. The only downside is that the wicks don’t last long and require frequent re-moistening if you want reliable draws.

Bottom Coil Design: Clearomizers with a coil on the bottom offer superior wicking and vapor quality. The vapor stays cool, which is nice if you that’s what you want. At the very least, it won’t burn your tongue or throat.

Unfortunately, the tank tends to make loud and irritating gurgling sounds, and they leak if the wrong wick is used or the tank isn’t attached correctly. They can also be difficult to fill compared to top coil designs, and adjusting the wick is often tedious.

Multi-Coil Designs: Using several coils gives you more vapor per hit with a bolder throat feel and flavor. Surprisingly, it also ensures cool vapor due to the wider spacing and superior heat distribution.

However, even though the coils don’t get as hot, they still draw a lot of power. This means you’ll run through more batteries than with other designs. Whether or not it’s worth it depends on each vaper’s individual preferences.

Cartomizers are mostly obsolete and normally only found on early e-cig models, but there are a few advantages. They’re similar to clearomizers in that both feature a tank and coil, but the way the liquid is delivered to the coil in cartomizers is different. These devices normally contain a synthetic filler that prevents refilling, making them essentially disposable. However, refilling is possible if you want to go to the trouble and are willing to tolerate a less pleasant experience.

In refillable models, an included syringe enables refilling, but this can be an issue, too. It’s hard to get the tank clean, so some of the old residue sticks around. It’s not such an issue if you’re okay with using just one flavor. However, most vapers like variety, and any new flavor will carry notes of the last one.

If you buy a cartomizer made from ceramic, there’s no filler. This allows for simpler cleaning and helps prevent bacterial development.

The main advantage of cartomizers is that they include an atomizer head that is connected to the battery. Some may even already be filled, enabling you to use them by removing the previous tank and attaching the cartomizer. Replacing them is inexpensive, so if your main concern is ease of use, it’ll cost about the same as clearomizers or atomizers without all the hassle.

Cartomizers are available with two coil designs. The vertical coil is the most popular. In these, the coil is situated along the cartridge and is encased in synthetic filler. There’s no wick, and depending on your preferences, that can be good or bad.

The nice thing about this design is that the liquid makes direct contact with the coils, providing the best flavor. There’s no need to keep the wick moist, either, although it doesn’t prevent burned flavors. This can still happen if the liquid is gone and the filler starts burning.

Models with horizontal coils contain no filler, but you don’t have to struggle with the wick. It may occasionally be to thick and dense to keep moist. Because the wicks are surrounded by the liquid, you still have to deal with liquid burning on the coil while also burning on the wick. This can make it hard to control where the liquid is going and also creates issues with maintaining the flow.

Which Is The Best Option?
Vapers who are just starting out may want to consider trying a clearomizer at first. Atomizer designs can often prove too complex for beginners. Furthermore, cartomizers are becoming increasingly obsolete and can’t provide a great experience by today’s standards.

However, if convenience is your primary concern, a cartomizer might be right for you. All you have to do is change out the cartridge for a new one after you’re done with the first. They can be temperamental at times, and you’re likely to experience some burned flavors regularly, but they allow for the easiest and most hassle-free use.

That said, clearomizers are the first choice of nearly every vaper. They let you see exactly how much liquid is remaining in the tank. It’s even a simple affair to purchase a larger tank if you want longer vaping sessions between refills. With atomizer models, you’re more or less restricted to the default tank, requiring you to purchase a cartomizer or clearomizer if you want anything bigger.

It’s not absolutely necessary to go out and buy a new electronic cigarette. However, if you’re feeling consistently disappointed with the quality, flavor or quantity of vapor your current e-cig produces, you might want to consider finding another option. You’re encouraged to try some of the options that are available to discover the one that gives you the best vaping experience.