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Cartomizer vs. Atomizer vs. Clearomizer: Which One Do You Need?

Buying a vape mod is confusing, even for advanced users. Should you get a cartomizer, an atomizer, or a clearomizer? Here’s your guide.

Since the dawn of vaping in India in the 1500s when they water-vaped tobacco, followed by the Sultans in the Ottoman Empire and the social elite in Persia in the 1600s, the vaping technique has come a long way. 

In modern times, there was the initial electronic vaporizer patent in 1927 and a patent for the first smokeless non-tobacco cigarette in 1963. Finally, the first real e-cig hit the market in China in 2004.

That used an atomizer, and then in 2007, two Brits came up with an upgrade in the cartomizer. The clearomizer came next, followed by an avalanche of vaping mods, including vape pods. That’s where we’re at now: Vape culture, vapers, and vape makers bringing all sorts of amazing ways to inhale the tasty vapor. 

But what type of mod is best, you ask?

To help, we’ve put together this guide on the basics of the atomizer, cartomizer, and clearomizer. Keep reading to find out the difference, then give it a go with the one that speaks to you. 

Vape Tech Basics

What you’re looking for is something to vaporize your e-liquid in your vape stick. This is called “atomizing” the liquid. The atomizer, cartomizer, and clearomizer all atomize the liquid, as do the latest mods of these mods, like vape pods. Take the Suorin air pod system, for example. The difference between devices is how each delivers that vapor to your mouth to inhale. 

All three fit into a small, handheld vape stick and are attached to a power supply, usually a batter. They all have a negative post and a positive post inside. A coil wrapped around a wick is connected to these two posts. The wick is heat resistant and often made of silica.

The wick soaks up and holds in the e-juice that comes its way. The coil heats up and heats the juice in the wick that turns to vapor. Thanks to osmosis the juice keeps the wick wet and bringing juice to the process without letting the coil get flooded.

Now that we know how they all do the exact same job, let’s find out how they’re different.

The Atomizer

The first of the three vape devices to be created, the atomizer often exists in older vaporizers. Most have metal mesh on top of a coil. Some have a silica rather than a metal mesh wick. This device doesn’t hold that much juice. Most atomizers make up a two-piece or three-piece e-cig.  

Drippers like the classic atomizer. Direct drip three to four drops with 305 or 510 disposable atomizers and enjoy an average of 10 drags. You’ll know you need more drips when the flavor wanes. Also, it’s easy to tell with the classic atomizer.

Direct dripping offers a pure, clean, fresh e-juice vape flavor.  Also, you can switch flavors after a few drops and its easy. It’s also easy to refill but you do have to do this often.

Which leads to one drawback You have to always have e-juice with you. Also, you have to set up and drip. The ritual can get good but it also is more complicated and time-consuming. But on the positive side, the cost of this type of device is relatively low. 

The Cartomizer

The cartomizer is longer and in a bigger cylinder, or “tank,” that lets you hold more juice than the classic atomizer. It holds about 10 drips. This lets you vape for a longer period of time.

The cartomizer also has a Poly-fil wick made out of cotton rather than the silica wick. And it usually had two coils rather than the standard one. These two coils tend to burn out the power supply faster. 

Refilling is more difficult than with the plain atomizer. You have to tip it to the side to avoid the air hole. You can also use a syringe. Also, if the wick dries up it’s ruined, unlike the atomizer wick that comes back once wet. But the cartomizer is easy to rebuild. Also, the cost is low.

On the downside, the cotton-style fill is known to decrease the flavor. And vapers claim that previous flavors often linger. Also, the tank can leak.

The Clearomizer

Nicknamed “The Tank,” this vape mod holds the most juice of the three. It holds up to 5 ml and is great for vapers that don’t want to refill often. The tank is clear, hence the name, and lets you see how much juice you have left. 

When the coil gets old or gooped up, you can rebuild the coil or get new “pre-built” coils. 

This device gives you the most flexibility and variety and style, which is great if you like to mod it up. Pick from a variety of tank sizes and colors. Pick resistance amount. Pick wick style and how the juice flows. Coil choices include top coils, bottom coils, or multiple coils. 

Some vapers think this device offers the best flavor. 

On the downside, the clearomizer is relatively high cost. The tanks may leak, depending on the brand. If you have a top coil, you might have to tip the device to get the wick to absorb all the juice. And speaking of juice, the taste may linger. 

Atomizer, Cartomizer, Clearomizer, Oh My

Now that you know about these stellar vape devices, did anyone pop out? Atomizer, cartomizer, clearomizers? Or maybe you want to check out the latest mod tech, like the pods. Go with your favorite stand-out to start. You can always try the others later. Or maybe you’ll invent your own new mod because we know you love the vape scene.

Yes, we love it too. So, join us. You might want to check out this article on vape culture etiquette as a primer.

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