Clearomizers, Cartomizers and Tanks explained

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If you are looking for your first electronic cigarette then you have probably browsed the web for some devices and you got pretty confused because you don’t know the terminology and the technology evolves so rapidly. Clearomizers, cartomizers and Tanks are all devices that you read about but can’t tell for sure which will suit your needs so allow us to explain some of the terms.

Cartomizers are steel tubes filled with polyfiber that look like a cigarette filter. As opposed to older e-cigarette versions, where the atomizer and cartridge were two individual pieces that you needed to mount in order to enjoy your vaping, nowadays cartomizers are just a one-piece device. Besides being more effective when it comes to flavor and throat hit, they also pack a lot more eLiquid as their older brothers. A heating coil inside the cartomizer heats the e-liquid stored in polyfiber into vapor. A small air duct in the center of the filler runs its entire length which directs vapor into a drip tip placed on the end. The drip tip is just a fancy name vapers like to call their mouth piece. These devices come in single coil versions or in double coil versions, depending on the number of heating elements. The heating elements have an internal resistance that is correlated with the battery voltage in order to obtain the best amount of flavor and vapor. One downside of cartomizers is that you can’t see how much ejuice you have remaining.

Atomizers are juice delivery devices not too different from a cartomizers, but that have no polyfill inside of them to hold the e-liquid. It’s sometimes referred as an “atty” and it’s particularly used for the “dripping” technique of vaping. This implies putting only a few drops of eJuice on your atomizer and inhaling. After a few puffs, the user needs to drip again some juice and to continue the ritual. As it may seem a bit complicated, a lot of vapers prefer this method as there is no wicking material involved that may affect the taste of the eLiquid. It is also an excellent method of tasting new flavors.

CartomizersClearomizers or clearotanks are devices that use string-like wicks that feed e-liquid to an atomizer head. These heads and wicks are usually replaceable and many vendors offer the possibility of purchasing additional ones if the original dies out. They can be top or bottom coiled, depending on the vaping experience you desire. They usually have a capacity of 1.5 to 3.0ml and are easily refillable with eLiquid by removing either the top cap or bottom base.

Nano Clearomizers are smaller versions of the clearomizers that come in almost the same size as cartomizers. They hold about 1ml of ejuice and it can be used to sample different flavors for those who don’t prefer getting their hands dirty with dripping. They are easy to refill and easy to use.

CartoTanks started out as a mod in the vaping community but now they are available to purchase from many vendors. It is basically a drilled cartomizer inside a bigger tank filled with eLiquid. The holes are needed to allow juice from the tank to enter the cartomizer. Juice levels can be easily monitored in the tank. They usually come pre-drilled but un-punched cartomizers can also be used in tanks, requiring the user to make their own holes first. This however is not recommended for beginners. Tanks can have a capacity of between 2 - 9 ml, giving excellent autonomy.


Posted by Dave Allan

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Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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