Atomizer or Cartomizer – What is the Difference

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Chances are if you’ve gotten anywhere near a e-cigarette retailer or website and are attempting to choose your e-liquid tank you’re presented with an array of choices that would make anyone’s head spin the most important of which is the question of the cartomizers or atomizer tank.

So how do you tell the difference and most importantly how do you know which one is going to give you the vape experience you like best?atomizer

The Atomizer

To put is simply the atomizer is a small wick based heating element that while sitting inside the tank, becomes saturated with e-liquid.  When the battery sends the electricity to the atomizer the atomizer’s wicks heats the liquid which then turns to vapor.  There are two types of atomizers one with long wicks that sit at the bottom of the tank and longer wicked devices which sit at the top of the tank.

The pro’s of the atomizer is that the longer wicks should in theory last longer than the smaller bottom feeling wicks.  However, in order to keep the wicks filled with juice it’s often necessary to prime the wicks by rotating the tank which allows the juice to move onto the wick.

One of the problems with the top feeders is that allowing them to rest on their side the juice is apt to leak a bit into the mouthpiece and give the vaper an unpleasant bit of uncooked juice.

Bottom feeding atomizers sit at the bottom of the tank and so are constantly fed juice consequently they offer a more consistent vaping experience and some say a fuller hit.  Some “old school” purists will argue that the longer wicks of top feeding atomizers give a thicker hit and don’t mind priming the wicks.  While the quality of the vapor is debatable and up to personal preference the bottom feeding tanks which never require priming are the clear winner for people who want less hassle and an easy vape experience.  They are also less likely to leak since the atomizer at the bottom of the tank allows for a much more securely closed system.

The Cartomizer

While some e-cigarettes are simply cartridge based a number of newer tanks have evolved that combine the cartridge and the atomizer in one unit and they are called cartomizers.  Essentially atomizers are inside a cartridge and sit solidly inside the tightly closed tank.  What this means is that once you’ve filled your cartomizers and tightly closed it you can be sure that the tank will never leak and that the vapor flow will be more consistent.

The downside of the cartomizer tank is that the cartomizer sits in the middle of the tank and so takes up a good bit of the real estate that would otherwise be occupied by e-juice.  A second consideration is that Al the cartomizer has to be carefully primed before the first use to make sure that the liquid has penetrated the wick buried inside of the atomizer.

So what is the upside other than no spillage?  Vapor hits like a king.  Some vape enthusiasts will swear to you that the cartomizer is the only way to go when seeing that perfect vape experience.  The true enthusiast will also suggest using one flavor of e-liquid per cartomizer since they claim the cartomizer will absorb the flavor of the juice which will over time deepen the flavor of each hit.

Cartomizers do deliver a full bodied tasty cloud so there may be some truth to the statement.

At the end of the day there is no actual right or wrong and there is only personal preference.  Whether you choose top feeding or bottom feeding atomizers or a cartomizer will ultimately boil down to what type of tank fits your personal style.