When it comes to choosing a delivery mechanism for your e-liquid, there are many choices. The most common are cartomizers, clearomizers, and tanks. Each has differences in the way they deliver e-liquid. One isn’t better than the others, but each delivers a slightly different experience. While atomizer may sound like “cartomizer” or “clearomizer,” it’s actually a component of all three systems, including tanks. An atomizer is the heating element that is powered by your battery to produce vapor. It can be tough to tell the difference between these three vaping options sometimes, so we decided to put together a guide for you.
Of the three, cartomizers are perhaps the most common for beginners. In order to simplify things, manufacturers combined the atomizer (heating element) with a cartridge (storage area for e liquid) and created the “cartomizers.” A cartomizer is a simple cartridge that fits on top of your battery and contains polyfill, a wicking material. The polfill helps get the e liquid to the atomizer so that it can become vapor. Cartomizers come pre-filled with e-liquid or “blank,” allowing users to fill it with an e-liquid themselves.
Pros and Cons
One of the main advantages to using cartomizers is the ease of use. Just screw one on top of your battery and you’re ready to go. When the cartomizer is empty, you can either dispose of it or refill it. However, cartomizers are not without their disadvantages. To start, they tend to not hold much e-liquid, usually 1 ml or less. Heavy vapers will find they go through several cartomizers in a day and might be better off choosing a clearomizer or tank, both of which hold more e-liquid. Some vapers also claim that the polyfill affects the flavor of the e-liquid.
Clearomizers sit between cartomizers and tanks when it comes to e-liquid delivery. Some clearomizers resemble cartomizers, while others look a lot like small tanks. Clearomizers feature a see-through tube, an atomizer, and a wick that delivers the juice to the atomizer. Some clearomizers feature a wick and atomizer at the top, while others use a wick and atomizer located in the bottom. Bottom coil clearomizers have become increasingly popular due to the fact that they rarely deliver a “dry hit”, which can happen when your clearomizer is getting low on juice. Some clearomizer users still swear by “top-coil” clearomizers.
Pros and Cons
The use of a see-through “window” on a clearomizer allows the user to monitor the e-liquid level inside, and add more liquid if they know they are going to be vaping a lot that day. Clearomizers also hold more liquid than cartomizers, typically between 1.5 – 4 ml. Clearomizers either come with the atomizer and wick fixed to the clearomizer, or with a removable wick and atomizer, allowing the user to replace them and re-use the clearomizer tank.
One of the biggest complaints about clearomizers is inconsistent build quality. Because clearomizers tend to be inexpensive, build quality varies widely, resulting in inconsistent draw, leakage, and other issues. Another possible problem for some users is the plastic tubing used to hold the e-liquid. These plastic tanks can retain the flavor from previous fills, which can be an issue if you are switching juice flavors on the same clearomizer. Also, certain acidic juice flavors can cause tank discoloration and cracking.
The last of the three main juice delivery methods is the tank. Tanks hold the most juice of the three options, with some holding over 6 ml of e-liquid. Tanks are often separate parts of your e cig that store juice and attaché to an atomizer. Tanks also tend to be the most expensive of the three options. This is due to the fact that many tanks utilize materials like metal, glass, Pyrex, and Lexan. While these materials give tanks a higher price-point, they also convey several advantages.
Pros and Cons
Initially, Lexan, glass, metal, and Pyrex don’t retain flavor like plastic does, making switching e-liquids less of an issue. Glass, Pyrex and metal are also resistant to the cracking that acidic juices can cause in plastic clearomizers. The build quality of most tanks tends to be more consistent, and so several tanks of the same type are likely to give the same vaping experience. While cartomizers and clearomizers are built with budget in mind, some tanks are almost works of art, featuring gleaming steel and colored glass.
Besides being more expensive, there are a few factors that e-cig users should consider before purchasing a tank. Of the three options, tanks have the most parts and require more maintenance. Because tanks are designed to “go the distance,” it’s important to wash them and keep them clean between uses. If your tank does break, choosing a tank that offers replacement parts can help lower the overall cost by allowing users to replace broken parts rather than the whole tank. Beginning users may be confused by some tanks’ complexity and maintenance. However, when properly maintained, tanks tend to deliver a superior vaping experience according to many users.
Hopefully this clears up your questions on carts, clearomizers and tanks. All three can deliver a good vape. You should consider your budget, needs and vaping experience to decide which is best for you.