The basic design of e-cigarettes (e-cigs) is fairly simple. There is a tank for the e-liquid, the atomizer, and, of course, the battery or power source. Yet, this very simple design suffered from some basic problems, one of which was the leaking of liquid from the tank to the actual atomizer. So what is the atomizer? It is the device that actually warms the liquid, thus creating the vapor and providing the unique flavor common to e-cigs.
The question is, what types of atomizers are there for those just starting out vaping? How can you choose one that will work for you?
Let’s Talk Atomizers: Getting Warmed Up
As with any part of an e-cig, there are a number of atomizers in the market. One such atomizer is the cartomizer, which has a built in atomizer within the e-liquid cartridge. These cartomizers come in a top-coil, dual-coil, horizontal, bottom-coil and a vertical coil. However, if you choose a cartomizer or the stand-alone atomizer, both will include a heating element (made by a tiny gauge wire) that vaporizes the e-liquid held in the tank.
The atomizer is essentially a wire connected to both a power supply and a circuit board. When the circuit board is activated, it sends power into two different places — the heating element (the tiny wire) and the micro-pump that is located within the atomizer. The pump’s job is to get the e-liquid to the area of the heating element. E-liquid passing the heating element is turned into vapor.
This process will continue while the user is sucking on the e-cig or when the user releases the button. While different models can function in a variety of ways, this is one of the most standard set-ups.
One of Three Parts
When it comes to the standard two-piece e-cig, you typically won’t even notice the atomizer. But in the three-piece e-cigarette, the atomizer is a stand-alone piece. There are various ways to use the atomizer. One way is dripping, in which the e-liquid is dripped slowly directly onto the atomizer. The benefits of dripping are that the flavor is much more distinct and the e-liquid is fresh. There is no mixing of older e-liquid and newer e-liquid in the tank. The liquid is also not in the tank for extended periods.
Another positive is that the e-liquid is completely used up, and this is considered one of the purist ways to vape. However, dripping has its drawbacks. The first is that it can be cumbersome to follow through. Each of the pieces need to be set up before you can start the process of vaping. With the traditional e-cig, you can simply pull it from your purse or pocket, power it on, and start vaping.
Another concern is that if you aren’t careful, the juice can end up all over the place. Thus, dripping requires careful planning and a steady hand to avoid a large mess.
Tinkering with the Atomizer
For those who prefer dripping to a more standard method of vaping, there are a variety of atomizers as well as the ability to tinker with or even rebuild your atomizer. The reason for the variety is that people love to have greater control of their vaping experience, or they prefer to tinker with the atomizer themselves.
For individuals who like to tinker, the rebuildable atomizer is just the thing. It can be taken down to its basic components, including the wire and the cloths or wicks that carry the liquid to the wire for being warmed. Those who use these rebuildable atomizers claim their vaping experience is more intense on the flavor and the clouds of vapor are bigger. Still a portion of the individuals who choose dripping as their main form of vaping began not as traditional smokers but as those who just appreciated the flavor of the e-liquid. They also enjoy the aspect of mixing their own liquids.
Thus, for those looking to create a unique vaping experience, having a better understanding of how your atomizer works can help you make decisions about how you would prefer to vape, either the traditional way or via dripping.
Safety First with an Atomizer
Atomizers typically last 2 to 4 weeks, depending on both the frequency and duration of each use. So how can you know if your atomizer is ready to be replaced? There are several things to keep your eyes on. The first is the general responsiveness of the atomizer. When it is starting to fail, the atomizer will begin to gurgle. The flavor will also become less distinct, making it more apparent that a new one is in order.
You might also notice increased leaking, little to no vapor production, and just an overall dissatisfaction with the performance of the e-cig.
Depending on the type of atomizer, you might need to clean it. This can be accomplished with a hot water rinse or a blowout. But if you have a disposable atomizer, it can just be as simple as changing it out for a fresh one.
Overall, an atomizer is just one part of the vaping experience, but it plays a large part in making it an enjoyable one.