The Difference Between Atomizers, Clearomizers & Cartomizers

Before I unload a boatload of vaping-heavy idioms on you here, I first want to tell you that both atomizers, clearomizers, and cartomizers are pretty much the same things. 

Well, sort of.

To be more precise, from a purely technical standpoint, an atomizer is a part of your e-juice vaping pen responsible for turning your e-liquid into the vapor that you inhale. It’s the true ‘vaporizer’ that’s built into every electronic cigarette. Every atomizer consists of a heating element [coil], wicking material [wicks are usually cotton, hemp, or a silica wick], and a casing.

Clearomizers and cartomizers land squarely into that category. Basically, they’re a subclass of an atomizer.

Still, there are some differences between regular atomizers, clearomizers, and cartomizers. And if you’re thinking about which one you should go with [or just don’t want to be confused when you’re buying your vaping gear], this is a post for you.

Want to find out more about them?

Read on.

What is an Atomizer?

When speaking about atomizers, vapers refer to a part of their vape device that is fully rebuildable and adjustable to their needs. It’s mostly experienced vapers who talk about these.

They are, by far, the most popular choice since there’s a lot of variations of them on the market. When looking for your first atomizer you will also hear terms such as RDAs and RBAs. 

So let’s talk a bit about RDAs and RBAs.

·Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer or RDA is typically used with builds that produce large amounts of vapor (cloud chasing) or are aiming to experience every ounce of the flavor. They allow you to choose between two vape styles (Mouth-To-Lung and Direct-Lung). But, unlike their “upgraded” version, they don’t come with built-in tanks where you put your juice. This can be somewhat inconvenient as it requires its user to keep a bottle of juice close by.

·Rebuildable atomizers or RBA could easily be referred to as upgraded RDAs. RBA mimics RDA’s rebuildable capabilities, as it gives you the ability to put in your coils (whether made by hand or bought premade) and add cotton of your choosing, but also includes a tank for your e-juice. These atomizers will usually be the first step when switching from pod systems or vape pens if you are craving something more from your vaping experience. 

Pros of using rebuildable atomizers:
·Highly customizable
·Can be used with sub ohm bottom coils
·Flavors are most potent using them
·No brainer for heavy users and cloud chasers
·If set up correctly you won’t burn through your juice to quickly
·Once you get into a routine, maintenance is a breeze
·Exceptionally safe
·Can hold a larger amount of e-juice
·Usually a pyrex glass tank

Cons of using rebuildable atomizers:
·Needs regular refilling
·Can be challenging for beginners
·Breakable parts if not handled carefully

What is a Clearomizer?

If you are looking for something more simple than RBA, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor, you can go with a clearomizer.

They are the most standard choice for newbies and are highly recommended by sellers if you are just stepping into vaping. You are not required to have any previous knowledge, but you will definitely have a great experience with them. The main difference between an RBA is that these are easier to use.

Essentially, they are disposable vape tanks that simply need to be attached to either mod or battery and you are good to go. Once you are done with them, simply dispose of them and attach a new one.

Some might argue that every vape tank with a replaceable heating coil is a clearomizer, however, nowadays this term is used when talking about MTL-only tanks.

You will find clearomizers that give you the option to rebuild them, but the whole process is a bit clunky and not worth the effort. If you are looking for something like that, then you might want to go through the text before this one. One of the most noteworthy specs is a larger tank allowing you to vape longer without the need to refill.

Pros of clearomizers:
·Larger capacity for e-liquid
·Not too often refills
·Good for heavy users as well
·Great for beginners
·Can use both disposable and rebuildable coils

Cons of clearomizers:
·Choices can be confusing to novices
·Clear polycarbonate plastic tanks can degrade juice flavor to some degree
·Glass tanks may break or dribble if not handled with care
·You might still taste the e-juice flavor from your last refill
·Prices can be a bit steep when upgrading and if you are on a budget

What is a Cartomizer?

Cartomizers or vaping cartridges are sold as single-use, and many treat them as such. There’s nothing wrong with that since it makes them convenient for “part-time” vapers or as a backup, in case your main device runs out of juice or battery. They are quite cheap and vastly available meaning you will be able to get your hands on one or two easily.

Using them is more than easy and out of the other two, they are the easiest for beginners to work with. They are usually pre-filled with e-liquid so there’s no need to think about where you’ll get e-liquid. 

Attaching them to your device follows the same principle. It is usually a two-part process, simply tighten the cartomizer on the battery and push the regulator while inhaling. And that is pretty much it..

When you notice you are no longer getting the same amount of vapor when puffing your cartomizer is at its limit and it is time to switch it for a new one. Do keep in mind that flavor from them won’t be out of this world, or by any means as strong and impactful as the one you would get by using any other atomizer. But, you will get your nicotine hit without an issue, while simulating a whole ritual of a cigarette.

Pros of cartomizers:
·Gives the same “feeling” as if you are smoking a cigarette
·A far cheaper option than any other atomizer
·Can be bought on almost any kiosk or shop
·Disposable easily
·Prefilled with vape juice

Cons of cartomizers:
·Potential for flavor issues
·Reusing or refilling them is pointless
·Flavors are limited
·Can be costly if you are heavy using 

Which One Should You Choose?
The bottom line is; it all comes down to your preferences and in what stage of vaping are you at the moment.

If you are just starting your vaping journey and need help with at least partial transition, then the best option would be cartomizers. They will provide you with enough nicotine to keep you away from cigarettes. On top of that, they are really easy to use and still give you that smoking routine (Mouth-To-Lung inhaling).

On the other hand, if you are somewhat new to the game, but have completely transitioned and want to build a device that doesn’t need too much knowledge but still gives you nice and flavorful vapes you should probably go for a clearomizer. 

And the last, but not least, atomizers. Performance-wise they are by far the best choice. However, I can’t say that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s mostly experienced users that go for these.

What I can say is — if you’re new to vaping — pick an easy option. That way, you’ll stick with it more easily, and won’t go back to cigarettes. And if you want that for yourself, take a nice little click at that link below and I’ll introduce you to a world of easy-to-use vape devices!