E-Cigarette Cartomizer Types
The three most popular ways for your e-liquid to be delivered to the heating coil that vaporizers it into something you can enjoy are atomizers with hollow drip tips, systems that use a reservoir tank like the eGo-tank and cartomizers.
We’ve enjoyed these three types of e-liquid delivery systems at one time or another, but it’s cartomizers that seem to really make the difference in quality for us ever since we started to use higher voltage e-cigarettes made in the USA.
In this article, we’ll examine the different types of cartomizers available on the market today while helping you to understand how each works.
Why Do We Enjoy Cartomizers?
Back in the day, many on our staff thought the epitome of e-smoking enjoyment was provided by using an eGo battery with low-resistance atomizers and a hollow drip tip. This setup provided full flavor with an unparalleled vapor production and made the experience amazing.
It was when we switched to a high-voltage mod in an attempt to make that experience even better that we noticed this setup just didn’t work out as well. The atomizer continually leaked e-liquid all over the body of the battery, which made getting a consistent and safe production of vapor next to impossible.
That’s when we decided to switch to a setup that utilized cartomizers. Through our own experiences, we’ve found that cartomizers simply shine when it comes to high-voltage batteries and mods. They don’t leak at anywhere near the same rate as atomizers.
The best part about it is that they’re unbeatable in the department of convenience even if you’re using a standard 3.7-volt e-cigarette.
The Types of Cartomizers
Examples of Polyfill Cartomizers: Boge 510 cartomizers, most pre-filled cartomizers
Polyfill cartomizers are the most abundant cartomizers available on the market. They’re also one of the oldest designs to employ cartridges and atomizers together. Most e-cigarette companies that offer pre-filled cartomizers use this model.
Inside of a polyfill cartomizer, you’ll find several layers of gauze wrapped around a cylinder in the middle. The gauze works to help saturate the wick and then to bring the e-liquid to the vertical heating coil, both of which are inside of the cylinder. The vapor escapes through the top of the tube from there.
Polyfill cartomizers are recognized as being durable, easy to fill and reliable at any voltage. We like to rely on the Boge 510 cartomizer for our everyday e-smoking needs.
Wick-Feeding Top-Coil Cartomizers
Examples of Wick Feeding Top Coil Cartomizers: CE2 Clearomizer
Wick-feeding top-coil cartomizers have two wicks that lead to a horizontal heating coil at the top of the cartomizer unit. They generally hold about 1 mL of e-liquid, although some units such as the Kanger Protank hold significantly more. There are different versions of this cartomizer available: clear and opaque.
Clear cartomizers, also refereed to as “clearomizers,” are generally preferred by most e-smokers for the ability to see the e-liquid inside of the cartomizer. This makes knowing when to refill it significantly easier.
They do have a number of issues. For example, some e-liquids that contain ingredients like cinnamon and citrus flavors will cause clearomizers to crack.
Another issue is the fact that you can only use rubber drip tips with many clearomizers. Metal or hard plastic tips will cause the plastic to crack.
The wicks can also give you trouble due to the fact that they have to fight gravity, but there is a workaround. All you need to do is to enlarge the openings that lead to the wicks or to feather the wick endings carefully with a sharp blade.
The worst issue that you might have with wick-feeding top-coil cartomizers is that the vapor becomes too hot. This is a result of the heating coil being located so close to the top of the unit.
It’s our opinion that wick-feeding cartomizers just aren’t worth the trouble. There’s also always the chance that some makers of wick-feeding cartomizers have chosen to use fiberglass for their wicks, which can be dangerous and harm your lungs.
Gravity-Feeding Bottom-Coil Cartomizers
In a bottom-coil cartomizer, gravity is used to deliver the e-liquid to the heating coil located at the bottom of the unit. In most cartomizers like this, the heating coil is isolated at the bottom by a chamber with a wick poking out of it that connects to the e-liquid tank.
This cartomizer design will work nearly flawlessly so long as there’s enough e-liquid to keep the wick saturated.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re entirely free of problems. The long tubes designed to carry vapor from the heating coil back up can sometimes become clogged with liquid, which harms the vapor production while producing a gurgling sound. You may also find that this type of cartomizer vaporizers liquid too fast when you operate a higher-voltage, which in turn leads to a nasty burned taste. In addition, as with top-coil clearomizers, bottom-coil clearomizers often work only with the included soft drip tips.
Dual-coil cartomizers operate on the principle that two is better than one. They have two heating coils designed to vaporize liquid when your battery activates.
The fact that they have two heating coils mean that you’ll see the biggest benefit from using a dual-coil cartomizer if you use a large battery mod that can output enough voltage to fully power both heating coils.
That means you’ll receive subpar results if you try using a dual-coil cartomizer with something like 3.7 volt eGo battery.
If you want to see the best results, go with a high-end device such as the VaporFi VOX II. With its wide power range, you can easily select the wattage of your choice to attain the best possible flavor and vapor production.
Examples of Tank Cartomizers: Tube Tank
A tank cartomizer acts like a polyfill cartomizer but with the ability to hold more e-liquid. It achieves this by using submerging the cartomizer into an acrylic tube. A hole in the cartomizer then allows liquid from the tube to seep into it and keep the polyfill wet.
The biggest tank cartomizer we’ve ever seen holds 7 mL of e-liquid. To put that into perspective, that’s like having seven polyfill cartomizers available to you without needing to so much as swap them out when one runs dry.
Tank cartomizers can be good or bad depending upon their quality. Some people love them, but we’ve found a few that leak or fail to properly feed the polyfill cartomizer.
If you find that your tank doesn’t seem to feed properly, you can try enlarging the hole on the side of the cartomizer after removing it from the tank.