The Anatomy Of An eCig


A Comparison of an Atomizer, Cartomizer & Top/Bottom Coil Clearomizer 

The Atomizer, Cartomizer, Coil and Clearomizer are all heating elements of your ecig that you attach to a battery in order for it to transform your eliquid into a vapor. These three types of devices are the most popular ecigs on the market today as they can be used by both beginners and even by more advanced ecig enthusiasts.

These three devices work on the same system, that all three hold eliquid and use heat powered by a battery source in order to change the eliquid into a vapor. These three devices all have different features that each present pros and cons in their design and function. 

How eCigs Work

Before we go into a breakdown of each device, first we should discuss how ecigs work in the first place. Each device has its varying functions based on the differences in their design, but they basically work in the same way. When a user takes a drag from their ecigarette (if automatic) or presses a button (if manual), a sensor that is located inside the main component of the ecig activates the circuit board. This circuitry that is powered by the device’s battery then sends out electrical currents to the coils of the ecig and causes the coil to generate heat. As the eliquid from the wick comes into contact with the hot coils, it is then boiled until it becomes vaporized generating the steam that is inhaled by the user.

Once the user stops inhaling or the button has been released, the components begin to cool off, as this happens the eliquid from the cartridge/tank is absorbed again into the wicking material by a capillary action (when liquid can flow in a narrow space without the need of assistance of or in opposition from external forces), which then readies the ecig for the next use.

The Atomizer:

The Atomizer was the heating element that came first and paved the steps to the vaping world as we know it today. It is also a term used for all "heating points" on all ecigs. 

Read more on the history of ecigs here >. These devices were designed in order to simulate smoking as closely as possible, mostly why they are referred to as cig-a-likes and look very much like their combustible counterparts. But because of this, they have a small capacity for holding eliquid in that the user will need to drip constantly during use. There are different design interpretations, but in its basics atomizers have a heating coil on the bottom with a metal mesh above the coil. Some atomizers may have a silica wick instead of the metal mesh, but functions the same way.

Check out our Drip Atomizers here >.


Advantages of An Atomizer:

- Keeps the device profile similar to a traditional cigarette

- Inexpensive

- Easy to refill, perfect for those who like to drip

- Easy to switch between flavors 


Disadvantages of An Atomizer:

- Not suitable for those who vape a lot as you will constantly need to drip

- Unable to determine how much eliquid you have left

- Life of atomizer heating elements is shorter than a coil tank


The Cartomizer:

Cartomizers are also cig-a-likes and are very similar to the Atomizer in how they look. The difference is in the components, in that a cartomizer has a polyfill filler wrapped around a heating coil. This polyfill material absorbs the eliquid and allows for a much longer vape session than what an atomizer can produce. The airflow also goes through the middle of the coil instead of over the outside of the coil as how it works in an atomizer.

Check out our MAGMA Starter Kit here >.



Advantages of A Cartomizer:

- Holds the same profile of a traditional combustable cigarette

- Inexpensive

- Holds more eliquid than an atomizer

- Easy to switch between flavors

- Longer vaping session than with an atomizer

- Easy to refill


Disadvantages of A Cartomizer:

- Not suitable for those who vape a lot as you will still need to refill a lot (though slight less dripping than with an atomizer)

- Some say the polyfill dulls the eliquid’s flavor

- Polyfill may also keep the flavor of the previous eliquid used

- Unable to tell how much eliquid you have left


The Top Coil Clearomizer:

Clearomizers are the most popularly used tanks in the vaping world. This is due to its ability to hold a lot more eliquid than its cartomizer and atomizer predecessors. These tanks are cylindrical with clear plastic or pyrex glass tanks. Because of this tank you can easily see how much eliquid your tank has left. These models have long wicks inside its tank located at the top, which draws the eliquid into the coils.


Advantages of A Clearomizer:

- Holds a lot of eliquid

- You can easily see the levels of eliquid in your tank

- Some models are rebuildable


Disadvantages of A Clearomizer:

- More expensive than atomizers and cartomizers

- Difficult to switch between flavors (you have to wait until all liquid is gone first)

- Top coil may require the user to tip the clearomizer to absorb the leftover eliquid

The Bottom Coil Clearomizer:

A newer version of the most used tank, the Bottom Coil Clearomizer (BCC) is great for users of all types due to its simplistic design and inexpensive components. For the BCC, the coil (heating components) is located at the bottom of the atomizer component, which sits below the tank of eliquid and so takes advantage of gravity improving the tank’s wicking. 

Check out our INFERNO Starter Kit complete with the BCT TubeTank System.

For bigger tank capacity and customizable settings, check out our LAVATUBE Starter Kit. Perfect your vaping system with our new BC TubeTank, complete with our innovative Ultra-Port™ Saturation Technology.


Advantages of A Bottom Coil Clearomizer:

- Holds a lot of eliquid (1.6-3ml of eliquid at a time)

- You can easily see the levels of eliquid in your tank

- Some models are rebuildable

- Coils are easily changeable and available in different ohm ratings

- Longer lasting

- Enhanced eliquid wicking

- Superior flavor delivery


Disadvantages of A Bottom Coil Clearomizer:

- More expensive than atomizers and cartomizers

- Difficult to switch between flavors

- While priming, may cause gurgling, popping or spitting noises

- Dry hits might occur if not properly primed

- If user pulls too hard, this may cause flooding

Learn how to find your Vaping “Sweet Spot” on your BC TubeTank System and some simple troubleshooting tips.