What Is A Cartomizer? Clearomizer? Atomizer? (A Simple Explanation)

I remember back when I first started to look for information on e-cigarettes online and although I was extremely excited about the idea of making the switch from tobacco to vaping I found myself extremely confused about a few things.

And I remember one of the things that ‘stumped’ me the most was what the hell the difference between these cartomizer, clearomizer and atomizer thingys that everybody seemed to be using.

And since I’ve been getting a few questions from new vapers about exactly this I thought I’d make a short video to basically just explain what all of these devices are and I’ll go over some of the pros and cons of each type of device.

What Is A Cartomizer? Clearomizer? Atomizer?

What Is A Cartomizer?

What Is A Cartomizer?Cartomizers (or ‘cartos’ for short) are are basically a long metal tube that is filled with polyfil and that has a atomizer and a heating coil at the bottom of it.

And to use cartomizers we  just fill them up with our ejuice and all of the polyfil inside will soak up the juice.

Then just attach them to a battery of some kind (the iTaste VV battery is a great way to go) and then you are good to vape!

Cartomizers are great for beginners because they are really cheap and extremely easy to use.

However cartomizers do require more refilling and maintenance than clearomizers and they can also be a little bit more fiddly to fill up too.

Personally I don’t use cartomizers that much as I prefer the taste that I get out of other devices such as clearomizers however there are a lot of vapers out there that swear by cartomizers and some even vape them exclusively so they are definitely worth giving a try.

Cartomizer Advantages:

  • They’re cheap.
  • They’re disposable.
  • They are simple and newbie friendly.

Cartomizer Disadvantages:

  • They can be fiddy.
  • They can be a bit leaky.
  • They need to be refilled more often than clearomizers.

Cartomizer Recommendation: Check out these 510 BOGE cartomizers. They’re cheap, work well and they’re the cartomizers I use most often.

What Is A Clearomizer?

What Is A Clearomizer

Clearomizers (or ‘clearos’ for short) are my favorite way to vape out of all three of these options and here’s why.

Not only do I find that I dramatically prefer the taste that I get from a clearomizer compared to a cartomizer (it just tastes smoother and cooler) BUT clearomizers are also far less maintenance.

Since the cartomizer tanks are bigger you don’t have to fill them up as often and I also find them a lot easier and faster to fill up.

And I just find them to taste better and are less fuss.


  • They can hold a lot more juice (so less refilling!).
  • They have a much longer life span than cartomizers and can be used over and over again.
  • They’re super easy to clean.
  • They are simple and newbie friendly.
  • They’re easy/fast to refill.


  • They’re more expensive than cartomizers (though cheaper in the long run since you wont have to keep replacing them).

Clearomizer Recommendation: If you’re looking for something that’s newbie friendly, cheap to get started with and that gives a consistently good vape then I highly recommend getting a one (or a few) of the EVOD 2s clearomizers. These things are only around $5-$10 a pop and they do an incredible job!

What Is An Atomizer?

What Is An Atomizer?Although technically pretty much every e-cigarette has some kind of atomizer inside of it often when you hear the term ‘atomizer’ in the vaping community (or ‘atty’ for short) then what they will often be referring to is the dripping atomizer.

And a dripping atomizer is very different again from both cartomizers and clearomizers.

Unlike cartos and clearos dripping atomizers can only hold a few drops of ejuice at a time and you have to continuously drip more ejuice into it as you vape. And because of this it’s defintely ‘higher maintenance than both cartomizers and clearomizers.

However they are also considered by many to be the most ‘pure’ and ‘flavorful’ way that you can vape.

And it’s true. You really do get an INSANELY clean and flavorful vape with a dripping atomizer since you are dripping directly onto the atomizer.

Dripping atomizers are also great if you want to try just a little bit of an ejuice without having to fill up a whole cartomizer or clearomizer and be stuck with it until you run out. With dripping atomizers you can swap and change your flavors as often and as fast as you like.


  • A cleaner and more pure flavor.
  • You can change your ejuices as frequently as you like where as with cartomizers and clearomizers you are ‘stuck’ with that juice until it runs out.


  • They require constant redripping and are more fiddly than both cartomizers and clearomizers.

Atomizer Recommendation:

I’m not a big ‘dripping atomizer’ guy but I do like the IGO-L. If you’re looking for a really high quality dripping atomizer for only $15 then be sure to give it a look!

Cartomizer, Clearomizer & Dripping Atomizer

Where To Buy Cartos, Clearos & Atty’s Cheap:

LiteCigUSA: These guys not only have amazing customer service but they also have some of the cheapest prices around as well as lightning fast shipping!

About the Author

I'm Jay and this is my blog where I review vaping gear, create vaping guides and post a whole lot of other cool stuff that's all about - you guessed it - vaping.

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