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Cartridges vs Cartomizers vs Tank E-Cigarettes

The different models of e-cigarettes can sometimes be confusing, especially to new vapers. So here is a basic understanding of the 3 main types of e-liquid delivery that are available on the market today.

Cartridges – This is the oldest design. It uses a reusable atomizer (heating unit) with a detachable mouthpiece. Inside the mouthpiece is a wick made of material that absorbs the e-liquid. This type of e-cigarette is refillable by just dripping e-liquid onto the wick. The average puff count of a cartridge type system is about 3 to 4 cigarettes worth or 30 to 40 puffs.

e-cigarette atomizer

Cartomizers – This system does away with the separate atomizer/cartridge idea and combines the 2 into 1. Rather than the 3 piece e-cigarette (battery, atomizer, cartridge), the cartomizer is a 2 piece (battery and cartomizer). The heating element inside the cartomizer is disposable. Although many vapers do refill them, over time the heating element in the cartomizer can start to burn the wick and produce a nasty taste/smell. This system is easier to use, but can be more expensive since it is not refillable. It does however hold more e-liquid. The average puff count is 15 to 20 cigarettes or 150 to 200 puffs.

e-cigarette cartomizer

Tanks – This is the newest innovation on the e-cigarette market. Like the cartridge system, it uses a reusable atomizer. But rather than a cartridge it employs a mouthpiece that has a small tank on it to hold the e-liquid. There is no wick in this system to hold the e-liquid so the atomizer was redesigned to properly feed in the e-liquid directly from the tank. The average puff count of the tank system is 35 to 40 cigarettes or 350 to 400 puffs.

e-cigarette tank system