What Is A Cartomizer?

A Guide To The E Cig Cartomizer – The Engine Of Modern Day E Cigs

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Smokers who enjoy their electronic cigarette realize that the (unofficial but presumed) health benefits and savings garnered from using such a nifty little device goes a long way.

But do you ever wonder what exactly goes into developing that powerful throat hit, or that rich aroma you’re so used to with your electronic cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes utilize a device called the atomizer which is a heating component mounted on top of a lithium ion rechargeable battery. The atomizer vaporizes a nicotine solution that electronic cigarettes use called e-Liquid (or e-Juice) stored on the top end portion of the electronic cigarette called a device cartridge (or cartomizer). The end result is a water based vapor that mimics the feel and taste of tobacco smoke.

 Types of Electronic Cigarettes

There are two distinct types of electronic cigarettes in the industry that have come about as the technology evolved and became more popularized: three-piece and two-piece designs.

3-Piece E Cig designs are comprised of three primary components:

  • a rechargeable lithium ion E CIG BATTERY
  • an ATOMIZER (essentially the heating coil that produces vapor from eliquid)
  • a replaceable CARTRDIGE (typically sits over the atomizer and needs constant refills)


This original “3-Piece-Design” was one of the first designs sold for commercial use as far back as 2003 – and admittedly in some pretty cool models since (like the Joye 510) but the design did come with a few NOT insignificant drawbacks.


Smokers, for instance, realized that to refill a three-piece electronic cigarette the cartridge was problematic often times leading to e-Liquid spills and potential damage of the unit. Smokers would have to disassemble the atomizer from the flavor cartridge to refill the cartridge leading many to continue to have refill problems. Manufacturers realized these design flaws and took them into account when producing the next generation of electronic cigarette products by providing a unit that’s easy to use and hassle-free.

Two-piece electronic cigarettes  hit the market which is when things really started taking off for the e-cigarette (in America especially) as the introduction of the disposable cartomizer component – usually pre-filled and very easy to use – improved on the previous design by matter of sheer efficiency. Instead of keeping the flavor cartridge and atomizer separate, manufacturers decided to combine both the atomizer and cartridge into one unit called a cartomizer.

The radical upgrade in use-ability that this allowed new ecigarette models featuring two piece technology – like all of our favorite brands which this site is devoted to exploring along with other vaping topics – took the clear potential of early but cumbersome e cig models (that had a growing following, but weren’t quite ready yet for mainstream acceptance) and made the modern day e-cig as easy to use (or frankly even easier) than good old fashioned tobacco cigs (no lighter required!).

Benefits In Using A 2-Piece Cartomizer Design


Benefits of 2 Piece Cartomizer E Cig DesignThe cartomizer is a critical element of an electronic cigarette as that it contains the e-Liquid necessary to enjoy the device. While the atomizer and cartridge perform different functions, in cartomizer form they both store and heat the e-Liquid solution. Through its extensive use, smokers came to realize that cartomizers could be reused and refilled with e-Liquid resulting in a product with endless value.  Some of the benefits of using a cartomizer over the inefficient three-piece design include:

Convenience: Unlike three-piece electronic cigarettes, two-piece designs that use a cartomizer mean smokers carry less on their person. The only thing smokers have to worry about is a lithium ion battery and the cartomizer.

Larger Reservoir:
Traditional flavor cartridges typically only hold a small amount of nicotine solution due to their relative size. Many current three-piece designs use this same manufacturing process in creating new flavor cartridges.

The rationale behind this was to incorporate the feeling of smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette by including a limiting amount of nicotine. The draw for smokers was that they’d have a product that’s similar to the tobacco cigarettes they’ve grown accustomed to.

Two-piece designs, however, feature a cartomizer that’s efficiently designed to house both the atomizer and e-Liquid reservoir resulting in much more space. The end result is that smokers can enjoy a continuous flow of vapor without having to swap out the cartomizer so soon. Brands like Smoke Stik feature this design in their two-piece electronic cigarettes.

Hassle Free Operation:
As mentioned previously, one of the big problems smokers faced with a three-piece design was separating the atomizer and flavor cartridge for refills resulting in lost e-Liquid and damaged devices. Furthermore, one of the other big flaws is that three-piece designs suffered from leakage problems either down through the atomizer or through the mouthpiece smokers use. A two-piece design solves this problem with sealed atomizers and mouthpieces that keep e-Liquid in.

Using three-piece designs, smokers were quick to note that if the atomizer overheats, it produces an unpleasant burnt taste Two-piece designs eliminate this problem with the cartomizer as overheating of the unit is nonexistent resulting in only the finest flavor offered.

Disposable 510 Cartomizer Electronic Cigarette from SmokTechExtensive Flavor Options:
Users have the option to replace their cartomizer as much as possible with blank cartomizers provided by electronic cigarette mnaufacturers. Many companies offer an extensive product catalogue of rich and bold flavors that range from traditional tobacco taste to exotic blends like coconut and pineapple. Smokers also have the option in how they use their cartomizers.

Some smokers will opt to reuse their units by simply purchasing inexpensive e-Liquid that they use to refill the cartomizer themselves. The one drawback from this is as a cartomizer is continuously used it becomes the breeding ground for bacterial growth and production which can be impossible to effectively clean after some time. The good news is, swapping a cartomizer out when this happens is virtually pain free.
Inexpensive: Despite being disposable units, cartomizers can be reused continuously (though it’s best to replace them a few times to keep them fresh). Three-piece designs suffer from having the atomizer and flavor cartridge separated which can become significantly more expensive in the long run as both products will have to be replaced.

With a cartomizer, when you swap it out, you’re replacing both the atomizer and cartridge for a virtually fresh experience every time. With proper maintenance and care, a cartomizer can be a cost-effective choice for smokers.

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