What Is a Vape Atomizer? [Clearly Explained]

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Before you search online for the best weed vaporizers, you’ll first need to understand some vaping terminology. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various parts of a vape pen or desktop vaporizer. You don’t need the same level of knowledge as Jürgen Bickel, just a general grasp of vaping jargon.

In this article, we will answer the question, “what is a vape atomizer?” That way, you can search for the best vaping products with a degree of confidence and knowledge.

We’ll also outline a few key differences between some of the best atomizers on the market today. Hopefully, you can find the best vaporizer for your needs and have a great vaping experience.

What Is an Atomizer?

A vape pen atomizer is the heating element that converts the cannabis e-liquid (or other concentrates) into an inhalable vapor. However, ‘atomizer’ is typically an umbrella term. It describes the unit that holds the e-coils (heaters) and the wick. The wick delivers the e-liquid to the coils, where it is heated.

The Battery

Without a battery, you don’t have a power supply. Without a power supply, you can’t heat the coils. If you can’t heat the coils, you won’t produce any vapor!

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The Cartridge

This is the small compartment that holds the e-liquid or vape juice. It is sealed from the heater coils and only comes into contact with the wick. You can purchase disposable or reusable cartridges.

*Also, please note that some vape pens do not have cartridges but are instead “Drip Tips.” With Drip Tips, you have to add a few drops of e-liquid every few puffs.

The Wick

The wick (usually made of cotton fibers) comes into contact with both the cartridge and the electronic coils. It gets saturated with oil inside the cartridge.

When the e-coils are heated and operating at the desired temperature, the vapor is produced.

The oil travels along the cotton fibers until it comes into contact with the e-coils. When the e-coils are heated and operating at the desired temperature, the vapor is produced.

The E-Coils

The coils are the heating element. They receive a direct power source from the battery and can heat to temperatures between 180℉ and 500+℉. (Please note that the atomizer refers to the unit that contains the e-coils and the wick.)

The Mouthpiece

You use the mouthpiece to inhale the vapor.

As you can see, vaporizers are relatively simple units. When you understand the basic components, you have a pretty good idea of how they work. Then it’s more apparent what the specific job of each component is.

However, once you get into the technical specifications and various types of atomizers and e-coils, things become more confusing. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular kinds of atomizers for a clearer explanation.

Difference Between Atomizers in Vape Pens: Atomizer Thread Sizes

You may have heard people talking about the 306 atomizer vs. a 510 atomizer (or a 401, 801, 901, etc.). What they’re referring to is the atomizer’s thread size (note: the 306 and a 510 atomizer share the same connection). A lot of different companies have proprietary thread sizes/styles. This is to prevent customers from using or interchanging their products along with those of another brand.

source orb atomizer

A more significant difference between atomizers, though, is the type of atomizer used. These are the main differences between clearomizers, cartomizers, and dripping atomizers.

The Cartomizer

The cartomizer is effectively the cheapest type of atomizer out there. It usually comes in a pack of three or five and costs anywhere between $10 and $30. Most cartomizers will attach to a standard 510 battery and are the universal method for entry-level vape units.

The significant advantage of cartomizers is that they’re very cheap and disposable. As a result, you can easily change them. You can do this when you want to switch e-liquid flavors or if your old cartomizer runs out.

The significant disadvantage, of course, is the inferior vapor quality. Another problem is the general lack of quality. Cartomizers tend to leak more often than other options.

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The Clearomizer

This type of atomizer uses a refillable tank that attaches directly to the battery. These units are incredibly convenient and low maintenance. You fill them with your favorite vape oil or e-juice and can use them right away. They can last for days or weeks, depending on how much you vape.

The disadvantage of clearomizers is that they are a more expensive option than a cartomizer. Also, you can’t change flavors easily. Once you’ve got the tank filled up, you’re stuck with it for a while.

The Dripping Atomizer, or “Drip Tip Atomizer”

These types of atomizers are what some would call the ‘purist’s atomizer.’ With this type of atomizer, you have to add the vape liquid drip by drip directly to the atomizing unit. The atomizing unit is bridged or bridgeless, and then you have to attach the tip to take your puffs.

If you prefer taste over convenience, then a drip tip is possibly the way to go.

The significant disadvantage of drip tip atomizers is that they’re inconvenient. You have to add 3-4 drops of e-liquid, for example, for every 3-4 puffs that you take. If you vape continuously throughout the day, this is probably not the best option.

However, most vapers agree that drip tip atomizers have the purest and hardest-hitting taste of all the atomizer units. If you prefer taste over convenience, then a drip tip is possibly the way to go.

What Is an Atomizer? Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article provides an informative answer to the question “what is an atomizer?” Bear in mind; this is a general overview. Readers can find out more detail about the various technical specifications of atomizers and vaporizers on our site.

Feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page. Also, head to our Vape Review Guide to look at what we think are the best marijuana vaporizers on the market!

Wayofleaf’s choice
  • Da Vinci IQC
  • Dual-use with herb and oil
  • Excellent vapor quality
  • Warm-up: 30 sec
  • Battery: 2 hours
  • Temp: up to 430°F
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  • Pax 3
  • Highly discreet and portable
  • Comes with a maintenance kit
  • Warm-up: 20 sec
  • Battery: 50 to 60 min
  • Temp: 360-420°F
  • G Pen Dash by Grenco Science
  • Complete temperature control
  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Warm-up: 20 sec
  • Battery: 1-2 hours
  • Temp: 375°F to 428°F
  • Apollo VTube V5.0
  • Voted one of the best Mods
  • Atomizer can fire as low as 0.2 ohms
  • Warm-up: 10 sec
  • Battery: 1 hour
  • Temp: 212°F to 572°F
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