A cartomizer, or carto, is an atomizer and cartridge combined as one disposable unit. E-cigs that use a cartomizer are said to be 2-piece units. Cartomizers, like atomizers, come in various battery threadings and resistances. However, they are cheaper and often come in packs of 5.
The cartomizer acts a juice reservoir and may either contain a spongy material to hold the juice or, as in newer versions, such as the CE2, a wick carries the juice to the coil. The coil is normally arranged vertically, with the filler material rolled around it.
Cartomizers typically hold more e-Liquid an a cartridge.
There have been many attempts to improve the initial cartomizer design and this has led to a variety of different cartomizer types making their way into the market. Additionally, cartomizers are produced in a wide range of resistances - from 1.5 ohm to 4 ohm.
- Premium Cartomizer - An update to the standard cartomizer
- CE2 (Cartomizer Edition 2) - A new type of cartomizer developed by MicroCig, revised several times. Current versions (R5) feature a ceramic top cup, draped over which is the silica wick - the heating coil being wrapped around the wick. E-liquid travels along the wick to the coil.
- Clearomizer - An E2 Rev. 4 cartomizer with clear plastic walls
- CE3 'Smokymizer' - a new design featuring a bottom-fed coil.
- CE4 = "mini tank", top coil, top fill (Stardust, Ego Vision Clearomizer, eTurbo, iTurbo)
- CE4+ = upgrade CE4 with new plastic tubes (resistant to acid e-liquid, should not crack or haze)
- CE5+ - bigger, rebuild-able. First iteration has replaceable insert, v.2 will have screw in heads like Vivi Nova(this is a clearomizer)
- CE6 - bottom coil, top fill (maybe Scorpion). Eventually supposed to have a plate rather than coil
Refilling & Cleaning
Although cartomizers are usually labeled as disposable many users will refill them several times before throwing them out. There are several methods for refilling - in no particular order:
- Syringe method - user fills a disposable plastic syringe with about 1mL of juice and injects between the wall of the cartomizer and the filler, usually in 2 places.
- Drip method - juice is dripped down the side wall of the cartomizer, direct from the bottle, so that it runs into the filler.
- Condom method - juice is placed in the plastic protective cover ('condom') that shipped with the cartomizer. The cartomizer is slowly pushed into the condom, mouth end first, to squeeze the juice into the filler. Some users place a wooden toothpick in the filler center hole to prevent juice flowing down the center tube.
- Taryn Spin method - similar to above but the cartomizer is placed in a flexible container (such as the finger of a glove), this is then tied to a piece of string and whirled about in a circle. Centrifugal force packs the juice into the filler material.
There are many methods for cleaning a used cartomizer. These can include: boiling in water; ultrasonic cleaning devices; rinsing in pure alcohol. Some users report success with differing methods.
Tank - Cartomizers may also be used in plastic tanks, for greater liquid capacity.