(1) Proper terminology - Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Attachments. - Blogs - E-Cigarette Forum
View RSS Feed


(1) Proper terminology - Is it a carto, a tank, or what? A Guide to Juice Attachments.

Rating: 22 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 10-22-2012 at 11:51 PM (51006 Views)

CLEAROMIZERs , clearos, or CLEAROTANKS. These tanks use string-like wicks that feed e-liquid to an atomizer head. The heads with wicks are replaceable in some of these clearomizers, so when the original head dies, it can be exchanged with replaceable coil heads available from a vendor. Depending upon the model, they can be ​top or bottom coiled for a different vaping experience.

Liquid capacity is 1.5 - 4.0 ml. Filled by removing either the top cap or bottom base (upside down) depending upon the model, and dripping in the liquid, being careful to not get any juice into the center airhole.

The top coil clearos require you to tilt the vaping device horizontal frequently so that the string wicks stay moist with e-liquid. The bottom coil clearos are gravity fed, so do not require this. Top coils may provide a more warm vape, bottom coils may provide more of a cooler vape.

These devices are known by several different names and models, such as the CE4; Aspire CE5, Vivi Nova, and Nautilus; the Kanger line of T3S, Evod, ProTank, and Aerotank; Vision Vivi Nova; the Smoktech Aro and PBC; and Innokin iClear 16 & 30.

Videos on how to fill a clearomizer (top & bottom coil):
How to Fill a Vision eGo Clearomizer (aka CE4+ or Stardust Clearomizer) - YouTube top coil
Kanger Evod vs Kanger Mini Protank vs Kanger T3 bottom coil

* Some flavors, such as cinnamon and citrus flavors, can react with the plastic used in these and cause the material to crack or actually melt. The ProTanks, Aerotank, Nautilus, Aro & PBC are glass, so are safe. There is also a pyrex version of the Vivi Nova​ by Smoktech.

NANO CLEAROMIZER is a smaller clearomizer in the size and shape of a cartomizer. For someone who doesn't drip on an atomizer, these can be useful for testing out new flavor samples. They only hold 1ml of juice, and are easily re-useable by simply removing the first flavor and adding the next. Easy screw off top like the regular clearomizers above to fill.
Clearomizer tank review vision nano clearomizer - YouTube

* These use polycarbonate and are not safe to use with the volatile juice flavors.

ATOMIZERS are juice delivery devices not too different from a cartomizer, but have no wick in them to hold e-liquid. With an atomizer, one drops just a few drops of juice into the atomizer and then vapes it (called "dripping"). After a several puffs, a few more additional drops of juice will need to be added to continue vaping. This ritual is repeated as long as the user vapes. Many vapers prefer to use this method over others, as there is no wicking material involved which may affect the flavor of the juice. Many people use this method to test out new sample flavors.

A video on how to use a 510 drip atomizer:
How to Use a Drip Atomizer

A dripping atomizer used on a bottom feeding box mod combines the superior flavor of an drip atomizer with the added convenience of a tank.
blogs/baditude/attachments/183312-1-proper-terminology-carto-tank-what-guide-juice-attachments-single-coil-cartomizers.jpg ​ ​
or carto's are steel tubes filled with polyfiber that looks like a cigarette filter. A heating coil within this material heats e-liquid into vapor. A small air tube in the center of the filler runs its entire length which directs vapor into a drip tip placed on the end. The drip tip is just the name vapors use for a mouth piece.

Single-coil cartomizers have 1 heating element, dual-coil cartos have 2. Heating coils have a resistance (ohm) rating, which determines the amount of energy used to heat e-liquid and turn it into vapor. A drawback to using a cartomizer solo is being unable to see your juice level to know when to refill it. Using a carto in a cartotank allows larger quantities of juice to be used, and since these tanks are usually clear you can see the juice level in them.

A video on how to fill a cartomizer:
How To Fill A 510 Cartomizer (Electronic Cigarette) - YouTube

A cartomizer can be placed into a tank to allow longer periods of vaping than when used alone. Holes are required to allow juice from the tank to enter the cartomizer. Juice levels can be easily monitored in the tank.

Above is a diagram of a typical CARTOTANK setup. It is made up of a clear tube with end caps on either end. A punched cartomizer is inserted between the two endcaps. A drip tip (mouthpiece) fits into the end of the carto. This combination is what is referred to as a cartomizer tank.

The above pic is of a laser-drilled or "pre-punched" cartomizer. Note the small hole near the bottom of the cylinder. Pre-punched cartomizers are ready to be filled and inserted inside of a cartotank. The second pic shows a carto which was previously an unpunched carto and holes have been made with a carto punch tool. I recommend for beginners to purchase the pre-punched cartos initially. Two holes are adequate for all but the most thick e-liquids.

Tanks can have a capacity of between 2 - 8 ml. Tube material can be polycarbonate or polypropylene plastic, pyrex glass, or stainless steel. Pyrex is preferred. End caps are either plastic or preferably metal.

Tanks sizes are categorized by length: standard (using a 35mm cartomizer) or XL (using a 45mm cartomizer). The diameter of tanks vary greatly, but typically are between 15mm and 25mm.

Cartomizers in a cartotank can last for 1-3 weeks. A cartotank can be refilled multiple times using the same cartomizer. When the carto has either flavor loss or a stiff pull while vaping it should be replaced. Spent cartos are discarded and a new cartomizer can be filled and inserted into the tank.

Video on how to fill and assemble a cartomizer tank:
Electronic Cigarettes 101: Tank Basics - YouTube

* Tanks that use polycarbonate are not safe to use with the volatile juice flavors.
__________________________________________________ _______

RBA / RDA (rebuildable atomizer/ rebuildable drip atomizer)
These juice attachments are geared more toward advanced vapors. They are not out of the box friendly for most novices. They require specific knowledge in the principals of Ohm's Law, require DIY skills to make your own wicks and wrap your own wire coils, know how to use an ohm reader to measure coil resistance, know how to spot coil hot spots and hard shorts and know what to do to eliminate them. They must be used with high drain IMR batteries. If considering one of these, please do your research first.
Advice and Tips for Vapors Looking to Try Their First RBA

Additional info for juice attachments: Vapors Table

luvchins, piggy, Glenn_K and 176 others like this.

Updated 03-09-2015 at 10:12 PM by Baditude



Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
  1. Sundodger's Avatar
    Agree with every post above mine. This (along with other basic info) should have it's own sticky in a beginners thread. Would save a lot of additional threads asking questions and trashing up the board. This is a huge forum and when new vapors can't find what they want we tend to ask questions. The need to get away from analogs is very strong so I can't fault anyone asking questions, I just think posts like these need to be utilized, it would save us new people and the vets time.
  2. RubyRuby's Avatar
    Great post! I have been searching/reading on the forum for a couple of weeks now while vaping colibri, trying to figure out what to move up to! Finally went to fasttech & placed an order - but I felt like I was shopping blind. Carts & cartos, tanks, drip tips - I really didn't know what the heck I needed or wanted! I wish I had found this first! & I hope that when my order arrives I can successfully assemble the pieces into the sort of gear I had in mind!
  3. AngiBe's Avatar
    Thanks Bad! I re-read this a lot! At times, people use the wrong terminology or different so I come back to this page and I'm able to correctly determine the right terminology.
  4. LeeW's Avatar
    answered a ton of questions !
  5. KC0YNU's Avatar
    Sundodger - 10-11-2013 11:03 AM


    Agree with every post above mine. This (along with other basic info) should have it's own sticky in a beginners thread. Would save a lot of additional threads asking questions and trashing up the board. This is a huge forum and when new vapors can't find what they want we tend to ask questions. The need to get away from analogs is very strong so I can't fault anyone asking questions, I just think posts like these need to be utilized, it would save us new people and the vets time.

    I also agree, as a noob to Vaping this should be listed as a sticky in the new comer section.
    this answered a lot of my questions and saved me some small amount of money by not buying something that I know nothing about.

    VAPE ON !!!!!!
  6. wild200v's Avatar
    thanks for this blog! it was highly educational for me.
  7. Ultra-X's Avatar
    Between the atom, the clear, the mizer, and the tank ... where is the tankomizer?

    This is seriously a must read for anyone new to vaping!
  8. Glenn_K's Avatar
    Greetings; I want to show some Gratitude to Baditude for this blog. I've been using clearos since I started vaping, and i would like to try out a cartomizer because of the favourable things I've heard about them. This blog makes learning the principles pain-free.

  9. vjdossey's Avatar
    A bazillion thank yous :-) there is so much to learn... You are sooooooo very helpful!!! I appreciate you sharing your experiences and all that you have learned!!! All you do in this vape community is greatly appreciated!!!
  10. Rookie's Avatar
    This needs to be in the newcomers section as a STICKY!!! I have been vaping for several years dripping an 801. When I decided to upgrade I came here to find out what I should step up to. The terminology was totally confusing and I had no idea what I should get. Asking for advice got me an alphabet soup of recommendations that just confused me more. I spent a bunch of money buying cr*p that didn't work together and frustrated me. I wish I had been able to find this information then, it would have saved me $$$ and aggravation. I will be looking for info from Baditude from now on. Clear, easy to understand info. Thanks Baditute.
  11. BreatheCream's Avatar
    Do RBAs really require a high drain IMR battery? I thought I could get away with one on any decent 510 battery... What's IMR, anyway? I'm still pretty new at this, just looking into picking up my first RBA...
  12. Nada Nix's Avatar
    Really useful post for a beginner like me, thanks!

    I still find that a lot of people seem to have different ideas about what cartomizer, clearomizer, and tank mean. There seems to be two main camps about carto vs. clearo:
    1. A cartomizer is opaque, and filled with a kind of stuffing, whereas a clearomizer is clear and uses a wick (which may not be visible in a bottom coil clearomizer).
    2. (less common) a cartomizer is anything with the atomizer/coil and liquid holder in one unit. Therefore, a clearomizer is a type of cartomizer. You can see for example the CE3 being advertised as both a cartomizer and a clearomizer:
    CE3 Cartomizer - Elite Bottom Coil CE3 Cartomizer - AltSmoke
    Buy CE3 Clearomisers x5 |electronic cigarettesat low Price | Premium Quality CE3 Clearomisers x5| CE3 Clearomisers x5Price | Red Apple Digital UK

    Also the word "tank" has several possible meanings, it can refer to the plastic/glass part of a clearomizer that holds the liquid, (eg. Kanger ProTank) or to the translucent cartridge that inserts into the atomizer on a Joyetech Ego T/C, or to a large tank that's used to bathe a cartomizer in liquid, etc.

    The very popular Joyetech Ego and 510 series can't really be called either a cartomizer or a clearomizer, because the atomizer and the liquid cartridge/tank are separate units.

    I do find the section here on atomizers a bit confusing. It seems to imply that they're only used for dripping. But for example my Joyetech 510 has an atomizer (which is actually the one in the picture), which is meant to hold a translucent cartridge of liquid. Same with the Ego series. They're not intended (by the manufacturer) to be used for dripping. The original models had a cartridge with a poly filling, which could be removed and the atomizer used for dripping, by adding a "drip tip" to replace the cartridge mouthpiece. (I guess "drip tip" has come to be a more generic term for mouthpiece, but that's the origin of it). In the subsequent models (T/C/CC/etc.), the atomizer has a metal spike/wick that goes into a hollow plastic tank, and so can't actually be used for dripping, unless you break the spike off.

    A couple of other things I noticed about terminology:
    - it says "The heads with wicks are replaceable (rebuildable) in some of these clearomizers, so when the original head dies, it can be exchanged with replaceable coil heads..." which reads to me like "replaceable" and "rebuildable" mean the same thing. But then at the bottom, it talks about "rebuildable" as being something else, where you make the coil yourself out of wire and so on.
    - normally not a spelling zealot, but in a post called "proper terminology" ... "vapor/vapour" is what comes out of an e-cigarette, "vaper" is a person who uses an e-cigarette....

    Well, that's kind of the state of my knowledge so far, hopefully it's reasonably correct and is helpful in some way, and thanks again for the great educational post!
  13. dorkpixie's Avatar
    Thank you for this!! As a noob this helps A LOT!!
  14. Kanakala's Avatar
    Thank you! Great info!
  15. carbonbegone's Avatar
    Nice primer - thanks.
  16. Burgerking13's Avatar
    Great Info. Baditude !!
    Perfect for someone like myself just getting into this and trying to learn things.
    Thank you for taking the time for such a detailed Blog.
    Great as usual.
  17. ekwit's Avatar
    wasnt sure about anything until I read this...thanks
  18. IamMe's Avatar
    Thanks Baditude for the great info. AND thanks to Nada for the additional info. This info is very clarifying. BUT I still am not sure about what the atomizer on the "new" eGo-CC is classified as. It seems to be a clearomizor because it has the windows to see the juice level. But does not have the large wick like most if not all of the others. It has the atomizer head in the bottom with the spike that Nada referenced. BTW the bottom of this head can be removed to clean the coil. After cleaning you can install it back in the body to dry burn OR drip, right?

    What would you classify this Atty as?
  19. LTomk's Avatar
    I love the flavor and vape from the clearomizers with the wicks. Getting harder to find. Great info here. Thanks!
  20. edithwinvich's Avatar
    This is an extremely informative and invaluable thread! And very timely, I'm now in the midst of transitioning from carts to clearos and looking for more info......Thank you BAD! And all the other contributors that are willing to take time to clarify the maze of vaping tips/tricks/info, answer our queries, and help us Newbies :) :)
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast