What is a clearomizer?

To continue our guide to vaping, let’s dive into clearomizers. These hold the e-liquid and transform it into vapour. Here, we’ll explain this crucial part in detail as it is key to how an e-cigarette works

Transforming e-liquid into vapour

A clearomizer is an atomizer with a transparent (clear) tank. It contains a ready-to-use, removable coil which is usually screwed onto the base of the clearomizer. Unlike rebuildable (or repairable) atomizers, clearomizers are easier to use because users don’t need special skills to build their own coils.

Schematic diagram of a clearomizer
Schematic view of a clearomizer

Since it holds the coil, the clearomizer is the most important part of an electronic cigarette. Thanks to open systems, i.e. products whose parts are compatible with each other, clearomizers can be screwed onto many different devices, including box mods, mod tubes and eGo models. Clearomizer quality has a huge impact on the vaping experience. Before buying a clearomizer, you should check its level of quality, its capacity (in millilitres) and the type of coil it can hold.

Using a clearomizer

Depending on its capacity, a clearomizer tank can hold between 1 and 5 millilitres of e-liquid. Given that the average vaper consumes 3 to 4 millilitres per day, most of the clearomizers on the market are fine for this level of consumption. However, the performance of coils with increasingly low resistance (below 1 ohm) and improved wicks in modern clearomizers means they use more e-liquid. Users may need to refill them more often. There are different ways of filling a clearomizer, depending on its design. Some are filled from the bottom, others from the top. Similarly, some clearomizer models do not need to be unscrewed (usually from the drip tip) to fill them.

When you’re considering buying a clearomizer, these practicalities are important. The main rule to remember when using a clearomizer is not to pour e-liquid into the central air column (chimney) or this will flood the atomizer. Finally, make sure the wick is moist enough when you first fit it, and for as long as you use it. Otherwise you risk getting a dry hit (dry puff). Each time you change the coil, wait a few minutes for the e-liquid to soak the wick.

The history of the clearomizer in 3 dates

2012: The first “star” clearomizer was the CE4 Stardust, marketed by Joyetech. Subject to leaks and of random quality, it has since been forgotten in vaping history.

2013: At the end of the year, the appearance of the Nautilus and Nautilus Mini from Aspire marked a new era for the clearomizer.

2015: Kanger revolutionized the world of clearomizers with the launch of its Subtank series, democratising the sub-ohm atomizer thanks to the success of the Subtank Mini. Today, manufacturers are marketing efficient clearomizers for direct and indirect inhalation (in two steps: mouth then lung, like a conventional cigarette). They are easy to use, leak-proof, easy to fill and render flavours well at affordable prices.

Direct or indirect inhalation

Clearomizers fall into two broad categories depending on how users inhale the vapour. Indirect inhalation means first drawing the vapour into the mouth and then breathing it into the lungs. Direct inhalation means inhaling the vapour directly into the lungs. We have written a whole article about these different ways of inhaling, which is fundamental to successfully transitioning to e-cigarettes.

A guide to vaping

What is an atomizer?

What is a box mod?

What is a dripper?

What is a coil?

What is a vape pod?

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