What is a clearomizer?

As you move from being a novice to a more experienced vaper, this also tends to be the time you start looking for more sophisticated options for your e-cig setup.

Getting to grips with the hardware is a challenge worth taking up - when you know what all the various parts do you can start to customise your kit to suit you better.

So let's get you started - on the agenda today: the clearomizer.

Atomizer, cartomizer, clearomizer

Cartomizers and clearomizers essentially perform the same function. They are all-in-one devices that combine the atomizer, cartridge and wick, hold your e-liquid and connect directly to the battery.

Clearomizers get their name from the transparent plastic or glass body that makes up the bulk of their appearance. This lets you monitor the amount of e-liquid in your device at all times and makes it easy to know when it's time for a refill.

Now, for the key difference. Unlike cartomizers, they don't require any additional filler material to soak up the e-liquid. Instead, a wicking system feeds the right amount of juice to the atomizer.

What you use ultimately comes down to preference. Some vapers prefer clearomizers because they offer a 'cleaner vape', while others swear by the cartomizer because it enhances flavour.

The pros and cons

Clearomizers come with a few advantages. They tend to have a larger capacity - somewhere between 1.5 and 3ml - and in general have a longer life cycle than a simple atomizer or cartomizer.

On the other hand, clearomizers tend to be slightly more expensive to buy and replace. Another common gripe is that they can retain the flavour from the previous e-liquid.

Not such a big deal if you tend to stick to one or two flavours, but this can be more annoying if you're constantly on the hunt for new e-liquids and sampling a range of different flavours.

Top coil, bottom coil, disposable, rebuildable

The customisation options don't stop there. You can choose between a top coil or bottom coil clearomizer - top coils deliver hotter vapour but will also burn out faster and run the risk of the truly unpleasant dry vape. If you want the experience to closely mimic the feeling of smoking tobacco cigarettes, top coil will probably be your preference.

Bottom coil clearomizers on the other hand are positioned at the bottom, so you don't run the risk of a dry vape unless your tank is completely empty. The trade off here is you end up with a much cooler taste since the vapour has to travel further. Again, it's all a matter of personal preference.

You can get disposable clearomizers that you use for a few weeks then throw away and replace, which is a low-hassle option if you're not much interested in hardware anyway.

For the most part though, experienced users tend to prefer rebuildable clearomizers where they can replace the parts individually - it saves money in the long run and gives you even more opportunity to tweak your hardware to your exact specifications.