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What is an atomizer on a vape?

13th Mar 2024 | 421 | Dickson

One of the many vape components that every vaper should know about is the atomizer. It has a huge connection to how much vapor or flavor you inhale with every vaping breath. So, what exactly is an atomizer on a vape and what are the features to look out for when you want to pick a vape pen with the best atomizer? This article will take you through everything you need to know.

Free Closeup of fused clapton coil on dripper of modern electronic cigarette on white background Stock Photo

What is a vape atomizer?

We can trace the history of the vape atomizer to a man called Kender. Back in 2010, he witnessed a railway enthusiast use mesh to produce steam. This inspired him to create a vape system with a wire mesh wick saturated with liquid. Over time, others upgraded it until we finally had the high-end atomizer that we all enjoy in the world of vaping. The atomizer is that super important piece in a vape that vaporizes the e-liquid for inhalation by the vape user.

While some people refer to this as the coil, it is way more than this component. The coil itself is only a metal wire wrapped around the wicking material heated to produce vapor while the atomizer is the entire component. Therefore, the atomizer is made up of the coil which is the heating element and the cotton wick that connects the resistance coil to the cartridge for storing the e-liquid. These parts allow the atomizer to hold the vaping liquid, heat the surface to vaporize this e-juice and transport it from the reservoir to the heating area. Of course, the atomizer can’t work without adequate power to heat the coil.

Types of atomizers on a vape

Atomizers vs Clearomizers vs Cartomizers - Vaping360

So, what are the different types of vape atomizers and how can you decide which is best for you? Here are the top three in today’s vaping world.

  1. Dripping atomizer

If you need an atomizer that would give you a pure and hard-hitting flavor, you can’t go wrong with the drip-tip atomizer. It has a somewhat manual design as you would have to add about four drops of vape juice directly to the drip tips before vaping. Well, this design which is its advantage also doubles as its drawback. It can be quite stressful to place a few drops of juice on the drip tips for every four puffs.

  1. Disposable atomizer

You may know these are clearomizer as they are quite popular. However, disposable atomizers are mostly for occasional usage as they are not known to withstand heavy use. Typically, this comes in a tank linked directly to the battery. Also, it’s best to throw it out as soon as it stops functioning as this is less costly compared to replacing its components.

  1. Coil change atomizer

Although this is more complex than the disposable atomizer, many people claim to prefer this. The ohm or vape coil is the central part of the atomizer but the good news is that it is replaceable as soon as it’s bad enough to change the taste of the vape. The advantage of using the coil change atomizer is the freedom users have to add an ohm coil with maximum functionality. Of course, this can be quite expensive depending on your coil of choice.

  1. Rebuildable atomizers

This category refers to vapers who prefer the Do It Yourself type of vaping. With this, there’s more freedom to configure every component to your preferences. Of course, this is better for professionals who know their way around a vape device. The three types of rebuildable atomizers are the rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA), rebuildable drip atomizer (RDA) and rebuildable tank dripping vape (RTD). The RTA is perfect for heavy users who can take advantage of the larger tank to refill and use for longer periods. The RDA is similar to the RTA when it comes to a steady flow of e-juice but you would have to manually drip it with your desired flavor after every few puffs. Finally, the RTD is at the very top of DIY vaping as it comes with a coil, full tank and the regular drips at the push of a button.

How can I maintain my atomizer?

As with basically almost every device, you need to pay attention to the components to ensure that they are always working at maximum capacity. It’s important to clean your atomizer regularly to avoid the buildup of dirt and residue that can negatively impact the performance of your vape device.

  • Alcohol soak

If your atomizer is completely overridden by dirt and it seems so complicated to clean, well here’s a method that is guaranteed to work with minimal effort. Take out your atomizer and soak in alcohol for a maximum of 60 seconds. With this, it’s easy to wipe away the dirt with cotton buds. Be sure to let the atomizer completely dry before replacing it in your vape device. Also, there’s absolutely no reason to use excessive force when cleaning as this could lead to coil damage.

  • Clean with a pin/paperclip

Sometimes, residue pile up in hard-to-reach areas on your atomizer. Don’t fret. All it takes is a pin or paperclip to reach those areas and get rid of the dirt. However, it is still super important to clean all other parts of the atomizer before replacing into your vape device.

Apart from cleaning your atomizer, there are other ways to ensure that the performance of your vape device doesn’t diminish. You can keep your atomizer in great shape with a few approaches. One of them is to avoid dropping your vape device on hard surfaces. Keep your vape away from extreme conditions or areas where it can be knocked around violently. One more thing to look out for is the volume of the e-liquid in your tank. Don’t let this be completely empty before going ahead with a refill. For every time you allow the wick to dry out, the vape loses its effectiveness as the wick will easily burn out. Finally, monitor your vape properly so you can quickly identify when it’s time for a coil replacement. A combination of these and occasionally cleaning will prolong the lifespan of your atomizer.

Can I clean the atomizer in my disposable vape?

What is an Atomizer on a Vape? | IQOS UK

There’s a high chance that your disposable vape is fitted with a simple pre-built atomizer. Therefore, the atomizer in this device is integrated and not removable. Since this is the case, there’s no need to pull your disposable vape pen apart to clean your atomizer. This has been taken care of as the atomizer will be at its optimum performance from the start to finish of your vaping experience. This is where a great vape pen like the Switch Mini comes in as the pre-built atomizer is designed to always delivery great throat hits with every flavor.

What type of atomizer is best for me?

There is no one size fits all approach for any product, especially when it comes to vaping. Choosing the right type of atomizer for your unique preferences is an important process that requires careful consideration. If you’re a professional, you may decide to go the DIY way so you have every component as you want it. However, if you’re new to vaping and not particularly a fan of refiling your vape pen every time it runs out of e-liquids, you should try out the disposable vape pen. Disposable atomizers are low-maintenance and all you have to do is throw it out when it runs out of oil.

If this is not you, go for the replacement head coil atomizer that allows for a refill. Still, you should pay attention to a few features to know when it’s time to replace your atomizer. Here are some characteristics to check out:

  • A burnt wick: Typically, this appears dirty or black, and the quality of your wicking material is central to the performance of your vape device. Sometimes, it might not look dirty or black, but your e-liquid will have traces of brown material seeping from the wicking port. This is a sign that the wick is burnt internally and not obvious externally.
  • Dark-colored e-liquid: Your vaping juice shouldn’t be in a dark color as this is not a good design. So, if you notice that it changes to a dark color quickly, it’s time for a replacement.
  • Bad tasting vape juice: Pay attention to the taste of your e-liquid. If it tastes off, then something isn’t right. You need the flavor to be pleasant as this contributes to your overall vaping experience.


There’s no doubt that you know all there is about the atomizer and its role in a vape device. If you’re a vape lover looking for your next new favorite that will give you an unforgettable experience, you shouldn’t look any further than the Switch Mini. It comes in a wide variety of flavors ensuring that there’s always something for you, right from the packaging to its capacity. Whether you’re new to the vaping scene or a veteran looking for something different, take a look for yourself on UPENDS and make your choice.