What is an atomizer?
Every eCig has to produce vapor, and the atomizer or coil head is the device that handles this task. Basically it's a heating element inside an eCig that vaporizes or "atomizes" eLiquid into the vapor you inhale. While seemingly complex, this portion of an eCig is relatively easy to use, maintain and replace when needed.
How do they work?
This depends on the type of atomizer.
Atomizing "Coil Heads" - Typically coils heads are located within and near the middle or bottom of a "tank system". The has a base that then threads onto a battery which powers the coil head upon inhalation. This diagram shows a popular tank system (Aspire Nautilus) broken down and expanded:
Coil heads have a heating element or wire typically wound around some type of wick often made of silica. The wick absorbs fluid from the surrounding tank and continually feeds the heating element with eLiquid.
Think of this heating element like the filament inside a light bulb which glows hot when power is applied. Once power flows through the heating element and inhalation begins, air pulled up through a central column is combined with heat from the heating element as the air passes through the coil head. The end result is the vaporization of liquid that has been "wicked" up into the coil head. This vaporized eLiquid is carried up and out through the mouthpiece to the user.
Traditional Atomizers - By "traditional" we mean older style atomizers such as those originally created and used for smaller batteries such as 510s, NJOY NPRO / RN4081, DSE801 Penstyle / NCIG, DSE901 and others. While less popular these days we still stock these for the many users who love them. These atomizers will be located between a cartridge and battery.
They work in a similar manner as coil heads in terms of heating and vaporization. The difference is mainly in the location and presentation of the eLiquid. Absorbent material in the cartridge holds the eLiquid which makes contact with the atomizer's heating element or "bridge" when the cartridge is inserted. Once the element becomes hot the liquid is atomized and drawn up through the cartridges and into the mouth.
All atomizers get hot - VERY hot – as they are tasked with the hard work of converting air and eLiquid into the vapor you inhale. As such expect them to burn out every week or two, maybe three depending on usage. Luckily they're inexpensive as well as simple to change out:
Coil Heads - Replacing a coil head in a tank system is typically a simple 3-step process. First unscrew the tank - either at the top or the bottom depending on the tank - and pour out remaining eLiquid into an empty bottle. Next, unscrew the used coil head from it's base and dispose. Finally screw in a new coil head, re-assembly the tank and add eLiquid.
Traditional Atomizers - These are quite simple to replace. Simply pop off the cartridge, unscrew the atomizer from the battery, thread on a new atomizer and replace the cartridge. That's it. You're ready to go!
What is "resistance" or "ohms"?
Ohms is the unit of measure of the resistance of the atomizer coil head. If you're not familiar with Ohm's Law the rule of thumb to remember is that the lower the resistance the hotter the coil will tend to run at. Hotter temperatures mean more vapor and a bigger throat hit. Note this can also result in a lowered coil lifespan and reduced battery runtime as well.
Variable Voltage Batteries - These days variable voltage or VV batteries (such as the Smok Winder or eGO Twist) are now available which can provide the same if not even more flexibility by allowing the user to adjust the battery voltage output widely to produce relatively the same variable effects without having to change the coil head.
Check out our selection of atomizers below. As always feel free to call or email us with any questions or concerns.