Electronic cigarette atomizer operation (quick and easy guide)

This is how the e-cigarette atomizer works

Modified on: 16/05/2022

How does the atomizer of the electronic cigarette work? Here is the answer

If you are interested in e-cigarettes, you will already know that this device consists of a battery, a tank for vaping liquids, an atomizer for atomising, and a mouthpiece from which the vapour comes out. You may also be wondering how the atomizer of the electronic cigarette works, as it is the most important component of the device… But few people can explain how it works.

We understand that your curiosity is increasing, because awareness is essential when approaching a new world. For this reason, we have decided to dedicate a whole deepening to the e-cig atomizer, in order to explain you perfectly how it works, what it is used for, and how to manage it at best.

Let’s start now!

What is the atomizer of the electronic cigarette?

The atomizer (which we can also call “atom”) is a metal element that represents the fundamental component of the electronic cigarette : it is exactly the seat of the liquid vaporization. Without this part, the e-cig would have no sense of existence, because it could not atomise any product!

On the market, there are different types of atomizers for electronic cigarettes, but we can distinguish them into rebuildable/non-rebuildable and for chewing/pumping.

Choosing the right model is vital for the aromatic experience and, for this reason, it is necessary first of all to know the functioning of the atom and the parts that compose it and, only in a second moment, to investigate the meaning of these particular categories.

Read also: What vaping is and why it’s the best way to quit smoking

What are the components of the e-cig atomizer?

The atomizer of an electronic cigarette is composed of the following parts:

  • Resistance, also called coil, or head coil as the case may be. This is the part that heats up and allows the vaporization of liquids.
  • Base, which is an electrical connector (also called pin) that puts the atom in contact with the battery, starting the heating of the coil and the atomisation of the liquid.
  • Drip tip, the mouthpiece from which the vapour comes out.
  • (Possibly) Tank, which contains the electronic cigarette liquid.

Here is an explanatory picture of the Eleaf iJust Mini atomizer broken down into its parts:

Components and operation of electronic cigarette atomizer

Now you more or less understand how the atomizer works, but we still want to explain it to you in detail.

This is how the atomizer in electronic cigarettes works

The atomizer is responsible for turning the e-cigarette liquid into vapour. Specifically, when the vaper operates the device (by the button or, in the case of mechanical devices, by the suction alone), the electric current flows through the atomizer and reaches the coil, heating it.

But what is the coil of an electronic cigarette?

It is a metal element, an heating element, which contains cotton impregnated with vaping liquid. When the heating element heats up, the liquid in the cotton atomises and, thanks to the vaper’s suction, rises to the top of the drip tip.

The resistance of the electronic cigarette is therefore the part of the atom capable of transforming the liquid into vapour.

Let us now look at the main types of atomisers.

The main types of atomizer for electronic cigarette

The atomizer is divided into several main categories:

  • rebuildable and non-rebuildable atomizer, regarding the resistance
  • atomizer for cheek shot and atomizer for lung shot regarding the mode of suction of the user

Let’s investigate the meaning of these terms and the differences between the various types.

Regenerable/non-regenerable atomizer

With rebuildable atomisers, it is the vaper who has to build up the resistance using resistor wire (of different materials) and cotton suitable for the electronic cigarette. There are also pre-fabricated resistors, but their cost is usually high… And then you lose the taste for DIY!

Precisely, in order to regenerate a resistor you have to make a spiral of resistive wire, insert the cotton inside the resistor, and place your creation in the appropriate place.

Non-regeneratable atomisers, on the other hand, require head coils, also known as cartridges. These are pre-constructed resistors, usually cylindrical in shape, which already have the cotton inside.

Ego AIO electronic cigarette atomizer resistance

In this case, all you have to do is buy the heads, insert them into their seats and you’re done.

Generally, the type of atomizer (regenerable or non-regenerable) depends on the model of electronic cigarette.

Read also: How to start vaping (and how to do it right)? Useful tips and advice

Atom for cheek smoking (MTL) and lung smoking (DTL)

Depending on your preference, your vape mode will be either cheek (Mouth to Lung, MTL) or lung (Direct to Lung, DTL).

A cheek shot takes place in 2 stages:

  1. suction of vapour into the mouth
  2. inhalation of vapour into the lungs

This is followed, of course, by exhalation.

The cheek shot is narrow, similar to a classic cigarette, requires little energy and a low amount of liquid to be vaporised. For these reasons, an MTL atomizer has the following characteristics:

  • narrow drip tip
  • small side air holes
  • narrower under coil hole than in a lung atomizer

On the opposite, the lung shot is open and takes place in a time: those who prefer this mode inhale the vapour directly into their lungs, sucking in large volumes and consuming high amounts of energy. Not surprisingly, the DTL atomizer for electronic cigarette has the following features

  • drip tip with large inlet and outlet holes
  • air holes with a larger diameter than those of the MTL atomiser
  • significantly larger under coil hole compared to cheek atomisers

In order to choose the right atomizer, you have to consider these features and, therefore, think about your preferences in this matter!

In conclusion

Today you have discovered how the atomizer for electronic cigarette works, its components and the different categories into which the beating heart of the e-cig is divided.

Are you looking for the best atomizers on the market, ideal for those who are approaching the world of vaping?

Have a look at our catalogue on Terpy.shop! We are waiting for you!