Cartomizers are units that combine the cartridge and atomizer (hence the name cartomizer) into one 'disposable' unit that is completely compatible with all 510 Series batteries. They look like an atomizer with a cap on the end, but they have been filled with cartridge stuffing and have the heating coil nestled inside. You can fill them by dripping into the stuffing, but a syringe works best. Most hold about 1ml of liquid so they'll last about a half-day, but they can be refilled many times. The typical lifespan of a cartomizer is about a week, but there is some variability - one may only last a few days while the one right next to it in the same box may last close to two weeks. Cartomizers are very inexpensive - with most types you can get a 5-pack for less than a single atomizer. So cost of use ends up being about the same. Some people may save a couple bucks a month, others may have to spend a couple extra a month.
Cartomizers also offer a few advantages. If you're going to be out and about and don't want to be carrying liquids around, you can just take some prefilled atomizers and you're good to go for quite a while. If you're someone who likes switching between flavors quite often, you can have one cartomizer for each flavor - that eliminates the period of mixed flavors that you get when you switch flavors in a regular atomizer. Along the same lines, cartomizers are also great for testing new flavors without risking a stronger flavor that you don't like getting 'sticky' in the atomizer. Some of the stronger flavors can linger in the atomizer for a long time and with the cartomizer, you don't have to worry about it.
Cartomizers have been around a while but have not always enjoyed a good reputation. They've usually been pretty "wimpy" and "airy" according to most people. Lately, however, that is changing. Some of the new cartomizers being introduced are very worthy of your respect and consideration. One very nice thing about cartomizers is that they are so inexpensive to try out. The vapor characteristics can be very different from 510 atomizers, and this is hugely variable and depends on which liquid/atomizer or liquid/cartomizer combination is being tried. Sometimes it just takes a little experimentation to find out which combination you'll like best.
Cartomizers are manufactured differently from atomizers, and some are made of different materials, so the inner and outer diameters can vary slightly among different models. Please be sure to check the description to see which drip tip you'll need (if desired - drip tips are not necessary but they do make refilling easier) for the cartomizer you choose.
FS 510/510XL Cartomizers: These are solid performers with a good lifespan. They come disassembled to make the initial fill quick and easy. They tend to last a little longer than average; 8-10 days is typical.
CE2/CE3 Cartomizers: The CE2s and CE3s are becoming very popular on the forums. They have a new internal ceramic design that requires no filler and no glue. This helps extend lifespan and reduces or eliminates burning taste. Translucent design holds lets you see when you're running low to help avoid dry hits. The CE3's can be tricky to use without leakage. We recommend checking the forum for tips on the correct methods to fill and use these.
Boge 510 Cartomizers:The big difference with the cartomizers is the flavor. You have to try one of these to understand. We've tried hundred of cartomizers, and none of them produce the high flavor level that these do. The ST means that the cap/tip is a soft rubber instead of the standard hard plastic - this makes the cap very easy to remove and insert. Overall, this is the best tasting cartomizer we've been able to find, but it may be a little strong for some people. These do have a slightly shortened expected lifespan; 5-6 days is typical.
Smoktech Dual-Coil Low-Resistance Clearomizers: Dual-coils have the advantage of spreading the heating load between separate coils which, theoretically, means the cartomizer will produce high vapor like the LR cartomizer, yet also have an increased lifespan. We don't yet have enough feedback to tell for sure but preliminary testing is supporting this theory. The clear casing has the advantage of being able to see when liquid is running low. With other cartomizers you can't tell until you get the slight dry/burning taste that lets you know it's time to switch or refill.
Smoktech Giant Clearomizers with LED: This GIANT 3.0ml cartomizer is available with (or without) colored LED's that light up the liquid while vaping. While most cartomizers last about a week, this cartomizers heavy duty design gives triple the normal lifespan. Very similar in design to the CE2, but holds A LOT more liquid.
Standard Resistance (2.5 ohm +/-) cartomizers will work well with any 510 or eGo battery.
Low-resistance cartomizers may draw too much current for the small 510 batteries. This will stress the batteries and reduce their lifespan. Low resistance cartomizers should not be used with standard (180mAh) 510 batteries. They are compatible with the 510 mega (280mAh) and all eGo batteries.
These are oversized cartomizers and tanks designed for eGo batteries.
This system uses cartomizers that are flanged and have a small hole punched in them. The tank tube fits around the cartomizer and is filled with liquid. The cartomizer is then kept consistently wet as long as the tank contains liquid.
XLR (1.5 ohm +/-) cartomizers are not recommended for 650 mAh eGo batteries. Although we've heard from several of our customers that they have used the combination with no problems, many users on the forums are reporting shortened battery lifespans due to overstressing the battery.