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Which Rechargeable E-Cigarette Kit Should I Get?

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For smokers new to “vaping“, the choice between starter kits that use e-liquid-containing cartridges (called “Cartomizers”) and “Cloud Makers” that use e-liquid-containing “Clearomizers” can be difficult. Here are some observations that may help you in making the right choices for you:

E-Cigarette Vocabulary


A small attachment technically known as a Cartomizer, often referred to as an e-cigarette cartridge. These are sealed and disposable units which deliver roughly as many puffs as 20-25 cigarettes per cartridge.


A clear tank known as a Clearomizer, comprising a refillable e-liquid chamber and an atomization chamber. Clearomizers tend to have much more durable atomizers than Cartomizer-based products, and typically lasts several months to a year depending on use and maintenance.

In simple words, cartridge-based cig-a-like e-cigarettes are the “Automatic Car” of e-cigarettes, and Clearomizer-based vape pen style e-cigarettes are the “Manual Car”.

Cartomizer products

optimal-starter-kit-box starter-kit

  • Activates automatically by inhaling
  • Resembles a tobacco cigarette
  • Easy refill system
  • Lightweight and small size
  • Battery (280 mAh) lasts as long as one cartomizer, per charge cycle, providing the same number of puffs as 25 tobacco cigarettes
  • Preferred by those who are new to vaping; eventually most people switch to Clearomizer-based products


Clearomizer products

cloudmaker-essential-ecigarette-small cloudmaker-optimal-kit cloudmaker-premium-kit

  • Activates manually at the press of a button
  • Preferred by those who are familiar with vaping
  • Slightly more control in vapor production and overall more vapor
  • Better taste
  • Most cost effective over time
  • Larger e-liquid capacity; one full clearomizer is good for 600 puffs
  • More customizable; several battery options:
    • 650 mAh lasts for 700-800 puffs per charge cycle, assuming 2 second puffs
    • 900 mAh lasts for 1000-1100 puffs per charge cycle, assuming 2 second puffs
    • 2200 mAh lasts for 2500-2600 puffs per charge cycle, assuming 2 second puffs

More detailed Feature Comparisons


Starter Kit: These units are automatic, and therefore very easy to use. To use, simply hold the device to your lips and inhale. You will have to slowly and steadily pull thevapour into your mouth for 3 – 5 seconds and then (optional) inhale the vapor completely into your lungs. Note that often a few quick, empty puffs are initially required to warm up the atomizer so that it produces better vapour. Starter Kit series e-cigarettes are usually very light and easy to carry around.

Cloud Maker: These units have a button that you can use to control how much vapourcomes out and when. Usually the longer you hold the button and continue inhaling, the greater the vapour volume you’ll inhale. To ensure maximal vapour volume, always make sure to let the e-liquid “soak in” for at least 5-8 minutes after filling the chamber with e-juice but before using so that the fabric of the wick will fully absorb the solution prior to activation. Also, ensure that no e-liquid gets inside the middle chamber or seeps out to the clearomizer-battery connection area.

Vapour Volume

Starter Kit: Most former smokers who switch to e-cigarettes and try the cartridge-based products experience a satisfying level of vapour. Since each cartridge has a fresh atomizer inside it, cartridge-based products tend to provide consistently clean and nice tasting vapour. Changing strength or flavour of the e-liquid accomplished easily, by replacing one cartridge with another.

Cloud Maker: Given the higher capacities and voltages of the batteries, Clearomizer-based products provide the option to for producing much more vapour volume than thecartomizers. These units typically have a manual battery, so vapour amounts are easily controlled as you vape. Both e-cigarettes do the job, and both do a good job. But whether or not vapour volume is a deciding factor for you, there are other factors to consider.


The initial cost of clearomizer-based products is a bit higher, but in the long run they produce significant savings when compared with both cartridge-based models and traditional tobacco products. For example, one refill pack of 5 cartridges (with nicotine, at a level chosen to suit your cravings) costs only $13.95 and is gives you roughly the same number of puffs as 125 regular cigarettes, and one 10 mL Clearomizer refill bottle costs $11.95 and is comparable to 180 regular cigarettes. So 1 pack of cartridges compares to 6 regular packs and 1 bottle of e-liquid compares to 9 regular packs.


Starter Kit: Cartomizer-based models require almost no real maintenance. Just keep your battery clean (especially the part that connects with the Cartomizers). NOTE: Please dispose the clearomizer responsibly by recycling it when finished.

Cloud Maker: Clearomizers must be filled with e-liquid manually. This is not a difficult task, taking no more than 1-2 minutes each time, however, it is important that you fill the clearomizer without spilling into the airflow chamber in the middle of the clearomizer. You should also try to keep your battery clean and charged.

Battery Life

Starter Kit: Cartridge based Starter Kits typically come with a 280 mAh battery, which for the average smoker produces roughly 300 puffs per charge (the equivalent of 20 – 25 cigarettes). For most people, a fully charged battery will last a full day.

Cloud Maker: These units have a minimum battery capacity of 650 mAh. Despite the fact that more current is used per puff (for producing more vapour), these units typically produce 450 – 550 puffs per charge. For an average or heavy smoker, this should last a full day.

We advise clients who split their day between two or more locations usually to make sure they have an extra battery or a car charger with them.

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