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Two-Piece vs. Three-Piece: The E-Cig Debate Two-Piece vs. Three-Piece: The E-Cig Debate

Electronic cigarettes come in many varieties, but all of them fall within two main categories: the two-piece and three-piece designs. While the two models are different, they ultimately both do the same thing and work in the same way. The e-cig body contains a lithium ion battery in both designs. Both contain a liquid nicotine solution that is heated and converted into a vapor, which the user inhales. Both designs have an LED light on the tip to give you the look of a burning cigarette and a way to detect when your battery gets too low.

What is the Difference?

The three-piece design is the older model, which was really the industry standard for a long time. Then the two-piece electronic cigarette design was released and smokers loved the convenience it provided. The three piece e-cig has a reusable atomizer and disposable cartridges, while the two piece design combines the cartridges and disposable atomizers into one piece, called the cartomizer.

Some e-cig users complained about the three piece design because the atomizer would often malfunction or get clogged up and they would have to replace it, which was expensive and inconvenient. With the two piece design, each cartomizer contains a fresh atomizer so it’s just not an issue. Each time you place a new cartomizer on the e-cig with fresh e-liquid, you are also getting a brand new atomizer to insure the ultimate vaping experience.

A Closer Look at the Three Piece E-Cig Design

3 piece e-cigarette design

The three piece e-cig design was first released in 2003 when the electronic cigarette was introduced. Many brands still offer a three piece design because vapers who have used them for a long time may still prefer them. South Beach Smoke offers their three piece e-cig as the Premium Model. The three pieces include the replaceable mouthpiece cartridge, the atomizer, and the battery.

Pros of the Three Piece E-Cig

  • Less expensive
  • Cheaper replacement cartridges
  • Long track record of proven success with e-cig users

Cons of the Three Piece E-Cig

  • Atomizer must be cleaned each time cartridge is replaced
  • Atomizer should be replaced every few months
  • Sometimes atomizer may malfunction when tiny drops of e-liquid clog it up.

A Closer Look at the Two Piece E-Cig Design

2 piece e-cigarette design

The two piece e-cigarette is the newest release in e-cig technology. The replaceable nicotine cartridges are combined with disposable atomizers to create one piece, called the cartomizer. To replace it, you simply unscrew the old cartomizer and throw it away and then screw a new cartomizer in its place.

Pros of the Two Piece E-Cig

  • More convenient with only two pieces to store and assemble
  • Offers a cleaner, fuller vaping experience
  • Often produces more vapor with each drag
  • No replacing expensive atomizers when they clog or break

Cons of the Two Piece E-Cig

  • More expensive because of built in atomizer in each refill cartridge.

How to Choose Your E-Cig Design

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. Do you want to invest in the two piece design for the sake of convenience and a better overall vaping experience? Sure, it will cost a little more at first, but in the long run, it might be worth it. Of course, if you still prefer the original three piece design, that is okay too. No matter what you choose, you can be confident that you are making the right choice simply because you are using electronic cigarettes.

Have you tried both types of E-cig styles? Which was your favourite? Why do you prefer it? Why not let us know and help others decide by leaving a comment below.

Dustin Erickson

Dustin Erickson - ECR.net Editor

Dustin can lay claim as one the first e-cigarette reviewers on the internet. Back in the summer of 2009 he set out on a mission to spread the word about e-cigs with this very site. Nearly 2.5 Million visitors, 1,700 Reviews collected and 5 years later, he’s still as passionate as ever and one of the leading Vaping advocates online.