Vape Pen, Wax Pen, Dab Pen - Understanding the Difference

As many begin to immerse themselves into the world of vaping concentrates they may become confused with the assorted terminology used to describe different methods of vaping and types of vaporizers. In this article, we’ll look to explore the definitions of three common types of vaporizers - vape pens, wax pens and dab pens and the similarities and differences that have given them their unique names within the cannabis space.

All three of these products broadly fall into the category of vaping or vaporizer devices which have grown in popularity thanks to their portability and ease of use. The inconspicuous design of vape pens have offered a means for people to enjoy the benefits of THC just about anywhere. There are now more options than ever when it comes to vaporizers for concentrates, not all are built the same however. Let’s dig into the three most popular types of vapes - vape pens, wax pens and dab pens and what makes each one distinct.

What are Vape Pens?

vape pen

Vape pens is the most general term used when it comes to vaping and most commonly refers to a prefilled THC cartridge and vape pen battery. Most vape pens used a 510-thread cartridge connection, which is often referred to as a universal connection point. This makes it easy for consumers to interchange between vape pen batteries and cartridges with ease. The name 510 refers to the connection point used to match the cartridge and battery - 10 threads and 5mm apart. With vape pens typically one will purchase prefilled THC cartridges from a dispensary and replace them once they are empty. The vape pen battery will often be a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be reused as one enjoys their prefilled carts.

Vape pens are the second most popular item purchased in dispensaries after cannabis flower thanks to their affordability, portability and ease of use. Vape pens can be used fairly interchangeably between THC or CBD oil cartridges. There are also vape pens designed for use with nicotine products. Vape pens are extremely easy to use but a few simple tips on how to use a vape pen will help ensure you get the most out of your vaping experience. Vape pens can be heated to different temperatures, often between 2.4 volts and 4.0 volts. The temperature setting used and oil extract being vaped will yield different experiences and more potent puffs are often referred to as dab pens. More on that later. 


Disposable THC Pens

There are also THC vape pens that come prefilled with a battery attached, making them ready to use right out of the box. There is no charging or loading required, the cannabis oil is preloaded inside the vape pen. 

What are Wax Pens?

wax pen

Wax pen batteries typically have similar characteristics to vape pen batteries, however, they may have a stronger battery inside, making them a bit bulkier. The main difference between a vape pen and a wax pen however is going to be the use of an attachable concentrate chamber and atomizer used to vaporize the user's concentrate of choice. 

While vape pens often use a lower temperature, wax pens can reach anywhere from 315-700℉, allowing users to choose the best option for their specific concentrate. Consumers opting for wax pens are typically selecting a thicker style of concentrate such as wax, shatter, live resin and more. The upkeep for wax pens is more significant than the ease of using vape pens, requiring the user to clean the chamber after use and replace atomizers from time to time but the portability and potency offered by wax pens are a great option for concentrate users on-the-go.

The strength of the vapor delivered from a wax pen is similar to that of taking a ‘dab’ and therefore is often interchangeably referred to as a dab pen.

Wax Pens Vape All Types of Cannabis Extracts 

Shatter, rosin, budder, crumble, and wax are all forms of cannabis that can be vaped from a wax pen. The devices are designed to handle the thick consistency of these concentrates. A wax pen uses a ceramic heating atomizer area to warm the wax into vapor for inhalation. They require more heat because of the thicker viscosity of the concentrate.

Load Your Own Concentrates

Rather than being designed for use with prefilled cartridges, wax pens enable the user to vaporize their concentrate of choice with a dab tool. The task can be messy, but it's great for concentrate enthusiasts who appreciate the whole experience of smoking, not just the end product. Wax pen owners will need to to clean their wax pen regularly - an area where vape pens have an advantage. However for those who want to personalize their experience with vaping concentrates, wax pens are a great, versatile option.

Dab Pens

dab pen

Dab pens get their name from the popular dab rig, a water pipe designed for use with concentrates, known for providing a strong high. Dab pen really refers to the intensity of the high and experience provided by the vaporizer, rather than the device itself. A vape pen or a wax pen can provide a dab pen like high, it just will depend on the heat settings and the quality of the material being vaporized. 

Dab pens can be referred to when speaking about a variety of types of vaping devices, so long as they provide a dab like experience.

Similarities Between Vape Pens, Wax Pens & Dab Pens

These three types of cannabis pens have a few things in common, including discretion, portability, and battery life. Vapes, wax pens, and dab pens are all great vaporizer options because they offer stoners a way to discreetly smoke anywhere and keep storage to a minimum.

They're super portable and can generally fit in a pocket or purse. Additionally, each type of vape pen can be found in various styles and shapes, including the classic small pen shape.

Differences Between Vape Pens, Dab Pens & Wax Pens

The main difference between these three types of pens is the concentrate they use. Vape pens are limited to cartridges with refined marijuana oil. On the other hand, wax pens can vape thicker concentrates like rosin and shatter.

Vape pens are most popular because of their ease of use and compatibility with prefilled THC cartridges. With that, there are more style options and affordable prices when it comes to vape pens.

Wax pens have a learning curve, but once you get a hang of it, it's simple. Wax pen usage requires one to load their concentrate into the heating chamber, set the proper heat settings and clean their device to keep the device working properly.

All in all, vape pens that are preloaded with THC are often recommended for beginners or those who prioritize simplicity. Vape pens and prefilled THC cartridges are a popular option providing much of the benefits of vaping concentrates at an affordable price, coupled with simplicity.

The O.pen line of products are a great option for those looking for both vape pen batteries and THC cartridges. Since 2012, we’ve been developing award winning products that are backed by satisfaction guarantees.