Dab pens, also known as wax pens, are a convenient and modern way of consuming highly-concentrated cannabis without combustion. They are portable, easy to use, and are essentially vape pens designed to handle concentrates rather than e-liquid.
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What is a Dab/Wax Vaporizer?
Dab / Wax vaporizers are compact pen-style vaporizers for small weed concentrates. This type of pen does not limit users to cartridges as it can handle different forms of concentrates such as wax, oil, shatter, butter, and a lot more, making them more efficient than dry herb vaporizers. Dab and wax pens allow you to vaporize your dabs anywhere as they are smoke-free, produce less odor, and are discreet. Using dab and wax vaporizers or pens are hassle-free, yet offers stronger hits than bowls or bongs.
How do Dab / Wax Vaporizers Work?
Dab and wax pens are comprised of different components that work together to produce a cannabinoid-rich vapor. These components include the battery, the heating chamber or coil / atomizer, the mouthpiece, sensors or buttons, and the charger.
- Battery – The battery is basically what powers the dab or wax pen’s atomizer. It utilizes lithium-ion batteries and is usually the longest part of the pen. Dab pen batteries have high energy density – providing enough current to power the small heating chamber in mere seconds. The battery is rechargeable, too, and there are several battery options available on the market today. As you might already know, the bigger the battery is, the longer it lasts.
- Heating chamber or coil / atomizer – The heating chamber or coil / atomizer is where the vaporizing takes place. It sits above the battery and is where the wax is placed to be heated to produce vapor.
- Mouthpiece – The mouthpiece, usually made of glass, attaches to the heating chamber and is where your mouth makes contact to draw vapor from. Mouthpieces come in different sizes depending on the dab pen for a better balance of temperature and airflow.
- Sensors / buttons – Draw-activated dab pens or wax pens make use of sensors while others make use of buttons to toggle the heating element. Draw-activated dab pens do not require turning them on or off, and are arguably the easiest type of dab pens to use. They offer fewer functionality options compared to button-activated pens, though. Some button-activated dab pens feature adjustable voltage (usually done by pressing the button three times in succession), while others have a pre-heat mode (usually activated by pressing the button twice).
- Charger – A dab pen’s charger is separate from the pen or battery itself, and is usually a micro-USB that screws right on to the end of the battery. Most charges come with an indicator in the form of an LED light to show you when they are fully-charged and ready to go.
Choosing a Dab / Wax Vaporizer: Things To Consider
The major things to consider when choosing a dab / wax vaporizer are their portability, battery life, charging options, and vapor quality. If you’re looking to further customize your vaping experience, you should also consider a pen’s attachments and materials.
- Portability – Portability plays a critical role in a dab pen’s functionality. When choosing between dab pens, you should look for one that is both small, lightweight, and feels comfortable enough for you to carry around and stow away in a purse or your pocket. Ideally, it should fit in your hand and be hidden from view when in use.
- Battery life – A dab pen’s battery life is going to dictate how portable it really is. The battery life should be long enough for you to enjoy a couple of sessions or for the device itself to last a couple of hours. You should also consider how often you’re going to be using your device, and if you’re going to be vaping at low or high temperatures. Obviously, vaping at high temperatures will require a sturdier battery for it to last a day.
- Charging options – Most dab pens are charged through a micro-USB charger that screws on to the end of the battery, but over the years, manufacturers have gotten more creative – now offering options like plugs than can be used to charge your battery from a wall outlet and adapters for your car. With more charging options to choose from, running out of charge is less likely.
- Vapor quality – The dab pen of your choosing should be able to provide the amount of vapor you’re looking for. Devices with higher vaping temperature capabilities will produce more vapor. The coil material and the wattage capability is worth considering, too.
- Attachments – Some dab pens come with optional accessories that could make a difference in your vaping experience. There are some pretty cool attachments you’ll find on the market today, like a glass water pipe that allows for a fresher and smoother vapor or a glass globe for you to see the vapor form.
- Materials – You’ll have to consider what your dab pen’s plate is made of. They are usually ceramic or made of quartz. Ceramic plates are both durable and efficient – heating your wax more evenly. Plates made of quartz, on the other hand, produce great and intense flavor. However, they don’t last very long.