Pen-style vaporizers (commonly referred to as vape pens) are very discreet units (often resembling a pen) that typically utilize conduction heating to rapidly heat dry herb, wax, waxy oils or e-juice. Pen-style units are perfect for those looking for a quick, easy and discreet vaping experience. While some vape pens are built for specific materials, others are multi-functional and may include different atomizers for different materials.
While vape pens are without a doubt portable, that designation of being a “portable vaporizer” is actually reserved for a different class of vaporizers (often referred to as handhelds or portables) that are usually higher in price, larger in size and typically utilize convection heating. Deciding whether a vape pen or handheld portable unit is right for you will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve by vaporizing. In this section, we will only be talking about vape pens.
Pen-style vaporizers are most commonly used for concentrates (wax and waxy oils) and e-juice. Herb pens are also popular, however, due to the heating method (conduction) that most vape pens utilize, people looking for a unit that produces minimal combustion tend to lean towards portable handheld units, as they heat material by conduction. However, herb pens are a great choice for those looking for the quickest and simplest means of vaporization.
Let’s take a look at the different types of pen-style vaporizers and what makes each unique.
Wax pen vaporizers are safe and easy way to heat concentrates, including wax and waxy oils (i.e. BHO, CO2, CBD). Wax is loaded either onto the coil of an atomizer or into a chamber of the pen. Once loaded, the concentrated is instantly heating by pressing the power button as you inhale. This method of heating is known as convection, since the concentrate is coming into direct contact with heating coil. The result of convection heating will always lead to some level of combustion, which is essentially unavoidable due to way in which these units function.
Sometimes classified as electronic cigarettes, these vaporizers are used with e-juice or e-liquid, and are often used by people who are looking to quit smoking. The juice, which is typically flavored and often contains nicotine, is loaded into a tank called a clearomizer. This clearomizer houses the pen’s heating element, or atomizer. The atomizer has a wick, which absorbs the e-juice as it sits in the tank, which is then heated by the atomizer once activated. E-juice pens are gaining a lot of popularity around the globe, as studies have shown them to be a far healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Herb pens offer a fast, simple and discreet way to vape. Most commonly, dry material is loaded into the pen’s herb chamber, which contains a heating coil. Once activated, the coil warms up, which then heats your buds through direct contact. While some units include atomizers that prevent the herb from actually touching the heating coil, in most cases, herb pens utilize conduction heating - which in turn leads to some a certain degree of combustion. While herb pens do not truly “vaporize,” they’re very popular among those looking for a quick, easy and low-key way to enjoy their herbs.
To be classified as a multi-function pen, the unit must be compatible with two or more materials. Most multi-function vape pens are wax and dry herb capable. In most cases, multiple atomizers or heating chambers are included which are intended for a specific material, which can then easily be interchanged depending on what substance you plan on vaping. Dual or multi-function pens offer increased versatility and value.