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A wax pen is a handheld vaporizer designed for enjoying waxy oils discreetly. Wax pens are different from other types of vaporizers in their design and function. Shaped similarly to an office pen, wax pens are easy to pocket as well as conceal in the palm of your hand, making them a great companion for vaping about town. Their resemblance to ecigarettes also makes wax pens a discreet way to vape wax concentrates.
Unlike portable vaporizers and desktop vapes, the wax pen generally features a single-button control, making it easy to operate. Users simply click the wax vape pen control button a certain number of times to power on or off, or toggle through the heat settings. Commands will vary from unit to unit, but a simple one-button control is common in wax pens.
Wax pens are crafted solely for vaping wax concentrates. This makes the wax pen a popular choice for those who prefer wax concentrates over dry herb consumption. So what are wax concentrates exactly? And how do they differ from dry herb?
Visit our "What is Vaping?" page for more information about what vaporizers offer.
Wax pens are designed specifically for vaporizing wax concentrates such as shatter or crumble, or various other oils extracted from dry herb. These wax concentrates can be imbued with many different flavors, aromas, and tastes by extract artists, making them a popular choice among vaporizer users. Dabbing, or the act of torching waxy oils and inhaling the vapor through a dab-rig, is one of the most common ways to enjoy wax.
However, wax pens conveniently place the dabbing experience in the palm of your hand, and a wax pen does not require the use of a butane torch. Even eNails (or electronic dab rigs) which use battery power to simulate the dabbing experience, aren’t as convenient as wax pens because they’re not as compact and easy to carry around.
Popular types of waxy oils include:
Shatter - High quality wax concentrate extracted using butane or CO2. Shatter wax often looks like honey and can vary in color and transparency. Shatter hardens when cold, and can be broken into pieces like glass before being loaded into a wax pen. When warm, it resembles golden honey. Shatter is monocrystal, making it translucent.
Budder - For the veteran wax pen user. This hyper-potent wax concentrate is polycrystal, making it opaque.
Earwax - Manufactured by whipping hash oil. This type of wax concentrate is whisked, similarly to whipped cream, while being heated. Earwax is fluffier than other waxes, which some believe makes its vapor smoother when consumed using a wax pen.
Oil - Liquid-based concentrate. Oil is not compatible with most wax pens. It can be dabbed, ingested, smoked or vaped using an eliquid vaporizer.
Wax pens have become a popular way to enjoy waxy oils because of their convenience, efficiency, and discreet designs. With combustion-free vapor production, a wax pen offers a safer alternative to smoking, which creates harmful irritants.
Since wax is stickier than dry herb, it can be more challenging to store, clean up, and load into your vaporizer. Dab tools and wax containers solve this problem.
Non-stick silicone wax jars reduce waste, minimize cleanup, and preserve waxy oils. The silicone surface makes it easier to scrape off every last bit of wax concentrate to load into your wax pen. Wax containers also enable you to travel around with waxy oils so you can vape from anywhere.
For loading your wax pen, there are dabber tools--usually metal picks with gripped handles and curved ends for scooping waxy oils. These dab tools make it easy to load wax concentrates into heating chambers, as well as stir the contents around in between hits to ensure even vaporization.
Another upside to vaping waxy oils is that they pack more potency than dry herb. Therefore you don’t need to carry as much wax concentrate on you as you would dry herb.
Cleaning wax pens is usually limited to wiping down the threading between the battery and the atomizer or mouthpiece, as most of the waxy oils contained in the heating chamber are vaporized, leaving no mess. Wax pens can sometimes leak concentrates from the oven down to the battery connection, which can impede your ability to assemble the wax pen. A wax vape pen can be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol, cleaning brushes, alcohol wipes, and other cleaning solutions made for vaporizers.
Wax pen vaporizers are ideal for those looking to enjoy concentrates and waxy oils on-the-go. Compatible with waxes, thick oils or other concentrates, wax vaporizer pens are known for their portability and reliability. Aside from being discreet, these wax pens work quickly and efficiently, vaporizing waxy material in seconds. Since wax vape pens are able to reach their optimal temperature rapidly, there’s no waiting around for these units to warm up. With a wax vape pen, concentrates are heated by the press of a button.
Wax pens are also generally more affordable than portable vaporizers and desktop units. This is not an indication of lower build quality. Wax pens are simply smaller and cost less to manufacture than larger vaporizers. Certain high end wax pens can get pricier thanks to their high quality materials, vaporization technology, and features.
Did you know your wax pen can save you money on vaping materials too? While dabbing wax with a butane torch wastefully incinerates much of your wax concentrates, vaping concentrates with wax pens is much more efficient. A vaporizer heats wax to a temperature below the point of combustion, sparing you from inhaling harmful smoke and making sure every bit of precious wax is vaporized instead of wasted. Wax concentrates can also contain more effects, flavors, and aromas than dry herb. The affordability of wax vape pens is one reason why some users prefer dabbing wax to vaping dry herb.
Most wax vape pens utilize an atomizer as the heating source. An atomizer is a heating chamber, usually with a coil that heats up to vaporize materials. A wax pen atomizer typically heats up within just a few seconds and allows the user to place their material directly onto the coil.
Once loaded, the wax pen vaporizes concentrates when the user presses the power button and inhales. This method of heating is known as conduction, in which the concentrate comes into direct contact with the heating coil of the wax pen. However, some wax pens like the K-Vape offer convection-style vaporization, which heats wax concentrates using hot air.
Convection vaporizers create minimal combustion when vaporizing wax, making their vapor safer, cleaner tasting, and smoother. Conduction vaporizers heat wax directly on hot surfaces, which can create more combustion as well as smoky flavors and odors. It should be noted, however, that even conduction vaporizers create much less combustion than smoking methods like bongs, joints, and pipes.
Wax pens can boast a variety of special functions. As the popularity of dabbing, or vaporizing wax concentrates using high heat, continues to grow, some manufacturers have integrated the power of a dab-rig into their wax pens. The Source Orb is technically a vaporizer pen for wax, but to imitate the effect of blasting waxy oils with a butane torch, this unique wax pen utilizes a sub-ohm mod battery that can reach an infernal 700F. While this temperature is still lower than that of an actual flame, the high heat produces large clouds of intensely flavored vapor akin to a desktop dab-rig.
The size of vape pens for wax may vary depending on the unit's purpose, whether it's meant for high quality vapor production or discreet vaporization. Generally speaking, the larger the wax pen, the more advanced the heating system. Bigger wax pens simply have more room for technology. But some users value discretion most. The KandyPens MINI wax vape pen accommodates low-key vaping by virtue of its exceptionally compact size. It features a coilless ceramic atomizer with a deep dish, ensuring that even with a small wax vape pen, you can still enjoy large clouds of vapor.
The wax pen breaks dabbing oil concentrates down to a science with the atomizer. Many different types of wax atomizers are available, each offering a different way to vape waxy oils. Atomizers are usually removable, so you can easily swap out one type for another as you please. Atomizers can differ in the material they’re made out of, as well as the heating element (usually a rod wrapped in titanium coils) that vaporizes waxy oils. Thus each type of wax pen atomizer vaporizes materials differently. Some wax atomizers create larger vapor clouds while others make smaller, more flavorful hits. Other atomizers are made from inert materials such as quartz and ceramic, enabling the wax pen to deliver unadulterated vapor with a flavor and aroma that hasn’t been affected by the atomizer.
Types of wax pen atomizers include:
Single Rod - For small and flavor-rich hits. The single heating element ensures a smaller surface area, so your wax pen produces less heat and vapor. Expect your wax vape pen to deliver tastier draws that are easier to inhale.
Triple Rod - For insanely huge, dab-like hits. Triple rod atomizers burn hot with a very wide surface area. You’re not going to see an atomizer of this caliber in a lot of wax pens. The Source Orb 4 Flosstradamus is one of the few wax vaporizers to utilize one. Get ready for big clouds with intense, smoky flavors!
Quartz - Quartz rod atomizers deliver vapor of unadulterated flavor and aroma. “True vapor” enthusiasts often prefer quartz atomizers in their wax pens. Quartz is inert, meaning it doesn’t react chemically to heat, so your wax pen produces untouched flavor notes and scents.
Double Rod - For larger, more intense vapor. The wider surface area can heat more wax, making for bigger vapor clouds from your wax pen.
Coilless - For smooth, flavorful low temperature hits. Coilless atomizers have bucket designs for wax concentrates to be loaded into. This makes them easier to clean than rod atomizers. This also keeps wax from being exposed to too much heat, making for hits that are pure-tasting and easy to inhale.
Ceramic - Similar to quartz, ceramic is inert and doesn’t rub off on wax pen vapor, though it gets hotter and takes longer to cool than quartz does. Ceramic rod atomizers offer slow and low vaporization to deliver smooth and tasty vapor from wax pens, just not quite as much as quartz atomizers. Ceramic atomizers are, however, easier to clean, since they vaporize most of the contents of your wax pen heating chamber.
While all wax pens function similarly, things like size, atomizer type and battery life/quality vary from unit to unit. When choosing a wax pen, consider the following:
If you live a busy lifestyle, vaping on-the-go is a must. This requires a more compact and portable wax pen. A smaller build not only makes wax pens easier to pocket, but makes them easy to conceal in the palm of your hand while vaping. This kind of wax vape pen comes in handy when vaping in areas where such discretion is necessary, such as outside of the office or when you’re out about town.
If you’re vaping while traveling--and you vape often--you want a wax pen with a battery that can last through the day without being charged. Higher end wax vape pens feature batteries with such power, while more affordable units need to be charged at some point during the day. Many wax vape pens such as the KandyPens MINI feature USB chargers--like a smartphone--with passthrough charging so you can vaporize waxy oils while the unit is plugged in.
The longer the warranty of a wax vape pen, the more confidence you can have that the unit will perform well and enjoy a long lifespan. Make sure that the wax pen is warranty-protected before making your final decision. For example, Cloud Penz offers one-year warranties (exchange only) for select products, and the Source Orb 4 features a lifetime warranty. The longer the warranty a manufacturer promises, the better the chances the wax pen will last a long time.
Wax pens are priced anywhere from $15 to $200. It all depends on what you want in your wax pen. With vape pens, you generally get what you pay for. So the more expensive a wax pen is, the more features, build quality, and performance you can expect. Bear in mind that some mid-ranged wax pens can perform nearly as well as expensive units. Doing some comparative research on wax vaporizer pens--their features, usability, design, and more--can give you a better idea of what’s available in each price range.