Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: How Do They Differ?

Herbal concentrates for vaping come in a range of consistencies from runny and wet to hard and crystalline. To create the concentrate, the essential oils of the herb – usually cannabis – are distilled with heat and pressure, sometimes with the aid of solvents. Some people may subjectively believe that different types of concentrates have varying levels of potency, but the only real difference is in the method used to extract the concentrate. An oil-based concentrate is liquid at room temperature, and a wax concentrate is solid unless heat is applied.

The difference in consistency between oil and wax concentrates doesn’t necessarily have an effect on potency, but it does affect the type of vaping equipment that you need in order to use those concentrates. In this overview, we’ll explain how oil vs. wax pens differ. We’ll explain what equipment you need in order to get started, and we’ll also explain what you need to know about maintaining your device. By the time you’re done reading this comparison, you’ll know everything that you need to know about getting started with concentrate vaping.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: What Equipment Do You Need to Get Started?

Most of the coils and cartridges for wax and oil vaping are threaded. The threading allows you to connect different items to a vape battery, and almost all batteries and attachments use the same type of threading. Most threaded batteries are compatible with a variety of different attachments, which means that you can often use the same battery for both wax and oil vaping. In that sense, the primary difference between many oil and wax vaping kits is the accessories that they include. Here’s what you need in order to get started with oil and wax vaping.

  • An oil vaping kit will include a battery and charging cable and may also include an empty oil cartridge. To fill the cartridge, you’ll need oil and a blunt-tip syringe. Many local and online vape shops also sell pre-filled vape cartridges.
  • A wax vaping kit will include a battery and charging cable along with a wax coil, a wax tank or a type of heating element called a nail. To use a wax pen, you’ll need some wax and a thin metal tool called a dab tool. The dab tool allows you to take a small piece of wax from a container and place it directly on your device’s heating coil.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: Which Is More Convenient?

Oil and wax pens are both very convenient, but they’re convenient in different ways. Filling an oil cartridge is difficult and potentially messy, but you can skip the work and buy pre-filled cartridges instead. On the other hand, loading a wax pen can be a little easier since you can put the wax directly on the device’s coil with a dab tool. Pre-filled wax coils don’t exist, though, so you’ll need to supply your own wax and load your own device if you use a wax pen.

It’s important to note that some vaporizer manufacturers like Rokin Vapes have embraced a completely new paradigm with their wax pens and are now offering a new type of device called an electric nectar collector. With this type of wax pen, the device’s heating element faces down. You dip the element directly into your material while inhaling through a mouthpiece at the top of the device. The fact that you place the heating element into the material instead of loading a cartridge or coil means that an electric nectar collector works with both oil and wax.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: Which Is More Potent?

The fact that an herbal concentrate is liquid or solid at room temperature doesn’t have an effect on its potency. The most important factor affecting the potency of an oil or wax pen is the quality of the extract itself. A pure extract drawn from high-quality plant stock is always more potent than a poor-quality extract. Airflow, however, is one thing that can affect the perceived potency of your vaping experience. Oil cartridges are designed for maximum portability, and they often have very tight airflow as a result. Wax coils, on the other hand, often have very large airflow holes that make it easy for you to inhale deeply.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: Which Is Better for Flavor?

Oil and wax pens can both provide a superb vaping experience from a flavor standpoint. On one hand, oil cartridges can be extremely tasty because they often include naturally derived terpenes selected to mimic the flavor profiles of popular cannabis strains. However, wax pens can also be great for flavor chasers because they can produce enormous clouds and often have built-in bubblers. A bubbler allows the vapor to pass through a column of water before it enters your mouth, which cools the vapor and provides extra smoothness. Having a vaporizer with a built-in bubbler is almost like using a bong, but it’s basically a bong that can travel everywhere with you.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: Which Is More Portable?

Between oil pens and wax pens, oil pens are generally more portable because oil cartridges are compact and leak resistant. You can usually carry an oil pen in your pocket if you like, and you generally don’t have to worry about leaking. However, the coils for wax pens typically have very large holes to facilitate maximum airflow. Because wax coils have such large holes, they can leak if they aren’t left upright. You generally don’t want to carry a wax pen in your pocket; they’re usually meant for at-home use.

Oil Pens vs. Wax Pens: Which Is Easier to Clean?

The last thing that you need to know as you compare wax pens vs. oil pens is how the two types of devices are cleaned. With both types of vapes, you can clean the main body of the device by wiping it with a soft cloth. If oil or wax gets on the device, you can remove it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. If you’re using a wax pen with a removable coil, you can clean the coil by unscrewing it from the device and submerging it in rubbing alcohol for a while. After soaking the coil in alcohol, rinse it in fresh water to remove any remaining residue. Allow the coil to dry completely before using it again.

Oil cartridges are very small, so it’s not possible to clean them by soaking them in alcohol. Vape cartridges are designed to be disposable, so when a cartridge’s flavor quality is no longer acceptable, you’ll discard the cartridge and start using a new one.

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