Best Vape Pens for Vape Cartridges

Are Dab Pens And Vape Pens The Same?

July 03, 2020 0 Comments

Vape pen and Dab pen

If you love vaping, then you likely love the explosion of popularity that vaping has enjoyed the past several years. The demand for more vaping products has given rise to all kinds of new and cool products that customers have loved! Of course, with growing product choices comes growing product questions. One of the most common questions we get is the following: are dab pens and vape pens the same? Below, we will explore the answer depth, and by the end of the article, you will be an expert!

A Dab Pen is a Type of Vape Pen

Dab pens are a subtype of vape pens that are made specifically to enjoy wax or oil concentrates. Dab pens emulate the traditional process of a dab rig (which is similar to a bong) and are frequently called wax pens (since they primarily use wax concentrates). To put it another way, all dab pens are vape pens, but not all vape pens are dab pens. If you are looking to an alternative to a dab rig, or have not been able to try wax concentrates because you are intimidated by a dab rig set up, then a dab pen is definitely worth taking a closer look at!

Advantages of Using a Dab Pen vs Dab Rig

There are a lot of advantages and benefits to using a dab pen over a traditional dab rig set up.

Dab Pens are Easier to Use

A traditional dab rig set up involves a water pipe set up like a bong and a dab nail that is superheated using a blowtorch. The wax concentrate is then applied to the superheated dab nail, which you can then inhale the vapor produced. Dab pens, on the other hand, only require the wax to be loaded into the heating chamber and then pen turned on. The dab pen does the rest of the work for you!

Dab Pens are More Portable

As you can imagine, using a dab pen is far more portable than using a dab rig. You have to pack up the glass pipe, dab nail, blowtorch, and wax, and you can forget about even trying to use that setup while on the go. A dab pen, on the other hand, can easily be used wherever you are and requires almost no setup. The only thing you need to bring is a container for your wax (and many dab pens have containers built into the pens, so you may not even need that!)

Dab Pens are More Discreet

It is common sense that a dab pen would be more discreet. Instead of a complicated dab rig set up, all you need is your pen! If you want to avoid having an obvious set up in your home or be able to enjoy wax concentrates while away from your home setup, then dab pens are an easy choice.

Differences Between Dab Pens and Other Vape Pens

While the end result of dab pens and vape pens are the same (the production of vapor) how they get to that point is a very different process. Each of the major types of vape pens (oil vapes, dry herb vapes, and dab pens) uses a very different process to produce vapor. Understanding this process can help you troubleshoot and perform maintenance on your vape pens as well as finding accessories to let you enjoy more than one substance in a given pen.

Vapor is Produced in a Different Way

Dab pens use heating coils to produce the vapor from wax concentrates. The wax is placed directly on the heating coil and the temperature of the coils gets super hot (500F degrees and hotter). The wax produces vapor at this temperature range.

Dry herbs and vaping oil cannot be used in a dab pen. The heating coils would burn the dry herbs, and trying to use vaping oils on the coils would make the oil burn, produce a nasty smell, and potentially ruin your heating coils.

Oil pens use prefilled cartridges or oil tanks to produce vapor. The vaping oil surrounds the heating element, which heats the oil to produce vapor. Since you are unable to load dry herbs or wax into oil tanks, you are unable to use either with traditional oil pen setups.

Dry herb vapes use a heating chamber to slowly bake the dry herbs, producing vapor that can be enjoyed. The temperature of the heating chamber will never get hot enough to produce vapor from a wax concentrate, and a large amount of surface area in a heating chamber means vaping oils are unable to be used as well.

Dab Pens Require More Maintenance

The heating coil on dab pens reach super high temperatures and are in regular contact with wax concentrates. That means, over time, the coils are going to get gunky and gross and will need to be replaced. Most dab pens have heating coil replacements readily accessible, since replacing them is a common experience. Dry herb vapes rarely, if ever, will need the heating chamber replaced, and the same is true for oil cartridges.

Dab Pens Have More Accessory Options

You can find quite the variation of heating coils available for dab pens. They can be quartz, ceramic, or titanium, and each of those materials changes the experience you have while vaping. Since most dab pens make it easy to change heating coils out, it is easy to keep several different kinds of coils on hand to change your vaping experience at your leisure. Dry herb vapes and oil vapes have more static options for heating elements.

Using Dab Pens is Messier

Using dab pens can be a messy experience. When it is cool, the wax is solid and sticky, which is why you will need a dab tool to place it onto the heating coils to avoid getting it all over your hands. However, once heating, the wax turns to a liquid, which is easy to spill if you are not paying attention. That sticky residue can end up in all kinds of places and can be challenging to clean if you have been careless.

Oil pens and dry herb vapes are comparatively much cleaner. Oil vapes risk hardly any mess at all (with the exception of loading a refillable tank with new vaping oil), and dry herb vapes use dry herbs! Aside from the bit of kief that may end up on your fingertips from loading the heating chamber, dry herb vapes will produce almost no mess.


Dab pens are vape pens, but the experience they offer is quite different than what you will find in oil vapes and dry herb vapes. If you have more questions about dab pens, let us know! Our customer service will make sure all of your questions are answered. Thanks for reading!

Written By: Matthew H.

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