Best Vape Pens for Vape Cartridges

How Do Vape Pens Work?

July 27, 2020 0 Comments

Vape Parts:  Battery, Charger and Cartridge

Regardless of whether you are just getting your feet wet with vaping or consider yourself a seasoned veteran, there is a good chance you have seen a vape pen at one point or another. If you have not seen one, then perhaps you have heard the term. The vaping community is a diverse umbrella that consists of multiple styles of vaporizers, aka vape pens. That said, vape pens can still be called such even if they look nothing like a pen. Indeed, it is all quite confusing.

To simplify this category of vaporizer, we have put together a detailed breakdown of vape pens and what makes them unique. Hopefully, upon reading this article your shopping experience will be infinitely easier.

How a Vape Works, Generally

The term ‘vape pen’ is more of a wide classification than anything else. You can find vape pens in a range of sizes and designs as well as features. Not to mention the fact that vape pens can be made to vaporize specific materials including wax, oils, and dry herbs. Thus, when talking about vape pens it is always best to specify exactly what vaporizer you are referring to.

In general, all vapes tend to work the same way. A battery of varying strength is used to send power directly to a coil or chamber which then heats up and vaporizes certain materials. The goal of any vaper is to produce vapor and inhale said vapor. People enjoy vape pens for a variety of reasons including their convenience, simplicity, and discreet nature. Vaporizers offer users a solid alternative to traditional smoking leading to an increase in their popularity as more and more smokers try the alternative.

What Allows the Vape Pen to Work?

Regardless of the vape in question, vaporizers all utilize the same components to perform their necessary functions, i.e. vaporize materials to create vapor. Here is a list of the essential components that make most vape pens work. You will always find these components in one form or another.

Vape Battery

The workhorse of any vaporizer, batteries allows power to be directed to an atomizer or chamber to produce heat and vaporize materials. In general, vape batteries are the most expensive component to produce in comparison to atomizers, display screens, etc. They can vary in strength depending on the vape. This strength is measured in mAh, so you can find vapes with 2200 mAh and others with 280 mAh. Each has its own pros and cons.

PCB Chip

Known as the brain of the vaporizer, PCB chips relay commands to your vape which allows you to tell it what to do. For example, pushing the power button five times to power on the vape utilizes a PCB chip. You will find that more sophisticated PCB chips are used in specific vapes with specialized technology.

Vape Coil, Chamber, Cartridge

Whether you see a coil, chamber or cartridge will depend on the vape in question. Regardless, your wax, oils, and herbs need to be stored somewhere. For herb vapes, dry herbs are placed in a chamber that is heated while oil and wax vape utilize cartridges or coils.

Other Vape Pen Components

On top of the essential components, you will find tons of other optional add-ons component-wise. From LCD displays to power buttons and firing triggers, the number of components a vape can possess is practically limitless. Indeed, not all vapes are the same. Each device has its own features and functionality. While these are not essential, additional components can greatly improve one’s experience.


We have already established that the battery is the workhorse of any vaporizer. While there are plenty of cases where a battery is replaced after is has been drained, most vaporizers allow you to recharge your battery either through a USB port or a charging station. Do keep in mind that vape batteries can be housed in the vape itself and can be un-removable making USB the primary method of charging. Simple stylus vape pens can be screwed into a USB charger port.

The Vaper

Although obvious, you cannot vape anything without the user. Hell, all vaping products would be pointless without a user wishing to utilize them. 

How do Dry Herb Vapes work

Dry herb vapes operate in the most unique way in comparison to other categories of vaporizer. Rather than utilizing a cartridge or coil, dry herb vapes use heating chambers that slowly and consistently heat your herb. You will find dry herb vapes that use combustion heating, i.e. direct heat. Also, there is convection heating, which is the newer of the two and generally considered to be cleaner. Besides a heating chamber, dry herb vapes use the same components as other vape pens with a battery, cartridge, atomizer, etc. In all cases, a battery is used to provide power and heat for vaporization.

How do Oil Vape Pens work

Unlike dry herb vapes, oil vape pen use a battery to directly heat an atomizer which then vaporizers oils in a cartridge. You can find cartridges in a range of sizes and compatibilities, i.e. 510-thread compatible cartridges versus device specific cartridges like Juul. Oil vapes require less battery power to effectively vaporize materials in comparison to dry herbs. Thus, you will often find herb vapes with much higher mAh capacities when compared to oil vapes with an mAh capacity as low as 280. This does not make them any less effective, however. 

How Do Wax Pens Work

Wax vapes operate much like oil vapes in terms of components. Indeed, wax vapes utilize a battery, atomizer, and cartridge. Optimal mAh capacity for wax vape pens is much like oil vape pens. Both types of vape require less overall battery power in comparison to herbs. Wax vape pens can range widely in size and design as well. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of wax vape pens that do not look anything like a pen but have the same descriptor, nonetheless. In terms of whether wax is superior to other material types, it all comes down to personal preference above anything else. At the end of the day, you are producing vapor regardless of material type.

How Do Box Mod Vapes Work

Box mods have become synonymous to vaping like apple pie or baseball is to America. In general, box mods are much more powerful than their pen variants and offer users greater functionality and customization of their vaping experience. If you enjoy blowing huge clouds and like luscious vapor, it does not get much better than a box mod. In terms of how they work, box mods operate like all other vapes. A huge plus with these devices is that they are flexible and can accommodate multiple materials a lot of the time. Therefore, one can easily make a box mod compatible with dry herbs, wax, or oils. It really is up to the user themselves.

One big difference between box mods and other variants is the use of individual batteries that are removable. It is quite common for box mod users to charge their batteries with charging stations versus direct USB plugins, but this more of a nuance than anything else. You are charging a battery at the end of the day.

To Sum It Up

In this article, we discussed vape pens, one of the most widely known and popular categories of a vaporizer. Vape pens are used for multiple material types including wax, oils, herbs, and even e-liquids. Albeit confusing, it is important to remember that not all vape pens are shaped like a pen. Rather, they are included under an umbrella term of sorts. Overall, vape pens are lauded for their discreet nature, simplicity, and straightforward technological functions.

One does not get the feeling that vape pens are complicated when using them for a little while. In comparison, box mods are more complicated in terms of customization and user input. Plus, they offer more utility in being able to handle multiple materials. Regardless of the device you choose, the end goal is the same – to enjoy the beauty of vaping technology and hopefully feel a bit better in the process (if you were a previous smoker).

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