Everything You Wanted to Know About Wax Pen Vaporizers
With skyrocketing demand and unprecedented media coverage, cannabis-extract vaporizers are flying off the shelves at both local and online vape shops. Moreover, the trend is only going to move higher from here. Despite a conservative administration taking over the reins, when it comes to the botanical arts, vape manufacturers and enthusiasts enjoy only tailwinds.
Over the last several years, the marijuana legalization movement has gained tremendous momentum. The issue isn’t just about personal liberties, although that is a core argument. Rather, the American electorate are increasingly frustrated with onerous and costly laws that impose harsh regulations and sentences on practices that are largely personal in nature.
This changing tide in American politics coincided with the broader enthusiast community’s shift towards digital platforms. Prior to the vaporizer technology going mainstream, botanical connoisseurs usually had no choice but to use analog methods, which exposed them to harmful chemical reactions. Now, vapers benefit from the clean-burning process of digital devices. Furthermore, they can take their craft to places beyond their residences due to wider social acceptance and the advent of compact vaporizer technologies.
Wax pen vaporizers in particular are arguably the biggest beneficiary of rising vape innovations. Among cannabis aficionados, most will likely opt for wax pens over dry herb vaporizers. Individual reasons may vary, but the recurring consensus is that the wax concentrate is purer, resulting in intensive, potent hits that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate from dry herbs.
In prior years, wax pen vaporizers were costlier than their dry herb counterparts. But with improved engineering efficiencies and increased competition, wax pens are more affordable than they’ve ever been. Additionally, vape manufacturers offer a device to fit every budget.
Now, there’s no excuse – if you want to get a richer, and more nuanced experience, the wax pen vaporizer is the way to go. But due to the number of options available, venturing into concentrates can be quite an endeavor, especially for the newcomer.
This guide will help you through the ins and outs of the wax pen vaporizer!
Basic Mechanics of the Wax Pen Vaporizer
While most modern wax pen vaporizers integrate multiple aesthetic features, the platform’s foundations are exceptionally simple. At the core of every wax pen are three components: a battery, an atomizer (commonly referred to as a “heating chamber”), and a mouthpiece. Anything else would be superfluous!
You’ll often hear the term “510 threading” in many articles and product reviews. This simply refers to the type of threading used to connect the above three components. Although oddities do exist, the vast majority of vape products utilize the universal 510 threading. Sticking to a standardized threading also better enables user experimentation, and thus drives future sales for the entire industry.
Another universal concept among wax pen vaporizers is the “five-click” firing mechanism. In actuality, the five-click system is the default for e-juice vaporizers as well. To turn on your wax pen device, you must quickly hit the power button five times, usually under two seconds.
The reason for this is strictly for safety purposes. Most vapers put their wax pens or other compact devices into their pockets. As a result, accidental button presses are virtually guaranteed. Without the five-click system, these inadvertent presses would translate to accidental discharges – not a very good way to introduce yourself to the laws of thermodynamics!
Now, let’s take a closer look at each individual component.
Wax Pen Batteries
Obviously, the battery is the most important piece in the wax pen vaporizer. Talk all you want about the ergonomics of the chassis, or the tailor-made fit of the mouthpiece: if the device doesn’t fire, none of it matters.
There’s also nothing more frustrating than having a perfect wax pen platform mated to an inferior battery. To get the most out of your choice concentrates, you need gobs of controlled power. In addition, portability becomes an issue if the battery only provides enough charge for a few sessions.
To quote an old adage, you get what you pay for. For a wax pen vaporizer investment, it pays to do your research, especially towards the battery. You will need something that can adequately burn your concentrates, extracting rich tones without combustion. On top of that, you’ll need an efficient powerplant that can deliver on those long road trips.
Most wax pen vaporizers utilize internal batteries, which are integrated into the base of the chassis. This efficient design makes it possible for wax pens to achieve their slim dimensions; however, the drawback is that once the battery loses its ability to hold charge, the entire vaporizer is also dead. Fortunately, most modern vaporizers last several years, and well beyond the manufacturer warranty.
The other common type of battery you’ll see are external batteries. Typically, externals are found in higher-end compact wax vaporizers or vape “mods”. They afford the end-user the advantage of purchasing multiple batteries, greatly expanding the device’s range. However, the additional components required for supporting external batteries typically means that such vaporizers aren’t as compact as the slimmest wax pen.
Depending on the specific design and capacity of the battery (whether internal or external), cannabis enthusiasts have varying options. Some devices are set to one temperature – turn the wax pen on and you’re good to go. Others incorporate variable temperature settings, allowing the end-user a choice between usually three or four settings.
As you can see, the battery impacts not only the ability to vape, but the vaping experience overall. Thus, it’s important to select the best power and performance features you can afford; few things are more frustrating to a vaper than outgrowing your device!
Wax Pen Atomizers
Once you’ve decided on a powerbase, the next step is deciphering the maze of atomizer options. Aside from the battery, the atomizer is the most critical component to vaping. Individual atomizers can vary greatly, resulting in different tones and textures, as well as performance thresholds. Understanding what atomizer is integrated into your next wax pen vaporizer purchase will undoubtedly save you much frustration and money.
The reason why the atomizer is critical to your vaping enjoyment is that it embodies the heating chamber of your wax pen device. The smoothness and overall quality of your hits depends largely on the craftsmanship of the atomizer, as well as its construction materials. Different builds offer varying performance characteristics – this information is critical for enthusiasts demanding a specific experience.
In addition to personal preference, not all atomizers are appropriate or the most efficient for certain extracts. Some setups effectively run silkier, liquid oils, while others are better suited for thicker, denser wax concentrates. Again, understanding what kind of vaper you are, and what cannabis extracts you’ll be consuming, will increase your odds of getting the right wax pen vaporizer.
Although multiple atomizer categories and specifications exist, the two most common platforms you’ll encounter in wax pen vaporizers are ceramic and quartz atomizers. Indeed, the debate between ceramic and quartz has been raging for years. Without taking sides, here’s the basic breakdown between the two.
Ceramic is a highly inert substance used in multiple applications and industries. For vape manufacturers, the exceptional elasticity and tolerance to heat makes it an ideal component for wax pen atomizers. If you want to maximize the longevity of your devices and accessories, the ceramic platform is the way to go. Furthermore, ceramic-based atomizers tend to create smooth draws, although this largely depends on the specific grade of material used.
As a good rule of thumb, avoid microporous ceramic coils: these are cheaper quality and have the unfortunate tendency of degrading after frequent usage.
On the other end of the spectrum is the quartz-based atomizer. Quartz is another ideal platform for vape manufacturers as it’s one of the most common minerals on this planet – a combo of silica and oxygen. Due to its chemical composition, quartz atomizer coils heat up exceptionally quickly, usually around five seconds. This contrasts sharply with ceramic coils, which take considerably longer to reach operational temperature.
Moreover, quartz atomizers typically result in harder hits than their ceramic counterparts. Some wax pen vapers may enjoy this rich robustness; others may find it too harsh. As with almost anything vaporizer-related, the choice between quartz and ceramic will depend on personal preference.
One of the newest types of atomizers is the ceramic donut variant. Found in popular wax pens such as the KandyPens MINI, ceramic donuts feature a coilless design, making the platform much easier to clean. In addition, this particular atomizer heats faster than most quartz-based atomizers, and produces massive clouds – perfect for the cloud chasing community!
Wax Pen Mouthpieces
Although it’s last on our list, the wax pen mouthpiece is by no means a throwaway consideration. Not only do you draw vapor from the mouthpiece, we typically forget that it is the final stage of the vapor path. For a vaporizer unit to cross the finish line, its manufacturer must pay special attention to the mouthpiece; otherwise, a great concept can be wasted.
A wax pen vaporizer’s mouthpiece is the ultimate point of execution. An efficient battery can provide the necessary impetus to drive power to the atomizer, which in turn can vaporize choice cannabis extracts just underneath the combustion zone, extracting all the tones and nuances. However, if an inferior mouthpiece detracts from the vapor quality as it transmits from the atomizer to your lungs…Houston, we have a problem!
Before you make the final decision on your wax pen vaporizer, you always want to double-check the quality of its mouthpiece. Cheap polymer or plastic materials can save you some money upfront, but down the line, inferior platforms end up costing you. Such mouthpieces can chemically react to the vapor, or worse yet, denature due to excessive heat. In the long run, it’s just not worth what ends up being minimal savings, all things considered.
High-quality mouthpieces almost always incorporate Pyrex glass or similar glass composite, which are inert and do not mix with your vapors. Additionally impacting user comfort, glass doesn’t leave residual aftertastes or odors. Simply put, it’s a cleaner, more enjoyable channel.
On a final note, you’ll want to check if your device features compatibility with other mouthpiece categories. For instance, bubbler-pipe mouthpieces provide an excellent channel for cool, soothing vapes; moreover, they enhance the character and flavor profile of your vaporizer.
While modularity may not be an important feature right now, an old adage strongly applies to wax pen vaporizer investments: it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!