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What are Wax/ Dab Pens
Wax/ Dab pens are pen-shaped devices that can heat extracts and concentrate to just below their combustion point, resulting in the release of compounds from the material, which can then be inhaled by the user to enjoy the active ingredients in that specific plant extract. The process’s goal is to prevent the extracts from burning, avoiding smoke, and producing only vapor.
How do they work
A Vape Pen uses a battery as a power source to supply energy to a coil (aka atomizer), which gets to an exact temperature set by the user. The temperature is usually between 420F and 600F, which is hot enough to vaporize the extract’s active ingredients, but not hot enough to burn it.
Vape Pens can use various coils, which can vary in intensity, flavor, and amount of vapor it’ll produce. The coils can have different designs and are made from different materials such as Quartz, Ceramic, Titanium, etc. Choosing the correct coil type is highly individual and depends on your personal preference. The primary two coils types are:
Bucket coil– as the name suggests, these coils are shaped like a bucket, and the heating element sits right under the coil and never comes in direct contact with the extracts in the coil. Instead, the heating element heats the bucket, which then heats the dabs. Bucket coils are usually made from Ceramic or Quartz and typically produce mild and flavorful vapor. A few examples of pens that use bucket coils are the Puffco Plus and the KandyPens Crystal.
Rod coil– these coils are also shaped like a bucket, but the heating element sits inside the coil, and often it looks like a rod. This means that the heating element comes in direct contact with the extracts, resulting if more intense and aggressive experience. These coils typically heat up faster and sacrifice flavor for stronger, harsher vapor. An example of a vape with rod coils is the Utillian 5 vape pen.
Oil vs Wax
Extracts typically come in two forms or consistencies- oil and wax.
Oil– Oil usually comes in pre-filled 510 cartridges, which can connect to a battery for immediate use. Some wax pens use a 510 battery, so the wax coil can be unscrewed, and the same battery can be used for the pre-filled carts. If you are looking for a 510 battery, check out this collection.
Wax/ dab– more concentrated extracts come in “honey” or “wax” consistency and should be manually placed in the coil. Wax does not come in pre-filled cartridges, but small containers. The vape pens above are compatible with wax, and some use a 510 thread for dual (oil+wax) compatibility.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Most vape pens require very little maintenance, although it is recommended that you occasionally clean the coil in order to keep the vape in pristine condition. Cleaning the coil can be done with the use of ISO Alcohol wipes or Q-tips. Gently remove any excess residue inside the coil or around the thread that connects to the battery, and wipe down the mouthpiece and air intake holes.
Tips & tricks
- Don’t overpack the coil- with extracts, often less is more. You should place in the oven around a rice-grain size dab. Overfilling the coil can reduce efficiency and block the coil’s air intake holes, resulting in high draw resistance and decreased performance.
- Find the right inhaling technique- as a general rule of thumb, you should take slow, long inhales, not fast and short inhales. You should experiment with your specific vape pen and find the inhaling technique that works best.
- Start inhaling early- some vapes feature a pre-heat function, but you can also start inhaling from the mouthpiece before the coil has reached its vaping temperature. This will allow you to enjoy “full-spectrum” vaping over a range of temperatures and flavors that are not available in higher temps.