The Ultimate Guide to Buying Vape Pens
Our buds over at VaporTownUSA.com sent us this pretty cool inforgraphic below on what to look for when buying a vape pen. As you can tell it’s mainly about e cigarette type vape pens, but we modified it to be more relevant to stoners. Hopefully it helps. Anyhow they tell us that there are several options to consider when buying vape pens and that you can use their guide to learn more about the designs that match your unique needs.
Dry Herbs and Liquid Concentrations
One of the most basic things to think about when buying a vape pen is whether you want to use dry herbs or liquid concentrations. If you’re looking to vape marijuana flowers you might want to get yourself a purpose-built dry herb vaporizer or a vape pen that’s dedicated for use with extractions like shatter, BHO, budder or even rosin. To make rosin all you need is hair straightener some parchment papers and weed. In case you have no idea what we’re talking about read this: What are dabs and how are they made? You’re welcome.
Dry herbs can include a wide range of products and flavors. While some of the herbs contain nicotine, there are also non-nicotine options. Many of the non-nicotine blends are made from the dried leaves of fruit plants. There are plenty of flavors to consider. Some popular options include mint, peach, watermelon, and blueberry. Our favorite of course is WEED. You can grow your own, dude. In fact here’s how to grow a healthy weed plant from start to finish.
Liquid concentrations are usually made from propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. Flavors and nicotine are added to the liquids. The concentrations are also called e-liquid or e-juice. You can purchase liquid concentrations from a supplier or make your own at home. Regardless of how you choose to get your e-juice, you can decide how much nicotine you want to be added. Nicotine levels usually vary from 0% to 4.8%. Most fall somewhere between those numbers.
You can also choose from a growing range of flavors that make the liquid concentrations more enjoyable to vape. Again, you can request flavored concentrations from a supplier, or you can add your own flavors at home.
And of course you can skip the nicotine route and go straight with weed. Maybe something like a vape pen that takes a prefilled CO2 cartridge or make your own THC e liquid.
Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin
Propylene glycol is the most popular type of e-juice. It has a sweeter flavor that a lot of people enjoy. It also produces thick clouds of vape “smoke” that you may find satisfying, especially if you are using the vape pen to replace cigarettes.
Vegetable glycerin, although less popular, also has some advantages. If you prefer a strong throat hit, then you will most likely like a vegetable glycerin-based e-juice. The vapor you exhale, however, isn’t as thick.
Vape Pens Atomizers, Clearomizers and Cartomizers
Vape pens need heating elements that can vaporize dry herbs or liquid concentrations. The three most popular heating elements are atomizers, clearomizers, and cartomizers. Each one offers their own benefits and disadvantages, so it’s important to know the differences before you buy a vape pen.
An atomizer is a metal coil that heats up to vaporize e-juice. Some atomizers have wicks that control how much e-liquid can reach the coils. This helps prevent too much liquid from touching the coil at once, so you get a clean, smooth pull instead of accidentally choking on a strong hit.
Another type of atomizer relies on you to pour your e-liquid directly onto the coils. This is most commonly known as “dripping.”
Dripping is convenient for short vaping sessions. If you don’t mind refilling the atomizer frequently, then you may prefer a drip atomizer. Since the sessions are fairly short, drip vaporizers are also good for trying several different liquid flavors in one sitting.
The disadvantage of a dripping is that you have to refill the atomizer pretty often. If you plan to use your vaporizer throughout the day, then you may prefer an atomizer that connects to a small tank that holds enough juice for several sessions.
In most cases, this is about personal preference. Some people prefer the convenience of using an atomizer that connects to a liquid tank while others prefer the flexibility of dripping.
Clearomizers are essentially the same thing as atomizers except, as the name suggests, they are transparent. This lets you look into the atomizer to see how much vape juice you have left. In addition to helping you see when your juice is running low.
You can find clearomizers of various sizes. Some are designed for single sessions while others are tailored for vaping throughout the day.
If you want to know exactly how much juice you have left, look for a clearomizer that have measurements printed on the side (similar to the way a clear measuring cup works).
Clearomizers are also rather versatile. Some designs will let you swap out coils and tanks. This essentially lets you customize your experience. Having the ability to swap parts also means that you can replace coils as they age, so you keep getting full vape hits.
When it comes to a clearomizer’s coils, you have three options: top coil, bottom coil, and multiple coils.
If you prefer a warm vapor, then you may want to explore top coil options. Since top coils are closer to the atomizer, they tend to produce warmer vapor. You can also refill these designs from the top by dripping more juice directly onto the coil.
A bottom coil design gives you a cooler vapor that won’t burn your throat. They are, however, harder to refill because you will have to take the clearomizer apart to add more liquid. Still, if you prefer a nice, cool vapor, this is a good option.
Multiple coils surprisingly give you a cool vapor with a stronger throat hit. Since the coils are spread out, they can produce vapor at lower temperatures. That’s an obvious advantage for people who want cool vapor and strong throat hit. The downside to this design is that it will drain your battery quickly. Having multiple coils requires more energy, so your battery will not last as long between charges.
Cartomizers are some of the earliest designs for vape pens. While some people find them outdated, especially compared to clearomizers, they are still available and offer some benefits that are worth knowing.
Cartomizers work much the same way that clearomizers and other atomizers operate. The cartomizer has a coil that vaporizes liquid contained in a small tank. The biggest difference is that cartomizers do not have single wicks that extend into the tanks. Instead, they are packed with a material called poly-fil.
The poly-fil is absorbent, so it collects liquid during vape sessions. The downside to this is that the material can hold residue between sessions. That does not usually matter as long as you use the same flavor of e-juice each time you vape. If you like to try different flavors, though, the leftovers from previous sessions can taint the flavor.
Cartomizers are also a little more difficult to fill than regular atomizers and clearomizers. If you want to use a full tank, you will have to dismantle it to gain access.
A cartomizer does, however, offer a few conveniences. The atomizer is already in the cartomizer and connects directly to the battery. That means you do not have to swap out parts as they age. Instead, you can replace the entire cartomizer. Since they are inexpensive to buy, people who don’t want to fumble with small coils may prefer cartomizer designs to other options.
Cartomizers are also useful for people who like drip vaping. Since the coils are always located on the top, you can drip e-juice directly onto them. And since the cartomizers do not have wicks, you do not have to worry about them drying out and producing bad smells that will tarnish your experience.
Vape Pens Mouthpieces
The type of heating element that you choose to vaporize e-juice and dried herbs has objective advantages and disadvantages that are easy to discuss. When it comes to vape pen mouthpieces, though, personal preference is a bigger issue.
When exploring mouthpieces for your vape pen, consider how you prefer to inhale vapor and whether you care about making a fashion statement with your vaporizer.
Since there are literally hundreds of designs, we’ll go over some general types to help you decide which mouthpiece sounds like the right option for you. There isn’t a right or wrong type of mouthpiece to buy, so just look over the popular options to find one that sounds like you would enjoy using.
Stem mouthpieces usually extend an inch or more from the vape pen. The extra length gives vapor the space it needs to cool before reaching your throat. If you prefer a cool throat hit, then this is probably a good option for you.
Stem pieces are also useful because they give your lips plenty of room. Instead of having to force a blunt end into your mouth, you can casually use the stem. The length also makes it easier to clean while sharing with friends.
If you want a stem mouthpiece, but you prefer a warmer throat hit, you may want to look for short stems. Generally speaking, the shorter the stem is, the warmer the vapor is.
Flexible Stem Mouthpieces
Flexible stem mouthpieces are much the same as regular stem mouthpieces. The difference is that they are made from a flexible plastic material. This lets you adjust the mouthpiece, so it is comfortable for you.
There are also stem mouthpieces that have angles or curves in them. While this isn’t exactly the same as a flexible mouthpiece, many people find that they offer a more comfortable experience.
Solid Valve Lip Pieces
Solid valve lip pieces are much shorter than stem designs. Some of them may only raise a couple centimeters above the vape pen. People who enjoy a warmer throat hit may want to explore these options. Since they are so short, they let the vapor stay as warm as possible during the vaping and inhalation process.
The downside to solid valve lip pieces is that they aren’t the cleanest option for sharing with friends. With such a short piece, saliva tends to collect around the opening. If you are concerned about spreading germs, or you simply do not like the idea of swapping spit with friends, you can clean it between users. This is a minor inconvenience, but some people will not like it.
Plastic stems offer several advantages. They are inexpensive, easy to clean, and difficult to break. They are also the most common option.
There is some variety within the types of plastic used to make these stems. Some plastics are softer than others. If you prefer a hard plastic, make sure you choose an option that fits your needs. If you like a softer tip, then you should look for stems made from softer plastics.
Glass stems are usually considered high-quality items. The actual quality, however, can differ considerably between designs, materials, and manufacturers.
Some people simply prefer the way that glass stems feel in their mouths. Others like that glass mouthpieces let them see how well they have cleaned between uses.
The only real disadvantages to glass mouthpieces are that they can get a little hot during long vaping sessions, and they are fairly easy to break.
Metal mouthpieces are extremely durable. Like mouthpieces made of glass, though, they have a tendency to get hot during long sessions.
If you are willing to spend more than a few dollars on your vape pen’s mouthpiece, then you may want to explore decorative options. The prices vary considerably depending on the artistry and materials involved.
There are decorative mouthpieces to fit almost any lifestyle. If you want to turn your vape pen into an accessory that says something about the things you love, then this is a good option.
Vape Pens Batteries
All vape pens use batteries to power their atomizers. Without a charged battery, your vape pen will not work. There are a few different types of batteries worth considering before you make a purchase.
USB Vape Pens Batteries
Many vape pens have USB ports that let you recharge their batteries by connecting to a computer or outlet adaptor. As long as your power source has a USB port, you should be able to connect your vape pen to it.
Some pens will let you vape while recharging the batteries. Others will not. It can take several hours to get a full charge, so make sure you choose a vape pen with a battery that matches your needs.
Removable Vape Pens Batteries
Nearly all vape pens have rechargeable batteries. The difference is whether you can plug the whole pen into a charger or need to remove the battery before connecting to a charger.
The benefit of a removable battery is that you can have extra batteries charging between uses. When one loses power, you simply swap it for another.
Given the wide range of vape pens and accessories, there is a product that matches your needs. You just have to look at your options to decide which one you will like most.
Have any recommendations on vape pens? Give ’em to us in the comments section below…
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