What is the Difference?

The two most popular styles of on-the-go vaporizers are vape pens and portable vaporizers. Their growth in popularity comes from their discreetness and easy-to-learn functionality.

Wait – aren’t pen vaporizers portable?

Yes, they are.

So, what exactly makes them different?

We’ll take a look at the design and performance of these two prominent vaporizer styles. If you’re in the market for a vape, but not sure which one is right for you, read on!

What is a Vape Pen?

A vape pen or pen vaporizer is just like the name describes, a vaporizer that is roughly the size of a writing pen. The early models of these compact vapes were designed for use with dry herb. Unfortunately, a lot of these units would burn or char the material and not actually vape it as intended.

Hitting a vape pen for concentrates when on the go when a portable vaporizer is too bulky.

As cannabis concentrates became more mainstream, the heating source of vape pens changed to be more focused on vaping wax. Some styles feature a small chamber with a metal coil wrapped around a piece of ceramic or quartz. Place your wax directly into the chamber and it vaporizes almost instantly as the coil heats.

Another popular design known as an electric nectar collector or honey straw heats up and dipped directly into a wax container. Do you want more control over how much concentrate you consume? Then a nectar collector is just what you’re looking for!

Dabbing a vape pen directly into a concentrate container, nectar collector style.

What is a Portable Vaporizer?

A portable vaporizer is generally larger than a pen-style vape and has a more robust power source. This powerful design makes portables the best device for dry herb vaping. They also tend to have temperature control that allows you to select what degree you vape at. Choosing a precise temp is key to consistent vaping, no matter how dry or moist your herb is.

The temperature control on a portable vaporizer, often lacking on vape pens.

There are a lot of portable units that include a concentrate pad, which is essentially a metal mesh screen. This is intended to hold a small amount of wax. You place the mesh pad inside the heating chamber of a portable vaporizer. As the concentrate heats, it sticks to the metal as it melts, creating vapor.

Though portables may be able to vape wax, they rarely perform as well as they do with herbal material. Concentrates vaporize best with high, rapid heating. Which portables really aren’t capable of.

Who are Vape Pens For?

As mentioned prior, vape pens are going to outperform portable units when it comes to vaporizing concentrates. Whereas portables produce more power, making them ideal for dry herb vaporization.

Hand holding the Terp Pen concentrate vaporizer.

If you consider yourself a “daily dabber” or just prefer concentrates, you’ll be happy with a vape pen.

Who are Portable Vaporizers For?

Dry herb lovers, that’s who. If you enjoy the flavor of cannabis in flower form, a portable vaporizer helps you really taste the herb.

Digital display screen on the CFX portable vaporizer.

Plus, they offer the option to vape wax, just often not as efficiently as your favorite concentrate pen.

Portable Vaporizer vs Vape Pens Conclusion

Both are great options, depending on the material you prefer to consume. That’s really what it comes down to when comparing vape pens and portable vaporizers.

If you’re serious about your cannabis consumption, it’s a good idea to invest in both a quality pen and portable vaporizer.

Either route you go, you’ll conserve material and improve the flavor when compared to smoking.

Go ahead and check out the variety of vaporizer options we offer here at Boundless!

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