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In recent years, concentrates and wax have become all the rage in the cannabis community. So much so that many people are making the switch from dry herbs to wax and other concentrates. 

With this switch comes a plethora of new devices, technology, and terminology you’ll be exposed to. And this may be rather intimidating for someone who is just getting their feet wet in the wax pen vape game. Especially if you look at how far the wax pen has come since its inception in the mid-2000s.

To help ease some of that pain, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best wax vape pen to fit your personal needs. We will discuss what exactly is a wax vape pen, how they work, and what to consider before you make any final decisions. 

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

What is a Wax Vape Pen?

Picture of hands holding a wax vape pen.

Also known as a dab pen, a wax pen is a device specifically designed for vaping wax concentrates. “Dab” is merely the term that’s popularly used when referring to wax or other concentrates. They are heralded as one of the (if not the) optimal methods to enjoy your cannabis. And “pen” refers to the size and shape of the early devices. 

It’s also worth noting that the name ‘pen’ is now applied to a wide range of differently shaped devices. It initially came from the first dab pens, which were shaped like, you guessed it, a pen.

Now that you’re familiar with what a wax vaporizer pen is, let’s look at the anatomy of the device.

The Anatomy of a Wax Vaporizer Pen

A wax vape pen comprises several parts along with a variety of materials. And depending on which device you’re looking to purchase, the quality of said parts and materials can vary as well. We’ll go over the key components that make up a wax vape pen you want to be aware of.


The mouthpiece, as the name entails, is the part where you place your mouth to inhale. Sometimes referred to as “drip tips,” they’re typically made from metal, glass, heat-resistant plastic, or ceramic.

To facilitate smooth airflow and easy cleaning, as well as to avoid clogging, a mouthpiece with a wide opening is usually preferred. They can come in multiple shapes, colors, and sizes besides being removable and replaceable. So, no worries about having to purchase a new device when the mouthpiece gets worn out.

Instead, you can simply pick up a replacement mouthpiece and you’re ready to set sail.

The different parts of the Terp Pen XL Infographic


Every feature of a properly functioning vape pen is powered by a battery. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are widely used and may be charged via a USB port, similar to a mobile phone. In other words, the battery is the source of power for your vape pen. The vaporizer will use the battery’s stored electric power to generate the heat required to vaporize your wax.

The sensors, buttons, and additional electronics, mostly, are stored in the battery. These are what monitor variables, such as heating time, temperature, and much more. This adds a bit of practicality, not to mention customization which dab enthusiasts prefer in their vape pen.

The battery can come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, with some favoring the discreetness of smaller devices, whereas others prefer the customization that typically comes with larger, more powerful units.


The atomizer is the component of a wax vape pen that converts the unit’s battery power into heat, which in turn produces small, vaporized droplets that are inhaled. They typically make them from cotton, ceramic, or quartz. Atomizers are often found in the cartridge or tank and are usually contained in steel or ceramic housing for optimal protection.

Other words that are frequently used interchangeably with wax atomizers make distinguishing between wax pens and regular e-juice or concentrate pens difficult. Some of the names include heating chamber, coil, and heating element, amongst countless others.

The coil heats and retains heat differently depending on whether they made the atomizer from cotton, ceramic, or quartz.

Different Types of Coils

If you want to get the most out of your dab vape pen, you need to consider the materials used to make the coils. The type of coils you want in your wax vape pen all depend on what type of experience you’re looking for.

We’ll briefly discuss the primary distinctions between the two main types of coils: quartz and ceramic.

Quartz Coils
  • Fast Heat-Up Time
  • Require Little Power
  • Reaches High Temps
  • Intense Vapor Production
  • Heat Retention is subpar
  • Need to Charge Often
  • Requires Consistent Cleaning

If fast heat-up times are what you’re looking for, then quartz coils will be your best bet. They take no more than ten seconds to heat, in addition to requiring little power to do so. They also can reach higher temperatures than ceramic coils, which can produce full and harsh vapor clouds. Some people don’t enjoy this intense vapor production, but others prefer it.

The heat retention properties of quartz coils are also subpar when compared to the alternatives. This means you’ll have to charge your battery much more often. You’ll also want to be aware of how difficult to clean quartz coils can be, making maintenance quite laborious.

Ceramic Coils
Floating vape pen coils
  • Great Heat Retention
  • Take Longer to Heat
  • Longer Battery Life
  • Optimal Flavor
  • Perfect for Low-Temp Dabs
  • Smaller Cloud Production

Ceramic coils have become fairly popular in the portable vaporizer scene. They feature fantastic heat retention, even if they take longer to heat. This will allow for your battery to have a nice, long lifespan.

Ceramic coils also provide optimal flavor. You’ll receive full flavor along with maximum terpene profiles sans any burnt taste. This makes them ideal for low-temperature dabs. They’re also not as fragile as quartz coils, but if dropped, they can crack or break.

It’s also worth mentioning that ceramic coils cannot produce the enormous, harsh vapor clouds you get with quartz coils.

Power Button and Sensor

This all depends on which device you’re looking to purchase. Some wax vape pens require you to push and hold down a button when you want to inhale, which triggers the sensor, telling the atomizer to heat. If you decide on one of these units, you will need to press the button five times to turn on and off the vaporizer.

Close-up of wax vape pen power button

This is to prevent you from accidentally activating the atomizer, as it could waste your precious materials and even damage the device. Other wax pen vaporizers operate by merely taking a draw off the mouthpiece. Some units even allow you to dial in the temperature to your personal preference.

How Does a Wax Vape Pen Work?

Sometimes referred to as dab pens, wax pens use a battery along with the heating element, which is exposed to ceramic or quartz coils. This allows you to place your wax directly on the heating coils, which will produce vapor. The heating element (coils) is typically housed within the pen, with the mouthpiece covering it up.

The device delivers power to the heating element where the coils heat, allowing the wax to turn into tasty vapor which you can enjoy via the mouthpiece. You also want to make sure you keep your wax vaporizer pen in an upright position. This is so your hot wax doesn’t flow from the coils into other areas where it can cause a mess. This is especially troublesome if the wax is allowed to dry, as it can make disassembling the device difficult.

What to Consider When Choosing a Wax Vape Pen

If you don’t have the knowledge to make an informed decision, the sheer number of wax vape pens available today can be overwhelming. There are multiple factors you want to consider when it comes to choosing your new wax vaporizer pen. Therefore, we will cover the most important factors to consider when purchasing a wax pen.

Budget written on lined paper surrounded by graphs and more

What’s Your Budget?

Dab vaporizer pens come in a variety of forms and sizes, as well as a variety of functions depending on what you’re searching for. As a result, you’ll notice that wax pen prices can be as low as ten dollars, or high as your car payment.

This all depends on the experience you want from your device, along with how much you’re willing to spend. As with most things, you get what you pay for. The cheaper models tend to use inferior materials to save money, which can have an adverse effect on your health.

Alternatively, if you spend a few hundred on a dab pen, it doesn’t mean you’re getting a superior device. Our Terp Pen XL Vaporizer is a fantastic example of a wax pen vape that’s not only inexpensive but offers flawless function.

No matter if you decide on a cost-efficient or expensive device, you want to factor in your personal preferences. This will ensure your wax vaporizer pen will provide you with the finest sessions possible.

Ease of Use

When you’re just starting in the wax vape pen scene, you must understand how to use the device. The last thing you want is to have to lug around the instruction manual in order to use the darn thing.

Close-up of easy keyboard button

It all comes down to your experience and personal preferences whether you want to go with an easy-to-use one-button device, or a more complicated wax pen with multiple buttons and features.

The wax pens that feature a single heat setting typically only have one button and are super easy to operate. Whereas the more expensive models feature adjustable temperature settings that require multiple buttons to operate, which can come with a learning curve.


This all boils down to preference. Some people prefer big, thick clouds of vapor, whereas others prefer full-flavored rips. However, if you prefer both, expect to pay a premium.

Either way, what materials were used to manufacture the device, the airflow, along with the heating element (quarts or ceramic) are contributing factors concerning flavor. Devices with more customizable temperature settings are ideal for those who like to dial it in to achieve the perfect flavor. This allows them to figure out which temperature range works best for them.

Alternatively, devices with one button and no temperature control are best for those who want a no-fuss wax pen vaporizer with fast heat time and aren’t a stickler about the flavor.

Materials Used

This is one area you need to pay extra close attention to. If you purchase a wax pen vaporizer that was made from subpar materials, it can lead to a bad time. You run the risk of your device’s components melting while in use, which can be very dangerous.

If you don’t mind paying more, stainless steel, Pyrex glass, or carbon fiber components are what you want your wax vaporizer to be made from. And steer clear of Teflon, titanium alloys, and silicon because of their low melting points that make them potentially dangerous. On a side note, the wax pen vaporizer you decide on should have replacement parts that are readily available and don’t cost an arm and a leg.


If you don’t maintain your wax vaporizer, don’t be surprised when it assuredly stops working. You can’t expect the device to function properly if it’s all gunked up with wax from previous sessions. You need to ensure that you’re cleaning your unit after every use, so this doesn’t occur.

Maintenance binger with pen

Choose a unit that can effortlessly be stripped down to allow for easy cleaning to make this process easy as can be. Wax pen vapes that use magnets, help to make the cleaning process super convenient. And while threaded wax vape pens are excellent for keeping your device together in one piece, they can make cleaning difficult.

Still Unsure about What is a Wax Pen?

To quickly summarize what is a wax pen: it’s a device that’s primary function is to vape wax concentrates. Sometimes they’re referred to as dab pens and they’re touted as the ideal option as far as dabbing concentrates are concerned. They use the term ‘pen’ given that the first wax pens were about the size and shape of a pen. A wax pen isn’t your only option when it comes to dabbing concentrates. In fact, if a wax pen doesn’t sound like something that interests you, maybe a nectar collector will be more up your alley. We’ve got a blog that details how to choose a nectar collector for wax that can help you out if that’s the route you’d like to take.

Final Thoughts

With regard to wax pen vapes, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. After reading this article, you should have more than enough information to make an educated decision on what device is best for you.

Whether you’re looking at a cost-efficient $30 unit or a premium $300 pen, there’s a wax pen vape for you. We have an impressive line of wax vaporizer pens that have garnered thousands of five-star reviews and won’t break the bank.

No matter which route you decide to take, make sure you perform an extensive amount of research, to where you know the device inside and out. This way, you won’t get any unwanted surprises down the road.

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