We get asked a lot about the differences between vape pens. Our readers want to know what sets these vapes apart from each other and what are the characteristics they need to keep an eye out for.
And to be frank, the discrepancies in performance can be quite dramatic. Especially if we are to compare an entry level mouth to lung vape pen with a 3000mAh sub ohm device. Everything from the type of coil used to the maximum output power plays an important role in the overall performance of a vaporizer pen. But before we dive in even further, let’s start with the basics:
What is a vape pen and how does it compare to other devices
A vape pen is battery operated vaporizer that's long, thin and designed to resemble a fancy pen. It’s the first upgrade people get when coming from a cig-a-like starter kit or from a pod mod and it usually ensures the transition towards the more advanced box mods or mechanical mods.
In terms of performance a good quality vape pen will generally produce more vapor than cigalikes, pods and disposables and is a lot more versatile. It’s packed with a much bigger battery and some advanced models can go head to head with even the most modern box mods.
The two main types of vape pens
In terms of design and functionality we have two main types of pen vaporizers: regular vape pens and AIOs. A regular vape pen consists of two parts - the battery and the tank - which are fully detachable. These use standard 510 connector which means you can easily swap the tank or the battery with a new one or with a more powerful one.
Therefore standard pens for vaping are usually sold as kits. These kits consist of a battery, a tank and one or two stock coil heads. The type of coil used combined with the battery is what determines the overall performance.
AIO pens on the other hand have the tank integrated in the body of the vape. This means the components are not changeable and you cannot upgrade to a better battery of a better tank. The only thing you can replace is the coil and in some cases there are up to three types of coil heads compatible with a single product. These devices do have their advantages, but they don’t offer the versatility of standard pen vapes.
But regardless of model the one important characteristic of all vape pens is their single button operation. With very few exceptions pen vaporizers don’t come with a display and don't allow for the adjustment of the wattage or temperature.
Performance differences between vape pens
When it comes to performance we can group all types of vape pens into three categories: pens for beginners, intermediate pen vaporizers and advanced vape pens.
Vape pens for beginners are the most rudimentary and they usually appeal to mouth to lung vapers. These have smaller batteries, smaller tanks and vapor production is usually similar to what you would get from a standard pod vape. They are very stealthy, discreet and easy to carry around. The most important aspect is that they are refillable. This means you can use them with any e-liquid you fancy and the only thing that needs to be replaced is the coil head.
Intermediate pen vaporizers are the most common. These offer the perfect balance between discreetness and power and usually come fitted with sub ohm tanks. Their batteries range between 800 - 2000mAh and they usually come with two types of coil heads. Lower resistance coils are intended for mouth to lung vaping, while higher resistance coils - over 1.0 Ohms - are usually compatible with mouth to lung draws.
Advanced vape pens are the most powerful from the bunch. These come with batteries over 2000mAh and some models can even go as high as 3000mAh. Their output wattage is over 100W and the sub ohm tanks included in the kits are built for big clouds and flavor. These pens offer the same performance as a box mod, however they only have one button so their versatility is very limited.