In the past couple of years, the dabbing industry has been taking off.
We have seen dabbing go from a small group of select seasoned Stoners to a widespread smoking phenomenon that’s sweeping the community by storm.
One of the best improvements in the dabbing world was the creation of the vape pen. These little guys allow you to easily refill and replace old cartridges filled with oil concentrates to make dabbing on the go much more convenient.
With everything moving so fast, you may just be getting familiarized to the world of vape pens now. You probably have a lot of questions like:
In this guide, we will answer all these questions and more. But before we do, we want to take a second to make a quick disclaimer:
What is a Vape Pen?
A vape pen is a small portable smoking device similar to dab pens and portable vaporizers, which allow you to smoke oil concentrates from refillable or replaceable cartridges. These oil cartridges are heated by a battery which heats an atomizer, heating up a coil below the main chamber. This type of smoking device is specifically meant for dabbing oil concentrates, and they typically do not accept any other type of concentrate.
This can be a bit confusing, and many people often confuse the difference between dab pens and vape pens. This is a subject all on its own, so we wrote a very comprehensive guide about it here.
Photo Cred: Thanks to our homies at Vaping Vibe.
Anatomy of a Vape Pen – Knowing This Helps
Before we dive into the specific steps you will need in order to use your vape pen properly, it is important to help you develop an understanding of the anatomy of a vape pen. This will help you understand the different parts of a vape pen, and how they work together in order to deliver your smoking experience.
1. Battery – The Juice
The battery is arguably the most important part of any vape pen. It provides power for the entire process. Typically speaking, a lot of batteries in vape pens have between 20-30A of charge and 3-4V of power.
Most vape pen batteries have a charge time of around one to two hours, and a complete battery life of between 6 and 12 hours. A majority of them are very affordably-priced, and you can easily pick some up below $10.
Lastly, it is important to mention that the amount of power you use determines the smoking experience you will have, as well as the battery life of your vape pen.
2. Atomizer – Converting Power to Heat
An atomizer in a vape pen is placed directly above the battery pack. This part of the dab pen is responsible for the oils in order to turn them into a mist.
There are multiple different types of atomizers, depending on the material they are made out of and the overall design itself.
For the most part, you will want to look for a vape pen that has a strong atomizer. The strength of an atomizer is measured in Ohms. Generally speaking, and atomizer with about 1 Ohm of power is average strength and generally all you need.
3. Coil – Holding & Dispensing the Heat
Coils are often referred to as atomizers, and the two can be frequently confused. However, coils refer to the actual individual coils within an atomizer that heat up and transfer heat to the refillable chamber in ice your oil concentrates.
There are many different types of coils depending on the atomizer you’re using and the type of vape pen you have. For the most part, they all work the same, just have different designs in order to improve functionality.
Unless you are a vape snob, all you really need to worry about when it comes to coils is making sure that the vape pen you chose has a coil and atomizer that are easy to replace, easy to find replacements for, and that are durable.
All you really need is a very simple atomizer and coil, combined with a decently strong battery. Despite what a lot of people in the vape world will tell you, you don’t need the most powerful rig in order to get the job done. In fact, often times the most powerful vape pens are overpriced, less durable, require more care, and generally don’t provide a smoother smoking experience.
4. Cartridges – Where the Oils Go
The beauty of vape pens is that the are made to take refillable or replaceable cartridges filled with oil concentrate. This makes cleaning extremely easy, but does also tend to cost a bit more in the long run. Cartridges typically range from 50mL to 100mL.
5. Mouthpiece – Where You Take Your Hits
The mouthpiece on vape pens is usually removable in order to make cleaning easy, and also allow for customization. Most pieces are typically made of hard plastic or acrylic materials, and often come in different shapes and sizes in order to provide you with the difference between experience.
Overall, the mouthpiece that comes with your vape pen will be just fine and will likely never need replacing as long as you clean it regularly. Mouthpieces, in general, are a way to accessorize your vape pen, but hardly improve performance.
How Do I Use A Vape Pen: 5 Easy Steps
All right, now that we have a basic understanding of the anatomy of a vape pen, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and learn how to use your vape pen!
1. Put Your Dab Pen Together
Putting a shape and the other is actually quite simple. There are just a few parts that you need to know from the section above. Simply take the base of your vape pen where the battery is contained, screw the atomizer or cartridge in, and then attach the mouthpiece.
2. Charge it Properly
The most important part about using your new vape pen is making sure that it is charged properly. Without this, obviously it won’t work. Give it a charge for about 1 to 2 hours prior to using it and you should be fine. Depending on the battery life of your vape pen, a small charge like this me last you 6 to 12 hours worth of continuous smoking.
3. Load Your Vape Pen
Now it’s time to load your vape pen in order to get ready to smoke. If you are using a vape pen that has refillable or reusable cartridges, you will simply need to take the mouthpiece off and place the cartridges on top of the atomizer, or directly on top of the battery pack, depending on the anatomy of your vape pen.
Depending on the type of cartridges you use, you may be able to simply throw away or recycle the old one and replace it with a brand new one. If you are using refillable cartridges, simply remove your cartridge, and make sure it is cool before filling it up again.
The easiest way to refill your vape pen cartridge is to take a tiny eyedropper, and fill it up with oil, then use this tool to carefully fill your cartridge. You will want to make sure that there is no excess oil on the outside or bottom of your cartridge, as this can cause a big goopy mess in your vape pen.
4. Know Your Buttons
To make things easier on vapers and smokers, most vape pens use a fairly similar button setup on their pens. Knowing how these buttons works will make your life much easier.
How to turn on a vape pen
To turn on a vape pen, simply press the button down rapidly five times. If it turns on and is blinking, does usually signifies that you need to charge the battery because it is low. If it does not turn on doll, this also means the battery is probably low or you have other electrical problems.
How to turn off a vape pen
Turning off your vape pen is exactly the same as turning it on, simply press the button in five times rapidly. You should see a flash a couple of times before going dim and turning off.
How to take a hit of your vape pen
To take a hit of your vape pen, simply push down and hold the button until you see it flash. Each type of vape pen is a bit different with its instructions for this, with some flashing different colors based on the temperature. Be sure to read your vape pen manual before using it.
How to adjust the heat of a vape pen
This setting is different for each vape pen individually. Some have a wide range of temperatures that you can use, while others have three to five heat settings. Generally speaking, the more expensive vape pens tend to have more temperature control options.
5. Smoke it Down
Now that you have your vape pen assembled, fully charged, and know a little bit about what buttons you need to get going, it’s time to take your first hit. Push down on the button and hold it, making sure it glows. If everything seems good and you have it at the temperature range you like, inhale and get ready to cut off your brains out.
For first-time vape pen smokers, we do recommend that you only take a few hits briefly at the beginning, and give it some time to settle in. Oftentimes, this type of dabbing can be rather intense and tends to find you off guard. Smoking too much at once may be a bit overwhelming.
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Vape Pen
There are a few expert tips that you can utilize in order to get the most out of your vape pen.
1. Keep it Charged
Does tip sounds a bit obvious, but there is nothing worse than expecting a nice long smoke sesh and getting it interrupted by low battery. If you simply keep your vape pen charging while you are sleeping, or not using it, it will allow you to get the full convenience out of your pen.
Purchasing a second battery for under $10 is a great way to make sure that you always have a charge for your vape pen. You can keep one charging while you are using one, and constantly switch them out just like you would phone batteries.
2. Clean it Regularly
No one likes cleaning. But if you had the choice of cleaning a small mess periodically or an extremely huge mess once in a while, I think we’d all go with the first one.
Keeping your vape pen clean is a lot easier if you take the time to give it a good clean after every couple of smokes. This can be as simple as:
- Making sure no concentrates are leaking onto the battery
- Cleaning off the side of your concentrate cartridges before using them
If you manage to only do these two things, you will keep your vape pen much cleaner in the long run. This will not only make your smoking experience better, but it will also make the internal parts last a lot longer.
3. Don’t Push the Limits
If you ever the type of vape pen that has a lot of temperature control, you’re probably best keeping it within the 350 to 450F range.
Sure, you may be able to hear your pain up faster, or even get bigger hits at higher temperatures, but overall this is not safe for you as it can expose you to more toxins in the smoke, and can weed to damage to your throat, lungs, tongue, and mouth from high temperatures.
On top of that, using excessive power or high temperatures can also put a strain on the internal components of your vape pen. This may result in a battery that does not last as long, or an atomizer that burns out quickly.
4. Read the Instructions
For all my fellow male Stoners out there, I know that you probably hate reading instructions. We would rather try to bang two rocks together to make fire than read instructions on how to use our vape pen properly.
But, if you really want to get the best smoking experience out of your vape pen and not breaking you investment, it’s best to just read the instructions that come with it and understand how your device works.
While most vape pens are pretty universal in the instructions in this guide apply to most of them, each vape pen will have their own differences in terms of settings and controls. Save yourself the headache and just read the manual.
5. Replace Parts as Needed
A lot of people don’t pay too much attention to the internal components of their vape pen until it is too late. Usually, this results in poor performance for months leading up to the breaking point.
On top of that, it usually means that once you do decide to take a look at what’s going on under the hood that most of the components you have are not repairable and you have to buy new ones.
Over time, you will have to replace a few atomizers, potentially some batteries, and even refillable cartridges as they begin to experience the wear and tear of the high temperatures within your vape pen.
This is completely fine. But, in order to get the most out of your vape pen, you should regularly check on the internal components to make sure that everything is okay. The last thing you want is to spend money on a nice new vape pen only to ruin it a few months later because you were using too much battery power, or let too much concentrate seep into the atomizer or coils.
A Few Important Vape Pen Accessories You Will Need
In order to get the most out of your vaping experience, there are few vape pen accessories we recommend to anyone getting started:
- Secondary battery pack
- Extra atomizer
- Spare mouthpiece
- Extra refillable cartridges
- Carrying case
- Cleaning solution
Having each of these things on hand will help you to always have what you need to keep vaping.
Turning cases are convenient because they allow you to keep all of your extra parts in one secure place.
Other Vape Pen FAQ & Tips
Before we wrap things up, we wanted to take a little bit of time to answer a few questions about vape pens that we get asked often.
How do I clean my vape pen?
The first thing you need to do is take apart your vaporizer and make sure it is cool before cleaning it. From there, you want to treat each section differently during the cleaning process.
For the mouthpiece, take a Q-tip and dip it in isopropyl alcohol. Then, slowly rub and dab the Q-tip against the mouthpiece until all of the black residue is removed.
You can use this same isopropyl approach for the refillable chamber, and the inside chamber of your vape pen. Just be sure that the alcohol residue is completely dry before using it again.
For the atomizer, you want to be sure to clean it properly. The best way to do this is to clean it in an isopropyl solution by letting it soak overnight. After this, you want to be sure to rinse it heavily in water and let it dry before using again. Try to stray away from using cotton swabs in order to get excess resin out, as any remaining material in the atomizer will burn when you rev up your pen again, and can cause damage.
What can I smoke in vape pens?
Typically, it depends on the type of vape pen you have. For the most part though, most vape pens are different from traditional vaporizers in the fact that they are meant to strictly handle oil-based concentrates.
Are vape pens better than dab pens?
This is a great debate in the vaping and dabbing community. A lot of people prefer dab pens over vape pens because they can handle more types of concentrates and they also provide a smoother smoked. However, some people prefer vape pens because they are easier to refill, clean, and maintain.
For a complete breakdown of Vape Pens vs. Dab Pens, check out this comprehensive guide.
What are the types of vape pens?
For the most part, the main two types of vape pens are those with a box mod and those without. Outside of that, the different types vary based on battery power, features, build, and overall performance. However, for the most part a vast majority of vape pens without box mods are the same.
What can I smoke in my vape pen?
Again, vape pens are really only meant to handle oil and liquid concentrates. If you try to upload other types of concentrates into the refillable chambers, it may work, but could be dangerous or potentially damage your vape pen.
Are vape pens safe?
To be completely honest, it’s hard to say. There simply isn’t enough research or scientific study on the effects of vape pens on the human body yet to come to a conclusion.
However, it is important to note that no type of smoking or vaping is considered to be healthy or good for you. At the end of the day, you are still inhaling smoke that is full of carcinogens and toxins which can be harmful to the human body from prolonged exposure.
We strongly advise that you make an effort to understand the potential health risks of using a vape pen before purchasing one. And we also advise that you only use your vape pen for smoking legal concentrates.
Learn More About Vape Pens:
Still not sure if a vape pen is right for you? Here are some additional resources from our blog that we have put together in order to help you take the next steps:
What is the Best Vape Pen for Beginners?
Get Great Deals on the Best Vape Pens
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Be sure to check out our online headshop for great deals on vape pens and more Stoner gear.
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Have even more questions or comments about vape pens? Leave us a comment below and we will be happy to get back to you as soon as we get the chance!
Thanks for reading! We really hope that this guide on how to use vape pens has helped you understand the wonderful world of vaping a bit more.
We hope to see you soon! Until then, stay up 😉 .