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Many people have joined the vaping scene in the past few decades. But with the market quickly becoming oversaturated with hundreds and thousands of vaping products, including vape pens, mods, batteries, waxes, and e-juices, customers need to know what they’re buying and consuming regularly. 

If you’re an avid vaper, the terms ‘vape pens,’ ‘dab pens,’ and ‘wax pens’ must not be new for you. In this post, we will highlight the differences between these terms. After reading this article, you’ll have a clear idea of how these vaping devices work and what sets them apart from each other. 

What is a Vape Pen?

By definition, a vape pen is a battery-powered device used by vapers to inhale vapors produced by oil/liquid cartridges. In terms of design, a vape pen consist of four parts, including:


All of these parts work together to create a vapor that a user can inhale. The oil or e-liquid is sucked into an atomizer and then heated up to form a vapor. Vapers can inhale these vapors through their mouths. The vape pens available in the market are usually rechargeable and compatible with different types of pods and cartridges. 


  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Easily available


    • Limited personalization features
    • You can only use oil/cartridges
    • Cheap and ineffective versions are also available 

What is a Dab Pen?

Dab pens use a more viscous liquid, such as THC concentrates.  These liquids have more intense cannabis effects. Dab pens involve more or less the same components as any other vape pen or wax pen. 

In order to use dab pens, all you need to do is place your liquid/concentrate into a coil and melt dab using a wick. 

Many vendors use the terms dab and wax interchangeably. However, dab pens are the ones that are capable of working with dab concentrates specifically. 


  • Personalized vaping experience
  • Uses dabs that can also be used as conventional rigs
  • Gives users enough flexibility to adjust settings


  • Expensive than basic vape pens 
  • Demands routine maintenance and cleaning
  • Requires more hand-holding

What is a Wax Pen?

We’re down to our last option now – wax pens. Wax pens flaunt more or less the same design as vape pens. The only difference is they do not use oil or cartridges to produce vapors. 

Instead of using oil or cartridges, wax pens use melted concentrates of cannabis or other similar substances. Just like vape pens, wax pens also involve a few components. There’s a compartment for heating wax, an inhaler, and a battery. 

Wax pens are usually encased in steel to protect users from heat and warm internal temperatures.


  • More adaptable and personalizable
  • Requires less maintenance and cleaning
  • Use wax-based concentrates that can also be used as conventional rigs


  • Can be messier than the other two products
  • The internal machinery is complex, and one needs to have ample knowledge to load and clean parts
  • Requires hand-holding

Vape Pen vs. Dab Pen vs. Wax Pen – Similarities

While these products are fairly different from each other in terms of internal structure and liquid, they still share plenty of similarities. For example:

  • All three of them are portable. You can place them inside their cases and take them wherever you want
  • They’re easy to use. All of them work on a ‘press and inhale’ principle 
  • All three of them comes with a temperature control feature

Vape Pen vs. Dab PenVs. Wax Pen – Differences

Speaking of differences…

Because vape pens are an expensive investment, it is essential to distinguish between each product to ensure you’re buying the right one.

  • All three devices use different types of products. Vape pens use oil and oil-based substances, whereas wax and dab pens use more concentrated liquids
  • You can load the oil cartridge in a vape pen and keep it there even if you’re not using it. Wax and dab pens, on the other hand, are loaded with a user-measured quantity of concentrate
  • Vape pens are easier to load while loading the other two types of pens can be messier
  • Wax and dab pens require regular cleaning and maintenance because of the build-up that needs to be scraped regularly
  • Wax and dab pens need higher temperatures than vape pens


Vape pens are best for: Vape pens are ideal for beginners who don’t want to handle complex loading processes and regular maintenance. Also, vape pens are portable and discreet because of their small size and ease of use. 

Dab pens are best for: Those looking to take their vaping experience to the next level can give dab pens a try. 

Wax pens are best for: Wax pens are the most suitable option if you want to indulge in a more personalized vaping experience.

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