Vaping Wax vs Dabbing Wax - Complete Explanation

Is there a Difference Between Vaping and Dabbing Wax?

So, in general, these terms can often be used interchangeably and will more often than not be understood rather clearly. Most people aren’t too particular on the specifics as long as they know that what’s being referred to is wax as opposed to oil or dry herb. However, to be more precise, dabbing wax is often used as a general, broader term that is meant to indicate that someone is using wax – period. This can be with a wax vape pen or with a traditional dab rig, etc. While this isn’t a firm rule, it generally plays out that this is probably the more generic term. Vaping wax, however, is the exact same thing but more often than not people will expect there to be an actual vape or vape pen. This doesn’t mean that it’s inappropriate to use vaping wax when using a dab rig or other piece, however, it can be seen as less precise.

More to the point, there is going to be a general difference between using a waxpen or a dab rig. Basically, these differences are going to mirror the same differences between a vaporizer and a bong or a vape pen and just about anything that uses a more traditional lighter or blowtorch (flame, really) instead of a battery to produce the heat. There will be carbs, mouthpieces, nails, bowls, etc. vs. batteries, heating chambers, coils, etc. All in all, the ultimate difference that is most meaningful will be what someone’s preferences and needs are. After all, if the ability to ‘dab’ on the go is most important that might mean that a wax pen is more favorable. On the other hand, it could be that something larger and more stationery is appropriate. This guide should help to establish a general understanding of the pros and cons and allow anyone to figure out where their preferences best align with the advantages of either product. 

Vaping with a Wax Pen

Vaping with a Wax Pen

Vaping shatter with a wax pen has become much more popular as the technology has improved and this has, in turn, made wax more popular as well. Particularly, make sure to remember that even with wax pens there is a tremendous amount of variety. For example, there are box mods that are larger, more versatile and interchangeable vaporizers that come with more powerful batteries and capacities. This means that they are well-suited to thick, sticky wax and allow a greater degree of user control. There are also vape pens that are so named because they look like a regular ballpoint pen and are easily concealable. These, naturally, come with enough power to vaporize the wax as well but their capacity will be less and potentially have a smaller battery life (this isn’t a guarantee as a high-powered box mod used often enough can be drained pretty easily with a heavy vaper).

Regardless, all wax pens rely on a battery, heating chamber, and mouthpiece. The batteries and mouthpiece are relatively self-explanatory but keep in mind that the heating chamber will utilize coils in order to heat up and vaporize the wax. The coils can be made of a variety of different materials but quartz and ceramic are the most popular. Quartz heat and cool faster but will need to be rewarmed more often in between uses while ceramic takes longer to heat up or cool down initially but retains the heat better for longer vaping seshes. Wax atomizer vape coils will need to be replaced every now and again as part of the regular maintenance but otherwise, wax pens are fairly low key and simple and intuitive to use.

Dabbing Wax Without a Vape Pen

Dabbing Wax without a Vape Pen

Without a wax vape pen, aka a dab pen, there are still some ways to enjoy wax. A dab pen is highly convenient but if you don't have one, or want an alternative, keep reading below to learn about some awesome dab tools that vaporize wax on another level.

Dabbing with a Dab Rig

Dab rigs are essentially what ‘true’ dabbing is. This basically takes the same design concept of a bong and spits out powerful, cough-inducing hits that will literally have someone rolling on the floor. That’s the fun of it. However, keep in mind that like bongs these rigs will need to be placed in a stable place. Particularly because they require a blowtorch to get the dab nail to a proper temperature. All told, for the most powerful hits, a dab rig is hands-down the winner.

Dabbing with Dab Nails

Dab nails are what is required to actually vaporize the wax. A dab nail is the part of the rig that is heated in order to vaporize the wax properly. Basically, imagine that this is the place where the wax comes into contact with the superheated glass or other material in order to instantly vaporize off the ‘dabbing tool’ (or in other words the scraper the wax is collected with).

Dabbing with a Nectar Collector

A nectar collector is a dab rig that is a straight tube. This takes out all the complicated mechanisms of acquiring water, maintaining a massive dab rig (though some are modestly sized) and having the trouble of keeping an eye out for a massive piece of glass. Nectar collectors are often less fragile and able to be more mobile and concealed. Simply heat the tip and carry on dabbing.

Dabbing with a Water Bong

Basically, this is the dab rig except designed with dry herb in mind. In a pinch, one can place the dab nail where the bong bowl normally sits and take a dab from a bong. This isn’t necessarily the intent behind the design but improv is a fine art to master and this is a natural result. Better to have a plan B than be stuck without a paddle.

What is a Dab?

What is a Dab?

A dab can be a noun, verb, etc. It can be a ‘dab’ of wax or a ‘hit’ of wax to be placed on the nail. It can be the act of using the wax. Either can be used interchangeably where appropriate.

Using a Wax Vape Pen vs Dab Rig

Essentially, this is a matter of convenience, experience, and preference. The dab rig operates just like a bong – heat it, touch the wax to it, pull and rip the nail out to get the hit. A wax pen operates at the click of a button. Neither is more right, neither is necessarily wrong either.

Where to Buy Dabbing Products

Where to Buy Dabbing Products

Whether vaping or dabbing wax, there are tons of places ready to sell a wax vape pen or a dab rig whether it’s a physical store or a website online. However, make sure to check out the enormous selection of vape pens, dab rigs, water bongs, etc. all online at – and remember that all orders shipped in the USA ship 100% FREE!

Products Related to Blog

Electric Dab Rigs

14mm Male Quartz Banger Nail

Related Dabbing Blog Posts

What is a Dab Pen?

Which Vape Pen for Wax and Dry Herb is the Best?


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