Wax Pen vs Oil Vape Pen: Which is better?

Using a wax pen and an oil vape pen have been two of the most popular means of reaping the curative and the psychoactive benefits of your favorite plant matter. And while these two types of vaporizers look virtually identical, they’re apples and oranges. That said, knowing the difference between these two extract vaporizers can help you decide which is better.

Here’s a quick guide to help you tell whether a wax pen or an oil vape pen would suit you best.

Wax pens vs Oil Vape pen

Vape Material Compatibility

One of the main differences between a wax pen and an oil vape pen is the type of material they vaporize. Wax vaporizers were designed for wax concentrate consumption while oil pens are made to vaporize oils. Although some vaporizers can accommodate both material types, the good ones will focus on vaporizing one particular substance.

Typically, wax concentrates are valued for their potency and are preferred by recreational consumers for their higher dose of THC. On the other hand, oils are often marketed for their curative benefits and usually contain a higher concentration of CBD. On that note, using a wax pen will make more sense if your needs lean towards getting lifted while investing in an oil vape pen is better if you’re out to get medicated.

Material between wax pens and oil pens

Vape Coil Heating Elements

Because they cater to different material types, a wax pen and an oil vape pen will have different kinds of coils, atomizers, and heating elements.

For wax pens and dab pens, it’s common to see atomizers with quartz rods or ceramic rods wrapped in high-grade heating coils. This setup allows you to just drop the wax concentrates in the coils which are to be heated and vaporized. Quartz rods deliver fast heating as they are ideal conductors and catalysts for heat and power, which makes them perfect heating elements for when you want large clouds and potent rips. Conversely, ceramic offers low and slow heating of your wax concentrates and leans towards extracting the flavonoids and the terpenes from your materials which give your wax concentrates its natural flavor and aroma very similar to a dry herb vaporizer. 

Oil vape pens, on the other hand, use cartridges. These cartridges are sealed to prevent the oil from leaking and can hold a reasonable amount of material. They also usually come in prefilled or refillable form. These carts also come in different designs, with the early ones using fibrous wicks while modern ones use ceramic wickless coils.

In terms of longevity, wax coils last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks depending on how often you clean it and how hard you hit it. Maintenance-wise, you can make do with wiping the sides with a cotton swab and dipping the coils in an isopropyl alcohol bath. Cartridges are usually disposable with the prefilled ones to be discarded when empty and refillable ones to last about 2 or 3 uses. If you value convenience over longevity, carts on oil vape pens are the way to go while using wax pens and wax coils give more emphasis on useability and serviceability.

Vape Battery for sale category page

Use and Versatility

The average wax pen will have a variable voltage battery that gives it the capability to vaporize a wide variety of wax concentrates that come in various consistencies. The most common setup for a dab pen’s variable voltage setting is in low, medium, and high and will usually be represented by an LED light that corresponds to the assigned voltage level. Wax pens are typically outfitted with a single button used to turn the device on and off, activate the heating element, and toggle through its preset voltage settings.

For most oil vape pens, they are usually equipped with one heat setting that’s fine-tuned to vaporize the oils without reaching the point of combustion. These types of oil vape pens generally have no buttons and can activate the heating element in the cartridge by the suction created when you draw from the mouthpiece. Those that offer some level of temperature flexibility will usually allow its users to change the temperature level using a dial installed at the bottom of the battery.

And while both a wax pen and an oil vape pen can provide variable voltage, the actual voltage level and how they are operated differ. For dab pens, the voltage levels are typically high, ranging from 3.4 volts and 3.8 volts to 4.2 volts. These temperature levels are ideal for heating your wax concentrates and making sure they’re consumed to the last drop. On the other hand, oil vapes are only at around 3.2 to 3.7 volts. Subtle enough to slowly and carefully heat both thick and runny oils.

Wax pens versus the oil vape pen

Vape Stealth and Portability

While both devices feature a small and compact form factor, some of the features they offer bring to the table various levels of stealth and portability. Oil vape pens are better than wax pens in this category for a few reasons. First is its low heating capability. As we’ve briefly covered above, oil pens typically have a lower heat setting which makes for thinner and less dense cloud production - the kind that only a few will notice should you care to take a quick hit when you’re out and about. Plus, because there’s usually no buttons on a draw-activated oil pen, there’s very little chance that it’s outfitted with an LED light that can give you away if you’re vaping your oils on a bar at a Saturday night.

With a wax pen, you’ll have a better chance of chucking out plumes of vapor that’s very noticeable. Dabbing around the right crown can get you nods of approval but whipping out your wax pen in public can get you looks of dissent and disagreement. Most wax pens also have LED lights that help you identify what running voltage you’re dabbing your wax on and can be annoying and inviting of attention when you’re holding your wax pen as you dab around town.


Picking out the best vaporizer mainly depends on your preference. That said, looking at the differences between a wax pen and an oil vape pen can make you a better decision in choosing a vaporizer before you splash the cash.

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