photo of a dab pen in front of camera lenses

photo of a dab pen in front of camera lenses

Dab Pens vs Wax Pens: What’s The Difference?

High There

By High There

September 29, 2021

One of the most popular ways to vape these days is with dab pens or wax pens, which are used to ingest different types of THC concentrates like dabs, wax, and shatter. Vape pens can be found online or in many retail stores across the country, and provide an unbeatable vape experience.

However, there is a lot of confusion around the conversation of wax pen vs dab pen; Which is better? Are they the same thing, Which one should you use? To help you sort through the misinformation, we’ve compiled this handy guide.

Keep reading to find out more about wax and dab vape pens and how they can revolutionize your vaping!

puffco plus cannabis portable pen

Is a Dab Pen the Same As a Wax Pen?

Many people believe that wax pens and dab pens are two individual things, but the only real difference is in terminology. Both are vape pens with the exact same inner components and heat up wax concentrate to produce vapor that the user then consumes.

The wax used in these pens is sometimes referred to as ‘dab’, which is most likely why some people think that there are differences between the two.

Main Components of Dab/Wax Vape Pens


A key component of any vape pen is the vape battery. What makes these batteries unique is that they come with many additional features, like advanced temperature control settings and LCD display screens.

A dab pen battery also allows users to vape anywhere they want, at any time. The battery usually needs to be charged with a USB port, which is easy enough to do when on the go, and after that is completely portable, lightweight, and discreet.

This is what sets dab pens and vape pens apart from, for example, dabbing rigs, which are much larger and require more set-up to use.

Wax Atomizer

The wax atomizer or coil is what turns your THC concentrates into vapor, and every dab or wax vape pen will have one. Some are interchangeable, which means you can switch them out and replace them when you want. The purpose of a coil is to act like a heating element. The wax is placed directly onto it and heats up, which helps with the vaporizing process.


The mouthpiece is what you use to vape with, and is key to having a good vaping experience. To make sure that you get the most out of your pen, clean your mouthpiece after each use and replace it if it gets cracked or worn down over time.

Dab Tool

A dab tool is an essential piece of equipment for transferring your dabs to the inner coil. Using your hands can degrade the quality of the concentrate and even cause injury if you accidentally touch the hot coil. Sticks or tools will help you get the perfect portions of dabs (and helps avoid any waste from your concentrates sticking to your fingers).

Hand holding a cannabis dab pen

What’s the Difference Between a Wax Pen and an Oil Vape Pen?

The key difference between a wax pen and an oil vape pen is that the former is used to vaporize wax concentrates, while the latter vaporizes liquid vaping products, like CBD oil or e-juice. The design of a wax pen includes a coil or atomizer to vaporize the wax. An oil pen works similar to a dry herb vape pen, but with an oil cartridge that can be refilled or disposed of.

Some vape pens are compatible with both wax and oil. Pens like these will have a removable coil attachment that enables you to vape wax, oils, and dry herbs.

How to Care For a Dab/Wax Pen

Keep it Clean

Your vape pen shouldn’t need continuous cleaning, but it also isn’t something to neglect. All you need to do is wipe down the outside of the pen with alcohol or a disinfectant wipe when it feels dirty or sticky. Don’t use water, and exercise caution when cleaning near the electrical components.

The easiest way to keep your vaping device clean is by making sure to not pack too much wax into it, as this can cause a mess. To avoid this, invest in dab tools that will measure and position your wax properly.


When charging your vape battery, you need to be careful not to degenerate it. Only recharge it when it has fully run out, and never leave it plugged in overnight or all day. Equally, try not to leave it with no charge for weeks on end. Both of these actions will make your battery weaker and shorten its lifespan.

A lot of dab pens and wax pens will have a red light flash when they need recharging, and a green light flash when they are sufficiently charged.

Store Your Pen in a Case

Investing in a smell-proof carry case for your pen will help it to last for a long time and keep it in good condition. What’s more, it’ll also provide you with a handy space to store your vape accessories and THC concentrates.

Only Use Compatible Cannabis and Wax Concentrates

This may seem obvious, but many people are unaware that different cannabis products can not be used interchangeably with most wax vapes. Using incompatible concentrates can damage the inner components of your dab pen and will not provide a pleasant taste during vape use.

Can Vape Pens Replace Dab Rigs?

Vape pens are increasingly becoming a more popular choice among users over dab rigs. The reason for this is that a dab rig is much larger than a pen, and therefore is less discreet and portable. The best dab pen can be charged on the go and used inconspicuously.

Box mod vapes are set to become the most widely-used type of vape pens soon, as they are just as powerful as dab rigs, but are more versatile and easy-to-use. A box mod vape is larger than other vape pens, but this is only due to its battery and host of additional features.

yocan magneto

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can you vaporize in a wax pen?

With dab pens and wax pens, you can vaporize most cannabis dabs. The most accessible and common picks include wax, crumble, shatter, and budder. Some wax pens even allow you to vape oils by interchanging cartridges.

Are dab pens expensive?

Dab pens can range anywhere from $20-$200. Box mods and other premium products will set you back more due to their updated features and brand name, while a basic dab pen can be purchased for a low price.

The more money you spend, the better battery life, temperature control, and power you will receive. The budget you choose to set yourself all comes down to what you want out of your vape pen.

Is a traditional dab rig better than a pen?

When it comes to rigs and pens, a dab rig is best for those who like to take powerful and strong rips, similar to those from a bong, and vice versa. Pens can be controlled more using temperature settings and will provide more flavor but fewer vapor clouds.

Wrapping Up

Though there may not be much technical difference between a dab pen and a wax pen, there are a few little things good to know that can make your overall vaping experience more enjoyable. We hope our article has been of help – Happy vaping!

High There

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High There