Vape Pens & Open Pod Systems
At its core, a vape pen/open pod system is a compact vaping device that functions in a simple but efficient way. Their focus on simplicity has allowed vape pens to prevail as the most popular style of vape device in the industry, despite the existence of high-power box mods and mechanical devices. Part of this success lies in the portability and overall function of vape pens, while they may lack some of the power and customizability offered by box mods, they still manage to deliver a satisfying vaping experience and can be easily stored and transported.
Unlike disposable e-cigarettes or closed pod systems; vape pens are typically refillable, have more robust batteries, and often lack any sort of variable wattage/voltage control. In essence, vape pens distill all the necessary requirements for a satisfying vaping experience and places them in a compact and portable package.
While we do recommend vape pens to almost any user, these devices are great for new vapers who are just stepping foot into the world of vaping. The devices themselves are not entirely complicated, but they still allow for a satisfying experience that can ease the transition into vaping. For more experienced vapers, vape pens make amazing secondary devices; especially for vapers looking for an on-the-go device that can be easily carried around without having to deal with the bulk and heft of a larger mod.
How do vape pens work?
Despite their somewhat humble origins, modern vape pens have evolved to incorporate a host of innovative features, but their base structure has not changed much through the years. Despite advancements in vaping technology, the general construction and makeup of a vape pen is relatively basic. To put it simply, all vape pens are composed of three major components:
Battery: Generally housed in the body of a vape pen, the battery comprises most of the of a device. With most vape pens, the battery is built into the device and can generally be charged via some sort of USB-based slot. Unlike box mods, which often utilize large or removable batteries, vape pens feature much more compact batteries that should never be removed.
Atomizer/Coil: Housed in the tank or pod of a vape pen, the atomizer/coil is a core component and is responsible for converting vape juice into an inhalable vapor. In terms of functionality, the coil works by drawing in e-juice through its wicking material, heating the coil, and turning the liquid into vapor. The coil/atomizer will need to be changed after some time, though the frequency of this will depend on your usage and the e-liquid you are filling your tank/pod with.
Mouthpiece: This simple component may not contribute to the functionality of a vape pen, but it is still a core element that allows the device to be useable by vapers. Simply put, the mouthpiece makes the device comfortable to inhale from and can help reduce the dispersion of heat from the coil onto the user’s lips.
With just these three components, vape pens are capable of offering users a powerful vaping experience that extends far beyond their simplistic nature. Speaking of simplicity, generally speaking, vape pens can be operated in two distinct ways, both of which prioritize ease of use.
Button Operation: As the name suggests, button-operated devices can be controlled via a single button on the device. This is perhaps the most popular form of operation for the majority of vape devices and allows for a more tactile feel to using the vape pen. In terms of function, the button activates the battery, which then pushes power into the atomizer/coil and heats it up to produce vapor. With button-operated vape pens, users need to be sure to turn the device off when they’re transporting their vape pen.
Draw Activation: This style of operation is still quite common with disposable e-cigarettes, but is gaining popularity with modern vape pens. With draw activation vape pens, users simply need to inhale off the mouthpiece to fire the device. These types of vape pens include some sort of sensor that notices when a user inhales, which also makes it somewhat safer when transporting the device.
Regardless of what style of operation the device you choose has, it shouldn’t drastically change how you vape and is often not a concern for the majority of vapers. That being said, there can be some concerns over the safety of each mode of operation, but with enough diligence, there shouldn’t be an issue. With a button-operated device, make sure your vape pen is turned off (generally done by clicking the button five times in succession) when not in use to avoid and accidental firing. With a draw-activated vape pen, make sure your mouthpiece is dry so no liquid or condensation seeps into the sensor.
What makes a vape a vape pen?
At its very core, a vape pen is a device that is composed of a battery, a tank or pod, and a mouthpiece. While this isn’t the most encompassing description, it does help us exclude certain products that do not meet these descriptions.
Vape mods encompass all devices that feature variable wattage/voltage control and are generally larger in size. This includes box mods, which may also utilize removable batteries. The majority of vape mods will also feature a removable tank or 510 threading for any other 510 threaded tanks. While some vape pens may also have this feature, the majority will come with integrated tanks that cannot be changed or removed.
Based on this understanding, vape pens can be described as any device that is smaller in size and does not incorporate any variable wattage/voltage control. Their main selling point lies in these elements, which make it compact and easy to use.
Do you need a vape pen?
As mentioned before, we do recommend vape pens to almost all vapers, especially those who value portability and ease of use. With so many options available on the market, it can be hard to deny yourself a modern vape pen, whether you plan on using it as a primary or secondary device.
For beginners, vape pens offer a relatively easy entry point into the world of vaping, all at a very affordable price point. Their ease of use makes them particularly compelling for vapers who may not want to get into more advanced devices, but are still looking for a stellar vaping experience. In some cases, many vape pens also feature a very similar inhalation experience to traditional cigarettes, making them ideal for new vapers who may want to transition to e-cigarettes.
For more advanced or experienced vapers, a vape pen may not seem like a worthwhile purchase, especially considering its limitations when compared to larger box mods and powerful mechanical mods. However, vape pens can still offer a more than satisfying experience and offer a more portable option when a box mod may be too bulky or heavy.
Ultimately, your decision to choose a vape pen will come down to what you’re looking to get from your vape device. If your only concern is power output and vapor production, a vape pen may not be the best choice for a primary device. However, if you simply want a device that works at creating vapor and delivering nicotine, a vape pen is one of the best options. The simplicity, ease of use, and portability of a vape pen is almost unrivalled, except perhaps by closed pod systems. That being said, vape pens do allow users to fill their devices with their own e-liquid, making it a more economical choice over closed pod systems.
Choosing your vape pen
As with almost any vaping device, the market is currently home to hundreds of options, many of which are made to appeal to certain types of vapers. Finding what device will work best for you can be somewhat daunting, but there are several factors you can consider to help make this task more manageable.
Coil resistance: Atomizers/coils are all rated at a specific resistance or ohm level. For example, sub-ohm vaping utilizes coils under 1 ohm, which will often produce much more vapor and will require more power to function properly. Understanding what resistance produces a vape you are comfortable with is key to choosing a vape pen. If you are looking for a device that grants more vapor -- but will drain more from the battery -- go with something that has low ohm coil options. That being said, if you care more about battery life and producing a more stealthy cloud, consider something with higher resistance coils.
Functionality: In terms of functionality, it’s important to consider how exactly you want your device to work. As we outlined before, there are two primary modes of operation for vape pens; button operation and draw activation. Understand how these two types of operations can drastically affect your vaping experience, so if possible, take the time to try out each style and find what is best for you.
Design: While vape pens at one point closely mimicked the appearance of traditional cigarettes, modern offerings take on clever designs that enhance portability and have their own distinct appeal. With something as simple as a vape mod, design becomes an incredibly important factor when choosing a vape pen and can make the device feel more unique to you.
When choosing the right vape pen for you, all these factors should be taken into consideration and balanced out on what you want to get out of your vape pen. Having the right device will only improve your overall vaping experience, whether it be in terms of how the device performs, how it looks, and how it carries.
How do I use a vape pen?
As we’ve mentioned numerous times, using a vape pen is incredibly simple and is remarkably intuitive. Without getting into extraneous detail, using a vape pen is as easy as holding down a button and inhaling. That being said, here are some tips that can ensure your experience is as amazing as possible.
- Ensure that your device is fully charged. Devices do not come with a full charge by the manufacturer and the small lithium-ion battery used in the majority of vape pens can diminish when the device isn’t used for extended periods of time. Occasionally, new users will assume their device is a dud when it really only needed to be charged first.
- If the vape pen has a button, turn it on by clicking the fire button five times. These five clicks can also be used to turn off the device and need to be done in rapid succession.
- If the vape pen is draw activated, simply inhale on the device to turn it on. The device will go to sleep if it hasn’t been used for some time.
- When inhaling through the device, start slow and be sure to inhale at the same time the button is being pressed down. Most vape pens will come with a power cutoff timer, meaning the device will automatically cut power after a considerable amount of seconds. If you want your hit to last longer, release the button for a split-second midway through your hit, then begin again immediately.
Q: What is a vape pen?
A: A vape pen is a compact and fuss-free vaping device that allows vapers to inhale nicotine in a small and convenient package.
Q: What do I need to use my vape pen?
A: Thankfully, vape pens are all-in-one devices, meaning vapers can use them after purchasing the device and filling it with e-liquid. We do recommend purchasing a pack of coils/pods to go along with whatever vape pen you choose. You may also want to purchase a new e-liquid to go with your device.
Q: How are vape pens “better” than other types of vapes?
A: While vape pens aren’t superior to any other style of vape, they do offer some benefits that vape mods and traditional e-cigarettes don’t have. First, they are much easier to use, when compared to vape mods, while still providing ample performance and vapor output. Next, their compact nature makes them ideal for the vaper on-the-go. Finally, the fact that vape pens can be charged and refilled, makes them much better suited for everyday vaping, when compared to disposable e-cigarettes.