Different kinds of vape pens produce different kinds of vapor

vape pen
vape pen

Vape Pens are small pen-like devices that vaporize e-juices or herbs and typically use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The user inhales from the mouthpiece to generate an inhalable aerosol, commonly referred to as a “vapor,” made up primarily of ultrafine particles (<10 micrometers in diameter). They are often used with personal vaporizers, such as electronic cigarettes or electronic cigars.

The United States has the highest number of vapers. No reliable estimates exist regarding how many devices are being used, but there has been a rapid rise in the number of users since their introduction to the market in 2007. From 2011 to 2015, they were a $1 billion industry with sales doubling every year.

Vape pens may be constructed with various atomizer tanks: top-coil, bottom-coil (BDC), or sub-ohm tanks. Compacts pens have relatively small capacities of 0.3–0.5 ml, normal pens have capacities of 0.5–2 ml, and some “mega pens” can hold over 2 mls of e-liquid. Atomizers can be manufactured to suit the user’s needs and can vary in design from simple mouthpieces to variable voltage/wattage mods.



Vape pens became popular in the United States. The first vape pens were often called “cigarlike” because of their compact size: some were made with a similar size as a cigarillo. The term may also refer to mechanical mods that are larger than cigarlike but smaller than vape mods. The term vaporizer pen was coined by Rick Merritt in 2013 after the segment of the vaping community grew strong enough to have their own subreddit and after he used a pen-like slang device called the “Nautilus X” which was produced by Vapor Couture, a company based in Smyrna, Tennessee. Digital vaporizer is also referred to as “e-rigs” and “e-pipes” by consumers.


Parts of a vaporizer pen

Vaporizer pens come in many different styles and sizes. Some vaporizers are designed to resemble the shape of and even have a similar appearance to a traditional pens or pencils. Other types are pen-sized vapes with a large glass tank/receptacle that holds the e-liquid or dry herb cartridge in which the coil is built into either an atomizer or an RBA deck.

A vape pen can be operated either via inhalation from the mouthpiece or can have a draw-activated firing system designed for nebulization from atomizers. Vape pens can also be operated by pulling on their power button, this activates a series of switches or buttons which actuate heating elements located inside of the device.

Vape pens are separate from e-cigarettes and e-hookahs (e-nails). The former are devices that heat a substance, usually an organic liquid, so that it produces a vapor. E-hookahs do not use heat, and the smoke is only made by inhaling smoke mist. Like vape pens, they usually consist of a rechargeable battery, atomizer and/or RBA coil for e-liquid storage in addition to an LED screen that dictates the amount of power output to the coils.

Vape pens can be charged via USB or mains. Many users also recharge the battery for the vape pen by taking a hit while it is charging. Sometimes, there will be another small LED light on the charger that might flash while charging to indicate how much power is left in the battery. The light might stay on when this occurs or depending on what type of batteries you use, it will flash green when it’s fully charged and red to show that it’s time to change your batteries.



vape pen
vape pen

The term “e-juice” is used in reference to e-liquids used in vaporizer pens and comes from their former name – e-cigarettes. Vape pens are often used for vaping e-liquids, commonly referred to as “e-juice.” E-liquid is the vaporized version of the liquid that is used to fill cartridges for e-cigarettes. The two most common types of vape pen or tanks, which use e-liquid, are called atomizers and RBA decks.

There are three main components that make up an atomizer: a coil (made of wire), a wick (for drawing the e-liquid into the coil), and a tank that holds the liquid for the coil. In some cases, there may also be a small metal bridge connecting the tank and coil.

Variations include a central air channel in the wick or coils that expands the vaporizing surface area and helps cool the device.

RBA decks (rebuildable atomizer) are for users who aspire to build their own coils. They are wired with a base resistance and then using an ohm meter (an instrument used to check electrical resistance) throughout the building process to ensure that there is enough resistance while maintaining an optimal coil performance. RBA decks offer greater customization options over pre-built atomizers like tanks, drippers, and RDAs because of their relatively open structure.

The capacity of vape pens varies anywhere from 0.1 ml to over 2 ml, depending on the size and design of the pen.

Other than the e-liquid, there is also a cartridge that can be refilled with dry herbs or concentrates in some cases. These cartridges are known as extract-oil cartridges or e-juice vape pens. They are usually disposable for single use only but are also fillable if you have used an extractor or want to buy a refillable cartridge for your vape pen.


Cartridge e-juice vs refillable tanks

Many vapers prefer tanks over other vape pens because they have no exposed coils and/or they can hold more liquid in them. Vape pen tanks have different types of atomizers and coils that make them different from each other in use.

Cartridges are the cheapest method of vaping because they are disposable. You buy a cartridge for your vape pen and use it until it runs out of e-liquid. It is filled with a 200 ml bottle or less of liquid. When liquid runs low, you throw it away and buy another cartridge.

Refillable tanks are easier to operate than cartridges because you can grasp the entire tank instead of being restricted to holding only one cartridge in your hand or on your desk while there is no protective cap on the tank since it is not disposable like cartomizers/cartridges are.

Some vaporizer pens consist of a coil with an atomizer, but most vape pens with an atomizer do not contain a coil.


RBA: rebuildable atomizer

atomizer vape pen
atomizer vape pen

The term “RBA” is used in the vaping community to describe rebuildable atomizers.” RBA’s are designed to be easily rebuilt by the user and are often also constructed of all-metal parts instead of plastic parts which can harm the user due to their potential toxic properties. RBA’s have multiple components: deck, drip tip, wick, coils/coils head (atomizer), soldering iron and cotton or wire bobbins or wicking material (e-liquid).


There you have it! I hope this article was helpful on explaining what a vape pen is. If you would like to have tips on how to find cheap vape pens for sale, check out our previous article!

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