WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

Discover the Best Vape Pens and Vaporizer Cartridge Pens

What are Vape Pens?

Vape pens are small, portable electronic devices that vaporize a liquid solution, often containing nicotine or THC.

The first vape pens emerged in the early 2000s as a more compact and convenient way to consume nicotine or cannabis compared to traditional cigarettes or pipes.

Since their inception, vape pens have soared in popularity, especially among younger demographics.

Their sleek, discreet design and variety of flavor options have helped drive this growth.

However, recent health concerns over vaping-related illnesses have sparked renewed scrutiny.

How Do Vape Pens Work?

Vape pens operate by heating a liquid solution, known as vape juice or e-liquid, to its boiling point.

This creates an inhalable vapor that the user inhales, similar to smoking.

But unlike traditional smoking methods, vape pens do not combust organic material and produce smoke.

Inside every vape pen is a battery, heating coil, wicking material, and a storage tank or pod for the vape juice.

When activated, the battery transmits power to the coil, rapidly heating it up.

The wicking material transports vape juice from the tank to the coil via capillary action.

When contact is made, the vape juice boils and vaporizes.

Vape pens utilize lithium-ion batteries, providing high power in a compact form factor necessary for these portable devices.

The vape battery output ranges from lower capacity options around 80 mAh to high performance models over 4,000 mAh and some have variable voltage.

Key Vape Pen Components

  1. Battery – provides power to the heating coil
  2. Coil – heats up to vaporize e-liquid
  3. Wick – transports e-liquid to coil
  4. Tank or pod – stores e-liquid

Best Vape Pens

There are two primary categories of vape pens for sale – closed systems and open systems:

Closed System Cartridge Pens

Closed system vape pens come with disposable pods or oil cartridges filled with e-liquid from the manufacturer.

They are draw-activated, simply requiring a pull on the mouthpiece to heat the built-in coil.

Their all-inclusive design makes closed systems straightforward to use for vaping beginners.

Some popular closed system brands include JUUL, Vuse, and Blu.

Advantages include easy operation, consistent flavor, and widespread availability.

Disposable options require no maintenance such as refilling or changing coils.

But closed systems offer limited flexibility or modification possibilities.

Users must utilize manufacturer-provided pods and liquids.

Open System Vaporizers

Open system vape pens feature a refillable tank and replaceable coils.

Users can fill the tank with their choice of e-liquid from a vast range of flavors and nicotine strengths.

More experienced vapers often prefer open systems, as they allow customization of the coil type, wattage, airflow and other settings to the user’s preferences.

Popular open system brands include SMOK, Innokin, and Vaporesso.

While they require more knowledge to master, open system pens provide more flexibility in producing desired vapor production and flavor.

Their modularity also allows upgrading individual components separately over time.

Common Vape Pen Uses

Beyond basic nicotine delivery, vape pens have emerged as popular devices for vaporizing other legal or controlled substances. Some common uses include:

THC Vape Pens

As more states have legalized marijuana, discreet and portable solutions for vaping THC oils have risen in popularity.

These function similar to nicotine vape pens but vaporize oils infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) instead, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

THC vape pens offer consistent, controlled dosing and nearly odorless consumption compared to traditional smoking methods.

Some devices feature precise temperature control, essential for vaporizing these viscous oils efficiently while preserving flavor.

However, illicit market THC oils have also caused a surge in severe vaping-related lung illnesses in recent years due to the addition of thickening agents like vitamin E acetate.

When vaped, these additives can form dangerous oily deposits in the lungs.

CBD Oil Vape Pens

Cannabidiol (CBD) vape pens vaporize oils containing CBD, a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis valued for its purported health and wellness properties.

Many use CBD vape pens in hopes it may relieve conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation or insomnia.

As CBD does not cause psychoactive effects, CBD pens allow discreet dosing for those seeking the possible therapeutic effects of cannabis without altering one’s mental state like THC.

They also avoid the harmful combustion byproducts created when smoking CBD-rich flower.

Nicotine Salt Vape Pens

While freebase nicotine e-liquids with higher pH levels produce harsher throat hits, nicotine salt vape juice lowers the pH, yielding a much smoother draw more akin to smoking.

Nicotine salt pens rapidly deliver higher concentrations to closely emulate and satisfy cravings from cigarette addiction.

The rise of nicotine salt formulations has fueled ultra-portable nicotine vaping systems like the popular JUUL device.

However, these high-strength liquids also carry higher addiction risk, especially for nonsmokers, teens and young adults.

Popular Vape Pens

Several vape pen brands stand out regarding quality, performance, and reputation.

Some top options include:

Innokin Sceptre

Innokin makes highly reliable vape pens like the Sceptre, featuring durable zinc alloy construction, long-lasting batteries, and consistent coil options that balance flavor and vapor production.

Uwell Caliburn

Ultra-portable pod system pens like Uwell’s Caliburn provide a tight MTL draw and deliver nicotine salts efficiently. Its iconic form factor, build quality, and flavor have sparked many imitators.

Vaporesso XROS

Easy top-fill pods, long-lasting coils, and a wealth of safety protections make Vaporesso’s XROS a leading pod vape pen for nicotine salts. An affordable workhorse pod mod.

Smok Nord 4

Smok dominates the pen-style AIO market, continually iterating upon past designs. The Nord 4 features a crisp .23” OLED screen while retaining the brand’s signature chassis – now with a 4500 mAh battery.

From leading cig-a-likes like Blu and VaporFi to pod mod giants like Smok and Yocan, vape tech continues advancing. 

But ultimately the best vape pen combines quality engineering with user preferences like form factor, vapor production, and nicotine intensity. 

Dab Pens, Wax Pens & Oil Vape Pens

Beyond standard vape pens on the market for e-liquids, specialized devices have emerged for cannabis concentrates:

Dab Pens

Dab pens vaporize solid or waxy marijuana extracts and oils like shatter, budder, or live resin rather than ground flower. Loads typically drop into exposed buckets/chambers directly touching heating coils.

Wax Pens

Wax pens feature chambers accommodating semi-solid waxy oils extracted from cannabis. Oils soak into coils or heating plates for vaporization when activated, preventing waste.

Oil Pens

THC or CBD oil vape pens heat viscous, liquid cannabis oils contained in vape cartridges or tanks for inhalation. Oils provide precise dosing plus high terpene and cannabinoid retention from strain-specific extractions.

However, additives like vitamin E acetate found in many illicit market cannabis oils have caused severe lung illness associated with vaping when inhaled.

Reputable, licensed sources thoroughly lab testing oils should be prioritized, as legal markets expand.

Unlike dry herb vape or flower vapes, these vaporizer pens deliver ultra-potent effects.

And their compact size fosters discreet, convenient dosing. But their power also risks overconsumption if misused, especially by novices.

Vape Pen Maintenance

Investing in a quality device is only half the battle – properly maintaining vape pens helps preserve performance and maximize lifespan:

Coil Care & Replacement

Clean coils last longer. “Dry hit” taste indicates it’s time to change coils. Avoid rushing wattage increases on fresh coils. Slowly ramping up reduces burning. Expect to replace coils every 1-2 weeks.

Keep Threads & Connections Clean

E-liquid leaks happen but swiftly cleaning sticky residue preserves connections. Q-tips soaked in isopropyl alcohol help. Prevent tank base juice buildup too.

Battery Management

Fully drain then recharge batteries once monthly to “recalibrate” battery meter accuracy. Avoid leaving devices plugged in overnight after charging complete. Extreme hot or cold degrades batteries faster.

Careful Refilling

Angle mods when filling tanks to avoid leaking down the center pipe onto electronics. Keep e-juice bottles nozzles clean to prevent contamination. Close airflow when refilling.

Following simple maintenance best practices maximizes vape pen enjoyment while avoiding easily preventable issues like flooded atomizers and degraded batteries. A little diligent care goes a long way.

Are Vape Pens Safe?

Despite their surging popularity, substantial questions have emerged surrounding vape pen safety in recent years:

Vaporizer Illnesses

Per the CDC, there have been over 2,800 hospitalizations or deaths attributed to e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) since June 2019.

Most stemmed from vaping illicit market THC oils containing vitamin E acetate thinning agents.

When inhaled, these additives can cling to lung tissue, causing severe damage.

However, youth nicotine vaping rates have also soared, addicting many teens and young adults to nicotine – a highly addictive chemical.

Nicotine exposure during adolescent brain development may also impair learning, memory, mood, impulse control and attention.

Explosions & Fires

Defective or improperly handled lithium-ion batteries have triggered a concerning number of vape pen explosions and fires as well, resulting in severe burns and injuries – especially when carried loosely in pockets.

Faulty chargers have also started fires that rapidly destroyed homes.

These incidents underscore the need for safer battery regulations and manufacturing standards for quality control and consumer safety.

Properly handling lithium batteries and purchasing reputable brands certified by independents labs significantly reduce explosion risks.

Toxic Exposure

Outside reputable manufacturers, questionable ingredients and contaminants have appeared in some vape juices and flavor concentrates.

Of particular concern are food flavorings like diacetyl approved for ingestion but unsafe when inhaled.

Prolonged exposure has been linked to respiratory conditions like bronchiolitis obliterans (“popcorn lung”).

Unlabeled thinning agents have also caused the vaping illness outbreak.

And heavy metals like lead and cadmium have appeared in certain devices.

Hence stringent standards are needed regarding both hardware and e-liquid quality and content verification.

Future of Vape Pens & Regulation

As vaping-related illnesses thrust safety concerns into the spotlight, the vape pen landscape faces shifting regulations and public sentiment:

Flavor Bans

Following rising youth vaping rates, the FDA now prohibits the manufacture and sale of flavored cartridge-based vaping systems except menthol and tobacco flavors.

However, disposable flavors and refillable tank options remain exempt for now.

Additional flavor restrictions may follow amid ongoing debate between regulators, the vaping industry and public health groups.

Premarket Review

While historically lax, FDA oversight now mandates all vaping manufacturers submit premarket tobacco product review applications demonstrating their devices meet current product standards.

Those who do not file applications or fail to adequately prove product safety and youth access protections risk market removal beginning September 2020.

These stringent data requirements may consolidate the vapor market landscape.

Excise Taxes

Lawmakers continue proposing excise taxes on nicotine e-liquids akin to traditional tobacco products as vaping youth usage climbs.

However, opponents argue excessive taxation would bankrupt many smaller manufacturers while incentivizing illicit trade and DIY mixing attempts without addressing youth access – similar economically punitive policies have failed curbing youth cigarette rates historically.

How increased manufacturing costs from premarket review mandates may impact pricing also remains to be seen. Hence the vape pen market faces much uncertainty regarding affordability and competitive landscape in coming years due to impending regulatory shifts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are vape pens reusable?

Some vape pens are entirely disposable while others feature a rechargeable battery and refillable tank. Many vape pen tanks can be conveniently refilled with bottled e-liquid once empty. Disposable pods, however, get discarded once depleted.

What is a good quality vape pen?

A quality vape pen has several key characteristics:

  • Reliable, long-lasting battery from a reputable brand that won’t overheat or lose charge rapidly
  • Durable metal or quality plastic construction – no cheap thin materials
  • Safety features like automatic shutoff and overload/short circuit protection
  • E-liquid tanks and coils made from stainless steel and organic cotton
  • Accurate, consistent coil resistance/ohms
  • Tight seals to prevent leaking
  • Easy to refill and maintain
  • Flavorful, consistent vapor production from quality coils
  • Backed by exceptional customer service and warranties on hardware defects

Choosing pens built to higher certifications like CE, RoHS, and ISO can help ensure better standards regarding safety, quality control, and manufacturing consistency. While cheaper pens may function initially, critical flaws manifest over time. So investing in well-engineered, thoughtfully designed hardware from trusted industry names pays off through better reliability, performance, and longevity.

How much do vape pens cost?

Vape pen pricing varies widely between disposable models versus reusable devices and cheap gas station/convenience store options versus premium brands:

Disposable: $5 to $20
Disposable vape pens offer the lowest upfront cost but no reuse potential. Most retailers sell disposables between $5 to $15. High nicotine specialty blends may reach upwards of $20.

Starter Kits: $15 to $50 
Refundable beginner vape pen kits with a battery, tank, coils and charging components average $15 to $40. All-in-one (AIO) devices fall within this range. More advanced mods hit $50+.

Reusable: $20+
While cheaper reusable options exist, quality pens with replaceable coils, good battery life and safety protections start around $20+. Expect to spend $30+ for reputable brand device built to last.

Pods: $10+ per 4-pack 
Prefilled pods cost $10 to $20 for a pack of four pods. But the investment in a reusable device pays for itself over a year of use.

So an initial quality pen purchase from $20 to $50 saves tremendously over burning through disposables long-term. And taking care of the device allows incremental upgrades down the line.