Difference Between Dab Pens and Vape Pens

Dab pens and vape pens are two different types of devices that are to consume marijuana products. However, many people, especially beginners, don’t know the difference between these two devices, and sometimes, they use the terms “dabbing and vaping” interchangeably.

This article covers the similarity and differences between dab pens and vape pens. With this information, you’ll be able to select the device that is best suited for your cannabis consumption.

What’s a Vape Pen?

To fully understand what vaping pens are, you first need to know what vaping is all about. Vaping is a modern technique used to consume marijuana products (often dry herbs, oils, and sometimes wax) through the use of vaporizers. The vaping device uses a heating mechanism that heats the materials and turns them into vapors, which you can inhale and then exhale.

Vaporizers come in different shapes and sizes. A typical vaping unit features a heating system, battery, chamber, and a mouthpiece. Since convenience is essential to customers, vape pens were designed to give users the best-vaping experience in terms of comfort.  Vape pens are compact, battery-powered devices that are used to consume flowers and oils. They are mostly shaped like your regular office pen or whiteboard marker for discreteness and mobility.

What’s a Dab Pen?

Everyone is not a fan of dry herbs and oils. Some people prefer to smoke concentrated cannabis like wax, shatter, rosin, budder, etc. Marijuana concentrates and extracts are generally more potent, and they offer many unique therapeutic benefits that are lacking in buds.

The process of consuming concentrates by converting them into inhalable vapors is called dabbing. In the past, people mostly used dabbing rigs to dab, but times have changed, and there are more convenient ways to smoke cannabis extracts.

One such way is the use of dab pens. Like vape pens, dab pens, or wax pens, as they are sometimes called, are small, battery-powered devices that are designed specifically for consuming concentrates.

Dabbing devices have a similar design with vape pens, but you cannot use dab pens to vaporize dry herbs and flowers. Dab pens have coils that you place your wax on. The coil then melts the product, moves it down to the wick, and the wick converts it into vapors, which you can inhale from the mouthpiece.


It’s very easy to confuse vape pens and dab pens, thanks to their similar exterior designs. However, their differences are mainly on how they work, their parts, maintenance, and the kind of cannabis products that they are compatible with.

By now, you should already know that vape pens are specially designed for dry herbs and liquid THC products. Dab pens, on the other hand, are only compatible with concentrated cannabis and extracts like wax and shatter. However, keep in mind that there are some hybrid vape pens on the market that are designed to support multiple cannabis products, including flowers, liquid, and wax.

Another major difference between dab pens and vape pens is that vaporizer pens have a dry herb chamber or cartridge that holds the material until it is turned to vapors while dab pens feature coils, which heats the wax.

Lastly, maintaining a dab pen is quite harder than caring for a vape pen. Dab pens tend to be a lot messier because of the sticky nature of the wax and other concentrates.


While vape pens and dab pens have their differences, they also share some similarities. For instance, both devices use heating systems to heat the materials. They are powered by a rechargeable battery, which provides power for the heating system.  They also share almost the same pen-like shape for convenience and mobility.

Author: Guest Contributor

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