For many of the millions of people who have quit smoking with the help of vaping, the vape pen is the most perfect type of vaping device. Vape pens are typically cylindrical in shape and are larger than traditional cigarettes but smaller than many cigars. For many in the vaping community, that’s the perfect size range because it allows for a device that’s easy to carry in a pocket but still offers much more power and battery life than would be possible with a cigarette-sized device. Vape pens are so popular, in fact, that you’ll actually have several different types of devices from which to choose when you visit a larger vape shop like V2 Cigs. That can cause some confusion if you know that you want a vape pen but aren’t sure which type is right for you.
Most vape pens fall into one of three categories. There are tank-based vape pens, pod-based vape pens and all-in-one vape pens. Each type has its own pros and cons, and in this article, we’re going to help you understand those differences.
Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the three types of vape pens.
Tank-Based Vape Pens
A tank-based vape pen stores its e-liquid in a detachable glass or plastic tank that connects to the battery via a screw-on thread. Some tanks for vape pens are pre-filled with e-liquid and are designed to be thrown away when they’re empty. Others are sold in an empty state, and you can refill them as many times as you like until the flavor quality begins to decline.
The thread that a tank-based vape pen uses is called the 510 thread. Virtually all of the vape tanks and cartridges on the market use the 510 thread, and that means a tank-based vape pen is a very versatile device. A tank-based vape pen may not have the ability to work with very large “sub-ohm” tanks – but otherwise, it’ll work with just about any tank or cartridge you’d like to connect to it. Although a tank-based vape pen almost always includes a compatible tank, it’s also fun to have a device that gives you the freedom to explore third-party accessories.
Tank-based vape pens offer superior vapor production and flavor, and they’re also the devices that give you the most freedom in terms of the accessories and e-liquid flavors that you use. Some of the vape pens in this category, however, might be a little more complex than what you’re looking for if you’re new to vaping. Some tank-based vape pens have complicated menu systems and control schemes. Most require you to replace your tank’s atomizer coil periodically. Although it’s not difficult to learn how to do those things, you may prefer a simpler vape pen if you’re looking for something that feels more like smoking and less like using a gadget.
Pod-Based Vape Pens
A pod-based vape pen stores its e-liquid in a hollow plastic pod. The pod usually attaches to the battery magnetically, which means that you install and remove it simply by pushing and pulling it. Like threaded vape cartridges, vape pods are also sold in two forms. You can buy pre-filled vape pods that work similarly to the pre-filled cartridges described above, and you can also buy empty pods that can be refilled several times before their flavor quality begins to suffer.
Pod-based vape pens are some of the simplest vaping devices on the market – especially if you buy a device that uses pre-filled pods. If you use a pre-filled pod system, your device requires no maintenance at all other than periodic recharging. You’ll simply charge the battery and drop in a pod, and you’ll vape until the pod is empty. At that point, you’ll throw the pod away and start using a new one.
Refillable pod systems are similarly simple and only require occasional refilling and recharging. When the pod that you’re using no longer delivers acceptable flavor quality, you’ll discard it and start using a new pod. For more advanced vapers, pod-based vape pens with replaceable atomizer coils are also available.
As convenient and simple as pod-based vape pens are, they do have one drawback in that they are proprietary devices that only work with the pods designed for them. While a tank-based vape pen usually gives you the ability to try various third-party accessories, you can’t do that with a pod system.
Pod systems with pre-filled pods also have an additional drawback in that their flavor selections tend to be fairly limited. That’s especially true in the United States, where legal restrictions limit pre-filled pods to just tobacco and menthol flavors. A refillable pod system, on the other hand, doesn’t have that restriction because you fill the pods with bottled e-liquid, which is available in many flavors.
All-in-One Vape Pens
An all-in-one vape pen stores its e-liquid in a tank that usually has a glass enclosure. The difference between a traditional tank-based vape pen and an all-in-one vape pen, though, is that the atomizer coil connects directly to the battery in an all-in-one device rather than connecting to the base of a removable tank. That means that the tank is a semi-permanent part of the device and can’t be replaced with a third-party tank.
Like pod-based vape pens, all-in-one vape pens are proprietary devices. Although this type of vape pen might offer a few different atomizer coils to give you some freedom to customize your vaping experience, those are the only coils that you’ll ever be able to use with the device unless the manufacturer releases something new.
While an all-in-one vape pen is limited in the amount of freedom and flexibility it offers, a major benefit of this type of vape pen is that it tends to offer better flavor and vapor production than a pod-based device while still offering the level of convenience and leak resistance that you’d get with a pod system. All-in-one devices usually store their e-liquid in glass rather than plastic, which improves the flavor quality. In addition, the atomizer coil in an all-in-one device is often much more powerful than what you’d find in a pod-based device.