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Less common are vape pens that support the use of both dry herb material and concentrates. If you’re looking for a vaporizer that can work with both types of material, you are much more likely to find a portable vaporizer that meets your expectations. For example, the PAX 3 features an oven that can hold up to 0.3 grams of finely-ground dry herbs; the device also comes with concentrate inserts that allow you to vaporize concentrates. However, many portable vaporizers also only support one type of material or the other, so it’s important to check before you buy. Another key consideration when selecting a vaporizer is understanding whether it offers multiple temperature settings and, if so, how many.

Vape pens tend to be more simplistic in their design: many are programmed to only support a single temperature, while others offer general low, medium, and high settings. Vape pens also tend to have a one-button functionality, where a series of clicks as defined in the vape pen’s manual turns the device on and off, changes temperature, and begins the heating process. If you’re after a more customizable temperature setting, portable vaporizers are more likely to offer what you need. There are many portable vaporizers on the market that only offer four pre-set temperature settings, but many others still allow you to set temperature down to the precise degree, supporting dozens of temperature settings. The loading system is where vape pens and portable vaporizers can vary quite a bit from one to the next. Depending on which type of vape pen you purchase, loading systems range from screw-in cartridges to pods to ovens. Screw-in cartridges tend to be oil-based and pre-filled; these cartridges can be used with any battery that has the same sized threading. On the other hand, the PAX Era , which is a pod system vape, is compatible with SimpleClick™ pods that are pre-filled with oil. Vape pens with ovens work similarly to portable vaporizers and require you to manually pack your material. Many vape pens with ovens only support the use of dry herb.

There is also some variation between portable vaporizers when it comes to loading systems, though a chamber or oven method is far more common. Most portable vaporizers include this chamber on the bottom or below the mouthpiece. To load your chosen cannabis material, simply remove the oven lid, pack your material in accordance with the directions in your device owner’s manual, and replace the oven lid once again. If your portable vaporizer also supports the use of concentrates, it might require the use of pads or inserts onto which you can load your wax. Finally, one of the biggest differences between vape pens and portable vaporizers is the degree of maintenance required. Vape pens are usually very simple and require little to no maintenance. Pod vapes and cartridge vapes merely need to be switched out when the cannabis material is depleted. Beyond checking the battery to ensure nothing is blocking the contacts, there is little maintenance involved with these types of vape pens. Vape pens with ovens will need to be cleaned out periodically , typically with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. Cleaning your vape pen means ensuring there is no residue in the oven, blocking the vapor path, or obstructing the mouthpiece. Portable vaporizers tend to require more care than vape pens. They need to be cleaned after every few uses and many come with maintenance kits that include wire brushes or pipe cleaners. Like vape pens with ovens, portable vaporizers require regularly cleaning of the oven, vapor path and mouthpiece, although oftentimes they are slightly more complex than their vape pen counterparts. It is not uncommon that the mouthpiece will include several components that must be disassembled, for example. Once cleaned, portable vaporizers must be allowed to dry completely before being reassembled. For all their differences, there are some similarities between vape pens and portable vaporizers. These similarities contribute to the popularity of both types of devices, making them easy to use devices that are perfect for discreet use. Vape pens and portable vaporizers all tend to be compact in design, with the largest weighing about 200 grams and standing just about 5″ tall. Many are significantly smaller and can be easily slipped into a pocket or bag. Their highly mobile nature makes vape pens and portable vaporizers alike a go-to choice compared to their stationary forebears, desktop vaporizers . In addition to their impressive mobility, vape pens and portable vaporizers are perfect for discreet use. These devices can be used in a way that minimizes vapor production, smell, and visibility. Most vape pens and portable vaporizers can fit in the palm of your hand and won’t draw attention. You can also typically keep your vapor clouds small and unnoticeable by only heating your cannabis material to a low temperature level and in short draws.

Some vaporizers, like the PAX 3, include programmable settings that reduce the level of vapor production even further while minimizing odor and dimming the LED lights. Finally, vape pens and portable vaporizers are relatively easy to learn how to use. In a short time, even a new device will be familiar. Typically vape pens and portable vaporizers have a simple control system. Many employ a single button, while some have just two or three. Others have no buttons at all but respond to an intuitive system of shakes and taps. Many buttonless vaporizers will heat your cannabis material when you inhale on the mouthpiece, making your vape session a seamless, automatic process. When choosing your vaporizers , it’s important to keep in mind your top priorities.

If a high vapor quality, customizability, and versatility are your chief concerns, portable vaporizers are likely more your speed. If you prefer simplicity and a very low level of maintenance, vape pens might be better suited for you. Each type of device offers a great deal of mobility and discretion, but there is plenty of variation between individual models as well, so it’s important to do your homework. It’s not uncommon that a vape owner keeps both a portable vaporizer and vape pen on hand for different circumstances.

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