What is a vape pen?
A vape pen is a power source that heats up a vape tank or cartridge to produce vapor. They’re rechargeable battery-powered devices that are pocket-sized and cylindrical – hence, the name “pen.” Vape pens first hit the e-cigarette scene around 2010 from a company called Janty, then shortly after popularized by Joyetech. This device revolutionized the vaporizer market by offering larger battery capacity and longer running times, as well as providing the user the ability to swap atomizers or cartridges. Prior to vape pens, e-cigarettes were small self-contained units the shape and size of a cigarette.
How to use a vape pen
Using a vape pen is as simple as holding it and pushing the button while drawing on your cart or tank. Still, there are a few tips to make the experience free from hiccups.
- Charge the pen fully before use or putting a cart or tank on it. There is a small lithium-ion battery in the vape pen, and capacity can diminish while not in use for extended periods (like sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased.) Frequent new users may think a new battery was a dud when it only needed to be charged first.
- If the device has a button, to turn it on requires a five-click quick press of the button. These five clicks need to happen in rapid succession. This is the same way to turn off the device. If the device is draw activated, it goes into sleep mode when not in use, thus there is no physical on/off switch.
- If the device has adjustable power, turn it all the way down before you begin. Take a vape. Slowly adjust up in power and take another vape. Once it feels and tastes to your liking, you’ve found your sweet spot. Most often, the adjustable power will be a rotary dial on the bottom of the pen. The common adjustments are in volts, going from 3.3 volts to 4.8 volts. Very few cannabis oil carts should go above 3.7-3.9 volts or it will produce a burnt hit. The recommended range for oil carts is 3.3-3.9 volts.
- When you take a drag on your tank or cart, the pen will stop power to the atomizer once the automatic shutoff limit has been reached. Check your pen’s user manual to see how long its limit is. Typically, the limit won’t exceed 8 seconds for one hit. If you want to take a longer draw, release the button for a split-second midway through your hit, then begin again immediately.
Charging a vape pen
Warning: do not use a cell phone wall plug to charge your pen since its max charge voltage will likely exceed the safety limits of your device. Charging a vape pen this way poses a fire hazard at worst, or it could fry your battery.
Vape pens are charged through a USB cord and are meant to be charged like other small electronic devices, like on a computer or laptop, or even in your car.
There are two types of charge cords for vape pens that depend on the one you have.
- The standard micro USB cord to be plugged into the side of the pen, or in the bottom of the device (sometimes hidden under a chrome cap).
- A proprietary connection that threads directly onto the top of the pen (called a 510 connection).
If you need a vape pen charger replacement, and you have a vape pen with a standard connection, any other standard USB cord will work. If you have a proprietary connection that threads onto the 510, you can find replacements on eBay (search for “eGo charger”). A replacement charger for a vape pen should only cost a couple dollars.