These Are the 4 Different Types of Concentrate Vaporizers

By  //  March 17, 2023

Over the past few years, oil and wax concentrates have virtually taken over the entire herbal vaping industry. Concentrates have so many benefits that many people have abandoned dry herbs entirely.

They’re much more potent than whole flower. They also have almost no smell and are extremely discreet. Perhaps most importantly, there are many herbal concentrates that are federally legal and are thus available for purchase outside the expensive dispensary system. 

Another benefit of concentrate vaping is that it comes in several different forms. There are oil-based and wax-based concentrates, and there are several different types of vaporizers that you can use with those concentrates. The variety of concentrate vaporizers ensures that you can have exactly the experience that you want. It can also make choosing your first vaporizer a little challenging, though, since it’s hard to know what kind of experience you want if you’ve never tried oil or wax vaping before.

If you’re new to herbal concentrates, this is the article for you. In it, we’re going to explain the four different types of concentrate vaporizers and help you understand why each of them might be the right choice for you. When you’re done reading, you should have a much better idea of what type of vaporizer you might like to buy first.

510-Thread Batteries and Pre-Filled Cartridges

The most basic type of concentrate vaporizer on the market – and the type of vaporizer that almost all beginners choose – is the 510-thread battery. This type of vaporizer is a simple tube-shaped device with threading at the top, and you set it up by screwing a cartridge into the threading. To vape, you’ll either puff on the cartridge or hold a manual button depending on the vaporizer’s design.

One of the reasons why 510-thread batteries are so popular is because pre-filled cartridges are perhaps the most popular herbal vaping products on the market today. You can find them in every dispensary – and thanks to the advent of federally legal alternative cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, they’re also available online. You can use a cartridge until it runs out of oil – which can take a while since oil-based distillates are extremely potent – and then you’ll throw it away and start using a new one. Since pre-filled cartridges are readily available and so easy to use, many people have little interest in using anything else.

As perfect as they are for most people, pre-filled vape cartridges do have a downside in that using them is a little more expensive than buying your own distillate and using refillable cartridges. Many people buy pre-filled cartridges anyway, though, either because they believe the convenience is worth the price or because bulk distillate isn’t available to buy where they live. 

Oil Pens and Refillable Cartridges

Oil pens are the same as 510-thread batteries in many ways. In fact, they’ll usually work with pre-filled cartridges without any trouble. The main difference is that an oil pen will often ship with at least one empty refillable oil cartridge, whereas a 510-thread battery usually ships with nothing but a charging cable. In addition, an oil pen will sometimes have advanced features that most 510-thread batteries lack. Some of those features may include:

  • The ability to operate at multiple power levels
  • A low-power coil preheating mode
  • The ability to switch between puff-activated and manual firing

Because an oil pen will generally work with any type of vape cartridge, you can buy one even if you’re not interested in using the included refillable cartridge and only want to use pre-filled vape carts. You also might want to buy an oil pen instead of a 510-thread battery if the oil pen has an advanced feature that you want and aren’t able to find elsewhere. If you’re not interested in buying a concentrate vaporizer that has advanced features, though, you’re probably better off buying a simple 510-thread battery because you’ll spend less.

Electric Nectar Collectors

Electric nectar collectors are vaporizers that work with both oil and wax concentrates and are extremely easy to use. An electric nectar collector is essentially a straw with a heating element on the bottom. You turn the device on and inhale through the straw while touching the heating element to your oil or wax. The heating element vaporizes the concentrate, sending the vapor through the straw so you can inhale it. 

In addition to being very easy to use, electric nectar collectors are also extremely clean because there’s no cartridge or chamber to load with oil or wax. If you store your concentrate in a container made from a heat-resistant material such as silicone, you can vape your concentrate directly from the container. Electric nectar collectors are also great because they can work with material of any consistency. From the runniest oils to the hardest waxes, you’ll have no trouble with whatever material happens to be available.

The one drawback of electric nectar collectors is that they aren’t as portable as vaporizers designed to use self-contained cartridges. To use an electric nectar collector on the go, you’ll have to bring the device and your concentrate jar. You can’t just take a single puff and put the device back into your pocket as you can with 510-thread batteries.

Dab Pens and Rigs

Dab pens and rigs are designed for waxy concentrates only. A dab pen has an exposed heating element, and you use it by putting a dab of wax directly on the element and inhaling.

Like electric nectar collectors, dab pens and rigs tend not to be very portable. Some, in fact, are desktop vaporizers that aren’t designed for portability at all. However, dab rigs do have one large benefit in that they tend to offer a very potent vaping experience.

A dab rig tends to have extremely open airflow characteristics, and that enables you to take a very deep puff with ease. If you’ve tried other types of vaporizers and found them a bit lacking in the cloud production department, you definitely won’t have that experience with a dab rig.