Oil Pens 101

Oil Pens 101

For those who are new to the vaping world or those simply looking to change up the style of pen they use, choosing between the variety of oil vape pens on the market can be overwhelming. There are different types, styles, features, and price points, which means there’s something for everyone. But understanding the distinctions between different oil pens is important so you find the one that’s best for you.


There are three types of oil vaporizers — desktop, cigalikes, and oil pens. Desktop oil vaporizers are few and far between, primarily because it’s more convenient for manufacturers to modify a dry herb vaporizer to include a heating chamber for vaping oils. However, they do exist if you’re interested. The second style, cigalikes, were one of the first styles of vape pens on the market. As the name implies, they look a lot like cigarettes. Cigalikes contain a battery and an oil cartridge, and although they were once incredibly popular, they’re quickly being overtaken. Why? Because although the cartridges are easy to replace, there’s no way to know exactly what’s in them. Which leads us to oil pens.

Why Oil Pens?

Oil pens are a great option for those who enjoy the ease, functionality, and portability of vaping while favoring the variety that comes from being able to experiment with a wide range of flavors and concentrates. Instead of having to worry about carrying around your product and a grinder, then refilling your vape pens by hand each time, oil pens give users the ability to use pre-loaded oil cartridges. This not only takes the guesswork out of having to refill the oil pens, but it lends itself to being incredibly portable, more discreet than other vape pens, and doesn’t require users to understand the details of dosing when they’re vaping.


Generally speaking, vape pens — regardless of the type — are made up of three parts: a battery, a tank, and a mouthpiece. The battery controls not only the length of time you’re able to spend vaping, but in some vape pens, also can adjust the temperature of your material. The tank is where the product you’re vaping is stored. In terms of mouthpieces, there are several styles to choose from depending on your preference. A wider mouthpiece delivers cooler vapor, while a shorter, narrower mouthpiece produces a warmer vapor.

Oil Types

There are two main categories when it comes to vaping oils: essential oils and cannabis oils. As with dry herb vaporizers, many people assume that vaping is solely for the buzz of getting high. And while it’s hard to argue the popularity of marijuana oils such as CBD, THC, and hemp oil, there are also several essential oils that are great for your oil pens and contain therapeutic properties.


Cannabis Oils

Hemp oil is probably the most confusing of the main three cannabis oils. Due to its origin — hemp, not marijuana — hemp oil doesn’t have the research-backed medicinal benefits that are usually tacked on to THC or CBD oil. Even though hemp has little to no THC — the psychoactive component that makes users feel “high” — the federal government still considers it an illegal Schedule 1 drug.

There are two types of oils sourced from the cannabis plant — THC oil and CBD oil. Both have been shown to aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions including depression, autism, fibromyalgia, anxiety, and epilepsy. The National Institutes for Health recently released the findings from a study supporting the use of cannabis for managing the symptoms of MS. However, there are varieties that are pure CBD with no THC, giving you the medicinal benefits of cannabis oils without the high that you experience from THC.

If you do partake in vaping cannabis oil, you may want to invest in a smell-proof case, especially if you’re vaping cannabis oils in states that aren’t cannabis friendly. Besides helping to avoid curious noses, a case makes storing accessories such as chargers, additional cartridges for oil pens, or spare mouthpieces safer and more convenient than just tossing them in your bag.

Essential Oils

One of the most important tips when vaping essential oils is to start small. The concentration of essential oils varies greatly across brands and varieties, so it’s important to take it slow when adding them to your oil pen routine. If you’re looking to experiment with essential oil vaping, remember: not all oils are created equally. Sure, you could pick up a cheap version that has been mass produced overseas. Or you could make an investment in your product, doing your research to ensure that the oil hasn’t been diluted, and isn’t contaminated.

Some of our favorite essential oils to vape:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Chamomile oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Eucalyptus oil

Cartridge Types

Choosing which oil pens are right for you also requires choosing a cartridge style. As there are many different varieties on the market, it’s important to educate yourself with the various types so you can select the one that is best for you.

Refillable vs. Disposable

Many vape pens come with a refillable oil tank that allows users to swap out different styles with their battery, while other vape pens come with pre-charged batteries that are meant to be discarded after the tank is emptied. Some products give users the ability to add any brand of pod, while others, such as the Pax Era, use a specific type of oil pods specifically created for their devices.

Which Oil Pens are Best?

With dozens of brands to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Although the best oil pens for you comes down to personal preference, making sure to buy from a reputable dealer with kind and knowledgeable customer service representatives is important. For those looking to choose a high-quality vape at an affordable price, the Era by Pax really rises above the competition. However, if you’re looking to check out your options, LighterUSA has a great selection of vape pens to choose from, all with top of the line service.