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How Vape Pens Work

January 15, 2017 2 min read

How Vape Pens Work

Vape pens are a product of technology. In fact, the way they are constructed is a work of absolute ingenuity. If you own one or are thinking of getting one, it would do you good to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of this piece of engineering genius. First off, though, consider a cigarette, a vape pen's ugly, unhealthy cousin. A cigarette has tobacco and few other compounds which are heated by fire and the resulting smoke is inhaled. It is a crude process and you will be surprised to know just different vape pens are.


Any vape pen has 4 major components. Each of them will be dealt with in detail.

  • Battery 

    The battery is the fuel which keeps the vape pen operational. Vape pens have simple batteries, they may not even be as complex or high powered like the ones you find in your phone. They are, however, more often than not, lithium-ion based. Batteries have to work in seconds, as soon as the button is pushed to heat the oils, so they are usually high capacity pieces and are rechargeable through a wall socket. They take the most space and are typically the heaviest part of the device.

  • Tank 

    The tank is where you will load up the oil or the wax or shatter. They differ depending on the type of pen but are usually just a few ml in capacity. The tank is the reservoir and will usually be just beyond the coil or the heating element. The tank will be air tight to prevent any leaks that might damage the circuitry. They are normally plastic or glass and see through.

  • Atomizer 

    The main heating element is called the atomizer. It converts the oil or wax into vapor which is then inhaled. When the liquid or wax is heated to typically 400 degrees, it instantly becomes tiny droplets, mixed in with the expanding air around it. If you are vaping CBD or oil, the active ingredients get released at this temperature. The glycerine that is present creates that cloudy vapor that is so telling of a vape. The atomizer is fine tuned when manufactured but many brands give full control to the user with regards to heat, the length of the 'drag' and amount of power used.

  • Other controls and sensors 

    There are a number of brands that offer automatic ignition of the pen when inhaled. So it instantly starts up. If you do not like this feature, you may get one that activates only after pressing a button. Small screens that show temperature, battery levels, the length of the 'drags', and other counters require firmware to operate and they have now become an integral part of the vaping experience. Vape pens can also be controlled through an app on your smartphone. 

Every time the device is activated, the coil is heated up, the oil is atomized and a large cloud of smoke can be drawn in quite easily. The experience is smooth and satisfying, something that you should try, even if you are not a smoker.

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