Anatomy of a Vape Pen: The Layman’s Guide

May 27, 2023

Anatomy of a Vape Pen: The Layman’s Guide

Understanding your vape pen is crucial to helping your get the most out of vaping. The components that make up a vape pen may be nothing like quantum physics, but the way they function together is central to the quality of your vaping experience. You don’t need to be a vape geek, but once you master the mechanics, you will be vaping away like the pro you’ve always envisioned yourself to be.

Vape Pens, Vape Pods, and Vape Mods

Vape devices come in different types. It’s not 2008 anymore so we will leave the first generation of electronic cigarettes (aka cig-a-likes) out of this debate. Vape pens are named so due to the pen-like shape they assume. They are long, thin – though thicker than your ordinary pen – and cylindrical in shape. They come across as fancy, sleek pens you would love to try your hand at. The AV Series 2 is an example of a great performing vape pen. Vape pods, for their part, are the latest type of e-cig device available to vapers. These are smaller devices ideal for discreet vaping as they are not physically imposing, plus their vapour production is typically subdued too. Also known as pod vapes or pod mods, these little bundles of joy usually make use of nicotine salt e-liquid, another new in the vaping industry. They come in two types: closed pod systems (the original design) and the more recent open pod systems. Read all about closed vs. open pod systems here. The AV Nano Disposable is an example of a closed pod system, while the Click & Vape Refillable Kit is what you can expect with an open pod vape. And then there are vape mods, an advanced form of vaporiser. These are the most powerful type of e-cig device and are used for sub ohming or cloud chasing. Mods are available as either sub ohm kits (AV Series 4) or meaner machines in the form of the more powerful box mod (AV Series 5).

Components of a Vape Pen

Now that you got a gist of where vape pens stand in the e-cig device hierarchy, let’s dismantle them to find what lies inside.

  • The Battery
Every vape device is powered by a battery, and vape pens are no exception. The battery is the part that provides the power to run the device. Rechargeable lithium-ion are the most commonly used batteries due to their convenience, affordability and durability. Vape pen batteries can either be recharged via a USB cable that comes with the device provided you purchased it as a complete kit, or recharged by plugging into an electric socket like any other electronic device.
  • Atomiser
This is where stuff gets a little more science-y. For the battery to power your vape pen, the battery needs to connect to a heating element which we call the atomiser. So, when you engage the battery, power is channelled to the atomiser. The atomiser in turn heats up a coil that vaporises the e-liquid in your tank. For simplicity purposes, let’s just say the atomiser is where the vape coil and wick are housed. The wick surrounds the coil and is the material that absorbs and soaks up e-liquid. Cotton wicks are the most common and work best for beginners. But once you grow into it, you can experiment with other materials such as stainless steel mesh or silica wicks.
  • Vape Tank
The tank is the reservoir where your e-liquid goes. In reusable vaporisers like vape pens (and vape mods), you purchase e-liquid refills which you use to fill up the tank. On the other hand, the tank in disposable vaporisers like closed pod systems is more commonly known as a cartridge. The atomiser and cartridge come as one component in most disposable vaporisers. In such a case, this part is referred to as a cartomiser (combination of cartridge/carto and atomiser). Vape juice sits in the tank. When the coil (heating element) becomes hot, it vaporises the juice in the tank which you then inhale as vapour through the mouthpiece.
  • Mouthpiece
This is the inhalation part that gets into contact with your lips. In automatic vape pens, inhaling the mouthpiece (aka tip) multiple times subsequently activates the device. These devices do not have a manual button present. Vape pens can also be manual. These come with a push button which you hold down to activate the pen and heat up the chamber or tank. And there you have it ladies and gentlemen: the components that make up a vape pen.

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