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Wax or concentrate vaporizers are an innovative (and fun) development in portable vaping technology - they’re small, quick, convenient, tasty, and pack a serious punch. Concentrate vapes take all of the excellent things about vaping and distill it into an insanely effective little package. They’re also a safer alternative to smoking, which of course just adds immeasurable benefit to choosing a wax or concentrate vape.

But if you’ve never used a wax vape, you might have some well-founded questions. Like, for example, what separates a wax/concentrate vape from other kinds of vapes? Are they the same as dab rigs? How do they work? And of course, which one should you add to your collection?

For everything worth knowing about wax and concentrate vapes, from the fundamentals to our excellent range of products, read on!


So what exactly is a wax/concentrate vape, and how does it compare to the (slightly) more common dry herb vape? Well, very fundamentally, wax vapes are intended to be used with wax concentrates ( the wonderfully sticky goo that you get when you extract your favourite herb), shatter, and crumble. 

Just as a dry herb vape does, wax vapes heat up your concentrate material to the point that they become vapour. Because of the large difference between dry herbs and wax concentrates, these types of vapes are designed for a purpose. Let’s look at some other differences between the two:


WAX Vape

Herb Vape

Heating Element Style

Wax coils - These coils are usually built with quartz rods wrapped with nickel chromium alloy and are used to heat wax to the point of vaporization. 

Herb chambers - These heating chambers are built using either convection or conduction (or both) technology to heat dry herbs to the point of vaporization.

Battery mAh (how much energy the battery can store)

Generally, they have a lower mAh because it takes less energy to heat the wax coils.

Dry herb vapes take up more energy to heat its chamber and so have a higher mAh.

Loading Process

Although more sticky, a dab tool can be used to help load wax into the chamber with minimal mess.

This simply consists of grinding your dry herbs and funnelling them into the heating chamber.

Vaping Temp

Wax requires a higher temperature to turn into vapour - usually somewhere between 230-340C.

Dry herbs do not need such intense heat and will vaporize at temperatures ranging between 180-220C.

Temp Control

Temperature control doesn’t always come standard with these types of vapes, so one general temperature might be your only option.

Temperature control has always been quite standard for dry herb vapes - whether the vape has preset temps or more manual control.

Keep Clean

Wax and concentrates are sticky, there’s no way around it. To keep wax vapes working as they should they will require a bit more upkeep.

Dry herb vapes do require maintenance, of course, but between uses only really require a quick sweep of the heating chamber to upkeep.


There are different kinds of concentrates to choose from when vaping with a wax vape, and the choice really comes down to preference. For all concentrates, extraction involves running a solvent, usually butane, carbon dioxide, or propane, through herb buds to pull out the herb's molecules. Then, the solvent is evaporated and the resins left behind are gathered up. Here are the most common forms:

  • Crumble - An extract -To create crumble, processors extract resin from the plant with a solvent such as butane. Crumble wax is a bit hard to handle. You want to make sure you dab it on the coil directly.
  • Shatter - The term “shatter” comes from the fact that the leftover resin is often cooled into a glassy sheet, similar to boiled caramel hardening into candy. Smoking shatter in a vape pen can be a bit tricky because it’s not easy to dab with it. You can use your fingers if that is more comfortable for you but we recommend you using the tool as much as possible. Lay a small piece on the coil.
  • Oil - Oils are a concentrated molecule mass, and can come in different forms - they are generally easy to scoop it up with a dabber.
puffco peak wax vaporizer


Next, then, it’s important to distinguish a wax vape from a dab rig. ‘Dab’ is just another name for concentrates or waxes. It’s easy to see the similarity between wax vapes and dab rigs, and dab rigs do indeed fall broadly into the category of concentrate or wax vapes. However, they are very different machines. A dab rig looks like a complicated version of a bong, for one, but the differences don’t stop there:

Wax Vaporizer

Dab Rig

Wax is loaded into the coil before heating.

The wax bowl is heated before adding the wax.

A wax vaporizer is, for all intents, an electronic device that does not require any manual manipulation to work.

A dab rig is essentially a bong, but instead of a bowl for dry herbs, there is a domeless nail made usually made of ceramic, titanium or quartz.

Like a dry herb vape, to use, simply turn the device on and (if you can’t adjust the temperature) wait for it to reach vaping temperature and inhale as you would a dry herb vape.

To use, heat the nail to an extremely high temperature and drop a ‘dab’ of wax onto the top of the nail. Once the wax hits the nail, it vaporizes - at that point you can draw as you would from a bong.

Besides these mechanical and working distinctions, there are some other very important differences to keep in mind between dab rigs and wax vapes:

  • Wax vapes are easy to use: Just load some wax and start vaping. Dabbing with a rig requires more equipment and doesn’t offer the simplicity or portability most of us crave.
  • Vapes are healthier: While both dab rigs and vapes should vaporize your wax at the optimal temperature, dab rigs carry a bigger potential for burning your material because the temperature is much harder to control.
  • Vapes are discreet: You can bring a wax vape anywhere for a discreet smoke break, whereas dab rigs are much more manual, cumbersome, and apparent.
  • Dabbing requires some experience: Dab rigs do call for a bit of hands-on knowledge. If you haven’t used anything like a dab rig before, it can be a bit of a challenge to become an expert. 
  • Dabbing is incredibly effective: Downsides aside, dab rigs offer a very potent, very powerful, very effective experience. If your needs are acute and you require fast acting results, a dab rig will get you there, every single time.


Let’s take a look in detail about everything a wax vape can add to your life. There are all kinds of reasons to furnish your budding (is that a pun? It’s probably a pun) vape collection with a wax or concentrate vape. Of course, it’s not for everyone, because where would the fun in that be? Here’s our ultimate list of pros and cons:

Wax Vapes: Pros 

  • They’re potent - Because wax concentrate is, well, concentrated material, and it vapes at such a high temperature, a little goes a super long way. So that means you don’t have to spend as much time hunting for the same effects as a dry herb vape provides. This, of course, maximizes convenience.
  • They’re small and portable - Many wax vapes are available in pen-sized packages, and are even smaller than a lot of standard dry herb vapes. 
  • They can be super cheap - Because they’re small and, really, quite rudimentary in their functioning, wax vapes can be cheaper than the more complex standard dry herb vape.
  • It’s flavorful - Because of the high concentration of terpenes and the absence of dry plant matter, waxes and concentrates offer you a very clean and prominent taste.
  • They’re relatively odourless - Compared to some smoking methods, wax vapes are quite odourless. This is compounded by how quickly you can finish a session with such concentrated materials.

Wax Vapes: Cons

  • Lack of precise temperature control - Because wax vapes don’t have the most acute temperature control, you may lose out on some things that you really want in your vapour. Managing the temperature would be something that matters when you want precise properties, like CBD, to be released.
  • They’re potent - No, I promise, I’m not just adding this again to fill space. Although potency is on the pros list, it can, of course, be added to the cons list as well. The rush of pure concentrated vapour might be a whole lot to deal with, and if you’re not careful, it could be too much. Slow and steady is key.
  • Wax vapes don’t vape dry herbs - While many dry herb vapes on the market now include concentrate inserts of some variety, wax/concentrate vapes are very much fit for purpose and not multi-functioning.


So you’ve decided to try a wax or concentrate vape for yourself, what should you keep in mind before you take the plunge?


Dab rigs are usually for home use: they can be large and delicate, not to mention pretty conspicuous to use. The payoff for this complication is that you get a very high quality vapour. A wax vape, on the other hand, can be tiny: they can be just a metal pen you heat with a flame or look just like a nicotine vape (check out our Dr Dabbers for a good example) that you can slip easily into your pocket for maximum discretion.


The biggest factor in the quality of your vapour is not necessarily the quality of the wax vaporizers, it is often the quality of your dab/shatter/concentrate/wax. Getting high quality and consistent material is much easier than it was, surely, but it can still pose a challenge. If you get a high quality, temperature-controlled, maximum everything dab pen and fill it with poor quality gunk, it will always disappoint.

However, the quality of wax vaporizers varies considerably too. Naturally, the more you pay, the better quality you will get. A cheap wax vape pen can cost very little and give you some good results. It will probably not be a variable voltage, temperature-controlled concentrate vaporizer, though. A good thing to keep in mind is that cheap models do one thing and they do it quite well.

If you are willing to spend just a little more on your wax vaporizers, you will find yourself at a price point where so much more is possible.

pax 3 wax crafty vaporizer UK
nonavongs vaporizer UK


With a concentrate vaporizer, the heating element you choose matters: 

  • Quartz crystal heats up quite fast but does not retain its heat too well. Steel can have an odd taste. 
  • Ceramics can heat up quickly but lose their heat just as fast. 
  • Titanium is generally regarded as one of the best options for a dab rig, but it is quite expensive.


A simple heating coil can deliver quick results, no one will deny this. Or, heated chambers that have integrated coils give a more consistent vapour. Because of the huge variety of construction materials and methods, comparing them can be tough. 

With a glass globe dab rig, you will be heating up a rod to put your wax onto. With other concentrate vaporizers, you are adding wax to a chamber. The latter are much more convenient but some people say they do not deliver a clean hit.


Changing the voltage will, fundamentally, change the amount of energy in the heating element. This will then change how quickly your waxy oils heat up and vaporize. Just by twiddling the dial, you can get a very different experience. The higher the voltage, the more intense the hit but the less flavoursome. It comes down to personal preference in the end, like most things with vaping. Why not try a few different ones for your collection?


Vaping at home means you do not have to worry about battery life: just plug it in. However, a lot of people are using wax or concentrate vapes for convenience - these highly discreet wax vaporizer pens when you’re away from home. As such, they need a good battery life. The smaller the device, the less battery, so you’re usually torn between true discretion and being able to get a few sessions out of the device.

Most wax concentrate vaporizers are USB charger compatible, though, so you should be able to charge them wherever you can charge your phone. A power bank can be a session-saver, so you might want to consider one too.


Last but not least, everyone has a budget. We think we speak for the 99% when we say that not everyone is able to invest a lot of money in a new vape. There are a few things to consider when it comes to the price of that enviable wax vape you’ve been eyeing for ages:

firefly 2 plus wax
  • Consumption - The price of wax vape you ultimately choose will have a lot to do with your needs and consumption. If you vape on a daily basis, or indeed multiple times throughout the day, it would be worth your time and money to consider spending a bit more on your device. This will ensure you receive all the upgrades and features you need to make your vaping session consistently enjoyable. Luckily, there are several different wax vapes to choose from that will cover any price point. Anything below £45 will get you a simple device with not much control but a good enough hit. Over £200 will get you nearly anything you want: dab rigs, wax pens with precise temperature controls, extra consistency, and portability.
  • Variable Voltage - A more expensive wax vape will utilize variable voltages, which means more preference control for the user.
  • Better Materials - Again, you do pay for what you ultimately receive. More expensive wax vapes will be made with materials that will take your vape session to the next level: all-glass mouthpieces for a pure flavour, more intuitive controls, better battery life, and an overall more streamlined experience.


Take a stroll around Herbalize Store and check out the huge range of wax and dab vaporizers. For those who prefer waxy oils, a dab rig for the highest quality hits at home is a must. But what about when you’re out and about? You can’t take a glass dab rig, so you’ll need a wax vaporizer. These considerations, my friends, are the beginnings of a  solid collection!