Wax Pens: Coil Types
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of extract vaporizers from the previous page in this series, it’s time to focus more on vape pens, specifically, the types of coils that they use. You’ll find two types of coils in vape pens, quartz and ceramic. Some vape pens include one or the other while other vape pens like the KandyPens Prism will include both, giving users a choice of which one they want to use.
Ceramic coils are usually better for anyone new to wax vaping while quartz coils are generally better suited to advanced vapers. Why? That’s what the rest of this article is all about, I’ll get you up to speed on the wax pen coil types, their differences, technical details and more, so let’s get started!
A ceramic coil isn’t technically a coil, it’s actually a shallow ceramic basin, sometimes called a ceramic donut. So what’s the big deal about ceramic coils, let’s find out.
Pros of Ceramic Coils
- Easy loading – Since ceramic coils are actually shallow basins, it’s very easy to place, or dab, your wax into them. The only possible trouble comes from especially deep ceramic coils, where you might end up depositing some of the wax on the walls of the coil. Aside from that possible problem, ceramic coils are pretty easy to use.
- Slow heat time – Ceramic heats up slowly, this might seem like a drawback but the gradual temperature increase produces a smoother vaping experience than a sudden spike in temperature would.
- Does not affect the flavor of the wax – The ceramic used in vape pens is food/medical grade so it won’t affect the flavor of the wax you use. You’ll get the pure flavor of the wax without worrying that it will end up getting tainted by the material used to vape it.
Cons of Ceramic Coils
- Somewhat fragile – Ceramic coils are susceptible to cracking if they are overheated. So if you like to vape at high temperatures, this is something to take into consideration. They are also vulnerable to impact damage so try not to drop them otherwise you might end up looking for a replacement.
- Slow heat time can frustrate advanced users – A slow heat time is great for beginners but seasoned vapers who prefer more intense vaping could end up frustrated at the time ceramic coils take to get to the selected temperature. Also, ceramic coils don’t produce huge clouds, which is a big drawback for some people.
Who are Ceramic Coils For?
Ceramic coils are great for beginner vapers who are still learning how to use their vape pen and are not yet ready to handle more intense vaping experiences. Their easy loading and smooth vaping are a big part of their user-friendly nature.
The HoneyStick Stinger is a good example of why ceramic coils also hold some appeal for the intermediate/advanced user who wants a more relaxed, less intense session. Ceramic coils are also a great choice for medical patients who don’t need, or want, a harsh vaping experience.
Ceramic Coil Flavor Quality
Since the ceramic material used in vape pens is food/medical grade, the flavor is excellent. The ceramic coil has no effect on the quality of the wax because it is an inert material, so you will get the full flavor of the wax every time you vape. The slow heat time means that ceramic coils are very good for low temperature dabbing.
So if you prefer to vape at lower temperatures, ceramic coils are the ideal option. You can take much longer draws without worrying that a hot, harsh vapor will affect the experience.
Heat Time and Heat Retention of Ceramic Coils
A ceramic coil takes about 20 to 30 seconds to reach the selected temperature. It might not seem that long but it’s an eternity in the vaping world. That’s not necessarily a big drawback because, as stated previously, a gradual increase in temperature produces a smoother vaping experience. That is one of the many reasons why vaping wax is better than smoking it.
It also enables longer, smoother draws from the vape pen, an experience many vapers enjoy. Ceramic retains heat for a long time so users won’t have to keep firing the vaporizer to maintain an ideal vaping temperature. This helps to preserve the vaporizer’s battery life so users can have more sessions before needing to recharge.
General Maintenance of Ceramic Coils
Ceramic coils are very easy to clean and maintain. Most of the wax tends to get used in ceramic coils and if there is any left behind then heating the coil to its maximum temperature can burn it off. If that doesn’t work then cleaning the coil with a q-tip soaked in isopropyl alcohol will do the trick.
As mentioned before, ceramic can crack if it is constantly overheated or if it suffers a strong impact of some sort. As long as the user maintains the minimum amount of care necessary, a ceramic coil can last a long time before it needs to be replaced. This is an important consideration when deciding what kind of vape pen to buy.
A quartz coil usually consists of a small quartz rod with a thin metal coil, usually titanium, wrapped around it. There are coilless variants as well but the majority of vape pens use coiled quartz rods. Most use two quartz coils but some use even more and the more coils there are, the higher the maximum temperature.
Pros of Quartz Coils
- Very fast heat time – Quartz heats up very quickly so anyone using a vape pen with a quartz coil won’t have to wait long before it reaches the selected temperature. However, quartz coils have very low temperature retention so they lose heat very quickly.
- Flavor purity – The quartz coils used in vaporizers are food/medical grade so they won’t affect the flavor of the wax used in the vape pen. You will get the full flavor of the wax every time you vape.
- Intense vapor production – The vapor produced by quartz coils tends to be very intense because of the fast heat time. Anyone who likes harsher vapor should consider a vape pen with quartz coils.
Cons of Quartz Coils
- Low heat retention – Quartz loses heat very quickly so users need to constantly keep their vape pen fired up if they want to vape all of their wax. This can have a detrimental effect on the device’s battery life.
- Intense vapor is not for everyone – While some users might prefer the harsher vapor, others might not like how hot and harsh the vapor gets.
- Can be tricky to load – Since quartz coils have a smaller surface area, dabbing the wax onto them can be a little tricky for first time users. It doesn’t take too long to get used to it but it’s not an immediately intuitive process.
Who are Quartz Coils For?
Quartz coils are better for intermediate to advanced vapers because they’re the ones best able to handle intense vapor. Beginning vapers might not find the experience of quartz coils to their liking because of the heat of the vapor and how fast it hits them.
More experienced vapers will like that they can get more intense hits in a short amount of time, something ceramic coils can’t do. Of course, if it’s a more intense experience vapers want, there are other types of wax vaporizers to choose.
Quartz Coil Flavor Quality
No matter how wax is made, it tends to be very flavorful and if you want to get the full flavor then quartz coils are a great choice. The quartz used in vape pens is food/medical grade and quartz is a pure material so it won’t affect the flavor of the wax. As a result quartz coils tend to produce great flavor.
Heat Time and Heat Retention of Quartz Coils
Quartz coils only take about 5 to 10 seconds to heat up, nearly instantaneous. This tends to produce harsh, intense vapor and huge clouds, so an intense wax vaporizer like the Stok 1 would not be great for beginning or discreet vapers. Anyone who wants huge hits in practically no time flat will prefer quartz coils.
The fast heat time and low heat retention means that vape pens with quartz coils are great for short, quick hits at (nearly) anytime in (nearly) any place. Quartz coils are not great for vapers who prefer long, slow sessions. They are also not great for battery life since the constant need to apply heat can result in frequent recharging.
General Maintenance of Quartz Coils
Quartz coils can crack from overheating though this doesn’t happen often because they lose heat so quickly. Heat would have to be applied constantly at high temperatures for a quartz coil to break. They are susceptible to impact damage so care should be taken to prevent them from getting broken.
Cleaning and maintaining quartz coils can be an involved process, mainly because a dirty coil can result in a wide variety of problems, each of which can compromise the vape pen. For this reason, regular cleaning is a must if a coil is to operate at peak efficiency for as long as possible. Neglect could result in a malfunctioning device which might necessitate a premature coil, or even vape pen, replacement.
Wax Pen: Coil Types – Conclusion
To sum things up: ceramic coils are better for beginners because of the slower heat time and the low maintenance requirement. Beginners are guaranteed a smooth vaping experience and they won’t have to endure an elaborate cleanup process.
Quartz coils are better for more seasoned users who can handle the harsh vapor and enjoy sharp, short sessions. They will have to deal with regular, fairly elaborate maintenance if they want to keep their vape pen operational.
If users have any doubts about which one is right for them then they can try a vape pen that includes both types of coils. This will give them the chance to find out which one they prefer. Once that choice has been made, the next step is finding out just how to use a vape pen which is exactly what the next page is about, so keep reading.