In the past few years that I’ve been in professional sales at a medical and now recreational marijuana dispensary in Colorado, I’ve written extensively about my experience with portable vaporizer pens. For the first 6 months after I discovered personal portable vaporizer pens, I did what I could to try as many as possible, since there are so many options out there for customers who want to be able to medicate on the go.
But after working in sales in the marijuana industry for over two years, I’m ready to admit something that I wish I could tell every customer who wants a vape pen: most of them kind of suck.
Remember what life was like before the iPod? There were many cheesy, off-brand MP3 players that didn’t quite work the way they were supposed to, often being harder to use than advertised or malfunctioning after a few months of use. Most portable vaporizer pens seem to be exactly the same way, with batteries dying after a few months or heating elements crapping out after only a few uses.
There are many that I’ve reviewed here that worked for a few months before having battery issues (O.Pen and Atmos Bullet), heating element problems after several uses (Atmos Raw), or heating element problems right out of the box (Atmos Thermo W). Now all retailers for the O.Pen do offer a lifetime warranty where you can simply exchange your dead battery for a new one, but that doesn’t help you if you’ve taken your pen on vacation and the battery dies two day in.
I will say that I know several people who own an Atmos Raw that works great because they clean it after every single use. Many pens will work correctly with this kind of constant care. But let’s face it: most people don’t want to work that hard. Some stoners are not only lazy, but if expecting something that is advertised as easy and portable, they are twice as lazy.
The other common issue is that any pen that uses pre-loaded cartridges will most likely have compatibility issues. Despite what many customers seem to think, cartridges are not universal and cannot always be used with different brands. If you buy an Atmos brand pen, don’t expect that cartridges from an O.Pen will work. They might screw on depending on the model, but don’t be surprised if there’s some issue with using a cartridge that is not specifically designed for the pen you have.
Also, uncut BHO (hash oil) is going to be too thick to put into a pre-loaded cartridge. Most cartridges are cut with a little something to make the oil more vicious and work properly. If the dispensary where you are shopping is out of cartridges (which happens often at many shops in Denver), you can use straight-up BHO, but it’s not going to be easy and you will end up wasting most of it loading it into the cartridge. Sorry.
So basically, if you really do have your heart set on a portable vaporizer pen, know that you might have to do some basic maintenance fairly often and that not all pre-loaded cartridges work the same. For me personally, I’m going to stick with straight-up bud and save myself the hassle.
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The white label Titans have a plastic smell first few times, but after that they are perfect. Best personal, rechargable for patients. Works with flower for best results.
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I just got ripped off on an iSWEED Hatchup. The low life thief who sent it to me actually said it was designed to burn weed quick after I complained that it ignited my herb. I'm a lung patient in desperate need of a vaporizer & now it will be 8 months to a year before I can try to buy a real vaporizer because being disabled I live on a small fixed budget.