Oil vs. Wax Vaping: Which Is Better?

Oil vs. Wax Vaping: Which Is Better?

If you’re a fan of alternative vaporizers, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that herbal concentrates come in two basic forms: oil and wax. An oil concentrate is liquid, which means that you can dispense it with a syringe. A wax concentrate, on the other hand, is mostly solid at room temperature. That means you need to scoop it with a spoon-shaped dab tool. The two types of concentrates offer fairly different experiences and require slightly different vaping equipment.

So, between oil vs. wax vaping, what’s the better option?

As it turns out, the title of this article is a little misleading. Regardless of whether you’re vaping oil or wax, the device that you use is essentially the same. If you buy from a top-quality maker of oil and wax pens like Hamilton Devices, you’ll find plenty of options that are compatible with both oil and wax concentrates. As long as the device has 510 threading, all that you need to do is connect the required cartridge or coil for the type of material you’re using, and you’re all set. You can switch between the two types of concentrates whenever you like.

Still, it’s valuable to know where you stand before you go shopping for a new vaping device – and in this article, we’re going to help you with that. These are the pros and cons of oil vaping and wax vaping. Once you understand how the two types of concentrates differ, you should have a better idea of which type you’d like to try first.

Pros and Cons of Oil Vaping

The primary strengths of oil vaping are convenience, portability and availability. It’s easy to bring an oil vaporizer wherever you go, and an oil cartridge is always ready to go when you want to use it. If those are the qualities you value most, you should probably try oil vaping first. Here’s why.


The biggest benefit of oil vaping is that pre-filled cartridges are readily available both online and in local dispensaries. Pre-filled vape carts are incredibly easy to use – just charge your battery, connect a cartridge and enjoy. There’s no maintenance to perform apart from keeping your battery charged – and when a cartridge is empty, you’ll simply throw it away.

The other major benefit of oil vaping is that oil cartridges tend to be very leak resistant and can therefore travel everywhere with you. You can carry an oil pen in your pocket without worrying about staining your clothes. In addition, oil cartridges are always ready to go with no preheating. Oil vaping is very much an on-demand experience. You can take a single puff whenever you want it and put your device away afterwards.


As easy and convenient as oil vaping is, it isn’t completely without drawbacks. Compared to wax concentrates, oil concentrates may be a little less potent. Oil concentrates are still more potent than dry herbs – but if you want to get the most powerful effect in the shortest amount of time, you’ll probably prefer wax vaping.

Another drawback of oil vaping is that it can be a bit expensive if you only use pre-filled cartridges. Refillable oil cartridges are available, and those cartridges can typically be refilled several times before the flavor quality declines. If you want to vape in the most convenient way possible, though, you’ll definitely want to use pre-filled cartridges – and you’ll pay a little extra for them.

Pros and Cons of Wax Vaping

The primary strengths of wax vaping stem from the impressive potency of wax concentrates. A wax concentrate essentially distills the active components of your favorite herb into a tiny piece of material that you can inhale completely in just a few puffs. If that’s what you want out of your vaping experience – and you don’t mind the fact that most of your vaping sessions will take place at home – you should probably try wax vaping first. Here’s why.


Potency is the biggest benefit of wax vaping. Compared to oil-based concentrates, waxes are typically stronger and will get you to your desired state in fewer puffs. In most cases, you’ll find that a rice-sized dab is all that you need. That’s perfect if you want to reach a very elevated state as quickly as possible – nothing will get you there more quickly than wax.

Wax vaping also has an additional benefit compared to oil vaping in that the equipment may last longer. Reusable oil cartridges do exist – but as we mentioned above, you can only refill them a limited number of times before their flavor quality begins to decrease. Oil cartridges are also very compact, and that makes them difficult to clean. Wax coils, on the other hand, are larger and easier to submerge in rubbing alcohol for cleaning. If you give a wax coil an alcohol bath after every few vaping sessions, you’ll have no trouble keeping it in tip-top shape for a long time.


The biggest drawback of wax vaping is that it can be messy. Some wax concentrates are a little runny and will tend to fall off of a dab tool, so you’ll need to load your wax coil very carefully to avoid dropping and potentially wasting your material. It’s also important to keep a wax vaporizer upright when it’s warm. That’s because wax will turn to liquid when it’s heated – and if your device isn’t upright, the wax will leak out because a wax coil isn’t a self-contained environment like an oil cartridge is. Wax coils are designed for maximum airflow, and that means they have plenty of vents.

The fact that a wax coil isn’t self-contained also means that a wax vaporizer often isn’t the most portable vaping device to use. You could put a dab on a wax coil, pulse the coil to soften the wax and allow the coil to cool back down for later use, but that’s very inconvenient compared to simply using a pre-filled oil cartridge. A wax vaporizer is really intended to provide an at-home session vaping experience rather than an on-demand experience for on-the-go vaping.