Best Vape Pens for Cartridges

It is important to identify high-quality vape pens for thick oil vaping, oil cartridges, and refillable vape systems. Leading vape pens are designed to provide a supremely satisfying vape experience. Different devices are optimized for different categories of concentrates.

A small pen battery might be fine for a thinner distillate cartridge, but if you are vaping thicker oils such as full spectrum oils or live resin, it may require more heat. Here is a quick overview of the types of oil/resins vaped in popular 510 carts.

Concentration Types

Distillate oil: Distillate oil is an extract in which one cannabinoid is targeted and isolated from the others. For example, a distillate oil may have 99% CBD. Distillate oils are effective for consumers who know one compound meets their needs.  *Distills out everything but what they target (THC/CBD)" Usually distilled with C02, Propane, or Ethanol). The resulting product has everything stripped out except the desired compound, including smell, taste, terps, etc.

Concentrate | Full spectrum oil: This concentrated extract has all the Phyto cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in similar proportions. It may be less potent than distillate, but it will taste better and provide a more natural cannabis high. A full-spectrum oil will have THC, CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes as they appear in the source cultivar.

Live resin: This premium concentrate is refined from freshly harvested, flash-frozen cannabis. The cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted at subcritical temperatures to preserve the maximum flavor and aroma. These cartridges tend to be more expensive but are often considered the highest quality.

Here is a guideline for choosing the right heat setting (where a variable heat setting is available) according to which cart you use. If you have a device with variable temperature settings, i.e., the Wi-Pod, Swon, or SLIM Pre-Heat Battery, you can match the right heat setting to your cart/pod requirements.


2.5 to 2.8 volts (Low) – Older carts that use silica wicks need to burn at a lower temperature to avoid dry hits. They will often burn quicker than a vape cartridge that uses a ceramic coil.

Around 3.3 volts (Medium) - Newer oil cartridges (like CCELL carts) use more current wicking, allowing you to use more voltage without burning your wick. 3.3 volts is also a beginning setting for vaping thick oils or concentrates.

3.3 to 3.6 volts (High) - Some oil cartridges, use ceramic coil systems, which often require more voltage to obtain a decent puff. Anything over 3.6 volts risks getting a burnt taste.

If you are vaping thick live resins, you may need a higher heat setting before it starts vaping correctly. For most commercially available 510 carts, a temperature setting of around 3.3 volts (medium setting) should be sufficient.

The CCELL vape pen products use this medium heat setting, so it should work with most of the commercially available carts.

Typically, the thinner the oil, the lower heat needed; the thicker the oil/live resin, the more heat you will likely need to heat it to a vape-able consistency and temperature.

Top Vape Pens Reviewed

S6xth Sense Slim Pre-Heat Vape Pen

A battery for concentrates, distillates, and thick oils. The S6xth Sense Slim vape pen works with almost every cartridge on the market due to its three different heat settings and standard 510 threading. It is easy-to-use, comes in a sleek, portable style and is available at an affordable price.

  • Dimensions: 87mm x 11.2mm
  • Battery Capacity: 380mAh
  • Variable Voltage: 2.7V (Low), 3.1V (Med), 3.6V (High)
  • Compatibility: All 510 Thread Cartridges
  • Charging: USB-C Charging with Pass-Through enabled

To use the Slim Preheat Vape Pen by S6xth Sense, I attached a prefilled cartridge and quick-clicked the power button five times to turn on the device. Next, I pressed and held the power button and inhaled.

My live resin cart required more heat and was not cooking on the low setting. No problem: I pressed the button three more times to cycle through the temperature settings to medium heat, then three more times until I hit High (red light). I clicked it two times to start the preheat function; then, it hit like a champ.

If you are vaping a thick live resin, you may require a higher-temperature setting, a device with enough power, and higher variable temperature settings to provide it. You'd be right if that sounds like a lot of hassle compared to a CCELL auto-draw system. However, if you live somewhere cold, the preheating function is a necessity you won't find in the CCELL products.

If you need any of these functions, you learn to press the buttons in this easy-to-use vape pen. I seldom need multiple heat settings, but when I do, I am glad I have a few Slim vape pens stashed away.

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CCell Rizo Vape Pen

The Rizo Vape Pen from CCELL provides quality flavor and vapor production, using a variable voltage capability to vaporize oils. Designed with haptic feedback, each CCELL Rizo vape pen will vibrate once the device is active, preventing users from turning it on in their pocket without a warning.

  • Auto-draw activation – Inhale and vape.
  • Battery Capacity: 500mAh
  • Charging: USB-C
  • Variable Voltage: 2.8V (Low) - 3.3V (High)
  • Standard 510 thread
  • Uses Magnetic Connector
  • On/Off switch on the bottom

At first glance, the Rizo looked like a little black key fob. It is a small rectangular device with rounded corners. It is sleek and non-descript, just what I look for in an "out and about" vape pen. There is a 510-sized hole on top of the device for the cart. This device has a magnetic connector (a tiny, magnetized metal cap that you screw over the threads) to magnify the cart. Now it will easily drop into the Rizo and make a good seal. It is also straightforward to switch out carts or quickly change to other CCELL devices using the same magnetic seal system.

When I dropped the cart into the Rizo, it let me know it made the connection with a healthy "buzz" in my hand. I did not expect that to happen, so I expressed an expletive, then took a toke. It buzzed again ever so slightly on my lips. Okay, WTF is going on with this device?

That was Rizo's haptic feedback feature. It took me a second to get used to it, but after a half-dozen puffs, I found that I loved it! Why? Do you know how distillate oil carts have stripped everything out except the active chemicals (THC/CBD), including the terpenes, flavors, and smells? Because distillates have had everything stripped out except the active ingredient, there is no smell or taste. When hitting off a standard 510 battery, I am never sure exactly when the hit starts, so I usually wind up taking too big of a puff, and there is often some coughing involved. If no connection is made between the battery and the cart when you drop it in, you stand there puffing on nothing for a few seconds before figuring out you are not getting anything. So, you attempt a better connection and try again. Until it unexpectedly makes a connection and surprises you with a big hit. "Hit and miss" is a dumb way to get high.

Get better puffs and save money on carts by taking perfect-sized hits. With haptic feedback, it buzzes to let you know it has made a connection before you even start drawing a puff. You feel exactly when the puff starts on your lips, so you can gauge how long you have drawn and, presumably, when to stop.

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CCELL Palm Vape Pen

The CCELL Palm Vape Pen is designed for vaping prefilled 510 cartridges, specifically those designed by CCELL. Each puff gives the vaper a smooth and flavorful experience with your oil cartridge. The Palm is a staple of the popular CCELL brand and comes in a wide variety of colors. It is simply one of the most trusted vape pens on the market today.

• Auto-draw activation – Inhale and vape
• Battery Capacity: 500mAh
• Charging: Micro-USB
• Standard 510 thread
• Uses Magnetic Connector

This looks like a designer space-age vape pen. From the front, it is square, metallic, and about the size of a military or boy scout belt buckle. (About the same thickness too). From the back, they left about 1/3 of the cartridge connector open, so it has a deconstructed look. With this open view, you can easily access the connection between the battery and the cartridge, which looks like modern art.

I like this vape pen very much. It comes in several excellent metallic colors, is idiot-proof, and provides enough heat to vape almost anything I throw at it. It's auto-drawing (activated on inhaling), with no buttons to program or to press while hitting. A light comes on while you are vaping to tell you when the puff begins. I could not see the tiny penlight easily (my nose was in the way). That 500mAh battery is almost twice the size of the typical pen-type vape 510 thread battery, so you have enough power to keep vaping for a long time between charges. I bought a half-dozen of these in different colors for stocking stuffers, but I kept the three colors I liked best.

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Swon Vaporizer

The Swon vape pen is built to work with some of the thickest oils, concentrates, and distillates. It has a discrete and lightweight shell that makes it easy to use and travel with. The S6xth Sense Swon also includes a variable voltage setting to find your perfect vapor point. Start at the lowest heat setting and work your way up to find the ideal temperature.

  • Dimensions: 64mm x 31mm x16mm
  • 4 Temperature Settings
  • Safety Protection: Over-charging/ Over-discharge
  • Pass-Through Charger
  • Battery: Built-in 650mAh Class A Lithium Battery

The Swon is an elegant and powerful device for vaping thick oils. When nothing else has the power to vape your thick oils, the Swon can. Its 650mAh battery and variable heat settings can take on any 510 carts.

Like the Slim Preheat, it has several possible heat settings obtained by pressing the button rapidly (2x for the preheat function, 4x to change temperature, 5x to turn it on or off). If you need these features, they are invaluable; if you do not, they are a pain in the butt. Only you know which will serve your vaping style best.

The Swon uses a magnetic screw-on cap similar to the CCELL vape batteries. The magnetic connector makes changing easy if you remember removing it when throwing out the old cart. I had to go on Amazon and buy a bag of connectors because I kept getting blazed and forgetting to remove the connector before I tossed the empty cart. A 510 thread battery is less cost effective when you pitch the parts. 

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510 carts are standardized, but the oil going into them is not. You are golden if you have a favorite brand and know which device vapes that oil best. If you enjoy trying different brands and flavors, you will run up against an oil that a standard vape pen can't handle. Additionally, the better oils/resins are thicker, so if you become more particular about a tasty vape from a vape pen, you will want to try those better (thicker) oils. There will come a time when you want to have at least one vape pen with a variable voltage setting for the perfect vapor point for the thickness of the oil/resin you are vaping. Nothing is worse than bringing an expensive top-end cart home and discovering your puny vape pen can't handle it.

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