As the leader in head shop product and accessory reviews, I am here to provide you with an in-depth comparison of dab pens and carts.

This guide will help you understand the differences, similarities, and unique features of each, allowing you to make an informed decision about which is best for your vaping needs.

Understanding the Basics

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s important to understand the basics of dab pen vs THC carts.

dab pen vs cart diagram

Dab Pens

Dab pens are vaping devices designed for the consumption of dabs, which are concentrated forms of cannabis.

They are known for their high potency and are often used by experienced vapers.

Dab pens allow for more control and creative choice than other options and can offer hotter vapes compared to other vape pens.

However, they can be more expensive, require more upkeep, and are less discreet due to the need for hand-loading.

Carts (Vape Pens)

Carts, or vape pens, are another type of vaping device.

They are typically used with pre-filled cartridges of refined cannabis oil.

Vape pens are popular due to their simplicity and convenience.

dab pen vs cart example of different types of carts

They are also more affordable and require less maintenance than dab pens.

However, they offer less customization and potency compared to dab pens.

Key Differences and Similarities

While dab pens and carts have some similarities, they also have key differences that can influence your choice.


  1. Portability: Both dab pens and carts are compact and portable, making them excellent choices for vaping on the go.
  2. Discreetness: These devices offer discreet smoking potential, allowing you to vape without drawing attention.
  3. Battery Life: Both devices have strong battery life, ensuring you can enjoy your vaping experience without constant recharging.


  1. Type of Concentrate: The main difference between dab pens and carts is the type of concentrate they use. Dab pens are designed for dabs, while carts use cartridges with refined cannabis oil.
  2. Maintenance: Dab pens require more upkeep and regular maintenance compared to vape pens.
  3. Price: Dab pens are generally more expensive than vape pens due to their increased functionality and potency.

Pros and Cons

Understanding the pros and cons of each device can help you make a more informed decision.

Dab Pens


  • More control and creative choice
  • Hotter vapes compared to other vape pens


  • More expensive than other vaping devices
  • Require the most upkeep
  • Less discreet due to the need for handloading

Carts (Vape Pens)


  • Convenient for on-the-go usage
  • Discreet and excellent for hiding the scent
  • Compact and small, perfect for travel


  • Can’t personalize much
  • Only use liquid forms of THC or cartridges instead of dabs or wax
  • Some of the cheaper vape pens can be unsafe if not from a reputable brand

User Experiences with Dab Pens and Carts

Jake, 27, Los Angeles: “I switched to a dab pen last year and haven’t looked back. The flavor and control over dosage are unmatched. It’s perfect for my lifestyle.”

Sarah, 34, Denver: “Carts are my go-to for convenience and discretion. I can easily switch between strains, and it’s so easy to use on the go.”

Alex, 29, New York: “I’ve used both and find dab pens offer a better experience for home use, but carts are unbeatable for mobility. Depending on my day, I’ll choose accordingly.”

Recent Advancements and Guidelines

Vaping technology continually evolves, introducing more efficient heating elements and longer-lasting batteries.

Recent models feature smart technology for precise temperature control and customizable sessions.

Safety guidelines emphasize the importance of using devices as directed and purchasing from reputable sources to avoid counterfeit products.

Legally, regulations vary widely by location, with recent changes focusing on age restrictions and the sale of flavored cartridges.

Always check local laws to ensure compliance.

FAQs About Dab Pen vs Cart

Which is better, a dab pen or a cart?

The answer depends on your personal preferences.

If you prefer convenience and simplicity, a cart might be the better option.

However, if you’re after high potency and more control over your vaping experience, a dab pen might be the better choice.

What’s the difference between a dab pen and a cart?

The primary difference lies in the type of concentrate you’ll consume and how you’ll consume it.

A cart uses a 510-thread battery that you’ll connect a vape cart into for inhaling, vaporizing, and heating.

In contrast, a dab pen has a chamber with a heating apparatus that you’ll fill with your own concentrate.

Is it safe to use vaping devices?

While vaping is generally considered safer than smoking, it can still have adverse health effects, especially if you vape pure CBD oil.

It’s important to use high-quality concentrates for maximum safety.

Also, the heat of your vape pen can affect the safety of your experience.

It’s safer to vape at a lower heat, and many vape pens offer different heat options.

What is a dab pen high like?

Dab pens offer a similar high to traditional dab rigs and electric dab rigs.

However, the physical differences may create slightly different highs.

For example, dab pens don’t reach as high of a temperature as dab rigs, which can impact the taste and feel of the dab.

What is the price of a dab pen?

The price of a dab pen varies depending on the type; you could spend anywhere from $20 to over $100.

The cost of a dab pen largely depends on the materials and how much control it gives the user.

However, it’s essential to invest in a high-quality vaping device to ensure the best experience.

Some cheaper vaping devices could be unsafe.

Final Thoughts On Dab Pen vs Cart

Whether you choose a dab pen or a cart depends largely on your personal preferences and vaping needs.

If you’re a beginner or prefer convenience and simplicity, a cart might be the best option for you.

However, if you’re an experienced vaper looking for high potency and more control over your vaping experience, a dab pen might be the better choice.

As always, it’s important to consider the safety and quality of the device and the concentrates you’re using.

Happy vaping!

Want to dive deeper into dabbing? Learn How To Dab.