If you’re an oil vaping aficionado, you’re likely to go through a lot of 510 cartridges because an oil cartridge rarely lasts through more than a few refills at the most before the flavor quality begins to decline. Buying 510 cartridges, however, isn’t always the easiest thing in the world if you’re new to vaping because of the enormous variety of products available. At your local vape shop or dispensary, you’ll find cartridges from many different manufacturers and in a huge variety of different styles. High-quality cartridges aren’t cheap, so it isn’t necessarily feasible to just try them all.
Choosing the best 510 cartridge for oil vaping essentially comes down to knowing where you stand on five different topics. In this article, we’re going to break down those five topics to help you choose your preferences. By the time you’re done reading, you should have no trouble going to any vape shop or dispensary and walking out with a vape cart that’s perfect for you.
With most aspects of buying a 510 vape cartridge, it isn’t really possible to make a wrong decision because most of the choices that you’ll need to make will come down to personal preference. Choosing the wick type, however, is the one area where you actually can make the wrong choice because only one type of wick will perform reliably with thick oils.
If you buy cartridges at an all-purpose vape shop, you’re buying from a retailer that needs to serve two different customer bases – e-liquid vapers and oil vapers. People who vape nicotine e-liquid usually prefer cartridges and tanks with cotton wicks. Cotton wicks, however, aren’t ideal for oil vaping because cotton simply doesn’t work well with thick oils. The oil gets stuck in the cotton and doesn’t flow to the coil smoothly.
For very thick oils like cannabis oils and Delta-8 distillates, you always want to use a vape cartridge with a ceramic wick from a company like Hamilton Devices. Compared to cotton, ceramic does a much better job of performing reliably with thick oils. With a ceramic vape cartridge, you’ll get much bigger clouds and higher flavor quality with fewer dry hits.
The next thing you need to know about oil cartridges is that they come in two types. You can buy pre-filled cartridges from your local dispensary – or from online retailers in the case of Delta-8 cartridges – or you can buy empty cartridges that are designed to be refilled multiple times.
Between those two options, pre-filled cartridges are definitely more convenient. You can buy a pre-filled cartridge from a dispensary, connect it to your vape pen and start vaping right away. However, a pre-filled cartridge has a tamper-proof tip that’s designed to be permanent. If you try to remove the tip, the cartridge may crack.
Refillable cartridges, on the other hand, aren’t quite as easy to work with because cannabis distillates and Delta-8 oils are very thick and messy. You need to dispense the oil into the cartridge with a syringe, and you need to wait at least a half hour after filling the cartridge because it takes a long time for the oil to absorb into the wick. If you’re willing to put up with that slight inconvenience, though, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run because you can refill each cartridge several times before discarding it.
The next thing you’ll notice when you shop for oil cartridges is that the outer casing of a cartridge can be either plastic or glass. As you might imagine, plastic cartridges tend to cost a bit less. If you’re concerned about flavor quality, though, you might want to consider paying a little more for glass cartridges. Cannabis oil is full of terpenes and other volatile compounds that may interact with plastic at the molecular level, altering the oil’s flavor. That’s particularly a concern with oil vaping because cannabis oils are extremely potent; you might use a cartridge for days before it finally runs out of oil. In the meantime, the oil will remain in contact with the tank’s plastic exterior. Glass, on the other hand, is chemically inert. Using glass vape cartridges will help to ensure that you can taste every subtle nuance of your expensive oils.
Have you noticed how different vape cartridges often look compared to one another? It’s not just a matter of choosing a cartridge with a plastic or glass exterior; cartridges also have an almost endless variety of tips. A vape cartridge’s tip might be made from metal, plastic or wood. You can find cartridges with round tips and whistle tips. If a cartridge has a round tip, the sides can be straight or tapered. All told, that’s a lot of variety.
The wide variety of tip designs in the world of vape cartridges isn’t just for show. Choosing the tip for your vape cartridge is actually a fairly personal thing because the tip can change your experience in subtle ways. Metal, plastic and wood all feel slightly different in the mouth. The shape of a cartridge’s tip affects the dispersal pattern of the vapor, making certain subtle flavor notes more or less prominent. This is a case where there’s no obvious best choice – you simply have to try the different types of tips that are available and find out what you prefer.
The last decision that you’ll need to make when buying cartridges for oil vaping will probably be the easiest one of all – you’ll need to choose your preferred capacity. An oil cartridge usually has a capacity of either 0.5 or 1.0 ml. Obviously, buying a 1.0 ml cartridge means that you’ll have double the oil storage – but this choice isn’t just a matter of capacity.
When choosing the capacity of an oil cartridge, you’ll always want to consider the vaping device that you’re using because some devices have retractable or recessed threading. Your device might have a “switchblade” design, for instance, that allows the entire cartridge to retract into the body of the device. That’s great for portability, but it’s important to note that some vape cartridges are wider than others. If you buy a high-capacity cartridge, there’s a chance that the cartridge will be too wide to retract into the body of your device. Make sure that a cartridge will fit before you buy it.