How to Build Your Own Vape Pen – a Guide for 2016

Here we will get into the individual parts that make up a vaporizer pen so you can learn exactly what you need if you plan on building your own.

Disclaimer: This guide was written a few years ago and needs to be updated in some parts. The recommendations here still work, but there are some better options available that we will be adding shortly.

Vaporizer Pen Breakdown:

Almost every single vape pen consists of three main parts:

  1. The atomizer
  2. The battery
  3. And the mouthpiece

The battery is the long part that’s at the end. Some batteries light up in different places or colors, but what really matters is the size, which is explained in milliamp hours (mAh).

The atomizer is what heats your concentrates. The two main types of atomizers are ones that use wicks and ones that are wickless.

The mouthpiece is self explanatory, but most prefer metal mouthpieces to plastic.

The picture below is a diagram of all the components that make up a vaporizer pen. In this picture, the ceramic heating chamber is what we call the ‘atomizer’. The connector is an optional piece only used for certain atomizers known as a ‘thread adapter’. Then there’s the filters that come on some models too.



An atomizer is simply what heats your concentrates to convert them into vapor; in other words, the atomizer is the heating element.

The two main atomizer styles are ones with wicks and ones without wicks, or wickless atomizers. We recommend wickless atomizers because the wick on most pens is made from fiberglass, which can be dangerous if inhaled and also can be burned by the high temperatures causing your concentrates to have a plastic-like taste.

Wickless atomizers can come in a variety of different styles but our two favorites are the K.I.S.S cartridge from W9 Tech and the mega or standard Hash Oil Atomizer V2 from Gentleman’s Brand. If you are set on a wicked atomizer, the Vaporbrothers dabbler and Halo titanium coil glass globes are the two that stand out.

Below is a picture of different types of atomizers. The Ceramic rod atomizer is a similar design of the K.I.S.S. Atomizer. The pancake coils are somewhat similar to the Gentleman’s V2. Notice the fiberglass wick in the coil w/wick picture.

Pen Vaporizer Atomizer

Here is what a wicked atomizer looks like when loaded with concentrates:



This part should be pretty simple. If you are building your own pen, you’re going to need a battery.

The Joyetech EGO-C Twist or EGO-C Upgrade are our two favorite batteries hands down. They both have variable voltage, meaning you can adjust the amount of power going to the atomizer to control the temperature. Low voltage means low temperature vaporizing, high voltage = high temperature.

The main difference between the two is that the EGO-C upgrade has USB passthrough, meaning it can be charged and used at the same time. The only thing you have to decide here is whether or not you want the passthrough option and what size you want; the bigger the battery size, the bigger the capacity.

I personally own a 1000mah EGO-C Twist and it will last for days or weeks of usage. If you want something smaller with less battery life, a 650 is a good size.

joyetech ego-c twist

Threading size is something you also have to take into account. Most batteries, including the EGO batteries and all other vape mods are 510 threaded, meaning the threading to screw on your atomizer is 510 sized. Because certain companies use 601 threading for their atomizers, you might need a 510 to 601 thread adapter like the one in the picture below.

510 to 601 adapter

How to Build Your Own Vape Pen:

Some people enjoy building their own pen instead of buying one that’s already put together. Now that you fully understand the components that comprise a vaporizer pen, here are the top 4 build-your-own setups we recommend:

1. K.I.S.S. Atomizer + 510 to 601 thread adapter + Joyetech EGO-C twist – $55 (Keep in mind the pre-built O-Phos Vaporizer here is basically the same thing as this Build-Your-Own setup and it’s actually the same price in this case to buy the pre-built O-Phos. Usually it is cheaper to build your own, but this is one of the rare cases where it isn’t.)

2. Gentleman’s Mega V2 Hash Oil Atomizer + Joyetech EGO-C twist – $46

3. Vapor Brother’s Dabbler Atomizer + Joyetech Ego-C twist – $60

4. Halo Ti Coil Glass Globe + Joyetech EGO-C twist – $66

*Prices do not include shipping*

Which Build-Your-Own Setup is the Best?

The best choice with the ‘build your own’ setup is option 1 or 2 with either the custom built O-Phos or the Gentleman’s atomizer and the Joyetech battery. These are both very affordable wickless setups that produce high quality vapor. The O-Phos is slightly better but not by much. It’s worth the extra $5-$10 in my opinion though.

Options 3 and 4 are wicked atomizers, so they fall short of the quality of options 1 and 2. They are also more expensive. If your preference is wicked atomizers for any reason though, either of those are a good choice.

We hope this guide was helpful.

If there’s anything we left out or you still have questions for us, let us know in the comments below and we will respond promptly.

Thanks for reading!

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  • I’ve been coming here for a couple of years, was using the joyatech ego C upgrade batteries with the gentleman’s brand atomizer, after gentleman’s changed their shape to a more narrow one the last time I ordered, I thought I’d try out the KISS atomizer. They even have a size now that is threaded to 510, so I ordered that. After talking to the folks at KISS, the joyatech will NOT work with this cartridge as I discovered after ordering and they will not refund me at all even though the atomizer is brand new and I didn’t apply any concentrates. I’m out some money and time and I just didn’t want anyone else to make the same mistake – so please make sure people know that the recommended DIY with Joyatech ego c & KISS atomizer will not work. Resistance on the battery needs to be 0.6 – 1.6 and from what I read somewhere online the Joyatech Ego C is at 1.8ohm, just a little high. Unless the thread adapter had some resistance changing capabilities, then the recommended DIY set up mentioned up above will not work. And they won’t take their products back so make sure you check first! Thanks for the other recommendations, they’ve been great for the last couple of years. I continue to steer friends to your site so please keep up the good work – thanks!

    • Hey Joel,

      Thanks for the feedback, and I apologize about your experience. This guide is actually quite dated at this point (I believe we wrote it around 3 years ago), so we certainly need to update some things.

      I wonder if maybe something changed with the design of the components that made them incompatible since we originally wrote it.

      I will remove that recommendation now and will get to work on putting together an updated version of the guide as a whole.


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