Slim Pickin's: Choosing The Right Dab Pen

Paying more for a vape? In this economy?! We compare the budget-friendly but basic Beacon from Ooze vs. Pulsar’s premium pen, the dual-use Barb Fire Slim.

All colors of the Pulsar Barb Fire Slim dual-use vape pen, fanned outAll four colors of the Ooze Beacon slim vape pen, fanned out

Let’s face it, there are as many dab pens on the market as there are strains and extracts. Figuring out what's out there, much less what's worth your hard-earned coin is easier said than done.

If you’re looking for your next (or first!) dab pen, you’re probably approaching that in one of two ways. Either you are poring over the tiny details, researching tech specs so that you get exactly what you need; or, you’re just browsing until you spot something that looks good, feels good, and fits your vibe. Hearing from other users doesn't hurt either. The ultimate dab pen will appeal to the researchers and the laid-back folks, combining a quality build and the features you need with the cool aesthetic you want.

A regular pen and a dab pen

What even is a dab pen?

Two dab pens that launched in 2023, the Ooze Beacon Slim Extract Vaporizer and our very own Pulsar Barb Fire Slim 2-in-1 Vape both hit the mark when it comes to looking cool, feeling cool, and getting the job done. They’re comparable from the technical perspective and are aesthetically similar.
So which one is right for you? Our goal is to make the decision as easy as possible, no matter how you like to shop - keep reading for the complete side-by-side.

Beacon vs. Barb Fire Slim: The Technical Comparison

What's In The Box?

Trick question, because the Beacon does not come in a box!
It’s more of a plastic & cardboard situation.
Now that that's out of the way, here's the breakdown:

Ooze Beacon Slim Pulsar Barb Fire Slim
  • Ooze Beacon Slim battery
  • Mouthpiece with integrated dab tool
  • A C-Core Onyx atomizer
  • USB-C charging cable

The Slim-ilarities

I’ll be honest, these extract vaporizers DO have a lot in common. Here’s what we’re putting in the middle of that Venn diagram:

🔋 Battery Capacity: 800mAh

🔌 Charging: Super convenient USB-C, and the charge cable is included with both devices.

⚡ Variable Voltage: Both devices offer three voltage settings in slightly different ranges.
The Beacon sports a considerable FlexTemp range in 0.5V increments: 2.7V, 3.2V, and 3.7V.
The Pulsar Barb Fire Slim offers a similar but slightly narrower range in 0.3V increments: 2.7V, 3.0V, and 3.3V

♎ Sub-Ohm Resistance: Yes for both. Sub-Ohm vapes improve your extract experience by providing better heating and better flavor than other dab pens.
The Beacon comes in at a respectable 0.8Ω
The Barb Fire Slim is sitting pretty at 0.7Ω

👉 Manual Mode: Yes for both.

👉 Hands-free Sesh Mode: Yes for both. 15 seconds for the Beacon, 10 seconds for the Barb Fire Slim.

👉 Built-in Dab Tool: Yes for both. Having a tool integrated into the mouthpiece allows for ease of use and ensures you don’t waste a single drop. Keep the stickiness where it belongs!

📃 Warranty Support: Yes for both.
Ooze requires product registration using the code provided in the box and will cover the device for a full year.
The Pulsar warranty is activated automatically when you buy it for 6 months of coverage, just remember to hang onto your receipt for proof of purchase (unless you bought it from us, in which case we’ll have your receipt on file!). Our dedicated customer experience team handles warranty claims, but they can also answer product questions, provide personalized recommendations, and love hearing your feedback.

Ooze's Slim Extract Vape: Two Beacon-tinued Features

All four colors of the Ooze Beacon slim vape pen, fanned out

There are two key features that distinguish the Ooze Beacon from the Barb Fire Slim. The first is Ooze’s proprietary smart ceramic coil, the C-Core. These coils provide an even heat without any heavy metals, and preserves taste and flavor from your terpenes. Not gonna lie, this is pretty cool tech.

The second is that the Beacon features pass-through charging, which means you can continue to use the vape even if it’s plugged in to charge. This is definitely user-friendly - as a user myself, I’ve always found the ability of a vaporizer to do that pretty convenient when I’m out and about and forget to charge my vape before I leave.

Pulsar's Slim 2-in-1: Gettin' All (Barb) Fired Up

All colors of the Pulsar Barb Fire Slim dual-use vape pen, fanned out

With a Kanthal coil featuring a dual-wire Clapton build around a quartz rod, there is no shortage of flavor coming from the Barb Fire Slim. The coils and mouthpiece are fully separate, so unlike the Beacon atomizer, you don't have to throw away the whole assembly when it's time to swap coils.

Pulsar Pro Tip! Don't know anything about coils? Here's the scoop: "Kanthal" refers to the coil material, a metal alloy that includes iron, chromium, and aluminum. It’s widely used for all sorts of heating applications because of its durability and predictable behavior under electricity. "Clapton" describes the physical coil construction: a thin wire is wrapped over a thicker gauge wire. It looks like a guitar string, hence the name. This dual-wire build increases the overall surface area for a more even and flavorful hit. The whole thing is then wrapped around a quartz rod. Quartz rods are superior in taste than traditional materials and are temperature resistant up to 3000℉!

The Barb Fire Slim does not offer pass-through charging, but the designers consider this a feature, not a bug. The added convenience comes at the cost of the overall lifetime of the device. Pass-through charging puts additional stress on the battery - in practical terms, that means you have to replace your vape sooner.

Unlike the Beacon, the Pulsar Barb Fire Slim includes a 510 cart adapter that quickly screws in to replace the wax atomizer, allowing you dual function in a matter of moments. You can dab one minute, and switch to your favorite 510-threaded cart the next without changing devices.

Closeup of Pulsar Barb Fire Slim exploded views showing the coil and the 510 adapter

The Barb Fire Slim also sports a built-in storage compartment for your concentrates that is fully silicone-lined - including the contact surface of the “lid,” aka the device itself. The inclusion of this final element really sets the Barb Fire Slim apart. It's more than a mere vape, it's a two-in-one dab pen and cart vape in a light-weight, feature-heavy package.

Bonus: Not a built-in feature per se, but it’s worth mentioning that the Pulsar BFS is compatible with the incredibly popular Cart Rig Adapter, and the Barb Fire Slim's 2-in-1 functionality paired with the adapter lets you enjoy water-filtered vaping with a broader range of concentrates.

Black Pulsar Barb Fire Slim attached to the green Pulsar Thinker Gravity Bong using the teal-black Pulsar Silicone Cart Rig Adapter

Really makes you think...

Beacon vs. Barb Fire Slim: The Real-Life User Feedback

It’s all well and good to sit here and talk about what comes in the box and what the technical specifications are. But how does this translate if you’re looking for your first pen, or don’t know an Ohm from a gnome?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of enthusiastic guinea pigs in my social circle willing to help out with a little comparison test! I gave an Ooze Beacon and a Pulsar Barb Fire Slim to Freya [name changed for privacy], a trusted friend who’s had plenty of experience with concentrates.

Freya’s initial assessment was that both extract vaporizers were solid units that gave her what she needed from wax concentrates. That’s not surprising, since Ooze and Pulsar have both been in the game long enough to meet users where we’re at. She was kind enough to provide a more in-depth review, too, since at the time of publication, the Barb Fire Slim was so new that no one else had gotten their hands on one yet!

Ooze Beacon and Pulsar Barb Fire Slim side-by-side comparison with faux handwritten notes about the features

First Impressions

Freya was drawn to the Barb Fire Slim’s packaging, which felt higher-end compared to the Beacon’s plastic half-clamshell. “The sturdy box says ‘trustworthy,’” she told me.

I Just Wanna Hold You

Freya said that the Barb Fire Slim felt better in her hand, with a solid heft and stability thanks to the stainless steel housing. The zirconia mouthpiece-dab-tool combo is a tough ceramic part that matches the strength of the stainless steel atomizer. Plus, it’s one solid piece from top to bottom, decreasing the risk of breakage when compared with the two-part plastic Beacon mouthpiece.
Although both brands offer replacement mouthpieces, durability was important for the budget-conscious Freya, who pointed out, “I’d rather spend a little more on something that feels like it’s gonna last longer.”

Flow State

The Barb Fire Slim airflow was stronger and provided better hits with less effort, providing an all-around smoother draw. Freya said the experience was “smooth, flavorful… wonderful.”

Presto Change-o

Freya has a lot of 510 carts floating around, which is one of the reasons we invited her to take the Barb Fire Slim and its included cartridge adapter for a test drive. It was clear that the ability to quickly adapt was a huge bonus. You get the convenience of having a high-quality extract vaporizer that can double as a 510 cart battery in a quick change that takes less than 10 seconds on average. And yes, we actually did real time trials, with a stopwatch. For science!

The Cherry On Top... Is Actually On The Bottom

Finally, the deciding factor for Freya as to which vape she'd want to keep using was the integrated storage container. “The less things I have to have rattling around in my purse/pocket, the better," she commented. With a silicone lining that prevents leakage and smell, the on-the-go convenience provided by the built-in storage compartment might just be the coolest thing about the Barb Fire Slim.

And The Winner Is...

All colors of the Barb Fire Slim plus two exploded views showing the dual use options

When these two devices step into the ring, it’s clear that neither is hitting below their weight class. They’re both handy extract vaporizers that will do what you need them to do with thicker wax concentrates. That being said, it’s not exactly a fair fight. While the Beacon is certainly capable of hanging in for some rounds, the Barb Fire Slim is simply hitting a little harder. Ooze Beacon is the cruiserweight, but the Barb Fire Slim is coming in as the heavyweight champ.

The Ooze Beacon is a capable extract vaporizer that will do what you need it to do, and Ooze’s C-CORE technology is impressively cool. It’s a solid choice if you need a quick-working vaporizer that's a little cheaper, and want that pass-through charging no matter what. You’ll still have to shell out for an external storage container, but that's not gonna break the bank. However, even with Ooze's warranty support, there is a chance you'll have to replace the device a little bit sooner than you might expect; if you want to use cartridges too, you're gonna need to get a totally separate device to boot.

The deciding factors for Freya, our volunteer reviewer, were the more durable construction of the Barb Fire Slim, the integrated storage chamber, AND the unique ability to handle 510 cartridges with the included adaptor. The dual-use capacity and build quality add up to make the Barb Fire Slim worth the higher up-front investment - you’re getting two vapes in one device that’s built to last, inside and out.

The Barb Fire Slim is everything you need in a portable extract vaporizer in one slim easy-to-carry package, providing durability and convenience that stands out from the competition.

Own one - or both?! - of these badass vapes? Leave us a review, or let us know which one you like better in the comments!

Jade Alexander, Freya, May Toropova and Rachael Manly contributed to this post.

1 comment

  • Jon

    Loved this! 😍 Very informative & also the top-tier dad-joke material throughout was exceptional. 👏😆 ~ nice one.

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