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Innokin JEM Pen Review: Is It Great for Beginners?

Spyros Papamichail
October 7, 2019

Product intro and specs

The Innokin JEM Pen is an old-school pen style AIO. It’s a fresh addition in a kinda neglected segment of the market, as most AIOs nowadays come in boxy or compact flat shapes and designs. The JEM resembles the eGo-style pens that were popular in the earlier years of vaping but have since given their place to pod-style vapes.

The JEM Pen borrows its name from an earlier Innokin product, the JEM/Goby, an adjustable wattage kit that functioned essentially as an AIO. From a technical perspective, the JEM Pen focuses much more on simplicity and ease of use. It’s a no-nonsense vape pen with a tight cigarette-style draw that’s designed to emulate the sensation of smoking. And as such, is a product that’s clearly aimed towards smokers and beginner vapers

Price: $15.95 (at Element Vape)
Colors: Stainless steel, white, black, blue, pink, cosmos

Specifications

  • Product name: JEM Pen
  • Dimensions: 16 mm x 129.5 mm
  • Capacity: 2 mL
  • Battery: Internal battery
  • Battery capacity: 1000 mAh / 3.7V
  • Wattage: 13 watts
  • Voltage: Constant output
  • max 5.5 volts
  • Cut-off time: 15 seconds
  • Max output current: 5 amps
  • Resistance Range: 0.6 - 3.5 ohms
  • Body material: Stainless steel

Kit contents

  • 1 x JEM Pen (1000 mAh)
  • 1 x JEM ceramic coil (2.0 ohms)
  • 1 x JEM Kanthal coil (1.6 ohms)
  • 1 x Micro USB charging cable
  • 1 x Spare O-ring set
  • 1 x Quick start guide
  • 1 x Warning booklet

Build quality and design

The JEM Pen is a four-piece design, comprised of the battery, the tank section, the coil and the proprietary drip tip. The body is made out of stainless steel and it is relatively lightweight. With dimensions of 130 mm by 16 mm, the shape is thin and elongated, typical for this style of vape pens.

The firing button is plastic and clicky, and all models come with a gold accent on the place where the tank screws on the battery (which I am not a big fan of, but it is minor for sure). Finally, there’s a teardrop window on both sides of the tank, which shows remaining liquid. It is a bit recessed under the metal part of the tank which, combined with its reduced size, makes it much less prone to breaking than a standard glass tank.

I wish the JEM Pen came with a removeable 510 mouthpiece, but on the other hand, the mouthpiece also serves as a gripping point for removing the top part for filling. Other than that, the “Cosmos” design is the only one that’s not single-colored, and as you can see from the pics, comes with a graffiti-like design with planets and other space stuff. Not a huge fan, but it’s different for sure.

All in all, the JEM Pen is a well-built product, but Innokin obviously played it safe on the design side of things. And for a beginner product, that’s absolutely fine.

Getting started

The design of the JEM Pen focuses on ease of use. To get started just follow these simple steps:

  • Unscrew the tank section
  • Screw a coil at the base of the tank
  • Drip ~5 drops of juice in the middle of the coil
  • Screw the tank section back on
  • Unscrew the top (use the drip tip for grip)
  • Fill through the larger holes in the perimeter of the opening
  • Screw the top back on and set it aside for 5 minutes for the coil to saturate
  • Turn on the device (5 clicks of the power button)
  • Press the button to vape

It may seem like a lot at a glance but, excluding the five-minute wait for saturation, the whole process can be complete in a matter of seconds.

Performance

As I mentioned in the intro, the JEM Pen shares its name with an earlier Innokin Product, the JEM/Goby. But even though the two devices use the same coils, they perform very differently. And most of it has to do with the airflow design of the JEM Pen.

The JEM Pen ditched the dual-sided airflow of the Goby, and the air now enters the tank through a tiny hole that’s placed at the top end of the battery. And that makes a world of difference. The draw is one of the better MTL draws on a device like this, a very satisfying cigarette-like draw that’s going to make smokers feel right at home.

Another difference with the Goby, is that the JEM Pen fires at 13 watts with constant output—although it does feel weaker near the end of the charge. But the power levels on the Goby felt very similar to each other, and I was usually using it at the 13.5-watt max anyway. So, in reality, the JEM Pen can be considered a device that’s even more fine-tuned for beginners.

Innokin JEM Pen coils

There are two coils currently available for the JEM Pen:

  • 2.0-ohm ceramic coil
  • 1.6-ohm Kanthal wire coil

It’s worth noting that the ceramic part of the 2.0-ohm coil is not the heating element (which is regular Kanthal wire) but it is used as a wick instead of cotton. Both coils seemed to handle 70VG, but I felt safer running my tests with 60VG and 50/50 juice. I couldn’t notice a difference in airflow between the two coils, but they do vape differently when it comes to flavor and throat hit.

The flavor I got from the regular coil was surprising. I really liked it back when I reviewed the Goby, but I didn’t remember it being that good. Of course, I am factoring in the capabilities of the device when discussing flavor, as I still find the Z-coils of the Zenith/Zlide/Z-Biip (especially the 0.8-ohm one) to be more flavorful than the JEM coils. But for a device that focuses on absolute beginners, the performance of the 1.6-ohm JEM coil is great. And as was the case with the Goby, the coils pack some punch and last for long. There was no drop in performance after five or six refills, and I didn’t feel the need to significantly raise the nic strength of my juice—I usually vape 6 mg regular nic in MTL, and wouldn’t go over 9 mg on this coil.

The ceramic coil is noticeably weaker and I found it to lack both in flavor and throat hit. But it is a much better choice if you are planning on using high strength nic salts with the JEM Pen, as the regular coil is too powerful for anything over 20 mg. I used the ceramic coil with 35 mg salts and it was a fine vape for what it is. Plus, it will end up lasting longer than the regular coil, both due to the lower consumption that comes with higher nic strength, and the fact that ceramic is more durable than cotton.

Usage issues

But not everything is sunshine and rainbows with the JEM Pen. I did have some trouble now and again, and it started bothering me after a while. I tried two of each coil, and all would occasionally gurgle if left unused for a while. It wasn’t that bad on the regular coils, but the ceramic coils kept giving me issues after every refill. Which led up to terrible flooding near the end of the tank a couple of times—and a lot of e-liquid in the mouth.

To be fair, Innokin advises not letting the tank go under 1/3 for better performance but come on… nobody does that in real life. And while I managed to fix these issues one way or another, beginners will certainly be put off if their first vape starts flooding, leaking or gurgling. Other than that, a faint whistling would occasionally appear (on both coils). It’s not by any means loud but could be annoying when noticed.

Battery life and charging

The JEM Pen houses a 1000-mAh battery. It doesn’t sound like much, but remember that it is an MTL device with a 13-watt output. I managed to go through two full tanks on the Kanthal coil, and around two and a half tanks on the ceramic coil before needing to charge it.

The LED is supposed to function as a battery indicator:

  • Green: 60-100%
  • Yellow: 20-60%
  • Red: 0-20%

I say “supposed to” because for all intents and purposes, you can consider the LED as having two colors, a mix of green and yellow and a red one. I tried to time the charge of the JEM Pen three times, but the light stays on when the battery is full, and I kept missing the point that it turned from a greenish yellow to a yellowish green. Thankfully, Anthony has reviewed this kit on ECF and timed its charge at 70-80’. I wish it was under one hour though, especially since you can’t use it while it’s charging.

Pros / Cons

  • Lightweight and relatively compact
  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Teardrop design protects the glass
  • Great tight MTL draw
  • Very good flavor and throat hit on the 1.6-ohm coil
  • Long lasting coils
  • Constant 13-watt output
  • Good battery life
  • Both coils may gurgle occasionally
  • Ceramic coil prone to leaking and flooding
  • Some whistling
  • Battery needs over an hour to charge
  • No pass-thru
  • Yellow and green LED lights are practically the same

Verdict

I really enjoyed using this vape until it started acting up on me. Priced under $20, I felt that it was one of the “most bang for your buck” vapes on the market, and an excellent choice for beginner vapers. Its draw is a satisfying tight MTL (a rare thing these days), flavor is surprisingly good, and even its battery life is above average. But I can’t overlook all the gurgling, flooding and other issues, especially on the ceramic coil.

I’ll put it like this: I can’t recommend the JEM Pen if you are planning on using the ceramic coil for mid to high strength nic salts. But it is a good option for regular nicotine and lower strength salts (up to 20 mg) with its 1.6-ohm Kanthal coil. If you want a pen-style vape and you can ignore the occasional whistling and a bit of gurgling, the draw and the flavor of the 1.6-ohm coil are worth the investment.

What do you think of the Innokin JEM Pen? Let me know in the comment section.

My first attempt at vaping came back in 2009 on some of the first cigalikes to ever reach Europe. A couple of attempts -- and vaping tech generations later -- I managed to quit smoking in 2016, and have since then developed somewhat of an obsession with all things vaping. When I am not consuming vape reviews I am either tinkering my NBA fantasy teams or playing board games with friends.

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Antonios Artinos

Hi Spiro, I just red your review and I really want to buy the jem pen. The problem is that I also wanna buy the uwell caliburn so I have to choose. I can’t try any of these 2 so it has to be based on the reviews I checked out. The caliburn is supposed to have better flavor and longer lasting pods but the jem pen has a tighter airflow which I really like. Could you please tell me about the draw and flavor between those two, just to help a bit iam currently using zenith innokin and although… Read more »

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