July 15, 2024
Is It Safe to Use a Cracked Vape Cartridge

We all have been there – finding the vape cartridge cracked or broken all of a sudden. The disappointment sinks in as you debate whether to try to salvage the cartridge or cut your losses. But is it safe to use a cracked vape cartridge? 

Simply put, it is NOT safe at all. Cracked cartridges will put you at risk of burns, cuts, fires, and inhalation issues when vaping. They can also leak dangerous substances. So, using vape cartridges that are cracked is not advised. 

Now, to understand if a cracked cartridge is safe to use, you need to explore all the associated risks more in-depth. I’ve broken down all these right here for you. Stay tuned!

Is It Safe To Use A Cracked Vape Cartridge? (Full Explanation)

Due to an array of safety issues, using a cracked or damaged vape cartridge is unsafe. 

The break in the cartridge compromises the entire safety of the device. The potential harm due to the break far outweighs the small amount of liquid potentially left inside.

Once cracked, you should discard a cartridge for the following risks:

1. Inhalation Of Harmful Chemicals

When a cartridge cracks, the oils or extracts inside slowly leak out. If you continue using the damaged cartridge, you will inhale concentrated forms of these substances directly. 

According to a 2020 NIH (National Institutes of Health) study, vape oils often contain nicotine, THC, flavoring additives, cutting agents, and more. 

According to public discussions on Quora, none of these should be inhaled in raw form. Inhaling these will lead to nausea, dizziness, lung irritation, and unknown health impacts due to inhaling uncontrolled concentrations.

2. Cuts And Burns To Mouth/Throat

Cracks in the cartridge casing eventually expose sharp, jagged edges. Cracks can also create openings that expose the interior heating system. 

Coming into contact with these edges will cause cuts, punctures, and scrapes. The heating system can also burn your lips, tongue, mouth, and throat as you use the device. These injuries raise the risk for infections as well as extended damage if cuts are severe.

3. Fire Hazard

The exposed internal heating elements also present fire hazards for you. According to Wikipedia, the coils and wicks are designed to heat extremely high temperatures (up to 250°c) to create inhalable vapor. 

But when cracked, leaks and overflow can interact directly with these components. The oils and extracts are flammable substances. So, this introduces significant fire risks if the device remains in use. Electrical shorts or sparks from damaged systems only compound these risks as well. 

How To Identify A Dangerously Cracked Vape Cartridge? 

It’s vital to be able to recognize when a cartridge is dangerously cracked. Some wear, and minor cracks are expected with use over time. 

However, certain signs indicate it is too severely damaged for safe usage. Here are the steps to identify a crack that puts the cartridge beyond the safety limit:

1. Visual Inspection

Carefully looking over the entire cartridge will show any cracks, breaks, or punctures in the casing. Damage to the mouthpiece, sides, or base are red-flags. 

Remember, even hairline fractures or pinholes allow chemicals to escape and pose hazards. Severe leaks, large gaps or openings, and detached or punctured caps clearly indicate unsafe cartridges.

2. Leakage Of Oil

Closely inspecting for leaks or seepage provides essential clues to internal damage. Any evidence of oil seeping through cracks is a dead giveaway. If you can detect liquid leakage, never use the cartridge again. 

Leaks around the mouthpiece, base, or sides signify ruptures in the cartridge walls. Stains on the batteries or pens, when used with damaged cartridges, can confirm consistent leakage.

3. Strange Taste/Smell

When you go to use a damaged cartridge, chemical leakage will often alter or degrade the taste and smell of the vapour. Any odd flavours, like plastic or metals or any chemical or methanol-like odours, suggest hazardous leakage. 

So, discontinue use if the taste and smell are suddenly different or off.

NOTE: When a cartridge exhibits one or more of these traits, stop using it. Dispose of it properly and replace it with an intact cartridge.

Alternatives If Your Vape Cartridges Keep Breaking  

For some vape users, cartridges end up cracked or broken frequently, even with careful handling. 

Cheap construction, repeated changes, and natural wear over time can lead to this. So, if you find yourself constantly needing to replace shattered cartridges, consider these alternative vaporizer options:

1. Dry Herb Vaporizers

These vaporizers are designed for use with natural dry herb material rather than concentrated oils. They have an oven chamber and work by heating and releasing active compounds slowly over the session. 

According to Vaporizerwizard.com, models like Pax, Arizer, and Storz & Bickel products may have better longevity than cartridge systems.

2. Wax Pens

Wax vaporizer pens use small amounts of wax concentrates rather than oils. They have some advantages over cartridges. These include better heat control, ceramic or quartz dishes rather than exposed coils, and reusable build. 

As stated by Straight.com, brands like KandyPens and Dr. Dabber offer quality wax pens.

3. Dab Rigs

Many vape enthusiasts use specialized dab rigs for the highest intensity at home. 

These water-filtered devices vaporize waxes and oils at very high heat. Their solid construction makes them quite durable for daily use. 

PuffCo, G-pen, and similar manufacturers’ models are proven reliable (endorsed by Tvape.com).

How To Make Your Own Vape Cartridges 

Making DIY vape cartridges is an option for experienced vapers interested in total control and customization. 

When done correctly, you can produce high-quality cartridges that won’t shatter and are tailored to your preferences. 

Creating homemade cartridges lets you control everything, from the oil used to the hardware choice. But it requires significant knowledge and tinkering. 

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Obtain empty reusable cartridges, ideally steel or top-fill ceramic types. Be sure to match the threading with your battery/pen.
  1. Research and acquire the specific vape oils, extracts, concentrates, or e-liquids you wish to use. Most thick oils require adding thinning agents like terpenes.
  1. Calculate precise ratios for your preferred oil or extract nicotine level (if applicable). Then, you may add thinning agents to achieve ideal viscosity and potency.
  1. Use mixing tools like syringes and filling stations to combine and transfer your custom blend into the empty cartridges. Work slowly to avoid air bubbles.
  1. Properly seal and cure filled cartridges, then test and adjust your creation as needed.


In summary, it is not recommended to use cracked or broken vape cartridges due to the inherent health and safety risks. Damaged cartridges can leak harmful chemicals, cause burns and cuts, create fire hazards, and expose you to injuries when vaping. 

So, learn how to inspect cartridges for unsafe cracks and dispose of them properly. For frequent breakage, consider alternative vaporizers instead. 

Or, you can also explore creating your own customized vape cartridges. Ultimately, you can maximize the enjoyment only by making informed decisions while avoiding the pitfalls.