Finding the best herbal or concentrate vaporizer for you can depend on a number of factors, the most important being your personal needs and desires. So how can you tell which vaporizer is right for you? We’ve broken down the main features you should consider when looking for your perfect herbal vape.
Conduction vs. Convection
Convection and conduction refer to two different methods a device can use to heat your herb. The way the substance is heated can affect the quality of your vapour as well as your overall vape experience, so keeping the heating method in mind when choosing a herbal vaporizer is extremely important to your satisfaction.
Conduction is a method of heating substances by direct heat through a solid material (think a frying pan on a stovetop—your food is heated directly by the metal substance of the pan). Conduction allows for fast heating time, but because of the direct heating, it does have a potential to combust your herb, which is something to be avoided. In conduction-based devices, the heating source is usually at the bottom of the herb chamber, meaning that you may have to stir your herb throughout your session to achieve even heating. Because of their design, conduction vaporizers are often smaller, more portable, and less expensive.
- Quick heating time
- Reduced size
- Less expensive
- Risks combustion
- Stirring is necessary for even heating
- Less flavour, and less efficient
Convection is the act of indirectly heating a substance using a liquid or gas. In the case of convection vaporizers, hot air is used to heat your herb. As air is pulled through the device, it vaporizes the substance, meaning that a convection vaporizer will have a slower heat up time, but result in more even vaporization and less chances of combusting your herb. In general, convection-based vaporizers provide more flavour, better quality vapour, more accurate temperature control and more efficient vaporization than conduction-based devices. But because of this, convection vaporizers are often more expensive.
- Better flavour, and more efficient
- Reduced chance of combustion
- More accurate temperature control
- More even heating
- Slower heating time
- More expensive
Once you’ve selected the style of heating you prefer in your herbal vaporizer, it’s time to think about what you’re looking for in terms of temperature control. By controlling the temperature of your vape, you will be able to determine the potency, intensity and flavour you will receive.
No Temperature Control
Devices without temperature control have one set temperature that the device will heat to. These devices will vaporize your substances, but you are not able to control the level at which it is heated.
- Easy to use
- Great for beginners looking to try vaping
- Less expensive
- No control over potency, intensity or flavour
Some herbal vaporizers have a number of preset temperature settings that you can select from. These devices give you more ability to customize your vaping experience, but are limited to the set temperatures provided.
- Able to select between pre-set temperature settings
- Some control over potency, intensity and flavour
- Limited to pre-set temperature settings
Manual Temperature Control
Herbal vaporizers with manual temperature control can be adjusted to the exact desired temperature. These devices are best for controlling potency, intensity and flavour.
- Able to select the exact temperature to the degree
- Best control over potency, intensity and flavour
- May require some knowledge of strains and temperature settings for optimal use
Battery capacity can be a critical factor when when choosing a herbal vaporizer. If you are planning to use the device infrequently or for personal sessions, a device with a lower mAh (“milliampere hours”—or battery capacity) would work perfectly fine. However, if you are a frequent user, or plan to use the device for extended or group sessions, you may want to consider a device with a higher mAh or a removable battery cell.
The chamber size of a vaporizer will determine how much substance you will be able put in the device at one time. Smaller chambers are great for personal sessions, as they will often heat faster and only require a small amount of herb. Larger chambers are better for group or extended sessions, as well as when you’re on-the-go.
Portability can play a major role in which herbal vaporizer is best for you. If you intend to use the device at home or in a specific location, desktop or larger vaporizers are an option. But if you’re looking to bring your vaporizer around with you, portability and discreetness is key. Consider the size of the device when choosing the right vaporizer for you.
Last, but not least, you’ll want to think about which substances you want to use in your vaporizer. Some devices can only be used with dry herb or concentrates/oils separately, whereas some will work with either.