When buying a vaporizer, it is important to carefully consider factors such as power, performance, efficiency, versatility, and control. Weigh up all of these factors against cost to find the model that’s right for you. There are a great many vaporizers for you to choose from in today’s market, but the quality of what’s available varies widely. Do a little research before you purchase and you should be able to find a model that offers the functionality you need at the price that you are willing to pay. Below you’ll find some key considerations to make when choosing the best vaporizer for you.
1. Desktop or portable: How important is portability?
The first decision you will have to make is whether to go with a desktop or a portable model. Desktop vaporizers usually command higher prices, but they also offer the most value in terms of power and functionality. With more powerful and efficient mains-powered heating elements, desktop vaporizers are generally able to provide a wider range of temperatures and a higher degree of temperature control over portable, handheld vaporizers. Designed to be used in a fixed position, desktop vaporizers can accommodate richer features that add greatly to the functionality of the device. Multiple mouthpieces, elaborate chambering, and intricate heating are some of the common features of desktop units. This functionality adds considerably to the vaporizing experience. Portable vaporizers, on the other hand, enable vaporizing on-the-go, making them better suited to public or outdoor use. Portable vaporizers are handheld units, and many are designed in a pen-like shape with simple, one-press operation. Portable vaporizers typiclly provide less temperature control than their desktop counterparts, and the fact that they are generally powered by a battery (as opposed to mains power) has implications on the thickness of the smoke they can produce. Their small size and light weight, however, make them ideally suited for those who like to vape outside of the home.
2. What substance do you plan to vaporize?
Another important consideration to make is what substances you will be vaporizing. Some models are more geared towards a certain type of herbal matter, so make sure you pick a unit that works well for you.
Blends – There are countless vaporizers on the market today that are designed to be used with dry herbs. Be sure to use a grinder when preparing your blends for use as it will help you to vaporize more efficiently.
Oils/Waxes – Increasingly popular by the day are units designed to vaporize concentrates, such as oils and waxes. Some of these devices make use of cartridges for loading substances into the device, whereas others use a bowl.
Dual (Blends, Oils and Herbs) – If you like having the option to use various different substances in your vaporizer, a dual model will be your best option. These devices are designed to work efficiently with both dry herbs and concentrates.
3. Heat Source
The third main consideration that you need to make is how you want your vaporizer to be powered. You have three options: mains power, rechargeable battery or butane gas. Mains Power – Since desktop vaporizers are designed to be used in a single location, they are always powered by mains electricity. This provides obvious advantages in terms of power and performance, and allows much more precision control of temperature. Some portable vaporizers also have the option to be plugged into mains power as a means of preserving battery life. Batteries – Some form of rechargeable battery comes in nearly all portable vaporizers. Although this allows the user to vape on the move, battery life is limited and it is usually necessary to recharge on a regular basis. Like with mains power, battery-powered units tend to provide the most efficient performance as it burns the herbal matter at a more consistent rate than with butane or an open flame. Butane – Butane-powered vaporizers are ideal for use on the move. They do not require either a mains power connection or a charged battery. Instead, users can simply use butane gas to power their device. The main drawbacks with this method are that you have limited temperature control while vaping, and you must purchase new butane every time your cannister runs out.
4. Balloon or whip: Which style do you prefer?
Your final consideration, in the case that you have opted for a desktop vaporizer, is what delivery method the device should utilize. Your options are either a whip or balloon system. With balloon systems (as used by the Volcano), a balloon can be filled up with vapor, and then completely disconnected from the vaporizer. The user can then inhale the stored vapor at their leisure. Some vaporizers even contain the vapor for up to eight hours. On the other hand, you could go for a whip-style vaporizer. In such devices, convection is used to heat the herbal matter, sending hot vapor through a whip (tube) and into the user’s mouth. Some whips even have ground glass joints, meaning that you can enjoy hands-free operation of the device.
5. Conduction vs Convection: Which heating system is right for you?
The difference between conduction and convection vaporizers is actually quite simple. Conduction has a direct heating element which is used to heat the cannabis product and create your vapor. In contrast, convection devices create vapor by heating and circulating hot air around the herbal material.
Conduction pros and cons
Conduction heating systems can sometimes provide an inconsistent vaping experience. This is because your heating element (often referred to as a coil) functions much like a household stove — it takes time to heat up and cool down. This results in temperature inconsistency, will result in variation in the amount of vapor produced.
Another important difference is consider is the level of maintenance required. Conduction vapes use a very fine screen to separate your product to be vaporized from its heating system, and even in the most modern conduction vaporizers, routinely cleaning and replacing this screen is essential to ensure optimal performance.
Another potential downside of conduction vaporizers is the required preparation of plant matter for these systems. If buds are not ground to the right consistency for that specific vaporizer, some of the material will be vaporized more quickly than others, resulting in an inconsistent vaping experience.
Convection pros and cons
Many are drawn towards vaporizing because of the high level of convenience provided. Anyone key benefit of vaporizing, however, is that it allows you to consume your medicine while avoiding the various toxins which are otherwise consumed while smoking, which involves combustion of your plant matter.
A vaporizer which uses a convection heating system does not require the application of any direct heat to your concentrates or plant matter. This literally means you cannot burn your product, which is very important because this is how you minimize the negative effects of traditional smoking methods. Toxins, carbon and other carcinogens come directly from the combustion of your marijuana.
Even better, these convection-style vaporizers operate digitally and can typically be controlled by the touch of a button. This easy-to-use system is able to provide you with a consistent vapor experience, regardless of whether you’re vaping flower or concentrates.
Which is right for you?
As you can tell by taking a look at the selection of vaporizers on offer at your local headshop, both convection and conduction vaporizers can work well. The choice for the consumer arises in the type of vapor experience they want and how much time they want to dedicate to cleaning and maintenance.
One of the most well-known names in the world of vaporizers is the Volcano vaporizer, which uses a convection heating system to fill a bag with vapor. The stationary nature of a desktop vaporizer like the Volcano makes it an optimal choice for a convection heating system because it can use more sensitive and advanced components to heat the air inside the vaporizer.
In contrast to this, a conduction vaporizer is great for use in more portable devices like vape pens. However, it’s important to consider the maintenance factor when it comes to these devices. Cleanliness is the key to achieving a consistent vaping experience.
Vapes that use a conduction system are great for the on-the-go use, but require more effort to maintain and use effectively.
If a convection-style vaporizer has caught your eye, be sure to do your research. There are a variety of styles of these vapes. Although most do offer temperature control, the vaporizers that use convection heating systems are typically made with a specific style of cannabis product in mind to provide the ideal experience for the user.
Feel like you’re a more informed about the type of vaporizer that you want to buy? Take a look at our extensive selection of vaporizers here. See also: Guide to Vaporizer Temperatures See also: What Are the Benefits of Vaporizing