There are plenty of cheap dry herb vaporizers on the market. They get the job done, and they give you a chance to find out what vaping is all about and see whether it’s a better choice for you than smoking your herbs. If you become serious about vaping, though, you’re eventually going to want to invest in a better vaporizer. Compared to an inexpensive entry-level device, a high-end vaporizer can give you a far better experience while requiring less material to achieve the same effect – so it’s an investment that will pay for itself before long. High-quality vaporizers also have more accurate temperature detection and do a better job of preventing your herbs from reaching the point of combustion.
As soon as you begin shopping for a high-end vaporizer, though, you’ll encounter a problem: There aren’t just a few great vaporizers out there – there are many. Your decision, in other words, isn’t going to be a simple one.
In this article, we’re going to explain arguably the most important factor that differentiates one dry herb vaporizer from another. When you look at the vaporizers on the market, you’ll find a huge variety of different features ranging from stylish designs to Bluetooth support. When you really think about it, though, no feature is more important than a vaporizer’s ability to heat your herbs – extracting their active compounds efficiently and completely – without burning them.
A dry herb vaporizer has one of two oven styles: Convection and Conduction aka Combustion. The oven style might have a greater impact on your vaping experience than any other aspect of the vaporizer that you ultimately buy. Our suggestion, therefore, is that you make the choice between convection vs. conduction the first step on your journey toward finding the best vaporizer for your needs. Let’s dig in!
Especially when vapes first became popular, many dry herb vaporizers on the market used conduction heating chambers. In this oven style, the vaporizer heats your herbs via direct contact with a heat source usually positioned at the bottom of the chamber, and the heat source is usually a red hot coil. Since the particles of ground herbs touch the heat source directly, heat travels through the chamber via this physical contact. Since the herbs closest to the heat source might become hotter than the herbs further away from the heat, you may find that you can get the best results with a conduction vaporizer by opening the heating chamber and stirring the herbs periodically. Examples include the AGO dry herb vape or the Yocan 94F atomizer.
In a vaporizer with a convection oven, the herbs don’t touch the heat source directly. Instead of a hot coil, the herbs are heated by the hot air. The warm air gradually heats the dry herbs. As you inhale the hot air travels from the heat source and passes through the herbs creating vapors. The herbs gently heat to a specific temperature set for vaporization, and you take puffs of vapor. With convection, as the herbs are heated, they slowly brown and break down. Convection is considered the healthy vaping option, the alternative to smoking or conduction where the herbs turn to ash. Example include the affordable Titan 2 or the compact E-Clipse Vape.
The biggest benefit of the conduction vaporizer style is that it requires few parts and is relatively simple to design. All that you really need is a ceramic or steel chamber with a heating element at the bottom. The simplicity of conduction heating technology means that the best conduction vaporizers often cost less than the best convection vaporizers.
As you’ll soon learn, convection vaporizers tend to feature more accurate temperature control and are less likely than conduction vaporizers to waste your material. In the past few years, though, conduction vaporizer technology has improved by leaps and bounds. Today’s top conduction vaporizers are typically very precise, and many of them don’t require you to stir your herbs at all.
An additional benefit of conduction vaporizers is that the best ones are ready to use in 30 seconds or less. The closer your herbs are to your vaporizer’s heating element, the faster they’ll heat up – and a great conduction vaporizer today can be ready to go almost instantly. Conduction vaporizers are similar in principle to the nicotine e-liquid vaping devices sold by companies such as Friske Drag.
If you’ve ever been in a professional kitchen, you know that many chefs favor convection ovens. A convection oven has a fan that distributes the heat evenly, helping the food cook through more quickly and ensuring consistent results. Convection vaporizers are very tend to be more complex – and thus, more expensive – than conduction vaporizers. However, those vaporizers have the same benefits that make convection ovens work so well for cooking.
Convection vaporizers tend to take a bit longer to heat up than conduction vaporizers. If the herbs in the vaporizer are far enough from the heating element, though – as is often the case with convection desktop vaporizers – you can keep the vaporizer turned on and ready to go indefinitely without heating the herbs until you’re ready to use them. Since a conduction vaporizer heats the herbs directly, there’s always a chance of some of the compounds in the herbs escaping into the air before you inhale them. In a convection vaporizer, though, the herbs aren’t heated until you inhale or turn the fan on. You can vape with absolutely no waste.
When you use a convection vaporizer, air carries the heat through all of the material in the oven simultaneously. Using air – rather than physical contact – to heat the material means that all of the herbs in the oven reach approximately the same temperature at the same time. Since the oven of a convection vaporizer has no hot spots, there’s no need to stir the herbs. Everything in the oven gets hot – and is used up – simultaneously. When your vaping session is over, you can be confident that you’ve extracted everything beneficial from your material.
As we mentioned above, conduction vaporizers don’t have the most accurate temperature control and simply just burn the herbs, and combust them. Some conduction vaporizers like the AGO dry herb vape can utilize glass screens to achieve convection. The glass screens separate the herbs from the hot coil so they do not burn and instead vaporize. With most convection vaporizers, though, combustion is impossible. The herbs can’t burn because they don’t touch the heat source and are simply heated by the hot air around them. If you want a simpler way to smoke, get a conduction aka combustion vape like the AGO dry herb vaporizer. But if you simply want to vape, the healthier way via convection vaping, get yourself a convection vaporizer.