These days it can be overwhelming to choose from the huge selection of vaporizers (i.e. vape pens or portable vaporizers). As they all come in different shapes, sizes and most importantly different types of heating systems that can be a bit confusing, especially if you are a newbie to vaping, vaporizers and vape products.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a vaporizer is the heating system — which defines not only the price of the device but also how it will work.
What to know and what to do when choosing a vaporizer
There are two basic heating technologies installed in most vaporizers, namely, convection, and conduction. There are also hybrid devices —which are a combination of both systems.
In this article, we will try to explain how these systems work, the differences between them and above all, how they affect the quality of vaporization, and thus the choice of a vaporizer.
Convection Vaporizers — hot air that heats the dried herb
Let’s start with convection. In the convection system, the hot air passes through the heating chamber to form a pair. In convection devices (vaporizers), the drying chamber is located close to the heating element, so when inhaling, hot air flows through the driers to form a vaporizer pair.
Until recently, convection vaporizers has been the domain of stationary vapours such as Volcano Digit or Volcano Plenty, because this system absorbs much more energy than the conduction system, and thus requires a capacious battery.
There are many small, compact vaporizers with an effective convection system. When looking for a portable convection vaporizer, note the following:
- Firefly 2,
- Boundless CFV
- Flowermate Swift Pro
Advantages of convection system vaporizers
The advantages of convection vaporizers are the excellent taste of the vapour, high efficiency and fast heating time.
Convection heats the weed only during inhalation, therefore the weed is never “cooked”. This has a very large impact on the quality of taste and prevents unnecessary “wasting” of active substances contained in the weed.
Disadvantages of the convection system
One of the main disadvantages of the convection system is the battery life of the vaporizers. As the system consumes much more energy than the conduction system, the battery usually lasts for 5-6 sessions or 30-40 minutes of use. This situation will certainly change in the future, as portable convection devices are constantly being refined precisely in terms of battery consumption and the size of the heating chamber.
Another caveat that the convection system has is the amount of steam produced. For users who have previously used traditional smoking or water filtration, vaporisation from a convection device may not be sufficient in this respect. The steam produced conventionally is much more delicate and less visible, which does not mean that it is less effective. You just have to get used to it and like the delicate “vape”.
Conduction vaporizers — conductive evaporation
In conduction vaporizers, the drying chamber is itself a heating element. The walls of the chamber get hot, which in turn heats up the dross to form a vaporizing vapour. The advantage of the conduction system is the fact that it is very economical in energy consumption. Most conduction vaporizers are made of high-quality components such as ceramics, borosilicate glass, stainless steel. These materials are completely safe, extremely durable and, above all, they conduct great heat.
This results in a very fast heating of the dried material, with a minimum of battery consumption. Very clever and effective system.
Advantages of conduction system vaporizers
The biggest advantage of conduction vaporizers is the fact that they are very small, almost pocket-sized devices. The PAX company is the leader in this department. Extremely compact and discreet PAX 2 (literally fits in a closed hand) quickly heats up (in 22 seconds), is very intuitive to use and most importantly is covered by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. No other device of this type has such a good support from the manufacturer. It’s worth taking a look at it.
Da Vinci IQ vaporizers, Arizer Solo II and Arizer Air II are also highly recommended. Da Vinci IQ even comes with a mobile app.
Disadvantages of conduction vaporizers
One disadvantage of conduction vaporizers (compared to convection vaporizers) is the quality of taste produced. Although opinions on the issue of taste are divided, due to individual differences and taste preferences.
Another negative aspect of the conduction vaporizers, which is worth noting, is the fact that the weed in the chamber is continuously heated – boiled. This has a significant impact, not only on the taste, but also on faster weed consumption. An exception, among the conduction vaporizers that deal with this problem, is PAX 3 — the device has two sensors: a device motion sensor and a touch sensor in the mouthpiece.
Such a combination allows for quick automatic cooling and raising the temperature in the heating chamber, depending on the needs. This translates into a better vaporization quality compared to other conduction vaporizers that keep the heating chamber temperature at the same level.
When turned on, but not used for 30 seconds (for standard operation) – no movement or contact with the mouthpiece – the PAX goes into standby mode. It lowers the temperature in the heating chamber by a few degrees in order to protect the material during a break. After contact, on the touch sensor in the mouthpiece, the device immediately raises the temperature in the heating chamber to ensure constant steam production during consecutive puffs. In addition, the device after 3 minutes of not using it, will turn off completely.
It may seem that this combination of sensor, does not give much, but for a seasoned user of vaporizers, it will definitely be significant and every PAX user will appreciate these improvements.
Hybrids — a combination of convection and conduction
When it’s difficult to decide which heating system is best for you, try hybrids. This system combines elements of convection and conduction, the most interesting thing about hybrids is that, in each device, this combination falls out differently. The leading device among the hybrid vaporizers is Mighty – a well-known, and iconic vaporizer from Storz & Bickel. Big, powerful, unsurpassed in the production of large, visible pairs.
It is a device for users who are more likely to vaporize at home and prefer the quality and quantity of steam above the appearance of the device (Mighty is quite large for a portable vaporizer). When looking for something similar and handier, choose Crafty. It is a vaporizer that uses the same technology as Mighty, only in a miniaturized form and with the ability to control the application.
What differentiates the Crafty and Mighty vaporizers?
Crafty vaporizers have a much lesser battery life as opposed to Mighty vaporizers.
A very interesting and at the same time inexpensive hybrid vaporizers is X – Max V2. The system used in it is 80% convection and 20% conduction.
Advantages of hybrid vaporizers
The advantage of hybrid vaporizers is, above all, high steam production. If you are looking for something similar to using a water pipe, then the hybrid vaporizer will be the closest to meet these expectations.
Disadvantages of hybrid vaporizers
As for the disadvantages, in the hybrid combination of both systems, we face all the shortcomings of previously described heating systems. In addition, hybrid devices are not as attractive and discreet in appearance, which is also an important factor when choosing a vaporizer.
Each of the heating systems described above has its pros and cons, and it would be a huge injustice to designate one of them as the best and the most effective one.
When choosing a vaporizer, first consider your needs (what do you want to achieve with the vaporizer?). For one user, a certain attribute is the most important one, and for another, a completely different one.
If you are looking for a small, discreet device, it is worth choosing a conduction vaporizer, but when the quality of taste is the most important for you, then convection vaporizers will certainly fulfil this need. Furthermore, if all you want is a concrete hit of the “cloud”, then only the hybrid will meet your expectations. The choice is yours!
Do you need help choosing a vaporizer? Do you want to share your experiences? Let us know in the comment below.