In recent years, manufacturers have definitely stepped up their game and now vaporizers are designed better, more portable, and even come with a whole host of features that are made to help you get the most out of each session.
There are two main types of vaporizers –
There are then subcategories that follow after that, but they all fall into either of these two categories.
Dry Herb Vaporizers
Dry Herb Vaporizers are available as either:
- Desktop devices: These devices are much larger, and a lot more powerful but they do require access to an electrical outlet- making them more suited for home use.
- Portables: Portables are exactly as the name suggests, battery-powered vapes that are designed to be brought around and fit in a small bag or even your pocket. This makes them the more popular choice for users.
All devices have a small oven/ heating element that heats the raw, dry herb and extracts and maximizes the cannabinoids and terpenes from the material. Most of which would’ve definitely been burned off in combustion. These devices usually have quick heat-up times, ranging from 10-45 seconds, and reach precise temperatures of up to 380F.
Portable Vaporizers also have the following subcategories:
- Session Vaporizers: These devices make up 90% of all the portables on the market. Basically, it heats to temperature and remains there till the session is over or the herb is “cashed”. One oven/load = a single session, and the same dried herb can’t be reused.
- On-Demand Vaporizers: These devices allow you to take draws whenever you want, instead of having to finish all the material in one go. This is possible since on-demand vaporizers have heating elements that cool just as fast as it heats up.
Vaporizer Heating Methods
Not all vaporizers heat material in the same way and the different heating materials yield varied results – but they all work to optimize the active materials in your herb.
- Conduction Heating: Conduction heating is when the dried material comes into direct contact with the heating element. However, the heating element doesn’t cool down quickly – so your herb will continue to “cook” in-between draws.
- Convection Heating: With this heating method, the herb doesn’t come into contact with the heating material and is instead vaporized by the hot air that moves in and around the material in order to vaporize it.
- Hybrid Heating: A heating method invented by Storz & Bickel and first seen on the Volcano Hybrid. It’s the combination of both convection and conduction heating to produce flavorful and balanced vapor.
These devices are designed to vaporize solid, semi-solid or liquid concentrates. Depending on which concentrate you’re using, you’ll be needing a different extract device. 510 batteries are the most straightforward, while dab pens are a slight step above that, and E-Nails and E-Rigs are slightly more involved and have a bit of a learning curve.
- 510 Batteries: These usually small, uber-portable batteries are designed for use with pre-filled oil cartridges with the same standard 510 threading. Most 510 devices are foolproof and have a single button to access all of the device’s functions and pre-set temperatures.
- Wax/Dab Pens: Wax Pens usually have three main components – a battery, coil, and mouthpiece. Using one is as easy as loading the atomizer, turning it on to start heating, and enjoying a draw once it’s ready. Most wax pens can get as hot as 400F and come with several coil options that vary the vapor quality.
- E-Nails: An E-Nail is a battery-powered nail that can be attached to any rig/ water pipe. Most E-nails have a single button operation and varying pre-set temperatures.
- E-Rigs: An E-Rig doesn’t require a separate rig since it comes with a glass bubbler built right in. It’s an all-in-one dabbing solution that produces intense and large amounts of vapor.
The two main types of extracts are:
- Oil: Oil is a more viscous concentrate and is usually available in pre-filled carts that are then placed into 510-threaded batteries.
- Wax/Dab: Usually solid/semi-solid, wax has more intense effects and has numerous other variants/names.
For more on Concentrates and Extract Vaping, we list everything you need to know in this post
The world of vaping is definitely a busy one. Manufacturers have definitely made sure there’s a device for every class, style, and material in vaping. Regardless of whether you’re looking into concentrate or dry herb vaporizers, you’re bound to find the right device for you. Check out our list of the top dry herb vaporizers of 2022 and of the top wax pens of the year.