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The war of the vapes rages on with new technologies and techniques appearing on the battlefield with pleasing regularity for the customer.
We are living in the best times for vaping and the times look set to only get better. There is one conflict that will take some time to resolve, however, and that is the battle for dominance between conduction and convection vaping technologies.
A conduction vaporizer uses a heated chamber to provide the heat for your materials to vaporize.
They vary in construction, some using steel, quartz or ceramic materials for the construction of the chamber and the heating element (which can be the same thing). This heats the material from the surface of the material upwards.
A convection vaporizer uses hot air to heat the materials in the chamber. The question is:
As is so often the case, the picture is unclear. There are so many appalling vaporizers of both categories that you could say they are both rubbish, but that would not be fair.
The most expensive and highest quality herbal vaporizer is a combination of convection and conduction, which says to the market that there are advantages to both.
Nothing beats the portability of a conduction vaporizer. With no airflow system, they can be as small as a pencil and offer decent vape quality.
There are very few portable convection vapes on the market, so if you are looking for a small and easy to carry vaporizer, you will probably be looking in the conduction region.
Because they are small and light, they are easy to conceal. Conduction vapes dominate the discreet portable vaporizer market and the best ones offer excellent vapour quality when you are out and about.
Weed is not legal in most of the world, but vaporizers are. A conduction vaporizer can look just like an e-cigarette and minimise the likelihood of unwelcome attention.
In general, the heating time of a conduction vape is lower than for a convection device. This is not hard and fast as a rule but it is a worthy consideration.
For users who have small time windows in which to enjoy their medicine, or just like the convenience of not having to wait, a conduction vape can be the way to go.
As most battery powered vapes are conduction devices, it is hard to make a comparison between the two, though it is likely that a pure conduction vape will last for longer during a session because heating air is more energy consuming than heating a solid (that’s the laws of thermodynamics for you!). The Mighty Vaporizer has an amazing battery life!
The key question. Most purists would point to a convection system being better than conduction when it comes to the question of vapour quality.
This is because convection heats more of the material more evenly and usually offers a tastier hit at the end of the session.
However, the best conduction vapes put up a very good fight, especially if they are used correctly.
With a conduction vape, to get the best hit consistently, you will need to stir the contents of the chamber after every hit or so.
This is because the material in contact with the heating element will have vaped all their goodness and start to produce harsh burnt tastes, and the contents not in contact will not have vaped entirely.
A quick stir reorganizes the contents and puts fresh material in the right place. This is a bit of a chore and can be fiddly, especially for a portable vaporizer or in a hurry (or when you are stoned).
Because conduction vapes heat up faster and give a quicker hit, they generally produce thicker, more aromatic vapour than convection devices.
This is very appealing to some, especially for ex-smokers, who like the feel in the throat and a visible product.
For quick, thick vapour, conduction vapes are the best bet, especially if you want discretion and portability too.
The method of heating is not the only difference when it comes to how the vapour tastes and feels. Precise temperature control is vital to getting good results, and a conduction chamber can be controlled very precisely indeed.
A quick heat up time (usually faster than convection) and the exact control offered by the best vaporizer choices make the decision between convection and conduction even more difficult.
The first few hits of fresh herb or oil will be indistinguishable between a convection and a conduction vape of the same price.
For a truly tasty conduction vaporizer we recommend the Hydrology 9. Then the taste starts to tail off on conduction (doubly so if you haven’t stirred it), whereas the convection will continue tasting great for a long time.
In general, conduction vapes are much cheaper than convection. This is because they are simpler to make, have less expensive parts, and require less engineering.
If you want to spend some good money on a vaporizer, the convection and convection/conduction hybrids offer the best quality vape but come at a serious price.
For the budget buyer and the middle ground, not so serious medicator, a convection device offers simplicity, good vapour and less parts to break than a convection vape, and at a lower price.
It is unavoidable: convection gets better yields. It is not by much, most of the time, but the even heating that is achieved by convection gets more terpenes, cannabinoids and other lovelies out of your ganja than contact heating.
Conduction vapes can vape nearly anything, dabs, oils, shatter, wax, herbs, whatever you want.
There are devices that specialize in either herbs or concentrates, and mixing them up won’t help, but a lot of conduction vapes give a wide range of capabilities.
Because your dab or herb is in direct contact with the heating element, the vaporization can be complete and basically, the device cleans itself.
However, this does not always happen, and the conduction chamber needs to be cleaned periodically, though usually less than a convection device.
There are two main reasons to buy a conduction vape: price and portability. It is basically impossible to get a tiny, discreet and high quality convection herbal vaporizer or oil/wax vaporizer, the technology just isn’t as good as conduction.
Being able to stick it in your pocket and carry it anywhere, whether on a trip or just out with your pals for a sociable toke, the long battery life and enjoyable, if not amazing, quality of a portable conduction vape is a very valuable thing.
Choice is important too: there are many more conduction devices in the portable market than for convection vaporizers.
The range of controls, interfaces, temperature presets, storage capacity, looks and feel are much greater across the conduction market.
Sure, it won’t give you the very best vapour in the world but it can get pretty close if you buy right.