When you shop online for a dry herb vaporizer, “convection” and “conduction” are two terms that you’re going to read quite often — and they are terms that you absolutely should not ignore. Are you spending all of your time wondering whether you should get a desktop or portable vaporizer? Are you thinking about whether you should get a vape that’s for dry herbs only or one that can handle both herbs and wax? What you should really be thinking about is the technology behind the oven that’s actually vaporizing your material. So, how do convection vs. conduction vaporizers differ, and why is it important? You’re about to learn.
What Is a Conduction Vaporizer?
A conduction vaporizer heats your material via physical contact. Although the herbs don’t touch the oven’s heating element directly — that would cause burning — they do touch a metal or ceramic oven in close proximity to the heating element. The oven gets hot, and the herbs that touch the oven get hot. The herb particles touch one another, further transferring the heat. Eventually, the heat radiates all the way to the center of the oven.
What Is a Convection Vaporizer?
While a conduction vaporizer carries heat through physical contact, a convection vaporizer uses air to carry heat from the heating element to the herbs. A convection vaporizer may have a fan that forces hot air through the herbs, or it may have a ventilation system that draws air through the herbs when you inhale. Since the air penetrates the oven to the center, the full contents of the oven reach the desired temperature almost simultaneously. You can find numerous convection and conduction vaporizers at shops like Evertree in Ireland.
Pros and Cons of Conduction Vaporizers
The greatest benefit of conduction vaporizers is that they’re usually less expensive than convection devices — and today’s inexpensive vapes are nothing like the cheap vaporizers of the past. Today, the e-cigarette and dry herb vaping industries share technology, and both sides of the industry have improved by leaps and bounds as a result. Several years ago, using a cheap conduction vaporizer meant that you were always trying to maintain a balance between getting a usable amount of vapor and not burning your herbs. With today’s conduction vaporizers, the temperature settings are far more accurate.
If you’ve had your eye on a tiny, fashionable vaporizer like the DaVinci MIQRO, you know that dry herb vaporizers have gotten smaller and nicer looking than ever while offering better performance than ever. Little design tricks — such as a zirconium oven packing ball in the case of the DaVinci MIQRO — help these devices achieve consistent heating in spite of their tiny size. If you want a vape that’s small, sleek, light and pocketable, it’s got to be a conduction vaporizer.
As we mentioned above, a conduction vaporizer by design heats the herbs from the outer edge of the oven to the interior. It can take some time, therefore, for the herbs in the middle of the oven to reach your set temperature. By the time that happens, the herbs on the outside of the oven may begin to taste spent. You may start to taste that characteristic “burned popcorn” flavor of spent herbs when the herbs in the middle of the oven still have more to give. To achieve complete usage, it’s necessary with some conduction vaporizers to open the oven midway through the vaping session and give the herbs inside a good stir. The uneven heating also means that conduction vaporizers aren’t always the best choice for pure flavor enjoyment — at least not for the entire vaping session.
A conduction vaporizer spreads heat through physical contact. The herbs need to make good contact with the edges of the oven — and with each other — for thorough heating. You therefore need to pack a conduction vaporizer fairly tightly if you want a good vaping experience. If you pack the chamber too tightly, though, you’ll have difficulty inhaling — so you need to maintain a balance. Half loads — or loosely packed loads — tend not to work particularly well in conduction vaporizers.
Pros and Cons of Convection Vaporizers
One thing about convection vaporizers is certain: They’re frequently the most expensive vapes on the market. The Storz & Bickel Volcano, for example — a vaporizer as old as vaping itself and still considered by many to be the top desktop vaporizer on the market — costs about $600 after all these years. There are plenty of convection vaporizers that cost less than the Volcano, of course, but you’re not going to find one for $30.
More Complete Usage of Material
By far, the greatest benefit of convection vaporizers is that forced air is a much more efficient means of heat transfer than physical contact alone. Why do so many professional kitchens have convection ovens? It’s because a convection oven reduces cooking time while producing a more consistent result. With a convection vaporizer, there’s no need to stir the herbs because the hot air essentially penetrates the full contents of the oven simultaneously. People often find that a convection vaporizer delivers a greater effect than a conduction vaporizer while using less material — which is a great thing if you hate waste. Using less material to get the same effect means that a convection vaporizer can pay for itself quite quickly.
As with a conduction vaporizer, you must avoid packing a convection vaporizer too tightly as doing so could block airflow. In general, though, convection vapes are more forgiving when it comes to packing technique. If you want to pack your herbs a bit more loosely to conserve your material, you can do that because physical contact with the oven isn’t necessary for heating.
Larger and Less Portable
Conduction vaporizers are very simple, and that’s what makes it possible to design small and highly portable devices. A conduction vaporizer is little more than a heating element, a metal or ceramic chamber and a battery. A convection vaporizer, on the other hand, needs some space between the heating element and the oven because it doesn’t work via direct heating. It also needs a fan or ventilation channel to move the air through the oven. With increased complexity comes increased size. While plenty of portable convection vaporizers exist, you won’t find one as tiny as a device like the DaVinci MIQRO.
Best Flavor Experience
If you’re the type who buys expensive cannabis strains to enjoy their delicate terpene profiles and distinct flavor notes, you already know that you can’t beat vaping for pure flavor enjoyment. Other flavors come through so much better when you remove smoke from the equation. As we mentioned above, though, a conduction vaporizer heats from the outer edge of the oven inward. By the time the material in the middle of the oven reaches its peak, the material on the outside will already be giving off that burned popcorn flavor. Since a convection vaporizer heats the full oven simultaneously, it’ll deliver the purest possible flavors as long as you keep the oven clean.