by Rory Edelson May 02, 2018 6 min read

What is a Portable Vaporizer 

Since vaporizers are a relatively new phenomenon, it is perfectly understandable if you don’t know how to use one. While the modern desktop vaporizer was invented back in the 90s, they were large desktop units that never gained much popularity. After the introduction of the e-cig in the early 2000s, manufacturers adapted the idea to create vape pens and the idea took off. Now, vaporizing is becoming more popular than smoking in many places around the world.

So what exactly is a vaporizer? It’s an electronic device designed to heat a substance to a high enough temperature to turn that substance from solid or liquid form to a vapor. While all vaporizers share this purpose, there are a wide variety of vaporization options. They can be large desktop style vapes that plug into the wall or thin ‘vape pens’ that you can slip in your pocket and use anywhere. Also, there are vaporizers designed for different substances. There are dry herb vapes, wax vapes, oil vapes and e-liquid vapes. This is the most important characteristic for most buyers as they want a vaporizer for a specific purpose. In addition to the vapes that vaporize one substance, there are also vaporizers designed to vaporize a variety of substances: dry herbs, wax, oil and e-liquid. You may need additional attachments to vaporize multiple types of substances, but we’ll get into that later.

 

Vaporizers can also vary in price and quality. You can find cheap vape pens that get the job done for around $20, but these will be pretty basic, limited and will generally have a shorter lifespan. As quality increases, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars for a top-of-the-line vaporizer. Depending on your budget and needs, you can often find a great option somewhere in the middle. Keep reading to find out how to use each type of vaporizer.

How to use a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

Using a Stoner Joe Dry Herb Vaporizer

Many people buy dry herb vaporizers as a healthy alternative to smoking. Most dry herb vaporizers use convection instead of combustion, which results in a smooth vapor that is cooler and healthier than smoke. To use a dry herb vaporizer, first make sure your battery is fully charged. Then grind your herbs thoroughly prior to loading. Dry herb vapes pass hot air through a small chamber filled with dry herbs so you want the air to touch as much surface area as possible. This can be best obtained by grinding your herbs well before packing. Next, simply pack your dry herbs to fill the chamber. Don’t compress the herbs much as this will actually reduce surface area and result in a weaker hit. It can also become hard to get a good pull if your chamber is too tightly packed.

The chamber is usually attached to the mouthpiece in dry herb vapes, but it is sometimes at the bottom of the vaporizer. Once your chamber is fully loaded (but lightly packed), you are ready to heat. All dry herb vapes have some sort of temperature setting, the simpler ones will have a few settings (usually low, medium, and high) and others will be able to be set to a specific temperature. The temperature you vaporize at varies slightly on personal preference and the herbs you are using, however, it is generally recommended to vaporize dry herbs between 375°F and 430°F. When first starting out, use a low-temperature setting. If you aren’t getting much vapor, you can adjust as necessary. Ideally, you want a semi-thick vapor that dissipates within about 10 seconds after exhaling. The vapor should smell like a combination of your herbs and slightly burnt popcorn. If you are getting thick smoke that smells like it is burnt, your dry herb vape is too hot. 

Once your vape is heated, take a long, smooth pull from your vaporizer and exhale when ready. As you vaporize, you’ll notice the flavor fade. Once there is little or no flavor left, open up the chamber. Be careful, as this can get hot. Your dry herbs should have a toasted light-brown color. You can empty these and pack a fresh load into the chamber.

How to use a Wax Pen Vape

How to use a Saber Vape Pen for Wax

Before wax vapes came along, dab rigs (home-made or otherwise) were the only option for ingesting wax products. Wax Pens have changed the game and now you can enjoy wax without having expert-level knowledge. Just like with any vape, make sure your battery is fully-charged. Then find the heating chamber on your wax vape. This often connects to the battery. Open the heating chamber and you should see some sort of coil. These come in different shapes and are either quartz or ceramic. Using a dab tool, drop a dab of wax onto the coils and close the heating chamber. Now that the pen is loaded, you can turn it on. Many vape pens turn on by clicking the power button 5 times quickly but if this doesn’t work, refer to the user manual that came with your vape.

 

Unlike dry herb vaporizers, wax vapes heat up almost instantaneously so you can start vaping right away. Some pens will activate automatically but many require you to hold the power button down as you vape. Take a slow, even inhale. As wax can be very concentrated, I recommend starting with smaller hits and working your way up. Many wax vapes won’t have a temperature control but if yours does, start with a low setting and turn it up if necessary. Wax won’t leave much byproduct so once you stop getting vapor, it’s probably time to pack a fresh dab. Let your pen cool for a few minutes before reloading as the heating chamber can get extremely hot.

How to Use an Oil Vape Pen

How to use a SteamCloud Mini Oil Vape Pen

There are many different oil vaporizers available. Like wax vapes, many of the simpler models won’t have a temperature control but others will have variable voltage settings to control the heat. First off, make sure your battery is fully charged. Most oil vapes will come with sealed oil or e-liquid cartridges. Connect this to your vape and turn it on. Oil vapes will heat up quickly and can be used right away. If you are using a simple oil pen, you either activate the heating element by just taking a drag or holding the power button as you hit it. Take a long, smooth pull for the best results. Oil and liquid cartridges last a while and it’s pretty obvious when they’re empty (there’s no liquid left). 

If you are using a box mod with variable voltage, check out the next section for instructions on how to use them.

How to use a Box Mod Vape

Using Box Mod Vapes with Wax, Ejuice, and Dry Herbs

Box Mods are versatile vaporizers popular among users wanting an all-in-one vape. They typically have a long-lasting battery and you can switch out the atomizer whether you’re using dry herbs, wax, oil, or e-juice. The SteamCloud box mod vape is one of the most popular vaporizers in this category. To use your box mod, first, connect the correct atomizer for the product you will be using (dry herbs, was, oil) and pack the chamber. If using dry herbs, make sure you grind your herbs up into a fine mixture before loading. Then click the power button 5 times quickly to turn it on. If this doesn’t work, refer to the user manual for your vaporizer. Depending on your box mod, you may have to change modes and/or adjust the wattage to achieve the best results. You should vaporizer dry herbs between 375°F and 430°F, wax between 420°F and 550°F, and oil between 340°F and 445°F. Play around with the settings until you get a smooth but thick vapor.

How to use a 3 in 1 Vape Pen

Using a Kamry Box Mod Vape

Box Mods will typically fall under this category. For example, the Kamry Box Mod is a vaporizer that is compatible with e-liquid, oil and dry herb atomizers that can be easily swapped. As these 3 in 1 vapes vary quite a bit in features, they will require different steps for use. However, here are some quick tips to help you get going:

  • Make sure your battery is fully charged
  • Fill the correct vape cartridge with a substance (dry herb, wax, oil, e-liquid) and connect to to the battery
  • Remember to grind your dry herbs well before packing
  • Turn your vape on (often 5 quick clicks of the power button)
  • Set the temperature or voltage (refer to temperatures in the box mod section above)
  • Start with a low heat setting and work your way up until you are getting tasty, thick clouds
  • When you start to lose flavor and vape thickness, change out the herbs, wax, oil or liquid cartridge.

To Sump Things Up

While each portable vaporizer is unique, they are all made for the same purpose and use the same methods to achieve their goal. Therefore, these strategies will work across different manufacturers and styles. Hopefully, this article answered all your questions on how to use a vaporizer, whether it be a dry herb, wax, oil, e-liquid, or all-in-one. If you have any further questions on how to use a vaporizer, send us a message and we’ll help you out. Happy vaping!

Rory Edelson
Rory Edelson


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