The past several years have seen something of a renaissance when it comes to the consumption of dry herbs. Gone are the days that the plant is considered to be the preserve of social outcasts and people on the fringe.
The changes in attitude that have taken place in regards to the substance have been accompanied by an advancement in the technologies that surround it. While joints and glass pipes will always have a strong presence among those who enjoy dry herbs, the rise of portable vaporizers has revolutionized the ways in which the substance is consumed.
Portable vaporizers have skyrocketed in popularity because of their portability and discretion that they provide for those who enjoy dry herbs, wax, and oil. Consuming the substance in public has been made all but unnoticeable because of the smallness of many of the vape pens and the lack of strong odor associated with vapor.
However, for someone who is interested in buying and choosing the best portable vaporizer, the first step is oftentimes the most intimidating. The basic vocabulary words surrounding vaporizers -- atomizer, vape coil, temperature gauge, etc. -- can seem a bit too high-tech for a person who is only just beginning to advance beyond glass pipes and bongs.
As it turns out, vaporizer technologies and options are relatively straightforward and offer many benefits when it comes to vaping. All it takes is a simple look at the proper steps that must be taken in order to successfully choose the best vape pen for you.
Perhaps the most fundamental question that consumers should answer before purchasing a vaporizer is what substance – dry herbs or shatter – they would like for their vaporizer to handle. The difference between the two can often determine the kind of vape pen experience that the consumer will have.
For lovers of dry herbs, there are three principal technologies from which to choose: Combustion vs Conduction vs Convection vaping.
Combustion vaping occurs when the vaporizer’s heating element – the implement of the vape’s heating chamber that produces the actual heat – comes into direct contact with the dry herbs. Portable vape pens like the Atmos Jr. and the AGO G5 feature a flat and round ‘pancake’ coil onto which the dry herbs are placed. The coil heats up, essentially burning the dry herbs and producing smoke. If you want more true vaporization, you can start using glass screen filters on top of the coil to create more separation between the pancake coil and the dry herbs.
The second option is conduction vaporization. This occurs when the heating element of the vaporizer pen comes into direct contact with the dry herbs, such as the Pax. The third option is convection vaping, which means the herbs are packed into a special heating chamber – through which hot air is blasted that absorbs all of the dry herbs’ psychoactive compounds. Utilized by such vape pens as the Stoner Joe Vaporizer and the E-Clipse, these dry herb vaporizers ultimately produce a vapor that is both stealthier and healthier than the smoke produced by combustion vapes. If you want to learn more about vapor, you can read our blog post that discusses how to get more vapor from Portable Vaporizers and Vape Pens.
There are similar options available for lovers of wax and shatter. On the one hand, you can use dry herb vape pens like the Atmos Junior and AGO G5, which can be used for both dry herbs and concentrates. (Just be aware: a pancake coil heating chamber may only be used for one of the substances; using both substances in one heating chamber will clog the vaporizer and will keep it from being functional.)
There is also the more high-powered option for wax and other concentrates. Portable dab pens like the Yocan Pandon and the Yocan Evolve Plus utilize a process in which wax is placed on a solid conducting coil – in both cases, a quartz coil – that vaporizes the substance and produces a fresh and flavorful vapor.
The next step in the process is to determine how powerful you would like for your vaporizer to be. The battery power of a vaporizer is often directly correlated to how well, how quickly, and how long the vape pen is able to vaporize a given substance. This means that you should choose your battery power carefully, particularly if you are looking to be vaping either large amounts or for long stretches.
As vaporizer technology has progressed, the battery power for most portable vaporizers has risen substantially. The Pocket Vape wax pen, for example, features a battery of 360 mAh -- this is more for taking it out to a bar, restaurant or movie. The battery will last for a few hours if you're frequently using it; If you want to take bigger vape hits and you have the high-powered Yocan Pandon, which has a battery capacity of a staggering 1300 mAh. It's one of the Best Yocan Vape Pens and the Best Wax Vape Pen amongst wax vaporizers.
Consideration of battery power is especially important when thinking about the phenomenon of box mods. These square-shaped super-batteries – widely known for their association with e-liquids – are able to vaporize a massive amount of wax or shatter through attachments like the Yocan Cerum, which is only able to be used alongside batteries of a certain power level. A box mod with a mid-range power level such as the SteamCloud can be cranked up to a staggering 40 watts, a setting for only the most advanced vape pen lover who is looking for a huge hit. If you're using the Yocan Cereum, then the suggested setting is 15-25 watts.
Batteries are not the only aspect of vape pens that has seen an evolution over the years. The advent of customizable temperature settings has added a new variable to consider when choosing a portable vaporizer.
Some of the older models of widely-sold vaporizers do not feature any sort of temperature control: On these vape pens – such as the Atmos Jr – there is only one temperature setting.
Then came the next generation of vaporizers that featured three discrete temperature settings. Portable vaporizers like the Apex and the Flowermate V5.0S – while also producing significant amounts of convection-oven vapor – have three distinct color-coded temperature settings between which the consumer may toggle.
Finally, there was the generation of vapes that offered an all but completely customizable vaping experience. These pioneers – such as the E-CLIPSE or the Apex 2.0 – allow the consumer to toggle by single degrees roughly between 200°F and 400°F. This represented a giant leap forward for both vaporizer technology and consumer experience.
To Sum Up: Vaporizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be used to vaporize dry herbs or wax. If you want to learn more about our vaporizers, click on any of our blog posts below that talk about the best vaporizers sold in our store.