Typically, a dry herb vaporizer will heat your flowers either through conduction or convection heating.
Every single week dozens of you ask us to help you decide which of the two methods is best for you, so we figured it’d be worth having all the answers in one place.
Below we’ll run through the differences and the pros and cons of the two heating methods. After reading this, you'll be either to decide whether a conduction vape or convection vape is best for your needs.
How do conduction vaporizers work?
Conduction vaporizers use direct contact to heat your herbs. First, the battery heats the coil which in turn heats the walls of the vaporizer’s oven.
As a result of being in contact with the walls of the oven, the vapour is produced from the herbs.
Conduction vaporizers are the most popular type of vaporizer and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and price brackets.
Despite being based on old technology, many users swear by conduction vaporizers and will use nothing else. Even today, some of the worlds best vaporizers (Davinci IQC, Pax 3) still use conduction heating.
Conduction vaporizers are similar to cooking over a stove; they work really well when there is more surface area than mass.
For example, it would be almost impossible to cook an entire chicken in a frying pan because only the part of the chicken actually touching the pan would cook.
To cook the entire chicken efficiently you would have to cut it into slices so more of its area is in direct contact with the pan. For this reason, when using conduction vaporizers, it’s best for herbs to be ground quite finely.
What are the advantages of conduction vaporizers?
- Conduction ovens are usually very powerful and produce vapour within seconds. Conduction Vaporizers such as the Black Mamba and the Pax 3 are famous for being able to vape dry herbs in under 20 seconds!
- The speed of conduction vaporizers makes them a popular choice of medical users or anyone who micro-doses. Sessions can be very quick.
- Conduction vaporizers are also more affordable. This is because the technology is older than convection and they do not require as many parts.
- Conduction vapes tend to be more reliable and easier to maintain when compared to a convection vaporizer in the same price range.
What are the disadvantages of conduction vaporizers?
- At very high temperatures, it is possible for the herbs closest to the heating element to burn
- Conduction vaporizers can be inefficient. The herbs closest the heating element may cook faster than the herbs in the middle.
How do convection vaporizers work?
Convection vaporizers work by creating an atmosphere of hot air in your vape’s oven. It is this hot air that provides the heat that will vaporize your herbs.
Back to my chicken analogy! Convection vaporizers work similarly to a kitchen oven. An oven may cook a slice of chicken far slower than frying it, however, it will evenly cook a whole chicken, inside and out and there is a very low risk of burnt bits!
As a rule, convection vaporizers are far slower than conduction vaporizers but they heat your herbs more gently and efficiently.
What are the advantages of convection vaporizers?
- Convection ovens are a favourite of many because there is minimal risk of combustion. This is because none of your herbs come into contact with the heating element. As long as you do not turn the temperature up above 210c the steam and air will not be hot enough to burn any herbs.
- Convection vaporizers are great for larger sessions as they evenly heat the entire contents of your oven. This helps your herbs last longer.
- Generally, convection vaporizers, taste better - again this is linked to the more stable temperatures inside your oven. Conduction vaporizers typically taste hotter and dryer when compared to a convection vape in the same price range.
What are the disadvantages of convection vaporizers?
- Convection vaporizers require a bit more patience to use. Even the best convection vaporizers (such as The Mighty) can require well over a minute to reach vaping temperature.
- Convection vaporizers are typically more expensive too - this is due to the technology being more advanced and containing more parts.
- Finally, convection vaporizers have a bit of a skill curve. Customers new to vaping will require a few goes to get the hang of it. The most common faux pas is sucking too hard. When you do this you pull all the hot air out of the oven and replace it with cool air and as a result, your herbs don’t cook!
So which is better? Conduction or Convection Vaporizers?
The popular consensus on vape forums is that convection vaporizers are the superior method of heating. However, this view is largely formed because convection is newer, shinier (and expensive!).
In our opinion, the right heating method for you depends on your personal preferences.
If you’re looking for a vaporizer that is affordable, heats fast and is small and lightweight, then a conduction vaporizer may be more suited to you.
Conversely, a convection vaporizer would be the better option for someone who’s priorities are great flavours, high efficiency and have the time to sit down and really savour a session.