How to choose between a conduction and convection vaporizer

There’s two main ways vapes can heat herb. How do you know what’s best for you?

Apr 10, 2018

With all the vaporizers available on the market today it can be overwhelming to figure out which one suits you best. Vaporizing any material is a healthier alternative to smoking but there are still some important things to know when finding your perfect match.

An important decision to make is whether you prefer a convection or conduction vaporizer. While some vapes use a hybrid of both convection and conduction, different heating methods are suitable for different types of material. Some are suitable for dry herbs while others are more suitable for vaping concentrates. It just depends on what you want from your vape sesh.

What’s great is that either way, a convection or conduction vaporizer won’t burn your material. Each heating method ensures pure, smooth and flavorful draws that prevent you from inhaling toxic byproducts, like tar and carcinogens, that end up in smoke. The discrete and portable nature of vaporizers is just a convenient plus.

Whether you’re looking for a dab pen, medical use vaporizer or simply want to give vaping a try, this guide to convection vs. conduction vaporizers will steer you in the right direction.

To start, let’s define convection and conduction. 

Convection vs. Conduction


Convection is the transfer of heat by the circulation or movement of a hot liquid or gas. Conduction is the transfer of heat from one solid to another at the point where they meet—without either solid actually moving. 

What does this mean for vaporizers?

In convection vaporizers, the material is heated indirectly through hot air. This means the battery heats the coils to a precise temperature and this hot air moves through the material packed into the vape. It vaporizes as the user inhales.

For a conduction vaporizer, the battery heats the coils which heat the chamber, often made of ceramic. The material packed into the chamber is then heated evenly by the heat of the ceramic chamber that it is touching.

The conduction vaporizer was the first vape available on the market. Its simplicity makes it user-friendly and it tends to sit at an inexpensive price point. The convection vaporizer tends to be more efficient and produce fresher vapor quality since the material never comes into direct contact with the heat source.

So, what heating method should you use?

As specified earlier, the heating method in the vaporizer you choose really depends on what you want from your vaping experience. Do you prefer dry herbs or concentrates? Are you constantly on-the-go? Do you seek variety? 

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If you prefer dry herbs, a convection vaporizer is a good fit. Dry herbs taste great in a convection vaporizer since there’s no chance of them actually getting singed. Since the hot air vaporizes the dry herb as the user inhales, the herb never actually comes into contact with the heat source. Without combustion, there is also no chance of inhaling harmful byproducts like tar and carcinogens. Convection heating ensures that the flavor and aroma of your bud isn’t altered when it’s heated. This means no irritation of the throat or airway and less coughing fits, all packed into a discreet and portable device.

For wax lovers, a conduction vaporizer will do the trick. Here, the heat source is in direct contact with your materials. Not only does this mean it heats up faster, it means that the material touching the heating chamber tends to be the hottest. Whereas this would cause dry herbs to burn, it’s suitable for vaporizing wax or oils since you can give them a quick stir between pulls. This isn’t necessarily to say that dry herbs should never be vaped in a conduction vaporizer – most heating chambers are high-tech enough to heat dry herbs evenly too. It’s all dependent on your taste, literally. 

A conduction vaporizer also comes in handy for the on-the-go weed lover. A conduction vaporizer heats materials faster since it is in direct contact with the heat source. Compact and durable to withstand being thrown into a gym bag or backpack, a conduction vaporizer also allows for incredibly quick, inconspicuous draws between work and whatever else you’re doing. 

Vaporizers that use hybrid heating combine both methods for efficient and effective vaping. If you’re looking for a device that gives big clouds or want variety in terms of what you can vape, a vaporizer that uses hybrid heating is your perfect match. Like all other vaporizers, a hybrid ensures pure, smooth vapor without burning your material, but it also guarantees that your material will heat efficiently and evenly as you inhale. Not only does the chamber heat up materials, but hot air flows through the device on each draw providing big, milky clouds. This is a cost-effective option too because you don’t have to pack as much material into the device to get the high you want.

Keep in mind, these aren’t hard and fast rules or guidelines that have to be followed. Your vaping experience is in your own hands. If you find a vaporizer that works for you contrary to this guide, go for it. Happy vaping. 

Apr 10, 2018