How to Choose the Best Vaporizer

There are many things to consider when choosing which vaporizer to buy. You can learn about what features and aspects are important to think about before making a purchase in our beginners buyers guide here.

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How to Choose the Best Vaporizer

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If you want to take the vaping experience outdoors, there are a few things to consider on how to choose the best vaporizer. How are you going to power it? Is it going to be robust enough to withstand being carried about in a bag or pocket? How discrete do you need to be when you’re vaping? How easy will it be to use? Will the vapor quality it produces be worth the hassle? How much do you want to spend?

How to Choose the Best Vaporizer

Basically, the choice for a cannabis vaporizer will be between a portable vaporizer, a vape pen, or a pre-filled vaporizer. Vaporizers is an umbrella term that is used to encompass multi material vaporizers, dry herb vaporizers, and cannabis extract vaporizers. Extract vaporizers, known more commonly as concentrate vaporizers come in the form of wax pens, enails, and pre filled THC and CBD vaporizer pens.


In this article, we’ll be looking at the features you should be looking for in a portable vaporizer, to help you decide which one’s for you. If you already know the type of vaporizer you are looking for you can enter into one of the following price categories to browse the best devices.

Vaping material - How to choose the best vaporizer


The first question to ask yourself is what do you want to vape. You have three choices of mediums to vape either THC dominant or CBD dominant cannabis:


  • dry herbs - these are the most common vaping material, they work out cheaper than the alternatives, and they’re easy to prepare. Bear in mind, however, that you’ll have to have a grinder to prepare your herbs for vaping. This is something else you’ll have to tote around with you, along with your herbs themselves and your vaporizer.

  • waxes - these are more concentrated, produce more vapor, give a stronger effect. The downside is that they’re more expensive, and they can leave a sticky residue inside your vape chamber which can be a pain to remove.

  • Oils and Liquids - these are convenient and easy to tote around. CBD oil is a cannabis compound that does not include psychoactive effects and BHO (butane hash oil) is high potency THC.


Many portable vaporizers are designed for use with any of the above materials. Some require attachments for use with e-fluids. To be honest, if you’re going to vape e-fluid, you’d be better off with a pen. But what you’re vaping is an important consideration, as some devices perform better for your preferred materials than others. And it’s worth taking that into account.

Price


Prices vary, from around $30 to around $400. But, as my old man used to say: you get what you pay for. If you have the money, it's a good idea to invest it in the best vaporizer you can afford (‘the best’ being the one that has the qualities that are important to you).


That said, not all inexpensive vaporizers are bad, and not all expensive vaporizers are worth the money. Again, see what more experienced vapers are saying to help you decide which device offers the best value within your budget. The following links provide you with some of the most popular devices filtered by price.

Build quality


It’s important to check the build quality of the device. Some designs are flimsy and prone to getting damaged, especially if you’re the clumsy type. This is particularly true of devices that have glass components. Some can break down after only a few months or require a bit more maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Lucky, the market’s full of great options.

The problem is that, while a device might look great on the outside, it’s what goes on in the inside that really counts, and this is hard to judge just from looking at it.


The best tip is to read the reviews and comments on a wide range of websites. Folks who have already tried out a particular device are the best placed to tell you how well it’s been put together and how well it functions.


Also, look for a manufacturer’s warranty. These are usually only offered by makers who are really confident it the build quality of their product.


As I say, the market’s full of great options. The competition between manufacturers is fierce, which means they’re generally keen to ensure their devices don’t disappoint. Again, find out what other vapers are using and you won’t go far wrong. Customer reviews are very helpful and usually the consensus is on the right path.

Vapor quality


This is ultimately what it all comes down to: the quality and flavor of the vapor your device produces.


Flavor is one of the more subjective qualities when it comes to vaping. But what creates good flavor (apart from the quality of your material itself) are the heating chamber, air pathway, and mouthpiece.

Glass is the best material to have in a vaporizer. Although it’s breakable, it won’t affect the flavor at all because of its smoothness and purity. However, because they’re more efficient at heating up and cooling off - and also because they are less fragile than glass - ceramic and stainless steel are also commonly used, especially within dry herb vaporizers. While they detract from flavor just a little (it’s hard to notice unless you’re a real connoisseur), either of these materials still produce excellent flavor. So don’t get too hung up about it.


Heating temperature also affects flavour. As a general rule, lower heating temperature produce a smoother taste but smaller clouds, while high temperature produce larger clouds but a harsher taste. Look for a vaporizer which has good and accurate temperature control, so you can experiment to get the vapor quality you prefer.

Convection vs. conduction


Some devices heat your material by passing hot air through it (convection) while others heat it by direct contact with a hot surface (conduction). The general consensus is that convection heating is more efficient and gets more from your material than conduction heating does.

Convection Vaporizer

However, it comes at a price. Convection is more difficult – and more expensive – to achieve. Hence, conduction heating is more common in portable vaporizers


The biggest drawback to conduction vaporizers is that you run the risk of combusting your material instead of vaporizing it. Conduction is also an uneven method of heating, which means you have to periodically stir or shake the material.

Portability,discreteness and ease of use


One of the most important considerations in choosing a portable vaporizer is its ease of use. Portable vaporizers lack the hefty power supplies found in desktop models, so you’ll need to think about how often and how long you want your sessions to last. By far the most prevalent portable vaporizers use replaceable and.or rechargeable batteries to power their heat source. Some are compatible with standard AA batteries, making them a bit more versatile.

Chargeable devices come with their own USB-ready chargers, which mean you can recharge almost anywhere you have a power source.A number of portable vaporizers on the market are designed for discrete use. These devices often have profiles that make them look like pens, drink cups, asthma inhalers, and other common items. While stealth vaporizers are fairly inconspicuous, some users may find them lacking in functionality. Some don't have precision temperature controls or quite as many safety features. Nonetheless, their relatively low price means they still serve a function as carry-along devices.


As with everything, however, the technology is always improving. A number of portable vaporizers feature digital temperature controls that allow users to select specific heat-outputs. Others simply incorporate level switches with preset high/low functionality. Advanced heat control systems are generally more expensive though.

Also bear in mind that small vaporizers are often harder to clean and maintain than larger models. While portable vaporizers are fine for occasional use, some lack the build quality needed to survive wear and tear, and cheaper models with non-removable heat elements may be irreparable following breakdowns.

Conclusion


Portable vaporizers can be fun ways to vape on the go, and there are a number of options available. The two golden rules when choosing the best one for your needs are:


  • Consider functionality and practicality before novelty.

  • Make sure to do your research. Find out what others are saying about the various devices on the market and be guided by their experience. For more information on choosing a vaporizer you can read our vaporizer tips and advice article.

    When your ready to start browsing the industries best devices - You can choose from one of the price filters below:

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Vaping Tips and Advice for Beginners

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Introduction


Vaping is popular in the cannabis community. It offers users a healthier, safer alternative to lighting a joint or smoking a bong. Here we will touch on some vaporizer tips and advice that you may find useful.

Vaping Tips

You might find it daunting when starting out. Here are a handful of tips to help you get the best out of your vaping experience. The key virtue of vaping is that it avoids combustion. Unlike smoking, vaping extracts the main compounds from the plant without burning the plant material. There are two main types of vaporizer. One uses convective heating, while the other uses conductive heating. Convective vaporizers heat the air around the plant material. Conductive vaporizers heat the surface underneath it.

Inhaling cannabis smoke exposes you to many adverse health effects similar to those of smoking tobacco. Because vaping produces vapor instead of smoke, it offers users a healthier alternative to smoking. It also extracts more cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds from your buds. THC, CBD, and other key components in cannabis evaporate at low temperatures (300+°F or 150+°C). Joints, bongs and blunts burn at much higher temperatures and waste a lot of weed. By vaping, you can heat your herb to the exact temperature needed to extract its essential compounds. It also means you use less weed.

When your ready to look at vaporizers:

There are multi-material vaporizers, dry herb vaporizers, concentrate vaporizers, and e-liquid vaporizers. You can browse all the following by using our price filters below.

Grinding your material


You first need to grind your herb. Using a grinder helps to break down your cannabis buds to a fine and even quality. This releases more cannabinoids (like THC), from your plant material. Not every dry herb vaporizer needs the same grind. At lot depends on whether you have a conduction vaporizer or a convection vaporizer.If you have a conduction vaporizer, you need to grind your herb as fine as you can. There are a number of reasons for this. First, to transfer heat efficiently, your herb needs to be compact and this is best achieved with a fine grind. Secondly, you want as many particles as possible in contact with the wands in the heating chamber.

The finer your grind, the more particles you'll expose to contact. To grind your herb this level of fineness, you need a proper herb grinder. If you have a convection vaporizer, your herb is heated by the circulation of hot air. So the trick here is to maximize airflow in your herb chamber. Grinding your flower increases the surface-area of exposure of your herb. This means that the hot air will heat it more thoroughly. 'Finger-grinding' produces the more fluffy grind that's perfect for convection vaporizers. But if you’re vaping large amounts, there are herb grinders that provide you with the same effect.

Loading your vaporizer


To pack your vape, you first need to remove the cover to your herb chamber. Then you take your ground herb and gently load it into the chamber. Remember that, when using your vape, air needs to pass through the chamber. So, make sure you don't overfill your herb or pack it too tightly. Give it room to breathe! All vapes are different and have varying heating methods. Convection-style vapes generally perform best with loosely packed herb. On the other hand, conduction-style vapes generally perform best with a tighter pack.

To optimize your vaping sessions, experiment with tighter and looser packs. A lot of this is down to personal preference and experimenting is part of the fun. But packing your vaporizer is essential to producing the experience you want. How you pack your vaporizer depends on whether you have a conduction or convection vaporizer.If you have a conduction vaporizer, pack it tightly, but not so tightly that there's no airflow. The optimal packing-level is different per vaporizer. It also depends on what you like, and ultimately you'll have to experiment yourself.As a general rule, though, if you have a convection vaporizer, pack it loosely to allow a proper airflow. With convection vaporizers, never fill it more than 80%-90% - and never compress it.


Temperature range and its effects


Having packed your vaporizer, you now have to fire it up. Most vapes have adjustable temperature settings, which influences the quality of your vapor. Generally, low temperatures deliver more flavorful hits, while higher temperatures deliver stronger hits. It's a good idea to start at lower temperatures, then work your way up to the higher temperatures. Again, experiment until you find out what's right for you. You should refer to your personal vape manual for specific instructions. The following guidelines provide only general advice.

Different temperatures serve different vaping needs. The higher the heat, the closer you'll come to a smoke-like experience and the stronger effect your vapor will have. However, the higher you set your temperature the more your flavor will spoil. It's called the ‘burnt popcorn taste’. This taste becomes more prevalent the higher in temperature you go. Your vapor will also be harsher, but you’ll get larger and more intense clouds. In general: Low temperatures (320°F/160°C - 356°F/180°C) will give you:

  • best flavor

  • light mental effects

  • very weak bodily effects

Mid temperatures (356°F/180°C - 392°F/200°C) will give you:

  • good flavor

  • moderate to strong mental effects

  • moderate to strong physical effects

High temperatures (392°F/200°C - 446°F/230°C) will give you:

  • harsh flavor

  • intense mental effects

  • very strong physical effects

  • larger, more intense clouds


Battery Conservation


When you think about it, the batteries are the single most important piece of vaping kit. If you don’t have power, you don’t have vapor. When you notice your battery starting to die, don’t let it die completely. Connect it to the charger. It can take an age to charge from scratch, and the last thing you need when you feel like a sesh is a flat battery. When the battery is fully charged, remove it from the charger. It might seem like a good idea to keep it on until you're ready to use it, but this can affect the battery life.

A lot of batteries have what's called ‘ego threading’, which means the charger screws right onto the battery. Don’t over-tighten this, as it could damage the charger or battery. Make sure the battery isn’t getting hot when in use. This is a warning that something’s wrong. Take it out right away and troubleshoot what the problem might be.Don’t use batteries that have rips in the wrapping or are dented or damaged in any other way. These can leak out and damage your device. Most importantly, don’t leave your batteries in direct sunlight. This can cause them to explode. Keep them in a cool dark place.

Size and portability


Vaporizers come in all different shapes and sizes, from desktop to pens. In between is the portable vaporiser, which is a compromise between the power of the desktop and the portability and discreteness of the pen.


Desktop vaporizers are the original dry herb vaporizers. Typically, desktop vapes offer precise temperature control and different options for inhalation. The most common vapor path is a whip style, which is comprised of glass and medical grade tubing to inhale the vapors produced. Forced-air units employ fans to drive heat over the vaping materials. Because of their size, desktop vaporizers are for home use.


Portable vaporizers offer the option of on-the-go vaping. Thanks to rechargeable batteries, these vapes are not tied to an outlet. While some offer dual functionality, the majority are optimized for either dry herb or concentrate vaping. The quality of the vapor created varies, depending on the type of heating element employed. Ceramic or glass offers better flavor.


Vape pens are generally conduction vaporizers - that is, they heat material directly against the heating element. This means a vape pen may not have the kind of vapor purity that a portable vaporizer or desktop vape has. But it’s certainly more discreet, easy-to-use, and affordable. Vape pens come in three types: dry herb pens, wax pens, and e-liquid pens. Some vape pens are hybrid. Vape pens offer the most inconspicuous usage and usability for the beginner.

Final tips


  1. Clean your vape after every session. Herb is sticky after exposure to heat. For smooth running sessions, you definitely need to clean your vape of any old residue.

  2. Avoid poking sharp metallic objects down your herb chamber, because this may cause damage. Instead, use a slightly damp cotton swab to clean the inside of the chamber.

  3. Make sure your vape is charged! If your vape isn’t charged, this can seriously ruin your session by cutting it short.

  4. Avoid the wrong herbs. Wet herbs won’t vaporize properly. Neither will overly dry herbs. If you can crush the herb into a powder between your fingers, don’t use it.


Enjoy!


We hope these tips help you avoid the most common stumbling blocks when starting to vape. If you are looking to learn more about vaporizers you can read our article on how to choose the best vaporizer here.

When your ready to look at vaporizers:

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