What is vaporizing?
Vaporizing is an alternative method to smoking. When you smoke you are combusting (burning) your herbs to release its chemical components. However, when you combust you are also inhaling other dangerous toxins in the smoke.
Vaporizing uses a controlled heat source to cook your herbs and extract the essential oils. Because the temperature is controlled your herbs cook rather than burn and only the essential properties are released leaving the rest of your herb cooked and intact. The result is fewer toxins being released.
Vaporizing is also more efficient than smoking. Because you are not burning your herbs you are able to extract more of the essential oils out of your herbs.
Advantages of vaporizing:
- Less throat and lung irritation
- Cleaner feeling after vaping
- Low odour
- Improved flavor
- Improved extraction
- Cost effective
Now that you have an idea of what vaporizing is, you need to consider if you want a unit that is portable or desktop. Both come with their pros and cons.
- Smaller size
- Smaller chambers
- Usually runs on batteries
- More discreet
- Intended for on the go
Portable vaporizers are designed to be used on-the-go, most of them are small enough to fit in a pocket and run off of rechargeable batteries. Because the units are smaller, the chambers are also smaller and suitable for individual users. You can find all the portables offered through TVape here.
- Larger size
- Larger Chamber
- Multiple intake methods
- Less discreet
- More complex
- Intended for home use
Desktop units are larger and intended for home use. Because the units are larger the chambers of desktop units tend to be larger as well, allowing you to use more herb if you want a more potent session or if you want to vape with friends. You can find all the desktops offered through TVape here.
Desktop units like the Extreme Q also offer different methods for inhaling your vapor. The most common method is with a “whip” which is usually a piece of tubing that attaches to the unit to deliver the vapor, similar to a hookah. Balloons are the other most common delivery method; the vapor fills a balloon to be inhaled from once it is full.
There are several features to consider when looking for a vaporizer. Each company offers something different so it is good to know what to look for when choosing a vaporizer.
Being able to control your temperature is important because different herbs vaporize at different temperatures. We recommend vaping between 180 to 215 degrees Celsius for most herbs. Lower temperatures produce thinner more flavorful vapor while hotter temps produce thicker clouds but harsher vapor. When it comes to vaporizers there are several methods for temperature settings that companies offer.
- Fixed temperature – only 1 temperature setting, no flexibility.
- Pre-Set Temperatures – offers a range of pre-set temperatures.
- Precise Temperature Control – allows users to set temperature down to the degree.
Precise Temperature Control
Units that offer precise temperature control usually features an LCD display where you can set the temperature down to the individual degree such as the Focusvape Pro. This gives users full control over their session and vapor quality.
While units with fixed and pre-set temperatures use LED lights to display the temperature range and offer less control over your session and vapor quality like the Zeus Smite.
Currently there are 2 main heating methods used in all vaporizers; conduction and convection.
Conduction is the most common heating method found in vaporizers. The method involves your herbs coming into direct contact with the heating source and is similar to cooking on a skillet.
- Flavorful vapor to start, but flavor declines throughout session.
- Herbs can cook unevenly due to hot spots
- Vapor becomes harsh at higher temperatures
Convection vaporizing is when your herbs are cooked with the hot air that is pulled from the heating element either through your inhale or by an internal fan. It is similar to cooking in an oven, the hot air is what cooks your herbs, not direct contact with a heating element. It is generally found in higher end units like the Utillian 721.
- Great flavour during entire session
- Herbs cook more evenly
- Vapor stays smooth at higher temperatures
- Found in higher end units
Induction is an up and coming heating method and is sure to be popular with connoisseurs. It uses magnetic fields to heat internal coils to a controlled temperature. This creates an even cook and great vapor quality.
- Herbs are evenly cooked
- Great flavor
- Smoother vapor at high temperatures
- New heating method
If you are new to vaporizing you will probably want to stick to unit that is simple to use, understand and maintain. Some vaporizers, especially desktops require assembly before use and feature multiple parts and adapters which may detract newer users. While other vaporizers, particularly portables like the Zeus Arc are geared towards a more user-friendly session.
Features that influence convenience
Desktop with accessories
Portable with accessories
Each vaporizer has an array of parts that go with it. These parts come in various materials and can directly influence your overall experience with your vaporizer. You can find all sorts of parts for your vaporizer on our parts page.
Glass is a very popular component that is used in a lot of vaporizers especially Arizer units like Arizer Solo 2. Glass has an extremely high melting point around 1400C – 1600C making it perfect for vaporizers, which can never reach those temperatures. Glass usually provides smoother more flavorful vapor and is easier to clean. However glass is also extremely fragile, especially when heated and may require replacement parts.
- Easier to clean
- Smoother Vapor
- Better Flavor
Metal is another common component used in vaporizers like the Firefly 2, especially stainless steel. Like glass, metal has a very high melting point (around 1300C) which makes it safe to use for vaporizers. Metal is more resilient than other materials meaning parts are less likely to break or need replacing. But you have to be more careful with what cleaning product you are using because some cleaners have chemicals that can strip the finish on some metals.
- More resilient
- Decent flavor
- Good vapor quality
- Stricter cleaning methods
Many companies use silicone/PVC whips or mouthpieces to deliver vapor (like the V-Tower). Silicone/PVC has a high heat resistance (around 300 Celsius) and is very robust and is not prone to breaking. However the tubing can create a slight taste especially when it is new, with time the silicone/PVC flavour will lessen. Silicone/PVC tubes are very hard to clean and usually require replacing when they become too dirty.
- Harder to clean
- Less flavour
- Very robust
Heat resistant plastics can also be found in the build material and mouthpieces of several vaporizers including the very popular Crafty. The 3 most commons forms of plastic used is PA6 (Nylon), Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) and Polyetheretherketone (PEEK). All are perfectly safe to use and have melting points above 230 Celsius (and of course it must be exposed to this temperature directly for a long period of time which vaporizers do not). For the most part plastic does not influence the flavor of your vapor and is more resilient than glass. However, like metal, certain cleaners can damage the plastic so you have to be diligent with your cleaning methods.
- Strict cleaning methods
- Good flavor
Accessories for Vaporizers
As the vaporizer culture has grown companies have started to create unique accessories to compliment your vaporizing session.
One of the first companies to start offering vapor-focused accessories was Zeus Arsenal, who now offers a full line of accessories exclusively through TVape to help improve the quality of your session.
Their Temple Box is also a nifty little accessory that not only stores your herbs, but helps extract moisture from your herbs. When vaping you want your herbs to be dry as possible to ensure the unit is efficiently vaping your herbs and not wasting energy drying moist herbs.
Zeus has also just released a revolutionary cooling system called the “Iceborn”. The unit draws your vapor through an ice chamber cooling the vapor before it reaches your throat and lungs. This unique tool allows people to take longer, larger draws without the irritation of hot vapor, which can cause discomfort during sessions.
This accessory is great for new users who may be put off by the irritation of hotter vapor or for seasoned users who want to maximize their session.
We hope you found this article helpful in making an informed decision on your next vaporizer, be sure to check out of other buyers guides for Wax Pens and Vapes as well for more useful info, tips and tricks.