There are so many different types of vapes and it can get pretty confusing. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of vaporizers and the various features available.
Vaporizers are becoming the most popular method to ingest cannabis and tobacco. Why are they so popular? Generally, vapes are easy to use, portable and often healthier. Many vape pens are small and require very little expertise to operate. Just push a button to turn them on and you’re ready to vape. You might have to set the temperature, but we’ll help you out with that. Most portable vape pens look just like an e-cig so you can vape discreetly. Finally, when you smoke any plant material, you are inhaling tar and carbon monoxide released during combustion. Many vaporizers heat your herb, wax, oil, or liquid enough to convert them into vapor without the harmful side effects caused by smoke.
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Now you’re convinced that a vaporizer is the way to go but don’t know where to start. There are so many different types of vapes and it can get pretty confusing. Below is a breakdown of the different types of vaporizers and the various features available, including temperature control, battery size, portability, and design. While there is no perfect vape as everyone has their own personal preference, read below to find the perfect vaporizer for your needs.
What are the Different Types of Portable Vaporizers?
There are four main types of vaporizers: dry herb, wax, oil and e-liquid (or e-juice). While this is largely based on what you prefer consuming, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each one.
Dry Herb Vaporizers
If you prefer the taste and feel of buds, then a dry herb vaporizer is the way to go. Popular among cannabis patients who want to enjoy their favorite strain without any negative side effects caused by smoking, dry herb vapes are simple and easy to use. However, they’re not as convenient as the other three. They need to be loaded much more frequently and you need to grind your herb before loading it.
Wax Vape Pens
Wax is a cannabis concentrate that can be THC or CBD heavy. In case you forgot what these are, THC is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis famous for mind-altering properties. CBD is used for its various medical benefits and high-CBD waxes are popular with cannabis patients. Wax is highly concentrated, containing around 60-80% THC. Compare this to dry herb, which is usually around 10-20% on top-shelf products. Thus, a gram of wax will last you quite a bit longer than a gram of dry herb. This makes portable wax vaporizers pretty convenient. However, most wax vapes will actually use combustion to give you more of a ‘dab’ than a vape hit. This is great if you’re looking for powerful hits, but you won’t reap the health benefits from vaping.
Cannabis oil is another concentrate that can be even more concentrated than wax. Most oil vapes will take sealed oil cartridges that you buy pre-sealed. You can also buy refillable cartridges to fill your own. Oil vapes are nice because a sealed cartridge could last you up to a few weeks depending on your usage. Oil vapes are definitely the most convenient vapes, and oil vape pens are often super easy to use. You just press or hold a button and take a hit. Oil vapes are great for travel, as you can just bring a couple cartridges, the pen and a charger.
E-liquid or E-juice can be made from THC or CBD heavy cannabis or tobacco. It first became popular among tobacco smokers looking for a healthier alternative. Many tobacco e-liquids are infused with all sorts of flavors so it’s kinda like a modern handheld hookah. It’s gaining steam among cannabis users but cannabis e-liquid may be harder to find than dry herb, wax or oil. Definitely check your local shop or dispensary to make sure you can pick up e-liquid before choosing this option.
How to Understand Vaporizer Temperature Control?
The temperature control of a vaporizer depends on the type of vape. Dry herb vaporizers usually have a temperature setting in degrees. The higher end units, like the E-CLIPSE dry herb vaporizer and the Volcano, can be adjusted by the degree. Ideal temperatures for vaping dry herbs are between 375°F and 430°F and this varies based on personal preference and herb variety.
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Some wax vaporizers won’t have a user temperature control at all. These types heat up as you use them, so the less time you wait between hits and the harder pulls you take will heat up the wax hotter and hotter. Other wax pen vaporizers have variable voltage settings. In wax pens, temperature is controlled by wattage output, not actual temperature. Ideal temperatures for vaping wax are between 420°F and 550°F. If your wax vape has variable settings, start at the lowest setting and work your way up until you get nice thick clouds that are still smooth. Oil vape temperature settings are similar to that of wax vapes. However, ideal temperatures for vaping oils are slightly lower, between 340°F and 445°F. Again, it’s best to start vaping at the lowest setting and turn it up until you reach the perfect vape point.
What are the Different Types of Vape Batteries?
Convection vaporizers use more power than their combustion counterparts. For this reason, they have a much higher storage capacity, usually around 2,000 mAh. Since wax and oil vapes don’t use as much power, they usually have a capacity under 1,000 mAh, often around 280-650 mAh. Almost all vapes should have a lithium-ion battery, the same type of battery used in phones. Lithium-ion batteries will last much longer and hold a charge better than the older NiMH rechargeable batteries. Box mods have a high-capacity, lithium battery that will last all day on a full-charge. They typically have a larger battery than vape pens for two reasons – they take a bit more power to deliver big hits and they are also popular among e-juice smokers, who are often using their box mod all day long. However, box mods have become very popular with wax atomizer attachments making them a solid choice for wax enthusiasts who want big hits without having to recharge as often.
The Design and Portability of a Vaporizer Device
When choosing the best weed vaporizer, physical design and portability are major factors for most consumers. If you’re looking for a pen to take around everywhere, you want something small. The smallest mini-pens are super easy to transport and discreet, but they have their downsides. Most mini-pens are pretty basic, which means they have limited temperature control settings and a smaller battery. While great for quick use on the go, you might get annoyed if this is your only pen.
On the opposite spectrum, box mods are quite versatile vaporizers. They can be used with attachments for dry herbs, wax, oil or e-liquid making them an all-in-one vaporizer. They also have a high-capacity battery, so they work great both at home and for travel. They are definitely bulkier than a vape pen, but a great option for users who want one vape that can do it all.
Anywhere in-between are the various desktop vapes and portable handheld vapes. Desktop vapes don’t usually have a battery meaning they must be plugged in. They are also made almost exclusively for vaping dry herbs. Desktop vapes like the Volcano are great at home, but they are less portable than a bong.
Other than box mods, most wax vapes will be ‘pens.’ This just refers to the vape being roughly the size and shape of a pen (sometimes a very large pen). Vape pens have become the most popular vaporizers because you can handle them like a cigarette and they are easy to slide into your pocket. Many vape pens have powerful batteries and versatile temperature control. There is almost no downside to a higher-end vape pen.
There are also dry herb vape pens. A chamber full of wax could last all day, and a new oil cartridge could last weeks. Unfortunately, dry herb isn’t concentrated so a chamber full of dry herbs won’t last more than a few minutes. For this reason, chamber size is an important factor when picking out a dry herb vaporizer. A bigger chamber means less refills and more vaping.
What’s all the Fuss about Vape Threading?
If you have been searching for vaporizers, you probably have seen the term 510 threading. It is the industry standard and is effective and reliable. While other threads are out there, they often fall apart or lock up. It’s not worth saving a few bucks if you have to buy a new vape pen a couple weeks later. Make sure you buy a battery with 510 threading.
What kind of Vapor Does Each Type of Vape Create?
Vapor production is highly correlated with the temperature being used. Although remember this also varies based on the material (dry herbs, wax, oil, or liquid). A lower temperature setting leads to lighter vapors, while a higher setting will increase the vapor cloud thickness and visibility. In general, herb vapes don’t provide huge clouds and they dissipate quickly. This comes in handy if you’re trying to vape discreetly. Wax and oil vapes are similar but you can get pretty decent clouds out if you crank up the temp and take massive rips. E-Liquid vapes and box mods deliver huge vapor clouds. This is because they are often vaping e-juice which gives off thick, heavy vapor. Additionally, they are using more power output, thus getting you bigger hits.
Why do You Need Extra Vape Parts?
Convection vaporizers are usually one complete product meaning the battery, chamber and charger are all-in-one. A well-made dry herb vape that is properly maintained could last years. The only replacement parts you will ever need are a mouthpiece, screens, and possibly a charger. With desktop vapes, you may want to change the hose after a few years or get some new bags if you have a Volcano.
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Wax vapes use quartz coils or ceramic rods in their heating chambers. Coils can wear out due to their high heat and the heating chamber can easily be replaced. Batteries and mouthpieces are also available, however a lithium battery should last years before needing to be replaced. Oil vapes are similar to wax atomizers and you can change out the heating chamber when you can no longer get heavy hits. On the other hand, if you are using a pre-filled oil cartridge, the atomizer is tossed in the trash once the cartridge is empty.
What is a 3 in 1 Vape Pen?
We mentioned earlier how a box mod is a versatile vaporizer because it can use different attachments to modify it to be used with dry herbs, wax, oil or even e-liquid. Dry herb vapes typically don’t have this ability but there are several wax and oil vapes that can be used for various materials. These are great vapes for those jumping into the vape world that want one tool that can vape it all. Keep in mind when using dry herb vape attachments, they will create combustion rather than pure vapor.
How to Choose the Right Portable Vaporizer?
The key differences between vapes have now been outlined. So now you’ve got all the information you need to select the perfect vape. It’s all up to personal preference now. Are you a connoisseur who loves to indulge in dry herbs, waxes, and oils? A 3 in 1 vape is perfect for you. Do you want something portable for discreet vaping but don’t need all the bells and whistles? A mini-pen could be just right. Do you want a healthy way to enjoy your dry herbs both at home and away? A convection dry herb vape might be your winner. Whatever you decide, we hope this helped you sort through the wide variety of vaporizers on the market today. Happy vaping!