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Vaporizer Types

The interactive diagrams below will guide you through the process of vaporization using three common types of vaporizers: Standard Vaporizers, Portable Vaporizers, and Forced Air Vaporizers. Standard Vaporizers typically utilize a ceramic heating element and require the user to pull hot air over the herbs through a whip attachment, allowing the user to maintain maximum control over the vaporizing process. Portable Vaporizers are exactly that - portable. These compact and lightweight vaporizers are made for vapor enthusiasts on the go. Portable Vaporizers can be used almost anywhere and are very simple to operate. Forced-Air Vaporizers represent the new wave of Vaporizers. These high-quality Vaporizers utilize a Forced-Air system, which is quite simply an internal fan that propels hot air over your herbs.

You can learn more about the basics of vaporization on our What Is A Vaporizer? page, and our Vaporizer Heath Benefits page discusses the positive health benefits of vaporization.

Standard Vaporizers, also referred to as "Box Vaporizers" or "Whip-Style" Vaporizers, typically utilize a ceramic heating element and require the user to inhale through the tubing. This inhalation creates a convection current, pulling hot air over the herbs, allowing the user to maintain maximum control over the vaporizing process. Many standard vaporizers employ what is known as "hands-free" design, which means that the herb container at the end of the wand rests independently on the heating element without the need for the user to keep his or her hand close to the heating element in order to ensure heating of the herbs.

Popular Standard Vaporizers: VaporBrothers, Hot Box and Silver Surfer
Portable Vaporizers, or "handheld vaporizers", are exactly that — portable. These compact and lightweight vaporizers are designed for vapor enthusiasts on the go. Portable vaporizers can be used almost anywhere and are very simple to operate. They typically employ an internal rechargeable battery, an external "push-in" battery or a refillable butane chamber with click-activation.

Pen-Style Vaporizers represent the new wave of vaporizers. They are a type of handheld vaporizer which is growing in popularity due to their aesthetic simplicity and similarity to a common "e-cigarette". Vaporizer pens are optimal for enjoying e-liquids, essential oils, and concentrates. Vaporizer pens are much more subtle and discreet than their larger portable counterparts; they generate vapor by heating material inside one of the following containers:

  • Atomizer — A chamber containing a small heating coil that creates convection current, vaporizing the active ingredients in the oil or herb cartridge.
  • Cartomizer — This is a combination of a cartridge and atomizer. In this setup, a conduction current occurs because the material is in direct contact with the heating coil.

Popular Pen-Style Vaporizers: AtmosRx, Dube and Pulsar Ninja
Forced-Air Vaporizers represent the newest type of vaporization. These vaporizers are powered by plugging into a wall outlet and employ an internal fan which propels hot air over your herbs or essential oil chamber. Many units now feature digital temperature controls so the user can customize their vapor experience. These devices originated with the classic Volcano which pioneered the balloon bag delivery system, in which a plastic bag with a valve is attached to the herb chamber to capture the vapor generated by the fan. However certain units, like the Vapir Rise and the Arizer Extreme Q, are also compatible with a whip attachment.

Popular Forced-Air Vaporizers: Volcano, Vapir Rise and Arizer Extreme Q.

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