The heating system used to vape your preferred material is one of the most important aspects when it comes to enjoying dry herb or concentrates. The three heating systems vape buyers need to choose between are conduction, convection, and induction. It is important to understand that each system has their pros and cons; there isn’t one “best” heating system, just one that works with your lifestyle and usual vaping environment.
We’re going to go over the three vaporizer heating systems and how they can dictate your vape sessions. We’ll also spotlight a device that uses their specific heating system to the best of its ability for both dry herb and concentrate.
The first heating system is the most commonly found in portable vaporizers. Conduction heating happens when your dry herb or concentrate is in direct contact with the heating element of your device—working to change your material from a solid into a gas.
The biggest benefit of conduction heating is the rapid heat-up time that produces thick clouds of vapor. Since your material is in direct contact with the heating element, vapor is produced much faster, but it does run the risk of producing a minimal amount of combustion. The most common issue with conduction heating is flavor production; the slight combustion that can occur sullies the taste of your material—delivering a much less subtle session experience.
Conduction style vaporizers are ideal for on-the-go vapers who can’t find the time for sit-down sessions.
TOP CONDUCTION VAPORIZERS
Concentrate users needing a conduction vape should turn to the Yocan Evolve Plus. A dual quartz heating chamber does its best not to react chemically to heat, making up for the fact that conduction vapes tend to lack in the flavor enjoyment department. A leakproof chamber and added short-circuit prevention make the Evolve a great option for someone needing a vape that can handle everyday wear and tear.
A staple of the industry for over a decade, PAX is one of the vape companies who really got conduction heating right. A 3500mAh battery reaches your temperature in just 15 seconds or less, while four pre-set heat settings allow you to explore every aspect of your material. With a zen-inspired design and an “only the essentials” ethos, the PAX 3 could be the last dry herb conduction vape you ever have to buy.
The PAX 3 Complete Kit comes with a handy concentrate insert to let you experience comprehensive conduction heating with both materials. Just drop some of your favorite material onto the pad and insert it into the heating chamber to enjoy flavorful draws of your preferred concentrate.
Vapers who are looking to experience more flavor and purity will turn to convection heating. Instead of your material touching the heating element, indirect heating sends hot air into the chamber and coats your material—extracting the desired flavors and properties from your dry herb or concentrates.
Compared to the rapid heating of conduction, convection uses a “slow and low” approach to the vaporization process—releasing essential compounds of your material without the risk of combustion. Convection vaporizers tend to run at a lower temperature than conduction units, which is beneficial for flavor but sacrifices some cloud size.
Convection vaporizers will usually be larger than conduction ones simply because more room is needed for the hot air to pass around and through your materials. On-the-go users are still able to harness the power of convection, and will be rewarded with purer, more intense flavor.
TOP CONVECTION VAPORIZERS
A word of caution to concentrate users: convection vaporizers are geared more for a better dry herb experience. Your concentrates will vaporize perfectly fine, it is just more of a flavor experience that will not have the same vapor feel as using a rig or conduction vape.
The Boundless Tera's concentrate insert enables the device to effectively vape both dry herb and concentrates. The Tera features a temperature range of 140 °F-446 °F, so getting to the ideal concentrate or dry herb temperature isn’t a problem. It also features two removable 18650 batteries that last for an entire day of vaping. A convection heating oven conserves your material and brings out every flavor note with each draw.
For dedicated dry herb enthusiasts, the G Pen Pro is a fantastic option for a convection vaporizer. The ceramic heating chamber makes for very flavorful sessions; the ergonomic design feels great in hand and won’t draw any unwanted attention your way. Three preset temperatures can deliver a flavorful experience or one full of thick clouds.
This is the newest, most “futuristic” form of heating to emerge on the vaporizer scene.Induction heating is the process of heating an electrically conducted object, usually metal, through heat generated by electrical currents. The heat is generated inside of the object itself, instead of an outside heat source—meaning there is literally zero contact with a heat source during induction vaping.
To put it more simply, an induction coil creates a magnetic field that’s absorbed by a cup with your material inside of it. This style of heating means that no atomizers are needed, cutting down on maintenance and total cost over the lifespan of your vape. Within the vaporization environment, there is little to no oxygen surrounding your material. This means that at higher temperatures, your dry herb and concentrates can actually heat past the point of combustion without combusting—delivering 100% of the positive properties of your material, and discarding the rest.
TOP INDUCTION VAPORIZER
With only one mass-produced induction vaporizer out on the market, this was a pretty easy choice. The Dr. Dabber SWITCH has 25 temperature settings for both dry herb and concentrates, reaching your desired temperature in around five seconds. A black ceramic induction cup is geared for concentrates and designed to absorb material into the ceramic—ensuring no material is wasted. The white induction cup is for dry herb and excels at pulling out even the faintest of flavor notes. At-home users who do a lot of entertaining will love the Dr. Dabber SWITCH’s powerful battery, insanely fast heat-up time, and wide range of temperatures that suit any level vaper.
So Now What?
Now that you're armed with newfound vape knowledge you can make the right choice for your next purchase. Make sure to take into consideration your vaping environment, material, and frequency when finding a new device.
Charles Mockler is a vaporizer critic and writer at The VaporNation Blog, a leading source for expert opinions and information about vaporizers. His blogs are read by tens of thousands of people each month. He specializes in the latest technology trends including induction heating and decarboxylation.
Charles' goal is to provide readers with reliable, helpful, and balanced opinions on vaping. He does not recommend vaping to those who don't already smoke, but his articles do offer advice for existing vape enthusiasts including reviews and how-tos about the latest vaporizers. Charles has reviewed and tested a myriad of vaporizers and recommends people do as much research as possible before buying any vaporizer.
Charles was introduced to vaping after moving to Los Angeles during the vaporizer boom. A fan of "true vaporization," he prefers convection vapes with ceramic ovens. His articles include What is an Induction Vaporizer?, How to Decarb Dry Herb, and 8 Best Electric Dab Rigs of 2018.
A graduate of the University of Montana, Charles now resides in the Greater Los Angeles area where he reviews vaporizers and hosts a podcast about the Los Angeles Clippers.