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How to Choose a Vaporizer: Buyers Guide for Herb and Wax Vapes

Mike Novengratz

For those who are just getting into vaping, it can be a little hard to figure out what kind of device you will need.

There are a lot of terminology, features, and designs that come together to make a vaporizer. The wrong choices can stick you with a vaporizer that doesn’t meet your needs. This results in a waste of money and time.

If this is your first time looking for a vaporizer for dry herbs and wax concentrates, here is a comprehensive guide. It will educate you on the most desirable features in a vaporizer and what you should be looking for in your vaporizer device.

 

What Are Vaporizers?

Vaporizers are electronic devices that are designed to heat up certain substances to the point where they become vapors. It can then be inhaled by the vaper. By vaping, you are cutting down the tar and byproducts that can be combusted. Instead, you're just heating the herbs enough to release the active ingredient into vapor. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology itself, here is a little more of an explanation.

 

How Do Vapes Work?

A vaporizer vaporizes substances by using a power source (butane, battery, or electrical outlet) and a heating coil. When the power source has been started up, it heats up the coil in the device to begin warming up the substance that is contained within the vaporizer. Different smoking methods would combust these substances. Vaporizing only releases the active ingredients within a substance and prevents it from burning. This is why you inhale vapor and not smoke when you use a vaporizer device. You want to make sure the herbs are not touching the coil but getting heated inside the chamber.

 

Benefits?

Vaping compared to smoking cigarettes or other substances, vaping comes with quite a few benefits. Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits of a vaporizer.

Vapor is Better

Whereas smoking tobacco and other herbs, using the traditional method requires you to light the herbs on fire and inhale the smoke. Vaping does not use combustion and allows you to inhale the active compounds which turn into vapor. This protects you from the negative health effects that come with smoking.

Cooler Vapor

If you’re using a good vaporizer, you are most likely inhaling cooler vapors instead of the hot smoke that comes from smoking tobacco. This is a benefit for those who have throat issues. It's also good for those looking to find an easier way to smoke without having to deal with the throat problems that come with smoking.

Save Money

With a vaporizer, you are going to spend less money compared to those who smoke regularly. Cigarettes can be quite expensive and add up over time. Although you will have to buy the substances for your vaporizer, the vaporizer itself is an upfront investment and vape supplies are fairly affordable and long-lasting.

Discreet - Less Smell

We all know that smoking is very visible. Even if you smoke away from an area you are not supposed to smoke in, you are still going to have the obvious scent of smoke on your clothes shortly after. Vaping on the other hand is less obvious than smoking. It does not leave a scent that people can detect much after a vaping session.

Flavor Quality

Vaporizers tend to produce better smelling and tasting products than cigarettes do. You probably like having unadulterated flavor when you inhale your herbal vapor with minimal smell. A vape pen can help with that since you're not burning the herb. The nasty taste and smell mainly comes from burning your herbs.

     

    Types of Vaporizers

    When you first start looking for a vaporizer, you are going to notice that are three main types of products to choose from. Here they are.

     

    Vaporizer Pens

    Vaporizer pens or vape pens are currently the smallest vaporizer devices on the market in terms of width. These devices are aptly named due to their thin, cylindrical shape and their skinny mouthpieces. Just like the name, they look like a pen. Vape pens are often the easiest to use with their basic controls and their simple builds. They often include a single button which controls the power and sometimes the temperature. However, there are some that contain features typically found in larger vaporizer builds. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use device for your substances, you will most likely be satisfied with a vaporizer pen. Pen vapes typically come with a built-in battery that must be charged via a USB cord

     

    Portable Vapes

    Although a vaporizer pen is technically a portable vaporizer, portable vapes are devices that are larger in size but still easy to carry around. These vaporizers usually feature a square shape, come packed with features that enhance and customize the user’s experience. The main feature you want is a temperature control setting. Portable vapes usually come with USB charging but can also have interchangeable batteries. They give you even more portability and usability. If customization and quality are on your list, you should look at portable vapes.

     

    Desktop Vapes

    Desktop vapes are not portable. Instead, these vaporizer devices plug into outlets in your home so that you can enjoy a much more powerful vaping session. Desktop vapes are considered to be much more efficient devices and contain tons of features that make sure you get the perfect vaping session each time you use your device. If you only vape at home and you need a high-quality device, you are probably going to need a desktop vaporizer.

     

    Different Kinds of Vapes

    Within these three categories of vaporizers, there are different functions for each that help you to smoke different substances. Here are some of the different kinds of vapes you will encounter when you start looking at these different categories.

     

    Dry Herbs

    Dry herb vaporizers focus on vaporizing herbs rather than oils or wax concentrates. If you typically smoke herbs such as tobacco, medical marijuana, or other dry herbs. Dry herb vaporizers come with many different features and price range. They can start from $20 and go all the way up to $800. Price can play an effect on quality but generally it doesn't.

    Here is what you can expect from a dry herb vaporizer.

    Features

    A dry herb vaporizer, whether portable or desktop, typically features ceramic or stainless steel to protect flavor profiles, temperature settings or precision temperature controls. This gives you more control over your vaping experience. They also have quick heat up times so that you are able to hit your vape shortly after loading the device.

    How They Work?

    Dry herb vaporizers vaporize your herbs by heating them up in a small chamber within the device. Once they have reached a specific temperature, the active ingredients within the herb are released into the chamber as a vapor. It is then inhaled when you draw from your device. 

    How to Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer

    Although it may vary depending on the device, you typically use a dry herb vaporizer by removing the mouthpiece of the device. This will reveal the inner chamber. Grind up your herbs with a grinder and you place them into the chamber. Once the herbs are loaded and the mouthpiece is closed, you will then activate your device. Set it to the desired temperature. Your vape will slowly start heating up to the temperature selected.Once ready, slowly inhale it.

     

    Best Three Herbal Vapes

    Now that you have a better idea of what a dry herb vaporizer is, here are the top three recommended herbal vapes.

      DaVinci IQ

      The DaVinci IQ is an excellent herbal vaporizer that provides enthusiasts with an extensive amount of technological features to ensure a high-quality vaping session. The anodized aluminum body houses an entirely ceramic heating chamber and vapor path, precision temperature technology, interchangeable and replaceable batteries, and a system that allows you to control your entire vape using your phone with Bluetooth connectivity. Strip all of these extra features away and you have an excellent device that produces high-quality vapor hits. If you love tech and high-quality vaping sessions, The DaVinci IQ is one vaporizer that should be the first you consider purchasing.

       

      Flowermate V5.0S

      For those who are in need of a budget-friendly device that still meets your vaping needs with ease, the Flowermate V5.0S is a great choice. This vaporizer is beginner-friendly, featuring a single button that handles all of the controls for the vaporizer. With a ceramic heating chamber and a glass stem, the flavor profiles of your herbs are excellent in this device and remain untainted by any of the inside components. Like the previous product, the Flowermate V5.0S has a body made of anodized aluminum to keep your device protected and safe. If money is on the mind but you don’t want to sacrifice quality, take a look at the Flowermate V5.0S.

       

      G Pen Elite

      The G Pen Elite is a crowd favorite and it is no wonder why. This simple, sleek device fits comfortably in your hand and is designed to be comfortable to hold and use throughout your entire vape session. This vaporizer uses a single button to control every aspect of the device but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it isn’t capable of providing an excellent vape session! The G Pen Elite uses a combination heating method combined with precision temperature controls to make sure that you have full control over your flavor of your herbs. If simplicity and control are your focuses, go for the G Pen Elite.

       

      Dab Pen

      Whereas dry herb vapes allow you to smoke your favorite herbal combinations, dab pens are made to vaporize your wax concentrates. Think of wax pens like portable dab rig devices. If you smoke wax more than you do dry herbs or oils, here is what you need to know about dab pens.

      Features

      Because a dab pen can take more power in order to vaporize waxes, they will feature atomizers that are capable of reaching higher temperatures to melt your wax down. In addition to the atomizer, you will rarely see a dab pen with precision temperature control. Instead, they use different voltages to reach these higher temperatures and vaporize your wax. They are much simpler by design and will most often feature these two mechanisms. Another great feature is if the vape came with extra atomizers since different coils have different resistance.

      How They Work?

      Much like a dry herb vaporizer, a dab pen has two main components: a battery and an atomizer. The batteries in these devices can usually last long and don't need to be too big. Once the battery has been turned on, it will rapidly heat the atomizer so that it can reach high temperatures and melt the wax. This wax will then turn into vapor that can be inhaled instantly.

      How to Use a Dab Pen

      To use most dab pens, all you have to do is remove from the mouthpiece from the device to find the chamber. (That is, unless the device has not been assembled yet. In this case, you will have to attach the chamber to the battery first.) Once you have found the chamber, you will use a special loading tool called a dabber tool to load your wax into the atomizer chamber. Replace the mouthpiece and turn your device on. You should then be able to vape with your dab pen.

       

      Best Three Dab Pens

      If you’re in the market for a dab pen, here are the three top dab pens currently available.

       

      Ago G5

      Ago G5 is one of the first well known original dry herb vaporizer. This came out as an herbal vape but turned into the Ago G5 triple use vaporizer that can be used to vape herbs, wax, and eliquids. The heating chamber heats up really quick. One press of the button and the coil starts to turn red. It has an LCD display screen which shows the battery life and hit count. The chamber connections are 510 thread which means they're almost universal. The battery, mouthpiece and chamber easily get unscrewed and can fit in your pocket with ease.

       

      Yocan Magneto

      One of the most popular dab pen manufacturers is Yocan and they just put out the Yocan Magneto wax pen. An interesting portion of this is that it doesn't contain any threading. It just has magnetic connections. Simply pull them apart and put them together. The bottom even has a built in wax container. The battery is a 1100mAh battery. It definitely lasts longer than most. It also has a built in dabber which gives you the ability to stir and move the wax around in the chamber. The Yocan Magneto has a smooth sleek body with a nice finish. This is another vape that can easily fit in your pocket with no unnecessary bulging.

       

      Pulsar Go Vaporizer

      The Pulsar Go vape is a small lighter sized and shaped vape. One of the best uses for it is that fact that you can use it as a dual use device. Whether you want to vape wax or medical cannabis. you have it all there in one. The herbal chamber has a ceramic atomizer and the wax atomizer is a triple quartz coil. The battery heats up in 5 seconds. It also has a mouthpiece that is made from glass so the vapor quality isn't tainted. 

       

      Dual Use Vapes

      Some vaporizers on the market give you the ability to smoke dry herbs as well as wax concentrates or may also offer you the option to smoke oils and wax concentrates. Some may even give you the ability to smoke all three substances with your vaporizer devices! Here is what you can expect if you want to purchase a vaporizer that lets you vape multiple substances.

      Functionality

      With dual use vaporizers, you will typically have the option to use interchangeable chambers that can handle one substance or the other. However, the biggest issue with dual use vaporizer devices is that they are built to support one substance. For example, a vaporizer that is dual use but is designed to handle waxes may burn herbs if you are not able to control the temperature. If you have a vaporizer that is designed to support dry herb vaporization, the temperature settings may be too low to properly melt your waxes. If you’re considering purchasing a vape that has dual use capabilities, the trick is to make sure you choose a vape that handles the substance you will be smoking most often. This way, you will be sure that you haven’t wasted money on a vaporizer you will not be able to use properly.

       

      Features You Want in a Vaporizer

      Choosing your first vaporizer is a very important thing and using a buyers guide is the perfect way to start. Unless you have a lot of money to spend on vaporizers, you are probably going to want to purchase a great vaporizer that will last you a while. To help you better determine what type of vaporizer you will want to purchase, here is a list of features you are going to want in a vaporizer.

       

      Convection Heating

      Vaporizers are going to offer two types of heating methods to vaporize your herbs. The first option is conduction heating. With conduction heating, your device vaporizes your herbs by placing your herbs directly onto a heated surface. Although this method is generally faster, there is always the possibility of combustion. You also do not heat your herbs efficiently since only one side of your herbs are getting vaporized. Convection heating uses hot air surrounding the herbs to release the active ingredients. The possibility of combustion with this method is very low. It also provides better flavors due to the slower heating process. When looking for your first vaporizer, it is preferable to get one that uses convection heating methods.

       

      Stealth

      Since vaping is a taboo subject for some, it is important that you get a vaporizer that is stealthy. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality. Look for a vaporizer that is small but is packed with features so that you are able to have high-quality vaping sessions without anyone noticing. If you can, also try to look for a vaporizer that doesn’t quite look like a vaporizer. This way, you can carry it around without letting people know that you have a vaporizer with you.

       

      Size

      Depending on your needs, size plays a big role. If you’re going to only vape at home, you can look for a desktop vaporizer that is larger and that gives you more power. If you vape wherever you go, you will probably want a smaller portable vaporizer that you can carry around with you easily. Keep in mind that the smaller it is, the more susceptible to damage it is as well. It can also get hot quick. If you take good care of your vaporizer, you can get a smaller one. If you tend to drop your vape or mistreat it, go for a somewhat larger, palm-sized vaporizer that can handle damage.

       

      Temperature Control

      Temperature control is a feature that you should have in absolutely any vaporizer device. This feature allows you to have complete control over your vaping sessions. The truth about vaping dry herbs and other substances is that they taste different at different temperatures. With precision temperature control, you are able to experiment with different temperatures to see how they affect your herbs and decide which temperature works best for you. Even if you are just starting out, you will soon appreciate this feature as you continue to vape.

       

      Technology

      Some vaporizers come packed with technology and these features usually give them an edge over competing vapes. Vaporizers like the DaVinci IQ allow you to control your vape from your phone, making the whole vaping process a lot easier. It also gives you absolute control over each vaping session. The more technology you can get onto your vaporizer, the better it is going to be. However, if you are new to the vaping world, you may want to start out with a vape that has less technology in order to get used to basic functions in the beginning.

       

      Ceramic Chamber

      Flavor is everything when it comes to vaping and the chamber in which you heat your herbs plays a big role in the overall flavor quality. When you are looking for a vaporizer to purchase, see if the vaporizer you want has a ceramic chamber. This type of chamber is going to make sure that your herbs are flavorful and untouched by any of the inside components. It’s even better if the path leading to your mouthpiece is ceramic as well!

       

      What to Consider When Choosing a Vape

      These are some of the biggest features to search for in a vape. There are some factors that need to be taken into consideration before you go to buy a vaporizer. Here are some of the big things you need to consider when you are in the process of choosing a vape.

       

      Price

      Price is always a huge factor for anyone looking to purchase a vape. If you have the money, it may be wise to spend money on a more expensive vaporizer that will give you high-quality vaping sessions. If you have a budget, there are still plenty of high-quality, affordable vaporizers out there that will meet your needs. However, it is important to do your research before you purchase any vaporizer on a budget since some of the cheaper options do not take quality into consideration. It is also important to think about how much you will be spending on substances for your vaporizer down the road.

       

      Warranty

      You can never be too careful and this is especially true when it comes to vaporizers. Some vaporizers will come shipped with damage or may have malfunctions that render them useless within a few uses. You can also use your vape and have it short circuit within a few months. It is important that your device has a warranty to cover any defects that your device may come with when you first purchase it. If you can, see if you can buy a vaporizer that also covers any battery issues. Some vaporizers will come with a lifetime warranty that covers the battery, which is ideal for any vaporizer.

       

      Reputation

      When you are first shopping around for a vaporizer, pay attention to the reviews and to what other users have said about the vaporizer you are looking at. There are tons of vaporizers on the market that advertise themselves as quality vaporizers. It has also received a ton of hype, only to prove to be of mediocre quality. It is important that you look at the features and the product itself. However, reputation is important and if the majority of users are unhappy with a vaporizer, it is probably not a great product to purchase for yourself.

       

      Size

      As stated in the previous section, the size of your vaporizer plays a huge role in portability. If you are not someone who needs to smoke outside of your house, a desktop vaporizer will suffice. If you are someone who vapes everywhere, you will need a portable vaporizer. If you are going to choose a portable vaporizer, you are also going to need to decide on the size of your vaporizer device. Smaller devices are beginner-friendly but are also more susceptible to breaking. Palm-sized vaporizers are packed with more features but are also not as discreet. Size matters when it comes to vaporizers and you need to decide what works best for you when you are shopping for a vape.

       

      Prep. Time

      Most vaporizers will allow you to hit your vape within seconds of turning it on and going to your desired temperature setting. Other vaporizers may take a minute or more to preheat before you can hit your device. If you are someone who is not that patient, you need to look for a vaporizer that heats up in a matter of seconds. If you can wait for a little bit, you can get a flavor that is top notch. Another thing to keep in mind is that conduction devices will heat up faster than devices that use convection heating methods.

       

      Portable or Desktop?

      Portable vaporizers and desktop vaporizers are two very different devices. Portable vaporizers, even though some are quite excellent, will never be able to match the superior vaping experience provided by desktop vaporizers. Desktop vaporizers, will never be able to be taken with you wherever you go. When you first begin shopping for vaporizers, you need to decide what matters most to you. Are you looking for a vaporizer with portability or a vaporizer with power?

       

      Temperature Selections

      Most vaporizers will either have preset temperature settings or precision temperature controls. For users who are new to vaping, preset temperature controls may be ideal so that they can slowly introduce themselves to vaping and to their device’s controls. As you become more experienced, temperature controls will give you more control over your vaping sessions and over the different flavors of your herbs. If you want to jump right in, it may be better to get a device with temperature control features so that you won’t have to purchase a new vaporizer later with these qualities.

       

      Heat Type

      Conduction and convection heating systems have their advantages and disadvantages. Conduction heating is much faster but also comes with the possibility of combustion and unevenly heats the herbs within your chamber. Convection heating evenly cooks your herbs and provides a great flavor but takes longer than the conduction heating system. If time is of the essence, you will probably need a vaporizer that comes with a conduction heating system. If you prefer flavor and can wait, you may want a vaporizer that comes with a convection heating system. You may even want to get a vaporizer that has both heating systems for a unique vaping experience. This is new and called hybrid heating.

       

      Purchasing Your First Vaporizer

      The first time purchasing a vaporizer can be a confusing experience if you have no idea what you are looking for. This comprehensive guide to choosing a vaporizer and some of our vaporizer recommendations should be more than enough to help you come to a conclusion on what type of vaporizer you want to purchase. As long as you are careful and you do your research, you will be able to find a vaporizer that meets all of your needs and provides you with a high-quality vaping session each time.


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