With so many different vaporizers to choose from, it can be overwhelming at first glance. Here, we’ll break down the different types of cannabis vaporizers so you can more easily make a purchasing decision.
What is a vaporizer?
A vaporizer is a device that provides heat to dry herb or concentrate to create aromatic vapor. While some are designed to vaporize oil or wax, others work directly with dry herbs. Whichever you prefer, the concept is the same; rather than relying on combustion to produce smoke, vaporizers use heat alone to produce vapor. Cannabis vaporizers can be broken down in two ways – the first way is the form factor of the device and the second way is the type of material being used.
Cannabis Vaporizers by Form Factor
People have different uses for cannabis vaporizers, and therefore different preferences for which form factor to use. From the ultra-portable to the stationary, there is something on the market for everyone. Let's take a look at the three most common form factors, sorted by size:
As the name suggests, these ultra-portable vaporizers are called pens because they resemble a large writing pen. Their small size makes them easy to carry around and provides the most discreet option. Because they are the most affordable option, pens also tend to be great for beginners as an introduction to vaporizers. One aspect to keep in mind is that due to their small size, these pens tend to provide less power compared to its larger, more powerful contenders. Below are some popular pen-style vaporizer brands to check out:
- Terp Pen by Boundless Technology — Terp Pens are some of the most affordable ultra-compact vaporizers and, as such, make a good introduction for people who aren't sure whether vaping is the right choice for them.
- GPen by Grenco Science — GPen vaporizers come in several models across a range of prices so you can be sure to get the features and value that matter most to you.
Portable vaporizers aren't quite as discreet as pen-style vaporizers, but are still small enough to fit in the pocket and be used on the go. Their larger size allows for larger batteries, which results in a better quality, longer vape than the pens.
- Huni Badger — Huni Badger creates vaporizers with superior functionality, performance, and the convenience of portability without the need for power cords or torches. One of the things we love about Huni Badger vaporizers is the great number of accessories that can enhance your vaping experience.
- PAX 3 — Another feature-rich, high-end brand of portable vaporizers is PAX 3. This model is compatible with both dry herb and extracts. It can even use a mobile app to tune in just the right settings to fit your preferences.
The vaporizers, as you may be able to tell from the name, are not meant to be portable at all. In fact, they are usually powered by a wall outlet. They are meant to be placed on a table or desktop and used from there. Because of their large size, these are the most powerful vaporizers on the market and hold the most product for those who plan to really get a lot of a vaporizer. More importantly, though, there is a much further distance for the vapor to travel than with portable devices, resulting in a cooler vapor that is easier to inhale. These devices work either through a tube, similar to a hookah, or by blowing up a balloon that is then inhaled.
- Storz and Bickel — The volcano series of desktop vaporizers is one of the most popular around. They come in the Classic model, which works with a balloon only, and the Hybrid model, which also supports using a tube.
Cannabis Vaporizers by Material Source
When choosing a vaporizer, you must ensure that it'll work with the type of product that you plan on vaping from it. While some people prefer to use dry herb, some people prefer wax or oil. As a general rule of thumb, dry herb is more convenient to use without a special device (such as a vaporizer) and wax or oil is more concentrated. Let’s identify some of the main differences:
Cannabis vaporizers that are meant to use with oil may work similarly to vaporizers used for nicotine e-liquid. In these devices, an electric heating coil is submerged in the liquid. As it heats up, the liquid turns to vapor. This method will also work with wax and other extracts. Some dual-use vaporizers will burn wax and extracts, but use a similar method to that used by dry herb vaporizers.
The previous method would do nothing but burn dry herb. So for many cannabis vaporizers, a heating chamber that heats up in a more gentle fashion is used. The small chamber gets hot enough that the herb produces vapor without burning. Think of these chambers like a mini slow-cooker for your herbal material but heats up much faster.
Find Your Vaporizers at MatchBox Bros
We understand choosing a vaporizer is a lot more technical than choosing rolling papers or a water pipe, so we hope this guide helped make the decision-making process a bit less intimidating. By taking time to understand the different types of vaporizers available, you'll be sure to choose the right one for your needs.