A vaporizer is anything which heats up a substance to release a water-based vapor. It is not intended as a means of burning something, like a cigarette which creates smoke and ash. Vaporizers typically utilize battery power or mains electricity to provide energy to a coil or heating block which, in turn, heats a material such as e liquid, wax, oil, or herbs. The resulting vapor is either left to spread through a room or is inhaled by a consumer.

E Liquid Vaporizers

E cigs, eGos, and mods are vaporizers specifically designed to heat up e liquid made from propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavor extracts, and nicotine. The most basic form automatically builds up to a maximum temperature so that when a vapor puffs he enjoys a mouthful of flavor plus a nicotine hit.

Advanced models allow the vaper to set a temperature or wattage output in order to control the flavor of their e juice and to create more or less vapor. The maximum is usually around 600F and there are mods able to reach over 200W.

E liquid vaporizers are always portable, handheld devices. The only “wired” type is one which can be used in pass-through mode, meaning one can continue to use the pen while it is charging. E liquid tanks and cartridges can only be filled with e juice, not herbs or wax, but a multi-purpose device like the Pro Series by V2 provides a separate cartridge for each material to be used with a single battery. Major brands of e liquid vaporizers include Innokin, Kanger, SMOK, and JoyeTech. There is also a high-end market consisting of limited edition items produced all over the world.

Herbal Vaporizers

These machines create vapor out of dried plant material which has been finely ground and placed in a heating chamber. Advanced machines heat plants using a convection system which gets to all the ground-up material evenly without burning any of it. Conduction or direct heating often causes some herbs to become singed, leading to one of the commonest problems with inexpensive handheld herbal vaporizers and vape pens: combustion. While they are promoted as vaporizers, herbal vape pens often burn materials. The highest setting for these units is typically a little over 400F.

Wax and Oils

It’s much harder to get it wrong with a wax or oil vape pen than with an herbal one. These materials want to be heated to much higher temperatures and one is unlikely to burn either waxes or oils, but there is more variety in the herbal market. Herbs are mainstream, thanks to a rise in the legitimate use of marijuana as medicine and also because many smokers are turning to vaping as an alternative without giving up tobacco. Wax and oil pens frequently utilize glass globe tanks instead of cartridges.

Portable and Desktop Mods

The portable format is very handy and highly popular because consumers appreciate the flexibility of being able to vape wherever they go. Active consumers appreciate a device such as the Vapium Summit designed for hikers and rock climbers. Their unit is extremely durable and resistant to high altitudes or extreme weather. Parts are connected magnetically and also fastened by toggles, such as the battery door, so they can’t fall off and wind up in a crevice.

Units such as the PAX 2 resemble large felt pens and are created for stealthy vaping. Consumers can easily hide these in a pocket of their jeans or stow them in their bags to prevent people asking awkward questions and making erroneous assumptions about what they might be inhaling. When it does peak out the top, the tiny PAX 2 could easily be mistaken for some other piece of electronic equipment.

Some models use built-in batteries charged via USB while others contain removable cells. Cheap, unregulated items cost about $40 and last a few months. Better portable vaporizers cost from $150 to $300 (and more than that if you buy a Storz & Bickel Mighty or Crafty handheld vaporizer) but they are designed to work for years, producing excellent quality vapor all the while.

Desktop models are connected to mains power. You can’t walk around with the electronics in your hand, but mains power supplies consistent energy so there is no interruption to vapor delivery until herbs or oils are burned through and you have to add more. Some, such as the Plenty by S&B, are handheld but still not portable. This product is simply too large and heavy. Others, such as the 7th Floor Silver Surfer, sit on the table looking gorgeous.

You always puff directly through a mouthpiece when using a portable vaporizer. Desktop vapes supply two other methods. One is assisted delivery, blending direct draw through a straw with a little bit of help from a fan. The other method is to fill a balloon and gradually inhale the vapor through a hole in the bottom. This requires no effort and is perfect for someone with lung problems. The balloon method is popular for sharing too as S&B’s Volcano demonstrates.

Desktop vaporizers start at around $70, but you can expect to pay as much as $600 or $700 for the top brands, a Volcano Digital being one of the most expensive but also among the best. Digital items cost more than those with dials in most cases.

Buy Vaporizers

Before purchasing a vaporizer, read reviews by customers of the most recent version. Devices are usually upgraded every couple of years, so make sure your opinion isn’t swayed by an out-of-date commentary. These reviews are published on forums and also by vape stores. Buy products from authorized companies because they strike the best deals with manufacturers, will always sell brand new items, and back their products with warranties.

These sites can also be useful if you don’t know where to start. Use their knowledge base or their many filters to examine just one sort of vaporizer (portable or desktop) or to explore stock according to the material you use. Check out only vaporizers in your price range or investigate items made by recommended brands such as Arizer, S&B, Vapium, and Vapir.