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Conduction v. Convection Vaping – let's break it down!

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Namaste NZ 04/11/2018

Decisions, Decisions


So you’re looking to get yourself a brand new vaporizer but you keep seeing the words ‘convection’ and ‘conduction’ everywhere. What’s the difference? Is one better than the other? Is the other actually a booby trap designed to root out the newbies? Good questions, paranoid reader, but don’t worry because below we’re going to give you a quick overview of what's what so that you no longer have such vague, suspicion-fueled questions. Read on to learn more.

Conduction vs Convection Vaping

Conduction Heating

You can find conduction heating in almost every portable vaporizer on the market today. They were the staple of vaporization for a long time. The main reason for that is just because conduction vaporizers are much easier to put together so lower costs of production. Damn you, industrialization! So how does conduction heating work? Well, conduction-based vaporizers such as the Pax 3 heat up the walls of the heating element around your dry herb. Basically, the hot bits bake your tasty herb and then you get delicious vapor. Simple.

These kinds of vaporizers are often much smaller than convection vaporizers too so they’re easier to bring out and about with you. Also, they have a better battery life so you don’t have to worry about charging it all the time. The heating time is usually a lot quicker than convection, too, so there’s less waiting around. 

Convection Heating

Convection-based vaporizers are a relative newcomer to the vaporizer world. How it works is that the heat distributes evenly across your dry herb so the herb is burned more efficiently and vapor yields are much higher. This is done by radiating heat from the ceramic or stainless steel interior of the heating element. Also, convection models usually feature more accurate temperature controls which means you can have a vape session tailored to your needs.

One minor downside is that convection vaporizers tend to be a lot bigger and so not as discreet for toting about. Models such as the Mighty, while powerful and durable, aren’t very easy to slip inside your pocket. They also tend to be a bit more expensive. However, with convection vaporizers there is also less risk of combustion. This is more common in conduction-based vaporizes and causes your herbs to overheat and gives a burnt-tasting vapor flavour. Not ideal.

Ultimately both kinds of vaporizers have their upsides and downsides. If you want portable and discreet then look no further than a solid conduction vaporizer. However, if you’re not planning on going anywhere while vaping and don’t mind splashing out the extra cash why not get a bigger convection model.

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