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Portable vaporizer: convection, conduction or a hybrid one?

In this article we want to briefly remind you the difference between conduction, convection and heating systems. We also talk about the main pros and cons of each of these solutions. Above all, however, we focus on what kind of heating will be the best for each user, depending on their individual needs. If you’re planning to buy a portable vaporizer, make sure you read this article first!

A person who makes his/her first steps in the world of vaporization may feel a bit lost, not only because of the number of vaporizers available on the market but also because of the multitude of terms associated with them. Let’s start with the basics: what is conduction, convection, and hybrid heating? And what are the most important differences between them?

Convection, conduction, hybrid heating – what are they and how do they differ?

Conduction consists of heating the dried herbs through a direct contact with a hot surface, in the case of vaporizers, these are usually the walls of the heating chamber. For better visualization, conduction heating can be compared to heating something in a pot – the hot bottom of the pan will transfer heat onto its contents. In order for the heat to be efficiently and evenly distributed inside a chamber of a conduction vaporizer, it must be fully filled with plant material. Vaporization will be the most effective if the herb will be finely ground – this will guarantee the largest contact area with the hot walls of the chamber, which will translate into its more effective use. The convection consists of heating the dried herbs with a stream of hot air. Sticking to kitchen metaphors, convection could be compared to baking in a convection oven – the dish has no direct contact with the heater, just with the air heated by it. In the case of convective heating of the dried material, squeezing the material too tight in the chamber will not only be pointless, but it will also make it more difficult for the air to flow through the chamber and to heat the material. In the case of convection heating, very fine grinding of dried herbs isn’t advisable either – its particles can be carried by the air stream and block the mouthpiece or even reach the mouth of the user. Hybrid heating, in turn, combines convection and conduction, and the proportions of convection to conduction may vary depending on the model of the vaporizer. The material is heated both through the walls of the heating chamber and by a stream of hot air. This solution has a number of advantages, which we talk about below.

Conduction – when is it best?

Conduction vaporizers are almost always session type devices (more about session and on-demand vaporizers here) – the whole content of the chamber needs to be used in one session. Conductive models heat up the herbs all the time (also between the draws) and therefore they are less economical. They are also ideal for inhalation in a larger group or for beginner users because the technique of using these models is usually very simple – you just need to take slow and even draws. The great advantage of conduction is the low power consumption – conduction models can usually work for a long time on a single charge. The financial aspect is also important – from the technological point of view, conduction devices are the least complicated, thanks to which their prices are usually lower than in the case of convective or hybrid models. Conduction is the best choice for novice users, people who don’t want to spend a lot on the vaporizer or who value the simplicity and convenience of use.

Convection – who is it best for?

Convection models have many advantages, but also some disadvantages. The vapor produced by convection vaporizers is usually of much better quality than in the case of conduction, and the vapor flavor is generally better. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the flavor and aroma of your favorite herbs to the fullest – convection is the right solution for you. The big advantage of convection is the fact that in this type of vaporizers, the herbs are heated only while you’re taking a draw. Such a solution is much more economical (nothing is wasted between draws) and discreet – convection vaporizers usually produce a bit less fragrance. The biggest disadvantage of convection is the high level of power consumption – the battery life between charges is a bit disappointing. The inhalation technique is definitely more demanding – in the case of convection models, the inhalations should be very long, almost always over 10 seconds. Convection vaporizer is, therefore, the best choice for users who enjoy solo sessions most of the time and who care about the quality and taste of vapor as well as about the economical use of the material.

Hybrid heating – the best compromise?

Hybrid heating is a compromise between convection and conduction. It is often said that it uses the best of both worlds – the quality and taste of vapor are better than in the models based only on conduction, while the battery life and the ease of use are better than in purely convection models. Hybrid models heat the herb with the walls of the heating chamber at all times, but the material is fully heated only while the user is taking a draw, when the material is additionally heated with a stream of hot air. Therefore, if you’re looking for a model that will provide a better steam quality and performance than a convection model, and at the same time will have a better battery life, a more favorable price and a less complicated vaping technique than convection models, then a hybrid vaporizer seems to be the best solution.

Do you already know which type of vaporizer will be the best for you?

If the answer is yes, we are very happy we could help! However, if you still have any doubts or you’d like to ask about something, send us a message and our experts will give you some free advice!

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