Dry herb vaporization has become the pinnacle gold standard of healthy dry herb consumption. This trend has emerged because vaporized dry herbs do not create many of the carcinogens and tars that are released upon combustion during smoking. There are two types of vaporization chambers utilized in dry herb vaporizers: the most common is a conduction oven while others use convection.
Conduction ovens achieve vaporization when the plant material inside is directly touching the heating surface at temperatures above the vaporization point. This is the most common form of dry herb vaporization chamber, however, that doesn't mean it is the most effective. A conduction oven can achieve pure vaporization, however, it is an extremely delicate balance between material and temperature. New users may prefer this kind of chamber because of the lower cost. This being said it is possible and all too common for a conduction oven to cause a small amount of charring and overcooking which releases a small amount carcinogens and tars. Conduction vaporization produces far less of these harmful materials and toxins than simply smoking, however, it is not considered pure vaporization.
The second type of vaporization chamber is a convection oven. This is the type of chamber typically found in high-end vaporization systems due to the fact that this is the best method for achieving pure vaporization. A convection oven works by heating air which is them pumped into the vaporization chamber. This allows it to heat the dry herb material from all angles providing an even vaporization to all material inside the chamber. This method is the healthiest form of vaporization on the market since the dry material never makes direct contact with the heating element and is not charred or overcooked during the process. Convection vaporizers are typically quite a bit more expensive due to the technology involved, however, they are usually more durable, healthier and provide a better all-around experience for the consumer.
Now let's take a look at some of the most popular options on the market, as well as their functions and specifications. While there are many options on the market for vaporizing dry herbs and it can be complicated finding the right one for you, this should help any prospective dry herb vaper decide which product is best suited to their needs. First, we will look at some of the more economical options and discuss their advantages and disadvantages, then we will move on to the mid-range products and end with the top of the line, high-end vaporizers.
- Randy’s Drift - The Randy’s Drift is one of the most affordable options on the market, and also has the ability to be converted into a concentrates vaporizer if the user wishes to switch between dry herbs and concentrates. The Drift relies on a ceramic plate which is heated to a preset temperature and then allows the dry herbs inside of its chamber to be vaporized. Due to the fact that this unit does not have a temperature control this preset heat can be too hot for some material and can cause combustion, this is further aided by the fact that the ceramic plate is considered a conduction oven, and since the heating surface is quite small the chance of combustion is quite high. This makes the drift somewhat obsolete as a dry herb vaporizer for many experienced vapers, however, is widely accepted amongst those who wish to have a discreet dry herb consumption device for things such as going on vacation. The price range also means that the unit is quite easily disposable.
- Randy’s Troo – The Randy’s Troo uses a very common design or style of vaporizer. The design makes it very accessible for many companies to make their own version and a very similar or even identical vaporizer can be found under many different names. Additionally, they are almost all in the same price range. The vaporization chamber is a conduction oven, however, unlike Randy’s Drift, the heated surface area is larger which reduces the chance of combustion inside of the chamber. The Troo also features three preset temperature options making it more customizable for the user and allowing for temperature adjustments based on the dry herbs that are being vaporized. The price point is also relatively low, so this tends to be the most popular option amongst people just becoming interested in vaporization.
- Pax 3 - The Pax 3 and other Pax products, in general, are very well known in the vaporization community. This is due to its ease of use, long battery life, and sleek design. The Pax 3 is extremely user-friendly and the full kit features a ten-year warranty. It has what is considered to be a mid-range price point and is the go-to choice for many vapers. The Pax 3 has some new bells and whistles such as an extended battery life, Bluetooth temperature control, as well as hidden Easter egg features such as Simon says. Pax has dominated the market for many years however its drawbacks are mainly centered around the fact that it still relies on a conduction vaporization chamber. This being said it is extremely accessible for both experienced and new vapers.
- Firefly - The Firefly is a crowd favorite due to its design and also its function which is extremely comparable to the Pax. The vaporization chamber is conduction and due to design, the airflow allows for a very even vaporization. The way it functions also reminds many users of smoking out of a pipe due to the fact that it is held like one and has a visible vaporization chamber in the same place you would pack a bowl. In order to use it, the user must also hold it like a pipe due to the fact that both power buttons on either side of the vaporizer must be held down in order to begin vaping. The price point is slightly higher than the Pax, making Pax the more popular option. However, the noticeable difference in airflow draws the attention of many more experienced vapers.
- Storz & Bickel Crafty - The function of the Crafty by Storz & Bickel is much different than the options previously discussed. It also has a completely different aesthetic which is geared toward and dictated by the differences in function. All Storz & Bickel products use convection ovens for the vaporization chamber. This means that the dry herb material is heated with hot air from a heating chamber pushed through the dry herb chamber, which vaporizes the dry herb in a more even and effective manner. This method of vaporization is what has put Storz & Bickel at the top of the market for so many years. The Mighty by Storz & Bickel is one of their portable vaporizers, and despite being their cheapest model is still at the top of the price range of dry herb vaporizers in the market. This is for good reason as it is made from medical grade parts, and guarantees perfect vaporization. It is also worth noting that all Storz & Bickel products come with some type of adjustable temperature control.
- Ghost Vape - The Ghost Vape is new to the market, especially compared to its direct competitor, Storz & Bickel. It also comes in at a lower price point and boasts an extremely similar convection oven as the vaporization chamber. The Ghost Vape does both dry herb and concentrates, however it is focused on the dry herb portion. The battery life seems to be a bit longer than average providing the user with up to 8 uses before a charge is necessary, and the heat up time is by far the lowest in its class. Altogether this is one of the most advanced and proficient dry herb vaporizers on the market and should be considered one of the best options for anyone from a beginner, all the way up to the most critical connoisseurs.
This article should help those who are trying to find the best dry herb vaporizer for their specific needs. We have discussed the pros and cons of all the most popular portable dry herb vaporizers on the market at the various price ranges. I would recommend that someone who is unsure about dry herb vaporization and wants to dip their toe in the water, purchase a quality mid-level vaporizer. But it is always important to remember with portable dry herb vaporizers you get what you pay for in terms of the quality of the hit and experience, as well as the durability and longevity of the device. So ultimately, someone looking for a more long-term solution should consider buying a more expensive, high-end vaporizer.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
**The beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are not those of Waterbeds ‘n’ Stuff.