The conduction vs convection discussion is endless. This article doesn’t aim to resolve the debate between the supporters of conduction and convection.
The purpose of this article is to explain the different ways a vaporizer can heat your bud, and help you find out what type of heating is a better fit for your needs.
Below are the fundamentals behind these heating methods.
What is Conduction?
Conduction or thermal conduction takes place through direct contact. It is the process by which a heat source touches the body of a colder element and transfers heat to its surface. Cooking utensils like pens, kettles, and pots heat through conduction.
In vape terms, conduction functions through the application of direct heat from a heating element to the chamber, and then to the surface of your bud. The simplicity and lower cost needed to implement this technology are the reason most herb vaporizers are conduction units.
What is Convection?
Convection on a vaporizer works in different ways. The two commonly used heating methods for desktop vaporizers are the fan/balloon method and the whip. The fan/balloon method uses a fan to guide hot air in the chamber which fills up a balloon, while the whip method uses lung power to channel warmed-up air through a hollow cable. When using portable vaporizers,
“real-convection” units allow for some distance between the chamber and the heating element. This means that the air you draw in with your puff is heated and guided into the chamber, vaporizing your herb uniformly.
What is Hybrid?
Hybrid heating combines traits of both convection and conduction. The extent to which a device uses each of the two varies, but in most cases, a hybrid vape would heat your bud by warming incoming air while heating the vape chamber to make sure more thorough vaporization at the same time.
A typical example of this is starting a steak in a convection oven and finishing it on the griddle. This in theory seems to be the best of both worlds. Some vapers would argue that their hybrid device offers the most valuable vaporization possible.
Differences between Conduction, Convection and Hybrid
All three types of vapes have die-hard fans and knowing their differences will primarily depend on how you vape and what you take into cognizance on a dry herb vape.
If you want the most oomph out of your vape, then conduction may be what you’d prefer. Conduction vaporizers will reach a certain temp and keep it steady there so that on-demand vaporization becomes a bit challenging to pull through. Steady heating of your bud will produce thick clouds so make sure you watch out for combustion!
When using conduction vaporizers, stirring your herb inside the chamber is of paramount importance. Hinging on the heat setting, you may need to stir after every hit, which is something that many users may find cumbersome.
Conduction vapes are generally cheaper and are a great fit for smaller portable vaporizers.
The differences between these three terms may not seem major, but each has its pros and cons that can help you make a choice.
The advantage of Conduction is that it is generally cheaper, has a faster heat time, produces more clouds, and is easy to use and maintain. The disadvantage however is that it is often limited to session vaping and may combust if not careful
The advantage of Convection is that you can have more control over vape temperature, it is best for flavor, and it has a low combustion risk. The disadvantage however is that it is quite expensive and bulkier
The advantage of Hybrid is that it is a balance between flavor and vapor production while the disadvantage is that it may be falsely marketed as convection units