Conduction vs Convection Vaporizers – Helping You Choose the Right Heating Mechanism

Conduction vs convection vaporizers

Among dozens of choices, how will you know which vaporizer is right for you?

Are you looking to vape dry herbs only, or do you enjoy mixing things up with a bit of wax as well?

Do you need a portable vape, vape pen, or a desktop vaporizer?

How much money are you prepared to spend?

How customizable do you want your vaporizer to be?

And the questions don’t stop there…

Answering them will certainly bring you a step closer to making a choice.

However, what happens when vaping experts are divided on a specific technical point, and  you’re not very familiar with the technical aspects of vaporizers?

For example, there is an ongoing debate about conduction vs convection vaporizers. Which are better?

A vaporizer’s performance heavily depends on its heating method, so this is not something that can be disregarded when choosing a vape.

That’s why we decided to make your life easier by explaining the differences between these two types of vaporizers, what they offer to their users, and what their upsides and downsides are.

Trust us, different types of heating methods answer different types of vaping needs. It’s crucial not to make a wrong decision in regards to this.

Let’s get scientific for a moment

According to thermodynamics, there are three ways through which heat is transferred: conduction, convection, and radiation.


Radiation is the only way that doesn’t require any contact between the source and the object of heating. It’s essentially heat transference through empty space. But, radiation is of no interest to us today.


Conduction is the “simplest” form of heat transference and is often preferred by traditional and conservative stoners. This type of heat transference takes place when contact is made between two objects at contrasting temperatures.

At a molecular level, much faster and energy-packed molecules of the hotter object collide with slower molecules of the cooler object. When this collision occurs, energy is being transferred to the slower molecules.

This exchange lasts until the temperature between the heating source and the object becomes equivalent.

However, not all substances are created equal. Some are better heat conductors than others. That’s why, when we’re speaking about conduction, we’re talking about heat exchange between solids (best conductors).


If solids are great conductors, what about liquids and gases?

Well, the best and most efficient way of transferring heat in liquids and gases is convection. It basically represents a repetitive pattern of heat circulation from warmer to cooler areas of a gas or liquid.

For example, radiators operate on this principle. Cool air is sucked in at the bottom of the radiator while the warm air is released at the top. And they are constantly switching places. But, maybe the easiest way to visualize this is to think about a pan full of boiling water.

Since the bottom of the pan is in direct contact with the heating source, we see the bubbles (warmer parts) rising to the surface and exchanging places with the cooler parts found at the top.


See? Easy.

What does this mean for stoners? 

Which method of heat transference your weed vaporizer is using will make a world of difference in your vaping experience. Here’s what we mean by that:

Convection vaporizers – things to consider

  1. Convection vaporizers are more technologically advanced in comparison to conduction vapes. This also means that they’re more expensive. 
  2. They can be used for vaping both dry herbs and oils.
  3. Since convection, as a heat transference method, doesn’t require direct contact between the heating source and the heating object, there’s no risk of combustion. 
  4. Since there’s no contact between the heating source and the object, you won’t have to clean the device nearly as much as you would a conduction vaporizer.
  5. One of the biggest advantages of convection vaporizers is that they provide even heating. This leads to a much smoother and softer vapor that’s easy on your lungs (great for novice stoners).
  6. Convection vaporizers oftentimes offer various temperature controls, allowing you, the user, to create a perfect vaping experience for yourself. 
  7. However, though they’re more efficient when it comes to vaporizing the cannabinoids in your herb, they usually require more time to heat up. And that’s not ideal if you need to take a quick hit to silence your anxiety, for example. 
  8. Their major downside is that, apart from being pricey, convection vaporizers are usually sizeable desktop devices that aren’t travel-friendly. 
  9. All in all, if you’re an experienced stoner who makes no compromises when it comes to vapor quality, loves to vape not only dry herbs but waxes as well, and you have some extra cash on the side, then convection vaporizers are exactly what you’re looking for. 

Conduction vaporizers – a worthy adversary

  1. For starters, conduction vaporizers have been available on the market for a very long time. They are more affordable and less complicated to use than convection vaporizers. 
  2. Their main advantage, when compared to convection models, is that they heat up at an astonishing pace. Typically, conduction vaporizers heat up in a matter of few minutes (5 minutes max), whereas convection vapes can take up to 10 minutes!
  3. Unlike convection vaporizers, conduction models are often super portable and run on rechargeable batteries. That’s great news for stoners who love to have their vaporizers with them at all times. 
  4. The most prominent downside is that with conduction vaporizers there’s a risk of combustion due to direct contact between the herb and the heating source. 
  5. On top of that, uneven heating is something that many conduction vaporizer users struggle with. 
  6. Smokers often have to go through a lot of hassle to get the best vaping experience, e.g. one has to mix up the herb in order to secure somewhat even heating. 
  7. Also, there’s much more maintenance and cleaning involved when using conduction vaporizers.
  8. Lastly, the flavor produced by convection vapes is harsh, dry, and a tad hotter than it should be.

Summing it up

Conduction vaporizers require much more maintenance and cleaning than convection models. They carry the risk of combustion and they don’t provide the most pleasant flavor. However, they’re incredibly efficient in terms of heating time, they’re much more affordable and portable, and there’s a myriad of models to choose from.

Beginner stoners find the sensible price tag, ease of use, and portability of conduction vaporizers sufficient enough reasons to kick off their vaping journeys with these devices instead of convection ones.

The Best 4 Vaporizers from Both Worlds

Volcano Classic Vaporizer – The Pinnacle of Convection Vaporizers

Volcano vaporizer

Volcano Classic Vaporizer is a prime example of what convection vaporizers are all about. It’s mind-blowingly reliable (German engineering), offers its users 9 different temperature settings (from 266°F to 439°F), works with both dry herbs and concentrates, and has a brilliant vapor bag delivery system which can store vapor for as long as 8 hours!

The most fascinating thing about the Volcano Classic is the taste and quality of vapor it produces. It’s quite possibly the smoothest and cleanest vapor you can experience.

However, it does cost a pretty penny and isn’t exactly portable.

But, its cool vintage look, superior performance, and amazing vapor quality make it one of the most sought-after convection vaporizers on the market today.

Arizer V-Tower Vaporizer – An Affordable Convection Vaporizer?

Arizer V tower vaporizer

Arizer V-Tower Vaporizer is one of the most affordable convection vaporizers you can get your hands on nowadays. However, don’t think for a second that it’s a poorly built, bland-taste-producing device.

Arizer V-Tower is equipped with ceramic heating elements and a glass filling chamber. But, unlike the Volcano, it’s a whip-style vaporizer offering a 360-degree rotation which is perfect for group vaping sessions.

Its temperature range spans from 122°F – 500°F and it’s easily controlled via the buttons placed on the sides of its LCD screen.

But, probably the coolest feature of the V-Tower is its aromatherapy mode which is perfect for removing those unpleasant post-session odors.

DaVinci MIQRO – portability at its finest

DaVinci vaporizer

DaVinci MIQRO is the perfect conduction vaporizer for people who’re stylish and love being able to vape on the go.

Like its convection alternatives, the MIQRO also offers a bit of temperature control to its users, but the range spans only from 350°F – 430°F. However, the strong point of this device is its compactness, making it one of the most desirable portable vaporizers on the market.

Regardless of its puny proportions, the MIQRO packs a decent battery which, when fully charged, provides its users 80 minutes of active usage. When you combine that with the fact that the MIQRO takes only 40 seconds to heat up, you get one of the most efficient conduction vaporizers the world has ever seen.

Plus, DaVinci offers the MIQRO in all kinds of flashy colors, so it’s easy to choose a model adapted to your style.

Magic Flight Launch Box – Vaping in style

Magic Flight launch box vaporizer

Lastly, we have an environment-friendly, conduction heating device that’s uniquely designed.

Magic Flight Launch Box is fully handcrafted out of wood, which makes the only biodegradable vaporizer on the market today. Due to its minimalistic design and functionality, this device is capable of reaching its peak temperature in just 5 seconds!

This device is powered by two NiMH replaceable batteries and packs a chamber capacity of 0.3 grams. However, what most other manufacturers don’t offer their customers but Magic Flight does, is a lifetime warranty on their products!

If uniqueness is something that’s very important to you, then you can’t go wrong with the Magic Flight Launch Box. Plus, you’ll easily get used to having your dry herb ready to be vaped in a matter of seconds! 🙂

About the author
Helena Miles

Experienced journalist with a decade-long experience of researching cannabis. She has been featured in many prominent outlets, such as The Growth Op, National Post and The Province.

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