A Beginner’s Guide to Vaporizers
The plethora of smoking and vaporizing devices available today may perplex most beginners. The cigars and cigarettes aside, you get to choose among vaporizer, hookah, bong, dab, and other lesser known options.
There are a few similarities across vaporizers, hookahs, bongs, and dabs. However, they are not identical or variants of the same product. A vaporizer is not a hookah, bong, or dab.
What Is a Vaporizer?
A vaporizer is an electronic device that heats a particular type of substance to produce vapor. Unlike cigars and cigarettes, a vaporizer does not combust or burn tobacco. All vaporizers aim to heat a herb or other substance to generate vapor without combustion or burning the material.
Thus, a vaporizer extracts the flavors from a selected material that you draw, inhale, and exhale. You do not draw any smoke. Naturally, there are no harsh chemicals or toxins produced due to the burning of herbs, tobacco, or other substances. Also, the vapor is cooler than smoke.
Since all vaporizers are electronic tools, you need access to power. This power source could be a standard wall outlet or batteries. Also, the power source depends on the type of vaporizer.
The Two Types of Vaporizers
Broadly, there are two types of vaporizers: desktop and portable. These two primary types have variants, too. And you can expect a few distinct styles with state of the art specs. Some of the first vaporizers, albeit they are not very old, had simple and basic features.
Desktop vaporizers were the first in this class of smoking devices. Like a hookah, a desktop vaporizer needs a table or flat and steady surface to stand on. However, unlike hookahs, all desktop vaporizers need power. Many desktop vaporizers run on electricity, some on batteries.
There are two styles of desktop vaporizer: bag or balloon and whip. The former uses a balloon or bag where the generated vapor is kept intact. A whip style desktop vaporize has a silicone tube or hose, not very different from what you will see attached to hookahs.
A portable vaporizer is known by different names. Electronic cigarettes or e-cigs are a type of portable vaporizer. Many companies market portable vaporizers as vape pens.
Indeed, many small and portable vaporizers look like a pen you can slide into your pocket. Thus, such devices are also known as pocket vaporizers.
Unlike a desktop vaporizer that draws power from a wall outlet, most portable variants run on batteries. A desktop vaporizer is much larger and thus more powerful, which requires greater energy compared to a small vape pen or portable vaporizer.
A portable vaporizer is light and essentially a handheld device. Also, it is mostly for individual use, whereas desktop vaporizers are suitable for a group.
The Essential Features of Vaporizers
Desktop vaporizers, whether whip style or with a bag/balloon, can be analog or digital. The new digital variants offer precise temperature control. Also, the styles are aplenty for both desktop and portable vaporizers.
A desktop vaporizer may have a fan for the device to use forced air to generate the vapor. Once you have sufficient vapor in the bag, you can detach it from the vaporizer, draw your puffs, and pass the balloon among your friends.
A whip style vaporizer may have distinct features, too. However, most desktop vaporizers use convection to heat the substance, irrespective of bag, balloon, or whip. In contrast, a portable vaporizer, vape pen, or handheld variant uses conduction.
It should be noted that neither desktop nor portable vaporizer uses combustion. A handheld vaporizer does not have much air inside the small device to use convection. Thus, the heating element inside is in contact with the cartridge or substance you like to vape. Still, this conduction is controlled, and the temperature does not reach the point of combustion for the material.
The different features have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a desktop vaporizer uses convection and there is a large bag to fill with vapor. Thus, you have to wait for a while to start vaping. In contrast, portable vaporizers using conduction are ready almost instantly.
However, portable vaporizers may not extract all the rich flavors from herbs or cartridges due to the less time and compact size. A desktop bag or whip style vaporizer offers a much better vaping experience. On the flip side, a desktop vaporizer is not portable.
What Do You Vape in a Vaporizer?
You may vape dry herbs, oils, waxes, concentrates, and e-juices. Portable vaporizers or vape pens often use specific types of cartridges and atomizers. You cannot vape anything other than what the device is compatible with. The same principle applies to desktop vaporizers, too.
However, desktop vaporizers don’t limit you to specific cartridges and atomizers. You can use dry herbs, concentrates, waxes, and oils, among other similar materials. Like hookah tobacco, you can get nicotine-free materials to vape using a desktop or portable vaporizer.