If you’ve recently shopped for a vaporizer, you’ve likely seen the terms “convection” and “conduction” tossed around, sometimes interchangeably. They are very different, however, and you’ve likely found that internet discussion forums are full of people who swear by one or the other. Is one really better than the other, however? The answer isn’t quite that simple.
Put simply, conduction is a method of heating that involves passing heat around an item in order to heat it. In contrast, convection requires that the heating source actually touch the item that it needs to heat. At first glance, one could assume that conduction is better. If the heater touches the herb or oil less often, it seems less likely to burn out. The herb or oil inside the vaporizer also seems less likely to burn if it isn’t touching its heating source. Most modern vapes, as a result, use conduction in order to vaporize the herb.
So why consider a vaporizer that uses convection? Modern day convection vaporizers are not like their older counterparts. In the past, the temperatures were often inconsistent, leading to combustion of the herb. Today’s convection vaporizers, however, are much more advanced. The herb is placed on a small screen which is heated by the device, creating a fast, more flavorful vape. Put simply, when convection is done correctly, it can provide a better outcome than conduction.
The only downside to a modern vape properly using convection is that regular cleaning is required. Due to the constant contact of the screen to the herb, it can often burn onto the screen. Using a finer ground product can help insure this happens as infrequently as possible, and it also allows the herb to absorb heat more evenly.
So, ultimately, which product is better today, conduction or convection vapes? The answer is that it simply depends on personal preference, and the quality of the device. Modern technology has made the two so comparable in quality, that you shouldn’t simply judge a vape by its heating method. Rather, research and assess the quality of the materials, the warranty period, cost and practicality.