Vaporizer Guide: Conduction vs. Convection - Smoke Cartel

Vaporizer Guide: Conduction vs. Convection

By Smoke Cartel Crew on Jun 30, 2016

Conduction vs. Convection is a recurring debate within the smoking industry. No, we’re not talking about cooking a turkey—we’re talking about vaping!

But the same principles apply to your desktop vaporizer or vape pen as your oven, so pay attention for a straightforward explanation of these different heating methods.


What is Conduction?

Conduction is the transfer of heat through a substance or solid. This means that conduction heating elements make direct contact with your chosen substance.

In vaporizers, the heating source is traditionally placed at the bottom of a chamber and your product is loaded directly on top of the element. Smokers choose conduction-based vapes because they generally carry a lower price tag and quickly heat up to the desired temp. Conduction vaporizers tend to be straightforward and user-friendly. Just hold down the button and you’re heating the coil!


What is Convection?

Convection is the transfer of thermal energy through a liquid or gas. In other less science-y terms, convection ovens function by circulating hot air throughout the oven. When using a convection vape, heat surrounds and passes through your material. The heat source is isolated and does not make direct contact with your product. Many smokers prefer convection-based vapes because they allow for a more accurate temperature control and heat materials more evenly, which releases better flavor than conduction-style vapes.


While it’s important to remember that this is all a question of preference, both vape-styles have their own drawbacks:


What are the drawbacks of owning a conduction vaporizer?

Because conduction style heating elements make direct contact with your herb, conduction vapes run the risk of combusting product. Conduction vapes don’t circulate heat within the chamber like convection vapes do, so users must be sure to move around their product to prevent combustion. The purpose of vaping is to provide a healthier method to get elevated, so allowing your product to combust defeats the purpose of using a vape—plus it obliterates the flavor! Because the nature of vapes is to simply fill them and go, novice vapers tend to combust their product without even knowing it.


What are the drawbacks of owning a convection-style vape?

Because convection vapes generate and circulate heat, the electrical components are much more complicated. For this reason, convection vapes carry a higher price tag. Convection vapes also heat up at a slower rate than conduction—this isn’t necessarily a bad thing though: Convection heating elements are tasked with heating the entire chamber up to a desired temperature, rather than simply heating a small coil.

Naturally, it takes a longer period of time to heat a large space.

For some smokers, a prolonged heating time is a deal breaker. Vaping is appealing to many because of its accessibility, and heating times can be perceived as an inconvenience. If you’re patient though, the flavor of convection vapor is unrivaled and definitely worth the wait!


Check out our collection of Conduction and Convection Vaporizers here!

Arizer Air Portable Vape


The Galaxy Pen by Kandy Pen is my personal favorite concentrate conduction vape. This vape features a dual quartz coil, delivering full flavor rips with every hit. Plus, these bad boys come in a pocket-sized case complete with a dab tool. I literally don’t leave my house without my Kandy Pen— and you’ll quickly do the same.

Convection Vapes at Smoke Cartel

Storz and Bickel Volcano Digital Tabletop Vaporizer

Volcano Digital Vaporizer

The undisputed king of vapes is the digital Volcano. While this table-top vape does carry a hefty price tag, it is handmade in Germany by the experts at Storz and Bickel. While the smoking industry has been subject to rapid change, the Volcano is just about the only product on the market that still features the original design. Storz and Bickel did add an oil feature though, so there’s that. Step your vape game up. Click here for more information on the best vape, ever.


About the Author

Smoke Cartel - Online Headshop

Smoke Cartel Crew

Written by the staff here at Smoke Cartel. Our passionate team of headshop professionals are dedicated to educating people on products in the online headshop industry, from glass, to vaporizes, and all the consumption devices and accessories in between.

We believe that knowing how your products are made, what they were originally designed for, and how to properly use them - is essential to keeping our customers happy. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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