Convection and conduction are two different ways of heating things. In general terms, conduction involves passing heat around an item to heat it up. Convection requires that a heating element or heat source touch the item to be heated. So what does this mean for vaporizers?
How Conduction Works in Vaporizers
Most modern vaporizers use conduction to heat whatever is put inside them. This is because it generally allows for more precise temperature control. The intensity of the heat waves can be increased or decreased with a touch of a button, and the resulting change is nearly instantaneous. Popular vaporizers like the Volcano use the conduction method.
The other advantage of using conduction is that it helps to avoid combustion. The point of using a vaporizer rather than a cigarette, joint or other fire-based method of enjoying herbs, waxes and liquids is that it does not combust the product. Combustion creates toxins that cause emphysema, cancer and other health problems. Vaporization creates no discernable toxins from the material being used.
In most vaporizers the heating element is separated from the herb or wax chamber. This ensures that the chamber is not burnt or melted and that the vaporization is achieved by very controlled means. The device lasts longer because the heating element does not touch anything else, and the herbs or waxes or whatever is being used last longer because they are being heated indirectly.
If you were to use a convection method in a vaporizer, there is often a chance that the materials would burn and that combustion would be achieved. That is why conduction is used so much more often. But that does not mean that convection does not have its place in vaporization.
Convection in Vaporizers
Now convection was the primary means of vaporization in the early days of vaporizers. But it was inconsistent in the way it vaporized, and it often led to combustion of the materials. But advances in technology have allowed for greater precision and control with convection methods. Now vaporizers like the Magic Flight Box are able to use convection to successfully create vaporization.
For those vaporizers that do make use of convection methods, the general way they do so is by heating up a small screen on which the herbs, waxes or other product lays. This directly heats the materials to be vaporized and creates fast vaporization with very clear and potent results. Many vaporizer users feel that convection provides for better-tasting vapor than conduction does.
The downside to using this method though, even in modern devices that control the heat perfectly, is that the screen and surrounding vaporizer need to be cleaned often. Many times the material to be vaporized will melt onto the screen or other convection item and not vaporize off completely. Regular cleaning is required to keep the vapor from smelling unpleasant and to keep the device working properly.
Which One Is Better?
With modern technology able to make both methods work well, the choice between the two methods is essentially one of personal preference. While it does take more work to keep convection-style vaporizers clean, they also produce a vapor that is often stronger and more tasteful than conduction methods are able to achieve. But users often note that their vaporizers can get quite hot when using the convection method.
Yet that is true of conduction-style vapes as well. It is simply a matter of insulation and what materials are being used in the devices that determines how hot they become to the touch. Both types of vapes can suffer from many of the same problems and enjoy many of the same benefits.
Vaporizer users should note that the methods for using both kinds of vapes will differ. If you use a convection vape, you may need to grind the herbs very fine to get the best vaping experience. Fine grinding is not as important for conduction style vapes though, as the heat flows around the materials and heats them on all sides evenly. Even heating is more of a concern for convection-style vapes.
Ideally, new users should start out with conduction vaporizers. They are usually easier to use and control. And they require less cleaning and fiddling with to get the best experience. But those who have been using vaporizers for a while may actually prefer convection-style vapes for their potentially better taste. Still, not every vape that is a convection type will offer the same experience, and vaporizer users need to do their research to find out more before they buy one kind over the other.