Convection vs Conduction in Vaporizers – Explained


Conduction and convection are the two most popular heating-styles in vaporizers. Conduction means heating by direct contact with a heat source. Convection means heating a material with hot air blown through a heating element. 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 convection heating.

The other advantage of convection is that it helps to avoid combustion. The point of using a vaporizer rather than a cigarette, joint or another 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 convection is used so much more often. But that does not mean that conduction does not have its place in vaporization.

Convection in Vaporizers

Now conduction 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 conduction methods. Now vaporizers like the Magic Flight Box are able to use conduction to successfully create vaporization.

For those vaporizers that do make use of conduction 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 conduction-style vaporizers clean, they also produce a vapor that is often stronger and more tasteful than convection methods are able to achieve. But users often note that their vaporizers can get quite hot when using the conduction 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 conduction vape, you may need to grind the herbs very fine to get the best vaping experience. Fine grinding is not as important for convection-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 conduction-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.

Published: October 13, 2017



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7 comments on “Convection vs Conduction in Vaporizers – Explained
  • frank teodosio
    November 24, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    What i am trying to achieve is getting a CLEANER smoke as i do not smoke cigarretts do to all the bad chemicals. So that being said i only want to vape with the most confidence as possible that i am not getting my lungs comtaminated with dirty smoke. So where do i go with Convection or Conduction which one provides a cleaner way of vaping ? Thank You Frank.

  • Richard carroll Holtzople
    December 26, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    thanks great article

  • Richard carroll Holtzople
    December 26, 2017 at 10:47 pm


  • R
    March 1, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Sorry, but… Your article does not make sense by the fundamentals. “Convection requires that a heating element or heat source touch the item to be heated.” Isn’t this wrong with what we’re talking about: in convection the heat source heats the gas(air) around it, then the gas(air) heats the herbs. So convection would be better than conduction, which would tend to burn the herb more. Whatever you’re smoking, I want some. “The other advantage of using conduction is that it helps to avoid combustion.” wtf!?

    • scientiVIC
      June 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      you are correct, the article is backwards..

    • lumpy
      July 17, 2018 at 12:31 am

      yeah wtf

    • Michael
      October 25, 2018 at 5:43 am

      seems they heard you. cause now it’s correct. at least I didn’t notice anything wrong with the info.