Convection vs Conduction in Vaporizers – Explained

heating types
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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.

Table of Content

Difference between conduction vs. convection
How Convection Works in Vaporizers
How Conduction Works in Vaporizers
Conduction vs. Convection – Which is better?
conduction-vs-convection

Difference between Conduction vs. Convection

There are two different oven styles for a dry herb vaporizer: Convection and conduction. No vape feature is more important than its ability to effectively and efficiently heat one’s herb. The argument between conduction and convection centers on heating the object.

The oven style has a huge effect on one’s vaping experience. This is why it is suggested that new users make a decision on conduction or convection before taking any other decision. Conduction vaporizers have been available for a long time and they utilize the traditional method of heating e-liquids or herbs. They are still very much popular in the market and some old users would rather not use any other type.

However, Convection vaporizers are the new models in the market. This hasn’t deterred them from gaining market share and popularity. Their mode of thermal transfer is quite different from that of conduction vaporizers. This gives users a superior vaping experience.

The comparison chart below highlights the various differences between conduction and convection vaping.

Basis for Comparison Conduction Convection
Meaning Conduction vaporizers make use of direct heat contact to
heat up their content. As a result of the cannabis being in
direct contact with the walls of the compartment, it
becomes vapor.
This involves the transfer of heat via a medium such as
moving fluids. Convection vaporizers utilize moving fluids
such as steam to enable the heat transfer.
Temperature Control The principle of conduction enables the user to have more
control over the temperature intensity.
Users have no control over temperature intensity.
Maintenance and Upgrade They require little or no upgrade and maintenance They also need regular maintenance and upgrade to reduce
the risk of breakdown
Speed Conduction vapes heat up in as quick as 5 minutes Convection vapes heat up in over 10 minutes
Cost It is quite affordable as the unit isn’t complex. As a result of various complicated chambers, it is a bit
pricey.
Heating Direct heat from the energy source can burn the herbs thus
increase one’s risk of inhaling smoke.
The heat source has no direct contact with the herbs. Thus,
it isn’t possible for them to burn.

How Convection Works in Vaporizers

A typical convection oven utilizes heated air to warm chicken or turkey. This ensures that the meat is evenly heated and no part is burnt as there was no direct contact with the source of heat. These vaporizers function under the same principle of heat transfer in convection. They operate on the principle of transferring heat via a medium such as moving fluids. Convection vaporizers utilize moving fluids such as steam to enable the heat transfer. This infers that one would get an evenly heated herb if the oils and herbs have no direct contact with the heat source.

For this to be possible, it means the vaporizer needs to have more compartments. The e-liquid oil or the herbs should stay in a different compartment spate from the heat source. They should not be close to each other. The heated fluids should have sufficient space to move around to the compartment housing the herbs and e-liquid.

Convection vaporizers have a whole lot of advantages and it would be a wise decision to invest in one. One of the main advantages is that there is no combustion risk. This is because the heat source has no direct contact with the herbs. Thus, it isn’t possible for them to burn. It is imperative to know that combustion cause the production of ash and smoke. If the herb gets burnt, the inhaled vapor gets mixed with dangerous chemicals and smoke. Another advantage of convection vaporizer is proportionate heating. The molecules of hot air envelopes the oils and herbs and ensure that each area gets heated up at the same time thus improving the herb’s flavor.
The only issue with convection vaporizers is their speed. They are quite slow and need more heat to be sufficient for the e-liquids and herbs.

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How Conduction works in Vaporizers

Unlike the convection vaporizers, the conduction vaporizers make use of direct heat contact to heat up their content. This principle is similar to boiling water on a cooker. The water gets heated up because it is in direct contact with the cooker that is heated.

Conduction vapes have a straightforward and simple principle. The coil is heated as a result of the energy from the battery. Thereafter, the ceramic or metallic compartment with the cannabis is heated from the coil.
As a result of the cannabis being in direct contact with the walls of the compartment, it becomes vapor.

Most recent vaporizers utilize conduction to heat up their content. The principle of conduction enables the user to have more control over the temperature intensity. The heat intensity can be reduced or increased with the help of a knob and this effect is immediate.

The major advantage of conduction vaporizers is their speed

Heat transfer occurs very quickly as a result of the direct and immediate contact with the source of heat. These vapes do not depend on moving fluids. As a result of this, the conduction vapes heat up in about 5 minutes. This is faster than convection vapes which need more than 10 minutes to heat up. This speed is of great benefit to patients that use cannabis for anxiety and pain relief. They need quick relief and a conduction vape is a unit that delivers on time.

Another advantage of the conduction vape is its affordability. The unit isn’t complex and doesn’t utilize as many components as the convection vapes. It is a perfect option for new users that are hesitant on investing much.
Another benefit is that these vapes don’t need much maintenance. It is perfect for people who need a unit that requires fewer repairs and upgrade. It is also perfect for beginners who might be overwhelmed with multiple parts.

Unfortunately, conduction vapes are not without some disadvantages

One issue is that they are no longer popular. Some of its cons have made it lose popularity in the market. Top of its cons is the high risk of combustion. As stated earlier, direct heat from the energy source can burn the herbs thus increase one’s risk of inhaling smoke. This affects the taste and leads to the inhalation of harmful chemicals.
Another issue with conduction vape is uneven heating. The only parts of the herb that gets heated up are the parts in direct contact with the coils. Users usually have to rattle the chamber to achieve even heating.


Conduction vs. Convection – Which is better?

The illustration shows difference, but doesn’t explain the benefits. Selecting the perfect vaporizer is a function of one’s preferences. It depends on factors such as one’s volume of consumption, budget, smoking content and regularity. For instance, folks that utilize dry herbs might prefer convection vaporizers as they stand little or no risk of inhaling dangerous smoke. On the other hand, people who vape weeds with friends would prefer conduction vapes.

For people that are new to vaping with a low budget, it is advisable to start with a cheap and easy-to-use conduction vape. This will help you know if vaping is good for you and if you would like to continue vaping. Both convection and conduction vapes carry out their functions.

Conduction vapes are:

  • easier to use,
  • cheaper,
  • heat up faster.

However, convection vapes:

  • ensure even heating,
  • deliver a better kick,
  • ensure a stronger flavor,
  • ensure temperature control to prevent the herbs from getting burnt.

For folks whose major determining factor is their budget, a conduction vape is the best bet. They are usually a one-and-done acquisition. This implies that there wouldn’t be any need to buy replacement parts or upgrades. Replacements are very cheap to purchase if they break down due to overuse.

This is quite unlike convection vaporizers that are more expensive and quite complicated to operate. They also need regular maintenance and upgrade to reduce the risk of breakdown. They also need to be cleaned from time to time. If one can afford this regular maintenance and updates, the convection vapes are a perfect choice. They would cost more but they would also benefit the users more in the long term.

Summing up

Modern technology has helped make both options beneficial to users. Thus, selecting any of the two is a matter of personal preference. Even though it is more difficult to keep the conduction vaporizer clean, they produce a vapor that is tasteful and stronger than the convection models. Some users have also complained of the tendency of their vapes to get hot when using the conduction vaporizer. Overheating is also possible in conduction vapes. The hotness of the vape depends on the material used in the device and the insulation. Both vape types can offer their users many benefits. They can as well cause a lot of issues depending on usage.

Vape users should also know that both types of vape are used in different manners. People that utilize a conduction vape might need to grind their herbs to fine particles to get a better experience. However, this is not as important for convection-style vapes as the heat flows evenly and heats them consistently. Even heating is an issue for conduction-type users.

Ideally, the best vape for new users is conduction vape. They are easier to maneuver and use. They also require less cleaning and maintenance. On the other hand, old users might prefer the convection vapes as this offers a better taste. In conclusion, users need to carry out their research to know which type would be better for them.

Published: October 13, 2017 Updated: April 5, 2019

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Convection vs Conduction in Vaporizers – Explained
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8 comments on “Convection vs Conduction in Vaporizers – Explained
  • DoobieDoo
    March 1, 2019 at 5:08 am

    So is conduction safer than convection ? thats my primary concern rather than taste.

  • 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.

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

    thanks

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

    thanks great article

  • 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.