Even though vaporizers are relatively new to the market, there are already dozens of different varieties to choose from. There are vapes for oils, dry herbs, and wax concentrates. There are vapes that have literally no buttons, while others are full-featured and complex. While the end result of the vapes is the same (producing tasty vapor!) vaping products differ widely. We will discuss the most important differences you will find between vaporizers below, including how vapes for different substances are different and the varying features vapes can have.
The first thing that you need to understand when shopping for a vape is that vapes will be built differently depending on the substance they are designs to be used with. There are a lot of differences within the dry herb, wax, oil, and e-liquid genres, but deciding what kind of substance you want to vape will help narrow down your choices (and will prevent you from buying a vape that does not fit your vaping needs). Here is just a quick breakdown of how each of these vape types differs:
These vapes are designed with atomizers or wicks that are designed to produce vapor from oils or e-juices (which tend to be the thinnest of vaping substances). These heating elements will not get hot enough to produce vapor from wax and are not designed to be able to produce vapor from dry herb. The SteamCloud Mini 2.0 for example, is only compatible with skinny 510 thread vape cartridges. If you are looking to use a vape tank for e-juice, the SteamCloud Box Mod is a better choice.
Dry herb vapes have large heating chambers designed to heat all air surrounding your dry herb. This slow baking process (called convection) produces vapor that can be inhaled. The heating chamber does not get hot enough for wax, and if you tried to fill the heating chamber with oils or e-liquids, you would end up with a sticky mess that would likely ruin your vaporizer. Combustion vapes have heating coils inside the vape tank or cartridge that make direct contact with the dry herbs. For example, the SteamCloud EVOD can be purchased with a dry herb vape cartridge and this cartridge is only for adding dry herbs to it. If you add anything else, you will risk your cartridge from being damaged.
Wax vapes have heating coils that are designed to reach super high temperatures to produce vapor from wax concentrates. Wax is placed directly onto the heating coils during the vaping process. If you tried to use oils or dry herbs, you would end up burning and scorching both your substances and the heating coils. The SteamCloud Mini 2.0 can be used with a wax vape cartridge. This vape cartridge comes with dual quartz coils that provide excellent flavoring.
If you have temperature control and what kind of temperature control is offered will vary widely depending on the kind of vape you have chosen. Variable Voltage options are most common on wax and oil pens. Digital temperature control and precision heating settings are more popular with dry herb vaporizers.
The kind of temperature control can also vary. Some vape pens only offer a few preset heating options (which is most common in less expensive pens). High-end vaping products will often offer a full range of adjustable heating precision, letting you change the temperature to the individual degree. Sometimes these heating options are presented in adjusting the temperature (so you are adjusting degrees), while other pens give you wattage output options that do not show the temperature generated. The higher the wattage used, the more power that is used by the vape pen, which will provide a higher temperature. Some attachments (like e-juice atomizers) require high wattage to function but are able to produce large vape clouds that enthusiasts have grown to love.
If you are brand new to vaping and want to be sure you have a simple, easy to use device, you can get devices that cut out a lot of features. There are some vape pens (like the SteamCloud Stylus) that do not even have a button on it! All you do is attach a cartridge and inhale and the pen automatically begins to heat and produce vapor.
The type and size of the battery will vary widely depending on the vape pen being used. The type of substance a vape pen is designed to use will be a factor in battery size, as well as the overall shape and design of your product. In general, dry herb vapes have the highest battery capacity because dry herb heating chambers take the most power to heat. Wax vapes, on the other hand, will often have the lowest power because heating the small heating coil does not require a large amount of mAh. Box mods will typically have a large mAh capacity because they are designed to be used with a wide range of attachments, especially e-juice vaping attachments, which use a lot of power. Their boxy design also allows for larger batteries, making it easier to offer higher battery capacities.
All you have to do is look at the available products and you can see that vape pens have all different kinds of shapes and designs to choose from. Some of the style choices are simply aesthetic, while others are meant to help with a certain function. For example, a device that is marketed and designed as being super discreet will likely have a small, compact body that is highly portable. Other vapes prioritize power or battery life, so their designs will be made to accommodate large batteries and may even be built to be almost non-portable (like desktop vaporizers). Regardless of the substance you want to vape, you will find a large variety in the looks and styles that are available.
Most vapes are designed with 510 threading as are most attachments and cartridges. However, there are some vapes that are designed with their own proprietary threading or attachment mechanisms. If you are interested in being able to experiment with different attachments or cartridges, you will want to make sure that the threading on any given vape is 510 threading.
Not all vapes produce vapor in the same quantity. Box mods attached to e-juice accessories will be able to produce the most vapor out of any of your vaping options, given that they are able to reach the appropriate temperatures and e-juice is designed to produce a lot of vapor. In general, vapes that are able to access higher temperatures will be able to produce more vapor, and vapes that are able to access lower temperatures will produce less vapor (but more flavors will be present and the vapor will be cooler and easier to inhale). The substance and specific model being used will determine how much vapor is able to be produced.
Some vapes are designed to have parts replaced as they go bad, while other genres of vapes have replacement parts more readily available. For example, dry herb vapes will usually have mesh screens and mouthpieces replacements available. Wax pens will generally have heating coil replacements available, as that is one of the most common pieces that lose function in a wax pen. The same goes for oil pens, too. Most vape pens will have batteries that are built-in, but there are vapes that have batteries that can be swapped out and replaced. The SteamCloud box mod has a high-quality built-in battery.
Many vapes are designed to be able to handle more than once kind of substance through compatible attachments. For example, many dry herb vapes have “oil tank” attachments that allow the dry herb vape to handle oil vaping. Box mods are designed to be compatible with a large number of different attachments and have the features to successfully vape dry herbs, oils, or wax concentrates. If you want a single device that can handle multiple substances, they exist! It will help narrow down your product search, too!
As you can see, there are a lot of different choices when it comes to what vape is available. It may feel overwhelming in trying to decide which one is right for you. In order to make the process more simple, you should ask yourself some key questions to help narrow down your choices. First, ask yourself which substance you want to be able to vape (or if you want to be able to enjoy more than one substance). You should also consider whether you want a simple device that is easy to learn and use, or if you are ok with a device with a bunch of features that may be more challenging to use but offers a lot of customization and function. If you like the idea of making a significant investment in a vape pen and being able to do your own maintenance easily, then consider a brand and model that has a lot of replacement part options available. Considering whether or not you want a vaporizer that is easily portable or discreet will narrow down choices, too.
In the end, the vape that you choose should reflect what specifically you are wanting for your personal vaping experience.
Written By: Matthew H.
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