The main contenders in this contest are the two commonly used methods of heating bud in vaporizers, convection vs. conduction. Convection has been around much longer and was the original method implemented into all the early versions of vaporizers. Conduction is much, much more popular these days, but many advancements have been made in the quality of convection technology as well, leveling out the playing field a bit. So what’s the difference and which one is the key to the best vaporizer experience?
Conduction means that there is a heating element or source present which must touch the plant matter to heat it. The problem with this in the past was the ever looming possibility of accidental combustion, as well as issues with controlling the precise temperature using this process. Modern improvements to these problems have led to the common use of screens which lay below the herb in the chamber and the screen itself is what heats up and releases vapors by directly heating what is above it. Many vaping enthusiasts agree that conduction results in much more potent and flavorful vapor, and it makes for a faster vaping experience as well. The downside to this even when the highest quality engineering is employed is that this heating screen will be much more difficult to clean, and must be cleaned more often. Obviously since the bud is touching it directly, more residue will build up and if it isn’t properly maintained it will have an impact on functionality and flavor.
Convection involves simply passing heat over something in an enclosed space with heat waves. This is the more common method of simply packing a heating chamber full and submitting them to heat waves from a separate source outside of the chamber. The most precise temperature control can be achieved this way, and combustion is nearly an impossibility. The flavors may be lacking just a tiny bit, but you’ll be spending less time cleaning it much less frequently.
At the end of the day like so many things in life, it all comes down to preference and there isn’t a single best vaporizer heating technique. Convection and conduction both have their places in vaping and different people can find different reasons to enjoy both.