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Types of Vaporizers

vaporizer_typesVaporizers are a new enough industry that not a lot of people know much about them. The ones who have been vaping for years are familiar with the ins and outs of what is available and already have their preferences staked out. But for the many that keep coming to the folds each year, it can be confusing sorting through all the products and trying to find something that is comfortable and easy for them to use and that gives them a good vaping experience.

So we're looking at all the different types of vaporizers out there. No matter what you see for sale, it fits into one of these categories. So before you make the purchase, read our handy guide to see exactly what you are getting.

Vape Pens

Vape pens are usually the smallest vaporizers. They are made to fit into your pocket, purse or handbag with ease. If you want something that is easily concealed and won’t look very conspicuous, then a vape pen is the way to go. You can vape anywhere you like with these, and they often look like common objects you would take in your pockets anyway- pens, lighters, inhalers, etc.

What really sets vape pens apart from one another is what they can vaporize. Usually, these vapes are so small they can only vape a single material. Consumers usually have to choose between something that can vape concentrates, dry herbs or e-liquid. There are some exceptions, however, and some vape pens work with multiple materials. But you will often have to switch out components from the pen to get it to work with a different material each time you want to use something different.

  • Concentrate- A concentrate includes waxes and oils. So there is actually a wide variety of materials you can use with vape pens that are suitable to use with concentrates. One of the drawbacks to using oils or waxes in your vape pen is that these tend to cause severe build up. While other types of vape pens can get away with being cleaned after every few uses, you will have to clean concentrate vaping pens after every use if you want them to last.

If you don’t, the gunky build up can melt onto the heating element and cause it to malfunction. It can also leave behind a residue that is unpleasant to taste.

  • Dry Herb- Dry herb vape pens are the most common type. They work with any number of loose leaf and particulate matter. They also require the least amount of maintenance and are generally the easiest to use. If you are an experienced dry herb vape user, then you probably want to go with a pen that allows for multiple temperature settings. This lets you get the best vaping experience to suit your tastes and ensures that you can vape just about anything.

Because dry herb vapes are so common, you are going to have plenty of choices to pick from and a large range of prices to choose. That means you will have to really do your research if you want the best vaporizer on the market.

  • E-Liquid- Vape pens that use e-liquid tend to function much like electronic cigarettes. A lot of them are even designed to look like traditional cigarettes. While you can buy your own e-liquid from a company that isn’t the same as the vape pen manufacturer or even make your own e-liquid, a lot of these vape pens are only compatible with liquid canisters and refills that come from their own company. If you plan to get your e-liquid from somewhere else than the vape pen manufacturer, then you should check into what their policy is on using outside e-liquids.

In most cases, the e-liquid is made from nicotine, a base and a flavoring. The base varies between PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin). PG is thin and runny, and it is the least likely of the two to cause an allergic reaction. It is the most commonly used base, and it comes from manufactured processes. VG is thicker and sweeter and more likely to cause an allergic reaction. It generally comes from natural sources.


Portable Vaporizers

Portable vapes are a bit larger than pen vapes. They can still fit in a large pocket most of the time, but they aren’t nearly as inconspicuous. You are probably going to have a much harder time passing them off as some sort of non-vaping device. However, there are still some camouflaged options for those who want to vape on the sly.

Portable vapes tend to have a lot more options than their pen counterparts. Many of them offer multi-functionality and can use concentrates, dry herbs and e-liquid. But the larger size and multi-functionality also means that they tend to be more expensive.

They are generally ideal for use at home or on the go. Their battery life usually starts out at 2-3 hours and goes up from there. Many people actually use only portable vapes and don’t bother with anything bigger for home use or smaller for use while away from home. Portable vapes tend toward a happy medium that comes with its own problems sometimes.

The biggest problem that many portable vapes have is that they can take a hit in vapor production and taste when compared to their desktop counterparts. That’s because they are often made of cheaper stuff or just don't offer the options to get a really great vape. That’s not to say that there aren’t some great choices out there. A few of the portable vapes offer a vaping experience on par with what the desktop vapes provide. But these are few and far between,and you will need to do some research and be prepared to hand over a decent amount of money to get a truly great vaping experience from one of these.


Desktop Vaporizer

These are the big daddies of vaporizer, and they are generally for use just at home. You can pack them up and take them with you somewhere, but you aren’t likely to be able to use them while you are traveling somewhere. They are too bulky and complex to just take out of your bag and start vaping wherever you are. They generally need to rest on a flat surface and may even require a constant power supply to work properly.

The big advantage to buying a large vaporizer like this though is that you get a more authentic vaping experience. The vaporizer is able to produce great quantities of vapor and reach very specific heat levels. This allows for the best possible taste in vapor. That’s not to say that every desktop vape is a great buy. There are definitely some lemons out there. And if you really want a great desktop vape, you are usually going to have to pay upwards of $300.

Now desktop vapes come in a few varieties. Their different forms and functions allow them to serve people who want to vape in different ways or who want to vape with their friends all at the same time.

  •  Bag- Bag vapes or balloon vapes usually require that you place a compatible balloon over the vaporizer’s vent. The balloon fills with vapor as the device heats up, and after a few minutes you can detach and take the balloon with you. This gives you portability and allows you to easily share with people who are across the room or nearby.  You may also be able to just open the vent and let the room fill with the vapor. It’s a waste of vapor, to be honest, but it can be an effective way to let everyone enjoy it at once.
  •  Whip - The whip style of desktop vaporizer refers to a vape with tubes running out of it. These are mouthpiece tubes, and anyone can just latch on and take draws as the machine fills with vapor. Many desktop vaporizers allow for multiple whips to be installed at once, so more than one person can enjoy the vapor as it is produced.

The whip gives the person vaping a direct route to the heating source, so the vapor is usually purer and tastier, but you can often get a decent vaping experience either way.


So that’s what you are going to find once you start looking into what the vaping industry has available. Deciding which type of vaporizer will work best for you is something you are going to have to discover on your own. You can always try out a friend’s or just go for cheaper options out of what  is out there to get a feel for how each vaporizer functions. But once you decide to put down serious money for a vaporizer you plan to use full time, try to do some research first and find out what people are saying about it. You want a vape that is going to last, that is supported by great customer service and that gives a great vaping experience.

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