Different Types of Vaporizers and How to Know Which is for You

Vaporizers have evolved over the years, from the cig-a-likes to advanced e-rigs, choosing from the vast selection the market has to offer can be overwhelming. Today, we look at all the different vaporizer types to help you pick which vaporizer is the right one for you.

Quick history lesson on Vapes

A pharmacist named Hon Lik, developed the first modern vaporizer. And although he did not invent it, his design was the predecessor of the vaporizers we see today. He was a heavy smoker, and so was his father, who unfortunately died of lung cancer. The pharmacist then devoted himself to improving on the old and previous vaporizer models, giving birth to the variety of devices we use today.

Since then, vaporizers have been seen as a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking - as well as a way to consume a wide selection of materials. That said, today’s vaporizers include the likes of dry herb vaporizers, wax vaporizers, oil vaporizers, and e-liquid vaporizers. Some vaporizers are made to cater to only one material while others are designed to accommodate almost all. For obvious reasons, dry herb vaporizers are intended for those who like to consume a wide variety of herbs, buds, and flowers. Wax vaporizers are for those who are fond of consuming wax concentrates like shatter, budder, and crumble. Oil vapes are for those who like to consume CBD and THC-rich oils while e-liquid vapes are great for those who are looking to get a clean nicotine fix.

While vaporizers have been used mainly for recreational purposes, many patients who are looking for a natural means of relieving pain and inflammation have since turned to vaporizers for natural and non-synthetic ways of medicating.

Speaking of which, here is a vaporizer often used and known for its suitability for medicinal applications.

Desktop Vaporizer being smoked on a table with friends

Desktop vaporizer

For decades, desktop vaporizers have been the go-to for medicating patients. They are of different varieties, which are large and bulky and operate using power from an outlet or a portable power source, like rechargeable batteries. Because of their large size and high capacity, desktop vaporizers are able to produce more vapor and extract the most active ingredients out of your materials. They are outfitted with relatively better heating elements, large herb and wax chambers, larger fans, and more sophisticated technology - like a remote control. Because desktop vaporizers are often used with dry herbs, you will see most of these devices outfitted with convection ovens. Convection vaporizers use the power of heated air to extract the active ingredients from the herbs into the vapor. Convection ovens are perfect for dry herbs as air can effectively permeate the ground botanicals and extract the cannabinoids without reaching the point of combustion. The result is clean and smooth vapor production without the impurities and irritants you get from smoke. On that note, many consumers have used desktop vapes to reap the medicinal benefits of their select botanical plant matter.

Because of its large and heavy build, they are best used at home or in enclosed environments. Using a desktop vaporizer benefits consumer who typically consume herbs at home. They also make ideal devices for recreational consumers who like to partake with friends as desktop vapes have delivery methods fit for group sessions. Vapor can be delivered from a whip or from a balloon bag.

Electronic Dab Rig


While desktop vaporizers are often used for dry herbs, an e-rig or electronic dab rig is what you look for when consuming wax concentrates. They are also often as large as dry herb desktop vapes but can also be small and portable. Electric Dab Rigs, aka e-rigs are characterized by a feature unique to dab rigs - a water attachment. E-rigs typically have a water tool which helps filter and cool down the vapor allowing it to eliminate a reasonable amount of irritants and impurities comparable to that of a dry herb desktop vape. Because an e-rig is used with wax, they will sport conduction heating elements which use the heat coming from a heated surface like a coil or a cup. Conduction heating is perfect for wax concentrate consumption as they deliver even and fast heating. However, some devices introduce new heating technologies like induction heating to heat your oils and extracts.

E-rigs are great for consumers who favor the potency of wax concentrates over the flavor and the aromatic effects of herbs. Most e-rigs are designed to blend with your home appliances as most e-rig devices are too large to be kept in your pocket although some manufacturers produce special carrying cases allowing consumers to take their devices with them almost anywhere they go.

woman looking at a portable vape outside with a symbol saying vape on

Portable Vaporizers

For those who are always out and about, using a portable vaporizer may be a better choice. They still operate in the same principle as their desktop counterparts but are smaller and lighter in stature. Like most vaporizers in our list, portable vaporizers get their power from rechargeable batteries, which can be removable or embedded into the device. These portable devices can be used with a wide range of materials making them one of the most flexible varieties in this list. One of the most common varieties are vape pens which include dry herb vape pens, dab pens, oil vape pens, and e-juice vape pens. There are also box mods that can offer more features and a larger battery capacity.

Moreover, portable vaporizers are also one of the fastest-selling devices on the market. Because they are smaller than the aforementioned devices, the costs of producing portable vapes are smaller. That said, they are affordable, making them easily accessible to a wider range of different consumers. There will most likely be a portable vaporizer in your local head shop and dispensary than there are desktop vaporizers in these outlets. They will also have simpler controls making them an appealing choice for beginners.

A commonplace among portable vaporizers are single-button operation and preset temperature settings. This allows its users to turn the vaporizer on and off, toggle through the different temperature profiles, and access other features with only one button. This makes portable vaporizers a great entry-level vaporizer for those who want to try vaping without investing too much money.

So how do you know which vaporizer is the right one for you? Here are a few things you might want to consider.

man throwing money saying he wants to best vape out there

Price - As we have briefly covered above, the size and the features of a vaporizer can affect the price of a device. Set a particular budget that you can allocate for vaping and find a device that fits the price point you can work with. Desktop vaporizers tend to be more expensive so expect to save up for it. Portable vaporizers may be more affordable but expect to work with fewer features and moderate vapor production.

Pattern of use - Knowing where and how you intend to use the vaporizer also helps in choosing the right vape. If you typically consume your materials at home, you can invest in a desktop unit. However, if your work takes you to different places, you might be better off looking at portable devices.

Choice of materials - Different materials require different technologies for optimum results. Use dry herb vaporizers for flowers and buds, wax vaporizers for its waxy derivatives, oil vapes for refillable and pre-filled cartridges, and e-liquid vaporizers for e-juice vapes. Avoid using wax concentrates on a dry herb vape, melted wax can leak and you can risk damage to your device. There are specially made devices that can cater to multiple materials, aptly called multi-purpose vapes, it can cater to herbs, wax, oil, and e-juice. These are a great choice for consumers who are fond of consuming all material types.

Vaping Technology

Different types of vaporizers use different kinds of technologies. In terms of heating, vaporizers use either conduction, convection, or induction technologies. In terms of temperature flexibility, some vaporizers have a single heat setting while others use preset temperature setting (variable voltage) or precision temperature control. Single heat setting vapes can only deliver one temperature level which makes your experience more consistent. For a little variety, you can choose a vaporizer with more flexibility. Preset temperature vapes offer pre-selected profiles that give you various effects (usually at high, medium, and low) while a precision vape allows for more accuracy as you can tune the temperature in small increments.

Using the above factors of consideration as a guide when selecting a vaporizer can help you land the vaporizer that suits you best.

Here is a quick recap of the kinds of vaporizers with their pros and cons.

Pros vs Cons list of vaping

Desktop vaporizer pros:

  • Higher capacity
  • More power
  • Better vapor production
  • More advanced technology
  • Works with whips and balloon bags
  • Cleaner vapor production
  • Requires more maintenance

Desktop vaporizer cons:

  • More expensive
  • Sometimes requires a power outlet
  • Can be complicated to operate
  • Not good for micro dosing

Who is it for?

  • Consumers who are always at home
  • Consumers with high demand for vapor quality
  • Consumers that want a lasting investment
  • Consumers who want a device to use for group sessions

E-rig Pros:

  • Integrated water attachment
  • Can offer the element of water filtration
  • Can accommodate large dabs
  • Torch-less heating
  • Good for sharing

E-rig Cons:

  • Might be too big for on-the-go use
  • Water in the glass bubbler can pose a challenge when traveling
  • More expensive
  • Requires more maintenance
Waxon top of a wax tool with text saying wax on wax on wax

Who is it for?

  • Wax concentrate consumers
  • Those who want moisture-conditioned dabs
  • Those who do not want to use a torch

Portable vaporizer pros:

  • Easy to use
  • More affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • You can take it with you almost anywhere

Portable vaporizer cons:

  • Decent vapor quality
  • Needs to be recharged more frequently
  • Has fewer features
two adults walking with text saying on the go portable vaporizers

Who is it for?

  • Consumers who are always on-the-go
  • Consumers who want a quick fix

Final words

And there you have it, the common vaporizer types along with their benefits and disadvantages. After reading this guide, you will have a better chance of picking which vaporizer suits your needs best. And when buying vaporizers online, make sure to get it from the home of original and authentic vaporizers - vapevetstore.com.

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