The world of vaporizers can be complicated and confusing. There is a constant flow of new technology and terminology to understand, in order to make the right choices for our personal vaporizing needs. Here we tried to compose a partial list of essential components and techniques that can help you make sense of the possibilities and quality expectations for these devices.
Airflow - The amount of air passing through an air path and then out the mouthpiece with each inhale. Greater airflow provides larger clouds of vapor with each inhale.
Atomizer - Component of a vaporizer pen which creates vapour out of extracts through a heating coil and a wick. Like in the case of Dr. Dabber vape pens, the heating element is usually made out of quartz or ceramic.
Bubbler - Bubblers are beautiful glass accessories that attach to a vaporizer and provide the user with extra water filtration. Offer moist, fresh clouds of vapour. You can read more about bubblers in this article.
Convection Heating - In this device, the heating element, typically in ceramic or aluminium, does not make direct contact with the botanical material. Instead, from the heating element hot air is formed and transferred over your herbs. This provides the most efficient and effective vaporization process, for a full flavour experience. Popular convection vaporizers include the Linx Gaia, the Boundless Tera and the Novae.
Conduction Heating – Vaporizers with conduction heating, extract the plant material through direct contact of a hot metal plate and the herbs. With this method the clouds of vapour extracted are quite dense, although it might be necessary to stir the bowl to consume all the plant material. The PAX 3 is an example of a conduction vaporizer.
Dabbing (dabs) -The term “dab” is used as both as a noun and as a verb. A dab refers to a small unit (a bit bigger than a rice grain) of concentrated material. This concentrated material (waxes and other extracts) can be dabbed. Dabbing involves taking a dose of concentrate by applying it to a heated surface where it instantly vaporizes and is inhaled. Dabbing is an efficient way to intake a high doses of plant material.
Glass on Glass - A connection that utilizes only glass. The adaptor on most hands free vaporizers between the heating element and the whip is often a glass on glass connection. The preference for glass is because this material doesn't release harmful toxins or smells that affect the vaping experience.
Heating element - The part of a vaporizer that heats up the plant material and transforms its active alkaloids in vapour. Most heating elements are made from ceramic because of this material's quick heat-up time and durability. Other common heating elements include aluminium and steel.
Lithium-ion - Most commonly used rechargeable batteries in today's vaporizers are lithium batteries. They are lightweight, with high energy density and low self-discharge.
mAh - Stands for milliampere hour which is a unit of measure representing a battery’s charge holding capacity. A higher mAh number means less changing time, since the battery can hold more power. For example, small and pen vaporizers normally use batteries around 200-300 mAh, while top end and big vaporizers adopt batteries which can be around 1000-2500 mAh.
Mod Heater - Main heating element for the vaporization of e-liquids. An example of this can be found in the Boundless Hybrid.
Nail - A term that refers to a plate or a hot plate, nails are used for convection heating of “dabs”, which rests on a glass joint. The nail is heated to very high temperatures (normally using a hand torch, but in the case of the Puffco Peak, it heats electronically). This is part of the dab rig. See next entry.
Oil Rig - This is a specially designed glass pipe system used to vaporize concentrates.
Oil Diffuser / Aromatherapy Bowl - Oil Diffusers and Aromatherapy Bowls allow the user to enjoy their favourite essential oils with the Vaporizer. These are typically very simple glass pieces that are designed to hold oil while heat is applied to the bottom. A device that particularly accommodates this use is the Arizer V-tower.
Screen – a thin screen sheet of metal (usually stainless steel) used to prevent herb particles from entering a component of the vaporizer, without disturbing the airflow.
Water Filtration Adapter – A water filtration adapter is a simple glass (or sometimes wood or steel) attachment that permits the vaporist to connect their vaporizer to a water pipe or bong. This method allows the user to have the double-benefit of a water filtration and vaporizing. The joint of these accessories is usually male and come in both 14mm and 18mm diameter joint.
So, there you go, we hope to have shed some light through those dense vapour clouds, hopefully helping you to make some better informed choices for your next vaporizer.