Combustion vs Convection

August 17, 2020

Match being lit

More and more people are switching from smoking to vaping these days but it can be an overwhelming transition. There are so many different vaporizers on the market, it can be hard to even know where to start when searching for a new vape. First of all, there are three main types of vapes: dry herb, wax and oil vaporizers. Those that still like to enjoy dry herbs in their original state opt for dry herb vapes. The biggest difference among dry herb vaporizers is whether they use combustion or convection to heat the herbs. If this all sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t worry. In the next sections, we will break down how vaporizers work and the differences between them so you can find the perfect vaporizer.

What is a Combustion Vaporizer?

A combustion vaporizer is the most similar to smoking. By pressing dry herbs against an electronic heating element, a combustion vape burns herbs, creating smoke rather than true vapor. Combustion vapes are popular for people who want a more traditional smoking experience with the ease of a vaporizer. For a weekend boarding trip or windy walk on the beach, a combustion vape is perfect. Combustion vapes can be even more compact than convection vapes as they do not require separation between the heating element and dry herbs. The AGO dry herb vape is a great example of a compact combustion vape. It comes with a 650mAh battery that will get you through a full day of vaping but will easily slide into a pocket. Combustion vapes often have smaller batteries than convection vapes because they require less energy. Because a large part of a vape is the battery, this can really make a difference when it comes to size.

What Is A Convection Vaporizer?

Instead of burning herbs like combustion vapes, convection vaporizers pass hot air through the herb temperature. Depending on the set temperature on a convection vaporizer, the hot air will pull off different oils from the herbs and create a vapor. This vapor is cooler than smoke and does not require combustion. Combustion results in carcinogens and many prefer convection vaporizers because the vapor is much smoother than smoke. Convection vapes often can be set to a specific temperature in a wide range of temperatures. This allows the user to control the thickness and smoothness of the vapor. The flavor profile will also change at different temperatures. We always recommend starting on the low end of the temperature range and experimenting until you find the ideal temperature for each dry herb. Typically convection vapes work best when set between 375°F and 430°F.

Convection vaporizers typically come with larger batteries than combustion vapes because they require more power to heat up and generate hot air to pass through the herb chamber. The E-Clipse is one of the most compact and effective convection vapes and comes with a 2200 mAh battery. More economic options, the Titan 1 and Titan 2, also come with 2200 mAh batteries. Since these batteries take up more space than combustion vape batteries, the shape is often different than pen-style vapes. The Titan vapes would be similar to a really thick pen, where the E-Clipse is wider, but flatter and shorter, making it slightly easier to conceal. 

What Are The Pros and Cons Of Combustion Vapes?

Combustion vapes are a great way to smoke dry herbs on the go and in any condition. It can be a struggle getting something lit in wet or windy environments. A vape can handle any conditions and most can easily hold a charge for a full day or even weeks if you use it sparingly. Combustion vapes are also much cheaper than convection vapes so if it is your first vape purchase and you enjoy smoking dry herbs, a combustion vape is a great place to start.

On the other hand, combustion vapes do not produce a true vapor. For those looking for a healthier alternative to smoking, a combustion vape is not the best choice. Sure, you won’t be inhaling butane from a lighter, but it is better to avoid smoke altogether, especially if you have sensitive lungs.

What Are The Benefits Of A Convection Vape?

Since convection vaporizers do not have direct contact with a heating element and the herbs, they produce a true vapor. Without all the harmful products of combustion, vapor is easier to inhale and smoother on your lungs. Because the vapor is also cooler than smoke, this adds to its smoothness. Smoke often hides the full flavor profile of dry herbs. A convection vaporizer produces much more complex flavor profiles so you can really taste the difference between different dry herbs. 

The only downside to convection vapes is their price. Most convection vapes are more expensive than combustion vaporizers. There is also a wide price range among convection vapes. The newest and top vaporizers available can cost hundreds of dollars. The E-Clipse dry herb vape is our top choice among dry herb vapes. If you are looking for a high-quality vape for under $150 that heats up quickly and produces great tasting vapor, there is no better choice.

Which Vapes Are Better, Combustion Or Convection?

This really comes down to personal preference. Some users might prefer the taste and feel of smoke and are just looking for an easier, more convenient way to smoke without spending a lot of money. If this describes you, a combustion vape is the way to go. The AGO dry herb vaporizer is our top pick among combustion vapes. It is compact, efficient and affordable.

That being said, convection vaporizers are typically considered better overall and are true vaporizers, unlike combustion vapes. They provide cool, flavorful vapor that is hard to get out of a combustion vape. They are more expensive than combustion vapes, but if you want a true vapor, you have to go with a convection vaporizer. If you can afford it, the E-Clipse dry herb vape is a great choice for a compact dry herb vape. If the E-Clipse is out of your price range, the Titan 1 and Titan 2 dry herb vaporizers are great starter convection vapes.

Are Wax Vapes Combustion Or Convection Vapes?

When we talk about combustion or convection vapes, this typically refers to dry herb vaporizers. Wax vapes use direct contact between coils and the concentrate which is considered conduction heating. Because concentrates will melt and have a higher burning point than dry herbs, most wax vapes will create a vapor before smoke so you can use these without creating combustion if you vape at a lower temperature. 

Are Oil Vapes Combustion Or Convection Vaporizers?

Oil vapes work similar to wax vapes. However the vaporizer is mostly just a battery with some controls. There is an atomizer in the sealed oil cartridge which can be activated when connected to a battery. This uses conduction just like wax vapes. However, oil is even harder to burn than shatter and wax concentrates so they typically just produce vapor. If you have a high power oil vape, it is possible to burn the oil. Combustion also requires oxygen, which cannot make its way into a sealed vape cartridge very easily. You may notice the oil starts to burn as your cartridge gets near the end. I usually use the lowest temperature setting on my oil vape when a cartridge is getting low to avoid this. 

Where Can I Find A Combustion Or Convection vaporizer?

Both combustion and convection vapes are sold in head shops and vape shops around the country. You can always browse your local shop but prices may be slightly high. You can always find the best prices at darksidevapes.com where USA shipping is always free. Our knowledgeable staff are always here to answer any vape questions you may have. Leave us a message in the Contact Us page and we will get back to you ASAP.

Written By: Nathaniel Chavin




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