So you’re browsing for a new vaporizer and you figure, it should be pretty simple, right? Yet, the more you look into it, the more words like conduction and convection come up and complicate the process. Besides the countless options you have in each category, you can’t seem to figure out what the difference is between the two types. Well, there is a fairly simple explanation. The basic differentiating quality between conduction and convection vaporizers is the manner in which your botanicals get heated.

Think of it like this. What is it that you are trying to accomplish with a vaporizer? You have this plant, your own personal preference of botanical, and you wish to heat it just enough to release the oils buried inside of it. After the oils are released, the object of the game is to have those oils converted into gas form, making them a vapor which you will then easily be able to inhale. The only major difference between conduction and convection methods is how direct the heat source is on your botanicals to facilitate this process.

With conduction vaporizers, the heat source is directly aimed at your botanicals. This means that it will heat up quicker and the bottom of your stack of botanicals will get hotter than the top. Imagine it in terms of heating up food on the stove. When you put your chicken in the pan, the part that cooks first is the bottom. You then have to stir the chicken regularly to get it to cook evenly. It is the same concept with conduction vaporizers. In order to get your botanicals to heat evenly, you will have to shake or stir them regularly, as it is difficult to control the heat level.

On the other hand, convection vaporizers allow for a layer of hot air between the heat source and the botanical chamber. It is more like heating your chicken in the microwave. The hot air surrounds the chicken from all angles, allowing it to cook more evenly. In the same manner, the hot air surrounds the botanicals so they don’t get too hot on one side. There’s the basic difference between the two methods.

Now, conduction vaporizers are like the beta version of vaporizers. They were the first ones created, meaning that they are on the more basic side and generally cheaper and more user friendly than convection vaporizers. However, on the other hand, convection vaporizers are more efficient and make for better vapor quality. While this makes them more appealing for vapor enthusiasts, it is also a relatively innovative form of heating design which makes convection vaporizers more expensive. In the grand scheme of things it is your decision to determine the level of sophistication you are hoping to achieve from your vaporizer, and choose the one best accomplishes that level.