Convection vs Conduction Vaping: What’s the Difference?

There are so many vapes around with such varying choices in engineering and style that you might feel like you need to be an expert in thermodynamics, botany, and fashion just to pick the right one.

One of the big questions that comes up is on the issue of convection vs conduction. These are two words that you will always see being thrown around when researching any particular vaporizer, but there seems to be some confusion on exactly what the difference is.

Today, we’re going to break down the real differences between the two styles of vaporization: Convection and Conduction.

These two styles are quite noticeably different and each have their own benefits and downsides.

By the end of this article, you will have a very thorough understanding of each style, and should have a more clear idea of which one suits you better.


We will start off with convection vaping.

Convection refers to the movement of heat via currents of either gas or liquids. Ovens, boiling water, radiators, and even hot air balloons are examples of convection currents.

Convection vaporizers keep the heating element away from the herbs and then use hot air to cook your herbs evenly as you inhale.

Convection units tend to be absolute powerhouses. Because every mouthful of vapor is cooked as you draw it out, every single hit of vapor should be flavorful, fresh, efficient, and potent.

It is unbelievably easy to get very medicated using a very small amount of herb using quality convection units. Convection vaporizers are indeed absolute powerhouses, however, this is the central flaw that convection vaporizers have.

These powerhouses tend to be bigger, have much worse battery life among portables, and often times require very long heat­ up times in order to perform perfectly. Because these drawbacks are almost entirely eliminated by making a device that is meant to stay plugged in, convection heating is the perfect choice for desktop vaporizers.

There are, however, a handful of high ­quality convection portables on the market as well as a good number of hybrid units that utilize both convection and conduction.


Conduction is the process by which heat is directly transferred through a substance when molecules collide with neighboring molecules and give kinetic energy to them. Warming someone up with a hug, searing a steak in a cast iron skillet, and pressing a nail onto a concentrate rig are all great examples of conduction heating.

How this applies to vaporizers is that conduction vaporizers simply work by having a hot oven or plate press against your herb and continually cook the material.

Cooking by conduction is a very simple process, and conduction vapes are fantastically straightforward because of this. The sweet simplicity of conduction allows for conduction vapes to be smaller, stealthier, have longer ­lasting batteries, and have good performance even at low price points.

There are a few downsides to conduction designs, however. Because the oven continually cooks the herb as long as it is on (rather than just during inhalation), efficiency, flavor, and overall quality of vapor tends to decline as a session continues.

Furthermore, the ovens of conduction vaporizers tend to cause somewhat uneven vaporization and get dirty fairly easily. To make up for the few drawbacks of conduction units, there are a few really useful tips. Start off by grinding your herbs very finely and packing the herb chamber fairly tight. This helps the herb to cook significantly more evenly while still maintaining good air flow.

Turn your unit on and let it heat for at least thirty seconds to get nice and hot. Then, pick up your unit and slowly draw from it for 10-­15 seconds. The draw should feel similar to sipping on a fresh milkshake from a straw. If the airflow is too restricted to get a quality hit this way, try stirring the herbs and then breathe in some fresh air about halfway through your next draw.

Following these steps will lead to optimal sessions with any quality conduction vape. Make sure to clean your unit with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol fairly frequently! A clean vape is a happy vape.

Wrapping Up

For end users, the vast wealth of choices between all of these vaporizers can be a bit daunting. It only takes a little bit of knowledge about these options as well as your personal preferences to find the perfect vape for you.

Whether you are a hiker needing a sturdy, conduction portable vaporizer to take on fun excursions, a student medicating on the go with a hybrid portable, or a connoisseur enjoying a fine blend in a convection desktop at home, the folks at will be able to help you find the perfect unit for your situation.

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