Vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes and are made for many needs. Some people might prefer to choose a portable model, others might want to go for a vaporizer pen whereas other individuals could find that they like the features of a desktop vaporizer more than those of the others.
In any case, many of these will have unique characteristics that will impact usability. For example, portable vaporizers are usually powered by internal batteries, but their construction quality and design can largely vary from one model to the next. Although the vast majority of portable vaporizers are typically designed to be used with dry herbs, there are some that can function with concentrates.
Vape pens are light, thin, as well as discreet, but naturally, their design varies within the category and depending on the features that the model is outfitted with. Most of those that we’ve come across can be used with concentrates, and some more select ones can be used with oil or very clean wax. They are sleek and easy to use and are perfect for people who vape only on occasion.
Desktop vaporizers are suitable for somewhat serious enthusiasts as they take the cake when it comes to performance and vapor quality. They are also effective and the best thing about them is that they can be used with both loose leaf and concentrate material.
With so many options to choose from, if this is the first vaporizer you are considering getting, you might be feeling a little baffled as to which one is the right one for your needs. We did our best at categorizing some models and showcasing the units that you should actually consider — as they’re really winners in terms of usability and experience.[table id=1 /]
Best Dry Herb
Coming from the same manufacturing brand that has designed well-known products such as the Mighty portable vaporizer and the Volcano desktop vaporizer, the Crafty is a hybrid convection vaporizer that rates as one of the best overall choices in terms of discretion, portability, design, and vapor quality.
Design and features
The chamber of the Crafty can hold up to approximately 0.25 grams of dry herb. If the grind is super fine, the device might be able to hold around 0.3 grams, but if you make the mistake of over packing the chamber, you will automatically increase the draw resistance. With its portable design and lightweight construction, the Crafty works with both full chambers and partial loads.
The best thing about this unit is that its chamber is equipped with a cooling unit at the top, and so you can rest assured that you won’t suffer from a bad case of burnt lips anytime soon as the vapor is cooled down by the time you come in contact with it.
The Crafty measures 2.2 inches in width, 4.3 inches in height and 1.3 inches in depth. It weighs in at only 4.8 ounces (which is to say, around 136 grams). While it might not be as portable as similar alternatives (we’re looking at you, Pax 3) considering that it does have some bulkiness, it can be concealed conveniently into your purse, jacket, jean pockets, or hoodie. Best of all, it fits nicely into the user’s hand and that’s an advantage, without a doubt, as you won’t drop it on the floor by mistake.
You have two temperature settings on the Crafty. The ‘Default’ is set to 365 degrees F while the ‘Boost’ is set to 383 degrees F. You do not have to be limited to these two, however, as you can make any temperature changes thanks to the app and the range is more or less generous as you can set it between 104 and 410 depending on your personal preferences.
While some sellers might suggest that the unit takes about three minutes to heat up, it actually takes around 120 seconds (2 minutes) to heat up to 365 degrees. Sure, that doesn’t necessarily makes it the fastest dry herb vaporizer ever to have been invented, but the truth is that the temperature is maintained for a longer amount of time and as such, it can give you what you’re looking for if you prefer longer draws.
The charging time is estimated at around 2 hours and the battery lasts for as many as 45 minutes if you use the device continuously. The best thing about the Crafty, though, is the fact that you can use it while it is charging so long as the battery is at least 20% full.
A compact and sleek design that makes the Crafty easy to use and easy to hold in one’s hand, as well as keep in one’s pockets or purse.
It takes just two minutes for the vaporizer to reach a temperature of 365 degrees F, so it heats up rather quickly.
You can charge the battery with an external charger if you have no access to a power outlet.
The chamber comes with a cooling unit that makes it possible for you to avoid drawing hot vapor.
Use the app to set the temperature you need so long as it is within the range of 104 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit.
The battery life isn’t necessarily something to write home about as 45 minutes might not be enough for some vapers and the Lithium-Ion battery runtime is said to decrease even more over time.
Even though there are some aspects about this vaporizer that could be improved (such as the battery life), the truth is that the Crafty is easy to use and offers a consistent and great-tasting vapor.
In comparison to the Crafty, the Mighty Vaporizer is clearly bigger but that’s only because it has twice the battery power of the Crafty and is suitable for group use. Like the Crafty, it is cool to the touch, but the Mighty is faster when it comes to heating time. Both also use German-engineering technology utilizing convection and conduction to create thick and consistently tasty vapor without stirring.
Design and features
Storz & Bickel may have focused more on functionality rather than on design for both the Crafty and the Mighty. The exterior of the equipment is made of hard plastic but it doesn’t feel like a cheap, cost-cutting trick at all. The tough plastic is what makes the Mighty cool to the touch when in use. Inside, you’ll find stainless steel heating coating material.
The Mighty is a durable and easy-to-clean piece that delivers great quality vapes while being portable enough for on-the-go vaping. One of the best things about the Mighty is that all the controls are already on the device. In comparison, the Crafty utilizes an app to tweak the temperature of your session.
The Mighty Vaporizer is at least two inches wider and an inch taller than the Crafty. It is also around 90 grams heavier than the Crafty. Some users who take it along in their back pocket say that the device feels like placing a pack of ramen noodles in there. Regardless, many users share that they are able to utilize this powerful machine for vaping sessions at parties while others stick to making the most of the device for home use.
One of the factors that make the Mighty Vaporizer a best-selling device is its ability to heat up fast. It takes only around a minute to heat 0.25 grams in the compartment and that results in a consistent amount of vapor coming out of the mouthpiece.
If you’re like most vapers, it is likely that you enjoy starting out your first hits at a lower temperature and increasing the temperature as you progress. With the Mighty Vaporizer, you can gradually increase the temperature from 104° F to 410° F throughout your session. The LED display already features the current temperature vs. the target temperature. It has easy to manipulate controls to increase or decrease the temperature.
Many users say the Mighty is a beginner-friendly device. It is a no-fuss product that you can rely on for vaping sessions anytime you need it, be it with your friends or for personal use at home. The Mighty does come with a manual for guidance on how to load, how to control, and how to clean the device.
Ever since the Mighty was launched, the battery capacity was increased to as much as 20% than the original release. The latest Mighty vaporizer can now last up to 90 minutes from a single charge. The manual says it takes 2 hours to charge but other users note having fully charged the device in 1 ½ hours.
Storz & Bickel set an industry standard with the high-grade consistency of the Mighty vaporizer. Many rate it 5 stars for the taste and excellent quality of vapor from the Mighty.
The battery is also a winner for us. With twice the battery power than the Crafty, vapers will certainly get more use out of the Mighty and faster delivery, too, due to its quick-heating technology.
We have to admit, the Mighty is not exactly aesthetically pleasing but we appreciate the fact that the finned texture on the device avoids burning the hands and the mouth.
We would really like to see a powerful device like the Mighty when it comes to battery life, heating power, and consistent taste in a more handy size.
Overall, the Mighty has proven itself reliable over the years even as new products are introduced to the market. We like that we can charge it quickly, use it easily, and enjoy a no-fuss vaping session that tastes good and lasts long. If only it were smaller and lighter, right?
DaVinci IQ Vaporizer
Since we are debating the portability of our previous two bestselling vaping devices, we looked for a lighter device for casual vaping whenever, wherever. So we turned to DaVinci and their third release of dry herb vaporizers, the IQ Vaporizer.
Truly, it is more portable than the Mighty and even the Crafty, but DaVinci may not live up to the vapor quality of the top-sellers from Storz & Bickel. When it comes to vapor quality, hybrid equipment wins over conduction equipment which is what the IQ vaporizer is.
Design and features
DaVinci wins in the design category with its dry herb vaporizers. It utilizes zirconia ceramic exteriors which adds to its contemporary feel. It is light enough without being too light to feel cheap and fragile. One thing though, it makes a weird clicking noise and can get a tad too hot when in use so although it has replaceable batteries, it may be better to sport an extra device.
Also, while the IQ is supposed to be designed for on-the-go use, keep in mind that you will have to finish up the whole compartment at every session. If you need to cut the session short, you will need to use the stirring tool. If you can’t handle the whole 0.3 grams of dry herb in one session, you can purchase DaVinci’s glass spacer.
Design-wise, we’re rooting for the IQ vaporizer. It features modern exteriors with LED lights and a raised mouthpiece that folds in neatly when you’re on-the-go. Also, while it is portable, it holds just as much dry herb as the bigger equipment.
The DaVinci IQ Vaporizer utilizes smart path technology and is app-controlled. You can choose between four different temperature settings or opt to use the precision controls to set the temperature you want for your session between 250 to 430° F.
What you will really want to write home about is its heat-up time for your first hit. It takes only 16 seconds to heat dry herb in the compartment and you’re set to take in your first hit. A session with the IQ can last up to 1.5 hours.
The IQ boasts an 18650 battery that lasts up to 1.5 hours from a 3-hour charge. While it lasts as long as the Mighty, the taste is not up to par with the Mighty and also the charging time is longer on the IQ.
As a solution, DaVinci made the IQ battery replaceable so you can use this equipment when you’re outdoors for an entire day and you really don’t want to stop to charge your equipment. On a side note, be cautious of overheating the battery and the device.
The IQ is significantly more compact-sized than the previously reviewed hybrid equipment.
It weighs around 145 grams so it’s a little on the heavy side in comparison to other portable devices albeit being smaller at 1.65 inches wide, 3.54 inches tall, and 0.94 inches in depth.
The replaceable battery is also a good option to have.
It’s also nice that you can use an app to view and control your use of the device.
DaVinci has to step up its game with its heating compartment to prevent any overheating and burning issues. The biggest downside will be the charging time but once it is fully charged, the heat-up time makes up for it. Also, the IQ is only for dry herb sessions unlike the Crafty and the Mighty which can be utilized for both dry herb and concentrates.
Overall, a great device for discreet vaping. You can keep it in your pocket and enjoy long hours of satisfactory vaping though not as entirely satisfactory as hybrid equipment. In the end, if you need to vape discreetly and on-the-go, the IQ is the best in that category.
Volcano Vaporizer Digit
Before convenience was a major consideration for buying vaping equipment, vape makers focused on the experience of vaping over smoking. Desktop vaporizers are some of the very first vaporizers to have been developed and among all the products sold of this type, the Volcano remains the unbeatable first-tier standard after almost a decade in the market.
What makes the Volcano a cut above the rest is its focus on producing high-quality vapor. You can tell by the other products from Storz and Bickel that the Germans do take their vaping seriously.
Design and features
True to its name, the Volcano features a cone-shaped design. The Digital version is a step above the Classic and a tad pricier too. If you aim to have full control over temperatures during your session, the Digital version is your best pick. It also boasts the auto-off feature which shuts down the equipment after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The best thing to love about the Volcano is the compartment which packs as much as 0.75 grams of dry herb — now that is the way to do group sessions. Also, since the Volcano is a bag vape, it is easier to pass the bag around during group sessions.
The Volcano is made of high-quality stainless steel that can stand the test of time. Many users still have their very first Volcano Classic since its release. If you’re new to vaping, the Volcano Digital will be a solid piece of investment and will provide you with a piece of reliable equipment for the best-tasting experience. Plus, the Volcano has yet to meet its match.
The Volcano takes around 3 minutes to heat your dried herb and concentrates using convection technology for the tastiest vapors with consistent thickness. That is in sharp contrast to portable equipment but we can tell you that the taste is worth the wait. It utilizes an advanced air heating control system and great ventilation so you get even vapors without overheating. You can also easily toggle the settings to control the temperature between 104 to 446°F.
No batteries required to run the Volcano which utilizes a wall plug. It is 7.4 inches tall, 7.1 inches wide, and 0.78 inches in depth. It is heavy at 1.8 kilos which is around 4 pounds.
Vaping with balloon-style vapes makes for a remarkable and unique experience. The valve system is pretty simple: there is a heater at the base, the balloon fits in the middle, and the dried herbs are placed in the chamber on top.
The vapor collects in the balloon which is easy to pass around to sip the vapor inside.
Aside from the unique taste, we also like that it is easy to clean. First-time buyers do have to choose between two valve systems.
The Easy Valve system takes zero time to clean but is quite costly to replace every year. By contrast, the Solid Valve system requires some cleaning but is less costly to maintain. The Solid valve does give you a choice of customizing the chamber size with the insert and cut balloons.
Price would definitely be the only hindrance for most first-time buyers. However, it is a high-quality investment piece that will last you for many years.
The heat-up time is also quite a downer but if you’re not in a hurry, the experience is worth the wait.
For the price, we’d say the Volcano is worth every penny. The taste remains unmatched throughout the years. If you’re not in a hurry, prefer to vape at home or in groups, and want full control of your vaping temperatures, the Volcano is truly the best balloon vape yet.
Up until now, we focused on vaping equipment that produces high-grade vapor for dry herb. In recent years, there is a growing hype for wax and concentrates. If you’re a fan of vaping wax, we recommend the latest version of KandyPens Prism, the Prism+. It is a super lightweight and portable vaping device — it just happens to look like a pen. Plus, it doesn’t waste wax at all.
Design and features
The sleek design is comparable to most vape pens on the market but we like that it is a noiseless piece of equipment. The Prism+ Black features a stainless steel body in a black rubber casing. It also boasts a glass mouthpiece for a purer taste.
The Prism+ features two atomizers which produce the consistency of vapor according to how you like it. If you are in a hurry to vape, you can utilize the dual quartz coil with a quick heating time albeit the sandstorms being too intense and irritating. If you opt for a rich and flavorful taste, use the ceramic coil instead.
The Prism+ leans on the bulkier side compared to the Prism. However, we actually like its thicker grip compared to the Prism. The newer model also features a recessed button for ease of use. It also added mini LED lights on the sides. Some users think the LED lights are cool while others think it is a nuisance and makes for less discreet vaping.
You can control the temperature using the button which really does everything including turning the device on and off. There are only four temperature options which are 320°F, 350°F, 390°F, and 430°F.
We love the fact that the Prism+ boasts three times more battery power than the Prism. The Prism+ Black now packs a 900mAh battery. Just imagine — The Prism can run up to 2.5 hours on a 320mAh battery so you can expect longer wax vaping sessions with the Prism+ Black.
Both charge via USB cables for around two hours. Do note that the first charging session can take 4 to 6 hours. When it comes to the battery, the Prism+ Black is not necessarily the stronger contender. It just has more battery power.
Both the Prism and the Prism+ have four settings and they are color-coded, with the lowest being Yellow at 2.3V, the Green setting at 3.0V, Red is 3.6V, and the Blue setting at 4.2V. Yellow is for light hits. You can get the stronger hits with the Green and upwards settings.
We like that it’s easy to use and to customize so you either get a smooth milky taste or thick, tasty clouds.
We also like the thicker and firmer grip.
Taste-wise, both the Prism and the Prism+ produce the same taste.
Another big selling factor is the battery capacity. We love the boost in battery while maintaining its compact size.
While the wax vape pen itself is cheap and truly a bang for the buck, the atomizer that make the wax vapor taste great is too costly to replace.
Overall a good quality piece for milky or smoky wax vaping. If you opt for small hits at a time, this handy wax pen is a bang for the buck. It’s sleek and discreet (expect for the flashing LED lights that we can live with for the sake of battery longevity).
Best Vape Pen
KandyPens Galaxy Vaporizer Pen
KandyPens have hundreds of vape pens on the market so it can be a challenge to pick the best of them all. Take note that while the Galaxy is a superb tool for less money than all the other vaping devices we’ve reviewed in this article, the Galaxy is only meant to be utilized for wax and concentrates. The Galaxy cannot be used for dry herbs.
Design and features
The KandyPens Galaxy is comfortable to hold and has great airflow. There’s no need to worry about clogging the device even though it does take some time and skill to load the device. We like that it’s straightforward, delivers great taste, and is cheap.
The Galaxy has a modern design with a black glossy enamel and a sparkling finish in black or pink. It is lightweight compared to most vape pens, even those by KandyPens. The grip is fine whether you have a loose or a tight grip.
The Galaxy only has three temperature options which can be quite a bummer for many vapers who want more control from their devices. Red is the lowest setting at 350°F which delivers a smooth hit to the throat, followed by Green at 390°F and the highest temperature being the Blue setting at 430°F for a stronger pull.
The way the Galaxy works is you have to continuously push the button so that it heats up to the temperature you desire. The moment you let go, it will stop heating the wax.
We’d say this is the preferable choice for vapers who are light users. If you want to vape a little at a time stretched throughout the day, you can get a lot of use from the Galaxy.
The Galaxy utilizes a 510 Threading battery which is what you’d likely see with other concentrate vaporizers. If you like switching up the battery or mod, you can for as long as it has a 510 connection.
The small but high-impact battery lasts for two hours or more on a single charge. Charging time can take up to 3 hours. To get the most out of this vape pen, we recommend using it on the lowest setting. If you prefer big and strong hits, that will lessen the amount of time you can spend vaping with this device by at least half an hour.
The battery also comes with an auto-off feature. The device restrains your pulls to 10 seconds tops. This helps avoid issues with the atomizer. If you prefer longer pulls, you can turn up the temperature.
It’s portable and has a large chamber.
The battery life is superb for a pen this small!
It also has an aesthetically-pleasing design.
At a cheap price, you can get short and quick hits on-the-go.
While it’s pretty easy to start vaping on the Galaxy, it is quite messy to fill up. Also, having to press hold on the button to heat it up can be a nuisance and having just three temperature options to choose from is kind of sad.
Overall, the taste and the fact that it’s reliable for small and satisfying hits is already great for its price. If you’re a casual user or a beginning vaper, you can opt for the Galaxy anytime. You won’t have to charge it often as a single charge can carry you a long time.
Vaporizer Buying Guide
Smoking has caused a lot of negative feedback that led to the trend of vaporizing. Aside from the fact that vaporizers release fewer toxins and extract only the essential vapor, it also results in better-tasting dry herbs, waxes, oils, and concentrates. Whether you opt to vape solid or liquid matter, you will reap the benefits of vaping, such as improved flavor, less odor, and less throat and lung irritation.
There are three popular types of vaporizers on the market today. The first is the desktop vaporizer. It is the bulkiest of all types and uses an external power source. Thus, the desktop vaporizer is best for home use or for gatherings. The main selling point of the desktop vaporizer is the amount of dry herb or concentrates you can fill its compartment with. Desktop vaporizers are ideal for intermediate and advanced vapers.
If you want great taste but in a more compact size, you can opt for portable vaporizers. The portable equipment maintains the taste of dried herbs and concentrates while delivering them in a smaller size.
Beginners, on the other hand, should opt for the cheapest and easiest-to-use type of vaporizer and those are pen vaporizers. Advanced vapers often favor portable vaporizers over pen vaporizers for on-the-go vaping except if you opt for small, casual hits. The lack of temperature control options makes it easier to handle for beginners yet less desirable for advanced vapers.
When choosing the best vaporizer for every type of user, consider the following.
The cheapest vaporizers sell at $20 above. If you’re giving vaping a try, opt for a vape pen that is at least in the mid-range category. We opted out of reviewing very cheap vaporizers because we want our readers to get great value for the vaporizers they purchase whether they are a casual user, a beginner, or an advanced vaper.
The high-end spectrum of vaporizers is priced well above $200. If you factor in your needs, how often you use the vaporizer, and how many people often use the equipment, you will want to invest in a high-end vaporizer. With more precise controls, premium flavor, and accessories, you will find quality vaporizers will give you back their value over the years to come.
You want to get a consistent taste no matter how many hits and how many sessions you use your vaporizer for. Investing in a solid piece like a hybrid vaporizer or one that utilizes convection technology will give you even consistency over a long amount of time.
Types of vaporizers
We have previously discussed the three major types of vaporizers according to portability and needs. If you are a homebody, opt for desktop vaporizers. If you opt for vaping at parties or at bars, opt for a portable vaporizer.
You also have to consider the heating technology utilized by the equipment. Opt for convection or hybrid vaporizers over conduction vaporizers for the best and most consistent taste.
Desktop vaporizers need power to function. You may opt for battery-operated vaporizers in the form of portable or pen vaporizers if you plan to vape outdoors. Consider the battery life of the vaporizer you choose.
Also, consider getting a replaceable battery for extended vaping sessions in the great outdoors. You may also opt for a vaporizer with an auto shutdown feature to save battery life.
Vaping can still be misconstrued in some communities. If you want to take a hit, but you’re in public, opt to take short hits on pen vaporizers instead. Portable vaporizers are good for on-the-go, too, but most portable equipment requires long sessions of at least an hour. Those are good if you are at a party and vape as a group.
How you draw or take a hit is also a factor to consider. You may opt to sip from a bag and pass it on to other group members, or you may take a hit through a plastic or glass mouthpiece. It all depends on the experience you want from your vaporizer.
Most pen vaporizers have a lifetime warranty on their batteries. Other vaporizers have at least 2 years of warranty while others have a 10-year warranty. You need to be clear about what the warranty covers so you can maximize it. Generally, desktop vaporizers have a longer warranty as these are often left at home and stay in one spot. They are also some of the most long-lasting vaporizers.