When you look at vaporizers, there are usually so many models to consider that you can come away feeling more perplexed than when you started.
- What are the best heating methods: convection, conduction, or electro-magnetic?
- Is a glass chamber better or a ceramic one?
- Is a portable vaporizer good enough or should you buy a desktop one, perhaps both?
- What about the question of batteries and outlets versus oil?
- How about controls: should you own a digital device or one with a knob on it, or an item that simply heats up and lights up to tell you it is ready to use?
The Digital Question
Digital vaporizers use tiny technology, the sort that enables manufacturers to get great results out of smaller and smaller devices. It allows for the creation of large and small vaporizers with LED screens and push-button controls. With a digital vaporizer, you can set a device not just to low, medium, or high, but also to a more minute temperature setting which experience has told you is best for a particular oil or herb, be it tobacco or lilac.
Comparing Digital and Old-Fashioned Technology
Does this mean old machines without buttons and screens are useless to the vaping community (by old, think 10 years)? And what if you own an old one that is still working but is not up-to-date?
The good news about older vaporizers is that many of them are still working because they were made to last. They are durable, parts can be replaced, and the technology is not especially fussy compared to the most recent computerized models. The more fuss there is, the more expensive an item is to fix.
There are a few potential problems with older models, however. One is that temperatures cannot be controlled as minutely as they are with modern technology. Older units (and even new but non-digital items) might be set with a dial, but the temperature chosen could be out by a few degrees: as many as five or more.
With digital units, there is still the possibility of being out, but usually by not more than a degree or two. Many portable items indicate that your device has reached a temperature range.
Lots of consumers choose non-digital technology because it is cheaper to own. The Classic Volcano, for instance, is more than $100 cheaper than the Digit. Otherwise, they are the same inside and are the same shape outside: a silver volcano.
Prices for Digital Vaporizers
As you can see with the Volcano, it can get expensive to buy a machine. Inexpensive box style models cost under $100 and are easy to use, but not elegant to look at. It is not impossible to spend close to $1,000 for a digital vaporizer if it is very high quality, features technological advances, is especially beautiful, and has been created with many safety features. Sometimes you pay for looks, though, or for added things besides the unit and essential accessories.
If you shop around online, it is possible to save a figure with one or more zeros at the end. Competition in this market is growing as consumers realize they could switch from smoking to vaporizing and enjoy tremendous health benefits, not to mention a variety of smells and flavors besides tobacco.
What Does a Digital Vaporizer Look Like?
Digital vaporizers come in lots of shapes and many sizes, from tiny and portable to large and heavy to plug into the wall. One of the smallest is an Ascent by Davinci. With digital controls, consumers can set the temperature exactly, read a bright LED screen, and enjoy up to four hours of vaporizing on one charge. The Ascent uses essential oils and herbs, though not at the same time.
The Arizer Tower is a taller unit: slim and silver, rising from a solid round base. While the Ascent costs about $250, you are probably paying (in part) for getting a lot of power in a small portable package. The Arizer Tower is cheaper: about $150. Plug it in and use it at home. It comes with a glass whip, silicone tube, glass mouthpiece, and protection fuse.
A Vapir N02 digital costs around $270 for a complete kit of bits. As a side note, if you know you are going to use all of the extras that can come with a vaporizer, try to get them as part of a package deal. Many companies promote this idea and will give you discounts on individual items like chargers and extra screens if they are included in the box together.
If you own a digital vaporizer, there is a chance it can be operated remotely. You can also use the buttons up close, so remote operation is just a fun extra feature you cannot get from devices with only dials or no controls at all.
Whatever style of device you own, investigate its safety features like auto shut-off after a certain number of minutes. Look for good ventilation, overheating protection, over-voltage protection, and more. Hygiene is important, so find out if the device is easy to clean.
Choose an item, like the Zephyr Ion for about $360, which is super-quiet and allows you to control both air flow and temperature digitally. This one comes with a sample of herbs and can be operated with one hand using a simple flip-top design. It starts up quickly, requiring no more than 3 minutes to fully heat up.