Everything gets smaller with technological advancements, to the point where items that took up a whole room can now be held in a person’s hand. Vaporizers were never that large, but there are heavy, expensive desktop models. They produce great vapor, but their owners are tied to the nearest power outlet to use them.
Enter Handheld Vaporizers
Sometimes those models are better than anything that can be produced in a small size, but certain handheld devices give their owners amazing clouds of vapor. Their biggest disadvantage is a small power supply that requires recharging or replacing every 1 to 4 hours.
The main advantage is size. Consumers buy portable vaporizers because they can cart them around. Portable vaporizers are light, small, and discrete. Certain styles have been designed to look like fountain pens, inhalers, walkie-talkies, and cell phones. Others are so attractive their owners will have to field questions from interested passers-by whenever they take a puff.
Examples of Handheld Models
Some of the most popular models available today include the Vapir Oxygen, Iolite (Original and WSPER 2), DaVinci, and Palm 2.0. An Arizer Solo, PAX, Magic Flight Launch Box, and PUFFiT provide just four more of many options.
Prices for portable vaporizers range from under $100 to about $250, including a few essential items like a mouthpiece, battery, and replacement screen. Some of these are digital, powered by a battery. Others operate using butane gas.
The Pinnacle Pro
Made by a California company, the Pinnacle Pro is compact, uses a rechargeable battery, and heats herbs by convection. It offers five temperature settings. Sometimes a portable device does not permit temperature control: it just heats up and an LED light indicates when it is ready to use.
The biggest drawback to the Pinnacle Pro is its short battery life: just one hour per charge.
Both Iolite devices (WISPR 2 and Original) operate using a butane gas tank which should power the heating element for 2 hours or more. While rechargeable batteries can be reused 100 times or more, butane must be replaced regularly, but it also allows you to get away from technology and still vape. Iolite makes popular products that have simple design, are easy to use, and come in an array of lovely shades.
The Inhaler XP
Vaporizers can be hard to disguise even when they are small. The recently improved Inhaler XP looks like puffers asthma sufferers use but is an electronic product. A battery powers the heating element to produce a range of temperatures. Battery life is longer than before too.
Convection vaporizers usually circulate heat by way of a fan, the whirring of which could have you swatting at invisible bees or thinking you have tinnitus. That is the price you pay for vaping sometimes, but the PUFFiT claims to be quieter in its latest incarnation than it ever has been.
While desktop models are frequently favored because they can be set to multiple temperatures, the PUFFiT offers 8 settings between 250F and 410F. This is flameless, oil-free heat and safe to use.
A Palm 2.0 resembles a tiny fist. It stands out from the rest like a rebel in assorted colors. This USA-made creation reaches 380F maximum (a little lower than usual), offers 4 to 8 draws per load of herbs, and takes only 5 to 8 seconds to heat up.
Materials used when making portable vaporizers have to be light and durable. Plastic would suit both of these purposes but it is not preferred in this market for two reasons.
One is that materials must withstand high temperatures. The other problem is that even heat-resistant plastic produces an unpleasant taste and smell which affects your experience of the aromatic herb or essential oil you are vaping. Consumers report unpleasant smells from some cheap models.
The PUFFiT produces even heat distribution with a gold-plated heating chamber. Other products make use of glass and stainless steel to achieve quick heating, create pure aromas, and to maintain that heat.
Disadvantages of Handheld Vaporizers
Reaching a high enough temperature to get the most from your herbs or oils is not always as easily done with a handheld model. While some portable vaporizers have no trouble reaching 410F (the PUFFiT, for instance), a desktop unit is more consistent and adjustable.
You can also load more herbs and oils into a bigger device at one time. Getting up to 8 draws from a load means you are constantly filling. The good news is that portable machines are easy to open and refill. They also cool down as quickly as they heat up so you do not burn yourself.