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Buying a dry herb vaporizer can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?
This buying guide will help you find the best dry herb vaporizer for your lifestyle needs.
Why dry herb vaporizing is better
Dry herb vaporizing is the preferred method for enjoying cannabis for many reasons. For one, instead of lighting your cannabis on fire and inhaling smoke, you put your ground up cannabis into a vaporizer and it’s baked, giving off a vapor that you inhale.
While smoking cannabis isn’t linked to cancer, it’s still toxic and bad for your health. You can develop chronic lung conditions such as bronchitis and smoking can weaken your immune system. Using a dry herb vaporizer is a much healthier way to inhale your cannabis.
Not only that but burning cannabis destroys the terpenes, you simply don’t get the same great flavour as you do with dry herb vaporizers that never combust your flower.
One of the greatest things about dry herb vaporizing is the ability to customize your high. You can adjust the temperatures and release only the cannabinoids and terpenes that you prefer. This enables you to have just a light buzz for the day, or turn up the temperature to release more plant properties for pain and sleep.
Another great reason to choose dry herb vaporizing is you save money on cannabis. You use far less cannabis dry herb vaporizing than you do smoking cannabis. You can also reheat the bowl to really make your cannabis go far.
Fun fact – you can reserve the AVB (after vaped bud) to use in edibles, making your cannabis go even further!
The downside is dry herb vaporizers can be expensive and it’s not like you can try before you buy. Unfortunately many people end up buying a cheap model so they can try vaporizing, hate it and think dry herb vaporizing isn’t for them, when it was the poor quality vaporizer to blame.
That’s why doing a bit of research before you purchase a dry herb vaporizer will help you find a model you’ll be happy with.
While the cost can be a lot up front, your vaporizer should last years, and you’ll get your money back many times over in what you save on cannabis.
Here’s what you need to consider before buying a dry herb vaporizer
- Types of vaporizers
- Lifestyle needs
- Battery & warranty
- Vapor path
- Desired features
Types of dry herb vaporizers
When purchasing a vaporizer you’ll be presented with two (technically 3) options for heating. You can buy a conduction vaporizer which means the cannabis is heated directly or a convection vaporizer where hot air is moved through the cannabis, similar to a convection oven.
Dry herb vaporizers can also use hybrid heating, meaning it’s a combination of both conduction and convection heating.
Convection (and hybrid) heating will give more flavour and depth to your experience, and is preferred by many cannabis connoisseurs however conduction has some advantages over convection heating.
Most conduction vaporizers have removeable batteries and better warranties.
You can also choose between plugin or portable. Most people opt for portable as plugin units limit you to one place to vaporize, and plugin models can be costly.
The advantage of plugin models is they’re more reliable as they don’t need a battery, also more powerful. You get better flavour and plugin models hold more cannabis, they’re good for medical cannabis users.
Overall, a good portable dry herb vaporizer is the best option for most people.
Consider your lifestyle needs before buying a vaporizer
There are many different models on the market and there’s no one right answer for what model is best for everyone, more like which model is best for you.
Consider these questions before searching for a dry herb vaporizer:
Will you be vaporizing only at home? If so, you have more flexibility in what model you buy, as you can choose a bigger sized vaporizer that doesn’t have to fit in a handbag or pocket.
Do you need it to be portable so you can take it with you when you leave the house? You’ll need to look at models that are smaller and more discreet so you can keep it in your bag and carry it around during the day.
Do you need it to hold a lot of cannabis or do you only use cannabis occasionally? If you need a bigger bowl, especially if you’re a medical cannabis user, you’ll want to look for models that can hold more cannabis so you don’t have to refill the bowl too often.
Are you looking for the best flavour? You’ll want to find a vaporizer with a good vapor path that’s cool so you can enjoy the flavour of the terpenes. Or find a vaporizer with bubbler attachments that will also cool the vapor and add flavour.
Do you want the ability to also vape concentrates? Some models have the ability to do both and some don’t, this is something to consider when buying a vaporizer.
*Tip – Make a list of what you need from your device and that will narrow down your search.
Battery and warranty
Dry herb vaporizers can come with a removable battery, or one that can’t be removed and you charge the battery in the device.
A removable battery means you don’t have to worry as much about the battery failing, as it’s easily replaced. You also don’t have to wait for the unit to charge before using it, you can simply pop in a charged up battery to replace the one that’s low.
Other models however don’t have a removable battery and in some models that battery can’t be replaced so if it dies, you lose your vaporizer.
This is where a good warranty is important. Some vaporizers that don’t have removeable batteries can be expensive to repair. Look at the warranty for the unit, does it cover the battery failing? If the battery fails, can it be fixed? Will they fix it and how long will it take to fix the battery?
The best warranties come on conduction vaporizers, you can get 10 year warranties on some models. What usually fails on a vaporizer is the battery and the oven/heating unit.
Another thing to consider is the battery life, some units the battery needs to be charged faster than others. You can get up to and hour and a half on some units.
Battery life will matter more if you need it to last as long as possible, for example if you travel a lot or are a medical user that needs to vaporize all day. Battery life and choosing a vaporizer with removeable batteries is something you may need to consider.
When it comes to battery life, consider how long a session lasts, usually 5 to 10 minutes. While an hour might not seem like that long for the battery, that’s about 6 to 12 sessions depending on how long your session was, and how high the temperature was set.
I vaporize nightly and heat my vaporizer about 3 times. So I can go several days without having to charge my vaporizer. Usually I plug them in at night so they’re charged up the next day.
Next to battery and warranties, the vapor path is the most important thing to consider when buying a dry herb vaporizer. A short vapor path means hot vapor and lack of flavour.
Cheap vaporizers often have short vapor paths and they taste like crap. This is why it’s important to look at how the vapor path works on each model, avoid vaporizers with short vapor paths.
For example with the Davinci models and Pax, the vapor path runs the length of the unit. Storz and Bickels vaporizers have cooling units on the top. Arizer vaporizers have different length glass stems you can buy, to give you a longer path with a curve for cooler vapor and superior taste.
The longer the path, especially one with a bend, the cooler the vapor, cooler vapor means better flavour. This means some of those cute little portable vaporizers you can carry around in your pocket, often give hot vapor and lack flavour.
Vaporizer features and accessories
When buying a dry herb vaporizer look at its features as each model is different. For example, some dry herb vaporizers use apps to control the device however you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to.
Some allow you to use concentrates like wax. Usually with a small capsule you load with the concentrate that you place in the chamber.
Some units allow you to attach bubblers with a fitted adapter. I highly recommend a bubbler as will give you great flavour and a smooth draw.
Each vaporizer has different heating times and session durations. Some vaporizers heat up very quick and others can take a minute or more.
The Davinci IQ2 has airflow control built into the device
Some units turn on by pushing a button 5 times, others, like the Arizers require you to hold down 2 buttons at the same time for several seconds. If you have arthritis in your hands or mobility issues with your hands/fingers, you may want to look at different models.
Before buying a vaporizer, decide which features you prefer and this will help to narrow down your search for the perfect dry herb vaporizer for your lifestyle and needs.
Dry herb vaporizers can give you sticker shock however you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good vaporizer that works for you. Higher priced models are usually better overall for flavour and function however there’s good options at lower price points as well.
Most decent portable vaporizers cost between $150 to $400. On average plugin models are over $400. Some models, such as the Arizer Air- which is the older model of that series- are still good vaporizers and will cost less than the newer model. The difference is the new model- the Air2- has precise temperature control and the older model has preset temperatures.
Look for deals, many online sellers will offer good sales on top models. For example, right now you can buy the Arizer Air for $125.99 with a 2 year warranty at Namaste Vaporizers.
Comparison chart of the most popular/highly rated models for 2021
precise temp control
|.25g||2 years||Compatible with
Must use the app
to control temp.
|40 min. Non-removeable battery|
|.3g||2 to 3 years (through seller)||Durable, compatible with
Can control with app
|1.5 to 3 hours Non-removeable battery|
|Pax 3||Conduction||360°F – 420°F/ 182°C – 215 °C
|.35 g||10 years||Compatible with concentrates.
|2 to 3 hours Removeable battery|
|Davinci IQ2||Conduction||250°F – 430°F/ 121°C – 221°C
Preset temps or precise temp
|.5g||10 years||Compatible with concentrates.
App to track sessions and control device
|Arizer Air2||Hybrid||122°F – 428°F/ 50°C – 220°C||.15g||2 years||Glass stems interchangeable with
|60 min Removeable battery|
|Arizer Solo2||Hybrid||122°F – 428°F/ 50°C – 220°C
precise temp control
|.2 g||2 years||Glass stems interchangeable with
|3 hours Removeable battery|
|Firefly 2+||Convection||200°F to 500°F/ 93°C – 260°C||.15g||2 years||Compatible with concentrates.
Use it like a pipe. Heats up quick- in 3 seconds
|60 to 90 min Removeable battery|
My top 3 picks for dry herb vaporizers in 2021
When it comes to buying a dry herb vaporizer it’s difficult to pick just one. I’ve chosen 3 models that will meet various lifestyle needs and budget. These picks are great quality and have good flavour. Below are my top picks for overall functionality and design.
1. Arizer Air2 (runner up is the Solo 2)
We’ve owned the Arizer Air and the Arizer Air 2 for many years. They haven’t degraded in quality, the oven is still great and because Arizer vaporizers come with a removeable battery, we don’t have to worry about the battery failing.
Best flavour for the price
With the bent stem attachment, or using the bubbler you can buy separately, you get incredible flavour with the Arizer Air2. It’s on par with the Crafty + for flavour. This is a great option for terpene connoisseurs who want to taste the depth of flavours from each cultivar.
I personally find the Arizer Air2 is better than the Solo 2 as far as flavour however both are good.
It’s a pain to turn on and off, both the Arizer Air2 and the Solo 2 require you to hold down 2 buttons to turn on the unit. It’s a little slower than other models to heat up, except the Solo 2 heats up faster than the Air2.
Although it claims to be hybrid heating, I find it’s more like a conduction vaporizer as the cannabis has a char at the top, where it touches the oven after each session. Other considerations is it’s not very portable with the glass stems.
Overall this is a great vaporizer for anyone who will mostly vaporize at home and want something that will last a long time and have great flavour.
|Arizer Air2 Pros||Cons|
|Removeable batteries||Need to press 2 buttons simultaneously
to turn the unit on and off
|Different sized glass stems available
that are interchangeable with the Solo
|Great flavour||Can’t use concentrates|
|Precise temperature control||Glass stems makes it less portable
than other models
The Arizer Air2 retails for under $200 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
>>Buy the Arizer Air 2 from Namaste Vaporizers and get free shipping in Canada
2. Crafty+ (or the Mighty)
Storz and Bickels make superior vaporizers that give you great cloud that’s cool and full of flavour. We have the Crafty + and love the flavour from this unit, also the air flow, there’s not much resistance to the draw.
I haven’t tried The Mighty however I’ve heard great things about this unit as well. Both are German engineered and are durable, high quality vaporizers that are arguably the best on the market.
The batteries can’t be removed although they can be repaired. For the Crafty + there’s some youtube videos that can show you how to remove the battery yourself, if it fails.
With the Crafty+ you’ll need the app for precise temperature control. However the app is easy to use and works well.
It’s definitely a portable vaporizer, especially as the stem folds down, however it’s a bit bigger than other models such as the Pax or Davinci, so not exactly pocket sized.
|Incredible flavour||One of the more higher priced vaporizers on the market|
|Great vapor with a smooth draw||Must use the app for full feature control|
|Durable and well built||A little more difficult to clean than other vaporizers|
|Compatible with concentrates||Battery can’t be easily removed|
|Low draw resistance||While still compact and portable, it won’t fit
in your pocket
|Precise temperature control|
|Can get a 3 year warranty when you register
your device with Storz and Bickels
The Crafty+ comes with a 2 year warranty and retails for around $370
>>Buy the Crafty+ from Namaste Vaporizers and get free shipping and 15% off with code “NVA15” at checkout (limited time offer)
3. Davinci IQ2 (or the IQC)
Davinci really puts a lot of thought into the design of their vaporizers. The IQ2 is feature rich with a ceramic vapor path and glass lined zirconia oven. It’s a conduction vaporizer but bakes more like convection heating. I find the cannabis is evenly browned and I get several sessions from one bowl with the Davinci IQ2.
It has a deep bowl so you can pack it with up to .5 grams of cannabis or you can adjust the pearl to use less. It also comes with a dosing pod so you can microdose.
This model has a dial so you can control the airflow.
The app can control the device and tracks your sessions which is good for medical users. It’s small, sleek and portable, this is a great portable vaporizer.
It doesn’t have the great flavour that you get with the Arizer Air2 or the Crafty+ however it still has good flavour at lower temperatures. You can also add a bubbler to cool the vapor more.
They have a new model called the IQC that costs less however I find it works just as well as the IQ2, with the exception that I find better vapor from the IQ2 and the IQC doesn’t have the airflow control that the IQ2 has, otherwise it’s mostly the same.
|Davinci IQ2 Pros||Cons|
|Removeable batteries||Flavour is good at lower temperatures but
loses flavour at higher temperatures
|Adjustable chamber for up to .5g
|The placement of the pearl makes filling
the bowl and cleaning a bit tricky
|Portable, sleek design||Unit can get quite warm after a session
however you can buy a sleeve
|Cannabis bakes evenly||Bowl needs to be packed well or you
don’t get good vapor
|Adjustable airflow||Flat mouthpiece means putting your mouth
on the unit. You can use the bubbler adapter
instead of the flat mouthpiece
|Compatible with concentrates|
|10 year warranty|
|Feature rich and easy to use|
|Precise temperature control
or use preset “smart paths”
The Davinci IQ2 retails for around $300 and has a 10 year warranty.
The IQC retails for around $230 and comes with a 5 year warranty.
>>Buy the Davinci IQ2 or the IQC directly from Davinci and get free shipping
>>Buy the Davinci IQ2 from Namaste Vaporizers and get free shipping and $30% off with code “NVA30” (limited time offer)
Does dry herb vaporizing smell?
It does still have a cannabis smell but much less than smoking cannabis. It’s also less permeating so the smell dissipates faster than smoking. If you use a device like the smoke buddy, this will help to significantly reduce the smell. Also exhaling by a fan or out a window or even better, vaporizing outside has hardly any smell.
Another way to reduce the smell with vaporizing is with a spray. My personal favourite is Cannabolish, it has a great scent and covers up the smell of cannabis really well.
How do you clean your dry herb vaporizer?
Most vaporizers come with cleaning kits. The parts can usually be cleaned with isopropyl and a cotton swab. Read the manual for the device you purchased as they’ll have instructions for how to clean your device.
Keeping a clean dry herb vaporizer will ensure your device lasts longer and that you get the best flavour every time. It’s best to clean them weekly.
Can you use a dry herb vaporizer with other herbs
You can! In face you can add lavender, basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon balm and other aromatics to your vaporizer, or even mixed into your ground up cannabis for flavour. You can even add coffee beans! There’s smoking blends you can find that can also be added to dry herb vaporizers.
In addition to other herbs you can also mix in concentrates such as hash and kief into the ground up herb for an added boost. However for concentrates like wax, you’ll need to use a dry herb vaporizer that can accommodate those types of concentrates.
Will vaporizing make you cough?
It can, especially if you’re using a high temperature and/or have a cold. The best way to avoid coughing is set the temperature to around 356f/180c and if possible use a bubbler attachment. Cooler vapor will be smoother and reduce coughing.
It also matters which dry herb vaporizer you buy, a shorter vapor path will be more harsh and more likely to make you cough.
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