Conduction vs Convection Vaping: Why is it so important?

Conduction vs Convection Vaping: Why is it so important?

Yes. There is a great deal of difference between vaporizers that use either the conduction or convection method for heating up your herb. However, if you’re new to vaping, you might feel a bit lost at this point. “Is it important to know the difference?” Yes. “Is it important for me to know how they work?” A little, but more important is;  “why does it matter?”.   

It’s that last question I want to focus on in this article, not the ‘how’ but the ‘why’. At the end of it, you’ll know all you need to know about the difference between conduction and convecting vaping. 

Is Convection heating really the best? End of story?

Back in the day, there was this myth that convection vaporizers were THE gold standard of vaping, and for a while, that might have been true. Nowadays, however, vaporizer technology has made such great strides that the real question shouldn’t be “which is best?” but “which is best for me?” (spoiler: it’s all about preference). 

 Let’s take a look at how the two heating methods stack up against each other where it matters most: Vapour quality, ease of use, budget, battery life and heat-up time.  

Quick! Recap me on the difference between conduction and convection vaping

Okay, so what’s the deal? Well, to keep it as simple as possible, just imagine filling a steel bucket with weed (glass or ceramic if you’re willing to drop a few extra bucks) - in the industry, we call this bucket the ‘oven’ or ‘heating chamber’ or ‘bowl’. 

Now imagine we heat up the entire wall and bottom of that bucket by applying direct heat. That heat is then automatically transferred to the material you have in the bucket. The material starts to evaporate, you inhale it and presto! You’re vaping using the conduction method. 

With convection heating, on the other hand, the heat source isn’t directly connected to the oven. Instead, the heat source is located underneath the oven and the heat is drawn into the oven by air you’re generating by inhaling. And it is this hot air that is causing the compounds of your weed to evaporate. 

One of the major differences between the two methods is that conduction heating heats your herb constantly, whereas with convection vaping you’re only heating up your material when you’re generating airflow.

The differences between conduction and convection vaporizers

The differences in 'how' they work are easily explained by this image, yet the 'why' of it all is a whole different matter indeed. 

What are the differences between conduction and convection? And why should I care?

You should care. Not because one is better than the other, but because they’re different. Each heating method has its own pros & cons and to make this read go a bit faster, I’ve taken the liberty to smush them all together and divided them into 6 important categories: 

Vapour Quality: 

  • Vapour density / volume:

Due to the nature of conduction vaporizers (i.e. direct contact-heating), they tend to produce more dense, milky clouds of vapour. 

But, because convection vapes utilise dynamic airflow to get the vapour to your lungs, they deliver bigger but lighter clouds.  

  • Vapour temperature:

The oven with most conduction vaporizers is located fairly close to the mouthpiece, causing the inhaled vapour to feel a bit hotter than that with convection vapes. The heat has less distance to travel from the oven to your mouth and lungs, meaning there’s less time for the vapour to cool off to an agreeable degree. 

Whereas with convection vaporizers, the oven is located underneath the material, so the heat not only has to travel through the material, it also has to travel through a longer airpath, allowing the vapour to cool down more before being inhaled.  

  • Flavour:

Because airflow plays a bigger role with convection vaporizers, the flavour notes these type of vapes release are dispersed and picked up better by your tastebuds.

Not that conduction vaporizers produce no flavour, but because vaporisation is less even with this heating method and there’s less airflow involved, the flavours of the entire terpene profile tend to be less pronounced.   


Yes, it’s true, for the most part, conduction vaporizers tend to be cheaper because they’re cheaper to make. They only need, in theory, a power source and a heating element to operate. 

While convection vapes need more components and more room for those components making them slightly more complex to produce. 

As with all rules, there are plenty of exceptions. The more expensive conduction vaporizers are built with better materials and have more features than their cheaper counterparts. That’s why the top of the line conduction vapes are closer to the average price of decent to good convection vapes. You get what you pay for in those cases.

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