Convection and Conduction in dry herb vaporizers

Convection and Conduction in Dry Herb Vaporizers – Explained

Dry herb vaporizers are placed in two categories, they are either convection or conduction style dry herb vaporizers. Since convection vaporizers hit the market, there has been a debate about which heating system is better. Although due to personal preference, there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut winner with vape users falling on either side of the debate.

Basic Understanding Of Conduction And Convection

Conduction: This is a process in which transfer of heat takes place between objects in direct contact with each other.

Convection: Refers to the form of heat transfer in which energy transition occurs through the movement of matter.

The fundamental difference between conduction and convection heating systems is the placement of the material in relation to the heating element. In conduction vaporizers, the herbs are placed directly on the heating element. Whereas with convection vaporizers the herbs are placed slightly above the heating element, to allow for warm air to rise over the heating element to the herbs to create vapor. Each heating style has its pros and cons and ultimately personal preference will prevail. 

Differences Between Conduction And Convection In Dry Herb Vaporizers

Conduction Vaporizers

Convection and conduction dry herb vaporizers - Vaperite South Africa

Conduction vaporizers make use of a heating element to hold and heat up your dry herbs through direct contact. Unlike convection vaporizers, conduction vaporizers notoriously provide a less efficient vape experience that is characterized by uneven heating of the herb. Oftentimes users of conduction vaporizers have to stir their herbs to get even heat distribution.


  • Heats up quickly
  • Cheaper than other device types
  • Less maintenance and upkeep
  • Produces thick, dense clouds


  • Consistent results are hard to achieve and maintain
  • Uneven heat distribution
  • Burns herbs instead of vaporizing them
  • Requires stirring of herbs for even distribution
  • Higher risk of combustion

Conduction vaporizers have the advantage of heating up very quickly due to the absence of moving fluids. The fast heating up speed is beneficial for people who use cannabis for anxiety and pain relief purposes. It is the perfect device for beginners who don’t want to invest a whole lot of money in a complex device just yet.

Convection Vaporizers

Convection dry herb vaporizers - Vaperite South Africa

Convection vaporizers work using the movement of warm air across the heating element to produce a strong release of herbs and vapor. Direct contact between the heating element and any herbs is avoided due to the movement of air while also allowing high temperatures to create vapor. 


  • Low risk of combustion
  • Even heat distribution
  • Easy to achieve and maintain consistency
  • Provides a vaping experience, not a smoking experience
  • Better taste
  • Control over the amount of herb you use
  • Better temperature control


  • Takes a long time to heat up
  • Usually more expensive
  • Bigger than conduction vaporizers

Convection vaporizers are more like small ovens. The air around the herbs is what is heated as opposed to the actual herbs. This results in an even distribution of heat that turns herbs into vapor and theoretically provides a much more pleasant vaping experience.

Which System Is Better: Conduction Or Convection?

Due to their propensity to combust, conduction vaporizers have lost a lot of popularity over the years. In addition to uneven heating, the direct heat from the coils can burn the herbs increasing the chances of direct smoke inhalation – something which a lot of vapers are trying to move away from.

Convection-style vaporizers on the other hand provide a more pleasant experience due to their ability to evenly heat the herbs you use. Convection vaporizers, simply by the design style, offer a more vape-like experience. They are unlike conduction vaporizers which is why most people prefer using them. 

Best conduction vaporizers:

Best convection vaporizers:

Best hybrid vaporizers:

All of these devices and more are available at Vaperite, and Vapeshop South Africa’s leading vape shop and cannabis paraphernalia outlet chain.

Like everything else in life, personal preference is king. Conduction style vaporizers cater more to people who want an intense hit with dense vapor production while convection style vaporizers are better suited for vapers who want to have a hit but not feel like they are smoking. Ultimately, we advise that you choose what you are comfortable with. Whether you are just starting or have been vaping for years, we recommend giving both device types a chance to see what you truly prefer.