Vaporizer Buying Guide

Where Do I Start?

Picking your first vape needn’t be daunting. Here at AusVapes, we aim to make the process as easy as possible. Yes, there are a lot of options available but if you follow this simple, step-by-step approach you can rest assured you’ll get something that suits you and your usage patterns.

See our Staff Picks collection for the AusVapes Team's favourite units.


Dried Herbs or Concentrates?

Before you can select between different heating methods, settle on a desired size, or pick a preferred method of temperature control, you’ll need to decide whether you're going to be using your vaporizer for herbs or concentrates (thick oils, waxes and resins).

A lot of vaporizers are only designed for use with a single form of aromatherapy preparation, and while it's true that some claim to be “multi-purpose”, most are generally better for one or the other. 

If you’re planning to primarily use concentrates, it’s better to find a unit dedicated to that purpose, rather than a dry-herb vape with an optional concentrate attachment. 

If you’re mostly using dried herbs and just dabble in concentrates occasionally, a dry-herb vape with an optional attachment / mode will of course be the perfect choice. 


Portable or Desktop?

Portable Vapes:

If you’re constantly on-the-go, or just need something you can use while you’re out and about, then you’ll likely need the mobility and versatility of a battery-powered portable vape. 


 Small and easy to transport
 Discrete and easily concealed
 Often start at lower price-points than desktop units
 Can be quite efficient with smaller amounts of herb


 Can be more difficult to clean / maintain than desktop units
 Internal batteries can degrade over time resulting in less session-time per charge
 Running out of battery when you’re out and about can be frustrating
 Battery Powered vs direct connection

    Desktop Vapes:

    Vaping at home most of the time? Need a durable workhorse with a massive filling chamber? Desktop vapes are the go-to for frequent, heavy use. They’re also perfect to share with friends (or a special someone).


     Rugged and durable
     Often have larger filling chambers allowing for longer sessions
     Cleaning is usually easier and not as frequently required
     Different inhalation methods to choose from (more info below)
     Better cooling capacity (cooler, tastier vapour)
     More consistent / accurate temperature control
     More suitable for groups


     Can sometimes be less efficient with smaller amounts of herb
     Tricky to transport, especially if they contain glass parts
     If you’re used to harsher means of consumption, cooler vapour can be less satisfying (during / immediately after each draw)


    Convection or Conduction?

    There are two main heating methods used among modern vaporizers; convection and conduction. Simply put, convection heats your material from a distance via moving air through the filling chamber, while conduction heats by direct contact between your herb / concentrate and the heat source.



     Very fast heat-up times and almost instant vapour production
     They are often much smaller and more lightweight vapes


     More frequent stirring is required to ensure all your herb heats evenly
     Increased risk of combustion due to herbs making direct contact with the element, as well as their tendency to heat unevenly
     Can produce hotter/harsher vapour hits
     Consistent results can be harder to achieve



     More even heat distribution means less likelihood of overheated / burnt herb
     Convection often delivers for flavourful vapour
     Better efficiency for longer sessions. As the heat is usually more isolated from the filling chamber, the herb doesn’t tend to passively vaporize as much between draws.


     Usually requires more power so can be taxing on portable battery-life
     Can generally produce thinner vapour than pure conduction units
     Longer heat up times

    Why not have the best of both worlds though? There are a number of portable and desktop vapes nowadays that use a combination of conduction and convection to provide a more balanced experience. This is often referred to as “Hybrid” heating.


    Analogue or Digital?

    Different vaporizers have different means of temperature control which allow you to regulate the release of active compounds from your herbs. The way in which temperature is handled can have a big impact on your overall vaping experience, affecting the taste, consistency and potency of your vapour.

    Generally speaking, vaporizers that use digital temperature controls offer much tighter control over the temperature of your material, making them more suited to experienced vapers who want a heavily-customizable experience.

    Analogue vaporizers normally use a very straight-forward dial to control temperature, or have several pre-set temperatures to choose from, which is ideal for people who haven’t had much experience with more free-form controls.


    Inhalation Method (Direct vs Whip vs Balloon)?

    Modern vaporizers usually offer one (or more) of three delivery methods; 

    • Direct Inhalation - Drawing straight from the unit itself via a mouthpiece
    • Whip / Tube Inhalation - Drawing through a long length of silicone tubing. This offers similar functionality to direct inhalation but with the added benefit of extra cooling, making the vapour more pleasant to draw.
    • Bag / Balloon Inflation - The vaporizer fills a bag with vapour which can then be removed from the unit and inhaled from. This method seems quite strange to people who are unfamiliar with it. It offers a portable element to otherwise stationary desktop units, allowing you to walk around with a vapour-filled bag, rather than being stuck next to your vape. This also makes for a great for group-use or for people with limited dexterity / mobility.

    Can’t settle on an inhalation method? Well there are also multi-function units like the Arizer XQ2 and the Volcano Hybrid which offer more than one delivery method. 


    Still Struggling to Decide?

    See our Staff Picks collection for the AusVapes Team's favourite units.

    If you’ve read through our vaporizer-buying guide and you’re still confused, you can always get in touch directly. We’re always more than happy to help people that are looking to get into the hobby, and we’d love to help you find the right unit.

    Just send a message via our contact form or, if you’d prefer to chat on the phone, call us on 1300 088 112

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