27 November, 2014
Updated 2016 / 11 / 05
I'm going to keep this real short, quick and simple, because that's what most people are looking for... there's lots more information available all over the place of course, but here's the simple short-list and short answer to the question "What Vaporizer Should I Buy?" (and please keep in mind that Vapor Central, a cool spot where you can pay a $5 entry fee and try various vaporizers and enjoy a relaxing and friendly lounge, is next-door to THC!)
What Vaporizer to buy?
NEWLY ADDED serious contender: Grasshopper Vape by Hopper Labs - Made in USA, and the most amazing, smallest-possible, true- and pure- convection PEN sized and shaped vaporizer - wow!
1. Arizer AIR
The new super-portable pocket-sized incredible convection vape by Arizer (makers of the best selling ever, and until now the best all-round vape available, the Arizer Solo), the Arizer AIR is the next big thing. It's brand new, so we're waiting to see if there are any wrinkles to work out, but so far it seems to function at least as well, if not better, than the Solo and have a whole lot of other things going for it! Portability is foremost of course - totally pocket sized. Price is number two - it's only a little more than two hundred bucks! And you get a LOT for that relatively little price! Like a user-replaceable Li-ion rechargeable battery system which means that not only can you swap out the battery if it ever starts to not hold as much of a charge, but you can also purchase a spare (or more) and keep it charged to extend your vaping time by at least double! Which leads me to the next great advantage which is the Air's other available accessories - believe it or not, it kicks ass in this regard even though it's brand new, because most Arizer Solo (see #2 below) accessories seem to fit it! That means you can already connect it to a water-pipe if you want to using our Planet Vape Glass-on-Glass GonG connectors, and you can use our Planet Vape High Efficiency Stems of various types (straight, bent, shorty, turbo, etc.)... it also comes with TWO stems already, including a short one with plastic mouth tip and a longer all-glass one. Most amazingly, it comes with a silicone protective case AND a belt-loop equipped carrying case with spots for two accessories. There are tons of other benefits to this unit, most of all being that it functions amazingly well, sporting TRUE Convection Vaporization (hot-air rather than hot-plate type conduction baking/frying type vaporization which is nonsense)... not to mention features like auto-shutoff and the ability to vape while charging. All round, and especially for our price, this Arizer Air is totally revolutionary and amazing. We've sold thousands of Arizer Solos, and they're still at the top of the market and will continue to sell like stink and be enjoyed by millions (and are priced a little less) but I can't think of many reasons to get a Solo over the new AIR!!
2. Arizer Solo
An awesome all-round middle-of-the-road choice. Much less expensive than the Volcanos (around $180). Portable in that it is lithium-ion rechargeable battery operated, but not really pocket-sized (but close!). We sell probably ten times more Solos (and Airs now that they are proven and have surpassed the Solo) than any other vaporizer. Tons of accessories available for it including high efficiency stems and connectors and carrying cases etc., and priced amazingly at around $180. Just awesome all around. Super amazing choice no matter what. But the Air is definitely an upgrade.
3. Crafty and Mighty by Storz and Bickel (makers of Volcano)
Crafty and Mighty are incredible. Finally, pocket-sized portable vaporizers by the Volcano people. Work as well as you could hope and expect. Amazing all around. Crafty is controllable by Android/iPhone app and rechargeable via Micro USB - just awesome, but costs around $445. Mighty is similarly incredible, works at least as good if not a little better due to having dual li-ion batteries and controls on the unit with no Bluetooth iPhone/Android app connectivity. We love it, and find choosing between it and Mighty to be a real toss-up!
Helpful list of differences: 1) price - the Mighty is around $525 versus Crafty's $445, 2) charging - while Crafty is more universally chargeable thanks to Micro USB connection, Mighty has a regular AC/DC adapter type plug-in charging system (but batteries last twice as long in Mighty). 3) Mighty has no Bluetooth connectivity (while of course all the functions are actually on the unit instead, including an awesome LED temperature screen) - tough to say which method is cooler!; and 4) the Crafty is much more pocket-sized while Mighty is substantially larger. Also, a tiny thing - oddly the Mighty has a rounded bottom so doesn't really stand up, as far as I can see (not a real problem of course, just worth noting as a bit of an oddity).
4. Volcano (DIGIT and/or Classic)
STILL the ultimate vaporizer, as long as you're not looking for portability at all, and are OK with the cost. Quite large, plug-in unit that works basically perfectly. (around $785 or $630 respectively)
And that's about it... Of course there are tons of other options, including some very good ones - the HerbalAire and some of Arizer's other offerings such as the Extreme Q I would totally comfortably recommend. True vaporizers and really work well... but if I'm keeping it simple for folks, this is how I would choose: for purely at home use, and if you don't mind spending the money, get a Volcano DIGIT (or Classic). If you don't want to spend that much, or want it to be a mix of at-home use and portable, then try an excellent Arizer Air or Solo. If you want a more pocket-friendly unit and don't mind spending the money, then also consider a Crafty (or Mighty), (or a Grasshopper) in my humble opinion :)
I can NOT personally recommend any of the other small units - the cheap little vape pens and other conduction units like the PAX/PAX2 or G-Pro for example - the pens simply don't function well enough for herb and you'll end up spending way more on replacing coils in no time than you would have spent on a better unit. And the G-Pro and others like it (Ascent, Titan, MFLB, etc. etc.) are all, like the PAX, "conduction" instead of "convection" vaporizers, and as we learned like a decade ago with the crappy soldering iron glass-globe vaporizers, convection is simply WAY superior, REAL vaporization. Just about everyone who buys any of the conduction units eventually comes back wanting to upgrade to a convection ("hot-air") vaporizer. If you REALLY don't want to spend the little bit more money to have a true and proper convection vaporizer and simply want a cheap yet functional unit, the best of the 'conduction' vapes for the money include the Pulsar APX and the XVape Vital. For only $90 or $100 you can have a workable (while 'conduction' so in our opinion incorrect) hand-held battery-powered portable vaporizer.
All the best!