Types of Dry Herb Vaporizers

Types of Dry Herb Vaporizers

best dry herb vaporizer

This page is part of our educational series on Dry Herb Vaping. Want to learn more? Check out our more detailed breakdown of Session vs. On-Demand Vaporizers or How to Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer.

When comparing dry herb vaporizers, there’s a lot you can take into consideration, from price to style to battery type and more. But first, you must know the general types of dry herb vaporizers, also called “vapes”, available on the market today.

Vaporizers can be a big investment, but if you choose a unit that’s right for you, you can enjoy the convenience and quality of vaping your dry herb at home or on the go. What makes one vape different from another? The main difference we’ll be detailing today is size.

Whether you’re someone that just uses their vaporizer at home alone, in a party setting with friends, or you like to take your vape on the go, there are a variety of vaporizer models and styles to choose from at every price point. Read on as we explain desktop vapes, portable vapes and vaporizer pens, so you can shop with confidence.

Desktop Vaporizers

When it comes to vape tech, portable vapes and vape pens are by far the most popular and practical today, but desktop vapes are the OGs. Vaporizers first hit the market in the early 1990s, as advancements in battery and heating technology finally caught up with consumer cannabis culture. By heating the cannabis to the point where it began to vaporize, but below the point of burning, it produced a smooth, clean vapor instead of harsh smoke.

Super Surfer Review
Here you can see the Super Surfer desktop vape’s larger design, mouthpiece attachments and controls.

Desktop vapes all have a few things in common, that set them apart from other vape models. You can identify a desktop vape by it’s:

  • Larger size
  • Wall plug-in
  • Attachments for group smoking

Desktop Vape Differentiators

First, let’s talk about the desktop vape’s size.

It’s called a desktop vape because it’s a larger unit that is best suited for your kitchen table or desktop, and is not meant to be portable or used on-the-go.

The wall plug-in feature is another part of the desktop vape that makes it more convenient for at-home use, and less so for travel and portability. Some desktop vapes feature rechargeable batteries, but this is not usually the case because they require much more power to use and would, therefore, drain the batteries quickly.

Attachments for Your Desktop Vape

The last main piece of the desktop vape that’s important to know is its attachments. These attachments are removable pieces that are usually included in the vape’s kit but can also be purchased separately. The top 3 types of attachments are:


  • Whip tubing

Whip tubing is similar to a hookah hose that can be attached to the top of your desktop vape and passed among a group of people to share.

  • Bag or balloon

Balloon attachments “inflate” as they fill up with vapor, and then a mouthpiece can be attached to pass it around the room to share.

  • Direct draw attachments

Direct draw attachments are best for use alone or among 1-2 other people sitting right near the desktop vape. These singular mouthpieces attach right to the vape and let you pull a hit right from the unit.

Portable Vaporizers

Arizer Go ArGo vs Mighty, Crafty, Davinci IQ & Pax 3
Portable vapes harness the power and advanced features of your classic desktop vape, and take them to go. Enjoy temperature control, LED screens and rechargeable batteries wherever life takes you. (Pictured here, left to right: Arizer Go ArGo, Mighty, Crafty, Davinci IQ & Pax 3)

When shopping for a vaporizer that offers high-quality vapor that you can take on the go, opt for a portable vape. Portable vaporizers are inspired by the powerful features of the desktop vape but are, you guessed it, more portable — which makes them great to take on the go. Portable vaporizers are incredibly popular, and top models you may have heard of include the DaVinci IQ and Pax 3 dry herb vapes.

Portable Vape vs. Desktop Vape Differences

A couple main differences exist that set apart portable vapes from their desktop counterparts. Those are:

  • Portable vapes feature rechargeable batteries
  • They are smaller, usually built to fit in a purse or large pocket
  • Direct draw is the built-in mouthpiece for most portable vaporizers


If you’re looking to vape your dry herb on the go, you absolutely do not want to be searching for wall plugs all over the place. That’s where the portable vape’s rechargeable and/or replaceable battery comes in. Some models feature batteries that can be taken out of the unit and replaced, but the most common you’ll see have an internal battery that can be easily charged with a USB. Some portable vape models have butane and flame options, but these are less common on the market.

Utillian Dry Herb Vape
Portable vaporizers are the most popular today, so they come in wide range of models and styles, from ultra premium and high-end to more budget friendly options. (Pictured: Utillian Dry Herb Vape)

Their smaller size is also great for vaping on the go, but portable vapes are still large enough to include features like LED screens, advanced temperature controls, and super high quality vapor production.

Because these type of vapes are so popular, you’ll find many of the best portable dry herb vapes on the market for sale online and in head shops too. Their popularity also means that their technology is changing and advancing quickly, so keep an eye out for new models with advanced features to make your vaping experience even better.

Vaporizer Pens

ePuffer Cosmos grinder Review
If you didn’t know better, you might actually confuse a vaporizer pen like the ePuffer Cosmos for a luxury writing utensil. Their discreet features and slim design make them perfect for consuming on the go.

Small but mighty is the best way to describe vaporizer pens, which are the smallest dry herb vape units that you can find on the market today. Compared with early 1990s vape technology, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in making vaping easy, discreet and incredibly mainstream, with many notable celebrities embracing vape culture, too.

Vape Pen Advantages

Vaporizer pens have a couple main advantages to their desktop and boxy portable counterparts. These are:

  • Super compact size
  • Ease of use
  • Discreet cannabis consumption
  • Budget friendly

When it comes to vapes, the vape pen takes the cake in terms of compact design. The name “pen” is no exaggeration at all, with many vapes clocking in at about the size of a ball-point pen. This makes vaping on the go super easy — your vape pen can easily fit in the palm of your hand, into a slim pocket, or tucked away for travel or enjoying at a music festival.

Using Your Vape Pen

In terms of ease of use, the vape pen makes it as easy as 1-2-3. Simply:

  1. Load your ground dry herb into the heating chamber
  2. Press the button to turn the unit on & fire up the battery
  3. Inhale through the attached direct draw mouthpiece

Because of their super small size, vape pens make discreet consumption incredibly easy. There is usually no preheating involved, so to take a hit you can just slip the pen into your hand, press the button and inhale. When you’re done, just pop it back into your purse or pocket and you’re on your way.

Lastly, vape pens are the most budget-friendly option of the three types of vapes on the market today. Their simple construction means limited features, but the price is right. While oil and concentrate vape pens are the most popular these days, there are a few quality dry herb vape pens around like the Atmos JUMP.

If you’re wondering what the downsides are to vaporizer pens though, there are a few. First, vape pens compact size means limited controls. Instead of choosing an exact temperature setting, you may be able to toggle between high, medium and low settings instead.

You should also consider that vape pens are built with their interior components packed tightly together, and therefore can malfunction or break easily. This combined with their super portable nature puts vape pens at extra risks for being dropped on the ground, jolted around in a purse or pocket, or otherwise broken. On the positive side here, though, their budget friendly nature makes them relatively easy to replace if they break or are lost.

Types of Dry Herb Vaporizers: Final Thoughts

So there you have it! While the rise of oil and concentrate cannabis consumption has changed the way many cannabis consumers choose to vape, the dry herb vape options are still strong & plentiful on the market today.

DaVinci IQ Portable Weed Vaporizer kit
Be sure to do your homework and find the right dry herb vape for you. With lots of options and styles to choose from, you’ll be able to find the right unit for your exact needs. (Pictured Here: The DaVinci IQ Portable Weed Vaporizer kit)

When shopping for the right dry herb vape for you, consider the balance between size, features, power and price that you are looking for. It’s far from one-size-fits-all in terms of dry herb vapes, so take time to do your research and find the perfect vaporizer for you. And, don’t forget to invest in a quality dry herb grinder, which will help prep your cannabis for the perfect vaping experience, no matter which style you choose.

The Vape Guide
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