Best Vaporizers for Dry Herb
By Lindsay Fox Posted February 22, 2018
Finding the best dry herb vaporizer isn’t easy. With such a large range of different devices to choose from – from simple dry herb vape pen devices through to desktop vaporizers – and a dizzying array of options in each class, working out what the right one is for your needs can be a lot of work. Should you choose a marijuana vaporizer with conduction or convection heating? How efficient is the best vape pen for dry herb? Can it vaporize your herb evenly or is it better to go with a more powerful and less portable option?
If you’re new to the world of dry herb vaporizers, it might seem like there’s too much to consider. But you can find the best portable vaporizer for dry herb if you think about what you need, learn about some of the most widely-recommended devices on the market and find out about what distinguishes different types of herbal vaporizer from one another.
Best Dry Herb Vaporizers
Although finding the best vaporizer for dry herb isn’t exactly easy – since you have to consider what you’re looking for as well as what each option can do – there are many devices that come widely-recommended for dry herb vaping. These span the different types of weed vaporizer, and our top 10 will too, with some of the best dry herb vape pen devices, portable marijuana vaporizers and desktop vaporizers. Think carefully about your options, but every device on this list has a lot to offer vapers.
Note: If you’re unsure about the basics of dry herb vaporizers, scroll down past this list for some basic information on what they are, how they work and how to choose the right one for your needs.
10 – Arizer Extreme Q
The Arizer Extreme Q is one of the most affordable desktop vaporizers on the market. It features precision temperature control (which can be set anywhere from 122 °F right up to 500 °F / 50 to 260 ° C), with some pre-set options easily accessible, a three-speed fan – which is quiet and more energy efficient than the previous model’s – and a remote control to operate everything with.
The Extreme Q has a ceramic heating element, with a glass attachment that holds your dry herb above the position of the heating element. This means it’s a convection-style vaporizer, which provides excellent flavor and is the most efficient way of vaporizing your herbs. Everything vapes evenly without you having to mix it around like you might need to with many conduction vaporizers.
The Arizer Extreme Q is a solid vaporizer all-round, but more than anything, the reason it made this list of the best dry herb vaporizer devices is that it comes at a fantastically low price for a desktop vaporizer: just $169.99 at it’s most affordable. You simply won’t find such a high-quality desktop for such a low price anywhere else, so it’s easily the best desktop vaporizer for anyone on a budget.
9 – The Mighty
The Mighty earns a spot on this list of the best dry herb vaporizer units because it has the performance of a desktop in the body of a portable. The name gives something of a clue, though – the Mighty is fairly big in comparison to other portable vaporizers on the market (and you can get the Crafty instead for a similarly high-quality vape without such a bulky size).
The Mighty is fairly unique in that it uses a combination of convection and conduction-based heating, providing excellent performance throughout your session. It has a 1.4 cubic centimeter chamber, which can hold plenty of dry herb but can also be used with liquid thanks to the additional liquid pad. You have full control over your temperature setting, which can be set up to a maximum temperature of 410 °F / 210 °C.
The Mighty takes two 18650 batteries, which means you’ll have to own some separate batteries, but offers the benefit of making it easy to bring spares with you if you’ll vaping be out of the house for a long period of time.
The Mighty costs $399.99, but the performance is absolutely excellent and it’s well worth every cent if you’re serious about getting one of the best dry herb vaporizer models on the market.
8 – Goboof Alfa
The Goboof Alfa is a sleek, ergonomically-designed handheld vaporizer that’s ideal if you’ll be using it out of the house a lot and you’re looking for something discreet. It has three main temperature settings – which you access using a dial on the upper edge of the vaporizer – and two automatic options which raise the temperature either with every puff or gradually over time. The three main settings are 374 °F / 190 °C, 410 ° F / 210 °C and 428 °F / 220 °C, and the automatic settings increase over this range.
The Alfa’s oven is on the bottom of the device and the chamber has a pretty unique design. It has a solid metal tube running up the center to help distribute the heat and ensure your herb gets vaporized evenly and efficiently despite the conduction-based heating. It reaches vaping temperature in about 30 seconds and it performs excellently all-round, especially for such a portable vaporizer. You can vape for about 2 hours on a full charge, so you can get 6 to 8 sessions depending on whether you vape for 15 or 20 minutes.
It won’t replace your trusty desktop vaporizer, but if you need something for discreet vaping when you’re out and about, it’s one of the best dry herb vaporizers you can get. It costs $219.99, and comes with a mouthpiece, a few screens, a USB charger and some cleaning tools.
7 – Firefly 2
The Firefly 2 is widely hailed as one of the best dry herb vaporizers on the market, and it’s easy to see why. It’s quite portable – at about five inches long and one-and-a-half wide – but it heats your material quickly and efficiently, reaching its standard vaping temperature of 400 °F in just five seconds or less. This is far beyond anything else on the market, and goes to show just how efficient the Firefly 2 is when it comes to vaping your herb.
The Firefly 2 dry herb vaporizer pen runs from a replaceable battery, and you get two of them when you pick up the device. Each of these will run for between 6 and 8 bowls of material, and they can be recharged in as little as 45 minutes if you have a Quickcharge AC adaptor.
The Firefly automatically heats to 400 ° F / 204 °C, but you can set it to 340, 360, 380, 400 or 420 ° F (171, 182, 193, 204 and 216 °C) with the addition of the free Firefly app for your cell phone. There’s also a setting specifically for vaping concentrates. You load the bowl by removing the magnetically-attached lid and packing your material down into the bowl, and you activate the device using touch sensors on the left and right edges of the device’s body. The vapor travels down a glass path out to the mouthpiece so the flavor of your herb isn’t impacted.
Overall, the Firefly is a great performer and firmly deserves it’s spot among the top 10 best dry herb vape pen devices. It costs $329.95 and comes with a charging dock, two batteries, a cleaning kit, three pads for concentrates and the device itself.
6 – The Volcano
The Volcano is an absolute legend among marijuana vaporizer enthusiasts. The desktop vaporizer’s conical shape and easy-valve balloons are instantly recognizable to vapers, and even though the device is fairly expensive it definitely deserves its reputation. If you’re looking for the best performing dry herb vaporizer and you don’t need a portable one, the Volcano should definitely be one of the vaporizers on your shortlist.
The digital version of the Volcano lets you dial in any temperature from 104 to 446 °F or 40 to 230 °C, using two dedicated buttons on either side of the clear LED display screen to increase by an increment of 9 °F / 5° C.
The desktop vaporizer is really easy to use: fill up the herb chamber and insert it into the top of the device, and attach your bag to the top. The Volcano takes a few minutes to heat up (some users recommend hitting the “Heat” button prior to filling up and attaching the chamber for this reason), but when it’s done you hit the “Air” button to fill the bag. The bag has a mouthpiece which can be attached after you remove it from the Volcano that prevents vapor from escaping between puffs.
The density and quality of the vapor from the Volcano is what earns it a spot among the best dry herb vaporizer units: you’ll be blown away by how quickly the bag fills and how thick the vapor is. A downside is that it doesn’t come with a whip attachment, but if you’re happy with using bags this isn’t a major issue. It costs $599.00 for the device and plenty of accessories.
5 – V2 Pro Series 3X
The V2 Pro Series 3X is a unique entry onto this list, and really it can be considered the best dry herb vape pen on the market today. It has the size of a traditional vape pen, but thanks to a changeable magnetic cartridge system you can use it with concentrates and e-liquid in addition to dry herb. Unlike many vape pen sized devices the Pro Series 3X is actually efficient at vaporizing your herbs, giving an even coverage without the need to mix the material up part-way through your session.
The magnetic cartridge system is the crowning achievement of the Pro Series devices from V2: you simply drop the appropriate cartridge in place – with one option for each type of material – and the device automatically detects what you’re vaping and behaves accordingly. For each mode, there are a few settings available, with voltage adjustment between 1.8 and 3.3 V for e-liquid and concentrates, and three temperature settings for dry herb vaping.
The main focus of the device is admittedly e-liquid vaping – for which they offer both sub ohm (0.9 ohms) and higher-ohm atomizer heads – but the performance with the dry herb cartridge is excellent. Most dry herb vape pens don’t work as well as you’d hope – with unvaporizered herb being pretty common after a session – but the 3X (and the older Pro Series 3) get the job done perfectly. Throw in the impressive in-built battery and it’s easy to see why it’s widely-regarded as the best vape pen for dry herb on the market.
4 – DaVinci IQ
The DaVinci IQ is one of the best dry herb vaporizer devices you can get when it comes to performance, offering a lot to vapers while still keeping the price reasonable.
The DaVinci IQ is a compact weed vaporizer, offering precision temperature control between 250 and 430 °F (120 and 220 °C), so you can dial in your perfect vaping temperature without restrictions. The device reaches 446 °F (230 °C) in just 16 seconds, and your vapor travels up a ceramic zirconia air path to ensure you get pure flavor when you vape.
It also offers “boost mode,” which heats up to a maximum of 430 °F for as long as you hold down the button on the top of the device, and “smart paths,” which gradually increase the temperature over the course of your session. You can customize the smart paths if you get the smartphone app for the device, too.
The DaVinci IQ runs on a single 18650 battery (with an LG HE2 included when you buy the device), which makes it easy to bring spares if you won’t be able to charge for a while. You can get about an hour and a half of solid vaping time out of a charge, and the included battery will recharge in about three hours.
The DaVinci IQ is a high-end device that thoroughly deserves its spot as one of the best portable vaporizers for dry herb, and you can pick it up for $274.99.
3 – VaporFi Atom
The VaporFi Atom is one of the newest portable vaporizers to hit the market from a company most well-known for its e-liquid vaping devices. However, as long as you can forgive the Pax-like design choices it’s a very capable marijuana vaporizer and earns an impressive third place in our list of the best dry herb vaporizer devices.
The Atom has a sleek look, a huge 3,000 mAh internal battery, single-click activation and a system of LED lights in lieu of a display screen, making it especially well-suited to beginner vapers. There are three temperature settings on the device, 360, 410 and 464 °F (182, 210 and 240 °C), which you select by holding down the device’s sole button and clicking through until the LEDs show the right color (blue for low, yellow for medium and red for high). The LED lights show purple when the device is heating and turn white when it’s time to start vaping.
Overall, the VaporFi Atom is one of the best-rated dry herb vape pen style devices for a new vaper, costing just $139.99 direct from VaporFi and offering a consistently impressive dry herb vaping experience. It might not have the features of some of the more expensive devices on this list, but the price makes it a strong competitor.
2 – The Herbalizer
The Herbalizer is a game-changing dry herb vaporizer. It’s a desktop device with a unique design: it looks like an oval-shaped pod – nothing like the Volcano-style devices that are common in the industry. It works with whips, bags and as a direct draw device, and it uses a halogen bulb as a heating source rather than a normal heating element. This means it heats up in just a few seconds, and it performs really well either as a vaporizer or in a more aromatherapy-like role of diffusing an odor into the room.
The Herbalizer is the top dry herb vaporizer on the market if you’re looking for a desktop-style device. You open the lid of the device to switch it on, choose aromatherapy or “vaportherapy” (i.e. vaping) mode, dial in your temperature setting and get ready to vape. You can set the temperature on the herbalizer anywhere between 290 and 445 °F (143 to 230 °C), and it uses an in-air temperature sensor alongside a 32 MHz processor to ensure the device always stays within 5 °F of the setting you entered at all times. It also has all inert components, so nothing will interfere with the taste of your vapor.
The Herbalizer comes with four balloons featuring a squeeze valve (to prevent vapor from escaping mid-session), a 3 ft silicone whip, a cleaning brush and other accessories such as two “aromapads” for aromatherapy use. The price of $599 may be a sticking-point for some, but the performance from the Herbalizer is out of this world. If you want the very best desktop dry herb vaping experience, the Herbalizer is in a league of its own.
1 – Pax 3
If you’re looking for the best performing dry herb vaporizer on the market but don’t want a desktop unit or the best vape pen for dry herb, the Pax 3 could well be the device for you. It’s a portable weed vaporizer, but really it isn’t too much bigger than a vape pen, with a sleek, rounded design and a very simple layout.
The Pax 3 can handle dry herbs, but it also comes with a concentrates attachment you can use with waxes and oils. There are four temperature settings included on the device as standard – 360, 380, 400 and 420 °F (or 182, 193, 204 and 215 °C) – and you can choose any temperature within this range with the help of the Pax app. It has an in-built 3,500 mAh battery, which will last you for between 8 and 10 sessions per charge. The Pax 3 reaches the top temperature in about 22 seconds, and when you’re good to vape the LED lights change from a pulsing purple to a solid green, and the device vibrates too.
The performance from the Pax 3 is excellent. The flavor is pure and you get a satisfying amount of vapor (even if it can’t really compete with desktop units like the Herbalizer and the Volcano on this front), and the oven is at the bottom of the device so the mouthpiece doesn’t get uncomfortably warm. It does just as well for both dry herb and concentrates, but it’s best known as a dry herb vaporizer.
The Pax 3 is a high-end herbal vaporizer, but the price of $274.99 is pretty competitive and it’s more affordable than many devices on this list of the best dry herb vaporizer pens, portables and desktops. It might seem like a lot, but for a vaporizer this high-quality it’s well worth the expense.
Dry Herb Vaping 101
So we’ve seen what some of the best dry herb vaporizer devices on the market have to offer, but if you’re unsure of the basics, making your decision can still be difficult. Although we can’t cover everything here, this section gives you a crash course in the basics of dry herb vaping.
What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer?
Dry herb vaping is when you vape dried plant matter, and a dry herb vaporizer is the device you use to do it. In most cases, when people talk about “dry herb” vaporizers they really mean a marijuana vaporizer, but it is possible to use a weed vaporizer to vape actual herbs or even tobacco. As the name suggests, vaporizing is turning the material into a vapor without “smoking” it (i.e. with no combustion involved).
Most dry herb vaporizer devices work in the same way, and if you’re wondering “how do vape pens work for marijuana?” the explanation for that is the same too. All marijuana vaporizers – whatever size they are – have a chamber for you to add your dry herb, and this is then heated to turn the material into a vapor. The heating can happen either directly (through contact with a hot surface, known as conduction vaping) or by passing hot air over the material (called convection vaping). The result in either case is that the vapor passes up into the mouthpiece and is inhaled by the user.
Does Vaping Weed Smell?
“Does vaping weed smell?” is one of the most common questions that gets asked about dry herb vaping. The answer is (unfortunately for some) yes, it does. The smell is much less pronounced than if you were smoking marijuana, though, and it will fade more quickly than the smell of smoke. However, it definitely smells enough for you to be able to tell if somebody is vaping marijuana in the room or has been recently.
However, some devices work better for “stealth” vaping than others, so it’s worth considering the contenders for the title of best dry herb vaporizer with that in mind. You can’t remove the smell entirely, but if being detected is a concern for you, some herbal vaporizers are easier to conceal and produce less of a smell than others.
How to Use Dry Herb Vaporizers
All dry herb vaporizers basically work in the same way, so if you know how to use one, you’ll be right at home when it comes to using another one.
First, you grind up your dry herb. The big difference between grinding up marijuana for vaping and grinding it for smoking is that you need to do it much more finely when you’re vaping. If it isn’t finely ground, it won’t vaporize as evenly and you could end up with performance issues too.
Next, pack the material down into the chamber of your vaporizer. It’s important to pack your material down tightly, but if you go too far you can impede the airflow and detract from the performance. The best advice is to overfill the chamber a little and then pack it down so that it fits. Push it down using a fingertip or a packing tool, tightly enough that it stays in place. It might take a bit of trial and error to work out exactly how tightly to pack it, but in general if you make it tight but not as tight as you possibly can you’ll get good performance.
If you’re wondering how to use a vape pen for weed, rather than a portable vaporizer or desktop unit, the only difference is that the chamber will probably be right under the mouthpiece and a little smaller than it is on other sizes of device.
Once you’ve packed the chamber you can turn your device on and start vaping. Choose a temperature setting (which is done differently depending on the specific dry herb vaporizer you’re using) and then let it reach the designated heat before you start inhaling. Inhale slowly and softly for the best performance.
What’s the Best Temp to Vape Weed?
Almost all of the dry herb vape pen and vaporizer devices have different temperature settings to choose from, and finding out the best temp to vape weed is essential to getting the most out of them.
The main issue when looking for the best temp to vape weed is the fact that different compounds are released at different temperatures. For example, THC (the main psychoactive component of marijuana) is released at around 315 °F / 157 °C, and CBD (a non-psychoactive part that’s often used medically) is released at about 356 °F / 180 °C.
The optimal temperature for vaping marijuana is between 356 and 410 °F or 180 and 210 °C. The lower end of this range is better for a “cerebral high” and the upper end is better for a “body high.” Your marijuana will start to combust at around 455 °F / 235 °C, so you’ll need to stay lower than that if you want to avoid the toxins associated with smoking. However, research has suggested that about 77 % of cannabinoids were vaporized at 446 ° F / 230 °C, so higher temperatures are worth trying if you don’t find 410 °F / 210 °C satisfying.
Types of Dry Herb Vaporizer
Finding a high quality dry herb vaporizer means thinking about what type of device you’re looking for. Although the distinctions aren’t always clear-cut, there are three main types of dry herb vaporizer: dry herb vape pens, portable dry herb vaporizers and desktop dry herb vaporizers.
- Dry herb vape pens: A herb vape pen is similar in size to an e-liquid vape pen, but with a heating chamber in place of the e-liquid tank. Many marijuana vape pens focus on waxes and concentrates, but some are available for vaping dry herb. However, only a few can vape dry herb effectively because of their limited size and power.
- Portable dry herb vaporizers: Portable weed vaporizer devices are bigger than vape pens but can still be carried around with you and use batteries for power rather than a wall outlet. Like herbal vape pens, they have a chamber that you fill with your material, and then you choose a temperature setting before starting to vape. These work much more efficiently than most dry herb vape pens. Most will use conduction heating, but more expensive ones may use convection heating.
- Desktop dry herb vaporizers: Desktop vaporizers are much bigger devices that need to sit on a table or other surface to be used, and are usually powered by a wall outlet. They usually perform much better than portable dry herb vaporizers, but tend to be more expensive too. You either inhale directly through a tube (a “whip”) or by attaching a balloon that is filled with vapor, which you then inhale from. Many desktop vaporizers use convection heating.
Choosing a Dry Herb Vaporizer
In some sense, there is no “best dry herb vaporizer,” because it all really comes down to what you’re looking for. If you want something portable, then a desktop unit is never going to be the best option for you, even if it offers a better vape than a portable dry herb vaporizer. So choosing the best quality dry herb vaporizer is really about thinking about what you want from your device.
Which Type of Device?
The easiest thing to consider is what type of device you want. Although some vape pens (such as the V2 Pro Series 3X) are great for dry herb vaping, most vapers wouldn’t recommend choosing one unless portability is absolutely essential to you and other devices seem too big. Portable dry herb vaporizers are more often the size of a vape mod, but generally perform much more consistently and are a better choice overall for vaping dry herb. Desktop units can be even better, but they’re only a good idea if you’ll ordinarily be vaping at home.
What’s the Battery Like?
There are many other factors to consider when you’re looking for a reliable dry herb vaporizer or vape pen. One of the most important for non-desktop devices is the battery life the device offers – the “capacity” of the battery (in mAh) tells you how long the battery will last, with bigger numbers being better. Most portable dry herb vaporizers have internal batteries, but some use external batteries too. The benefit of external batteries is that it’s much easier to take spares out of the house with you and you can always get a new battery if yours starts performing worse after extensive use.
Conduction vs. Convection
Conduction vs. convection heating is another big debate in the field of dry herb vaporizers. The short version is that while convection heating is generally considered superior, it’s much more expensive to pull off, and conduction heating devices still perform really well in many cases. Unless you have a large enough budget, you’re getting a desktop vaporizer or the performance needs to be absolutely top notch, it’s probably more practical to save some money and stick with a conduction-based device.
Other Issues and the Importance of Reviews
This just scratches the surface of finding the best vaporizer for dry herb, but it should give you an idea of the sort of thing to consider. Other factors to consider are the range of temperatures available, how user-friendly the device is, whether it vaporizes your herb evenly and how big the chamber is. The best way to find out about all these and more is to check a dry herb vaporizer review for the specific device (or devices) you’re interested in. Reviewers pull all of the most important information together and build in their personal experiences with the device to help you make the right decision.
There is a lot to consider if you’re in the market for the best dry herb vaporizer for your needs, but with the recommendations and general advice given in this post, you’ll find it much easier to navigate through the options and make your purchase. The best advice is to think about everything carefully before you make your purchase – compare specs, think about what you need and check out a dry herb vaporizer review for each model you’re considering – and don’t pull the trigger until you’re sure you’ve settled on the right vaporizer. If you make the decision right and can move away from combustion, your body will thank you in the long run.