Should You Choose a Portable or a Desktop Vaporizer?

Choosing which piece of paraphernalia you’re going to load up with your new bag of weed is always a tough choice. When you’re buying a vaporizer for the first time, the options can be pretty intimidating. So how do you know whether to choose a desktop or a portable vaporizer? Well, we’ve covered all of the variables in this article!

I empathise with those who want to switch to using vaporizers but literally have no idea where to start. It’s like deciding which ice cream to buy at the supermarket if you’ve never had ice cream before. It can’t be stressed enough that the apparatus you use to smoke or vaporize cannabis is just as important as the cannabis you are consuming. Yes – it absolutely makes a difference.

When it comes to choosing a vaporizer, some are better than others. However, it doesn’t always boil down to the perfection of the piece of machinery. It also matters how you intend to use your vaporizer. There are great vaping machines out there designed to be used at home, and there are great vaporizers designed to be used on the go. Choosing will depend a lot on you.

There is a great war between the desktop vaporizer and the portable one – but we don’t think there should be. Technology has raised the standard on portable vaporizers, so much so that they are just about equal with desktop vaporizers in terms of quality. In this article, we plan to arm you with all the information you need to choose the right piece of arsenal for your vaping adventures.

Do you vape alone or with friends?

How you use cannabis should tell you a lot about which device you should purchase. It might not be necessary to have one of those huge volcano desktop vaporizers if you vape alone. You might get way more lit than you intended if you consume the whole bag alone. So perhaps it’s more appropriate to go for a portable vaporizer.

With that being said, if your smoking habits are almost always confined to your house, then perhaps the desktop vaporizer is suitable. For the most part, desktop vaporizers are actually better in terms of the quality of the vapour. So it might not matter that you have a whole bag full of smoke to consume. You can space it out over the evening.

If you always vape by yourself, and you opt for a desktop vaporizer, make sure to check the size of the chamber. About 0.3g is a good-size chamber for personal use without sharing. While the Plenty desktop vaporizer is smaller in size than the Volcano desktop vaporizer, the chamber itself is bigger.

Do you want to be able to vape on the go?

The obvious reason that the portable vaporizer was invented in the first place is because people realized that they wanted to be able to do it on the go. Whether you like to duck out of the movie theatre to “reignite” or whether you just want to be able to go to your friend’s place and share a few puffs, a portable vaporizer is obviously the way to go.

Perhaps needless to say, but all portable vaporizers will be battery-powered, and most desktop vaporizers will need to be plugged in to be able to use them. So when opting for a portable vaporizer, make sure to charge it before commencing a vaping session to avoid disappointment.

There’s no chance of carrying around a desktop vaporizer to hang out in your buddy’s garage. A small handheld vaporizer usually does the trick.

Do you want to be able to personalise your vape experience?

If you want to be able to personalise your vaping experience, it doesn’t matter whether you choose a portable or a desktop vaporizer. However, you will need to choose a vaporizer that has the option to do so. Some vaporizers are designed for user friendliness, and so they don’t give you the option to change temperature settings. Other vaporizers give the user full customization options.

It’s hard to find a desktop vaporizer that doesn’t allow you to change settings. However, many cheaper portable vaporizers don’t come with customisation. For that, you’ll probably have to invest a little bit more money into getting a portable vaporizer.

Excellent customisable portable vaporizers include the Mighty and its smaller counterpart the Crafty+, the Arizer Solo 2, the gorgeous Pax 3, DaVinci IQ2, and the sleek Wolkenkraft Äris.

Do you care about blowing huge clouds of smoke?

Ah, some people are pretty concerned with how much smoke they get to blow. Maybe they want to do smoke tricks, want to look cool in front of their friends, or just enjoy the satisfying experience of blowing huge clouds.

In any case, a desktop vaporizer such as a Volcano usually produces a huge cloud of white smoke. A portable one, on the other hand, usually does not. Ultimately, the best vaporizer for huge clouds of smoke is always an oil vape (vape pen), but THC e-liquids are strictly forbidden in the EU.

Is discretion important to you?

Well, it goes without saying that if you want to be discrete about your vaping, a portable vaporizer solves that problem. A desktop vaporizer is quite the statement sitting there on your desk or mantle. It doesn’t pack away quite as easily as a portable vaporizer, which can be slipped into your drawer or handbag.

If you’re vaping on the go, then there’s basically no option of doing that discretely with a desktop vaporizer. The only way to be discrete about vaporizing in public is to carry around a smaller, handheld vaporizer in your bag or glovebox.

The ideal discreet vaporizer will be the Pax 3 for most. It’s sleek, doesn’t have a protruding mouth piece, which is a negative for some, but a positive for those seeking discretion.

What are the most important differences between a portable and desktop vaporizer?

You must be getting the gist by now that choosing between desktop and portable is primarily a matter of preference. One might be more suitable than the other because of the way that you want to use cannabis and the way that you relate to your smoking arsenal. We’ve summarised the most important differences for you:

  • A desktop vaporizer is ideal for use at home while a portable vaporizer is designed for use on the go
  • A desktop vaporizer makes huge clouds while a portable vaporizer makes smaller clouds
  • A desktop vaporizer is hard to conceal while you can be discrete with a portable vape
  • A desktop vaporizer is usually much more expensive than lower end portable vaporizers
  • A desktop vaporizer will get you completely ripped but a portable vaporizer allows for much more conservative dosing
  • Most desktop vaporizers need to be plugged in to function, while portable vaporizers need to be charged ahead of the vaping session

How to choose a good quality vaporizer

When you’re buying a vaporizer, you’re buying a piece of apparatus that should stay with you for years. Hopefully, buying a vaporizer is not like buying a pair of cheap shoes from Walmart. So there are some things you should know so that you can get your money’s worth.

  1. Don’t buy a vaporizer that has no settings. If it doesn’t let you personalise at least the temperature, you’ll probably never be able to get the most out of your weed, hash, or concentrate.
  2. If you can afford it, look for a vaporizer that can vaporize both concentrates and dry herb. It gives you the option to interchange in the future without having to buy another vaporizer.
  3. You don’t need to spend loads of money, but buying lower end vaporizers won’t satisfy. Don’t be too tempted by the tiny price tag – it is too good to be true. Lower end vaporizers simply don’t let you get the most out of the quality herb that you’ve packed in there.

If you are really serious about vaping, it’s imperative to choose a good quality vaporizer. It really does affect the overall quality of your experience, and it can devalue good quality weed if you put it in a crappy vaporizer. Make sure you ask many questions before making the investment, and don’t get sucked in by a cheap price tag! Finally, the most important thing is to enjoy vaping!

What’s your favourite vaporizer? Why did you choose that vaporizer? Please share your experience in the comments!


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Sera Jane Ghaly

    Sera Jane Ghaly

    I like to call myself the traveling gypsy wanderer of the world. Born in Melbourne Australia, but reborn just about everywhere else in the world. I have a healthy obsession with words and languages, using them as a vehicle to navigate this multi-dimensional human experience. My enthusiasm for marijuana started in the USA, and since then I’ve been traveling the world with the herb as my inspiration. Sweet Mary Jane has led me to shamanic ceremonies in the Amazon all the way to smoking ganja with the Babas in India.
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