About this list

Hello there! I'm Oron Mati, better known as the VapeGuy, and I've been using dry herb vaporizers since 2005, with my purchase of the original Volcano from Stroz&Bickel (which is still going strong!). 

Since then, I have tested and rated hundreds of vaporizers (on this website and my YouTube channel) for build quality, design, features, extraction efficiency, vapor quality, and longevity. Here is more info about me and my rating process.

One of the most common questions I get from new users is- “which is the best Vaporizer for dry herbs?” And the answer to that is as straightforward as you may think. 

Dry herb vaporizers are not a “one size fits all” and depend on your individual needs just as much as the specs of the vape. The best for me doesn't necessarily mean the best for you, as we may prioritize different features. 

The list above represents my top choices in each category and is regularly updated as new vapes are released. I also included coupon codes when available. Feel free to use them, and let me know if any are not working correctly. 

Trusted Retailers: All stores listed are authorized dealers I've personally ordered from. Please note that as ‘VapeGuy', I may earn a fee from purchases made through my links. For more details, see my affiliate disclosure.

What are dry herb vaporizers?

Dry Herb Vaporizers heat up dry weed to around 375°F to extracts active compounds and turn them into vapor.

Dry herb vaporizers are designed to heat dried cannabis flowers or other herbs to a temperature (350-400°F) that vaporizes but does not burn the active compounds. Unlike smoking, where the material is combusted, vaporizers heat the herb just enough to release cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and Terpenes in the form of vapor. This method of delivery is known for being more efficient and less harmful than traditional smoking, as it produces fewer toxins and carcinogens (Source: PMC 2021 research paper).

These devices come in various sizes and styles, ranging from portable, battery-operated models to larger desktop units that require a power outlet. Dry herb vaporizers consist of a heating element, a chamber for the herb, and a mouthpiece.

Size & Portbility

Dry herb vaporizers vary in size and design, each with its pros and cons. Smaller vaporizers offer high portability but might have shorter battery life and can get hot during use. If you prioritize usability over portability, consider one of the “home portables” from the list below.

Portable vaporizers

Portable vaporizers use batteries as their power source, ranging from “ultra-portables” that easily fit in your palm to larger and more sturdy “home portables.”

Heat dispersion is an important aspect often overlooked when talking about vaporizer size. Herb vaporizers generate heat in the oven, which can make smaller devices uncomfortably hot to hold and handle. Larger models generally manage heat better and are more comfortable for extended use.

Best “small form” portable vaporizers:

  • Pax Plus
  • DaVinci IQ2
  • Zeus GT3

Best “home use” portable vaporizers:

  • S&B Venty
  • Arizer Solo 2
  • Utillian 722

Desktop vaporizers

Desktop vaporizers use a wall outlet as a power source and are typically larger & more powerful. Desktop vapes often feature an internal air pump that “pushes” vapor into a balloon bag or a whip for effortless inhaling.

Best Desktop vaporizers:

  • S&B Volcano Hybrid
  • Arizer XQ2

Temperature control

Manufacturers take different approaches when it comes to temp control. It can be precise +/- 1° control or it can be preset levels indicated by LEDs.

Temp control is a critical feature when it comes to vapor quality and extraction efficiency. Brands & manufacturers take different approaches when it comes to temp control. Here are just a few of the types:

  • No temp control– just one level with no option to change. I recommend staying away from these unless price is your top priority. 
  • Temp presets– limits you to (typically 4) preset levels set by the manufacturer that can't be modified.
  • Precise control– allows +/- 1°F (or °C) adjustments to dial in an exact temp. Obviously, this is the best temp control method and allows the most flexibility. 

Vaporizers with the best temp control:

  • S&B Venty
  • Nectar Hex
  • Arizer Air Max

Price/performance ratio

While, as with anything else, dry herb vaporizers get better as the price point goes up, that's not to say that there are good options at all price levels. 

Best entry-level vaporizers 

Often below $100, they are a great starting point for beginners but may lack advanced features like precise temperature control or superior build quality. With that said, here are a few good options at this price level:

  • G-Pen Dash+
  • Xmax Starry 4
  • Tronian Millatron

Best mid-range vaporizers 

Are priced between $100 and $200 and often strikes a balance between quality and affordability. They usually offer better temperature control, battery life, vapor quality, and more durable materials. 

  • Pax Plus
  • Nectar Hex
  • Ooze Verge
  • POTV Lobo

Best high-end vaporizers 

Prioritize premium build quality and advanced features, costing north of $200, providing the best experience & vapor quality. Options include: 

  • S&B Venty
  • Tinymight 2

While it's tempting to opt for cheaper models, investing in a higher-quality vaporizer can be more cost-effective in the long run. They tend to last longer, perform better, and provide a more satisfying experience.

Level of maintenance 

Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance. Some vaporizers require more maintenance than others, so choose based on your comfort level with upkeep.

Best low-maintenance vaporizers:

  • Pax Plus
  • S&B Venty, Crafty, Mighty
  • Arizer Solo 2 & Air 2

Chamber size

An average oven size is around 0.25gr (pictured: Venty) and get get as big as 0.5gr (such as Pax Plus).

Determines the amount of herb you can load in the chamber. Most have a capacity of around a quarter of a gram, while larger chambers (up to 0.5gr) allow for vaping in groups, longer sessions, and a more potent experience since there is more herb to vaporize.

Best small-chamber vaporizers:

  • Venty (0.25gr)
  • POTV Lobo (0.25gr)

Best large-chamber vaporizers:

  • Pax Plus (0.5gr)
  • G-Pen Elite 2 (0.5gr)

Vapor Quality

In my opinion the vapor quality is one of the best things about dry herb vaporizers, terpenes never tasted better.

Dry herb vaporizers open the door to a whole new world of flavors and aromas. Terpenes are the “flavor molecules” of the plant, and they boil at low temperatures (~350°F). They get entirely burned when smoking, so you don't get to experience the full flavor potential of the plant. 

Vaporizing, on the other hand, allows the controlled release of these flavor molecules. Vaping allows to experience the subtle nuances of each strain on a totally different level. 

Vapor Quality obviously varies across devices and is influenced by the heating method, temperature control accuracy, and the materials used in the vapor path. But practically all vaporizers will taste better than smoking. 

Vaporizers with the best vapor quality:

  • S&B Venty
  • Pax Plus
  • DaVinci IQ 2
  • Arizer Solo 2

Heating methods 

Left to right: Pax Mini and Plus use Conduction, the Venty uses Hybrid, and the TM2 uses Convection.

The heating method is a critical factor in choosing the right dry herb vaporizer. Here are the three main types:

Conduction Vaporizers (aka “session vapes” ): 

Heat the herb through direct contact with a heated surface (chamber's walls). They heat up in 20-30 seconds for a (~5min) session, with the flavor gradually fading off as the session progresses. They are usually more compact and less expensive. 

However, some conduction vapes may heat the herb unevenly. The herb near the “wall” of the oven is exposed to more heat than the herb in the center of the chamber. 

At the end of the session, the herb is cashed and has to be replaced. These vapes are not designed to stop halfway through and continue at a later time. They are designed to consume the entire oven in one session, lasting a few minutes. 

Best Conduction vaporizers:

  • Pax Plus
  • DaVinci IQ2
  • Zeus GT3

Pro tip: When packing an oven of a conduction vaporizer, you want to pack the herb tight. Make a little brick that is dense so the heat can properly get to the center of the bowl.

Convection Vaporizers (aka “on-demand vapes” ): 

These work by creating heat outside of the chamber, pulling it in as hot air with each inhale, heating the herb, and extracting vapor. While they may offer better vapor quality, convection vaporizers can be more expensive and have a learning curve in terms of usage process. 

With Convection vapes, the herb doesn't come in direct contact with the heat source. It is heated “on demand” with each inhale. This means that the herb doesn't “bake” as it would with a session vape, allowing you to split a bowl into multiple sessions. 

Best Convection Vaporizers:

  • Tinymight 2
  • Firefly 2+

Pro tip: Since these vapes heat the herb with hot air, pack a loose oven and allow the hot air to go through the particles of the herb and vaporize the active ingredients. 

Hybrid Vaporizers

Hybrid vaporizers combine the best of both worlds, using both convection and conduction heating methods. 

In a hybrid system, the herb is primarily heated through conduction while also getting an extra boost with convection. This dual approach ensures even heating and maximizes vapor production, resulting in robust flavor and efficient extraction.

Best Hybrid Vaporizers:

  • S&B Venty
  • Nectar HEX

Maintenance & Safety Considerations

Vaporizers provide a better experience when compared to smoking but there are a few safety & maintenance considerations.

Dry Herb vaporizers are essentially small ovens that are powered by a (usually powerful Lithiom-ion) battery, so careful handling and maintenance are required. Here are some guidelines to keep you out of trouble:

  • Store your Vaporizer properly and be aware of any visible damage or deformation of the batteries. Here are the EPA guidelines for storage & disposal of lithium-ion batteries. 
  • Vaporizers have the potential to produce more potent effects and get you “higher” than smoking, especially for “infrequent users,” so vape responsibly. According to this research published by Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, more THC is absorbed in the bloodstream when compared to smoking. 
  • Clean your Vaporizer frequently. It is recommended to gently clean with a brush to remove any derbies at the end of each session, plus a “deep clean” once every 10-20 sessions. This will make your vape more efficient and safer to use. 

Conclusion: Finding the best Dry Herb Vaporizer of 2024

Picking the best dry herb vaporizer is as much about personal preference as it is about the specs of the device. While narrowing down the options to one Vaporizer may seem overwhelming at first, it all comes down to feature prioritization, and hopefully, this list gave you an idea of what to look for. 

I'm happy to see how far the industry has come in the last couple of years. Quality vaporizers are getting better and cheaper, and there has never been a better time to get one. 

May your chosen Vaporizer open up a new world of flavors and experiences, enhancing your appreciation for the herbs you enjoy. Happy vaping!

FAQs

  • Can I Fly with Dry Herb Vaporizers?

    Yes, you can fly with dry herb vaporizers, but they must be carried in your carry-on luggage. Here are the TSA guidelines for traveling with vapes or batteries in general.

  • Do dry herb Vaporizers Smell When Used?

    Vaporizers do emit a smell, but it’s typically less pungent and dissipate more quickly than smoke. This post explains it in more detail.

  • How Do I Clean a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

    To clean a dry herb vaporizer, empty the chamber, use a brush to remove residue and wipe the parts with isopropyl alcohol. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.

  • Is It Cheaper to Vape Herbs Than to Smoke Them?

    In the long run, vaping can be more cost-effective than smoking. Vaporizers are more efficient in extracting cannabinoids from herbs, meaning you use less herb for the same effect.

  • Are Dry Herb Vaporizers Safe to Use?

    Yes, when used correctly and responsibly, dry herb vaporizers are safe. They are a healthier alternative to smoking as they don’t produce tar or other harmful byproducts of combustion (Source: PubMed research paper, 2019).

  • Can I Use Oil or Wax in a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

    Some dry herb vaporizers are designed for multi-purpose use and can handle dabs or waxes, but not all. Check your device’s specifications or consult the manufacturer. Regardless, I recommend buying a dab pen for your extracts and using your flower Vaporizer exclusively with dry herbs.

  • How Long Does a Vaporizer Battery Last?

    The battery life of a vaporizer varies depending on the model and usage. Typically, portable vaporizers offer 1-2 hours of active use.

  • Does the Type of Herb Affect the Vaping Experience?

    Yes, different herbs and strains produce varying flavors and effects when vaporized. The moisture content and grind consistency of the herb also impact the quality of the vapor.

  • Do I have to consume all the herb in one session?

    With “session” vaporizers, you can not split a bowl into multiple sessions. The herb gets baked and should be discarded at the end of a session. With “on-demand” Vaporizers, the herb heats up by hot air with each inhale, so it is possible to take one hit and keep the rest of the bowl for later.

  • Do I have to use a grinder?

    Do I have to use a grinder? Yes. The more surface area the herb has, the better extraction you’ll get. Here are my favorite grinders of 2024.