Tabletop and Handheld Vaporizers: Healthier Alternatives to Smoking

The number of health risks associated with smoking has driven people to find healthier alternatives, especially for those who have been diagnosed with conditions that can be treated with such homeopathic solutions as herbs and oils. Among the alternatives that have been proposed over the years are hypnosis, acupuncture, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum. Many, however, have slipped up and went back to smoking simply because they miss the social aspects of smoking and the smoking process itself. This has led to the development of a new alternative to smoking that is now growing in popularity—vaporization.

What Is Vaporization?

Vaporization involves the passing of hot air through the herb or oil to produce vapor. The vaporizing device, simply known as a vaporizer, controls the temperature of the air so as to produce vapor that contains all the beneficial ingredients of the herb/oil of choice without emitting such harmful substances as tar and carcinogens commonly found in smoke. The process of vaporization effectively releases the active ingredients at lower temperatures then the process of combustion, thereby preventing carbon from being burned. This is why vaporization is becoming more and more popular as a healthier alternative to smoking.

Tabletop vs. Handheld Vaporizers

There is a wide range of options available where vaporizers are concerned, but these options generally belong to either of just two categories: tabletop and handheld vaporizers. The type of vaporizer you choose will depend largely on what features you deem most important. Understandably, each type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In general, though, those who are just starting out in vaping are advised to get a desktop model because it makes the transition from smoking much easier and lessens the possibility of slipping back into your old smoking habits.

Tabletop vaporizers are generally known to produce vapor of better quality than handheld models. Those who have gotten used to smoking, therefore, may feel disappointed by the quality of vapor produced by portable vaporizers; this may cause them to switch back to smoking. With tabletop models, however, there’s very little difference between the smoking and vaping experience, which is why it is recommended as your first vaping device. If, after some time, you feel the need for something you can bring with you and use at any time, then you may switch to a portable vaporizing device.

Its portability may be the biggest advantage of handheld vaporizers. These days, when most people lead on-the-go lifestyles, it certainly helps to have a device that allows you to avail of the medical benefits of herbs and oils regardless of where you are. It also allows you to continue treatment even when you’re travelling. That's why E-cig and portable vapes are really popular. Check out the video below for people seeing a portable vaporizer for the first time.

Another advantage of portable models is their discreet design, just like the Ascent vaporizer, saves you from having to constantly explain why you need to vape, especially if the herb you’re using as a medical solution is cannabis. Even as acceptance of cannabis as a medical herb has grown, there is still a sort of stigma associated with its use.

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Most portable vaporizers have discreet designs, which is highly beneficial to those who are vaping marijuana for medical purposes. Flickr.com photo by dannybirchall

Purchase Considerations

Whether you choose a tabletop or handheld model, there are things you need to consider when shopping for a vaporizer to make sure you get real value for your money. Strictly speaking, there isn’t a single product that can be considered as the best vaporizer for everyone. Rather, the best vaporizer for you is the one that best serves your specific needs. In general, though, you should check a model’s delivery system, efficiency, temperature control, learning curve, manufacturer, and price before you make a purchase decision.

Delivery System – One of the attributes that differentiate a tabletop vaporizer from a portable one is its versatility in terms of delivery system. There are those that use a bag and there are those that use a whip. Handheld vaporizers, on the other hand, all emit vapor through a tube and you have to inhale it directly from the tube. To determine which delivery system is ideal for you, you have to consider the setting wherein you will most commonly vaporize. Bags are ideal for social vaping whereas whips and tubes are preferable for solo vaping.

Efficiency – Do you want to have the ability to take in as much vapor as you can in a single session or do you want to conserve your herbs and make them last for as long as possible? Your answer to this question will determine if the ideal device for you is one with a large chamber or one with a smaller chamber.

Temperature Control – There are vaporizers that automatically control the temperature, depending on the kind of herb you use. There are also those that allow you to set the temperature using an analog temperature control. Still there are devices that use digital temperature control. A truly reliable vaporizer will produce high-quality vapor regardless of the temperature control, but if you value precision and plan to use a variety of herbs/oils, then you’d do well to go for a device with digital temp control.

Learning Curve – If you don’t mind having to deal with a steeper learning curve, then you may want to go for the more complicated models that offer better functionality, control, and delivery options. However, if you prefer keeping things simple and don’t really mind having limited delivery options and reduced control, then you could go for a simpler and more basic vaporizer.

Manufacturer – The growing popularity of vaping has led to some unscrupulous sellers taking advantage by selling genuine low- to medium-end vaporizers along with knock-offs of high-end models. Do your homework and make sure you buy only from a reliable manufacturer and seller. This helps you ensure that you’re getting the real deal and not just a cheap knock-off.

Price – You can get a vaporizer of good quality for as low as $150. If budget isn’t a problem, then you could get one of excellent quality for upwards of $700. Note, however, that a higher price does not necessarily equate to better quality. It’s best to set a budget ceiling and then choose a model that serves your needs and is within the budget you set.

With the information and tips provided here, it should be a lot easier for you to find a vaporizer that best serves your needs. Don’t wait. Your health is on the line. Ditch smoking and switch to vaping now!

If you have a portable or tabletop vaporizer already, you might want to check on heat up times and temperature accuracy to maximize your vaping experience. Check the video below to find out how to do this and what portable vaporizers would be ideal for you.