What’s a Portable Vaporizer? Guide to Vaping On the Go

Posted by Vaporizer Chief on 7th Jun 2021

Gone are the days of lighting up a rolled piece of paper that offers virtually no protection to your lungs. Now, both herbs and tobacco are lit up with electrical power that quickly and precisely heats them to the proper temperature creating a powerful vapor along the way. Once inhaled, vapers get the “effect” they are after without risking all the harmful side-effects of inhaling toxins.

Vaping has been getting notoriously bigger than it has ever has been and we don’t mean in size. It is actually the opposite. With more people looking for experiences rather than material objects, vapers are looking for portable compact vapes to take with them on the go.

Portable vaporizers are everywhere now and the Juul vape has only helped that more. Vape pens started becoming a part of a lot of people’s lives around 2007. Since then, manufacturers have been working to improve the efficiency of how a vape works.

What’s a Portable Vaporizer

Portable vaporizers are the best way to heat up your herbs, concentrates, or oils and turn into vapor. They are generally battery operated and can be recharged. Some claim that desktop units are more efficient and precise but with new technology, they’re just about on par. Compact vapes are ideal for outdoor activities. Going camping, to a festival, a concert or any activity that is outside is going to better when you have a vape in your pocket. Wind is never a factor in not being able to use your vape like a lighter would be. There are more portable units made than desktop vapes.

History of Vaporizers

Something that most people don’t know is vaporizers weren’t created in the 2000s. It actually dates back to thousands of years back. In Egypt, around the 5th century B.C. people would throw stones and rocks into hot fire pits. When they would get hot enough, they would take the stones out and spread ground up herbs on it. It would immediately turn into vapor and fill up the vapor-bath.

“The Scythians take some of this hemp-seed and throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it vaporizes and gives out such a vapor as no Grecian vapor-bath can exceed; the Scythians, delighted, shout for joy.”

Years later, Afghanis would invent what we know as hookah. Hookah, also known as shisha, narghile, or water pipe has been a very big part of the middle east. Hookah is one of the most well-known past time in the Middle East.

First Mechanical Butane Ignition Vaporizer

The first butane vaporizer was patented in 1927. Joseph Robinson created and file a patent to the USPTO for the first mechanical butane ignition vaporizer. To his surprise, it was approved and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Inventor of the Modern Day e-Cig

IN 1960, Korean Veteran Herbert A. Gilbert invented what we know as the modern day vaporizer. Although what was made then is not the same as todays inventions, just about most vape pens use Herbert Gilberts blueprints original design.

Eagle Bill Vape – Shake and Bake

One of the most popular old school and early days vapes was created by the Father of Cannabis Vaporizers, Eagle Bill. Eagle Bill was a Native American from Amsterdam and created this device to be a “safe and effective alternative to smoking.” His new device was featured in an Amsterdam museum and any one could have been a willing user if they wanted. His invention was so big, it remained the most popular exhibit for over 10 years at the Sensi Seed Bank’s ‘Hash Museum’.

The invention of heating up your herbs to vaporize came from when his friend used a heat gun to vaporize aromatic blends. Eagle Bill then realized he can create a more affordable device for vaping and came out with the Shake and Bake vape. The Shake and Bake vape worked by adding your herbs into a glass pip with a rounded bowl at the end. You light up the bottom of the glass bowl and the heat transfers to inside where the herbs are. It was a very easy invention but it paved the way to what we have today. The glass pipe for vaping was noted as “peace pipe of the future.” Unfortunately, Bill Amato passed away on May 22, 2005 in Georgia, USA.

Types of Portable Vaporizers

Nowadays you see so many people vaping and you’re not sure what it is. Everyone has a vape in their hands and they keep blowing huge clouds. Often times, people wonder what’s the vapor they’re blowing out. The vape can be used to heat herbs, wax or oils.

One thing that is very common among vaporizers you can take on the go is the 510 threading connection. This is the connection type to screw on the atomizer, battery or mouthpiece too. Not all units have this but it is a pretty standard threading connection. About 90% of devices use this and it makes it easier to change it up when you need too. 510 threading helps you change your atomizer so you can vape different material. It can also help you when you want to change your battery. A lot of connections are becoming thread-less too, simply attaching by a magnet.

Dry Herb Vaporizer

Vaporizers for weed or dry herbs are one of the most used and purchased vapes. They’re also the most different from the other types. Herbal vapes can come with different power sources like battery or butane along with different shapes or sizes. Some are portable dry herb vaporizers while others are desktop. Desktop vapes are big enough where they would need to be resting on a table and they require to be plugged in while in use.

Herbal vape pens are not as efficient as portable units because of the heating method. The benefits of using a portable vape pen is the conservation of your herbs, the convenience along with the discreet factor. You can walk and vape without anyone realizing it.


Portables pens for herbs come with different features. Temperature control settings is one of the most important feature. Not all herbs vaporize at the same temperature. Medical marijuana turns into vapor from 356 °F to 392°F, valerian vaporizes at 302°F, chamomile is 257°, and green tea is 365°F. A display is also a good idea to show your battery life along with your temperature you’re on. The last useful feature is making sure it is a convection heating. This way you won’t burn your herbs and will have more control of how much vapor you let out.

What are the Components of an Herb Pen?

First we will answer the question “What are dry herb pens?” An herb pen or herbal vape pen is the smallest device that allows you to enjoy vaping your herbs basically anywhere you go. Small enough to fit in your pocket (like a pen) and take with you. They offer extreme convenience at a level you simply cannot get from any other kind of vape. You obviously won’t get the same quality or size of vapor cloud that you will from a premium desktop but you will get the ultimate in discreteness.

Most people know what herb vape pens are by now but not everyone knows how they are made, what they consist of or how they work. Well you have come to the right place if you are wondering “what are the components of an herb pen”?

The main questions we get from people who are considering getting an herb vape pen are about the heating chamber, battery or energy source, screen or filter and the mouth piece. While the heating chamber and power source have the most influence on what kind of performance you can expect the screen or filter and mouthpiece can often have a large impact on the flavor and your overall experience. We will go into more detail below.

Heating Chamber

Most heating chambers are metal or ceramic. Each have their advantages but ceramic will usually give you a better flavor so if that is a priority you should keep this in mind. Some other things to consider are the size of the heating chamber and how hot it will get. Although pens are very small some actually do offer larger chambers so that you can pack a little bit more each time and expect it to last a little bit longer before having to repack it. This can be very convenient when you are out at an event or traveling and just want to vape some weed. Either way, most people agree it is better to have a little more than a little less or not enough in there when you want it.

Battery or Energy Source

With so many different models this is one of the most important things to pay attention to. Some models come with a very small or cheap battery. Nothing is more frustrating than if you keep running out of power on a day when you need it most. Generally, you can count on a higher quality vape pen to come with a higher quality battery but that is not always the case. It is highly recommended to do your research and make sure whichever vape you purchase comes with a higher quality battery.

Fine Screen or Filter

The flavor you get has a lot to do with your fine screen or filter, which also plays a role in protecting your heating device from loose materials.


There are several different kinds of mouthpieces depending on which unit you are looking at but the main thing to consider here is how you will use it. Some pens come with glass mouthpiece which may provide the best flavor but might be a concern if you are very active. We recommend that you stay away from plastic and cheap rubber as they will start to negatively influence the flavor of your vapors.

Ultimately not every herb vape pen is made with the best quality parts and some are more expensive than others but you can actually find a good deal on a quality unit if you know what you are looking for.

Dab Pen

A dab pen is used for heating up waxes. Wax is the concentrated form of your dry herbs which turn into oil. Wax vaporizers can come in different shapes and sizes too. The main difference between wax vape pens are the atomizer that vary. Wax pen atomizers are either ceramic, titanium or quartz and have different characteristics.

Wax pens are a little bit trickier to handle because they require some more attention. The coils tend to break quicker so that is something to look out for. Other than that, they’re pretty simple.


Vape pens for concentrates often times come with multiple atomizers in one kit. You can get multiple of different kinds with different variations like dual coils or triple coils. A dabber tool is also a useful tool to make sure you can confidently dab your wax on the coil without breaking it. Temperature control is not a big deal on these because the power that regular vape pens give out is just enough.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes or e-Cigs are the most commonly used vaporizers. They are often used a smoking cessation device to help curb cigarette cravings. Others use them recreationally, vaping nicotine or non-nicotine liquids. These liquids are usually called e-liquid or e-juice. There are different kinds and entry level cigalikes are small cigarette looking pens. They don’t have a button to activate it. Just start inhaling on it and blow out vapor. The next level up are refillable electronic cigarettes. You can refill the atomizer up with the liquid and vape. The batteries are also rechargeable. Mech mod vapes are usually used in cloud chasing competitions or by vapers who have been in it for a long time. These also come in different shapes and size but only come portable.


Having an electronic cigarette that is variable voltage and variable wattage is very important. E-liquids come in different mixes. Some have more propylene glycol while others have more vegetable glycerin. These are both household items but one can give more of throat hit while the other makes it blow thicker clouds. Changing your temperature is perfect for this so you can match it up to your preference.

Difference Between Portable Vaporizers and Vape Pens

When you hear the term portable vaporizer and vape pen, you think of the same thing. However, there is a small difference between them. A vape pen is usually a thinner version that looks like a pen. It is usually more discreet and will blend in on a desk full of writing tools. A portable vaporizer is a much more efficient unit. For weed vaporizers, the best way to tell the difference is by looking at the heating method. If the coils are exposed, it will be a vape pen most likely. The exposed coil is an atomizer which is generally replaceable. A portable device will also come in different shapes and not generally a thin even shaped sharpie. It can look like an inhaler, walkie-talkie or something as discreet as a cup.

Different Power Source

Since magic doesn’t exist, you would need to power up your device somehow. The two main ways that power it up are battery or butane. Batteries are what make it portable rather than using an electrical plug like desktop vaporizers.

There are some that need to be used with a lighter but almost none exist anymore. The demand for them is very little since many people don’t know about them.


Battery operated portable vaporizers generally use rechargeable lithium ion batteries. It stays in the bottom of the unit. The wire to charge it gets fed from the bottom. Most are micro usb chargers that you can charge anything you have a laptop/computer or electrical outlet. Most vapes have self-contained batteries meaning the batteries are inside the unit. They are not removable. The option to have removable feature is one of the top features to have. You can carry multiple batteries and switch them out whenever you need too.


Butane portable vaporizers are very efficient devices. They contain a small tank for the butane to fill up. It works like a lighter by activating some sort of trigger. The trigger turns the heat or flame. The flame is usually in a small chamber. Filling up the butane is usually from the bottom of the vape. The good thing is you don’t need to worry about not being able to recharge. If you have your can of butane with you, you’ll be fine. Refill it at any time.

Types of Herbal Heating Elements

Knowing the type of heating element your vaporizer has is very crucial. The difference between them is very big. It can be the difference between vaping and almost smoking. Most cheap vape pens are going to be conduction.


Convection style heating is most efficient type of vaporizer. Most vapers purchase the best convection vape because you can control your vapor better. You also get better flavor and cooler vapor. If you are using your vape because of throat irritations, convection is the type of vaporizer you want. Using one is very easy. Simple ground up your herbs and pack it in the chamber. Close the mouthpiece and let it heat up. Temperature controlled options only come on convection vapes.


Conduction types of heating for portable vapes are small metal coils that glow when you heat up your device. It looks like “@” and very easily spotted. Conduction heating coils work by having the herb sit directly on the metal coil. This causes the source of heat come in direct contact with the herbs. It can burn up over 750°F (399°C). Rather than vaporizing the herbs, you will be combusting them into smoke. Many people combat this by placing a glass or ceramic screen over the heating coil. This helps it come in direct contact, preventing combustion.


Hybrid vaporizers are a mixture of conduction and convection heating. It mixes the best of both worlds. The conduction aspect makes sure it heats up quick while the convection part makes sure you enjoy each draw of vapor. It is not common to have this feature but it’s starting to become the trend. It’s much quicker than waiting for your herbs to turn into vapor.

Temperature Control

It is pretty common for most portable vaporizers to come with some sort of temperature control option. Some have a wide range of temperature options to choose from while others are preset. Having the option to control is really helpful because not all herbs contain the same moistness level. Others are more dry while some may be a bit damp.

The heat up time may be effected. The higher temperatures you use the longer it will take the get there. Higher temperatures can also cause combustion. Every herb has its optimal heating temperature to make sure you’re being efficient.


Warranty for electronic devices is very important. Knowing you’re buying a product from a company that supports their own product says a lot. The big names like Arizer, DaVinci, Storz & Bickel and Kandypens are very good with their word. They honor all replacements through valid warranty. Some portable vaporizers like Kandypens and Magic Flight have lifetime warranty. Cheaper vape pens have the shortest warranty length. Electronic cigarettes and dab pens have very minimal warranty, spanning from 30 days to 6 months.

1 year warranty is what most manufacturers offer. Some offer 2 years all the way until 10 years. But lifetime warranty is still the best route to take.

Price Range

Purchasing a portable vaporizer is an investment for yourself. Not only will you be feeling a bit better from not smoking, but you will have a friend to take with you everywhere. Prices can affect how well your unit performs and how long it lasts. Vape pens start at around $20 and go all the way until $60. Efficient convection portable vaporizers start from $60. Having more features, options and a good manufacturer behind the vape will definitely raise the price over $200. If you plan to use it for a while, it’s a small price to pay for the long run.