Portable Vaporizers vs. Desktop Vaporizers (and Vape Pen Potential)


When you get down to it – there are basically two types of vaporizers (assuming we put electronic cigarettes over in their own section – as we have). The desktop model and the portable model. Within these classifications are a few sub-classifications. We are going to take a look at each design and explain what they do, how they do it, and how it may be beneficial to what you are looking for. Think of this as a Vaping 101 lecture, or a getting started guide.

Beginning VAPERS and experienced VAPERS (a vaporizer or ecig user and enthusiast – but you knew that already, right!) can all learn something useful from the information within. Vaping is growing at an astronomical pace as more and more traditional tobacco users are making the leap from smoking traditional cigarettes to the world of vaping.

Vapor Definitions, Definining Our Categories:

Desktop Vapes – These units are traditionally used at home or your office. They aren’t built to be portable or moved around from place to place. They require electricity and need to be plugged in.

Portable Vapes – These units have internal batteries which are incorporated into the device and are easy to transport on the go. They may also be powered by butane in some instances. Outside of the time it takes to charge them, they don’t need to be plugged in to operate, and can easily fit in a pocket or purse.

Almost everything about vaporizers can vary in each model. Some distinctions include their weight, shape, size, power specs, threading and other standards (ie. 510, ego, proprietary connectors for tanks at atomizers, and of course the quality of their build, the manufacturing construction. Some are slick and well made and like any gadget, others sloppy clones with cut corners outside and in.



Vaping Devices can also vary in easy to notice things like style, color or vapor characteristics (it of course depends now on what type of substance is being vaped – ECIG users coming to this merging cross-over area will have different expectations and points of comparison from Vaporizer enthusiasts of the more herbal (mostly medical marijuana and yes, recreational too – though there are certainly other herbal, wax and oil non-thc substances that are vaped regularly in these devices – a complex and controversial subject we’ll be diving into, but in the vaping culture section of the site) , and also vary in more internal functions like temperature control. Experts have found that an ideal vaping temperature range is between three hundred-sixty degrees and three-hundred ninety degrees.

Another factor in determining which model will work best for you is the product that you plan on vaping. For example, herbs with the current technology cannot be vaped via a vaping pen. You would need a desktop or portable unit. On the other hand, if your preference is a concentrate or wax, the pen unit would in most instances work best.

Technology in this growing market is always changing and developing. An amazing new model from V2 PRO has shown a lot of results in their pre-market design and testing. V2 Pro has long been an established leader known for quality, affordability, and durability. Their V2 Cigs line has long been considered one of the top brands for consistency and quality in the marketplace. They are soon to be releasing the long anticipated Series 7 and Series 9 model vaporizers. The Series 7 should hit the market at any time and the Series 9 will roll out in the beginning of the new year. These portable pen units are set to seriously shake up the market and really explore all the the smaller vaping units are capable of, as they re-define loose leaf vaping for a smaller unit.



PORTABLE (or Personal) VAPORIZERS (if you like to sound real cool, call them APV = Advanced)

As defined earlier, the portable vaporizers are more common and perfect for the person on the go. As many traditional smokers make the step from forever quitting the traditional cigarette and moving into the world of vaping, in most instances this is the product for them. The portable vaporizers are hand-held and powered by an internal battery which doesn’t require any sort of plug at the time of use.

One big distinction in portable vaporizers is their power structure. There are basically two different types. One is powered by butane fuel while the other is powered by a battery. The size of a battery powered portable vaping device can be small enough to fit in your hand all the way up to the size of a can of soda. They definitely vary widely in degrees of size. They have made real strides in their power since their inception, but the portable vaporizers still have not caught up to the power of a desktop vaporizer yet.

These are perfect for the person making the leap from traditional cigarettes and also those that are constantly moving from place to place, ie work, home, shopping, car rides, etc. Since no cord is ever necessary while using it, these make great stealthy devices since they have much less of a smell than their desktop counterparts. The downside is that their vapor output isn’t as big as the more powerful desktop vaporizers. The butane vapes are different in that they do produce a smell and do need a lighter to operate adding to the smell. It also takes some time and practice to learn how to get the correct temperature for optimal vaping since there is no temperature control.

As society changes, each day there is more and more of an astigmatism against traditional cigarettes. They are no longer seen as cool or hip, but rather cancer causing death devices. Non-smokers don’t understand that vaping is fundamentally different in almost every aspect. They aren’t willing to take the time to understand how big of a difference your health can change by giving up the traditional cigarette and making the leap to vaping. These portable devices are small and easily concealed and perfect for activating stealth mode from friends, family, and bystanders who don’t understand vaping.

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Which Vape Pen is right for me?

Although technology is getting better and more advanced daily in the vaping market, most vape pens stil aren’t up to speed for vaporizing dry herb.

One particular brand which this isn’t a problem for is made by V2 PRO. Their Series 3 model is the main exception. Long an industry leader, V2 PRO has paved the way for technology in the industry. The Series 3 packs a powerful punch creating a powerful vapor and not smoke. The Series 3 is also three devices in one. It has the ability to vape dry material and e-liquids and soon to be released oils and waxes that are on their way to the marketplace.


An interesting competitors brand is the VaporFI. They are definitely looking to build off and compete with the Series 3 from V2 PRO. Because of the success of electronic cigarettes, the vaping pen industry is blowing up with new technology and products emerging daily. Improvements are coming rapidly and the newer models are really revolutionizing the industry with their power and capabilities.

What vape pens do best is – to be frank (and they really do it well) is vaporizing concentrates and oils. The attachments can link with an EGO threaded battery or a 510 style battery similar to the attachments for dry herb. The distinction is that they are marketed and sold with the implicit use for concentrates.

Note On Vaporizer Tanks – A Few Recommendations

If I were to interject (as clearly I am!) when it comes to some of the rapid hot ‘thing’ in vaping right now it surely is slick-ass (with price points to match) tanks/tankomizers. There are a number of folks doing this well, but I have to shine a spotlight on the two premiere masters who seem to be duking it out to all of our benefit!

exploring clearomizers, cartomizers and tankomizers

I am personally in love with the recent creations of both Kanger and the phenomenal Aspire dual bottom coil tankomizer/clearomizer lineup (check out review of a personal favorite of the moment, the Aspire Mini Nautilus, a thinsuper-t manufacturing - the best drip tip of all time, the Tanburg of beauty that really is just killer).

I will quickly add my quick gripe about a lack of quality drip tips on the market and how much it can effect the vaping experience with these astounding tanks. Don’t settle for the one’s that come as default! Try mixing and matching quality – which means for me paring with my ultimate favorite drip tip ever.

From Super-T Manufacturing, the best $20 a drip-tip snob like me can spendTanbur Stainless Steel T-Tip).


It’s like these companies are clashing in battle for supremacy – trying to outdo the other to see who can create the best most extreme tank ever (in a way that to me feels mildly more ‘healthy’ of extremes than some of the nuttier rebuildable and tacky mech mods out these days). Our benefit, as consumers, is that they are introducing some amazing products and features all the time. Sometimes even on a weekly basis. The Nautilus by ASPIRE and the Mega Aerotank by Kanger are two that are definitely worth checking out in particular at the time of writing (Late October, 2014).



ON-GOING HOTTEST PRODUCT WATCH – V2 PRO Is Doing Awesome Things In The Vape Pen Category.

They have established themselves early on as the brand leader for everyone’s vaping needs. Their quality and affordability have been untouched in the marketplace. They are known for amazing technological advances that are affordable and work much better than pricier models. They started out solely as an e-cigarette store but quickly realized that the future is with devices that are slightly bigger and offer a much more powerful punch. They have banked on three styles of three in one models which.

v2 pro from v2 cigs offering their 3 in 1 vape pen as direct competition to ego vapes - currently on offer for only

These are all vaping pens and portable units which make them easy to take anywhere for anyone on the go. The Series 3 is already available, and as noted earlier, the Series 7 should be out any day while the Series 9 will debut at the beginning of the new year. There is even talk that these are powerful enough to replace the even bigger and presumably more powerful devices. These two new technological advances will set the bar so high that the remainder of the marketplace will race to catch up quickly.


The use of vapes in most instances is pretty similar. They either have a wick to collect the concentrate which is more oily, or a coil to collect the concentrate which is more solid. The user face couldn’t possibly be any simpler. When the material is loaded, press a button and you are ready to vape. Focus on reading reviews and finding what other vapors like yourself are saying. Just because a model has a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best for what your needs are.

A common misconception is that vaping intake is similar to that of a traditional cigarette. With a traditional cigarette when you inhale you want to exhale quickly. With vaping it’s actually okay to hold it in for a few seconds while the vapor fills the lungs and continue to do so after the device is away from your mouth. It gives time for all the herbs to be digested by your body and you get the most out of your vaping experience.


OUR BFRESH Portable Vaporizer

Hopefully this will help you in your quest for the perfect vaping device for your individual needs. Feel free to click on the links and as always the more research you do for yourself, the better chance you have of finding the device that works best for your needs.

When we ask people what their biggest concerns are, or more specifically what factors they search for in a vaping device, the two biggest answers are price and performance. Vaping isn’t for everyone and we recommend starting off slow to ensure that it is something that you are interested in pursuing. Start with an entry level model to see if it works for you and your lifestyle. There is no need to break the bank when getting started. Something like the Vapor Genie is a good start. The MFLB produces a better vapor but also comes with a sixty dollar higher price tag.

For those that aren’t entry level vapors and don’t mind spending a bit more, but still not a ridiculous amount of money, the mid-level vaping units can often constitute a good buy for the money. We recommend taking a look at the Firewood. It offers a really great bang for the buck. The DaVinci is the most logical next step up while still in the mid-level vapes and costs a bit more.

Finally, for those lucky few where money isn’t a concern, these three units off the highest quality and offer the absolute finest in technology in the marketplace today.


  • ARIZER SOLO. It would be hard to find another device in this category that produces a better vapor than the Arizer Solo. Size-wise it’s a bit bigger than the Pax and doesn’t necessarily fit into the stealth mode category, but still a phenomenal vaping experience.
  • ASCENT. It has almost as good a vaping quality as the Solo, but it’s greatest asset is it’s size. It is much more portable than any other high level device.
  • PAX. Another of the devices that is small and can be used in stealth mode (easy to conceal). It’s simplicity and multitude of features sets it apart from others in this category.


As always, learning about vaping is a process that never ends with all the new technologies advancing by the day. Feel free to leave us a comment and we will be happy to help you or further the discussion. Hearing from other vapers is always a treat!


Personal Portable Vaporizers That Rock – Our Top 5 Recommended Vapes To Take With You

[sorted by price (low to high)]

The Original DaVinci Mini Review – Retails for $199 and is sold by Vapor Nation

The DaVinci is a unique model vaporizer. It has the look, feel, and size similar to a walkie-talkie or transistor radio. It is perfect for stealth mode and easy to carry on the go. It will easily fit in any pocket or purse. It doesn’t create a distraction when you pull it out either. The interesting and great technological feat of this device is that it offers pinpoint temperature control. It has a pretty good sized chamber and is strictly convection based. A cool fact about this one is that it actually works while you are charging it. So if you happen to be midway through a vaping session and the battery runs out, you can still finish by plugging it back in.

A comparison model would be the Firewood. The Da Vinci is pricier but there is a step up in quality with the temperature control. We believe it is worth it. If we had to find a fault with this model it would be the mouthpiece and how it is prone to break. But, if you handle your product properly and show proper care it shouldn’t be an issue at all. If perhaps you wanted an upgrade, the Da Vinci now has a sister model called the DaVinci Ascent which is more high-end and will be discussed below. It would be hard to find a better middle ranged unit for the price than the DaVinci.



The Pinnacle Pro – Retails for $209 and is sold by Vapor Nation

Manufactured by VaporBlunt, the Pinnacle Pro is steadily making its way into the market because of it’s stealth design and great reviews. The device itself is extremely user friendly and the bullets load easily without any problems. The Pinnacle Pro can work with not only concentrates but also herbs and it doesn’t need to be modified in any particular way to do so.

Similar to the DaVinci it can also be used when it is in charging mode. The product itself actually comes with a specialized mouthpiece for connecting to any water pipe although one is included with the Pinnacle Pro. It is being compared to the Pax model by Ploom, but the Pinnacle Pro checks in about forty dollars cheaper at current market prices. The biggest plus for this model is it’s simplicity and easy to use interface. Click the button only once to see the remaining battery, and hold it for two seconds and it is turned on. It has a temperature control which you can alter by cycling through the five different ranges from three-hundred seventy degrees all the way up to four-hundred seventy degrees. When you have it at the right temperature for your liking, just take off the mouthpiece and give it a minute or two to heat up. Then it’s just a matter of loading the proper bullet. There is a different one for herbs and concentrates. That’s it, you are then ready to vape.

If we had to pick one drawback to this model is that it can be a bit fragile. Careful handling is required. Also, if you set the temperature too high then you run into dryness and extreme heat. You can effectively counteract this by enabling the water pipe that comes with the model. This however, will decrease its portability.
The Pinnacle Pro is a really great model at a good price. There isn’t much this model cannot do.



Arizer Solo – Retails for $224 and is sold by Vapor Nation


When discussing power among vaporizers, you’d be hard pressed to find a model that packs a bigger punch. Pictured above, it’s size is similar to that of a can of soda. The unit does however require glass stems which are the same height as the Arizer Solo itself.

Composed of aluminum there are seven varying degrees of temperature from one hundred twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit to four-hundred ten degrees Fahrenheit. Similar to the other models we’ve spoken about the Arizer Solo with its newest model now has the capabilities to be used while the unit is charging, which is a change from its design in the past. We won’t be going out on much of a limb when we say that we believe it delivers the BEST flavor and quality of vapor over anything else in the marketplace today.

The only drawback that we can make about the Arizer Solo is it’s size. Since the glass stems have to be used with the product it is almost impossible or at least very cumbersome to bring it on the go without using a specialized case or carrier. Some ingenuous vapors have found away around this by setting it perfectly inside a cup that you would use for soft drinks. Talk about James Bond type stealth mode! Check out this link if you are into trying that yourself:

Some also let us know that there is a bit of resistance every time you draw when using the original stem. A solution to that would be to purchase a PVHES stem from here:

There is NO BETTER bang for your buck that the Arizer Solo. It is the most powerful in its sector in the marketplace, and truly does offer the best flavor and vaping experience.


DaVinci Ascent Mini Review – Retails for $250 and is sold by Vapor Nation


The DaVinci Ascent is relatively new to the marketplace. As of now it is available in four colors. You can see three in the photo above, but it also comes in a sleek carbon fiber model design. One of the main things the Ascent is known for is its precise control of the temperature. This model can also be used while charging in case you run out of battery during a vaping session. In addition to that capability, the major advancement from its predecessor model the DaVinci is the better flavor produced.

Its user interface is fairly simple. One just has to pull out the top stem and place the vaping material in the chamber below in the bottom right. The DaVinci Ascent can also vape concentrate using a hybrid can or cup which you can see pictured above.
It is a convection only model so the purity is amazing. It is similar in purity to that of the Arizer Solo. The difference though is its size. It is much smaller than the Solo, perhaps the size equivalent of an I-phone. This, along with the Pax is at the peak of the price scale for vapors. But, as you can imagine, in this instance, the price is definitely worth it for the quality and vaping experience you get in return.

One drawback which has since been fixed is that off-gassing which occurred in earlier models. This however, has been rectified and there have been no reports of any issues moving forward.

For a really great model with good portability and design along with amazingly pure vapor and flavor, check out the DaVinci Ascent and get vaping with their precision temperature control.



Pax by Ploom Mini Review – Retails for $250 and is sold by Vape World

{PHOTO OF Pax by Ploom}

Known by some as the Mona Lisa of the vaping world. The creme de la creme in other circles. This is the “bad boy” that others aspire to be. It does carry a hefty price tag though. It is available in the four colors pictured above.

An interesting note is the licensing and patenting problems that Pax has had in bringing this to market. They did not get a patent for their design in time and other manufactures in China have made the exact same duplicate models, albeit not with the same quality control measures. Be sure to purchase from a licensed distributor of Ploom products because the warranty will NOT be valid unless you do.

The best word to describe the Pax is sleek. It’s innovative design is small, stealth, and slick. It has an incredibly sturdy design which enhances its thickness and durability. It’s size is again the same as an I-phone in height but at half the width.

It’s ingenious design is still user friendly and very secure. Start by opening the oven which is on the bottom of the unit. (You can see it pictured below.) Load the oven with your preferred material and insert the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece will then disengage and come out slightly alerting the user by a flashing light that the unit is turned on. There are three different temperature settings which can also be changed via the white lights located inside the mouthpiece itself. (Temperatures range from three-hundred seventy degrees to four-hundred ten degrees).

Vapors love this design because not only is it simple, but anyone can do it. Just take your regular inhalation and you will feel the powerful draw and immense vapor action. Some report a small resistance on the draw, but that it actually helps secure a greater vapor.

The size of the oven on this unit is one of the largest in the vaping market which means for optimal performance it should be tightly packed. Check out the video below to see how to get the most out of your material and eliminate waste. It involves getting the material on top of the oven:

{VIDEO OF Pax by Ploom}

Proper care to extend the live of your investment is needed and it should be cleaned about once a week if it gets even normal usage. Here is a video showing proper cleaning techniques for the Pax so you should only have to spend a couple of minutes a week:

{VIDEO OF Pax by Ploom}

In our opinon the Pax by Ploom is the best all-around vaporizer on the market when you factor in everything including its stealth capabilities. The only thing that might come close to rival it is the upcoming release of the V2 PRO Series 7 and Series 9. If you can afford it, the Pax by Ploom gives everything you can desire in one tiny but powerful package.

The Classic and Award Winning Volcano Vaporizer Is Still A Champion and THE Favorite of Many


We’ve focused mostly on the portability vaporizers as they are more common these days and frankly they fit in with the focus of BFRESH as a site where we’re coming at things more from an electronic cigarette background while welcoming and embracing the expanding of the products we love to broader horizons and a bigger user base – the more the merrier! No matter what you’re vaping!

We do feel that portable vaping is the future – and much easier for people with busy lives who travel a lot even locally (who would argue that if they perform as well – its not more appealing to have a wicked source of vapor at the push of a button anywhere rather than being tied to a physical power outlet, at the size of a small kitchen appliance).

That Said, The Tech Isn’t Exactly There Yet – And There’s No Doubt Desktop Vaporizers Are Capable Of Uniquely Awesome Vaping Experiences

We now turn our attention to what a desktop vaporizer is as it might interest a few readers. Basically these units are only for home use because they must constantly be plugged in for usage. If you don’t primarily spend your vaping time at home, then these units wouldn’t be the best for you.

The one real bonus which isn’t to be overlooked is the absolute power these machines can produce. More so than any current portable device. They will pack the most punch and deliver the biggest vape. They come in all different shapes and sizes and are made out of all different types of material including plastic and metal. How they work is that there is a chamber where you put your vaping material. That material then gets attached via a whip with a mouthpiece (think a hookah machine) or filled up via balloons by an inside fan which physically forces the air out.

A lot of the desktop vaporizers are connected to a water pipe which filters the vapor through the actual water in effect cooling it off. These are definitely larger than any portable device which you might be interested in buying and in most instances cost much more. Another positive is that they can be used similar to a hookah lounge setting by groups. You can vape with friends or family off of one device.

Desktops are convection machines which heat the air around the material, not the material themselves. The desktop machines on the market today are amazing. They give by far and away the best vaping experience. Their only drawback is their portability which to many is a deal breaker. If you do vape mostly at home then you should definitely learn more about desktop units.


Remember that as in anything in life the more research you do the better. Think about what you are looking for in vaping unit and make a list of what needs are important to you. Read our article, do some research on your own, and read reviews. We hope we’ve created a great starting guide for you on your journey. Please feel free to comment below and let us know what we can do to help or any other questions or things you want us to discuss!