Best Portable & Desktop Vaporizers 2018

Recently there has been a portable vaporizer released that’s literally taken the competition and thrown it by the wayside.  Before I get into the list of the top products in the space, I’d like to tell you about the absolute best product that I’ve found!

It’s called Prohibited, and it’s getting rave reviews by publications such as Forbes an High Times.   I could stop right there, but let’s be honest, the accolades are piling up fast.  I’ll keep a running tab on all of the media mentions, assuming I can keep up with them.

The Prohibited 5th degree is a dual purpose vaporizer that will work with concentrates as well as cannabis loose leaf.  You’ll laugh at how easy it is to magnetically attach the cartridges to charge with ease.  After a lightning fast charge, you are ready for action.

Made by VMR Products, our top e-cig manufacturer,the device is perhaps the most decorative in the entire space, with options like bone (white), singed (black), struck (purple), and a jade (teal) color.  These are clearly the class of vaping, and you’ll find that no detail was spared in making thse devices.  A thick, durable frame makes this sleek product not only easy to carry, but very durable.  (I’ve dropped mine MANY times.)

Top vaporizer pick

Sporty, durable, and highly reliable, the 5th degree vaporizer by Prohibited is the best one money can buy.

Top 5 Portable Vaporizers In 2018 By Popularity

Critics can say all they want about this or that brand of portable vaporizer and particular models, but it’s customers’ opinions which matter most. Reading what vapers have to say about the following portable vaporizers, these top 5 satisfy them more than all others. Their criteria include stealth, ease of use, price, portability, durability, and sophistication.

1. PAX 2

If you can find one, the PAX is without parallel. It’s the tiniest of almost all the portable vaporizers that is not a pen-style product. Its intuitive internal brain knows when to heat up and cool down so as to preserve the battery and your herbs during down time. Drop finely ground plant material into the bottom and replace the magnetic cover. A light on the side tells you when to recharge the battery and it also indicates the heating level of your portable vaporizer. Recharge the battery using a proprietary cradle.



2. Davinci Ascent

This is almost like the slimmer brother to the Mighty in terms of its shape plus the screen, except not made in Germany and much more elegant. Davinci’s Ascent vaporizer also costs less than half the price and can be personalized aesthetically by choosing from assorted colors and patterns. An innovative chamber is accessed by swinging out the bottom portion attached to a pivoting hinge to reveal shredded herbs or concentrates and to expose the ceramic chamber for cleaning. Ceramics create a neutral flavor environment while convection heating (as seen in the Mighty as well) ensures the process is even and without combustion.

3. Mighty by Storz & Bickel

This unit is superior to almost all others in terms of its quality and features, but a little too expensive to be number one. If you can afford the best and don’t mind a little bit of bulk, the Mighty boasts an OLED screen, precise temperature customization, and a haptic (vibration) alert to go with the visual reading so you know when heating has finished. A built-in battery is rechargeable via USB. Its durable build is unsurpassed anywhere.

4. Arizer Solo

Several pre-programmed heat settings let vapers select a precise level of heat for their herbs. You will have to wait a few minutes for the process to finish, but after those three minutes are up you will enjoy the pure flavor of herbs heated within a ceramic chamber that has been lined with glass leading to a glass draw stem: the purest type of pathway there is. The small Solo is big on power with a maximum 430F heating capacity and a sharp-looking LED light indicator to show your current heat rating.


5. Puffit

This inhaler-like device and its upgrade, the Puffit X, delivers in the stealth department like nothing else and is also among the cheapest portable devices. It resembles a piece of prescription medication so closely that one could even puff on it openly and not get strange looks. Materials are cheap and this detracts from flavor, but Version 2.0 is smaller, boasts a longer battery life than its predecessor, and works with dry herbs or wax. Heating requires close to a minute, but you change the temperature by selecting one of 4 settings.


The Top 5 Desktop Vaporizers For Serious Vapor

According to sales and ratings, the following desk vaporizers are the top 5 as of right now, mid-2016. Pay attention shoppers: vape lovers have already gone before you and tested these products from around the world so I can now say with confidence that any of these desktop mods would be a good buy.

5. Silver Surfer

The Seventh Floor Da Buddha is a good buy too but its upgrade, the Silver Surfer, slightly tweaks that upright design to prevent combustion. Herbs no longer fall into the heating element by mistake resulting in a blend of acrid smoke with pure vapor. With the Silver Surfer enjoy regular or hands-free herbal vaping from a device costing under $300 or up to $600 as per customization choices like choosing a color finish with or without engravings. Unique hand-blown knobs come as standard.

4. Easy Vape Desktop Vaporizer

It’s so simple, this bestseller from Easy Vape. Their $100 machine features a bright LCD display offering 5 buttons for several heat settings, a programmable timer, ceramic chamber, and the option of hands-free puffing. Everything about this machine screams “quality” like its surgical grade tubing and glass mouthpiece. How can it be so inexpensive? Try it and see. The Easy Vape desktop mod heats up in about one minute.

3. Vapir Rise

This next desktop vaporizer costs around $250 and presents many options to the uncertain vaper or a multi-user household. One person likes the balloon delivery method because of his diseased lungs; another is quite capable of drawing through a straw. You can do both with multiple fan speeds or no fan and quiet operation either way. The display is gorgeous, all lit up from behind in an electric shade of blue. Use this system to vape herbs, wax, or oils and it will heat up in 60 to 90 seconds depending on the temperature you select.

2. Volcano Digital

I can’t help but recommend the Volcano every time I get the chance because it’s that good; so reliable; excellent value for money. Sure, the digital version costs $600 but you could buy two machines or even three during the time your Volcano will operate. A Volcano’s only drawback is that the only draw method is via balloon, but that’s simple enough with the Easy-Valve system. Settings are precise and let you really personalize the temperature for your herbs or use the liquid pad provided.

1. Arizer Extreme Q

I’m not saying this is mechanically or electrically superior to every other mod out there; just that customers are flocking to Arizer and they love its dual-delivery system. For the price ($200 to $250) it’s hard to imagine a better system, and the other advantage is being able to operate the Extreme Q Desktop Vaporizer remotely using a control stick like the one for your TV. Arizer provides a console to keep everything tidy. The ceramic heater heats up a little bit slowly but retains heat and creates pure flavor. Glass bowls, a glass stir stick, and a glass mouthpiece all reinforce the purity of flavor from your herbs. It’s also possible to use this as an aromatherapy product to improve the scent and atmosphere of an entire room.

Portable And Desktop Vaporizer Shopping Tips

Are you new to vaping and looking for a vaporizer? Everyone thinks they know what’s best for you, but research the topic before even looking at products.

Establish a set of goals and priorities before you look at vaporizers. The following article contains shopping tips starting with those first thoughts about which direction to take.

What Do You Vape?

Firstly, which material or materials are you hoping to use? There are three basic distinctions: liquids, concentrates, and herbs. Plant material vaporizes at a considerably lower temperature than wax or liquid substances such as oils or e liquids. The machines you use are often made to work with one substance only unless you purchase something versatile.

Where Do You Vape?

Are you hoping to vape during cigarette break at work, while hiking, or at home? This will affect the size of device you choose to buy and several other factors.

Consumers who take vapes on camping trips in the mountains should be concerned with durability and any potential problems relating to altitude or weather, issues addressed by the Vapium Summit which was made for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

Portable mods should be rechargeable, small, and light. Desktop mods for home use mains power. There are lots of high-quality, inexpensive units.

How Do You Vape?

Many vapers are ex-smokers or use medical marijuana. Lots of others are non-smokers who took up vaping without ever lighting a cigarette.

It’s not uncommon for a former smoker or someone with a health problem that affects breathing to choose the assisted-delivery method which involves a fan and probably a balloon if this is a desktop mod. Direct draw is through a mouthpiece, tube, or straw.

What’s Your Budget?

No matter what you want in an ideal world, your budget is going to dictate the mod you wind up with. It’s possible to spend just $40 but you’ll probably be spending $40 again in 3 months or less. Outlay of $100 might tide you over for a year or so, whereas an investment of $200 or more is likely to buy you something that lasts.

Sacrificing warranty for a low cost isn’t a good idea either. Shop only with reputable sales people and authorized re-sellers. Even a good machine might break down; that warranty could save you lot of money.

Some Top Brands

In the vaping world, names like Arizer and Storz & Bickel are frequently treated with the utmost respect. Their products suit a range of vapers and offer outstanding quality.

If they were makes of cars, you would probably compare Arizer to Volkswagen and Storz & Bickel to an Audi, both of which are excellent, the Audi being a notch higher on the scale.

VW (Arizer) is higher still than a Honda (a Hot Box perhaps), that serviceable economy brand that will last a while but doesn’t provide the features or fuel mileage potential of a better machine.

Da Vinci, 7th Floor, Vapir, Grenco Science, and Vapium are also good names. PAX Labs is making outstanding strides with portable machines.

Some Top Models

If I had $600 to spend on a desktop mod right now I would buy a Volcano, especially if I didn’t want a direct-draw straw-delivery method. The Volcano Digital features supreme accuracy, the base is heavy and sturdy, electronics are as good as they come, and there are examples of this device in existence working the same as they did several years ago, just a bit more scratched-up than when brand new.

If I wanted to vape through a straw and still hoped to buy a desktop unit, the Seventh Floor Silver Surfer would be my choice. What really tips the scales for me is the potential beauty of a Silver Surfer with its tilted design, developed to keep herbs from falling into the heating element.

Again, if I had $600, I would buy this model with its hand-made glass accents in any color I wanted embellished with engravings to create a functional piece of art.

When shopping on a budget for a stationary device but a quality one nonetheless, Arizer would be my top pick. Their Extreme Q is remote controlled and features the balloon delivery method plus direct draw, so I can take my pick or share with a friend whose lungs aren’t as good as mine.

In the portable market, there are a few very good devices you should keep your eye out for. The Firefly 2 works with concentrates and herbs to deliver clean-tasting vapor in a sleek format similar in length to a smart phone but a little bulkier.

The intuitive PAX 2 is sensitive to movement so it knows if the vaper has left this device without turning it off and will switch off automatically to preserve power and herbs. There are multiple heat settings, a magnetic bottom cap holding in herbs, and a size that’s surprisingly small for all it can do.

I like the Davinci Ascent for flexibility and a pivoting bottom chamber that makes refilling and cleaning out materials easy.

Vaporizers Subject To FDA Ruling Too

Since the FDA made their announcement regarding new regulations for the vaping industry, it is now clear that that e cig businesses are going to face major upheaval in the coming month. Finalization of “deemed tobacco” regulations for items “deemed tobacco” were not unexpected in spite of hopes that HR 2058 would be adopted.

Makers of electronic cigarettes and related products in the United States must apply for approval, a process that takes time and costs money, at the end of which time their applications might not be accepted. This could mark the end of many retail and online businesses, reduce competition, and cause prices to spike.

FDA regulation could also make the industry safer in the long run and reduce the number of youngsters who are attracted to e cigs and vapor juices marketed with the help of cartoon labels and “cool” tattoo-like art work.

Will the FDA Ruling Affect All Vaporizers?

It isn’t entirely clear whether vaporizers for herbs and wax will also be subject to FDA legislation. For now, many of these products deliver vapor for inhalation but are marketed as aromatherapy devices.

This slight difference in classification has placed certain units out of harm’s way, but not all of them. Individual states also create their own laws about what is legal for sale and stipulate the nature of licensing agreements.

Taking the Hint

Some pundits argue that e cig manufacturers could potentially dodge the FDA’s compliance requirements by changing the way they market their products. If they were advertised as “aromatherapy devices” instead of e cigs, these units might be overlooked.

E liquid, however, is only ever meant for inhalation whereas some oil-vaporizing machines can indeed be set to fill a room with therapeutic smells which will not be inhaled. Also, the issue seems to revolve more around nicotine than anything else.

Nicotine and Vaping

When e cigs and vaporizers for herbal vaping were released initially, companies were excited they could at last satisfy a consumer’s desire to “smoke” without experiencing the detrimental effects of inhaling cigarette smoke and all of the poisons that go along with it. Their excitement was warranted: e liquid delivers nicotine without thousands of toxins.

Sophisticated herbal vaping devices do the same thing. When combustion is removed from the equation, any delivery method is generally safer than lighting a cigarette and taking a puff.

Designers and innovators in this field thought they had finally reached a solution to the question of how smokers were going to give up cigarettes when patches, gum, lozenges, hypnotherapy, and cold turkey don’t work.

As far as the FDA and many non-vaping consumers are concerned, however, anything you can inhale which contains nicotine is a tobacco product. People aren’t making an educated distinction between nicotine and tobacco; nor do they seem to realize that many e liquids contain nicotine derived from non-tobacco sources. There is so much fear surrounding the issue that people simply settle into a position and will not be moved from it.

Dangers of nicotine reliance are subject to considerable controversy as well. Many people would argue that these dangers are over-stated.

This stimulant is no more harmful than caffeine, and no serious efforts are made to regulate coffee houses or to insist that patrons prove they are 18 or older before they can be served espresso. Medicos in general argue that nicotine is a stronger and more addictive stimulant associated with major heart problems.

Nicotine is responsible for the chemical aspect of a smoking addiction. Repeating physical movements, daily routines and associations (smoking while answering emails or talking on the phone) accounts for another dimension of addiction.

In some countries, the answer to this problem is to allow only the sale of nicotine-free disposable e cigs at convenience stores. Whether this will continue is uncertain because the damage is done; with or without tobacco ingredients, vaping devices and e juices are associated with tobacco in the eyes of the law and a suspicious public.

Where tobacco vaporizers are concerned, however, this is truly the case. How, then, will the FDA’s ruling affect items used to vaporize tobacco? Again, the fact is that consumers don’t have to fill a vaping pen with Burley or Virginia Tobacco but can substitute other herbal, aromatic material like lavender or green tea leaves.

The future of PAX, Vaporite, and Vapium could remain secure in spite of all the trouble. The irony is that many inexpensive electronic vaping items on the market create smoke because of materials which come into direct contact with the heating coil. These are essential electronic combustion devices.

Vaporizers and the Future

Don’t get too cozy and relaxed thinking your Firefly or PAX is safe, though; the FDA isn’t done. America’s anti-tobacco, anti-drug watchdogs are still at work trying to protect the youth of America with the help of places like Vape Guide.

Much of what they are trying to do is commendable, but suspicions that they are also motivated by Big Tobacco to weed out competition against Lucky Strike and Virginia Slims is justified too.

These corporations are huge and their clout in the political sphere is tremendous. There is no such thing as a non-partisan attack against vaporizers. What can consumers do to improve their chances of hanging onto the vaping devices they so enjoy using?

They can behave responsibly as a community, arguing their case in public forums and writing to local or state representatives in respectful terms without abuse or bad language.

They can conduct research which demonstrates an intelligent and responsible approach to the subject. Ex-smokers can continue to share their testimonies about how vaporizers have improved their lives.

Companies which have not already done so should consult the new rules regarding e cigs and re-evaluate their design and manufacturing practices. Many firms will benefit from improvements to safety standards.

Prepare for legislation to hit the vaping field as a whole, including marketing and sales of portable and desktop units for oils and concentrates.

E cig companies can improve their chances of approval by knuckling down, seeking legal advice, and getting on with the tedious process of applying for a license. Who knows what could happen in the future? The ending to this story has not yet been written.

Best Portable & Desktop Vaporizers 2018
5 (100%) 2 votes
Andy Gray


Andy was one of the first ever advocates for electronic cigarettes. His industry views have been published in Business Week, Yahoo Finance, the LA Daily News, and many other major news outlets. To contact Andy, please visit this page.