In a previous article, we explained how combusting marijuana generates poisons that sabotage the pure cannabinoid and terpenoid high, and also harm your health and fitness. We recommend using precision marijuana vaporizers instead of combustion.

Problem is, most vaporizer brands and models are defective, unsafe, not worth the cost. When the Centers for Disease Control banned cartridge vaporizers in early 2020 because the vapes and their cartridges made people sick or even killed them, you saw how much of a dangerous rip-off the marijuana vaporizer industry can be. This article gives you the inside story, and tells you the few marijuana vaporizers worth buying.

The first thing to know is that vaporizing whole-flower marijuana buds is what we’re talking about here, although there are some useful vaporizers that work with marijuana concentrates, including dabs.

This immediately disqualifies the many vaporizers that require you to overdry, chop, and grind your buds before placing then in the vape chamber. I have my buds dried and cured to perfection, with the resin glands carefully preserved. I don’t want to have to overdry them and grind them up, which destroys terpenoids and cannabinoids. I want to vape them whole, not mangled.

Another thing to know is there are two main types of vaporizer: portable and desktop. Most portables have many problems built in, including:

  1. The chamber size is too small to load even half a gram of bud.
  2. They lack precision temperature controls; many have no temperature control at all. The cheaper marijuana vaporizers often have pre-set temperature too high, and temperatures fluctuate—sometimes into combustion territory.
  3. Batteries take a long time to charge, don’t last long enough for serious vape sessions, and expire quickly.
  4. Hard to clean and maintain.
  5. Hard to suck enough vapor, due to poor design of chamber and mouthpiece.
  6. Some require you to use loading tubes/pods/capsules and other weird holders to stuff your herb in before it goes into the heating chamber. This creates extra work and hassle, and these containers are almost impossible to fully unload and clean.
  7. Some portable vaporizers off-gas poison from toxic components, sealers, gaskets and other materials that aren’t sourced, sealed or configured properly.
  8. They’re hard to figure out; online and paper manuals are mostly useless.
  9. “Good” portable vaporizers cost at least $230 if not a lot more.
  10. Most vaporizer manufacturers have short “warranties” that are not honored, and their “customer service” is insulting.

Desktop vaporizers are a lot simpler than portables. Basically, they’re electronic hookahs with large glass bowls, precision, incremental digital temperature control, and a single “whip” (tube) that you inhale vapor through.

By far, the absolutely best desktop vaporizer is the Arizer V-Tower. My oldest V-Tower has seen near-daily use for years and has not failed. Currently priced at only $90 USD, which is a ridiculously low price, I bought several of them, along with extra whips, mouthpieces, screens, bowls. I figure I’ve got my next 20 years of home vaping covered, that’s how reliable Arizer desktop marijuana vaporizers are.

Portable marijuana vaporizers are mostly garbage. Consider this situation…

Several years ago, I purchased a major-brand portable from a company that’s still selling vaporizers and named itself after a famous, dead artist. It cost nearly $300, so I expected perfection.

Instead, I took a few inhales from it the first time and ended up in the emergency room—some sealant/gasket in the unit had off-gassed, generating a near-toxic dose of inhaled poison.

When I recovered, I immediately contacted the vaporizer manufacturer and was astounded when they said they knew their products were defective–but hadn’t issued a public recall or warning because they still had a lot of them to sell and were more interested in profits than ethics.

They first offered a replacement unit, which I of course refused. They grudgingly offered a refund (“we don’t usually offer refunds after cannabis has been used in a unit, but we’ll make an exception”) and a coupon discount.

I should have sued them.

Another example of portable vaporizer industry rip-offs happened when one of our team members contacted the Atmos vaporizer company to find out if any of their vaporizers had chambers large enough to hold and properly volatilize a gram or more of sticky bud that was not put through a grinder first.

The Atmos person recommended several models, only one of which was available for in-person inspection at a local smoke shop. When we asked where the other Atmos models were, the smoke shop owner said Atmos is hostile to vaporizer retailers, not shipping orders to retail stores, hoarding vapes so Atmos makes all the money.

“They’re trying to get rid of smoke shops and have the market all to themselves,” the store owner said.

We contacted Atmos several times by phone and narrowed the choices down to two models. The Atmos rep said we could order them and return them at no cost to us if they weren’t satisfactory. This assurance turned out to be false.

The units weren’t good. They had tiny chambers, the manuals sucked, the batteries didn’t last long enough for a serious vape session.

Within two days, we contacted Atmos about refunds. Only then did they explained their greedy “all sales are final,” restocking fee, and shipping policies.

We lost nearly $67 sending the crappy Atmos vaporizers back to Atmos, and had to use the credit card dispute method to force them to give any refund at all.

We consider Atmos to be a greedy, criminal company, and recommend that you avoid their overpriced toys.

After testing 17 dry herb portable vaporizers at price points from $80-$310, the only one we recommend is the Mighty +, by German company Storz & Bickel. This portable is way better than any other, but its cost is higher too.

One other issue we have to mention is the online world is plagued by marijuana vaporizer websites. Don’t be fooled by so-called “vaporizer review” sites and YouTube channels.

For one thing, they’re in business with vaporizer companies whose gear they’re supposed to be impartially reviewing. They’re paid to hide negatives about products and exaggerate good features. They’re selling vaporizers, not accurately telling you all about them.

Also, most of these sites have hidden fees. Buried in their return, warranty and customer satisfaction policies are clever tricks that rob you of getting a full refund. At the very least, you have to pay for shipping both ways, and a restocking fee. We had this happen even when we were returning a unit that shipped to us without a charging cable.

And once these folks, or unethical manufacturers like Atmos, get hold of your credit card number and email address, good luck trying to prevent unauthorized charges, shorted refunds, duplicate charges, and spam marketing emails.

But now you know you can get the Arizer V-Tower home unit, and the Storz & Bickel portable marijuana vaporizer…and enjoy a totally clean, safe, pure cannabinoid and terpenoid high.

Want to avoid poisoning yourself and lowering your high by combusting? These two specific vaporizer models are flawless in design, engineering, performance, ease of use, and durability.

Happy vaping!