A guide that will hopefully explain the difference between the two types of heating, and with this knowledge you can make a decision based on what is best for you when buying your Vaporizer.
So first off, a definition of the two types, (From Wikipedia.)
Conduction in science is when energy moves from one place to another place by touch. Electrical conduction and heat conduction are the two most important kinds. In heat conduction, the heat energy travels from the hot point to a cold point. Something that energy can easily move through is a good conductor. Metal is a good conductor. An insulator is a poor conductor. An example is rubber. Energy cannot move quickly through an insulator. Plastics are insulators. Some materials, such as glass, are conductors for heat but not electricity.
Convection can happen naturally ("natural convection") or because of a moving device ("forced convection").
The fan is a device that produces the movement of the air artificially. The air in this case is moving because of the rotation of the fan. This is an example of "forced convection".
Natural convection happens because a fluid is lighter if is hot and it is heavier if is cold, so if a fluid has a hot part and a cold part, the hot part will naturally move upward and the cold part naturally moves downward.
For example, if the water in a pot is hotter near the bottom because of the fire, it moves from the bottom to the surface. At the same time the water near the surface is colder so it moves to the bottom.
So which one is the best?
My personal opinion is that convection is the best of the pair, when it comes to heat sources for vaporizers. The benefits of convection give you a much more even heat spread to your herbs, blends and oils making it much more efficient and ensuring you are making the most of whatever you happen to be vaping. Also because nothing is in actual contact with the heat source there is little chance of burning and combusting your herbs. The only Cons in a convection vaporizer are the vaporizer units tend to be more expensive and vaporizer heating up times are usually slower due to the heat source being further away from your herbs.
Conduction has a few upsides. Generally they heat up faster and are cheaper to purchase, but for me the downsides of the increased chance of burning you herbs and a higher learning curve to operate and use your vaporizer efficiently make convection in my opinion the winner, but that’s not to say there isn’t some great conduction vaporizers out there. Pax vaporizers are conduction, and rated one of the best portable vaporizers on the market.