The control and speed the Herbalizer delivers continues to impress me far beyond that which I had expected. I can still understand how a newcomer might be underwhelmed by the ability to accurately control temperature, and even more so I can see how an experienced vaporist might write it off as an unexciting achievement.
After all, nearly every vape out there can control its temperature to some degree, or be coaxed into doing so with usage techniques or mods like adjustable power supplies. Many people find a temperature that they like within their first few uses of a new vaporizer and that’s where the dial stays. Eterra-style vapes have been a favorite around here for years despite their preset temperature. It really isn’t that difficult to heat plant material for the purpose of boiling off desirable and delicious compounds–the creative and simple designs that many popular vaporizers use can attest to that. You can throw some herb on a heated frying pan and it will vaporize.
Sometimes you only start to understand or appreciate something after you’ve experienced it. For me it hasn’t really started to sink in until now that I’ve had one of these units at home to play with for a while. People have been talking about vape signatures for awhile and for me the Herbalizer’s is extremely enjoyable. In a way it’s highly adjustable in 1 degree increments, and if I were to guess I’d put it at at least 90% convection. The stainless steel bowl does get warm especially after long periods of use at high temperatures, and one would think there may be some radiant heat going on with the halogen bulb, but based on my experience with other vaporizers this is the sweet, sweet signature of efficient convection in a well designed bowl. I think that the device’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature also plays an important part in the sig. This is flavor country.
Those who make an effort to stretch their stash should love this vape. My tolerance was at a low level when I got the unit and I’ve been enjoying the low temperature spectrum down to the device’s lowest at 143C (290F). At that temperature for me the effect is subtle and very enjoyable–a unique buzz that I can’t remember experiencing with other vaporizers. That’s not to say that they couldn’t provide a similar temperature, but the Herbalizer takes the guesswork out of the equation that tends to dissuade one from experimenting with temperatures that low and instead crank it up.
Oh yeah, stretching your stash. It’s a beautiful thing with the Herbalizer. If your willpower and tolerance are in the right place I have to say this vape makes it possible to stretch herb farther than any other model I’ve used. You can start at 143C (290F), vape for a couple minutes, enjoy the buzz, come back a bit later and increase the temperature by 20, 15, even 5 degrees at a time. The vape makes it easy since it starts up at the temperature you left off at and heats up before you get comfortable in your chair. I’ve gone through the entire range (143C – 229C / 290F – 445F) in 10 degree increments a number of times and each level is a slightly different experience.
It also works very well with PD size loads and providing that you don’t pack tightly, cooks as evenly as any vape I’ve used. So if your tolerance and willpower are in check you can take 0.05 grams through nine sessions. That’s 180 sessions with 1 gram. Of course not many people are going to do this, but the Herbalizer makes re-vaping easier and more enjoyable than anything else out there that I’ve used. The vape sig and consistent temperature control also keep the vapor in the tasty zone throughout.
No, advanced temperature control isn’t necessary to vaporize–two of my three most currently used vapes have relatively crude temperature control. What it does do is open up a lot of possibilities. Experimenting becomes much easier, dosing is more reliable, and to me the experience is more enjoyable. As I see it, the Herbalizer’s temperature control superiority is a combination of the following factors in a well-engineered design and software implementation.
- Precision – Reliable and consistent temperature control. Repeatability.
- Accuracy – The thermocouple used has a rated accuracy of 0.1% and drift of less than 0.1F per year. It’s also located directly underneath the bowl area.
- Speed – The purpose built halogen bulb is the fastest and most powerful heat source in any vape that I can think of. The thermocouple can detect temperature changes in a fraction of a second.
- Calibration – High performance components are important, but the system must be calibrated properly for them to work in concert. Each Herbalizer unit is calibrated individually.
- Resolution – The unit is adjustable in 1 degree increments, with a conservative stated accuracy of 2.77C/5F.
- Feedback – The digital readout makes it easy to see where the temperature is at and how long it will take before it reaches your setpoint.
Take away one of these things and you’re left with a far less capable and/or useful temperature control system. These are some of the same reasons I use my induction cooktop instead of my coil stove and a digital balance instead of spring scales. I’m having a hard time thinking of another vape that comes close in any of the above categories. The herbalAire (still what I think when I hear “Herbie”) comes to mind and it shouldn’t be a surprise that Josh and Co. used it as a benchmark when they started out.
I get that some people are put off or even offended at the price of this vape. Someone even ran with that and made light of the fact that the designers are former NASA engineers and the vape is being built in the USA. The reality of the matter is that it takes serious brains and money to achieve this level of product. I didn’t think we’d get here quite so soon with a vaporizer, but I couldn’t be more thrilled. Even when big business decides to test the waters they’re going to have a difficult time finding people as passionate as Josh, Bob, and Sheila.
Having some inside information I can also say that if anything this vape is actually underpriced relative to other popular vapes whose designs have been essentially unchanged for years. There’s a reason those guys are rolling in cash and Josh drives a beat up Subaru. If you can build a vape of this caliber and sell it for less I’m sure almost everyone would love to see it. I hope you have a few million lying around where you keep your rocket scientists.