Vaporizer pens are the ones whose shape resembles, you guessed it, a pen (sorta). They're generally thin, light and discreet, but they do vary a bit in size and shape. These types of vapes are primarily designed for use with concentrates, more specifically very clean concentrates that fully melt to a liquid when heated. This is most commonly referred to as "wax" but this term encompasses a variety of types. Vape pens are great for quick, hassle-free draws - any time, any place.
Most portable vaporizers are powered by internal rechargeable batteries, but build quality and performance varies quite a bit between them. These units are designed for use primarily with dry herbs, but some of them can also work with concentrates. The definition of a portable vape in my book is one that is small, discreet, and easy to use on-the-go. The models I've selected above are my current top picks, and each one provides its own unique experience so there's no reason why you should't get them all ;)
A great desktop vaporizer is a must for any serious enthusiast - these are the vapes that set the bar in terms of performance and vapor quality, and they're usually quite efficient as well. Most good desktop units work with both loose leaf and concentrate material, and they're generally a better choice than portables if multiple people will frequently be vaping together. These plug in to an outlet for power and they vary wildly in price - as low as $100 for a decent one and as high as $700+ for ultra premium models.
The first thing to think about is where you want to use your vaporizer. Will you be vaping only at home or do you want one you can stick in your pocket and vape on-the-go with? If portability is what you want check out my top picks for best portable vaporizers to get an overview of the best models on the market. There are two distinct styles of portable vapes: models designed for dry herbs, and vape pens for wax and oil concentrates. For the best performance and most consistent vaping experience I do recommend investing in a good desktop unit also, it's a staple in any collection.
I try to take somewhat of a holistic approach when it comes to my ratings. The overall scrore that I give each vaporizer is a representation of how I feel about it as a whole. To learn how I rate specific aspects of each vape you'll have to watch my review, that's how I getchya ;-) I recommend using my VapeRatings as a general guide to which models I feel are noteworthy and deserving of more consideration. Every aspect of ownership is considered in my ratings and reviews, and you can check out my VapeRatings page for a list of the questions I ask myself while I'm reviewing vapes.