Recently I did an email interview and thought you might find it interesting:
Share a little about how and why you started the site. You mention in your bio that you first tried a vaporizer in 2006. When did you launch vapecritic.com?
It all started with a YouTube video – a vape cleaning tutorial to be exact. This was early-2011, and this is when I started to notice more people getting into vaping and more companies starting to make cool vaporizers. I also noticed a shortage of good quality information about this stuff online so I figured I’d share my experience and help whoever was searching for answers. When I saw how much activity the cleaning video generated that’s when I decided to start doing reviews – people needed help and I really wanted to see vaping become more popular. Later that year is when VapeCritic.com was born as a starting point for newbies who didn’t know where to begin their search.
What’s the most common question you get from readers/followers?
“How do I get more vapor??” – It’s hard to pick just one but this is definitely one of the top 3 most asked. What’s usually not very clear when you first get a vape is how to prepare your herb and how to properly load the chamber. Both of these things will affect how a vape performs and how much vapor it produces, so it’s important to know what you have and the optimal way to use it. In general, vaporizers like a finer grind than what you would use when rolling for instance, and most common grinders don’t quite get it fine enough for best results. A “fine grinder” for vaping is definitely a wise investment. Also, most vapes work best when the herb chamber is tightly packed, you usually do not want your material loose in the oven because this can cause a harsher vapor that is less dense. This is not always true, but if you’re not getting the results you should be getting I would look at these two things first.
What words of advice do you have for novices that are looking for their first vaporizer? Do you have a specific recommendation for patients?
The most important thing to focus on is your usage habits and what you want your vaping experience to be like. Do you prefer the “session” experience of smoking a joint? Or do you like to use a bowl for just a few small hits here and there? This question alone will help narrow down your search because most models either work one way or the other. The next most important question is whether or not you need it to be portable. Desktop units usually provide the best bang for your buck and best quality vapor, but portable models have just recently started to close in. Patients will also want to pay close attention to how consistent a vaporizer is. For example, the Volcano fills balloons with vapor that you then take small sips from, almost like having the vapor on tap. This makes it easier to titrate doses and measure how much you’re using since the vapor density from one draw to the next stays very consistent.
What is your biggest pet peeve on vaporizers?
Draw resistance and hit duration. These are the biggest things that differentiate the vaporizing experience from smoking, and not really in a good way. Most vaporizers feel fairly restricted when you pull from them, like sipping a thick milkshake through a straw. An even bigger issue in my mind is how long you need to hit most vapes for to get a satisfying volume of vapor. About 10 seconds is the average length of time you need to pull from a vape for to get a nice cloud. When you consider that smoking requires a 1-2 second draw you can see the issue. This makes vaping look and feel less natural than smoking, which is unfortunate because of the numerous advantages it has.
What vaporizer are you using the most right now and why?
The Crafty, but I like to keep about a dozen vapes in rotation at any time to always keep my mind fresh. This one gets used the most because even though it’s a portable model it has desktop-level performance, and I vape a *lot* so I really appreciate this when I’m not home. The downsides are that it’s pricey and not very reliable, the defect rate is above average, so I definitely wouldn’t consider it the best option for everyone.