Updated July 22, 2022 – First Chinese Ball Vape has been released!
Ball-filled vaporizers have already changed the face of dry herb vaporization, but they’re only now gaining mainstream traction. These heavy-hitting fast extracting herb vapes use glass-packed heaters to maximize the convection power and extract entire bowls in single hits of pure vapor.
Why Ball Vapes HIT SO HARD
The science behind this bleeding-edge vape-tech is actually pretty simple. The traditional convection heater utilizes a center coil or heater cartridge to heat air that passes over and around it. Ball vapes rely on the same heater filled with borosilicate glass balls or ruby spheres. Balls in contact with the heater get hot, sharing the heat and extending the surface area and convection power of the heater. Every ball is in touch with several other balls and the glass-packed vape heater becomes a mesh network of thermal calories just waiting to be unleashed onto your herbs.
The First Ball Vape: Glass Symphony XLR
April 20th, 2017 – JoJo monkey over on FC posts the announcement of his Glass Symphony vaporizer, a vape he had been openly developing as a DIY vape since January 2015.
I don’t know if JoJo knew how this vape would change the world, but he certainly knew exactly why the balls made this vape special.
“The Glass Symphony XLR 120V is a simple glass vape with a complex air path. It uses precision ground spheres to add surface area around the heater. This gives the vape a large amount of heat and a distributed draw resistance. You can add or remove spheres to change the amount of heat in a draw. The vape can be single hitter power house or a gentle session vape. Tune it to what you like and keep the same comfortable draw speed.”
JoJo Monkey on the Glass Symphony Ball Vape
The Glass Symphony used a stainless steel cartridge heater inside of a glass tube, inside of another glass tube filled with balls. The cartridge was heated with a 110v wall-powered PID controller. The Glass Symphony used about 250 balls of the 5mm size, huge by today’s standard.
While the Glass Symphony was considered the heaviest-hitting weed vape, it was an expensive cumbersome setup and after 2 years the Glass Symphony was discontinued.
Vape Critic’s G43
November 2018 – Upset at the slow progression of the dry herb vaporizer technology, the Vape Critic set out to make a Glass Symphony for the people.
Bud did a lot for the dry herb vaporizer world, including a critical evolution in the history of vapes with the creation of the G-43.
Bud knew there was magic in those balls – so he filled a simple glass slide with balls and wound a 510 coil around a glass rod to heat them.
The G-43 managed to deliver a Glass-Symphony-like performance in a considerably smaller format, and more importantly – at an affordable price!
By 2019 the Vape Critic had hand-made several hundred G43 vaporizers in two different versions, the Sled version and the 510 box mod version, but he was tired of his new vape-making job and decided it was time to move on. Vape Critic stopped making vapes, stopped reviewing vapes, and sold his vape review forum to Vapor.com.
December 2019 – Inspired by the dozens of DMs offering to buy my G43, I turned to my vape shelf housing more than 300 dry herb vapes and started scouting for vapes that could be modified with the addition of balls. The G-43 proved to be overly simple – a coil and some balls in a glass tube – several vapes have 2 of the 3 requirements already!
The first mod was actually done on the 7th Floor LSV but the glass heater cover was just too long. The Silver Surfer desktop vaporizer was a more ideal candidate for the ball mod. With several hundred 3mm glass balls added, the SSV43 Ball Modded Silver Surfer became the hardest-hitting desktop vaporizer at the time
The SSV43 Ball Mod for the Silver Surfer inspired 7th Floor Vapes to create a Quartz Enhancement Tube designed to mimic the use of balls in the vape, but it doesn’t compete.
As the popularity of the SSV43 Ball Mod grew, so did the hype of adding balls to vapes. Vgoodiez had already been selling a coiled Elev8r as a heavy-hitting desktop, but when he added 3mm rubies the DC Elev8r became the hardest-hitting vaporizer available without modification.
The Coiled Elev8r was already a heavy hitter, in fact, even without the coil the torch-heated Elev8r was and is a heavy-hitting herb vape. Wrapping a coil around it made the heat constant and consistent, adding balls made it hit harder faster, and thicker with less inhalation technique.
Wall-G / AC Powered G-43
Vape Hackers in the 420 vape zone community were tired of swapping batteries and decided to hook up the G43 to a benchtop power supply. GAME. CHANGED. The newly found power available unleashed new potential that had remained unseen in the battery-powered version. By this time, the Vape Critic had already retired from both reviewing vapes and from making them.
August 20, 2020 – A collaboration between Brian (now of Old Head) and Austyn Simrell, The Terp Torch was technically the first ball vape available on the market. Every ball-vape iteration prior to the Terp Torch release was a modified vape or only available by DMing and hoping to get a response.
The Terp Torch was a kit that included a soldering iron, a tip that converts the soldering iron into a vape, and a bag of glass beads to fill the tip and power the vape.
The Terp Torch added fuel to the ball-vape development fire and set the bar for an affordable hard-hitting vape.
The HighLighter by REFC Labs
June 8, 2021 – An affordable DIY ball vape powered by a halogen light bulb. This badass little vape would drop on Sunday night and sell out within an hour.
Vape accessory makers like Eds TNT and Rogue Wax Works adopted handles and bodies to make the Highlighter even better.
Flowerpot V-rod B-Rod Mod
June 15, 2021 – Created by adding a few dozen 3mm ruby balls to the already hard-hitting Flowerpot V-rod, the B-Rod turns up the intensity and extraction power – while maintaining the Flowerpot’s ability to dab with its built-in SIC or Sapphire dabbing dish.
Credit goes to Joey (JXJS in the 420vapezone discord). This Flowerpot mod was easy and the Cannabis Hardware user base is active and enthusiastic as ever. Within weeks the ball-filled Flowerpot V-rod was all the rage on the weed vape forums and this modification will later lead to the COMPLETE overhaul of the Flowerpot vape – which currently rests at the top of the most recommended and hardest-hitting vapes lists.
Announced July 2021 but not shipped until October 2021 – The Hot Rod is the first desktop vaporizer from Old Head, but it’s not Brian’s first ball vape. Brian is also credited for creating the Terp Torch.
The Hot Rod was a self-contained desktop unit featuring wooden components sourced and signed by Sticky Brick Labs. The titanium tip was powered by a ceramic cartridge heater and 3mm ruby spheres.
The Hot Rod was the 2nd vape to be available through multiple retailers.
Flowerpot Baller Head
August 2021 – Cannabis Hardware noticed everyone adding balls to their vape and decided to join in the fun. The Flowerpot Baller Head was released in the R&D section of their website as a “hollowed out” V-Rod, allowing 75 balls compared to the 25 that would fit with the B-Rod mod.
The Flowerpot Baller Head was so hot they couldn’t keep them in stock. High Demand and still in development, this new baller head proved to the dry herb vape scene that these ball vapes are the real deal.
Couchlog – Baller Log
August 13, 2021 – A handmade convection log from Germany, the Couchlog uses ceramic balls to power its convection mesh network.
The Couchlog boasts the ability to go temporarily wireless, carrying enough heat in the beads to vaporize your herbs away from the wall plug. (I don’t have this vape and can’t vouch for this ability, but people make the claim)
Halo & Atlas by Cloud Connoisseur
September 2021 – The Halo and Atlas are artisan-crafted ball vapes constructed of wood and glass. The hand-turned bodies are often exotic and figured woods.
The Halo is powered by a halogen light bulb and the Atlas is powered by a stainless steel cartridge heater. Both are filled with 3mm boro balls or rubies.
Flowerpot Screened Baller Head
September – 2021 – To open airflow and prevent balls from clogging the diffuser holes, the Screened Baller Head used double-woven titanium screens in place of the milled titanium diffuser.
The wide-open airflow of the Flowerpot Screened Baller Head set a new bar for vaporizer performance and became the immediate “one to get” in the vape market.
October 2021 – Just a few short months after releasing a test product allowing for better ball usage, Cannabis Hardware completely revamped its desktop vaporizer lineup and announced their two previous Flowerpot heads, the Weedeater and the V-Rod, will be discontinued in favor of the Flowerpot B1 and the Flowerpot B2 ball heads. See the CH Flowerpot Evolution
The Flowerpot B1 has an ultra-wide-open airflow and high thermal extraction. It uses double-woven titanium screens on top and bottom and houses sixty (75) 4mm balls or one hundred (200) 3mm balls.
The B2 Flowerpot is open airflow, pinched only by the airflow nut in the center of the B2’s SiC or Sapphire dabbing dish. The B2 holds 200 of the 3mm rubies or 60 of the 4mm.
December 9, 2021 – Cannabis Hardware begins selling an injector version of the lower half, allowing their new baller heads to be used with 18mm female glass bowls.
Arizer EQ Ball Mod
October 17, 2021 – Dedicated vape hackers in the 420vapezone discord have found ways to add balls to the Arizer EQ. Balls are added directly in the female-to-female cyclone bowl and sit on top of the heater cover.
Qaroma / Ceroma / Taroma
Nov 6, 2021 – Made in Malaysia, the Qaromashop series of ball vapes use a 20mm e-nail coil and PID controller as its power source and temp control, similar to the Flowerpot.
Available in Quartz, Ceramic, and Titanium, these vapes utilize 18mm male injector tips attached to massive ball housings of varying materials.
The quartz Qaroma head offers the purest flavor but the weakest extraction power. Ceramic has a unique vapor signature with better thermal performance than quartz. The titanium has the best thermal performance and highest extraction power of the 3 heads but was too heavy and clunky to win reach tests.
January 25, 2022 – A DIY baller vape that sets a new tone and a new bar. The Pinky uses a pink TIG welding nozzle as a ball housing and hand-formed screens to contain the balls. Powered by a PID and a 20mm e-nail coil, The Pinky vaporizer can essentially be built by anyone,
The Pinky proved that additional thermal mass outside of the coil is 100% unnecessary and more of a thermal waste than a thermal battery.
Community member Secreagent designed this vape with the goal of making high-performance vaporization achievable and affordable. She won the first (and only, so far) 420vapezone Community Member of the Month award for her contributions to the vape community.
Same thing as the Pinky, but The Brain uses a glass TIG welding nozzle. The glass nozzle doesn’t hit as hard but offers a more pure and sharp flavor profile.
The Glass TIG nozzles proved to be risky, often breaking during use. The Brain is not recommended.
January 2022 – Another gem from Secreagent with support from Dick Dabwell and Improvaper, the Titi, or T43, uses a 16mm enail coil and the 18mm male post joint from the Cannabis Hardware shovelhead bowl.
The Titi also uses hand-shaped screens and 3mm ruby spheres.
VGoodiez has begun selling pre-made TiTi bundles that he’s hand-wrapped and assembled. This is one of the cheapest entry points into ball vapes you can find without DIY.
February 2022 – Cannabis Hardware takes note of their 18mm shovelhead posts being used in the newest DIY ball vape and released a budget version of their new flagship B1 and B2 vaporizers.
The B-Zero head is just $60 with balls. It’s a lean, lightweight, injector-style ball vape.
Cannabis Hardware sells the Essentials bundle, assembled, for $295.
Released in February 2022, and shipped in June 2022, the Freight Train is a PID-powered vaporizer head filled with 4mm ruby spheres. The Freight Train is a threaded titanium head with airflow optimized to match the feel of a typical smoke
The Freight Train dry herb bundle launched at $299, a budget-friendly ball vape with no DIY or assembly required.
Taroma XL / Qaroma XL by Qaromashop
May 2022 – Using an even larger 30mm enail coil, the Taroma XL and Qaroma XL are jumbo versions containing even more balls – for even higher airflow and a wider bowl surface.
The XL versions of the Qaroma/Taroma use a 29mm female bowl with a 25.4mm screen!
TKO by Oconnell Woodworks
Announced June 2022 – yet to ship – The TKO is a promising-looking titanium ball head with a matching metal bowl. Oconnell credits his inspiration to The Pinky. He was gifted the parts and he loved the performance but wanted something nicer, so he set to work designing the TKO.
His TKO head uses a standard 20mm coil and includes a paired titanium bowl.
Higher Level Unlimited Injector
Little is known about this at the time of publishing, but HLU has announced pictures and videos of his upcoming injector.
DDave Extraction Contraption – DIY BYOH
June 2022 – The DDave ball-vape kit is modeled after a Terp Torch but with a soldering-station system. You provide your own soldering iron, the kit provides a ball vape replacement tip to adapt to the 18mm female bowl.
Staroma Lite / Taroma Lite
June 22, 2022 – From Qaromashop, the maker of the Qaroma/Taroma lineup, this is a cheaper and leaner version of the Taroma – available in both titanium and stainless steel.
These heads have been further optimized and can hold even more balls than the originals.
In addition to offering these more affordable and efficient heads, Qaromashop is also making titanium bowls!
We’re in the ball vape revolution and more ball vapes are dropping monthly it seems.
June 2022 – Koil Boi has released a version of the Titi and his own PID with a bong bundle for $275.
First Chinese Clone
The first Chinese clone has been released. The ceramic ball head vape launched on Aliexpress with an improved dabbing surface on its top. The 2in1 Tiodw holds 60 4mm terp pearls and looks strikingly similar to the Ceroma, but with improvements for dabs and concentrates.
UPDATES & ERRORS
I’m not perfect so get off my ass. See a mistake? Leave a comment. Did I miss something? I’m sure I did! Please help me out and let me know. Links are extremely helpful, please cite them.
This page was last updated July 22, 2022