According to DynaVap, they don’t make vaporizers, they make “TEDs”. That stands for Thermal Extraction Devices. While they’re fully capable of vaporizing cannabis, what makes them unique is that they’re not battery powered. TEDs rely on an external heat source, which can be anything from a lighter to a more sophisticated induction heating unit. DynaVap’s VapCaps are easily the most popular TEDs on the market, and DynaVap has been releasing new versions of the M every year since 2017, with the 2020 edition being the fourth entry in the line.
When I first learned about about DynaVap, my initial impression wasn’t so positive. It may have had something to do with the heavy stigma attached to lighters and torches, since they are most often associated with smoking. I was a true skeptic, and a bit of a vapor snob if I’m being honest.
I have now been using the M 2020 regularly for the last few weeks. Once I got acquainted with heating it properly, my opinion about DynaVap began to change quick. This isn’t just a review, but more of a first-hand account of my journey into “the Dynaverse”. By the time you’re done reading this, you should have a better understanding of what a TED is, and if they’re worth buying or not.
The device was sent courtesy of Vapor.com for the purpose of this review.
Price: $75 at Vapor.com (Save 20% with code VAPING36020)
The M is DynaVap’s entry level device and currently the most affordable one in their lineup. Not exactly cheap for a little metal tube. But at the same time, a whole lot cheaper than all of the best portable weed vaporizers out there. The M is 92 mm long and weighs just under 20 grams. It’s constructed of medical grade stainless steel, and features their signature heat-sensitive cap that clicks when it reaches temperature.
When fully assembled, it feels virtually indestructible. It also appears to be expertly machined, not just for looks but for functionality. The geometric engravings reflect light in a cool way while adding a nice tactile feel. It’s very easy to grip it in between your fingers or between your lips. The chamber holds up to around 0.1 gram and can be adjusted down to 0.05 g for micro dosing. (More like nano dosing.)
The M comes all by itself in a recyclable cardboard package. Just the device, literally nothing else. Talk about minimalist! It did include a little pamphlet on the basics of how to clean and heat a TED. I think for $75, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a basic cleaning kit and a couple of spare O-rings. The cleaning kit and O-rings are available separately.
One thing the bare bones packaging does do is highlight the device itself. And that’s what you’re really paying for. The craftsmanship and engineering put into its overall design—and the ability to vape without being plugged into the matrix.
Using a VapCap actually takes a bit of practice. If you just need a vaporizer that heats up with the push of a button, this is not for you. Luckily, most portable vaporizers can already do that, like the Firefly 2+ and the Boundless Tera, to name a few.
The most challenging part about using a TED is the heating process. Soon I will get into more depth about various heating techniques, tips, and tricks. But here is a basic rundown of how to use a DynaVap device, based on my experience with the 2020 “M”:
The performance aspect is the best and worst part about the “M”. It can be intimidating and confusing, especially for beginners. Once you get the hang of it, you can really dial in the exact hit you need. More flavor, more clouds, tight draw, loose draw, you name it. So while the performance isn’t so consistent, it makes for a more personalized session.
The “M” has the potential to deliver everything you could ask for. Well, almost. It doesn’t have a large chamber size, and the only “screen” you’ll find on this thing is the CCD, which is essentially a glorified pipe screen. With that said, once you get into the groove of using it, you can really tailor its performance to your exact specifications. Sure, I got a bunch of wispy hits with no visible vapor, and I combusted a couple of times too. But I can’t really blame the device itself for that. It was mostly human error.
It’s now been a few weeks since my first TED experience. I don’t think I’ve left my house once without my “M” since. I keep it in a little smell-proof sack with my pocket torch and a jar of pre-ground flower. It’s not so great for windy environments, but not having to worry about charging batteries, or my vape dying when I need it the most, is a weight off my shoulders. I thought the whole “battery freedom” thing was a bit gimmicky at first, but I think I get it now.
And while the oven is tiny, this device itself is super-efficient. The first time using it, I was just messing around with it before my usual vape session—one that never ended up happening. That fat bowl sat inside my Crafty+ for days. I didn’t know what to think anymore. The flavor from those first few hits were about on par with the flavor I get from a PAX. That little 0.1-g sesh on my “M” launched me straight into the Dynaverse!
Since the M doesn’t run on batteries, you’ll need to heat it manually between puffs. The advantage is that you can get a more personalized session with them. Depending on what type of torch you choose and your overall heating technique, you can get a totally different type of hit. It takes time to figure out which type of puff you like best and how to achieve it. But the power is literally in your hands.
DynaVap urges users to always “respect the click”! Don’t keep heating it for more than 1-3 seconds after the click, or you will destroy your terpenes, or even worse, combust your bud. They have another catchy and helpful expression that’s also pretty hard to forget:
“Heat the tip for a tasty rip, heat the base to launch into space”.
Or you can always heat the middle if you forget the riddle, which will provide a nice balance between flavor and clouds. Aiming the heat at the tip will force it to click early, even if the rest of the cap isn’t up to temp. This results in a delicious but rather wispy hit. On the other hand, heating the base will produce denser, yet less flavorful clouds.
I actually noticed that there are two distinct clicks, at least on my VapCap. I hear a faint click when it’s heating up, followed by the main “snap”, like the sound of a button on a raincoat. And don’t forget about that cool down click! Wait until you hear it snap after your puff before re-heating, or it will not be able to save you from combustion!
I can’t wait to test the “M” with some of those electric induction heaters in the future. But for now, here are some tips for heating up your VapCap manually with a torch or lighter:
The DynaVap M can be completely disassembled and soaked in alcohol or your preferred cleaning solution. The entire device is comprised of the tip, the screen (also known as the CCD), the body, the slim condenser rod, and six O-rings in total. DynaVap doesn’t recommend soaking the cap, but you can hit it with a Q tip; just make sure it is completely dry before use.
You’ll know it’s time to clean when the airflow starts getting too restrictive and the flavor begins to progressively diminish. Below is a very informative video from DynaVap about how to clean the device properly. They also offer a few different kits and products for cleaning and maintaining your device.
Here are the best tips for cleaning your 2020 DynaVap “M”:
The “M” provides true vaporization at roughly the size of a cigarette! This device has been so satisfying, that I found myself reaching for my desktop and portable vapes less frequently lately. It gets the job done—with way less material. And it feels so natural to hold like a cigarette. Even with CBD bud, the body high and calming effects are instantaneous, unlike other vaporizers where the effects need time to kick in.
The only comparable electric option in its price range would be the VLeaf Go—which is still a fantastic one hitter style vape pen. But if you want to experience battery freedom with a device that can potentially last an entire lifetime, there’s no competition. If you have no major issues with any of the cons listed above, then I’d strongly recommend the M. And if you’re still put off by the manual heating part, there are plenty of electric induction heaters available for it, which I hope to test out in the near future.
Even if you prefer the larger and more high-tech portables, I still think the “M” is a valuable tool that’s well worth having in your arsenal, especially for the price.
What was your experience like with DynaVap? Leave a comment below.