@Mrb58 responding about the best way to go anout smaller loads. I personally have found its situational. The pad seems to cause faster extraction once it heats up I think its because of the heating surface area; more space to spread the herb and the heat from the pad on top. Definitely make sure you have enough to cover the whole bottom screen for best results . I prefer this method for sessions with two people so less vapor escapes. Also good for using with accessories that require tipping the plenty. Pad holds everything neatly and you get more concentrated vapor imo. Reducer does have a bit of a learning curve and you have to nipple the top screen downward to keep the herb from spilling. Reducer feels a bit more convection than pad, extraction takes a bit longer and is a bit more controllable. Best for standard use for one. You really need to fill it all the way though. Hope that helps slightly!