Volcano Vaporizer Review
A high quality desktop vaporizer that is easy to use.
Our Rating: 9.8/10
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The Volcano vaporizer is going to be one of the best vaporizers you can find to use at your desktop. It has the ability to be used with both dry herbs and concentrates. Its features are very easy to use, and it always gives out great quality vapor. This device blows away the competition in terms of usage and has no negative attributes to be discussed.
The Volcano vaporizer is a product from Storz and Bickel. They have managed to get it right with this vaporizer as it has been up for sale for a few years now, and it is still going strong. It is very popular and is know for its quality vaping experience. If you are more likely to be using a vaporizer in groups, this is the one to choose. The Volcano Vaporizer is always going give you a great vape and it is a durable device that is not going to die on you. There are very few reported issues with these devices and that is what makes them so popular.
While the Volcano Vaporizer has been around for years, there have been small updates like the addition of a digital display. The original dial for temperature was replaced by an easy to use digital display which allows for more precise control of the temperature. This displays temperature is controlled by the simple arrow buttons to either side.
Unfortunately, the one aspect of this device that might make you rethink buying it is the price. You are still able to purchase the Volcano Classic and the Volcano Digital. The Volcano Classic Vaporizer can be purchased for around $380 and the Volcano Digital Vaporizer can cost up to $500 dollars. Even though this is a very high cost, it is worth it for the quality you are going to continue to receive for years to come.
There are competitors that are cheaper and that offer a similar design. However, you will notice the quality of the device itself is lower and the experience you get from using it will not be as good as what you get from the Volcano.
To better understand the price difference with the Volcano Classic and the Volcano Digital, we are going to break it down. They are both similar in their build quality and you are not going to be disappointed with either vaporizer. It is the little features that makes them different and more appealing to different people.
The Volcano Classic Vaporizer uses a rotary dial to control its temperature. This is a simple mechanism and does work ok. It has the ability to be changed from a one to a nine in which each number is a different temperature setting. While it is important to talk about the temperature control I am going to cover that later and focus on the basic features.
One aspect that can be dangerous is that the Volcano Classic does not have any auto shut off. It has to be physically turned off or unplugged before it will power down. If you are someone, like myself, who is on the forgetful side this is a big downside to this vaporizer. I like the comfort of a safety mechanism in the event I do forget.
The Volcano Digital Vaporizer has completely done away with the rotary dial. It has replaced it with a large LED screen that is easier to read. It will display the preset temperature and what the ovens current temperature that it is operating at is. The buttons that are used to control the temperature are simple in design and are located on either side of the display. They are green arrows that hold a “+” and a “-” symbol on them.
The Volcano Digital Vaporizer does have the auto shut off feature that I like. They also have temperature spectrum that differ slightly. They are both going to max out at 445 degree, but you are able to run each at a different minimum. The Volcano Classic is able to be set at 266 degrees with the Volcano Digital can go as low as 104 degree. While using a vaporizer at that low of a level is not typical, it is nice to be able to have the complete temperature control that the Volcano Digital offers.
There are really not that many differences in the two Volcano Vaporizers. If you are will to give up the complete control over the temperature the Volcano Digital offers and the auto-shut off mechanism there is really no reason to dish out the extra money. Both of these vaporizers are going to give the same great vapor quality and the Volcano Digital is really not worth the $120 dollar increase.
When you purchase a Volcano Vaporizer, you have the option to chose between two different vapor paths. The vapor path is the physical way that the vapor is going to travel before reaching your lungs. There are two types of valves that you are able to chose from. The Solid Valve and the Easy Valve.
These valves are the portion of the vaporizer in which the hot air is pushed out from. This is what is going to vaporize your material and will also fill your bag simultaneously. Each valve works a little differently and has different assets that are better depending on what you prefer.
While the valves are different, they both use the same material for the bags. They are the official bags of Storz and Bickel and always have superior quality. When you are using their bags, they do not make any of the disgusting smells or flavor as they are heated that you can see from the competition. Usually the Volcano Vaporizer brand makes it a goal to only use odor-free materials that is also food safe.
The Volcano Vaporizer has an easy valve system. This is a replaceable system with the mouthpieces and balloon sets so that when you notice that they are becoming observably dirty you are able to throw them away and replace them. For anyone that is not the best at cleaning their vaporizer, this is a dream.
The filling chamber is made out of a material that is also used in some of the other Storz and Bickel products. It is a durable black plastic that is resistant to heat. This can be taken off by turning it and it unveils the bowl that you are able to place your material in.
The easy valve mouthpieces are made of the same plastic, but it is colored orange. Inside of this piece is a black insert that allows you to take a draw from the bag after you place your lips up to it forcing the valve open.
The solid valve is made for people that are more willing to take the time to clean out their vaporizer to keep using the same pieces continuously. Since this valve is made to last more than a few uses, the company has put more effort into this piece. It is more durable then the easy valve system and can withstand repeated washing.
This valve has the ability to be taken apart so you are able to clean all of the parts individually. While the valve itself will last many uses, you do change out the bags with this system. This piece is made from a similar material to the easy valve. It is a plastic that is tolerant to high temperatures. The mouthpiece on the solid valve is much more sturdy then that of the easy valve. It is heavier to withstand the repeated uses and washes. Its stainless steel piece matches the filling chamber insert that is used with the solid valve.
With the solid valve, you are able to load your material directly into the filling chamber insert. This insert holds down your material as you use the Volcano Vaporizer so it can force the air through it to get a good vape. When using this insert you are able to manipulate the amount of material you are using and it will allow you to use smaller amounts without needing any extra inserts.
The solid valve is a little more complex then then the easy valve and it does take more instruction to clean it out. The upside to this is that it will help you save money. You will now need to spend money on the disposable easy valve system, instead you will just purchase the Volcano bags that are around $10.
Ten dollars worth of bags typically lasts someone about a year depending on how frequently you use your machine. If you have a preference, you are able to buy different sized bags for this system. They come in small bags if you are using your vaporizer alone and go up to 10 foot bags that you can use if you have a lot of friends over.
How to Control Temperature
With the temperature control mods of both versions of this vaporizer, there are many similarities. Both models have a very simple system to show when the vaporizer is heating, ready to use, and when the air pump is going. The main difference between them is how you are able to control the temperature and the variations of temperature you can access.
Both models of the Volcano Vaporizers feature three lights. These lights are going to be the main indicators of what is happening with your vaporizer at all times. This makes the vaporizer easy to use with a quick glance for the user to know when the vaporizer is preparing to be used and when it is ready to be used. There is one light called “control”, the other two act as indicator lights as well as switches and are “heat” and “air”.
The first switch is the “heat” switch and it is located on the left. It is red in color. This switch is going to be mainly used as the power button for this device. Upon putting this switch into the 'on' position, it will begin to glow red to show that the vaporizer is starting to heat up. It will heat up to the set temperature of the gauge above, which we will talk about later.
The other switch is the “air” switch, which is located on the right. It works similarly to the other switch. This one is green in color. When you put this switch into the 'on' position, it will start the device's air pump that will begin to vaporize your material.
The last light, “control” is in the middle of the two switches and is yellow in color. This light is the indicator of when the vaporizer is ready to be used. It is going to glow yellow when the system has started to heat to the temperature you have it set to.
While it is rising to the correct temperature the light will remain on, once the light turns off you are at the correct temperature and ready to vape. For both vaporizers, it typically takes about three minutes to fully heat up to the set temperature.
Differences Between Temperature Controls
The Volcano Classic Vaporizer uses a rotary dial to indicate what level of temperature it is set at. There are nine different heat levels you are able to choose from. The Classic is able to start at 266 degrees Fahrenheit and heat up to 439 degrees Fahrenheit. The chart for the temperature is as follows:
|Dial Number||Temperature Fahrenheit||Temperature Celsius|
Once you have the dial set to a number, the vaporizer is able to heat to that degree. The Classic's temperature is accurate once it is set and is very reliable as you change between the different levels. You can get a good approximation of what temperature you are at with the dial.
If you are not worried about a few degrees difference either way it is not a bad mechanism to use. Some people do prefer to have complete control over their temperature and the Volcano Digital allows you to do this.
The Volcano Digital Vaporizer differs from the Classic in the fact it has a large LCD screen that replaces the dial. This screen displays the temperature and adds two temperature control buttons on either side of the screen. The buttons are triangle in shape and have an easy to read “-” and “+” sign to indicate what direction you are changing the temperature.
This version of the Volcano Vaporizer can start at the temperature at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and is able to go up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are someone that uses a material that requires a lower temperature, this would be the vaporizer to use.
Many of the typical materials I use do not need to be at that low of a temperature, so it does not benefit me personally. However, I do like the precision control that this version allows.
In this portion I am going to discuss the amount of material that is needed to be in the oven to give you a good vaping experience. There are differences between using the easy valve and the solid valve on your vaping experience so they will be discussed separately.
There are some similarities with the two systems. Both of them are able to fully exhaust your material. They will both give you a good, even vape and they are able to last almost all day. While using the vaporizer, I am able to fill multiple bags with either valve and still have quality vapor.
The differences start with the size of the oven in each valve. The easy valve and the solid valve are similar in size but you have to load a different amount of material in each to get the outcome that you want.
When using the easy valve, it is best to use a larger amount of material to get a good dense vapor. I typically need about a half gram of material to get the oven packed full. With the amount of material you need to use I typically lean towards using this valve with a couple friends.
If you want to use this valve with a smaller amount of material you can substitute some space with the concentrate pad. This will fill the oven with a lesser amount of material, but it does seem to take away from the vapor quality. I could not get as thick of a vapor as I typically see with this trick.
If you do typically use less material while vaping, you can purchase an easy valve reducer. This reducer helps to lessen the oven volume to around .15 to .2 of material. I have tried to use this reducer with loose material and it ended disastrously. When the air pump started, the material started to blow around and I could not get a good vape from it.
You must pair the reducer with their dosing capsules. These capsules can be loaded with your material and then it stays in place once you are vaping. This does decrease the amount of vapor you get from the vaporizer to around three bags.
While this reducer does allow you to use less material you are not going to get as good of a vape. It is much more efficient to use a larger amount of material with the easy valve. The solid valve is able to handle smaller amounts of material and I would recommend trying that method instead of messing with the reducer. Your results are going to be much better and the process is easier.
In my opinion, the solid valve is the better choice if you are going to choose to use this vaporizer alone. It also works well for those occasions that you are going to be using it with groups as well. There is an insert that you use with the solid valve that allows you to adjust the amount of material that you are using. This insert is easier to use then the reducer for the easy valve.
The insert is a small screen that has a second adjustable screen that moves according to how much material you have. With this screen, it is usually best to have at most about a half gram of material at a time. For the times you are vaping alone you can load just enough material to cover the screen and then you are ready to vape. The insert is going to hold your material down as you use the vaporizer, so you are not going to have any material flying around getting lost.
Quality of The Volcano Vaporizers
The Volcano Vaporizer has given me some of the best quality in vapor compared to others in the industry. I have had experience with this vaporizer with both dry herbs and concentrates so I am going to discuss those experiences separately to get the best idea of quality. Quality of vapor does have a variety of aspects to think about. We are looking at the flavor extracted, how dense the vapor is, and the smoothness of the vapor that is produced.
When using dry herbs, the Volcano Vaporizer is able to produce a very large amount of vapor. The bags are filled efficiently and have a good, thick amount of vapor. Typically I run the Volcano temperature toward the middle of the spectrum and above and this produces the best vapor. Most people that are using the Volcano rave about the quality you get from dry herbs as it is where it stand outs against the competition.
In terms of flavor, the Volcano does produce great tasting vapor. I will not say that there are not vaporizers that can offer better quality in taste. But they lack in the other aspects that the Volcano does well with.
The reason that the quality in flavor degrades with the Volcano is the fact that the terpenes in the vapor will condense in the bag. Theses are the chemicals that are given off by plants that ultimately give them their smell and taste.
The Volcano Vaporizer is able to give good flavor in terms of vaporizers that use bags to hold their vapor. Vaporizers that you are able to draw directly from will give you a better flavor since there is a smaller path the vapor has to travel before reaching you.
The smoothness of vapor is all about how the vapor feels when you inhale it. Some vaporizers produce a very rough vapor that can feel like it is scraping your throat as you breath. The Volcano produces some of the smoothest vapor that I have gotten from vaporizers.
Overall, the dry herb vapor quality is outstanding. The flavor is about average for vaporizers with bags, it produces a ton of vapor, and it is never unpleasant when it comes out. This vaporizer has been very pleasant during all of my dry herb uses.
I have found that the Volcano Vaporizer can deliver impressive quality in terms of concentrates as well. I have been able to use a variety of concentrates and they have all performed well with this vaporizer. One area that is lacking with concentrates is that you will not see as much vapor.
You are able to still fill quite a few of bags, but the density of the bags is not as great as those of dry herbs. Although this is a little disappointing, the flavor is still there.
I prefer the flavor quality of the concentrates over that of the dry herbs with the Volcano Vaporizer. The flavor that is produced stands out more and is better quality even after you allow it to sit in the bag for a few minutes. It is more comparable to the flavor you are able to get from vaporizers without a bag.
Similar to using dry herbs, the Volcano Vaporizer produces a smooth vapor from concentrates. The smoothness produced by this vaporizer is much better than other concentrate vaporizers I have used previously.
Whether you are using the Volcano Classic or the Digital Vaporizer, they are produced to have the best device quality out there. Many vaporizers on the market have sub-par build quality and tend to break after prolonged uses. These vaporizers last someone for years. Anyone that I have talked to about this machine says that there are no problems even after using it for a long time.
The outside of the Volcano Vaporizer is stainless steel and easy to clean. The parts of this vaporizer that are made of plastic are made with similar plastics as the valve parts. They use the temperature tolerant material that is long-lasting.
When using the buttons on these vaporizers you will never feel like you have been cheated. They respond well to the touch and are not going to break as you use them. When you have used them repeatedly they never start to feel as if they are loose or about to fall off like some dials on other machines.
The main portion of the Volcano Vaporizer does not need a lot of cleaning. The only part of the Volcano Vaporizer that you will need to focus on is the easy valve or the solid valve system. Cleaning the vaporizer itself is mainly making sure that the outside of the device stays clean and that is as simple as wiping it off.
In inside of the device, avoid touching the material that goes into it because it is in the filling chamber when being used. The only portion of the unit that does need cleaning is the air filter that is in the bottom. This is an easy process and usually only needs to be done every year or two depending on how much you use the vaporizer.
Easy Valve Cleaning
The main reason to buy the easy valve is to avoid cleaning. It is the one that takes the least upkeep imaginable. When you have finished using a mouthpiece and bag, you can judge if they look too dirty or not. Once they reach a point that you can visually tell that they are dirty, it is time to change them. At this point, just throw away the whole unit and purchase another one. Usually it takes me a few months to get to the point I need to change it out.
One part that actually does need to be cleaned is the filling chamber. The screen that is used can just be replaced with a new one. The chamber itself should be soaked in some warm water with soap or in isopropyl alcohol to get all of the gunk out.
The one downside of the easy valve system is that it can be a little more costly in the long run. You do have to purchase the replacement parts when you need to clean it. While this costs more, it is the less time-consuming option.
Solid Valve Cleaning
Unlike the easy valve system, the solid valve reuses everything but the bags. The solid valve mouthpiece and chamber must be taken completely apart to be fully cleaned. There are instructions that are included with the solid valve to walk you through the process of taking it apart.
These instructions are not hard to understand, but it can be time consuming to do. Cleaning these parts is similar to most vaporizers and you will need some warm water and soap or isopropyl alcohol.
For the bags that you do have to throw away you are able to purchase those for a relatively small amount. It is usually less than ten dollars for a roll. This roll can last you about a year depending on your vaporizer usage. If you are looking to spend less money throughout the year, the solid valve system will save you money.
The Volcano vaporizer is a great choice for desktop vaping. It has unmatched quality in terms of durability and always gives you a great vape with dry herbs and concentrates. Both variations of the machine comes with a three year warranty, but it is a rare occasion when needed. The machine itself is made to be simple to use and you will not be disappointed with the investment you make on this device.
Spending money on a Volcano vaporizer is never a mistake. Storz and Bickel have spent time building up their brand and their products to a point that the user is never dissatisfied with their services. Their products always last a long time and give the user a great experience every time they use them.
Our Rating: 9.8/10
*Best Price Guarantee