The Almighty Volcano Vaporizers
Since the release of the first Volcano vaporizer from Storz and Bickel, the whole world of vaping has changed. Powerful portable devices, digital controls, Wi-Fi, legalization of certain vapable herbs. Looking back, the Volcano was a huge part in that progression. It was like coming out of the dark ages and into the light when it came along.
The original Volcano was an impressive beast: it contained state of the art technology that transformed vaping. The thick, tasty and incredibly consistent vapor made the Volcano an instant classic. With a few small modifications, that original model (the Volcano Classic) is still available today. The reputation Storz and Bickel gained was for the highest quality vapour in the world because of the highest standards of construction and materials, alongside a brilliant design. This continues to this day, with their latest versions of this impressive device.
The Classic is little changed over the years: it has an analogue dial on the front to select the temperature, a heat button and an air button. It was as simple as it comes and remains as popular as ever because of this.
The revolution caused by the Volcano was largely due to the balloon system. Initially quite fiddly, by the time it went on sale in the USA in 2003, it was using the Easy Valve system that remains in place today. Stick the mouth of the balloon over the heating chamber, press the air button and watch as the bag fills with the creamiest, most delicious vape possible. Detach and keep for up to 8 hours, enjoying your vape wherever you want to take it. A new way to consume vapour was born, one that suited medical patients as well as it did regular users, culminating in a medical version being the first certified vaporizer in the USA a few years later. Not that the pull from the whips (the inhaling tube) was not the best as well, it certainly was. And is. Almost no drag resistance, full and flavoursome vapour and incredibly easy to use, the Classic remains one of the best vaporizers on the market to this day. It can take some time to heat up and does not have an automatic shut off like the Volcano Digit, but when it is up to power (after about 3 minutes), it will produce the most consistent vapour. The unique convection heating ensures the dried herbs you are toasting in there are all heated very evenly, producing quality vapour right down to the last hit.
The Volcano Classic is quite heavy, at 1.8 kilograms, but it is more of an installation than a portable device; this is one piece of kit you can leave on your coffee table and not worry about. It is incredibly solidly built, and has a well-earned reputation for longevity. There are users who have Volcanos from the early Noughties who get consistently great results, even after nearly 2 decades of regular use. There is a 3 year warranty, like the rest of the Volcanos, but it will almost certainly last longer.
A herb chamber that can fit in fully 0.75 grams of finely ground herbs makes for huge balloons and lengthy sessions, further adding to the appeal. It has a temperature range of between 130°C and 226°C, which suits most users perfectly. It can be a little noisy, but that is the price to pay for the unique air circulation system.
You will not get a Volcano vaporizer cheap, with the Classic setting you back £300 or so ($479), but will pay for itself again and again as you get the most deliciously consistent vapour on the market. It is hard to overstate the importance of this device in the history of vaporizers or the reasons for its enduring appeal.
Storz and Bickel changed the world of vaping with the Classic, then managed to do it again with the Digit. A fully digitally controlled, upgraded version of the Classic, it offers more precise temperature control (+/- 1.5°C against the Classic’s +/- 5°C) and a wider range (40°C to 230°C). This extra versatility and precision instantly raised the bar for desktop vaporizers.
Using the same Easy Valve system that the Classic uses for whips and balloons, it produces the same high quality vapour with added control and consistency. It will set you back a few extra pounds, costing around £380 or $599, but for the extra features alongside the amazing quality build and design, it is a great example of “you get what you pay for”. It should last for years past the 3 year warranty, nothing else gives this quality vapour and nothing is a simple and easy to use.There are desktop vaporizers out there that can be controlled via a smartphone (check out the Storz and Bickel Crafty for their handheld app-controlled offering), and other shiny gadgets, but they seem superfluous when compared alongside the Volcano digital vaporizer. It is as simple as possible and literally unbeatable when it comes to the quality of its vapour.
It can take a few minutes to warm up (3 minutes usually) and has the auto shut off setting that the Classic lacks, turning itself off after 30 minutes without any input. This is very useful for sessions and social gatherings.
As with the Classic, consistency is king. It is big and heavy but it gets the maximum out of every last bit of your dry herb extract. Nothing else gives the high quality vapour right to the end like this beast.
The world’s first certified vaporizer for the administration of medicines and herb vapour, the Medic is basically a Digit with added reliability (as if that was needed) and the approval of medical councils. For people with impaired movement, chronic pain or conditions that make inhalation difficult, the pure and high quality vapour the Medic gives through its balloon system is invaluable. With minimal effort, very precise doses of drugs and herbs can be delivered painlessly and unobtrusively. This is a device that maintains the dignity of the patient and helps relieve symptoms in the healthiest way.
The Volcano devices are simple and need little augmentation but there are extra bags, valves and whips you can buy for them to enhance the experience. A bag will give between 30 and 100 uses, depending on how you treat them, and are relatively inexpensive.
The Liquid Pad enables the vaporization of waxes, extracts and concentrates, again to the highest standards. Spread the concentrate evenly in the Liquid Pad, put it onto the device and let it get to the right temperature, hit the air button and you are on your way to vaping paradise.
Overall, the Volcanos are hard to beat. It is difficult to imagine how they could improve on the design or construction, but Storz and Bickel have a reputation for innovation, so who knows?