Simply put, the Volcano vaporizer is the gold-standard and in our opinion the best all-around desktop vaporizer available. Since its debut in 2000, a lot has changed and been developed in the vaporizer market. In spite of this, none are able to consistently match the high quality vapor production alongside such a user-friendly device.
Stortz & Bickel a German company designed the Volcano using medical grade components with the user in mind. A major design change from the traditional whip style vaporizer of that time was the introduction of forced-air. This ultimately led to the balloon style vaporizer that the Volcano is known for. The new designs were patented with a variety of certifications to go along with them.
What made the design such a game-changer in the industry was it not only made usage more efficient, but improved upon the user experience and was built of durable materials meant to last for years to come. We’re know of people with 5+ year old models that have been used on a regular basis that still work like brand new. The introduction of the Volcano changed the vaporizer landscape for the better, raising the bar for vaporizing standards everywhere.
The Basics - Pros & Cons
No one vaporizer is perfect and serves all purposes. Typically excelling in one category means sacrificing in another. That being said, we think the Volcano pros far outweigh the cons.
- Effortless high quality vapor that is smooth and reliable
- The balloon system is perfect for groups or solo sessions
- Precision temperature control to customize to your liking
- Cleaning & Maintenance is minimal, deep cleans are a breeze
- Useful accessories for optimal usage (cleaning brush, grinder, extra screens, etc.)
- Durable build thats dependable and just plain works
- Storz & Bickel has been around for 20 years, and no one has been able to consistently beat the Volcano in quality and durability
- Price is a significant investment
- Not discreet, the fan can be loud in a quieter setting. The plastic bags have a crackling noise to them
- The durability translates to the Volcano being one of the larger and heavier vaporizers, meant for home use
- Long heat up time
- Dry herb works best, better options for concentrates
What Makes the Volcano Stand Out - Why You Might Want One
Easy to Use - Ease Into a Session
Whether you have 5 minutes or can commit to a full sit-down session you can be sure that you’ll get properly elevated. You can use just enough herb to cover the screen, or completely fill up the chamber dependent on your tolerance. We usually land somewhere in the middle using about .5 gram per session. The balloon system is the perfect on-demand delivery system. The separation of the vaporization and the consumption process ensures a super smooth vapor. Sometimes we almost forget we’re vaporizing and out of nowhere we’ll be on Cloud 9.
Efficient & Waste-free - Saving you $
Every major component of the Volcano is designed to make efficient use of your herb, respecting the plant and stretching your dollars further.
The forced-air design transfers hot air from the heating element evenly over you herb, keeping it at a consistent temperature. This means you’ll never accidentally overheat your herb by drawing hot air too hard, because the fan does the work for you. Your herb will never get hotter than the temperature you set, preventing combustion and waste.
Because of this, you can save your already vaped bud (AVB) in a separate container and use it to create edibles with later!
The chamber has an extra large surface area with a fine mesh screen a perfect environment for even & consistent vaporization to create flavorful clouds of satisfying vapor. Make sure your herb is ground up well (grinder is included).
Lastly, with the balloon design, the patent that was the foundation of the Volcano design creates a closed-loop system until you’re ready to exhale. No more wasted herb floating about your room. Another benefit to this design, is it separates the vaporization and inhalation process. Which removes a lot of the harsh heat from the vaporization process. The end result, a smoother and more enjoyable experience.
Built Rock Solid to Last You Years to Come
From the moment you take the Volcano out of its box, you can tell right away that this product was built to last. It’s not unheard of to come across someone who have owned their Volcano for 5 or more years, without issue.
The exterior is primarily built from stainless steel, with the rest being durable temperature resistance plastic. The controls are well-built, feel solid giving you a satisfying tactile feedback.
The chamber feels well constructed, with a durable black plastic exterior, housing the actual stainless-steel metal chamber and screens where you place your herb.
The entire unit has some weight behind it, around 4lbs. Which means we don’t feel the need to be extra cautious about anything accidentally breaking (no glass to crack). Just don’t drop it on your foot!
Perfectly Suited for Dry Herbs & Flower, Accommodates Concentrates
While no vaporizer is perfectly suited for all applications, the Volcano is one of the more versatile options. Our preferred medium is dry herbs, also referred to as flower or bud. However, you can also vape a variety of cannabis concentrates by using the included Drip Pad.
A nicely ground up herb paired with the Volcano makes for a world-class vape session. Having precise control over the temperature combined with the effortless forced-air balloon system and you’ve got a plug-and-play vape that is highly customizable making for an effective and enhancing session.
An awesome bonus that most are unaware of is you can vape concentrates using a different chamber insert, the Drip Pad. Just gently pop out the screen in the filling chamber and insert the Drip Pad and a dab of your preferred concentrate. Feel free to experiment with the temperature, but we found the best results in the low to mid 400’s. A downside to using concentrates with the Volcano is the extra hassle of clean-up. Normally just a simple brushing suffices, but we recommend a more thorough cleaning after each concentrate session, especially before using dry herb again, otherwise you’ll have a sticky mess.
A happy medium is to use a mix of finely ground up herb with a scoop or three of some high-quality kief and you’ll be elevated in no time. There’s no perfect way, just experiment and see what works best for you.
Quick Guide - Step by Step Instructions
The unique design doesn’t equate to overly complicated use. There are 3 basic functions on the device. The red “HEAT” button which acts as the ON/OFF power switch, the green “AIR” button which starts the fan forcing hot air past your herb, and the temperature controls. Which can be a rotary control knob for the Classic model, or up and down triangle buttons for the Digit model.
- Turn on your device by pressing the “HEAT” button
- Set it to your preferred temperature. We recommend starting at 370 degrees, a 6.5 on the rotary dial.
- Grind up your herb, a finer grind is preferred. Feel free to use the included grinder or your own.
- Load your herb in the included chamber, a ¼ turn opens it. Enough to cover the bottom screen is plenty to get started.
- Place the chamber on top of the Volcano, it should sit snug and feel a slight “click” once securely placed.
- Once your Volcano has come to temperature, indicated when the yellow “CONTROL” light turns off, press the green “AIR” button. Wait 5-10 seconds and place one of the included balloons using the orange plastic end and setting it atop the chamber.
- The balloon takes around 35 seconds to fill it up entirely (not required). Remove the balloon, and press the green “AIR” button to turn off the fan.
- Insert the black mouthpiece into the orange plastic end of the balloon, and then gently press the mouthpiece against your mouth and slowly inhale. The mouthpiece opens a valve with the pressure against your lips, allowing you to inhale vapor but automatically closes the valve when not in use. Waste free.
What’s Included? Tech Specs
All standard Volcano kits come with the main table-top vaporizer unit along with all the parts and accessories you’ll need to start vaping right away.
- 1x Volcano Hot Air Generator (Classic or Digit)
- 1x Easy Valve Starter Set which includes
- 4x Easy Valve Balloons with Mouthpiece
- 1x Easy Valve Balloon with Adapter
- 1x Filling Chamber for Herbs
- 3x Filling Chamber Clips
- 1x Cap Ring
- 1x Normal Screen Set
- 1x Drip Pad
- 1x Cleaning Brush
- 1x Herb Grinder
- 1x Instruction Manual
- 3 year warranty from purchase of any manufacturers defects
The Volcano is one of the larger vaporizers on the market, it has the weight typical of a half-gallon of milk and the profile of a whole gallon jug. With the included bags being fully inflated the total height is over 2 ½ feet! You’ll definitely want some space when in use. However, it’s easy enough to pack up and move from room to room as needed.
The Volcano is safety tested and its production monitored by TUEV SUED in accordance with multiple standards and certifications which include EN60335-1, UL 499 and CAN/CSA-22.2 No. 64-M91
Classic or Digit?
The Classic Volcano was the original analog model that has a rotary dial to control the temperature. After several years Stortz & Bickel released the Digit model which upgraded the temperature interface, giving you more precise control over your vaping session.
The biggest difference between the two models is price, the Digit cost $120 more than the Classic version. For the price difference you get a few more features:
- More precision temperature control, within 2.7F vs 9F
- A large LED digital interface
- Ability to adjust temperature below 266F degrees (40C degrees)
- Auto shut-off after 30 minutes
Our daily vaporizer is the Digit model, but you can’t go wrong with either. Functionally they work the same. If you want the added temperature control and the snazzy LED interface go for the Digit model. If you want to save some money pickup the Classic model instead. You won’t be disappointed.
Basic Maintenance & Cleaning
Often overlooked and forgotten about is the on-going cleaning and maintenance required of any consumption device, be it a bowl, bong, or vaporizer. Either you neglect it altogether until there is a clog of some sort, or you get fed up with the harsh taste.
With a vaporizer, you don’t typically deal with the same types of sticky, burnt carbon buildup from you typical combustion device. The Volcano is no different in that respect except that it further excels compared with other vaporizers.
We recommend using the included brush to clean out the chamber and screens after each use to prevent unnecessary build up and for the freshest sessions possible. This also allows you to go longer between deep cleanings.
Aside from keeping the exterior of the primary unit nice and shiny, the chamber is the only piece you’ll need to clean on a regular basis. Depending on usage, we perform a deeper clean and change out the bags every 1-2 months. The chamber comes apart easily and you can clean the metal pieces with some isopropyl alcohol, and the plastic pieces with warm soapy water.
The Easy Valve Starter Set (included with Digit & Classic models) comes with extra screens and other small parts to help with regular maintenance as a part of your deep clean. Once you’ve used all of your spares, you can get a “Wear & Tear” maintenance kit to extend the life and quality of your Volcano for years to come.
Who Should Get a Volcano?
Whether you’re a new to vaporizers or consider yourself an enthusiast you’ll be happy. If you can afford ($479 for the Classic, $599 for the Digit) the high price tag we think you’ll be satisfied with the investment. The efficient design helps pay for itself over the long run, coupled with this being one of the healthiest ways to consume cannabis and it’s a no-brainer.
It goes without saying if you’re interested in something for use outside of your home you’ll want something a bit more portable. The Crafty or Mighty are better on the go solutions from the same company, Storz & Bickel. For a even stealthier portable option, check out the Pax 3.
If the sound of a vaporizer that is the cost of a decent car payment is still unsettling, we recommend the Arizer Q as a great entry-level vaporizer meant for home use and even has a balloon system similar to the Volcano, a respectable alternative.
Wrapping it Up
Despite being around almost 20 years, the Volcano is still one of the best vaporizers you can own. It’s effective, perfect for groups or as your daily driver, efficient, well-built and versatile. You can vaporize herbs or concentrates, producing a consistent high-quality super smooth vapor. Also included are a variety of useful accessories and spare parts to make sure you’re always up and running. If you’re looking for a desktop vaporizer that’ll last you many years and sessions to come, we think you’ll be quite happy with a Volcano.