Originally released in 1999, the Volcano vaporizer from Storz & Bickel is legendary amongst the Dry Herb Vaporizer industry. 20 years later the Volcano Classic is still using that very same design, and it still holds its own. Although Storz and Bickel would eventually offer upgraded versions of the Volcano (Digital & Hybrid), they never stopped offering the Volcano Classic. This only offers more proof that this iconic vaporizer still has a place in today’s market.
The Volcano is a desktop vaporizer that uses a convection oven in combination with a fan to fill bags full of thick milky vapor. The Volcano was built to last, it houses all its internal components inside a stainless steel shell, mounted on a sturdy black plastic base. Storz & Bickel pride themselves on using only the highest quality medical grade materials, so you know from the base to the bag, only the safest materials are used.
The Volcano Classic uses an all analog user interface, which makes using this vape very easy. There is only a switch to power on/heat up the unit, a switch to engage the fan, and a temperature control dial. The two switches have lights to let you now they are on, additionally there is a control light that turns on when the Volcano is heating up, it turns off when you reach your desired temperature. That’s it! There is no fancy display screen, or complicated apps to have to navigate. Just pick a temperature on the dial, flip a switch to heat it up, and another switch to fill your bag with thick potent vapor.
Maintaining your Volcano is fairly easy as well. The bags will occasionally need to be replaced but they last quite a while before becoming too dirty to use. The herb chamber should be brushed out after use to keep it clean as well, but that’s about it. Because the filling chamber is independent of the heater/base you should never really need to worry about cleaning the device itself.
Normally with a convection vape there can be a bit of a learning curve involved, because the users breathing plays a part in the vapor production. The great thing about the Volcano is that it does all the work for you, so you get all the benefit of convection heating without the learning curve. Once your bags have been filled you can draw however you like and you’re going to be able to get a nice rip. This makes the Volcano a great choice regardless of your prior vaping experience.
The thickness of the vapor will depend on how you full you pack the chamber, and what temperature setting you choose to use. Additionally, both of these things will factor into your overall session length as well.
The filling chamber on the volcano is pretty big. You don’t necessarily have to fill it to the brim, but you will want to at least make sure that the screen is fully covered. This bowl could probably fit a full gram of material if you wanted it to, but I tend to use it with between .3 and .5 grams. The more you pack the bowl the longer it will last, a fuller pack will also lead to denser vapor production. The massive bowl and ease of use makes this vape a great option for parties.
As I mentioned earlier the temperature you select will also affect vapor production. Lower temperatures will produce less dense vapor with a brighter flavor, while the higher settings will produce thick milky bags with a bit more of a roasted taste. The dial on the Volcano goes from 1-9, but it does have half steps between each setting. The temperature chart for the Volcano Classic list the temperature settings as follows…
- 178 C/352F
Personally, I like to set the dial somewhere around 6-7 on the dial, this kind of falls in the middle of the spectrum, giving you the best of both worlds so to speak. I could go a little lower to get slightly better flavor, and if I want really milky bags, I crank it up to 8 or 9.
The heat up time on the Classic is a bit long at 3-5 minutes, but once you have reached the desired temperature you can leave the Volcano on so it will be warmed up and ready to go for your next session.
Because the Volcano is a desktop unit the base will be tethered to an electrical outlet. This isn’t really an issue however, since once filled the bags themselves are very portable. I love being able to get all the power of a desktop unit, without actually having to sit at a desk to use it. Obviously, you will have to return to the base to fill your next bag, but it is nice to be able to enjoy a bag in the comfort of your favorite chair, as opposed to having to sit in a dedicated spot to vape.
At $479 the Volcano Classic isn’t exactly inexpensive, it is definitely an investment. It is however, an investment that should last you for years to come. The Volcano comes with a three year warranty, but these vaporizers are built to last. it’s not uncommon to hear of people using their Classic for many years past the warranty expiration date.
There are more updated versions of the Volcano available. Both the Digital and the Hybrid offer digital display screens with precision 1 digit temperature control. Additionally the Hybrid gives you the option to use a whip in place of the bag system, and has hybrid convection/conduction heating. However if your not concerned with all the bells and whistles, you should definitely check out the Volcano Classic. It’s a great way to experience the high quality vapor that they’re known for, and save a few dollars in the process.