Which Storz & Bickel Vaporizer is Best For You ?
So you finally completed your research (or got confused enough doing all of it) and decided to go with a vaporizer made by Storz & Bickel
That’s a good choice, they manufacture the highest rated dry herb vaporizers in the world. However you now again find yourself flustered by more possible choices of which vaporizer in their lineup is going to suit you best. Saying you are going to go with a Storz & Bickel Vaporizer is like saying you are going to buy a Lexus. You now need to decide SUV, Sedan, Etc.
Thankfully of the five vaporizers manufactured by Storz & Bickel you can find many similarities and the differences are very distinguishable between the models which are not more or less not the same.
If that sounds confusing, what I am trying to say is you have two variations of their signature desktop vaporizer – the Volcano (Classic or Digital), and two variations of their portable vaporizers – the Crafty or the Mighty. Then there is the Plenty in a class by itself. So the question boils down more down to Should I buy the Volcano ? Should I get the Plenty ? Or should I go with one of their portable vaporizers ? From here we can branch out.
Let's Start with a Classic
let’s start with a classic – The Classic Volcano is the very first vaporizer made by Storz & Bickel. Born in the basement of a German scientist in the late 90s, the Classic Volcano vaporizer has evolved to become the icon by which other vaporizers are judged.
Over the years it has by in large remained the same vaporizer it was in the early 2000’s when it entered the US market. It is a desktop vaporizer which vaporizes your plants by blowing hot air through the herb (which sits in a chamber atop the heating unit) and into a bag. You then remove the bag and enjoy the vapor.
While it is a beloved icon and highly recommended for individuals needing the best vaporizer for medical reasons it is not the easiest to fire up at a moment’s notice.
It is a desktop vaporizer and a desktop vaporizer is like a bulky kitchen appliance. The Classic Volcano weighs 3.56 pounds is 7” inches wide and 7.25” inches tall. It requires a power outlet and has a heat up time of 4 minutes. The vapor bags are two feet tall and the fan can be noisy. I draw a parallel to cooking. I know the food processor is going to make way better Taziki sauce than just whipping it all together in a bowl. But with the food processor I am really going to have to put in the extra labor. If I come home from a hard day at work and want to vape ASAP, busting out the Volcano, assembling and waiting can be a hassle.
Many Volcano owners choose to just set up the Volcano as a table piece. If you have more than one user at your residence this is a great way to operate. Besides that the Volcano Vaporizer is a great social vaporizer and is always in use and on display when company comes over to my place. It’s a party vape.
If you are only going to be using at home and can assign the Volcano a space then I would have to say the Volcano vaporizer is the one.
Digital or Classic Volcano ?
There are two major differences between the Classic Volcano and the Digital Volcano. The first is price, with the Classic at $479 the Digital Model is $120 more at $599. The second is the auto shut off. The Digital Volcano will automatically shut off after 30 minutes. I personally like this feature of the Digital Volcano as safety precaution. There are those however which like to keep the Volcano going strong while guests are over or while they watch a movie so they can always go back and fill up another bag.
A more in depth comparison of the Classic vs. Digital Volcano Vaporizers here
The obvious difference is that the Digital Volcano has a digital temperature read out, letting you know your exact temperature to the degree. The Classic has a +/- 5 degree margin of error which really does not equate to anything in regards to the quality of vapor. In my opinion I find this obvious difference negligible. The blindfold test is a measure I use to compare the vapor between two vaporizers. With the Digital Volcano the vapor is exactly the same as the Classic Volcano. I would not be able to tell the difference between the two in a blind taste test. If you are going to cook with the Volcano then do buy the digital version.
The vapor with the Volcano is like a fine mist. It has good flavor and even better texture. It is not too heavy and the instantaneous effects will confound the first time user as to how something so seemingly simple yields such great results. Only at very high temperatures or with vapor that has sat in the bag for some time will you ever get choked up on vapor from a volcano bag.
Another aspect to consider when purchasing the Volcano is the amount of herb needed to get a good session. The easy valve filling chamber will need at least .25 grams of herb in the chamber to provide optimal results. Granted the easy valve chamber reducer will let you session with only .1 – .15 grams, you will only get 2 quality bags out of that little herb at 375 degrees
This keeps with the theme of the Volcano Vaporizer being for someone who is only going to vape at home and vape a good amount when they do decide to do so.
In a League of It's Own
The Plenty is another desktop vaporizer made by Storz & Bickel. It’s like a hybrid portable / desktop vaporizer , but for the fact that it must be plugged into an outlet makes it fall into the desktop category.
The Plenty is a fun one to pass around in small social settings and is completely capable of such with a 9 foot power chord, but not something you can as easily pass around at a party like a Volcano bag.
Being that the Plenty must be plugged in for use and also is not the smallest (13” inches tall with the whip attached and a 7” handle) It’s more of an economical substitute to the Volcano. If you want Storz & Bickel vapor quality but don’t want to spend $300+ the Plenty at $249 is a great option.
It’s easier to set up than the Volcano a tad less involved, but still not something you can put in your backpack and take to the lake.
Comparing The Plenty Vaporizer
I very much disagree when I hear people call the Plenty a handheld Volcano. While it provides excellent quality vapor. The Vapor is not the same as the Volcano. There is no fan so you must draw through a whip to ingest your vapor.
Given the wide and shallow filling chamber of the Plenty you will go through herb faster with the Plenty than with any other of the Storz & Bickel vaporizers. LIke the Easy valve set up of the Volcano, best results are with at least .25 grams of herb, but you can always buy the Plenty Chamber reducer if you want to micro dose.
The Plenty is also the one I would recommend to a user who is strictly going to be using at home and probably not using alot with friends. The Plenty is easier to put away and take out and use than the Volcano. The unit itself (fully assembled) is about two pounds so there is no issue with operating with one hand.
The Plenty I have found also is the most like smoking. Given the no fan assist, low draw resistance and large surface area of where your herb hits heat you get the thickest and most robust vapor from the Plenty versus the rest of the Storz & Bickel lineup. So if you are new to vapor and prefer glass or rolling blunts , but are switching to the vape for health reasons – Pick up the Plenty.
Storz & Bickel's Portable Vaporizers
We now enter the Crafty and the Mighty. Again these are not portable “Volcanoes” However I will say the vapor from both these portables is more similar to the Volcano than the Plenty. People say they are portable Volcanoes for two reasons. 1.) They are made by the same company. 2.) The Vapor is amazing and amazing vapor is rated with the Volcano as a benchmark.
The Crafty is the more portable of the two. Only 4.25” inches tall and only 4.8 ounces it can easily be slipped in your pocket.
The Mighty is 5.5” tall and 8.6 ounces. It is about 2 times as wide as the Crafty as well. On paper this sounds negligible, but in real world applications it’s a pain to lug around in your front pocket.
Vapor Quality – Going back to the blind vape test , both the Crafty and the Mighty will give you the same flavor, texture and overall quality. You will not be able to tell the difference from one to another. The vapor from these is a tad more misty than the Volcano and much more so than the Plenty. It feels smoother as every hit is fresh vs. inhaling vapor already created through a bag as with the Volcano. The cool and misty vaporizer is one of the largest surprises of this marvelous vaporizer duo as the heating element is not but an inch away from where you draw.
The Mighty and Crafty also are you best options for vaping small amounts of herb throughout the day. You don’t need to have the chamber but ¼ full and will get good, consistent and effective draws. Both deliver the vapor through a cooling unit and retractable mouthpiece. Making these two the easiest of the bunch to load and use.
With both the Mighty and the Crafty there are no chords holding you back, but the flip side with batteries is you face the inevitable need to charge. Despite recent improvements with the 18650 internal batteries the Crafty still has a less than desirable battery life. This is a pain point with the Crafty as it is the more feasible of the two to take on the road with you but has a battery that dies twice as fast as the Mighty.
The need for a smartphone. The price of the Crafty at $279 and the fact it is the smallest Storz & Bickel vaporizer make alot of speculating customers think it is the proper choice for them. The biggest issue we have is customers not having a smartphone. The Crafty needs a smartphone to adjust temperature and as well show you how much battery power you have left. If you don’t play around with apps or own a smartphone you need to rule the Crafty out.
When I first started out with these two vaporizers I thought the idea of the Mighty was ridiculous. It doesn’t use an app and it’s a large device. The more I brought the Crafty with me I realized having to use an app to adjust temperature was actually a pain and the novelty of the bluetooth feature wore off. These vaporizers were released in 2014 and now in 2018 almost every new vaporizer has bluetooth synchronization. The Crafty also had a battery that died way too fast at a concert with repeated use. I concluded the Crafty nor the Mighty are not the best true portables. But instead the best vaporizers which can be transported with ease. The Crafty and the Mighty are great vaporizers for walking the dog or putting in your backpack and heading to the beach for the day, but not something like the PAX 3 which can easily be thrown in your pocket at a moment’s notice for a trip to the city.
Once I stopped taking the Crafty with me I noticed I was using the Mighty much more. I can walk in the back yard with it, use it while I am watching TV and then bring it with me to throw the laundry in the dryer.
Another added at home benefit to the Mighty is I can use it while it is charging , whereas the Crafty I have to wait for it to charge before using again. Charge time on the Crafty is about an hour to full battery level.
If you have decided that you probably want to go with the chordless Storz & Bickel vapes take into consideration the following.
Does the battery life matter ? You get around an hour of use with the updated Crafty vaporizer so it is no slouch. But the battery life on the Mighty is twice as long
How price sensitive are you ? The $70 difference is quite a bit when you are considering the vapor quality is equal. If you are going to be using strictly at home and able and willing to charge when your battery is getting low, the Crafty is a no brainer.
Smartphone or no Smartphone ? The Mighty is an all in one vaporizer. You don’t have to fidget around with another piece of technology to operate it. Powering on, changing temperature – all can be done with one hand
Is this going to be your only vaporizer ? I am lucky enough to have other options when my Crafty or Mighty needs charging. However if you find yourself often forgetting to charge devices and then needing to use them all the sudden , the Mighty can be used while charging.
Which Storz & Bickel Vaporizer is The Best ?
Classic Volcano, Digital Volcano, Plenty , Crafty or Mighty all share one thing – Some of the best vapor quality and vapor output. From there it is deciding which one suits your lifestyle and needs the most. I hate to end every vaporizer comparison with this conclusion, but hopefully our run down will help you decide which Storz & Bickel Vaporizer is best for you.