Go ahead and ask any knowledgeable vaporizer connoisseur the following question: Who manufacturers the best Desktop Vaporizer available in the market today?
You will most likely hear the names Storz & Bickel.
For over 15 years, the vaporizer industry trendsetters Storz & Bickel have been constantly innovating and refining their cutting edge Volcano technology. In the spring of 2007, the entire desktop vaporizer landscape shifted when their flagship product was released, the Volcano Digit and this unit has been deemed the ‘King of vaporizers’.
So what is all the hype about? Let’s dive right into our review of the Storz & Bickel Digital Volcano Vaporizer and the Easy Valve system to find out.
Digital Volcano Herbal Vaporizer
How It Works – Video
As stunning as the Volcano Digit looks on the outside, the real magic happens on the inside. The Volcano produces vapor through a hot air convection heating system which results in superior vapor quality and flavor, as opposed to vapor produced by conduction. The Volcano heating system consists of a high-performance iron-clad ceramic heating element and a strong air pump pushing continuous heated air flow. This convection system allows for even air flow around the entire surface area of the vaporized material, maximizing the vapor extracted. In a nutshell, the convection-based vaporization system heats up your botanicals evenly and consistently, ensuring excellent vapor quality and flavor throughout each session.
The Volcano’s convection heating system also ensures that the essential oils in your botanicals are extracted with maximum efficiency and reduces the amount of wasted material, saving you money in the long run. As a nice added touch, the Volcano has an integrated silencer which keeps the device relatively quiet and discreet while in operation.
As for the basic operation of the Volcano Digit, set your desired temperature and wait for the unit to heat up. On the display you will notice a red digit on top and a green digit below. The red digit is the current internal temperature of the herbal vaporizer and the green temperature underneath is your desired temperature. Once the red digit reaches your desired temperature, and the yellow Control Light turns off, the Volcano is ready for use. Simply place the Filling Chamber on the top of the Volcano and press the green button to begin the airflow. Right away, place your Easy Valve Balloon on top of the Filling Chamber and wait about 30 seconds for the Balloon to fill with vapor. Once the Balloon is almost completely filled, press the green button again to stop the fan and remove the Balloon from the Filling Chamber. Finally, place the mouthpiece into the valve on the Balloon and enjoy your vapor. We usually get 4-5 draws per bag but this totally depends on each individual user.
At first glance, the Volcano Digit looks like something developed by NASA. Beautifully housed in a brushed metallic cone with a large digital LED display on the face of the device, it truly does present itself as a high-end herbal vaporizer. Since its birth in 2007, the Volcano Vaporizer has been manufactured in Tuttlingen, Germany, home to half of the world’s surgical equipment companies. As with all Storz & Bickel products, you can expect to see extremely high standards of workmanship and durability with the Volcano Digit model. Saying Storz and Bickel is the Mercedes Benz of vaporizers could be considered understatement. When it comes to reliability and performance, Volcano products are in a category of their own.
The Volcano Digit unit is incredibly sturdy as it is made up of high quality metals and other heat resistant materials. Weighing in at about 1.8 kg (4 lbs), it’s a good idea to use two hands when moving the Volcano Digit. Other than damage caused by dropping the unit or tripping over the cord, the Volcano Digit has seen very few complaints regarding its workmanship. The company even claims that the original Volcano unit created in 2003 still works without a hitch to this day!
Every Volcano Digit purchase includes a Three Year Manufacturer’s Warranty, which covers most repairs. It’s worth noting, the Volcano is the only vaporizer in the world that is certified by ISO quality standards and meets U.S. Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) standards.
Ease of Use
When it comes to usability, the Volcano sets the standard. The Volcano Digit is extremely easy to use, especially with the Easy Valve system. The LED dual-temp display and large buttons make temperature setting as easy as can be. The hardest part about using this device is waiting 3-5 minutes for heating element to heat up! That said, the quality and quantity of vapor produced is well worth the wait.
Maintenance of the Volcano Digit is not difficult to stay on top of either. We recommend using the included Cleaning Brush to clean out excess material left on the Filling Chamber and to periodically change the screens as needed. Storz & Bickel includes a few extra screens to keep you covered for the first year or so. There is also an air filter housed in the bottom of the unit, which should be checked every month or so and replaced if there is excessive build-up visible.
A typical one-person session with the Volcano Digit takes about 10-15 minutes in total. The unit heats up after about 3-5 minutes and it takes approximately 30 seconds to fill each Balloon. While you wait for the Volcano to heat up, we recommend using that time to break up your botanical of choice and transferring the ground material to the Easy Valve Filling Chamber. Remember to use the Zeus Bolt grinder to prepare your botanicals for vaporization, ensuring the optimal surface area of material is exposed to the heated air flow.
Storz & Bickel is not just known for producing vaporizers made with top-quality materials and craftsmanship, but they are also known for their simplicity in design. You are not going to get any unnecessary bells and whistles with this device and frankly, we are happy about that. With less unneeded mechanisms to break down, the Volcano has built an outstanding reputation for durability and reliability. One nice feature of the Volcano Digit, is that it comes with a Liquid Pad which can be used to vaporize waxes or oil-based materials, if that floats your boat. Another nice addition to the Volcano Digit, is the auto-shutoff feature after 30 minutes of inactivity. This helps conserve energy and avoids any potential hazards.
Volcano Valve Set Options
Volcano Vaporizers come with the option of two different valve sets, both of which cost the same. The valve set is basically the system that makes up the top of the Classic Volcano. How the heating chamber connects to the balloon and you can draw from it will depend on the valve set that you select. Regardless of which option you use, you can vaporize wax or herbs and most of the general functioning is the same. Storz and Bickel however developed the easy valve after the solid valve to be more convenient and “better”, but never discontinued the solid valve due to the consistent demand. Continue reading to find out which is best for you, though we generally recommend the easy valve option. You can watch the two videos in this post as each has another valve set, so you can see it in action for yourself.
Easy Valve Starter Set
The original Volcano valve system, known as the Solid Valve, was popular with some users but not so much with others who were looking for more convenience of use. The Solid Valve system has its drawbacks, mainly that it’s not very user friendly to set up every time you need a new Balloon. Storz & Bickel announced their revolutionized Easy Valve System, at the same time the Digital Volcano was introduced. It was designed towards ease use and minimal maintenance but did not allow you to make your own balloons. In November of 2016 Storz & Bickel made a major change to their Easy Valve Starter Set by including a part called the Easy Valve Balloon Adapter. This balloons adapter now allows you to make custom balloons using the Easy valve rather than the Solid valve, bringing even more convenience to this already amazing starter set.
With the standard replacement set balloons it is really easy to get started, simply unravel the balloon, remove the mouthpiece and its ready to place on the filling chamber. Storz & Bickel recommends replacing the Filling Chamber once per year, but in our experience that is more like 2-3 years if you keep it clean using the included Cleaning Brush. The Easy Valve Balloons are reusable but should be thrown out once they become dirty and residue starts to build up on the inside of the Balloon, around the mouth piece area. Expect anywhere from 100-200 uses per bag, depending on the frequency of use and thickness of vapor being produced. Easy Valve Balloons are available in two-foot and three-foot sizes. But as we mentioned with the new Easy Valve balloon adapter you will have the option to build your own balloons as well. Regardless of the size of bag you choose, nothing tastes better than vapor from a fresh Volcano Balloon 😉
Solid Valve Starter Set
The general consensus across all major herbal vaporizer experts is that the Digital Volcano is among the finest Stationary Vaporizers available in the market today. Regardless of your herb of choice, the Digital Volcano is going to produce your desired vapor quantity and quality every time. The unit itself is not the cheapest appliance you will every buy, but if you are willing to spend the extra money, you are guaranteed a high-end vaporization experience for a very long time.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Storz & Bickel Digital Volcano Review. Please feel free chime in with your feedback or post any questions in the comments section below. Until the next review, Happy Vapin’! 🙂