A new and interesting device, the newly released Totem dry herb vaporizer has some interesting features, most notably the ability to stack multiple totems upon one another. With a shock and weather-proof body, low entry price, and modular capabilities, it’s a piece we’ve been keen to try out. Is the Totem going to change the herb vape market, or is it a bit of a gimmick? Check out our Totem vaporizer review here!
It this might be your first dry herb vaporizer, make sure you check out our handy Dry Herb Vaporizer Ranking to help you decide on the best herb vaporizer for you!
Review: Totem Vaporizer
How it Works
Not unlike other one-button operation devices, the Totem turns on by holding the power button for three seconds, and to cycle between temperatures a single click of the same button will do the trick.
Removing the bottom silicone lid displays the herb chamber, which also hosts a little silicone flap to cover the airflow holes, changing the draw resistance of the device. After selecting the temperature you want to use, the device will heat up and be ready after about one minute. After that point, just inhale for 10-15 seconds to get some vapor out.
To use the Totem in conjunction with another one, simply shove one exposed herb chamber side into the open silicone base of the other. Ensure both devices are heated up before trying to draw from them for the best effects.
The Totem has 2 temperature settings built in, 200/210°C (392/410°F). Compared to other units on the market, like the Zeus Smite, which has 3 basic temperatures, the temperature flexibility of the Totem is a bit lacking.
We would’ve liked to see a lower minimum and higher maximum temperature of 170/220°C. As it is though, you don’t get some pretty decent versatility.
Though they suggest a hybrid oven that uses both elements of conduction and convection, we don’t find any evidence of any convective heat being used, like what we find in the Utillian 721. Using what’s a fairly standard ceramic heating element you find in most budget devices, you get the typical conduction vapor properties.
The flavor for the first three draws or so is decent and bold, however that drops off quickly and develops the familiar conduction ‘roasted popcorn’ flavor. With the full silicone mouthpiece too, the flavor is definitely muted by that. With the silicone mouthpiece being white it will be impossible to fully clean and may impact flavor over time.
The vapor is nice and smooth by the time it reaches your lips thanks to the long vapor-path, though we weren’t getting much vapor output to start with. On the highest temperature setting, vapor production is fairly average.
Even with two Totems in a series, the vapor output was a bit less than we were hoping.
We love how shock-proof and water-resistant it is. We’ve had some really durable devices in the past like the Arizer Solo, through the Totem is even more durable. For the adventurous type and clumsy, you’d be well sorted out with the Totem.
On the other hand, we don’t love the reliance on silicone throughout the entire build. Using a bit less silicone would have given a better indication of a premium unit.
To add to that, you only get in the box the Totem itself and a charger. No cleaning kit, no stirring tool, no spare parts, nothing.
The official battery capacity isn’t stated, however, you get roughly 3-5 sessions off a single charge before needing to top up.
To recharge takes around 2 hours, and the battery is not removable and pass-through charging isn’t available. For a portable vaporizer we were hoping with something with longer battery life like the Zeus Arc.
Thanks to its practically indestructible design, you’re pretty comfortable putting this in any bag or pocket full of rocks.
It is a big chunky and creates a noticeable bulge in the pocket. Using a banana for scale, you can get a pretty good sense of how it feels in the pocket.
Ease of Use
I mean, it’s very easy to use. One button operation and no difficult draw technique, it’s pretty hard to screw up. Using two Totems at once is also clunky and strange as you never really get a feel as to where to hold it. Cleaning, on the other hand, is also a bit of a hassle.
Considering they don’t even include any cleaning tools, you’re kind of left out to dry here. The silicone mouthpiece can be cleaned slightly with a cotton swab dipped in iso, but after a while, the orange tint that develops on it is practically impossible to get out.
The entire rubberized body collects hand oils and pocket lint nicely, as does the mouthpiece.
The chamber isn’t too hard to clean with a cotton swab and the stainless steel vapor-path is also not too hard to get into, but it’s definitely not optimal. We can see a bunch of beginner vaporists neglecting to clean the steel tube and causing a whole slew of reliability problems.
Somewhat resembling an adult toy but also like a pocketable flashlight, it won’t really raise too much suspicion.
The black construction is pretty subtle and it hides away in the hand mostly. Not bad for somewhat incognito sessions.
Such an interesting design and concept that we hope Totem expands on for their future iterations. Average vapor quality compared to units in the same price point, a lackluster mouthpiece, no included accessories, a unique ‘Totem mode’ and a seemingly indestructible design which is shock and weatherproof, is how we can essentially boil the Totem down.
If you’re looking for a budget portable herb vaporizer, we highly recommend checking out a unit like the Utillian 421 which offers 6 temperatures, a glass mouthpiece, digital display and airflow control.
If you have questions about our Totem vaporizer review or just want to let us know what you think, feel free to drop us a comment below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep up to date with all our contests, sales alerts and other fun stuff! Thanks for reading and as always, keep vapin’!