A lot has happened since the Volcano debuted in 2001, and there are a lot more vapes to choose from now. Despite all the options available, the Volcano vape shines when it comes to consistently producing high quality, effortless vapor that can extract quicker and more thoroughly than other vapes. Even after all these years, the Volcano’s medical grade components and German engineering still lead the way when it comes to lab testing and independent certifications. After a full re-acquaintance with an old friend for this review, it’s obvious it is very relevant and still a leader in a number of ways.
Excellent, effortless vapor
The Volcano has a reputation for excellent performance every time you fire it up, without any fuss or setup. It’s easy to load and assemble, fills bags quickly, and makes tasty vapor that is always cool and comfortable to draw, thanks to the bag system and full convection heating. It’s also versatile enough to go through a full bowl in three or four bags at once, or just blow up enough for one super flavorful hit, and save the rest for later.
Conserves your herbs
The Volcano vaporizer was designed with efficiency in mind from start to finish. The large heat exchanger and convection air stream deliver precisely measured, on-demand heat so your herbs only cook at the temperatures you want, when you want. The bowl can be removed between uses to preserve your herbs, and the bag system catches all the vapor so nothing is lost. If you have a little more self-control than we can usually muster, you can blow up partial bags instead of more than you need.
Heats up slow, blows up fast
Most desktop vapes take their time warming up, and the Volcano is no different. It takes from 3:30 (350° F) to six minutes (446° F) depending on the temperature you select. Once up to temperature, it’s a racehorse, filling bags in around 30 seconds with ease. The Volcano Digit has a 30 minute auto-shutoff timer, while the Volcano Classic can stay on for extended periods. If you want your Volcano always at the ready, we recommend the Classic version.
Simple and easy to use
Whether it’s the Classic or Digit, the Volcano is simple and easy to use. There are power and fan buttons (the Classic uses switches), and a heat indicator light. The Classic uses a knob to set the temperature, and the Digit has an LCD readout with specific temperature settings. The closed system takes almost all of the human error out of the equation so you can’t burn your herbs.
The bag and valve system couldn’t be easier. The oven sits right on top of the volcano, with a tube that clicks into the mouthpiece, so the bag fills facing straight up. When it’s filled, just press your lips to the mouthpiece, breathe without any effort, and pass it around. It’s natural to fill up a bag all the way, but you can fill as little as you want for smaller sessions. Best of all, even though the Volcano has to stay plugged in, you can take your bag and walk away instead of being tied to the wall.
Works with dry herbs and extracts
The Volcano’s versatility shines, with support for both herbs and extracts. The loading chamber can hold up to half a gram of dry herbs, but also works with loads as small as a tenth of a gram using the stainless steel extract pad as a spacer, or with the dosing capsules. You’ll get the best results with extracts if you use enough to cover roughly two thirds of the pad and turn the temperature all the way up. If you think the vapor is too harsh, load less and/or drop the temperature.
The case for bags
Vaporizing with bags has some advantages over other methods. They’re easy to share, great for parties, and allow the vapor to expand and cool, so it’s never hot. They also ensure there’s no waste, since everything goes right into the bag. The valves don’t leak and let you take hits that feel effortless, like natural breathing, instead of the resistance you feel from a portable vape. We usually get around four large hits per full bag, and you can fill the bags to any amount you want, from one hit, to a full bag.
The accessories included with the Volcano vaporizer are basic, but effective – a plastic grinder for the perfect grind, and a horsehair makeup brush to clean all the parts after use. It comes with the Easy valve bag system, so the Solid valve is now optional. But it’s the dosing capsules, developed for the medical certifications, that steal the show. With the Filling Chamber Reducer installed into the Volcano’s easy valve system, they drop right in and hold up to 0.15 grams of dry herbs. They’re perfect for personal use, and they fit all Storz & Bickel vaporizers. There’s an entire spread of dosing capsule accessories that make them easy to load and carry, and even get them working with extracts.
A leader in safety and materials
Storz & Bickel stands alone in the industry when it comes to product testing and certifications. All of their vaporizers are designed and manufactured in Germany, and use an aluminum heat exchanger, prompting a study to show that aluminum isn’t getting into the vapor. The Volcano has electrical certifications (DIN EN ISO 60 335), has been tested and certified by TÜV SÜD (the “Southern Technical Inspection Association”) in Munich, Germany, and the Volcano Medic is certified in Israel and Canada as a medical device.
It’s safe to say the Volcano is a medical grade vaporizer you can be confident in. Not only that, but there isn’t a lick of glass in it, so it can hold up to heavy use.
Dimensions (base unit)
Three year warranty
The Volcano comes with a three year warranty on workmanship and defects. If you decide to buy your Volcano vaporizer from us, you are covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
What’s in the box
For best results
We’ve got plenty of tips in this blog post, but here are a few to get you started. If you’re getting weak vapor when you load less than a full chamber, try using the concentrate pad as a spacer on top of your herbs, or buy the Filling Chamber Reducer and use the Dosing Capsules.
If you think the vapor is harsh, try loading less and/or turning the temperature down. The vapor can also get harsh if it sits in the bag for around five minutes, so don’t fill it with more vapor than you’ll use. Resist the urge to always fill a bag unless you are going to consume it fairly soon - there’s nothing wrong with a partial bag, if you just want one or two hits.
Cleaning the Volcano is easy and infrequent, depending on how much use it gets, and all you need is a glass of isopropyl alcohol and the instructions how with the vape. The screens in the filling chamber will need the most attention, and can go for longer between cleanings if you brush out the chamber after each use, instead of letting it sit full until the next use. Deeper cleanings involve soaking the filling chamber parts in isopropyl alcohol, and either changing out the bag or swapping it for a new one. This vaporizer is fairly low maintenance compared to others.
Classic or Digit
The Classic Volcano is the analog version, and the Digit was released later for those wanting more precise temperature control. The vapor is the same on both units, but there are some differences under the hood we detail in our ‘Volcano Digit vs Classic’ article. The biggest difference, other than a CAD$125 price jump, is the auto-shutoff timer. The Digit shuts itself off after 30 minutes, whereas the Classic won’t turn off unless you do it manually. If you're like us and want your Volcano always at the ready, we recommend the Classic.
Who is the Volcano for?
Starting at CAD$576, the Volcano isn’t cheap. It will appeal to someone who wants strong, fast-acting effects with little effort. The medical grade components protect the flavor and are extremely efficient, and the bags feel like breathing, with no resistance. It easily handles different load sizes, works with dry herbs and extracts, and has proven itself to be durable for almost two decades. It might be the soundest vaporizer purchase you can make.
Who is the Volcano not for?
The Volcano is expensive, so the price is a very real barrier. It’s also not something we’d recommend for people who don’t like bags, since that’s all it does. It’s a desktop vaporizer that’s tethered to an outlet, so if you’re looking for Storz & Bickel’s top tier vapor in a portable, check out the Mighty or Crafty.
Even after all this time, the Volcano is still one of the best vaporizers on the market. It’s efficient, powerful, tastes great, and the bag system makes every hit effortless. You get the flexibility of both dry herbs or extracts, and the accessories only expand the functionality. Designed and manufactured in Germany with medical grade parts, the Volcano has all the certifications and long track record of long-lasting devices -- our review comes almost twenty years after its initial release. If you have the money to spare, it’s still one of the most reliable, durable, and safest vaporizer purchases you can make.