Medical Grade Vaping

The original Volcano vaporizer by Storz & Bickel was introduced in Europe in 2000 and in the United States in 2003. This was the first in S&B’s line of world renown dry herb vapes and one could say it caused something of an eruption on the vape scape. Not only was the Classic Volcano the first fan-driven forced-air vaporizer to achieve widespread commercial success, but it was also the first to employ its patented balloon technology.

Originally designed to allow caregivers the ability to administer medicinal vapor dosage independent of patient inhalation technique, the Volcano is actually pictured in Wikipedia under the entry Medical Vaporizers. But it was the balloon’s recreational functionality that made it an immediate hit. In this Volcano Classic vaporizer review we think you’ll learn a thing or two about dry herb vaping, so read on if you’re the curious sort.

If you already know the Volcano Classic is what you’re looking for, you can check it out at our recommended dealer where you will receive a 20% discount. Otherwise, continue reading for our take on the S&B Volcano Classic and its younger siblings the Volcano Digit and Volcano Hybrid.

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Volcano Classic Goes Digital

The Volcano Classic allows one to control the oven temperature using an analog dial ranging from one to nine (266 to 446 degrees Fahrenheit) and an orange light that signals when the desired temperature has been reached. In 2007 S&B introduced the Volcano Digit which is identical to the Classic except for its replacement of the analog dial with digital controls and an LED panel that displays the current temp and target temp. While the digital Volcano accommodates greater precision, dialing in the right temperature with the Classic is not difficult. With a little practice you will learn exactly where to dial in your optimal vaping experience.

Classic Volcano vs Digital Volcano

Both models produce equivalent and unparalleled vapor that exceeds any other desktop vaporizer we’ve tested. The Digit’s only differences are digital temp control, a 30-minute auto-shutoff switch, and eight ounces of additional weight due to the electronics. If you’re interested in purchasing either Volcano you can click here to check them out at our recommended S&B dealer.

What’s Included in the Kit?

The Storz & Bickel standard kit includes:

  • Easy Valve Starter Set with 5 balloons
  • S&B grinder
  • extra air filters
  • 6 replacement screens
  • stainless steel liquid pad for wax and oils
  • mouthpiece
  • cleaning brush

Technical Specifications

The Volcano Classic is a desktop vaporizer intended for stationary use. Weighing in at 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), standing 7.9 inches (20 cm) tall, and with a diameter of 7.1 inches (18 cm) at its base, this is not a compact device and does require being plugged-in to function. If size is not an issue, then you will be blown away by this vaporization masterpiece. We’re talking best in class vapor production using dried blends or concentrates. To vape concentrates just place the liquid pad inside the chamber, apply the payload, and vape as usual.

The Volcano Digit and Classic are fan-driven, forced-air, zero combustion vaporizers. The volcano-shaped external housing is made of stainless steel. The steel-clad ceramic heating element is paired with an aluminum block heat exchanger to heat the chamber and then the air which is moved through the blend by the fan. Before entering the fan, outside air is cleansed of any stray particles through a replaceable filter. This method perfectly distributes heat through the payload utilizing pure convection to create unparalleled vapor. (The Volcano Hybrid is slightly different animal which you can read about in our review.)

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How to Handle a Volcano

Beyond its exceptional vapor quality, what we really like about the Volcano is its ease of use. It takes three to five minutes for a stone-cold heating element to warm up the Classic or Digit model depending on load size and taste preference (the Hybrid takes only one minute). Use this time to prepare and load your blend into the filling chamber. When the orange light goes off, snap the filling chamber on top and turn on the fan. Wait a few seconds until you start seeing vapor then connect the balloon and let ‘er rip. Watching the Volcano erupt with super dense ultra flavorful vapor from your selected herb.

It takes about a minute to fill a standard size balloon. When the balloon is full simply disconnect it from the filling chamber and enjoy a billowous bag of clean, cool, delicious vapor. Or store it in the bag for later enjoyment. Some users report storing vapor for up to 8 hours, but Storz & Bickel liken a Volcano vapor bag to a fresh pot of coffee – best when consumed within 15 minutes. A standard two-foot bag should provide five man-sized draws. Medication dispensation as we like it.

Volcano Easy Valve vs. Solid Valve

To trap the vapor inside the bag a valve must exist between the filling chamber and the balloon. All Volcano models now come standard with the redesigned Easy Valve System. But the old school Solid Valve remains available as an option. The Solid Valve, which can be cleaned and reused, is constructed of stainless steel and heat-resistant plastic.

Before recent modifications, the Easy Valve System could not accommodate replacement balloons. The entire balloon/valve assembly had to be discarded after a balloon reached its useful life. The Solid Valve was the only way to utilize non-standard (read large) balloons. But the redesigned Easy Valve with optional slip-ring adapter allows one to use and replace balloons cut from a roll just like the old system. Which means you can make your balloons two feet or ten feet long.

Volcano Easy Valve System With Adapter
Volcano Easy Valve System with Adapter and Mouthpiece

We see no reason to go with the Solid Valve system since the redesigned Easy Valve with adapter now accommodates replacement balloons. The Solid Valve requires frequent cleaning and relies on nothing but its own weight to rest atop the heating chamber, a design that sometimes allows vapor to leak out. The Easy Valve, on the other hand, snaps into place and is leak-free. Previously, the Solid Valve system was more economical in the long run but in our opinion that is no longer the case.

Volcano Classic Mouthpiece

The Volcano’s mouthpiece also acts as a valve that opens to allow inhalation when pressed to the mouth. With some balloon vaporizers, the mouthpiece valve requires manual action to open and close. But with the Volcano, the mouthpiece valve opens automatically when pressed. This is the best balloon vapor delivery system we’ve encountered, about as flawless as we can imagine.

Three Year Warranty

Just like S&B sibling “the Plenty,” all three Volcano models are backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. The Mighty and the Crafty, on the other hand, come with two-year warranties. From our own experience with customer service, we can attest that Storz & Bickel truly go the extra mile to keep customers happy.

Conclusion – Volcano Classic Vaporizer Review

Simply put, this is one of the best vaporizers ever made. Vapor quality is incredible, build quality is superb, it’s easy to use, customer support is excellent, and it’s great for vaping solo or in group sessions.

From our point of view, the only drawbacks are cost and lack of a direct draw option (balloons only), and this has now been addressed with the new Volcano Hybrid. Having said that, we think it’s worth the price; not only because of its superior vapor production but due to its efficiency. Over time, you’ll save a bundle on un-wasted herb and, if you cut your own balloons from a roll, that expense becomes de minimis.

If you’d like to pick one up, we suggest buying from this authorized Storz & Bickel dealer. The Volcano line of desktop vaporizers is the benchmark for convection (and now hybrid) vaporization. We hope you enjoyed our Volcano Classic vaporizer review and consider using our links if you wish to check out the pricing.