The Volcano is the top of the range vaporizer with a huge number of raving fans and vaporizing enthusiast, who love this legendary device. I have been using my Volcano Digit Desktop Vaporizer for a couple of years now and in this post, I am going to share with you my experience with this legendary desktop balloon vaporizer.
Let’s get into it…
First Impression of the Volcano Digit
Some people love the design of the Volcano vaporizers, others think the opposite and say it is outdated. I personally think it looks rather cool, however, it is pretty big in size. It weighs about 1.8 kg and takes up a bit of space.
Forget the size, though, this is a desktop vaporizer by the end of the day. The vaporizer feels high quality from the moment you open the box. It does make the impression of being well made with a lot of attention to details.
Volcano Digit vs Volcano Classic
Before I launch into my user review, let me tell you why I got the Volcano Digit and not the Classic. The major difference that made me decide on the Digit is its precise ability to control temperature.
With the Classic, it has a dial to set the temperature, while the Digit enables you to set the temperature to the degree through its digital display.
Volcano Digit has a larger temperature range (40°C – 230°C or 104°F – 446°F) than the Volcano Classic (130°C – 230°C or 266°F – 446°F). And of course, as the name suggests, the Digit, has a huge digital display.
Also on the Digit you can monitor the device heating up and cooling down. You always know where it’s up to.
The Volcano Digit desktop vaporizer is a little more expensive, however, I’m quite convinced that I made the right decision after all.
Volcano Vaporization System
There are two important decisions you have to make before you are getting your Volcano. Firstly, if you want to get a Digit or a Classic, as I mentioned above. Second, if you want to get hold of a Solid Valve or an Easy Valve Vaporization System with your brand new device.
Having said that, Storz & Bickel has recently updated its Vaporization System and have changed things around a little bit.
Let me explain…
Up until 1st of November 2016, there had been two Storz & Bickel Vaporization Systems to choose from, Solid Valve
and Easy Valve.
Solid Valve is the original Volcano vaporization system, that was developed back in 1998. While this system has not changed much ever since, Storz & Bickel introduced a new Vaporization System, called Easy Valve.
The major upgrades of the Easy Valve
- Filling chamber design is optimised to generate less condensation than the solid valve chamber.
- The construction of the chamber is lighter but stayed robust.
- Tightness of the Easy Valve Vaporization System is more superior, so vapor loss is even less than with the Solid Valve.
- Maintenance-free Valve Balloon and Mouthpiece.
Despite all the improvements with the Easy Valve, I still decided to go for the Solid Valve. You are most likely wondering why?
The main and basically my only reason was, that the Solid Valve system came with a solid mouthpiece, that you can keep using, while the balloons are replaceable. Whereas, the Easy Valve system comes with balloons preinstalled with disposable mouthpieces. So in other words, you can’t change the balloons on the Easy Valve. Or that was the case up until recently…
Anyhow, it was a turnoff for me at the time. However with the change that came into effect on the 1st of November 2016, now the Easy Valve System also accommodates balloon change, so I’ve switched over to that.
Moving forward, by the time you read this, you are most likely only be able to buy the new Easy Valve system. Which is not a problem, because now, you get the replaceable balloon option with the new Easy Valve as well. One less decision to make.
Operating the Volcano Digit Desktop Vaporizer
Using this desktop device is really easy and simple.
There are only 4 buttons on the Volcano Digit desktop vaporizer:
- Big red button (HEAT) to turn the unit on and off,
- Another big green button (AIR) to operate the air pump, and
- a + and a – triangle shaped buttons for adjusting the temperature.
All you have to do is press the ‘HEAT’ button to turn it on and set your desired temperature using the up and down buttons. The orange ‘control’ lamp in between the red and green buttons will be on, indicating that the vaporizer is heating up.
If you need to change between Celsius and Fahrenheit, simply press simultaneously both, the + and – green buttons.
It does take about 3 minutes or more to heat up, depending on what temperature you set it to. I mostly use mine at 190 Celsius and it takes about 3 minutes for me.
When it reaches your set temperature, you are ready to place your filling chamber on the heating unit. Before putting your balloon on the chamber stretch it tight. So the bag sits vertically on the unit while it is getting filled.
Ensure the balloon is locked in place allowing the valve to open. Once it is all set, just press the ‘AIR’ button to turn the fan on.
The Volcano vaporizers (both the Digit and the Classic) have very powerful fans pumping out approximately 12 litres a minute.
This means that you can fill your 40cm balloon up in about 45 seconds. That is very quick comparing it to other balloon vaporizers.
Once your balloon is full, you need to take it off the chamber and place the mouthpiece on the balloon. Don’t forget to take your chamber off the heating unit to avoid overheating it.
Ensure you always grab the filling chamber cap at the textured grip as it can get very hot.
When the temperature of the chamber drops as you are using the unit, the control light comes on to indicate that the unit is heating back up. Once you are done vaporizing, you can turn off the device by simply pressing the red ‘HEAT’ button. Should you forget to turn it off (as it happened to me quite a few times), it will auto shut off after 30 minutes.
Bringing More Out of Your Herbs with the Volcano Digit Desktop Vaporizer
You can reuse the same materials in the chamber for up to 5 or 6 sessions, depending on the following:
- how much herbs you put in your chamber,
- quality of your herbs are,
- how well you grind your herbs (there is a shark tooth grinder included with every Volcano vaporizer),
- what temperature you set your vaporizer to.
If you’d like to bring the most out of your herbs, you can use them for multiple vaporizing cycles. Some vapers prefer to take the herbs out from the filling chamber after their first session and grind them up again, before putting them back for another session.
Both, the Classic and Digit chambers are made out of food grade aluminum. The filling chambers could be slightly different depending on what Vaporization System you use.
If you are yet to buy your Volcano, you may only be able to get the new Easy Valve Vaporization System with the replaceable balloons. I have used both the old Solid Valve chamber and the Easy Valve chamber and they are both large as you can see in the pictures below.
Easy Valve Filling Chamber (with the capacity of 6.5cm³):
Solid Valve Filling Chamber:
Chamber Reducer and Dosing Capsule
With the Easy Valve Vaporization System, you can reduce the size of the chamber significantly and use the new Storz & Bickel dosing capsules with the Volcano Digit.
Check out this video on how it all works:
The Liquid Pad
All Storz & Bickel vaporizers come with a liquid pad. This pad is a steel wire mesh and used for 2 purposes. First, you can use it when you vaporize liquids and oils. It absorbs up to 10 drops liquid at a time. For the first time, I suggest you to start with a very small amount of liquid. Then work your way up from there, until you get the flavour you’re after. And secondly, the Volcano has a large chamber and if you prefer to load less materials into the chamber you can place the liquid pad on the top of your herbs.
The balloon bag is made out of food grade plastic and it is a quite ‘rigid’ type of plastic. As you can see it stands up on its own. The Volcano bags are a little noisy as they fill up, compared to the bags that the Arizer Extreme Q or the VapirRise2.0 come with.
The new Vaporization System, that I told you about above, made the maintenance of the Volcano Digit desktop vaporizer even better.
The heating unit has a stainless steel finish and it does not require much cleaning. All it needs is checking the air filter at the bottom every month or so and, an occasional wipe every now and then.
It is the Vaporization System, that needs a little maintenance to keep the Volcano running at its best.
With the Solid Valve system, there was a fair amount of maintenance involved. Using the device daily, I cleaned the screens about once a week or so. Cleaning meant that I pulled the whole thing apart, soaked the parts in rubbing alcohol, then rinsed them with warm water and let them dry. Took me about 15 minutes every week or so.
On the top of that, I also pulled the mouthpiece and the valve apart about once a month and gave those a good thorough clean as well.
With the Easy Valve, when you change your balloon it has its own mouthpiece as well, so you don’t need to clean it. You only need to clean your chamber and screens depending on how often you use the vaporizer.
With the new Easy Valve system, you do have to clean the balloon valve, however, it is a lot simpler, compared to the Solid Valve.
Overall, the maintenance of the Volcano Digit desktop vaporizer with the new Easy Valve Vaporization System is very low. It is hardly anything compared to other desktop vaporizers.
The Quality of the Vapor Produced by the Volcano Digit
The vapor is as good as it gets. It is extremely smooth, clean and flavourful. If you only used lower quality portable devices before, you’ll be surprised how nice the vapor produced by the Digit is.
The vapor quality is what really stands out here. Some other devices come very close to the Volcano, however, in my view, it is surely 5 out of 5 stars.
The powerful fan, the high-quality food grade materials and the technology behind the Volcano are all working towards producing outstanding vapor quality every time.
Who is the Volcano Desktop Vaporizer for?
The Volcano is for everyone who wants to get the best of the best. It is a home vape, so it’s great if you are settled down in one place.
If you love high-end technology and you like the finest vaporizer out there, this is surely for you. And if you need the cleanest vapor for medical reasons, the Volcano will provide that for you too. The Volcano produces vapor that is hard to imagine before you try it, so it is definitely a top pick desktop vaporizer.
The Volcano is a German made world class vaporizer with incredible performance and reliability. It is built out of high-quality food grade materials. All the details add up to deliver an incredible user experience in my view.
The only downside I can mention is that I don’t always feel like firing it up and playing around with the balloons, especially on my own. Sometimes, I prefer to use a portable vaporizer instead. Apart from that, I cannot recommend the Volcano Digit desktop vaporizer highly enough. It is really the king of the jungle when it comes to high performance vaporizing.
If you have any questions, or if you are using a Digit and have something to add, please feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
If you haven’t decided which vaporizer to get, check out our vaping guide for more useful information.