The Volcano Hybrid vaporizer by esteemed German manufacturer Storz & Bickel is a well-designed, high-end desktop vaporizer, made for those who are willing to pay higher prices for a higher-quality vaping experience. The Volcano vaporizer offers two kinds of vaping functions, direct draw through the tube kit and the valve balloon. While the price point for the Volcano vaporizer is quite high, the functionality, warranty, Bluetooth integration, and other higher-end features, ensure that the overall value for money is excellent.
Pros & Cons
- Bluetooth enabled and has an app.
- Both a direct draw tube and balloons.
- Easy to use digital controls that show current and set temperatures.
- App is only compatible with Android devices.
- Price point is one of the highest on the market.
- Replacement part recommended (free of charge) to fix an issue.
Extraction and Temperature Control
The Volcano vaporizer hybrid has a large filling chamber, allowing upward of one gram of cannabis; you can also use a filling chamber reducer (sold separately) to pack 0.1-0.15 grams, or a dosing capsule (also sold separately). The Volcano vaporizer hybrid uses a combination of convection and conduction heating, and can completely heat up within one to two minutes—one of the biggest improvements over the Volcano Classic. The Volcano Hybrid is known for excellent temperature stability, with a range of 104 to 446°, and accuracy of ± 1.5° C / 2.7° F. A LED display shows the current and set temperatures, with buttons for adjusting the temperature – you can also control it via the Bluetooth app (which unfortunately is not compatible with Apple products).
Vapor Production and Airflow
The Volcano vaporizer hybrid still includes the iconic Volcano balloon but also comes with a tube attachment, allowing for smooth, high-quality, direct-draw vapor. The amount of vapor produced depends on if you use a dosing capsule, full chamber or chamber filling reducer, and the quality of cannabis. A full chamber can produce multiple full balloons. Volcano vaporizer reviews report that the redesigned hybrid heating method of the Volcano vaporizer helps to produce thick, flavorful, high-potency vapor. The temperature affects the thickness and flavor of the vapor; lower temperatures produce highly flavorful, barely visible vapor – as the temperature rises, cannabis flavor lessens and the vapor becomes thicker, and more visible.
Cleaning the Vaporizer
All components of the Volcano vaporizer’s filling chamber need to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure it works properly, and the flavor stays pure. The Volcano must be shut off and completely cooled down, then the filling chamber and cap should be disassembled and manually cleaned using either rubbing alcohol or a damp cloth soaked in warm water. The dishwasher can be used but you risk losing the smaller pieces. The manufacture recommends letting the pieces completely dry before reassembling, and not soaking any pieces in alcohol for longer than an hour. As far as cleaning the balloon (with mouthpiece), no maintenance is required, however, the manufacturer recommends replacing it every two weeks for hygienic reasons.
Note: After Storz & Bickel released a statement in February 2020 regarding an issue with the Volcano Hybrid filling chamber, it’s also recommended claiming a free insert online that they’re providing to fix the problem.
What really sets the Volcano vaporizer hybrid apart from other desktop vaporizers is the option to either direct draw or use a balloon, offering two completely different styles of use. The Storz & Bickel patented bag and valve system also lets users remove cannabis from the heat in between draws of vapor so that the cannabis doesn’t overheat. That, along with the Storz & Bickel app which allows remote temperature control, puts this desktop vaporizer head and shoulders above the competition.
Warranty and Accessories
The Volcano hybrid vaporizer has a three-year warranty. Accessories include an easy valve balloon with a mouthpiece, an easy valve balloon with an adaptor, one tube system, one filling chamber (which includes a cleaning brush, screens, and drip pad), an air filter set, and a cannabis grinder. Additionally, you can buy dosing capsules, a filling set for dosing capsules, and a filling chamber with a dosing capsule adapter, which allows for smaller amounts of cannabis to be vaporized. There are also compatible third-party filling chamber reducers out there, for those who want to vaporize a smaller amount of cannabis than what the entire filling chamber will hold. As most Volcano vaporizer reviews will report, Storz & Bickel products are known for reliability and longevity.
Volcano Classic vs Volcano Hybrid
While the Volcano Classic is still an excellent, well-designed vaporizer, the Volcano Hybrid is a considerable upgrade. The Classic has a more narrow temperature range, analog controls, and doesn’t offer direct draw at all, only the balloons. The Hybrid’s temperature digital display is much more sophisticated, showing set and current temperatures – while, the Classic only displays numbers one through nine, which correspond with certain temperatures outlined on a chart. Not to mention, the Hybrid’s remote temperature control through the app. The Volcano Hybrid is simply a more advanced, functional, and efficient way to vape; it’s definitely worth the additional $220 (if you can afford to shop in this higher-end price range). If you want the digital display but don’t need the rest of the bells and whistles that the Hybrid offers, a used Volcano vaporizer could be an option, especially since Storz & Bickel also no longer produces the Volcano Digit.
Storz & Bickel
Storz & Bickel is a well-known, long-time manufacturer of medical-grade herbal vaporizers based in Tuttlingen, Germany. They are famous for the Volcano product line—the Classic hit the market in 2000, it changed the way people vape and set the standard for desktop vaporizers. Storz & Bickel sell both desktop and handheld vaporizers. Aside from the Volcano lineup (which are all desktops), they make the Plenty desktop, and two handheld vaporizers: Mighty and Crafty+.
Storz & Bickel offers direct shipping from their factory in Germany (for $200), or their office in Oakland, California. There are also many online vaporizer stores selling their product lineup, likely with better shipping options.
The Final Verdict
For first-time buyers, the Volcano Hybrid is a fantastic, long-term investment (featuring sleek German design and engineering), from a company known for high-quality products that last a very long time. For someone who can afford the price point and regularly uses a vaporizer, the Hybrid seems to be one of, if not the best, choices on the market. For those who already own either the Volcano Classic or the Volcano Digit, I would put some serious thought into if the price is worth the actual feature upgrades. Finding a used Volcano vaporizer could be a great option for those with less money to spend.