I’ve got a Volcano Classic that I’ve owned since 2006/2007 or so. Opted for the Classic instead of the digital at that time because I figured there were less points of failure. Pretty minimal maintenance aside from giving all the less consumable parts of the valve a soak when you’re changing bags.
Can’t say I’ve kept up with some of the newer valves & attachments/whether they’d work with mine, but it’s a good unit whenever I use it- just never was able to replace combustion for me at the time.
Good for seshes/multiple people
Customizable experience (bag size, temp, etc.)
Fan can be loud
Replacement parts can be scarce at times
Time to temp is like an e-nail
I’ve been considering a Dynavap as of late & you can probably sneak in under $200 with a B Model & an induction heater before diving in too crazy. Much more portable & arguably a bit more modular if you have existing glass you want to use.
I’ve owned a Volcano Hybrid for a year. I paid just over 500 for it new. I was a little skeptical as I already owned an Arizer Extreme Q. Within two puffs out of a balloon, I felt the Volcano was worth the money and an entirely different experience than the Arizer. The Volcano just works, it feels robust and isn’t finicky at all. You can put in a small amount or large amount of material and it handles it. I personally don’t like the draw resistance of the whip and only use balloons.
The first month I owned it, I was getting higher than I ever have in my life. Had to lay down on the couch vibrating type of feeling. I was also vaping a ton because I wanted to use my new toy. Eventually I adapted to the Volcano and it wasn’t as intense but I still found one bowl (.2-.3g, 3-4 balloons until it starts to taste bad) was getting me much higher than the same amount out of a bong.
All that said, I still do a lot of bong hits. I rotate between bong, volcano, dab rig as the mood strikes me. Basically to me the Volcano is a luxury item for a stoner (my use case) or an essential item for someone who is a true medical patient and can’t smoke. I enjoyed my time with the Extreme Q for 30% the price of a Volcano, but it would be impossible to go back after trying the Volcano.
I’ve heard good things about Dynavap and ball vapes but I’ve never used one.
At this point I own three. I have a classic, I have a digital, and I have a mighty. They are by far my favorite way to consume flower. I tried many other handheld flower vaporizing devices - but this was the one that really one me over.
The classic is my work horse. I’ve had it for almost 10 years. It has change parts - so I can keep it running smoothly. Keeping things clean is important. Some things to consider - change parts for on-going costs. and if you go with a classic or digital, changing bags. They do build up resin overtime. They are not terribly expensive - but they are not free either.
The digital is the one I use for parties and such. I feel like the attachments (including a very nice hookah style hose) are great with this one. They work with the classic, but there’s better control if you are going into anything other than a bag OR if you are going into the really really big bags (there are like 6 and 10ft long bags!).
The mighty is wonderful. Travels very well. Easy to fill pucks. Pucks are also cleanable (unlike the bags) and the mighty is also fully cleanable unlike the desktop version. Same great control of temperature - and the mouth piece is a lot more like a blunt (not really, but kind of…way different than smoking from a bag anyway). Also the mighty pucks can be loaded up with rosin / kief - and they even have really great ceramic inserts now to keep those higher potency products from melting down into the device. Very different experience than a banger / nail / etc.
At this point - its one of my best investments. Even my parents like it and they were avid pipe smokers before.
I bought my first classic from a head shop at a pretty big discount. They only had the one, I think I got it for $500 with a full accessory pack. My digital I got at a cannabis show full price minus a 10% show discount. My mighty I ordered full price (back then they were ~$200, now they talk to your phone and are a little more expensive) because I was going to be traveling and I didn’t want to stop vaping my flower.
Hahaha. Sometimes I feel strange about it. Like I’ve moved away from combustion. But my lungs are happier (although there is still some cough). I still have some pretty nice glassware that I pull out on occasion and I can say that even now all these years later the HIGH can be VERY different when smoking. I definitely get a FUCK TON more high with combustion - but that’s not usually what I’m going for.
I feel like over the 12 years I’ve had mine it has gotten a little more harsh no matter how much I clean it. The new ceramic bowl in the digital helps this a bit. The other thing I’ve noticed is it takes double the time to fill a bag. But other than that no issues. It is the best cannabis device I’ve used and purchased. I’m so glad I have one and if I had to start over it would be the one I buy first… Or maybe a puffco pro. Close call
I had to sell mines cause the bag was loud af and I always thought people would think I am manhandling a bag to huff glue or something.
It worked surprisingly well though. Better than any other vapes I had. But that dam bag was a deal breaker for me.
I don’t vape flower much anymore, but the Dynavap with an induction heater was my favorite. And even without the induction heater… using a torch it still rocks. And cheap af. Plus super portable. You might look somewhat like a crackhead, but at least it wasn’t looking like a glue huffer.
Currently have and use it often. Owned a volcano classic for yrs til she toppled over and took some damage. The Plenty is nice and effective but i think its a step down in experience when compared to the volcano. I received it as a gift. I like it but i dont know if id purchase one if i had to.
I personally love the Dynavap, but that doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for right now (though I still suggest you try it sometime).
If you want something that is made with super pure materials and will rip your face off check out this guy: https://www.gophase3.com/
He started as a hobbyist, but he makes the best on the market right now. I’ve been following this space closely for 15 years and he’s an OG. I’d personally vouch for him a hundred times over. Only downside is it can take him a while to ship, but if you are patient it will pay off big time.
The volcano is old news, they haven’t changed their design at all over the years.
I found the Volcano official bags to be super loud too. Not an issue for me but annoying. I also hate buying consumables at full price when other solutions are available and way cheaper. I use the Volcano balloon adapter (included w/ my Volcano Hybrid) with oven bags. I use 2 gal True Liberty brand and they are perfect sized for me and not as loud as official Volcano bags. You can find oven bags at the grocery store too but they aren’t the ideal shape for this purpose.
I have used the volcano (not sure which version) on multiple occasions. I own an Extreme Q (and the V tower before that).
Is this in reference to using the whip on the arizer vs the balloon on the volcano? Did you try the balloon on the arizer? It should be a very similar experience if you use the same product and temps.
The parts for the Arizer are generally less expensive and (can be) glass/metal all the way through from the heating chamber to mouth vs the volcano which has plastic bits like the docking piece and tubes (I dont think volcano makes a glass mouth piece)
$600 volcano vs $180 extreme Q. Virtually identical experience.
I’ve never owned a volcano, but have used them for days at a time at shows and friends houses so idk all the ins and outs, the arizer seems a lot simpler, easier to repair, clean, and replace parts.
I’m comparing balloons on both systems. It’s possible I wasn’t using the Arizer properly, but I owned it for around 5 years before buying a Volcano. I had an upgrade kit for the Arizer as well that seemed to work better than stock parts and got the product closer to the heater.
The Arizer didn’t seem to vaporize the material as evenly or quickly, leading to worse flavor. I felt like I had to pack the glass just right, stir it between balloons, overall just play with the vape more to get good performance. The Volcano I grind up some weed, stick it in the vape, and it comes out perfect almost every time.
I gave the Arizer away but if I still had it I’d pull it out again and give it another shot. I agree that the all glass/metal path is an advantage. The Volcano is a luxury for sure. I was happy with the Arizer’s performance until I got the Volcano, so I’m not trying to knock Arizer at all. That Extreme Q lasted me many years and some light abuse after all!
I own an arizer xq2 from the living in the apartment days. Actually liked it more than my buddies volcano. Now I have a house and a 4 ft bong and honestly don’t have a clue where the vape even is. I like the whip but would use the bags occasionally. When using the bags it seemed pretty identical though definitely less sturdy. All in all it and a toilet paper roll stuffed with dryer sheets kept me from ever getting complaints in my apartment so it was worth it.
Just remembered packing the metal screen tight with weed worked way way better than packing the glass part if that makes sense.