Which of These Desktop Vapes is Easiest to Use
While the market is flooded with great vapes of every size and quality, creating a great desktop vape requires something extra special. Consider it as the top tier of vaporizer production, where vapor production (and price brackets) are pushed to their greatest heights.
One essential element to keep in consideration when developing a desktop device is great functionality, that is still accessible to users of all levels. Sure, most of the people splurging on an at-home device are likely to be more regular users, but that doesn't mean that owning a maintaining a desktop vaporizer has to be difficult or exclusively for experienced vapers. Today we're going to be looking at our most popular desktop models and seeing which is the most user-friendly. Going from the most popular brands of desktop vaporizers sold on our site, we're going to be looking at the two biggest heavyweights dominating the vaporizer market today – Arizer and Storz & Bickel. In the words of Shakespeare, here we have "two households, both alike in dignity" - two companies setting incredibly high standards for excellent vapor and high-quality materials and production (Bringing a quote from my boy Shakespeare into a vaporizerblog might seem like a wildcard choice but let's be real, old Will definitely wrote about substance use and probably danced with dear Mary Jane at least once).
We're going to take a look at arguably the 'king' of desktop devices the Volcano, and seeing how it fairs in comparison to the Plenty – another vape from S&B – and Arizer's Extreme Q. In all of these devices, vapor quality is not an issue – these are all convection vaporizers so you're going to get smooth, tasty vapor and great clouds from all of them – so ultimately, they're very good at what they were designed to do. Instead, what we'll be focusing on is user accessibility - looking at interface, maintenance, and functionality in deciding which is the best desktop vape.
The Volcano has essentially dominated the market since it came out in 2000, and in 2007 Storz & Bickel came out with the digital model. Most users will say that the Classic and Digit Volcanos are essentially the exact same device – one is just pimped out with a digital display. Both have the exact same heating elements and valves, but since we're keeping accessibility in mind we're going to go with the Volcano Classic as the easier to use option, since its analog technology uses a much more basic and straightforward heating gauge. The Volcano Classic's analog dial is really easy to use, with nine heat settings to choose from ranging from 130 C / 266F to 226 C / 439F. Storz &Bickel also include a heating guide, to help you choose the optimum temperature for your herb's performance.
Choosing between the easy valve and solid valve is another factor when considering simplicity of use and combining the classic Volcano with the easy valve set is definitely the easiest option - easy by name, easy by nature. While the easy valve may not be the most environmentally savvy choice, it's much easier to use than the solid valve, which is much more complex to maintain and use. It's made up of several parts, and precariously attaches to the device by its own weight, in contrast to the easy valve which securely clicks into place which reduces vapor leakage.
When it comes to cleaning and packing, the Volcano is one of the easiest devices to maintain. The only place where you'll get any residue build up is inside the stem of the herb chamber, which is very easy to clean. Simply soak it in isopropyl alcohol and scrub it out with a brush or pipe cleaner.
Consider the Plenty as somewhere half way between a portable device and a desktop vaporizer, best described as a home portable. The Plenty is a hand-held, whip style vaporizer powered via an outlet. As the Hannah Montana of the Storz & Bickel family, it's the best of both worlds!
Straight off the bat, getting your Plenty ready to actually use does involve a bit more fiddling around in comparison to the Volcano. Storz & Bickel recommend that you pack your herb before you actually turn on your Plenty, which involves unscrewing the cooling whip to reveal the herb chamber. The herb chamber is also much wider than many vaporizers and is capable of fitting up to a gram of dry herb. This is impressive however it's also a much larger amount than a lot of people will use in one session, so if you're using a smaller amount you do have to use the liquid concentrates pad to fill up extra space in your chamber – otherwise the hot hair won't hit your herb right and you won't get much from it. You can also use the reduced dose attachments which will reduce the size of your chamber.
The safety feature – while totally necessary – is kind of annoying. The Plenty works on an automated shut off timer, and if you do not regularly hit the trigger button underneath the handle it will automatically start to cool down. Also you can't just hold down the trigger button throughout your session without it shutting off, you need to regularly press on it (maybe once a minute) to keep the device from shutting off – hardly the most efficient shut off feature.
From comparing the two Storz & Bickel devices, it's pretty clear that while the Classic Volcano is heftier and more expensive than the Plenty, it's a classic for a reason and is much more user-friendly purchase. Another great element of the Volcano versus the Plenty is that you don't have to use your whole bowl once you've filled it. With the Volcano, you can fill a bag and come back to it – as bags hold vapor for up to 8 hours. You can also come back to whatever material is in your bowl a while late depending on what condition it's in, while with the Plenty you cannot reuse your herb.
The first of Arizer's desktop vapes, the Extreme Q is an extremely versatile desktop vaporizer. It can be used with either a bag or whip attachment, or you can also hit it directly from the mini whip attachment. It's much more portable than the Volcano and also comes in at a fraction of the price – so it's a great place to start if you're new to desktop vaporizers, or if you just have a smaller budget. The Volcano on the other hand can only be used with a balloon attachment, so the Extreme Q is definitely a more versatile option. The whip is a lower maintenance option, because you can just take hits from it as you wish instead of having to fill up a bag and work from that.
One amazing feature of the Extreme Q is that it is remote control operated, so you can leave it to heat up from the other side of the room and walk away until it's ready to go. When it comes to how both balloon attachments perform, the Volcano does fill up a balloon in less than half the time of the Extreme Q – about 30 seconds compared to 90 seconds. You also have to keep your thumb over the Extreme Q mouthpiece because it does not have an internal valve to prevent leakage like the Volcano does – so that's another point for the Volcano in terms of efficiency, which lets you take a more leisurely approach to using a balloon attachment.
The Extreme Q is a little bit more fiddly to clean than the Volcano, and requires taking apart the glass mouthpiece and attachments, and soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. In the grand scheme of things, it's still pretty easy maintenance but the Volcano does have an advantage here.
All things considered, Storz & Bickel come out as the winners with the Volcano. Don't get me wrong, the Plenty and the Extreme Q are still both amazing vapes that deliver strong hits and tasty vapor – they're still two amazing vaporizers. But when it comes to ease of use, neither are as straightforward and as user friendly as the Volcano, which is pretty fool proof to use and maintain - the Classic truly is a classic.
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