Vaporizer Comparison: Volcano vs. Extreme-Q

Volcano vs. Extreme-Q Comparing these two vaporizers is a bit of a challenge for a few different reasons. The main thing is that they are so different in price… The Volcano ranges from $539-$669 and the Extreme-Q has a list price of $299. The next big thing that sets these apart is that the V is a balloon only vaporizer and the Q is a combo or dual-purpose vape because it can be used with a bag or a whip attached (a tube with a mouthpiece).

For the purpose of this comparison I’m gonna talk about using the Extreme-Q as a balloon style vape and compare its performance to the Volcano. If you’re big on simplicity, and you don’t like vaporizers that have a lot of parts, the Volcano may be a better option for you. It is way simpler and has fewer parts. I still think the Q is a good vape, it’s just a little more complicated than the V. The other thing to consider is that not only does the Q have more parts, but many are made of glass so you need to be a little more careful with them. They can get hot after having the heat on for a bit so you need to watch where you touch. The main parts of the Volcano are basically indestructible and only get slightly warm during use.

The next big difference between these two devices is the time it takes them to fill the balloons completely with vapor. The Volcano fills bags within about 30 seconds, but the Extreme-Q takes a bit longer at roughly 90 seconds. The bags are also positioned differently when they’re being filled – upright above the V and laying to the side of the Q. Now in my opinion one important difference between these two is that the Volcano balloons have built in valves that automatically close when you’re not actively filling or hitting the bag. This means that you can put the bag down in between hits and no vapor will escape, and very little vapor is lost during the entire process. With the Extreme-Q, if you don’t hold your finger on the end of the mouthpiece in-between draws some vapor may be escaping from the balloon. This isn’t a major issue though because it escapes at a fairly slow rate. This is one of the nice luxury features of the Volcano though that in my opinion makes it a step above any of its competitors.

Overall they’re both excellent vaporizers. If you want the best of the best, you enjoy the finer things, or you notice the small details about products that make them great, you should go with the Volcano. I definitely like the Extreme-Q, and I think it does a great job at what it’s supposed to do. If I was forced to pick between the two I would say the V is in fact worth the extra money. But, the Q has a lot of things going for it.

When you’re ready to make a purchase, after deciding which one of these is better for you, there’s a really good store I want you to check out. This place is one of the biggest vaporizer distributors in the US and they’re a fully authorized dealer of all the vapes I review. I get all my stuff there and have been for years. Shipping is free on all orders and very fast (they ship same-day if you order by 2:30pm ET). Click here for the Volcano page and here for the Extreme-Q.

Video transcription:

What we have here is the Volcano Classic Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel and the Extreme-Q Vaporizer by Arizer. The list price of the Volcano is $539, and the list price of the Extreme-Q is $299. These two vapes have some similarities and some differences.

To start off, the Volcano is a balloon-only vape, meaning that its main and only function is to fill up the supply balloons with vapor, and then you take hits from the bag. The Extreme-Q, on the other hand, is a dual, or a combo vape, because it comes with the balloon that you could use, and it also comes with this whip. And with the whip-style vape, you just take hits directly from the tube as you want them. There’s no bag or chamber or anything that’s collecting the vapor. It just goes straight through the tube.

For the purpose of this comparison video, though, I’m going to put the whip aside and just show you the main similarities and differences when using the Extreme-Q as a balloon vape. So, the first thing you might notice is that the Volcano is a little larger than the Extreme-Q. It’s also a bit heavier. Next thing is, with the Volcano, if you get the easy valve kit, like I have, it comes with this top piece, here. This is the chamber that you put your herbs in. It just twists apart, you put your ground up herbs in here, you twist it back together, and then you pop this piece on top.

The chamber where you put your herbs on the Extreme-Q is this glass top piece here, and this slides right on top. And then, the little top attachment to connect to your balloon slides right into that piece.

Now, one big difference between these two when you’re actually using them is that, with the Volcano, with the top piece here, you put it on right before you want to start filling your bag, then you put your bag on, and once the bag is full, and you take the bag off, you immediately take this off, and you set it to the side. This piece is not really meant to be left on here the whole time you’re vaping. But the material that this is made from prevents it from getting very hot, so it’s no problem to just take that off. You’re not going to get burned or anything.

And the Extreme-Q is a little different. The top piece where you put your herbs is meant to stay on top of the unit for your whole session. And since it’s made of glass, it’ll get a little hot, so you don’t really want to try to pull it off. You want to just leave it on there. And then while we’re talking about the top pieces, with the Volcano piece, in between bag fillings, you can just shake it a little bit to mix up the herb. Not that you even, really, need to, but if you just wanted to ensure even vapage, you could just give it a little shake.

And then, with the Extreme Q during your session, you’ll want to just pop off the top piece, and take the glass stirring tool they give you, and just stir around your herbs a little bit. And then, you could throw your top piece right back on. Stirring up the herbs seems to be a little more important with the Extreme-Q than the Volcano.

The next main difference between this specific Volcano model, the Classic, and the Extreme-Q is that the Classic model has a dial here, for the temperature, and the Extreme-Q has an LCD screen in the front with the temperature read-out. They do make a digital version of the Volcano, too, but it bumps up the price a bit.

Now, I’d say one of the main differences between these two units is how the balloons are filled, and how long it takes to fill them. The way the Volcano works is you take your top piece here, and you snap it on the top. Then you take your balloon, and if you’re using the easy valve like I am, you just pop out the mouthpiece. You could pull your bag straight, and then you could snap it on top of the unit. And you’ll notice the bag stays straight up, and it’s going to stay straight up when you’re filling it, too. The Volcano bags are pretty cool. I don’t know exactly what they made them out of, but it’s some sort of rigid plastic that actually keeps its shape if you pull it like that.

And with the Extreme-Q, what you’ll do is you’ll take the balloon with the mouthpiece on the tip, and this vape is going to fill the balloon out to the side. So, you take your mouthpiece, and you fit it into the tube, here. And then, it’s going to sit in like that. And then, this vape has three fan settings: low, medium, and high. And you’ll turn it on high when you’re filling up the balloon.

Now, the Volcano takes about 30 seconds to completely fill the balloon, and the Extreme-Q takes about 90 seconds. So, I’m going to start them both at the same time, right now, so you can compare how fast they are, and I’m going to fast forward a couple times just to make it go quicker. All right, so the fan button on the Volcano is this green button on the front, and with the Extreme-Q, you would take your remote and hit the number three. This is about 15 seconds in. And the Volcano bag is done. I’m just going to turn the fan off, and pop it off.

Extreme-Q is still going. It’s about half full. All right, now we’re about a minute in. All right, and then, after about 90 seconds, you’ll have a pretty full bag. So you’ll shut off your fan, and you’ll pull off the balloon. And just remember, you’ve got to put your finger on the end with the Extreme Q-balloons because there’s no valve inside to stop the vapor from coming out. So, just keep your finger on, hit it, put your finger back on, and that will just prevent any vapor from escaping.

Now, the way that differs from the Volcano bags, is that they have built-in valves in here that automatically close when the mouthpiece isn’t pressed in, so none of the vapor comes out on its own. You have to actually pop the mouthpiece in, and then be putting pressure on it, and then vapor will come out. And as soon as you let off pressure, it closes the valve. And I, personally, like this feature a lot, because I like to take my time when I’m hitting this. And it lets you put it down for a minute in between hits.

OK, so another difference these vapes have is in the maintenance required. The Volcano is very simple, and none of the pieces really build up any residue. So, you won’t have to do any regular cleaning or anything. The only thing you will have to do is replace the bags every once in a while, because they could start to build up residue inside, and the valves could start to not work that good. But when you first get the Volcano, it comes with five bags, I believe. Each one of these bags lasts me, at least, two months of regular use. So, you can expect to get about a year out of the first set of balloons they give you. And then replacement balloons are about 10 bucks each after that.

There’s a little more maintenance required with the Extreme-Q, but it’s not really a big deal. This top piece here that connects your balloon to the vape, every few weeks, you might want to just flush this out with some rubbing alcohol. You might get a little build-up in here. And then this piece also has a removable screen on the tip. You could take the screen out and clean that out with some alcohol, also. And then the top piece here, where your herbs go, you could easily pop that off and clean it in a few minutes with some alcohol, also. So, it’s not too big of a deal, and you’ll probably only have to do it every few weeks or so.

One thing I forgot to mention in the beginning of this video is the initial heat-up time required for the two units. And I found that it’s generally about the same for both of them. The way the Volcano works is when you first turn it on, you flip the orange switch over here. That will turn on the heating element. And after about three minutes, the middle light will turn off, and that indicates it’s ready to go, that it reached the optimal temperature.

The Extreme-Q works a little differently. What you’ll do is, you’ll turn the power on, and then you’ll set your heat and then the core heating element reaches the temperature you set pretty quickly, usually in under 30 seconds. But I’ve personally found that if you put all your pieces on, you put it together, and you get it ready to vape, but you wait an extra minute or two, you’ll actually get better vapors starting from the first hit, and it seems to really get everything to the proper temperature. So, the bottom line is, roughly three minutes for both units before you can start vaping.

Now, it’s a little hard to do an overall comparison of these two because they are so different in price. But what I can tell you is that, in my opinion, the Volcano is worth the extra cost. I like the Extreme-Q, but I really love the Volcano. So, if you’re watching this video on YouTube, you can click either of the links that appear above each of these vapes for my individual review of each. Otherwise, you can go to my website: vapecritic.com, and you’ll find all my videos there, and you’ll also find links if you want to buy either of these.

All right, so, that’s going to wrap it up. Thanks for watching. I really appreciate it. If you have any comments or questions or anything, feel free to ask. And I’ll see you later, guys.

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20 comments... add yours here

  1. I disagree, I own both of these and I will admit the volcano is definately definitely better but I think overall the arizer is way too much of a better value to be ignored. Id pay at most 50 bucks more for a volcano.

  2. have digital v set for 380, small amount of well ground herb in chamber but it seems there’s nothing but air in the bag… any tips?

    • I’m assuming you’re letting the unit heat up for 3 minutes before attempting to fill the balloon right?

      If you are and there’s not a lot of vapor you can try leaving the herb chamber connected on top for an extra minute before you fill the balloon… sometimes giving the chamber a little extra time to heat up does the trick.

  3. i have an arizer solo and i’m loving it. i don’t really care about the price, but is it worth it to get the volcano or the extreme q? bearing in mind that i have the solo which would you choose if it makes sense to get one of these?

    • Cool I’m glad you like the Solo, I think it’s a great portable vape too.

      I used the Extreme-Q for a while and think it’s pretty decent, but if cost isn’t much of an issue I’d absolutely recommend the Volcano first.

      The build quality of the V is top notch and it produces excellent vapor while being super easy to use. It also has the best balloon system that any vape has, and the auto-sealing valves make the vaping experience awesome.

  4. I have owned the Extreme Q 4.0 for over a year now and I am incredibly happy with my purchase. I started with the whip, but went to bags.

    I have mine set to 180c, I grind it up, put a good amount in (never past the black hand holder part), let it sit on there for about 2 minutes, and then I put the “elbow” on, and turn the fan to 1.

    As soon as I see any bit of vapor coming out I put the bag on the “elbow” and turn the fan to 3. I get my bag in about 45 seconds and it is perfect.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Volcano is amazing, and I do really miss a valve of some sort so I don’t have to hold my finger over the Extreme Q tip, but overall, the Extreme Q is much better than the Volcano in every regard except the aforementioned aspect.

    • Hey Ed, in my opinion every vape produces at least a little odor, and these two are units that can produce a good amount of vapor.

      Generally what I tell people is that vapor only smells half as much as smoke and it dissipates twice as fast, meaning there will be some smell but it’s fairly easy to contain.

      It is possible that someone outside of your room could catch a whiff if you’re not doing anything to deodorize or vent the air.

  5. Greate video.

    I have the Q and I love it but I never seen a V in person. How is the cleaning compared between the Q and the V? As the Q have many crystal parts it can get cleaned very easily with alcohol+salt and leave it good as new. Can the parts that gets dirty on the V be cleaned too?

    • Hey thanks,

      If you get the Easy Valve with the Volcano there is virtually no cleaning involved, all you need to do is brush out your herb chamber after each session. After 3-4 months of use you just start using a new balloon.

      The EQ can be cleaned but tends to build up residue fairly quickly, the V is basically maintenance-free.

      I’ve owned my V for 3.5 years, I use it all the time, and I never had to touch any parts of it with alcohol or even change any of the screens.

      • Very nice, Its hard to visualize how come it never get residue, resin without see one in person. The Q gets very nasty quickly and right now I have a chest pain for months and I think it was probably because the Q build some kind of fungi or something nasty and I inhale it.

        • Yea that’s one of the main things I don’t like about the EQ, gets too dirty too fast, and in too many areas.

          With the easy valve kit on the Volcano you seriously never see any residue anywhere.

  6. I personally think the volcano is too highly priced. I would have defo bought one if it werent so expensive. I have just got the new extreme q 4.0 and cannot wait to use it. I wonder if theres maybe a fitment for the extreme to be able to use the volcano valve with it? If anyone knows of this, it would be great help thanks. Oh an great vids BTW loads of helpful info :)

  7. are those bags interchangeable? If I wanted to use the replacement bag for a volcano or jus any volcano bag on an extreme Q could I? the lack of a valve was the only thing wrong that I saw with the extremem Q. for 3-$400 I’d like a valve. when I do get into the market for a desktop or home vape I would want 1 that works with both bags & whips & is preferably digital. I like the herbalizer vid that u did but that is pricy. stayin in the $200 would bvape e good but I guess 3s might be ok. I hope to avoid splurging but idk. can I avoid that? a 3 way would be good incase I get lucky enough to come across wax or oil. however since I have 0 experience I jus know myself. a bag & whip & something that lets me see a digital read out of the temp I’m setttin & of course price will be my criteria. what would u recommend?

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