Vape Comparison: Volcano vs Herbalizer

Volcano vs Herbalizer The Volcano (made in Germany) and the Herbalizer (made in the USA) are two of the highest rated desktop vapes I’ve reviewed.

They both provide balloon-style vaping experiences but the Herbalizer can be used with a whip as well. This makes it a combo vape, which can have its advantages.

Herb chamber size and shape is another main difference between these two. The Volcano has a larger, wider chamber that can hold 0.5g+ of material, which makes it great when 2 or more people are vaping. Don’t get me wrong though, it can also easily be used with smaller amounts by one person. The Herbie’s chamber is a bit smaller and comfortably holds about half the amount of material, so it’s great for 1 or 2 people but can easily accommodate more if you don’t mind re-packing.

They can both produce excellent quality vapor consistently, but I do find that the Volcano performs best in the typical vaping temp range of ~350°F to ~380°F. At temps above 380° I start to notice a small difference in the taste and comfort level of the vapor. I’ve found that the Herbalizer produces top-shelf vapor at any temperature across its entire range of 290°F to 445°F.

Heat up time is also significantly different between the two, we’re talking minutes versus seconds.

If you own either of these leave a comment below and let me know what you think about it!

Stay up!
-Bud


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36 comments:
  1. TORedacto
    February 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Which one takes minutes and which one takes seconds? Does payload size influence these time (I feeling way too lazy to search for missing data and analysis and this page is near the top search results google returned. I’m going to pretend I’m clairvoyant and it just hit me that the Valcano takes longer because it accommodates more material. And I also feel that for those who factor price into the equation the other one is the the best choice for those seeking the most bang for the buck, as it were. I’m also getting that there is someone out there tonight who’s sad because it’s the anniversary of the passing of a loved one. Am I close?)

    Thanks for an easy and compellingly thought provoking read.

    Damn! I supposed I should’ve read comments for part of the answer to my questions before hitting [Post Comment?]? Sorry.

  2. Bud
    February 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Excellent comments guys thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

    I just updated my Herbalizer review today with a new post and video: https://www.vapecritic.com/herbalizer/

    Stay up!
    -Bud

  3. Catnip Vaper
    October 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Yes, the Volcano has downsides. It is larger and heavier than the Herbalizer. And it takes longer to heat up. But there are so incredibly many upsides to it becoming apparent during daily usage. I own both vaporizers and I can tell you the Volcano is the best unit money can buy. A few examples:

    – Mouthpiece: The Herbalizer’s mouthpiece is leaking vapor. This is a waste of consumables and it significantly drives up odor in the room. (I really hope these two “former NASA engineers” did a better job concerning insulation back at their former employer then they do now.) Also squeezing the Herbalizer mothpiece with your fingers in order to open it up wide enough for consumption is not as comfortable as just pressing the Volcano’s mouthpiece onto your lips. And in general the Herbalizer’s mouthpiece is clumsy compared to the Volcano’s one; attaching it to the unit feels unsecure while the Volcano’s attaching mechanism is absolutely awesome. And while we’re on it; you have to permanently hold up the Herbalizer’s bags during the filling process – something not necessary with the Volcano’s bags.

    – Filling chamber: Many reviewers identified the Herbalizer’s smaller filling chamber as an upside, as you can use it with smaller amounts of consumables compared to the Volcano’s bigger one. But this is nonsense, as the Voclcano comes with a pad normally used to vape liquids (the so-called “metal liquid pad”); but it’s also designed for pressing down small amounts of consumanbles to the bottom of the filling chamber and thereby fixing them in the very place they need to be for vaporization. In fact you can use the Volcano with extremely small amounts of consumables and it works like a charm. So with the Volcano the choice is yours on how much stuff you want to vape: a small hit for yourself or many big hits for a group session – it’s up to you. The Herbalizer also has pads (they are called “aromapads”) and they can be used for extremely small amounts of consumanbles as well; but the smaller filling chamber leaves no room for larger amounts of consumables. So less options with the Herbalizer.

    – Faster workflow: While it is true that the Herbalizer heats up way faster than the Volcano, this has little to no ramifications in the field. When starting a session you switch the Volcano on, then you grind your material, put it in the filling chamber, attach the filling chamber, put the balloon on it and by then the device has already heated up. So no time lost. With the Herbalizer though, you don’t start with switching it on, as this would only waste energy. Instead you prepare your stuff first and then wait the additional 15 seconds for the device to heat up. So the Volcano is faster in the end, as you don’t need the additional 15 seconds. I know this sounds crazy, but if you own both devices like me, you will surely come to the same conclusion. And btw: Cleaning is part of the workflow, too. And cleaning the simple surface of the Volcano goes so much faster than cleaning the meticulous die castings of the Herbalizer.

    – Design: Some reviewers praised the Herbalizer’s space age design while branding the Volcano’s design as outdated. I couldn’t disagree more: the Volcano’s design isn’t outdated but timeless. It was good on the turn of the millenia when the unit was introduced and wasn’t updated when the Volcano Digit was introduced in 2007, as an update wasn’t neccessary. On the other side there is the Herbalizer. And I can tell you: my mother still has a set of hot rollers from the 1970’s and they are stored in an oval container with a striking similarity to the Herbalizer, so the Herbalizer has nothing to do with fresh design. No one visiting you at your eastate is going to ask you what the Herbalizer is, as people will simply assume you are shameless enough to have an electro stimulation sex toy sitting on you shelf. But everyone is going to ask you about what that crazy vulcan-shaped thing is! The Volcano is a communication kickstarter par excellence and it’s shiny metal design is so superior and so much more noble compared to the Herbalizer’s plastic look and feel. It’s like comparing an Apple iPhone with aluminium casing to a China phone in a plastic housing. Don’t get me wrong: the China phone will work fine and may even have specs close to the Apple device, but if you want to be a cool kid on the schoolyard, you need to own the Apple product.

    – Vaporizing liquids: The Volcano absolutely rules when vaproizing liquids. Try it! Both the Volcano and the Herbalizer come with pads for vaping liquids (e.g. oils), but the Volcano really does a better job at it. I wonder why no reviwer so far hast tested cannabis oil instead of weed on these two vaporizers.

    – Whip mode: Yes, the Volcano has no factory-side whip mode. But you can mod the Volcano by attaching a whip to the herb chamber and than either switch the fan on or suck for yourself. Pro tip: use a PC watercooling tube (e.g. PrimoChill PrimoFlex) as a whip and fix it to the herb chamber with a hose clamp (e.g. the PrimoChill Reusable Hose Clamp). Such tubing also works wonder on the Herbalizer, as the included white tube gives the vape a taste of old sox. So as long as you don’t have a fetish for this, avoid the included whip at all costs! If you don’t have access to watercooling equipment simply use the bags, they are ok. Another option for whip fans would be to get the Plenty vaporizer.

    – Durability: This is most likely the biggest upside of the Volcano. I got my Volcano back in 2001. Yepp, that’s not a typo! I remeber well because I ordered it before 9/11 and got it afterwards. And know what? This very unit I ordered over 15(!) years ago still works flawlessly despite daily usage – and it looks like mint out-of-the-box. It’s the second-oldest electric household equipment I own, with my microwave oven from 1999 placed first. And now I tell you how a Herbalizer will most likely look after more than 15 years of daily operation: (1) lid broken at the hinges (do you think your toilet lid will last for nearly two decades? – that’s why there are no such mechanical parts on the Volcano!), (2) halogen light bulb replaced at least once due to many on/off switching operations (the former NASA employees claim 30 years lifetime for the bulb as it is lit up only a few minutes per session, but this does not account for the many, many on/off switching operations), (3) plastic discolored due to UV light (fun fact: many people don’t recognize UV degradation as it happens quite gradually), either backlight of LCD display or the unit’s ARM CPU defective, etc.

    – Comparing apples to oranges: Something really annoying with most reviews out there is newly launched vapes are constantly compared to the old Volcano Classic. This is unfair and not objective, as people who watch reviews most likely look out for a purchase advice, making the exclusion of the newer Volcano Digit inappropriate. And believe me: You can fine-tune the Volcano digit nearly double as precise as you can do it with the Herbalizer! 1.5°C/2.7°F steps on the Volcano Digit compared to 5.0°F (~2.8°C) steps on the Herbalizer. My gf bought a Volcano Digit in 2009 so I know for sure. If my Volcano Classic breaks some day, I will buy a Volcano Digit.

    – Price and availability: Volcano Classic + Solid/Easy Valve: $394.95, Volcano Digit + Solid/Easy Valve: $499.95, Herbalizer: $570.00. Storz & Bickel products are available worldwide, the Herbalizer is only available in the US and Canada.

    To make one thing clear: The Herbalizer is a good vaporizer! It is the first device to be on par with the Volcano considering vapor quality when vaporizing weed and using a balloon (what most users will do). My personal assumption is that both vaporizers are on the pinnacle of what can extracted from weed and hash with heat. But when it comes to secondary virtues, the Volcano outguns the Herbalizer. And who knows, maybe someday someone will mod the Herbalizer’s firmware so you can play old (S)NES games on it and it’s 16-bit ARM CPU. But what for? I just wanna vape!

    CONCLUSION: You don’t own a vaporizer? Get the Volcano! You already own a Volcano? Keep it! You already own a Herbalizer? Buy a Volcano if you are rich or otherwise keep the Herbalizer.

    • Aimless Ryan
      February 7, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Great, helpful comment. I also have both vapes, and I may have a few things to add. I have had the Herbalizer for about eight or nine months. I’ve had the Volcano Classic for a few weeks.

      First thing I have to say is that the Herbalizer is phenomenal. It has a few things I think could be better, but it’s still amazing. You cannot go wrong buying one.

      Things I think could be improved with the Herbalizer:

      1) The two pieces of the bowl unscrew easily, which sometimes leaves me with vapor and herbs blowing out of the bowl while I’m trying to fill a bag.

      2) The bags suck. They feel cheap, especially after you finally use a Volcano.

      3) I don’t need the freaking aromatherapy button, and I wish the thing would just return to its previous mode and temperature setting when you turn it on.

      4) Too much unnecessary work in general. (I have progressive MS, which has made me very weak and clumsy. So every little extra bit of work can be difficult for me.)

      Volcano Classic

      1) The solid valve bowl is amazing. Particularly if you have clumsy hands, as I do. It’s unbelievably easy, and it can handle any size load up to about a gram; even tiny loads of less than .05 g.

      2) The bags are freaking awesome, in many ways. Even with stupid hands, it was fairly easy for me to replace the bag the first (and only) time, with very good results. And replacing them is cheap, unlike with Herbalizer or Volcano easy valve.

      3) and 4) No extra work turning it on or setting it up. You just press one button (and turn the temperature knob if necessary).

      5) I love that it has no auto shutoff. I just leave it on all day. This nullifies the quick heat-up of the Herbalizer. It also makes me glad I bought the classic instead of the digital, which I believe has auto shutoff.

      6) I used to love tiny loads, but now that I have a Volcano, I just load it with about half a gram every day, then fill bags throughout the day. The first couple bags with each load are the best, but the following several bags are fine. Eventually I’ll probably get sick of doing it this way, and I’ll go back to doing single-bag loads of 0.05-0.08 g for a while.

      (I didn’t like large loads with either the Aromed or the SSV. Some modding helped immensely with the Aromed. Look from my Aromed dough riser mod on YouTube.)

      7) Volcano mouthpiece and the weight of the solid valve are awesome. I think it really does make the experience considerably better.

      8) I get the impression a lot of people consider the Volcano’s weight a negative, but I love it. Because of its weight, I can be sure my stupid finger will hit the fan button without pushing it off the table.

      CONCLUSION: Pretty much the same as Catnip Vaper. The Herbalizer is awesome, and the Volcano is awesome. Aside from bowl capacity, I’d say their performance is very similar, with maybe a slight edge to the Herbalizer. I’d say these two vapes are in a class of their own, yet the Volcano is a little better; especially for the disabled.

  4. jessica
    February 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hey, I live off solar power, so I’m trying to figure out how much electricity each one pulls. Can you let me know??? Thanks!!!

    • James Kerr
      November 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      I’ve used my Classic Volcano on solar power w a 800w inverter works awesome out in middle of nowhere.

  5. MaryJanePotts
    September 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I had an herbalizer for a little less than a year & loved it! My only negatives were the crappy bags (they didn’t last long & leaked) and I wished the herb chamber was bigger. Unfortunately, it’s no longer in my possession and I’m in the market for a new desktop vape. Should I get another herbalizer because I LOVED the whip/bag combo or should I get a Volcano? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!

  6. Aaron
    May 13, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Hey Bud,
    Thanks for all the videos. I watched them many times before picking my vape. I just ordered the volcano and it should be here soon. I just wanted the best and this still seems to be the best around. I really couldn’t decide between this and a portable but I would see myself using more at home. Sure it would be good to use on the go in a pinch, but the key was quality and reliability. It says something that other companies are just making vapes on the same level as volcano, and it has been out for years and years now.

  7. Firefly00
    April 23, 2015 at 12:32 am

    I bought an herbalizer after trying my friends Volcano. Your review definitely played a huge part in my decision and let me tell you, I LOVE my Herbie. The $700+ price tag is a bummer, but as soon as I started using my Herbie, I was no longer upset by the price. The thing is amazing.

    Thanks for the awesome videos.

  8. Neal
    February 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I’m Looking for a vaporizer which does both flower and concentrate. Portability and price are not my main determining factors. I’m not even sure if I should be looking at one that does flowers and another that does concentrates. I’m An exsmoker used to combusting through a [water piece]g. My sister has a water pipe with a titanium nail and a blow torch for waxes and such, love the [performance], hate the noisy torch…….HELP!!

    • Bud
      March 2, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      The Herbalizer is one of the few vapes that I’d say is very good with both dry herbs and concentrates, but it does make noise! The Volcano too…

      I usually recommend getting two separate vapes so that you can get the best experience with both types of material.

  9. StantheBrain
    February 15, 2015 at 4:57 am

    The plastic used, may be toxic?
    What is the matter ?

    Les plastique utilisé, sont peut-être toxique ?
    Quel en est la matière ?

    • Bud
      February 28, 2015 at 11:34 am

      All materials used in the construction of these vapes is odorless, flavorless and food-safe.

  10. Dan
    January 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

    anyone know about the herbalizer warranty? 2 year $99, 3 year $139, or lifetime warranty with vape squad membership $59…so is there any reason to NOT get the lifetime warranty with vape squad membership?

    • Bud
      January 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Hey I looked into this and the 2-year & 3-year warranty prices aren’t calculating correctly because that store bases it on price, and since the Herbie is expensive it throws it off.

      But the $60 for the lifetime warranty is valid and the true price.

      Herbalizer gives you a 2 year factory warranty included in the base price.

  11. Steve C.
    December 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I really love my Herbalizer. It takes seconds to heat up, and gives an excellent vaping experience. I utilize the whip for my vaping pleasure and it works great. If I had any suggestions, it would be to increase the size of the bowl to allow for a more extended vaping time. Otherwise, this device kicks ass and definitely works as advertised. It is worth the money to obtain this great product. I’ve had mine for months now and I’ve had zero problems with it. Enjoy.

    • Bud
      December 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Hey Steve I’m really glad to hear you’re diggin it!

  12. James
    October 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    What a shame the good vaporizers are priced beyond what many of us can afford. Get a scooter which I need, get a vaporizer which I need (emphysema)? Manufacturers…help!

  13. seekret
    September 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    hi, i have to say that the video show the volcano set with the easy valve,
    the SOLID VALVE instead is smaller exactly like the erbalizer one ,and you can put a 0.1 gr only …the filling chamber in the solid valve also great for concentrates and oils …… way cheaper too…..volcano with the solid valve set is the BEST!

    • James Kerr
      November 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I have both solid and easy valve set ups. I find the solid is heavier than the easy and you can still fill with enough flower to do a session of multiple people with 4-5 full bags.(This depending upon quality of flower)

  14. Johnny
    August 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Hey Bud, how’s it goin?

    Thanks for the updates on the Herbalizer v. Volcano. While the Herbalizer looks good, I’m not about to give up on my Volcano. The way I see it, the Volcano’s a proven commodity. I’ve had mine for 3 years. It never fails to work & the vapor (at 360) is very tasty. I don’t even mind the 3 minute warm up period.
    While the Herbalizer is made in the US (a big plus in my book), IMO it’s just too new on the market to compare with a Volcano. Maybe in a few more years.

    Keep up the good work brother & stay up.

  15. DixieLass
    August 28, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Hey Bud,
    At about 3:40 it looks like the Herbalizer balloon valve leaks some. My understanding was that their valve system was supposed to be one you could release between draws. Is losing the vapor a problem with this vaporizer?

    Your critiques are top-notch & have saved me a ton of money in bad purchases. Thanks!

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hey you are correct, a little bit of vapor sometimes leaks from the Herbie balloon when it’s completely full. That’s one of the reasons why I feel that the Volcano valves are superior, they’ll never leak at all.

      Thanks for posting and vape it up!

  16. pad
    August 28, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Great review as always. Thank you for this latest comparison between the volcano and the herbalizer. I just re-visioned the volcano review, but a question remains regarding the usage of the volcano with small amounts of material. Do you have to use a liquid pad to keep the material pressed against the heated screen if you use a small quantity (as with the plenty or as with the pax when you suggest using a “top” screen to compress the materail for even heating) ? Thank you very much for your advice.
    Pad

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Thanks much, yes if you use the Volcano with a very small amount of material (less than .2g) you’ll usually get better performance if you place the liquid pad on top to press your material against the bottom screen. As you mentioned this will increase the surface area being heated and will help it produce thicker vapor.

  17. Jonathan
    August 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Hey, whats up? Nice review, as always. I was wondering, if you had to live with only one of these two as your only at home vape, which would you choose? Another thing is have you’ve heard of and/or used the Sublimator? I’ve heard really great things. If so, how does it compare to these two? I know technically its uses sublimation instead of vaporization, but from what I understand it still produces vapor. Would you consider doing a review for it?

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Hey thanks man,

      If I had to pick just one of these two to live with I’d probably go with the Volcano for the reliability and build quality.

      I’ve heard of the Sublimator but haven’t tried one myself yet, it looks interesting but a little too much like a science project for my liking. I do have it on my list of future possibilities though and will definitely consider reviewing it, thanks for your request!

      • Jonathan
        August 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        Ok, I figured that the Herbalizer was the better all around choice. I have just wondering if its worth the extra money but thats more of a personal decision.

        The science project look is a big negative for me too. But the thing thats drawing me in is a lot of people are saying it gets them a lot more lifted for a lot longer than even the Volcano. Plus they say for every 10 grams of herbs you use it makes 1 gram of concentrate. And I heard dabs on this is amazing as well. I’d be very interested in what you’d think of it. I got the Plenty based off your review and it is just as amazing as you described. Thanks again man.

      • Tater
        January 28, 2015 at 12:01 am

        I would also like to see a review on the Sublimator. I been wanting to pull the trigger and get one. The only thing that’s is holding back is the lack of reviews comparing to other vapes like the cloud.

        Thank you for the read.

        • Bud
          February 6, 2015 at 12:09 pm

          Cool thanx for your request!

  18. john
    August 27, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I love my herbalizer–fantastic vapor quality at every location on the temperature line(and made in the USA). Ive always balked a bit at the size of the volcano/plenty bowls, and I agree with your assessment of material required for herbie. As a primarily solo smoker its incredible how far .25g will take you.

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Really glad to hear you’re enjoying the vape!

  19. steama
    August 27, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I’m not made of money. No way in hell I would EVER buy this outrageously overpriced product. I don’t care how good or fast it is. My Enano does the job at a third of the cost.

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Vape it up brother!

  20. Barrett
    August 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Nice review. I have a volcano and am not motivated to make a change. Even more so now that I understand the herbalizer takes longer to fill a balloon. To me, this offsets the benefit of the fast heat-up. Hopefully Storz and Bickel will combine the halogen technology with their air pump design in the next generation Volcano.

    • Bud
      August 28, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Thanks for posting your thoughts!

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