Looking at the success of the world renown desktop vaporizer the Volcano, one might not realize that the road to success for the company behind it, Storz & Bickel, has been a long way. It all started over two decades ago in the year 1996 when Markus Storz, one of the founders of the now prestigious vaporizer company, began developing vaporizers. Two years later, he had developed the Volcano's detachable balloon system, which is one of the reasons why we love this vape. The following year, he patented his innovative new vape tech and soon after, filed international patent registrations to protect his hard work.
Before we continue filling you in on the Volcano's history, we want to take a moment to talk about the Volcano and the two different flavors it comes in. There's the Classic, which is the first version to hit the market, and then there's the Digit, which is nearly identical. The major difference between the two is the temperature control system. With the Digit, you have digital controls. This entails a big screen that shows the temperature, both the current temp and the one you've set, and a couple of buttons used to increase and decrease the set temperature. With the Classic, you have a knob that you turn to adjust the temperature. The Classic's temperature control system doesn't let you know exactly what temperature you're at nor which temperature you've set, it's more of a rough estimate in a sense. But what it does tell you is when the desired temperature has been reached. The Digit on the other hand has the ability to tell you with a high level of precision what the current temperature is and it too lets you know when it has reached the desired vaporizing temperature. Between the two, the Digit is somewhat the obvious choice as far as quality and usability are concerned, but the Classic has one big benefit over the Digit: it costs less. Given that both use the same heating system, balloon delivery, and so on, they're basically identical with the exception of the temperature controls, which means buyers can save some cash if they forget about the digital temperature controls and go with the Classic's simpler system of controlling the temp. What makes the Volcano's so popular is a combination of things. First, there's their quality of vapor, which is top notch. We have literally not found a better vaporizer in this regard. Then there's the delivery method, which employs a balloon as a medium used to transport the vapor to the user. First the balloon is filled with vapor and then a valve is attached. The user then opens the valve to release the vapor, allowing them to take draws whenever they want. This is an extremely convenient system and far as plugins go, there's no easier to use system - at least not that those of us at VaporizerShark.com have tried. When it comes to the balloons, there are two types to choose from. There are the balloons that are cut to size and then there are the balloons that you cut to the size of your preference. The ones that you can customize are used with the Solid Valve and the ones that are made for you are used with the Easy Valve. The Solid Valve is intended to be used over and over, essentially a piece that is recycled time and time again. The Easy Valve is intended to be thrown away when it's done so after it gets some use and appears to be dirty, it's actually okay to throw it away. You'll save time with the Easy Valve but you'll save money with the Solid Valve, plus the Solid Valve is more durable. In the end, you can choose one or use both - the choice is yours. The one major drawback to the Volcano vapes is their high price tag, but beyond this, their only real issue is their noise, which isn't so much of a problem as it is an annoyance. We've never been bothered by it but we can see how some might find it annoying. That pretty much summarizes our thoughts on the Volcano vaporizers so continue reading if you're still interested in learning more about the history of these two top of the line vapes.
Then in 2000, Storz introduced the labor of all his hard work to the world in the form of the very first Volcano Vaporizer, the Classic. Today, this vape is still considered the "gold standard" and is commonly used by scientists studying vaporizers. This was basically the year that changed everything. With the release of the Volcano Classic, the world suddenly had at its fingertips an incredible vaporizer that was not only worth using, but better, at least in our opinion, to the alternatives. It was so well designed that even today it remains one of the best vaporizers on the market - or at least, that's the way we see it.
A couple of years later, in 2002, Storz was joined by partner Jurgen Bickel and the Storz & Bickel company was formed. The Germany-based company is officially known as Storz & Bickel GmbH & Co. KG. Their name, Storz and Bickel, has become synonymous with top quality vaporizer products, a reputation that has only been bolstered by the release of the Plenty, Mighty, and Crafty vaporizers - not to mention the Digit, which we'll talk more about soon as we continue diving into the history of the Volcano and its maker, the Storz & Bickel vaporizer company.
Following their partnership and the formation of their new business entity, the pair then introduced a 110 Volt version of the Volcano with the intent of releasing them into the United States market, which is exactly what they did in 2003. Following the release of their products in the U.S., they decided to form a U.S.-based subsidiary known as Storz & Bickel America, Inc, which was founded in California's Bay Area, in Oakland specifically.
With their U.S. base of operations established, it wasn't long before the company released a newer, better, and more expensive version of their already popular Volcano. This new version, the Digit, was released in 2007, marking the company's first electronically controlled vaporizer to hit the market. And just one year later, in 2008, the company released an entirely new vape, the handheld Plenty Vaporizer.
The Plenty is an interesting vape, which is why we want to take a moment to discuss it in some depth. What it really excels at is delivery a powerful punch of vapor, more than you can handle. Obviously you can dial it down and get smaller hits but for those that want it, it also offers massive clouds of vapor that'll put you in your place and have you never second guessing the potential of vaporizers again. Its heating chamber, or oven, is extremely large. It's not deep so much as it is wide, which provides an abundance of surface area to heat up your blend. This allows it to quickly heat a large quantity of blend, which in turn is what allows it to produce so much vapor. Think of it as a straight shot to the face. A one-hitter-quitter kind of scenario in which you don't need to sit there and take puff after puff as one or two big hits will usually do the trick. Now while it is a handheld vaporizer, don't mistake that to mean that it's a portable because it's not. It still has a cord that must be plugged into an electrical outlet, making it a plugin vape, but it doesn't rest on a desk or table, it sits in your hand. It is basically a whip vaporizer in the sense that the vapor travels through a "whip" before it reaches you. This whip isn't your typical hose, it's actually a coil that helps cool the vapor while also allowing you to adjust its positioning to make it more comfortable to use. Overall, we think this is an awesome vape but we still prefer the Volcano's balloons over its whip just about any day of the week. For us, this is more of a party vape, one that we pull out when we want to show our friends and family that vaporizing has come a long way since its inception. We do this because it packs a serious punch and removes all doubts as to whether vaping is a viable alternative to smoking. It uses a combined air and radiation heater to apply to heat the blend and like the Volcano, it's capable of supporting virtually all types of blends thanks to its handy liquid heating pads that can be used to vape concentrates or to take up space in the oven when you just want to use a small amount of dried blend.
Then in the year 2009, the company received its ISO 13485 and 9001 certifications, marking the year that Storz and Bickel officially met the requirements to manufacture medical devices. And just one year later, in 2010, they released their Volcano Medic, the first medical vaporizer released to the world at large. In Canada, Europe, and Israel, the Volcano Medic is sold under the VaporMed brand. Literally the same product, only with a different name.
Fast forward a handful of years, the company released its first battery-powered vaporizers - the portable Crafty and Mighty. These two vapes, which are undoubtedly amongst the most powerful portable vaporizers on the market, are touted by their maker as "the most powerful vaporizers of their kind" as well as "the world's first vaporizers with vibration alarm, cooling unit flipable mouthpiece and, in the case of the Crafty, with Bluetooth and app control using a smartphone." Since their release, others have hit the market with Bluetooth connected vapes that can be controlled via apps, this includes the Pax 3 and DaVinci IQ vaporizers. The Pax 3 app even has some games loaded onto it so you can get down with some vapor while playing games with your friends. In fact, one of the games it comes with is really fun, it's basically spin the bottle only it's spin the pax and where it lands decides who vapes next. Fun? Absolutely. But this isn't about the Pax vaporizer anymore than it is about the new IQ, so back to Storz & Bickel's history. Moving forward to the year 2015, just one year after the release of the Mighty and Crafty, the company released its Mighty Medic, adding yet another medical vaporizer to the company's growing list of achievements. While this might not seem like much, the company is currently the only company in the world manufacturing medical vapes of their kind. And just last year, the company opened the world's first medical vaporizer factory, which is located in the same town as the company's headquarters - Tuttlingen, Germany. Notably, Tuttlingen is the same town where the world's first surgical instrument factory was established, which was built over 150 years prior to the construction of Storz & Bickel's new medical vaporizer factory.
Adding a little to this, the Crafty and Mighty are two top of the line portable vaporizers that, like their Volcano cousins, are expensive in comparison to other vapes of their kind. But with their high cost comes high quality. These aren't cheap vapes, not in the monetary sense nor the quality sense. They're well made, intelligently designed, and capable of delivering vapor with a quality on par with or better than most high-end desktop vapes. The Mighty is the larger and more expensive of the two. Due to its relatively large size, it's not quite as compact as most portables, but it more than makes up for its large size with its powerful vapor production. Unlike the Crafty, it has digital temperature controls built directly into it whereas the Crafty is actually reliant upon its app for temperature customization. All things said and done, these two vapes, along with the rest of the Storz & Bickel vaporizers, are incredible.
Now you know the in-depth history of the Volcano vaporizers and the company behind them, Storz & Bickel. To learn more about vaporizers, visit our website at VaporizerShark.com and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @VaporizerShark to stay up to date with what we're up to.