The battle of 2019's best desktop vapes
Desktop vaporizers are perfect for frequent vapers looking to upgrade their sessions, but also for users who are trying to be a bit more environmentally conscious.
Desktop devices often run on pure convection technology, which stretches the life of your herb and makes batteries obsolete while being one of the cleanest sources of energy available (just think about all the herb and batteries you’ve gone through in your portable devices). Since they have a considerably longer lifespan than portable models, by investing in a desktop device you’ll save a few extra devices from taking up room in a landfill in a few years.
If you’re looking to invest in a desktop device, but just can’t choose between the heavyweight Storz & Bickel Volcano or the bright and shiny Arizer Extreme Q - look no further! We’ve looked at everything from vapour quality and user-accessibility to accessories and temperature control to help you find which device is right for you.
Whether you opt for the newer Volcano Hybrid or the old reliable Volcano Classic, both are widely regarded as providing the best vapour on the market. Storz & Bickel products are famous for their vapour quality, and considering their good name was built on the success of the original Volcano almost two decades ago (their first ever product), it’s safe to say that the device still holds up today and continually ranks as one of the best vaporisers in the market.
While full temperature control is a great feature, the 9 temperature settings that range between 130°C - 230°C on the Volcano Classic are more than enough to cater to all vaping tastes.
In comparison, the Arizer Extreme Q actually has a much greater temperature range of 50°C - 250°C, so keep this in mind if you’re someone who likes to play around with different heat settings.
The Volcano balloons are widely regarded as the best vaporizer balloons available on the market, with the ability to hold vapour for a whopping eight hours. This is great for vaping alone or in a smaller group, because you don't have to vape your whole bag in one sitting.
This is one serious advantage over the Extreme Q balloons, which don’t have an internal valve to prevent vapour leaking out. This means you have to keep your thumb over the mouthpiece to contain all the vapour in the balloon, which can get annoying and prevent you from easing into a nice relaxing session.
With the Classic Volcano, you can opt for either the Easy Valve Balloon Set or the Solid Valve Set. While the Solid Valve set is great for more experienced users who are likely to go through balloons quite quickly, the Easy Valve balloons are an excellent fool-proof option for vapers of all levels.
Despite the drawback in balloon quality, the Extreme Q has one major advantage that the Volcano doesn’t: whip-style vaping! The Extreme Q is definitely a more versatile device than the Volcano, with the option to use either a balloon or whip-style attachment with your desktop device.
The whip attachment works particularly well with the fan assist feature, which means you don’t have to take such a heavy pull to receive the same amount of dense vapour. Between the fan assist feature and the extended vapour path provided by the whip attachment, you get even smoother, tastier vapour. The fan assist feature also makes filling your balloon bags a breeze!
On the subject of user-accessibility, the Extreme Q does have some wonderful extra features. The Extreme Q is remote control operated, so you can turn your device on from the other side of the room and leave it to heat as you go about your business.
While this remote control feature might not seem like a huge benefit, it’s a neat little extra that you can get used to pretty quickly. The Extreme Q also has a handy automatic shut-off feature which is user-set to your preferred time. This set-it-and-forget-it feature is excellent for when you’ve left the house after a session only to be paralyzed by anxiety that you left your vape turned on and it’s going to burn down your house any minute.
Since the Volcano Classic is an analog device, it’s widely regarded as being a much sturdier vape than the Extreme Q, considering there’s no chance of encountering an electronic fault that will shorten the lifespan of your device.
The design of the Volcano also makes it accessible for both newbies and vaping veterans alike, with it’s basic, user-friendly interface and operation. Simply press a few buttons, and fill up a bag, and go!
Despite the fact that the Arizer Extreme Q is remote control operated, actually using the device is much more high maintenance than using the Volcano, since you’ll have to keep your thumb over the mouthpiece the entire time. With the Volcano Classic easy valve balloon set, you can vape away with the knowledge that your vapor is safely contained in the balloon for up to eight whole hours.
Which device is right for me?
The Extreme Q is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to experiment with a highly versatile desktop model, while maintaining a reasonable budget.
Even though it’s a larger desktop model, the Extreme Q retails at a fraction of the price of the Volcano and even some portable vaporizers while still offering newbies and experienced vapers a diverse range of styles and features that will cater to all tastes.
While the Volcano doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the Extreme Q has, that’s simply because it doesn’t have to. The Volcano produces the best vapour on the market, in a sturdy fool-proof design that’s likely to last you over a decade with proper care and maintenance.