Volcano Vaporizer History Lesson – Who Is Storz & Bickel?

Hello everyone! Vaporizer Shark, reviewers of vaporizers, here to give you all a history lesson on the Volcano series of desktop vaporizers and their maker, the Storz & Bickel company out of Germany. The reason why we wanted to share this is because we know there are those of you out there that are curious about the Volcano and its history so here it is, the complete history of the Volcano vaporizers and their creator, Storz & Bickel GmbH & Co. KG out of Tuttlingen, Germany.

Tuttlingen, Germany
This is a photo of Tuttlingen, Germany, the German town in which Storz & Bickel is headquartered.

More than two decades ago, in the year 1996, Markus Storz began to develop vaporizers. Roughly three years after he began developing vapes, he patented a detachable balloon system that eventually became one of the Volcano’s claims to fame. Soon after, he filed for international patents, protecting his ingenious invention. This was the beginning of the Volcano vaporizer that we know today. With humble beginnings, the Volcano, initially introduced to the world in 2000, would eventually go on to become one of the most well known vaporizers on the planet.

Just two years after the Volcano Classic was unveiled to the world, Storz joined forces with now partner Jurgen Bickel to form a corporate entity known as Storz & Bickel. Together, the pair have released vaporizer after vaporizer in what seems to be an endless bid to raise the bar in vaporization. But before we get into the vapes that were released since, we’re going to share with you a bit more of the journey that led us to today – an age in which Storz and Bickel and its vaporizers have become household names in the vaping community.

In 2003, the company unveiled its 110V Volcano, which was intended for the growing U.S. market. Once it hit shelves, consumers reacted and the reaction was nothing short of overwhelmingly positive. Next, the company opened up a U.S. base of operations in Oakland, California. This new entity, a subsidiary of Storz & Bickel, was launched under the name Storz & Bickel America, Inc., which is the same name that it operates under today.

Fast forward a handful of years to 2007 and the company released its best desktop vaporizer to date: the Volcano Digit. This digital version of the Classic offers users the opportunity to adjust the unit’s temperature using digital controls – a couple of buttons to move the temp up and down and a big display to tell you what’s going on. As if this wasn’t enough to shake up the vaporizer market, which it was, the company took things a step further and dropped another bombshell with their 2008 release of the Plenty, a handheld vaporizer with something to prove: that vapes can push out more vapor than people can handle. While we’re not sure of their exact intent with the Plenty vaporizer, it seems to be living proof of the fact that vaporizers are more than capable of flooding their users with an incredible amount of vapor. It does so by increasing the surface area of its heating chamber beyond anything we’ve ever seen, allowing a massive amount of blend to be heated simultaneously, creating huge clouds of vapor.

In 2009, after applying for a specific set of ISO certifications, 9001 and 13485, the company received its certifications, marking the year that the company became an official manufacturer of medical vaporizers. The year after, the company released its first medical vape, the Volcano Medic, which is also known as the VaporMed in some countries. And after this came the company’s first portable vaporizers, the Crafty and the Mighty, which are two of the best portable vaporizers to date.

What’s really noteworthy about the Crafty & Mighty vapes is their vapor production, which we found to be on par with that of the best desktop vapes – even better than some. While neither is quite as good as the Volcano, they’re better than what is probably most desktops we’ve used. The sad part being, most desktops aren’t all that great. Too many of them are mediocre at best when it comes to doing what they’re designed to do – produce vapor. But as far as portables go, they’re on the larger side, which is why we can see where portables like the Pax 3, Firefly 2, and DaVinci IQ vape have their place. After all, if it doesn’t comfortably fit in your pocket, just how portable is it really? But for those who can ignore their large size, these two vapes are a gift from the heavens above. They take vapor production serious and it definitely shows in how well they work.

The other vape we mentioned earlier in this detailed history of the Storz and Bickel company is the Plenty, which isn’t a portable because it has a cord. We just wanted to clear that up because it is a handheld vape, which some mistake for implying that it’s portable. It’s portable in the sense that you can stick it in your backpack but you still need to find an outlet to plug it into. What’s meant by the “handheld” aspect is that it’s a vape you literally hold in your hand – this as opposed to a desktop vape that sits on a flat surface while it’s in use. It has a whip, which is better described as a metal coil, that is flexible, which allows you to adjust it to your liking. The coil isn’t just an ergonomic feature, it also helps cool the vapor as it travels through it before reaching your mouth and lungs. Like the rest of the company’s vapes, it’s capable of vaping dry blends as well as concentrates thanks to its liquid pad accessory.

You can find more information about Storz & Bickel’s history on our Weebly blog as well as on our website. To learn more about the Volcano vaporizer, we strongly suggest taking a look at our review of the Digit. This article, published here on our WordPress blog, is brought to you by VaporizerShark.com, the best team of vaporizer reviewers on the planet (so says us). For more information on vaporizers, their accessories, and vaping in general, visit our website. You’ll find reviews, guides, news, and more. It’s all there. Take a look and see for yourself!

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Watch: How To Use A Volcano Vaporizer

This is a cool little video that Storz & Bickel put together demonstrating how to use their Volcano vaporizers. For a written overview of how to use the Volcano and some extra usage tips, check out our in-depth usage guide on our website here. You’ll also find some additional information about the Volcano series of desktop vaporizers. Or just watch the video below to see first hand how to operate the legendary king of the balloon vaporizers, the Volcano.

This video has been viewed on YouTube where we first found it over 450,000 times. That’s a lot of people interested in seeing how the Volcano works, which is in part why we wanted to share this with all of you – so you could get a chance to see for yourself just how incredible this vaporizer really is. Now that you’ve witnessed it for yourself, what do you think? Are you ready to read our in-depth review?

A little bit about the Volcano…

Sharing with those interested a bit of information about these — we say “these” because there are actually two desktop vaporizers that go by the name Volcano, the Classic and the Digit — two extremely popular plugins, the Volcano vaporizers come in two very similar, yet very different styles. The only real difference being in their temperature controls. With the Classic (this is the first version released), there’s just a dial that you turn with your fingers to adjust the temperature. It’s not super advanced but some may find it preferable. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to be the less expensive of the two when you’re talking about a price tag that’s already in the hundreds of US dollars. The other version has, instead of a knob to turn, a big display and buttons that adjust the temperature up and down. The display shows the current temperature and the temperature that you set. While not all that different, we prefer to have the big, easy digital temp controls that the Digit (that’s what the digital Volcano is called) offers. So the difference is beyond aesthetic, but it’s also aesthetic. The Digit actually looks cooler in our eyes. While that’s not a logical reason to spend the extra money to get the Digit instead of the Classic, the digital temperature controls are – for us anyways. But this doesn’t tell you what the Volcano is really all about. What the Volcano is really about is balloons. Big balloons, little balloons, and anything in between.

The Volcano uses an innovative system that some have tried to replicate to a degree but none that we are aware of have managed to do better than Storz & Bickel and that system is the balloon delivery system that the Volcano has cemented into the history books of the industry. Not to say that it’s not in use today as it very much so is. In fact, Volcano vaporizers continue to be among the most popular on the market, even with their hefty price tags. Just to say that these vapes, the Volcano vapes, have become living legends amongst serious vapers the world over. But back to our point. What the Volcano does extraordinarily well is fill plastic bags (balloons) with vapor and deliver them to you conveniently. Think of it as temporary storage so that you can puff on as much as you want as quickly as you want (once a bag is filled). It does take a bit of time to fill a bag but once it’s filled, you can casually take puffs at your leisure. What could be better? Definitely an incredible delivery system that put bag vaporizers on the map.

As for the bags of varying lengths we mentioned earlier, the reality is that there’s actually an option for those who want to use bags with custom lengths and that’s the Solid Valve kit. There are two different kits, the Solid we just mentioned where you have custom bag lengths and the Easy Valve kit that has bags that are already pre-cut to length so that you don’t have anything to mess with. With the Solid Valve, the more durable of the two, you have to cut the bags to the size you want — big or small, whatever’s convenient for you — and then attach them to the valve kit. This design, in our opinion, is better, but it requires more effort to keep up with because you’re not only cutting and attaching your bags, you’re also cleaning it. With the Easy Valve, you have less to clean because you’re actually throwing it all away and starting fresh each time with a new bag and valve.

Easy Valve vs Solid Valve

Not sure which one is right for you? If you know you’re lazy or you even so much as suspect you’re lazy, you definitely want the Easy Valve. If you have a tendency to not clean your vapes, again, go with the Easy. But if you don’t mind a bit of extra cleaning and/or you like the idea of choosing how big your bags are, go with the Solid. It’s the better, more efficient valve option in our opinion. In comparison, the Easy Valve also feels cheap, which it is and rightfully so because it’s designed to be thrown away instead of cleaned and reused. So if you’re trying to be eco-friendly, go with the Solid Valve and get more use out of it and its components before you replace them.

How to use the Volcano

While the video above (at the top of the page) already demonstrates how to use the Volcano, we just want to offer a quick overview. Also, if you didn’t already realize it, we do have a guide on how to use it on our website already so we don’t want to get into too much depth here but we will offer a brief overview of what usage entails. In order to use it, just plug it into an electrical outlet and flip the red switch to get started. When you press the red button, you’re activating the heating element, which will immediately start rising to the desired vaping temperature, which you set using the plus and minus buttons on the front of the vape. When it’s ready, the control light in the middle will turn off. While you’re waiting for it to turn off and let you know that it’s time to make some vapor, you can grind up your blend. Or if you’re using a concentrate, you can apply it to the Liquid Pad that it comes with. Then insert your blend into the filling chamber. When the control light goes off and it’s ready for you to use, just drop the filling chamber on the exhaust vent and press the other button, the green one. This will activate the fan that pushes the hot air and vapor into the balloon. When it’s filled, take it off the exhaust vent and detach the filling chamber, casting it aside. Attach the mouthpiece valve and get ready to vape because that’s all there is to it.

One difference for Classic versions: use the dial to adjust the desired vaping temperature instead of the buttons because it doesn’t have buttons, it has a dial you turn with your hand.

And that’s how you use a Volcano Vaporizer. Want to learn more about vaping and vaporizers? Check out our vape website at VaporizerShark.com!