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Throwback Vapes: Volcano Classic Vaporizer

Throwback Vapes: Volcano Classic Vaporizer

It’s another edition of vapor’s Throwback Vape Series and today we’re taking a look at the vaporizer that started a revolution: the Volcano Classic Vaporizer.

Debuting in the year 2000 the Volcano Classic was an instant hit with both the medical community and those who enjoyed it recreationally. Despite being one of the oldest vaporizers on the market, it still remains one of the most popular units in any vape store thanks to it’s consistent performance and top-tier heating system that allows for full flavor appreciation during sessions.

With a design that feels futuristic even 20 years after its debut the Volcano Classic Vaporizer is one of the most iconic devices of all time, we’re going to dive into what makes this device so great and how it managed to help vaporizers as a whole go mainstream.

The Volcano Classic's Design

Volcano Classic on table ready for use

The most striking aspect of the Volcano Classic is the spaceship-like design of the heating element paired with the pillar of vapor housed inside the budgetable vape bag. While the mass produced version of the Volcano Classic looks clean, the origins of the design are a bit more...humble.

The beta version of the Volcano Classic was created by using a heat gun in Markus Storz’s (yes, of Storz & Bickel fame) cellar. Due to residual particles of carbon this process was ultimately scrapped, but it was crucial in the first steps toward creating the air pump that the current iteration of the Volcano Classic uses. Storz settled on using forced air for the Volcano Classic due to the fact that this kind of heating heated dry herb matter evenly, ensuring a more efficient session. In 1998 the classic detachable balloon chamber was patented, which ended up being a staple of the first Storz & Bickel device.

Volcano Classic Vaporizer balloon with Easy Valve Adapter Storz & Bickel utilized the balloon bag system to help separate the vaporization (aka heating) and the inhalation processes, keeping the user separated from the heating process altogether for a safer session. Another reason the balloon bag vapor system was used was to make it easier for a nurse or caretaker to prep a patient’s dose of material. The vapor balloon system of the Volcano Classic also has a very low, borderline non-existent draw resistance making inhaling very easy for any patient. 

The Volcano Classic managed to find the perfect balance between “medical device” and “recreational vaporizer” to satisfy any level of experience vape user. Those who required the Volcano Classic for medical purposes could have peace of mind that the Classic would provide exactly what they need, while recreational users could use a medical-grade device without complicated controls or intimidating functionality.

Functionality of the Volcano Classic

From a functionality perspective the Volcano Classic has to be considered a “GOAT” of the vaporizer world.

Using the Volcano Classic was an easy process for new vapers to learn as all you have to do is remove the chamber, add your dry herb, and wait for the balloon bag to fill with vapor. While the Volcano Classic did take a while to heat up, especially compared to the speed of current vaporizers, the wait was *definitely* worth it. Personally I enjoyed the wait that you have during the heating process of the Volcano Classic; it was kind of a nice session break-up that allowed you to grab your preferred snack or beverage before sitting down to enjoy a bag of potent dry herb vapor.

While the process of what’s happening on the outside of the Volcano Classic is eye-catching, what makes the experience of using the Classic so complete is the elite heating convection system inside of the device.

Convection Heating infographic

The Volcano Classic Vaporizer's uses a forced-air vacuum system to push in filtered air that is then heated to your chosen temperature. Although this is one of the earliest convection heating systems used in a mass produced vaporizer, the Volcano Classic got it absolutely right. Convection heating is superior to conduction, as your material is never in direct contact with the heating element virtually eliminating the possibility of conduction while also providing more flavor and potent-ness from your material.

The Volcano Classic’s diaphragm pump covers every millimetre of your material in hot air, which means you’re vaping more efficiently and thoroughly, leading to some of the best vapor you can experience from any device.

The Volcano Classic's "WOW" Factor

Now that we’ve given the technical achievements of the Volcano Classic praise we can’t leave out the intrinsic “wow factor” of this device.

The silver body of the Volcano Classic is assertive in any space it’s in and is an instant conversation starter but still manages to be able to blend into the overall look of the room after use. The knob operation of the Volcano Classic has a very “old school” feel when you use it and provides satisfying “clicks” as you choose your temperature; the balance between futuristic and throwback is stuck perfectly within the Volcano Classic’s design.

Volcano Classic with balloon bag full of vapor
Once the balloon bag is filled with vapor, and before you remove the bag to enjoy it, the complete setup of the silver Volcano Classic with a fully filled vapor balloon is one of the most interesting looking devices in all of vaping. There certainly is a “wow factor” that helps the overall enjoyment of the Volcano Classic but it isn’t overdone, for being one of the first “legit” vaporizers produced the overall experience of using the Classic Volcano has stood the test of time.

Let us know in the comments how long you’ve had your Volcano Classic and if you have any tips and tricks for getting the most out of the device!