Cannabis vaporizers have surged in popularity in recent times as cannabis consumers search for healthier ways to get high. Due to the surge in demand, there are now lots of vaporiser options on the market, and it’s fair to say that most most of them are not worth your money or time. There are now so many different ways to make a vaporiser, and while some concepts are cool and original, there are few that stick around for the test of time.
In this article we will attempt a difficult comparison between the Dynavap and Storz and Bickel’s Volcano. The Volcano is often regarded as the product that started the vaporisation industry, having first been invented in 1998 by Marcus Storz. That’s over 20 years of existence, and in that time there have been relatively few big changes made to the Volcano. Meanwhile the Dynavap has carved itself into a niche as the holy grail of battery free vaporisers, and they’ve been doing that since 2015.
Whilst these two vaporisers vastly differ in function, they share a similarly high quality vapour production. Both brands also have enormous cult followings, built on tens of thousands of happy customers who have found these vaporisers to significantly improve their relationships with THC and CBD. Both vaporisers have remained consistent in their mission and that’s what makes this comparison so important - it wouldn’t be surprising if this comparison holds up in the next 10 years!
So, before you set yourself up to hear the crinkly sound of a Volcano bag, or the satisfying click of a VapCap, here is our ultimate comparison of these two legendary vaporisers.
Dynavap VapCap vs Storz & Bickel Volcano Vaporizer
There’s no doubt that the Volcano is well known for being one of the most expensive cannabis accessories a stoner can buy. The latest model which is called the Hybrid retails for £519.99, however older models can cost considerably less. The Dynavap on the other hand is well known for being a bargain, costing just £56 for the latest version of their popular Dynavap M model. No doubt, there is a huge price difference between these two vaporisers. In fact, some people would choose the Dyanvap at this point in comparison just because the Volcano can cost a small fortune. The Volcano is nearly 10 times the price of the Dynavap!
Session Start-Up Time
The Volcano operates with 3 basic components. The base - which connects to a wall plug, is essentially a very well regulated source of heat that can be adjusted to precise temperatures and push warm air out from a vent. The second component is the Volcano oven. The oven is a black modular component with a lid that can be opened to make way for fresh herb. The 3rd component is the Volcano bag, which will serve as the container for all the vaporised cannabis. The user will inhale cannabis vapour from the Volcano bag using the mouthpiece.
The first step to using the Volcano is to turn the oven on, which is done by flipping the red oven switch on. Next, the desired temperature is selected using the temperature dial. Once this is complete, the volcano will take about 5 minutes to heat up to that target temperature. At such time that the Volcano has reached the target temperature, the Volcano oven (at this point already filled with ground cannabis) should be applied to the top of the Volcano base. The Volcano bag should then be connected to the Volcano oven so that all three components are simultaneously connected. Finally the green switch on the Volcano base should be flipped, allowing hot air to pass through the oven, vaporising the cannabis and filling the Volcano bag with cannabis vapour.
The Dynavap on the other hand has a much faster heat up time. Dynavap’s are less complicated in general. The mouthpiece is found on one end, and a thin stem connects it to the oven on the other end. The oven has a removable cap (VapCap) connected to it to stop dry herb from falling out. Once the Dynavap oven is filled with herb, the VapCap is reapplied and a three flame torch is used to heat the oven up until a double click sound is heard. Usually the click sound takes 3-6 seconds to play after the flame is applied to the VapCap. At this point the Dynavap is ready to be sucked on and the session can begin!
It is clear that you can begin a Dynavap session much faster than a Volcano session - the Volcano actually takes about 60x longer to heat up than the Dynavap, without even factoring in the time taken to fill up the Volcano bag.
Vaporizer Bowl Size
The Volcano Vaporizer can be used for taking large and small doses of cannabis. It has a very large oven that can handle over 0.5g of chopped flower. Because it is a convection vaporiser, it shouldn’t be a problem to under-fill the oven. Convection vaporisers pass hot air through their ovens, preventing the formation of hot spots and burning from occurring. A lightly packed Volcano bowl would simply tumble the chopped up cannabis in hot air until the Volcano fan is turned off.
The Dynavap on the other hand is designed for micro-dosing. It can store anywhere from 0.08g to 0.1g of dried cannabis flower without overpacking. The the bowl size is small, however its purpose is to hit small bowls quickly so that the user has precise control on how high they get. One of the benefits of having a small bowl is that it cools down much faster than the Volcano bowl, which retains its heat for a long time. This means that you can give the herb a little mix to help distribute heat by using the built-in spoon on the VapCap.
How Long Does The Vape Session Last?
One of the benefits of the Volcano is that once the bag is filled with warm vapour, the user is not forced into finishing it all in one go. The bag can be put down for minutes on end and still hold its potency for later hits. It’s hard to find an accurate estimate for how long the vapour can be stored without going stale, however the good people on the SubReddit r/vaporents claim it takes about 10 minutes for the vapour to start tasting stale, and not much longer than that for it to lose full potency. Having all that time to enjoy the vapour at one's own pace is seen as a luxury in the vape world, and it explains to some extent why the Volcano is so expensive.
The Dynavap on the other hand is much more of a fast hitter. When the three flame Dynavap torch is applied to the oven and the 2 clicks are heard, it takes approximately 1 minute for the device to cool down and another 2 clicks to signal that the device has cooled down. At the point at which the last set of 2 clicks is heard, the Dynavap session is over and it would have to be reheated to get more vapour to come out. Unlike the Volcano, which fills an entire bag with vapour, putting the consumer in a position where they might feel compelled to finish the entire bag, the Dynavap is a small and short hitter. Any vapour that comes out is small enough to manage and the cool down is fast enough to quickly fill another bowl if needed.
Can They Handle Cannabis Concentrates/Extracts?
Cannabis concentrates are a very popular and relatively new product to in the THC/CBD world. They’re essentially extracted forms of cannabis, in which specific cannabinoids are refined and separated from unwanted parts of the plant - usually the parts that don’t get you high. Cannabis concentrates must be heated to a higher temperature than flower to release their vapour, and traditionally they are vaporised using quartz glass. Due to innovations in the vaporiser scene, there’s an abundance of ways to consume cannabis concentrates.
The Volcano can handle cannabis concentrates when using an accessory brought out by Storz & Bickel. The cannabis insert pad, otherwise known as the Drip Pad, is a manipulation of stainless steel to create a safe “bed” for the cannabis concentrates to sit whilst in the Volcano oven. As hot air blows through the Drip Pad, the cannabis concentrate will start sizzling and emit a vapour that is blown into the Volcano bag. Due to the smart design of the Drip Pad, cannabis concentrate will not drip through the device and cause damage to the Volcano. They are reusable and affordable.
The Dynavap also benefits from having a specialised insert made by their team for handling cannabis concentrates. The DynaCoil is an expertly crafted ring of titanium that fits perfectly into the Dynavap oven. It's side with jagged looking teeth is where cannabis concentrates are applied. Because cannabis concentrates are immensely potent, there is no need to put more than a rice grain portion of extract onto the DynaCoil. Once the DynaCoil is in the oven, concentrate is applied and the VapCap fastened to the device. The device is then heated up, and once two click sounds are heard, vapour can be sucked. It can even be connected to a glass pipe to make the hit more smooth, it will fit onto any glass piece with a 10mm receiver.
Likelihood Of Combustion
It’s highly unlikely that the volcano would combust, due to its high degree of temperature control as well as the limited range of temperatures that it can reach. It is a convection vaporiser, so rather than creating certain hot areas in the oven, it equally passes hot air all the way through the device.
The Dynavap is more likely to accidentally combust, only because the user is relying on a specific sound to hear before turning off the heat. Sometimes, we get distracted, and this is often why a Dynavap user would accidentally combust their device. It’s not the end of the world though, as the device is flame retardant. However once herb has combusted in the Dynavap oven, it can leave a very foul flavour for future sessions. To eliminate this flavour, the device should be cleaned - doing so will return it to its original condition.
The Volcano is one of the easiest to vaporisers to clean in the Storz & Bickel lineup. Volcano bags must eventually be discarded, leaving behind just the Volcano oven and the Volcano base. The Base rarely gets dirty, and only occasionally does it need to be brushed - clearing any stray cannabis that might get stuck near its air holes. The Volcano oven, accumulates a lot of dirt and will need to be cleaned once at least once a week. If it gets too dirty, it can stop air from passing through, or even not close properly - in both cases wasting your cannabis. Cleaning the Volcano bowl is easy, and just requires a bit of ISO and cotton to remove the muck. Occasionally the screens will have to be changed or cleaned with ISO as well, but the entire process takes no longer than a few minutes.
Cleaning the Dynavap is even easier - there are no electronic components, therefore there is no risk of electric damage using ISO. Simply disassemble the entire Dynavap and soak all the components in an ISO bath for a few hours. Then let everything dry on a paper towel for a few hours until there is no ISO left, before reassembling the device. . The Dynavap cleaning process an be sped up by applying cleaning motions to the components while they soak, but it is easier to just let them soak in a ISO bath.
Which Vaporiser Gets You More High?
Due to the fact that the Volcano can vaporise at least 5x more cannabis matter than the Dynavap in one go, it’s highly likely that at first, the Volcano will get you more high. However it wouldn’t be difficult to load up 5 bowls of cannabis on the Dynavap to reach the same level of high feeling. The quality of vapour is very similar with these two vaporisers, however because the Dynavap doesn’t have the ability to hold a specific temperature for a long period of time, the Volcano has a more consistent vapour. An experienced Dynavap user would be able to match the quality of a Volcano through their understanding of the device, however a brand new user would not come close.
It’s clear that these two vaporisers differ greatly in how they turn cannabis flower into cannabis vapour. They’re both regarded as top of their game, and have shown consistency in what they are trying to do, Dynavap with their battery-free mission and Storz and Bickel making Volcanoes for 20+ years! There is no hiding the huge price difference, and it’s fair to say that the Dynavap is great value device for being able to offer high quality cannabis vapour for 1/10th the price of the Volcano. The Dynavap also leads the way in providing a fast session start up time, proving vapour in just a few seconds. The Volcano has a strong advantage in how its bowl functions, being able to handle the smallest to the largest bowls at ease. Similarly the Volcano improves the pace at which a cannabis user can enjoy their session by having a transportable vape “bag” to hit at one's own leisure. They can both handle cannabis concentrates, and both have a low risk of accidental combustion, although it’s still possible to make that error with the Dynavap. Cleaning is certainly easy with both devices, but much easier with the Dynavap. The device that will get you most high first will be the Volcano - unless you include the heat up time (5 mins for the Volcano) in which case the Dynavap would deliver cannabinoids before the Volcano is even ready to use.
It’s a very close call between these two vaporisers, and for that reason they are very much tied in our eyes. There isn’t a clear winner as to which is the best, and perhaps they both belong together on the sesh table. The price of the Dynavap certainly seems to sway many people to pick it as their daily driver, while the Volcano seems a like a lot more like a luxury that isn't necessarily “needed” but can make consuming just a bit more fun.