Volcano Classic Review

Volcano Classic with SOLID Valve System
Staff Review -- VapeNow.com
August 8th, 2007

This article sums up the Pros and Cons of the S&B Volcano Classic, one of the vaporizer market's top-of-the-line models. It also goes into detail about the different components of the system, cleaning, and provides many useful tips and tricks. We at VapeNow.com hope you find it helpful and informative.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Patented Balloon and Valve system is a lot easier to use than other models, especial whip-style.
  • Extracts a very high percentage of active ingredients. The only other model comes close is the HerbalAire.
  • Fast heat-up phase
  • Precise temperature control (~4*C)
  • Specially designed so as not to be a fire hazard.
  • Comes with a 3-Year Warranty.
Cons:
  • No direct inhale (many didn't mind this b/c the said the balloon system was better).
  • Filling Chamber Insert can get hot and burn you if you're not careful.
  • No automatic turn off.
  • No digital display.
THE BOTTOM LINE: One of the best models on the market, the Volcano is well worth its hefty price tag. The one word that sums it all up is efficiency. With very precise heat control and a great inhalation system the Volcano is very easy -- and satisfying -- to use.

Components/Parts:

  1. Hot Air Generator:
    The Hot Air Generator is the heart of the Volcano System. Inside it is the air pump, the air heater, and the temperature regulation. Use the dial to set the desired temperature. The 3 lights on thr front function as follows: Red is the power on/off indicator. Orange is the heating control indicator. It lights up when the heating element in the Volcano turns on to maintain or achieve a certain temperature. The Hot Air Generator the most delicate component of the system, so be careful with it. If something is not working, do NOT take off the silver cover -- doing that voids the warranty

    Dimensions: The Hot Air generator is 7" tall 7.5" in diameter at the base and 2" in diameter at the top/cone.

  2. Filling Chamber:
    The Filling Chamber is black plastic with a yellow rubber heat gaurd ring by which to hold it when it's hot. It has a screen in the bottom through which hot air is allowed. This is where you put your herbs or oils to be vaporized. This review was conducted with the standard (non-liquid) Filling Chamber and Filling Chamber Insert. Grind up the herbs to a fine consistency -- higher surface area = better vapor -- and put them in the Filling Chamber. Put in the Insert and set the Insert and the Chamber on the top of the Volcano, fitted into the black ring that is there. The Chamber just rests on top of the Volcano. No need to turn or push down.

    Dimensions: The inside of the Filling Chamber is 1" tall and 1" in diameter.

  3. Filling Chamber Insert:
    Once the Filling Chamber is loaded, slide the Insert down inside it. Don't press down to hard or the screen might fall out of the bottom and your herbs will be on the floor. According to S&B there is supposed to be 5mm of space between the bottom of the Insert and the top of the herbs. I usually just put it all the way down and then back it off a little. The idea is that you want space for the ground herbs to circulate as the hot air moves through them.

  4. Valve/Balloon Assembly:
    The Valve Assembly is a plastic apparatus with a metal, spring loaded valve inside. It's the most intricate part of the Volcano outside of the actual electronics and air pump. The Valve is attached to the Balloon by either a Balloon Clip or 2 Balloon fixation rings (see the lower photo to the right). When the metal ring sort of inside the Valve Assembly (at the upper left in the top picture) is pushed in, air can move freely in and out of the bag. Otherwise, it creates a seal. When the Valve/Balloon Assembly is clipped into the Filling Chamber, the Valve is open. To make sure you don't waste vapor only have the Valve/Balloon clipped into the Filling Chamber when the air pump is running on the generator and unclip it at once when you turn of the air pump (I sometimes even take the Filling Chamber and Valve off while the air pump is still running and unclip them first).

  5. Mouthpiece:
    The Mouthpiece is simple. You clip it on to the Valve/Balloon Assembly after the bag has been filled. To inhale the vapor, press the black plastic disc on the end of your lips like a trumpet -- no one likes slobber on their Mouthpiece -- and inhale. When the Mouthpiece is depressed, it opens the Valve and lets the vapor come out.

Quickstart

  1. Turn on the red switch and set the dial to 6.
  2. Wait for the orange control light to go off. While waiting, grind your favorite herbs (see temp chart below) and put them inside the Filling Chamber. Insert the Insert.
  3. Once the orange control light is off, set the Filling Chamber with the Insert on top of the Volcano.
  4. Turn the air pump on with the green button.
  5. Wait 3-5 seconds, then clip the Valve/Balloon Assembly onto the the Filling Chamber.
  6. Wait for the balloon to fill. (Note: after much speculation, we decided to see what would happen if we just let a balloon go. Would it pop? Would the Volcano explode? Anticlimatically, the only thing that happened was that vapor just started coming out the sides of the Valve instead of going into the balloon. Wasted vapor is never a good thing, but at least the balloon doesn't pop).
  7. Turn off the air pump and unclip the Valve from the Filling Chamber (if you can do these simultaneously, you will waste less vapor).
  8. Clip the Mouthpiece on to the Valve/Bag Assembly.
  9. Sit Back and inhale.
  10. Turn the Volcano Off (frequently overlooked).
Note: Don't worry if the orange control light comes on during a run, it is just maintaining the temperature. Also, you can vaporize most herbs 2, 3 or even 4 times, just increase the temperature to 6.5 for the second run and 7 for the final run.

Temperature Chart
Number on VolcanoDegrees CelsiusDegrees Fahrenheit
1130266
3154309
2142288
4166331
5178352
6190374
7202396
8214417
9226437

Cleaning


Cleaning the Volcano is pretty straightfoward. Do it whenever the Filling Chamber and Balloon begin to look dirty (usually after 100+ uses). It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight depending on the method you use. Whichever method you try will require the same materials: rubbing alcohol (the higher the percentage the better), paper towels, and a little tub or bowl.
  1. Once you have your materials, get a flat surface a disassemble the various components as shown in the instruction manual (don't throw out the ballon when you take it off -- you'll see). Keep good track of the pieces because it's a pain if you lose them and some are pretty small. If anything is sticky and tough to unscrew, dab some alcohol on it or even soak it in alcohol for a little bit.
  2. There are two methods to clean off the disassembled components:
    1. 15 min: Dip your paper towel in rubbing alcohol and wipe down every piece of the system. Be liberal with the alcohol, but make sure you allow it all to dry before you reassemble and use the Volcano.
    2. Hours-Overnight: Soak the components in a tub filled with rubbing alcohol overnight or for a few hours. Then just take them out, rinse them off under some tap water, and dry them off with a towel.
  3. Now, put everything back together and make a new Balloon (instructions in the Owner's Manual) to attach to the Valve Assembly.

Other Tips

  • With the SOLID Valve system, you can actually throw the balloon from person to person like a foxtail. It's a lot of fun and sure beats moving!
  • Get a good grinder with your Volcano if you plan to be using dry herbs. Grinding them up by hand is a headache. The Max or Maxine Grinders are good models, or a cheap coffee grinder works too.
  • To attach the Balloons to the Valve Assembly, you can either use a clip or rings. The rings give you a tighter seal, but are more of a hassle to deal with when cleaning. The clip is easier, but doesn't always seal as tightly. Using zip ties to attach the Balloons also worked well.

Well, that's all I have on the S&B Volcano Classic. On deck for next week is the Brand New S&B Volcano Digit. Read the review and see how it stacks up against the classic. Thanks for reading.
-- The VapeNow Staff

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