This time the famous heavyweight of the vaporizer world, the Volcano, is in about to defend its title agains…we’ll a knock off.
The challenger attempting to dethrone the champ in this match is the copycat, the Phantom vaporizer. It attempts to copy everything from the balloon system to the valve set and even the design, but can it pack the same punch? For this challenge we’re going to break down the components of these units and compare them to see if the Phantom can dethrone the aromatherapy king or if it ends up just another wannabe.
Volcano vs Phantom Vaporizer
Valve Set Comparison
The Volcano’s Valve set is made of high quality components, and the valve set clips neatly and securely to the vaporizer. The screens in the valve set are fine, preventing pieces of botanical from being blown into your balloon. Extra-fine screens are available if you enjoy incorporating botanical dust into your blend. The Valve set retains its structural integrity even at the highest temperatures.
The Phantom valve set looks similar to the Volcano’s valve set, but there are big differences. Firstly, the valve set doesn’t clip to the vaporizer in the same secure way. This means you have to hold your valve set in place while filling a balloon with vapor, or it may fall off.
Secondly, the plastic material used on the exterior of the valve set doesn’t do a good job of withstanding against normal heating. The plastic on our Phantom Valve set crumbled when handling it. Every time we picked it up a new piece fell off. This compromised the structure of the valve set, and we lost a good amount of botanical when we went to pick up the valve set and it just fell into two parts.
Finally, the screens that come with the unit are simply too coarse. Large pieces of botanical fly through them, filling up your balloon with a ridiculous amount of debris. This really takes away from the overall experience, and you will find yourself spitting pieces of botanical out after each draw. We picked up some Volcano screens to counteract this, but we had to throw away all of our Phantom screens.
Check this Video that Wickie did. You can see in the video how the components of the Phantom seem lower quality than those of a Volcano just from the video alone.
Balloon System Comparison
The Volcano’s balloons are made of pure polyester, which is the ideal material to use for the purpose of filling with vapor for consumption. Remember with a high-quality vaporizer only very safe and pure materials will be used in the construction of the unit. These balloons make a signature “crinkling” noise when filling, which is a result of the lack of a softening agent. These balloons are food-safe, heat proof, and flavourless. They don’t impart any substances onto the vapor.
The Phantom balloons seem like a good deal in terms of price, but when you consider how fast they break you’ll be logging on to TorontoVaporizer to buy some Volcano balloons. The seam on the balloons seems to be fused with some sort of glue or heat-sealing, which fails after 1-2 balloons are filled. The bags tear at the seams quickly, and eventually vapor will be pouring out of 20 places at once. You can try taping them together, but they are garbage after more than two fills.
These balloons tend to not crinkle in the way that the Volcano does. This worries us, as they may have used softening agents, which are toxic compounds which you would inhale.
Temperature Control & Display
The Volcano, whether you opt for the Classic or Digital version, has accurate temperature control. With the Classic version, temperature is selected on an analogue dial. You select the desired temperature, turn on the heat switch, and wait a few minutes. Once your unit has achieved its desired temperature, the control light will flick off, letting you know that you can turn on the fan and fill up a balloon with vapor. The unit has extremely accurate temperature control, telling you exactly what temperature the unit is operating at. If you rather read the detailed digital Volcano Vaporizer review, follow this link.
The Phantom has a digital “temperature displays”, but the display is more for looks than for an accurate description of the temperature the unit is operating at. Rather than having a heat-detecting diode, these units estimate what temperature the vaporizer should be operating at after a few minutes of heating. It may display the temperature you desire, but still be many degrees cooler. Some users reported waiting an additional 10 minutes before the temperature displayed on the unit was the same as the actual working temperature. Nothing is more frustrating than turning the fan on, expecting your Phantom to pump out vapor, to only see a wispy stream of thin vapor be produced. The heating element used in the Phantom doesn’t seem to be as strong either, as it takes much longer to heat up. The time that the vaporizer takes to re-heat between balloons is exaggerated too compared to the Volcano.
All in all, if you’re thinking of buying a Phantom vaporizer, save your money. They are low-quality knockoffs attempting to be like a Volcano, but they simply don’t come close. The fact that the manufacturers would skimp out and use cheap balloons leads us to believe that they cut corners in other areas that we didn’t notice. Who knows what other compounds or dangerous chemicals we inhaled while trying these units out, but it’s the risk we take to provide you with the facts. If you are looking for a vaporizer that is a great deal as compared to buying a Volcano, there are only two options in the market, Extreme Q and VapirRise (follow the links for the review). They are both outstanding value, but the Rise has significantly better technology and was released years after the Extreme Q. In fact the Vapir Rise gave the Volcano a hard time in the comparison, but at half the cost it is still worth the money. The Extreme Q is cheaper and assembled in Canada and as a Canadian Vaporizer Store, we are definately happy to have a great company like Arizer representing not only Ontario, but Canada as a whole. 🙂
The winner of today’s showdown is without a doubt the Volcano.
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