Sibling rivalry is a given in the vaping industry. Brands usually stick to a blueprint design or niche and turn out a line of products to match. Storz & Bickel are no different. They’re a well-known German vaporizer manufacturing company that’s famous for creating “beasts.”
These vaporizer beasts usually sit atop desks or flat surfaces and billow clean-tasting vapour from their cavernous chambers. If that sounds like the description of a Volcano – it was meant to.
Storz & Bickel’s beloved Volcano vaporizer is the golden standard for desktop vape for most vapers. It’s sleek, powerful, and goes hard in everything it does.
The Volcano’s younger brother – the Plenty - is a slightly different beast. Both devices look nothing alike, but they’re just about similar enough in function to make you comparatively think before purchasing either one.
We’re here to help you decipher the differences between both units and make the right choice.
Round 1: Looks
The Volcano is true to its namesake – it’s volcano-shaped. Even though it comes in two flavours – digital or classic – it always looks like a state-of-the-art piece of technology. Its exterior is shining stainless steel decorated with either an LED screen or a temperature dial depending on the model. The only time the Volcano doesn’t look effortlessly cool is when it has a vapour-collecting balloon attached.
Score: 9/10 – let’s face it, the Volcano is modelesque.
On the other hand, the Plenty has a light touchless “finesse.” Some would argue it has all the charm of a power tool. Truth be told, it looks like a nail gun. However, this ability to blend in as an everyday item is favourable to discrete vapers. The Plenty is an orange-black mix of components and has a decidedly reliable look to it.
Score: 7/10 – The Plenty isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, but it has a strong and distinctive look.
Round 2: Ease of use
The Volcano Digital is a rather intricate creature. Getting your settings just right involves a lot of pressing and on its touch screen to switch between modes and get things moving. The classic is a little less tricky with its simple twist and clicks mechanism. By far, the most challenging part of using either Volcano vape is getting a hold on how to use the collection balloon properly.
Score: 8/10 – the Volcano’s balloon method isn’t a favorite and can be rather cumbersome.
It’s never been easier to use a desktop vape. After you’ve found your desired temperature using the temperature setting wheel, all you have to do is hold the handle for a few minutes. Once the vaporizer has reached the set temperature, you can let go and get vaping! Instead of the Volcano’s balloon collection system, the Plenty boasts a whip system allowing you to sip vapour directly from the handheld vape.
Score: 9/10 – It doesn’t get much easier than the Plenty.
Round 3: Compatibility
The loading chamber can hold up to half a gram of dry herbs and works with loads as small as a tenth of a gram using the stainless steel extract pad as a spacer or with the dosing capsules. Also, the device vapes oils and waxes.
The Plenty can turn out pure vapour from dry herbs, oils, and waxes – pretty much the same as the Volcano.
Round 4: Chamber size
The Volcano’s spacious oven can hold an impressive 0.5 grams of dry herb – that’s huge. Moreover – it’s a sturdy oven. Made entirely from steel-clad ceramic, you can be guaranteed no impurities in your vapour.
Score: 10/10 – you’d be hard pushed to find a bigger oven size on the market.
Made entirely from strong stainless steel, the Plenty’s 0.3-gram oven is perfect for either group or solo sessions.
Score: 9/10 – a huge oven by most standards, just not as big as the Volcano’s.
Round 5: Power
The Volcano & Plenty:
Both vapes are mains-connected, meaning you won’t have to worry about battery life for either. However, they will need to be situated near an outlet, so they’re not portable. Both vapes come with AC adapters.
Round 6: Heating
The Volcano’s heating system was designed with efficiency in mind from start to finish. The large heat exchanger and convection air stream deliver precisely measured on-demand heat. Hence, your herbs only cook at the temperatures you want when you want. The heating element used in its build is a food-grade aluminium heating block.
It takes around 1 to 3 minutes for the Volcano to heat up, depending on your select temperature. Speaking of selecting temperatures, you have 130°C to 230°C to choose from using 1°C precision.
Score: 9.5/10 – we’re not sure what more you could want (apart from maybe a bit faster.)
The Plenty uses the same heating system as the Mighty; however, its heat up time is just a minute or two slower (3 to 5 minutes.) The Plenty Vaporizer has seven different temperature settings from 37°C to 215°C that you choose from using the built-in temperature dial.
Score: 7/10 – The Plenty has a relatively slow heat-up time for a handheld device – more aligned with desktop devices.
Round 7: Vapour quality
While the Volcano has a reputation for excellent vapour quality, the Plenty isn’t far behind. The Volcano’s optimized heating element and bag system all work towards maintaining flavourful, pure, and “full” vapour for you to enjoy. However, the Plenty is kitted out with a cooling coil that takes vapour from scorching hot to “just right.” As vapour passes from the oven, through the airway, and into the cooling coil, it has time to equilibrate and smoothen out essentially.
Score: Vapour rating depends mainly on preference, so we’ll leave this one for you to decide.
Round 8: Value for money
There’s no use beating around the bush when it comes to the price difference. The Plenty is more affordable than the Volcano to the tune of £111 - £204, depending on the Volcano model purchased.
The Volcano Classic comes in at £274.49, while the volcano digital is the owner of a high £367.00 price tag. Now, that’s no easy-savings option. But, there’s a reason why Storz & Bickel are digging deep into your pocket – the Volcano is worth it. Their team pulled out all the stops. It’s a durable, high-power, versatile, and reliable machine that only knows how to puff out top-quality vapour to its system’s delight.
Score: 8/10 – not affordable by everyone’s standards but well worth it if your budget can stretch that far.
But, here’s the kicker – the Plenty is a much friendlier sight at £163.99. It achieves all the same vaping purposes as the Volcano asides from not having a balloon system. And really, it holds its own, with many vapers claiming it as their favourite Storz & Bickel model.
Score: 7/10 – the consensus surrounding the Plenty is that it’s just a teeny tiny bit overprices. Still, if you like the look and use, it’s more than worth the money.
Not many vapes could put up a good fight against the Volcano, but the Plenty manages it with relative ease.
All in all, if you’re a seasoned vaper looking for a state-of-the-art, next-level vaping experience – the Volcano is for you. However, if you haven’t quite gotten to grips with vaping yet and don’t want to splurge quite yet – the Plenty is for you.
Both vapes have their charms. The Volcano offers a more communal, technology-focused session, while the Plenty is geared towards solo, old-school sessions. Either way, whichever you decide to pick – you won’t regret it. Both vaporizers are marvels of Storz & Bickel’s expertise which never disappoints.