The Volta Vaporizer Review

 

Since publishing this review Vapor Genie has taken feedback and addressed some of the negative points first mentioned in our review. With the latest version of the Volta, Vapor Genie has revealed the following:

  • Lower Price Point set at $95 USD (originally $120).
  • Dual indicator lights to help visually impaired differentiate battery power levels.
  • Included 3 piece mica insulators, reducing the amount of wood char
  • Included micro screen(s) to prevent herbs from entering air path.
  • Included battery case for easy storage and purple silicone battery caps.
  • Finalized bamboo lid design with etched VaporGenie logo.

 

 

In this review, I will be looking at a unit that offers considerable benefit(s) for those becoming accustomed to vaporizing (desiring thick/dense draws). Manufactured in the USA and bearing the Vapor Genie brand, it’s time we talk about how the Volta performs like a work horse. Strap on your saddle folks, it’s Volta time!

 

First Impressions

The Volta unit has an unfinished natural wax maple wood exterior giving it a rugged look. Examining the electrical contacts and bronze switch makes you appreciate the simple and effective build. People have likened it to having a steampunk feel.

The unit has a modular design; an excellent idea that allows users to replace parts which have become worn or broken. Seven screws hold the device together which can be removed with a T7 Torx driver. Replacement parts available on the Vapor Genie website.

The Volta is light in terms of weight, but not so discreet in terms of operation. Both the battery and mouthpiece sit firmly in the unit preventing accidental fall. The heating chamber has the contents protected by a bamboo lid affixed by a strong earth magnet. The lid will not slide sideways, thus ensuring the contents won’t spill in your pocket.

A redesigned Bamboo lid has been chosen to replace the former glass lid. The new lid is fall resistant and will not break as easily as the glass. Bamboo is a better thermal insulator than the glass and marginally extend battery life. In addition less resin sticks to the bamboo than the glass lid.  As for construction they folks at Vapor Genie had this to say:

The bamboo panel is made with no-formaldehyde, soy-based adhesive. So there should be no toxic vapors from the bamboo.

 

 

The Volta unit is heated via conduction with a coil surrounding the heating chamber. Shaking the unit helps stir contents and herbs need to be direct contact with the heating coil. The volta offers heat on demand, so you are only vaporizing while the unit it engaged! A great consideration for someone who dislikes oven style vapes, which continually cook herbs.

The Volta offers vapor production control with a bronze switch. This allows the user ability to turn the unit on and off. A green LED indicator gives the user certainty when the Volta is operating. The Volta does not have temperature control. The density of vapor is controlled by how long the user keeps the device turned on.

The unit comes with two batteries allowing one to be on “stand-by” protected by a silicone cap. A red LED indicator warns the user when the battery levels are ready for recharging. 

The mouthpiece includes a screen to prevent herbs from entering the air path.

The trench in the heating chamber is suggested to be filled 1/4 to 1/2 full. Excess space in the chamber allows you to shake material and prevent combustion from herbs resting against the coil. At 1/2 pack, the unit can hold approximately .25 grams of finely chopped botanicals.

 


 

Performance

  • IMG_4887-1024x682The Volta unit, by design, is meant to conserve material by alternating heat and inhalation.  As opposed to other vaporizers that require a constant running oven, you control when the oven operates with the Volta. Pressing the bronze switch generates vapor, releasing the button stops vapor generation.
  • For drawing denser vapor, you may inhale while the bronze switch is activated. Vapor Genie does not recommend this method and I did find a higher likelihood of charring.
  • The unit emits odor while heating. Charring material can be done by overheating chamber contents, which produces distinct odor.
  • It is recommended to shake the Volta while heating and I did so to ensure an even cook.
  • The heating coil are corrugated allowing small gaps between the wood and coil. These gaps allow material to become trapped and eventually charred.
  • The unit stands true to the advertised 8 minutes of consecutive battery use, which they state provides up to 25-35 draws.
  • The Volta heating chamber is ideal for personal use, and has a capacity to be shared among friends!

 

What’s in the Box?

  • 1x Volta Vaporizer Unit
    • Body is made of waxed maple wood.
    • Electrical contacts and switch are bronze.
    • Screws, battery holder and spring are stainless steel.
    • LED indicator circuit is potted in silicone rubber and is lead-free.
  • 2 x 18650-size Litium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO) battery (Check footnotes on battery)
    • Each battery has 1 silicone cover to protect the positive end.
    • Battery case for convenient storage.
  • 1 x LiFePO battery Charger with Red and Green LED Indicators
    • Input: AC100-240V & 50/60 Hz 500mA(max)
    • Output: DC 3.65V
  • 1 x Bamboo heating chamber lid
    • Affixed is 1 earth magnet, preventing oven contents from spilling.
  • 2 x Plastic Mouthpieces
  • Pack of micro Screens for mouthpiece
  • 3 x Mica Insulators
  • 1 x Vapor Genie Sticker
  • 2 Page User Guide
  • 1 Battery Warning Insert

 

Size and Weight

 

  • IMG_2519-1024x682Total Size of Volta Unit Assembled: 6″ L x 1 1/2″ W x 1″ H (bamboo lid attached)
    • Stand Alone Volta Unit (without mouthpiece or battery): 3 1/2″
    • Visible portion of Mouthpiece: 1″ (1/2″ of the mouthpiece inside Volta unit)
    • Visible portion of Battery: 1 1/2″ (1/2″ of the battery inside Volta battery holder)
  • Weight Approx: 96.3 grams Or 3.4 ounces

Capacity

  • Small Load: 1/4 Heating Chamber = .10 – .19 grams
  • Large Load: 1/2 Heating Chamber = .20 – .30 grams
  • Actual Capacity of Heating Chamber, Approx .5 grams. Not recommended.
    • Material will burn and the user would be unable to shake the Volta contents for even vaporization.
    • Actual capacity is helpful to emphasize Large and Small Loads.

Cost and Availability

VGThe Vapor Genie Volta is currently listed for sale at $95.00

The Volta may be purchased at the manufacturer site:  www.vaporgenie.com

 

 


 

The Final Verdict

The Volta certainly has proved itself as having a place in the vaporizer market.

Twelve years ago my first vaporizer was a glass globe with no more than a soldering iron. I was put off from vaporizing for 5 years because of the negative experience. As an occasional smoker, it’s easy to understand and feel the difference between vaporizing and combustion. Often the complaint of many new vapists is not feeling the sedative effects or seeing the visible vapor. With these two aspects in mind, The Volta hit the nail on the head!

The Volta makes itself a worthy choice as an introductory vape or portable daily driver.

 

Pros:

  • Competitive price point at $95.00
  • Durable and can withstand a fall
  • Modular design allowing for easy part replacement
  • Ability to turn oven on/off with a switch
  • Thick vapor density
  • Heat-on-demand, allows herbs to go further
  • Higher heat temps help extract more
  • Light Weight
  • LED indicator for In-Use
  • LED indicator for Low Battery
  • Magnetic lid prevents oven contents from spilling
  • Lead Free Design

Neutral:

  • Conduction heating
  • Requires shaking when heating to mix material
  • Screen in airpath prevents herbs, but requires cleaning.
  • 2 LiFePO batteries keep their charge for 8 minutes
  • Adequate sized heating chamber, use alone or with a friend
  • Wooden vaporizer body becomes warm while in use
  • Small amount vapor escapes when heating
  • Manufactured in the USA

Cons:

  • At 6″ assembled the vape is not discreet in use
  • Material trapped under/ behind heating coils combusts
  • Taste and Flavor limited due to high heat temps & charring
  • A wooden heating chamber should not be cleaned/ immersed in ISO.


 

Additional Images and Media:

 

 

 

 

Footnotes on Battery:

  • The 18650-size Lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO) battery offers consistent operation while discharging.
    • The battery can deliver over 200 watt-minutes that equates to roughly 8 minutes of usage.
  • Below is the voltage discharge data and curve against time experienced by a LiFePO battery illustrating the effective usage period.

Minutes Voltage
1 ……….2.91
2 ……….2.91
3 ……….2.91
4 ……….2.91
5 ……….2.89
6 ……….2.84
7 ……….2.72
7.5 …….2.60
8 ……….2.28
8.25 ……2.00

Minutes Voltage
1 ……….2.94
2 ……….2.96
3 ……….2.96
4 ……….2.96
5 ……….2.94
6 ……….2.92
7 ……….2.84
8 ……….2.56
8.5 ……..2.00

  • Vapor Genie used the the AA NIMH battery, commonly found in the Magic Flight Lanch Box as their benchmark.
    • The decision of  using a LiFePO battery helped achieve higher heat temperatures than competitors.
    • The MFLB power dissipation was about 8-9 watts.
    • The Volta power dissipation was about 25 watts.
    • With more energy used by the heating element, users can rest assured they will receive thicker/denser draws on the Volta.
  • Warning: LiFePO batteries are damaged by a complete discharge.
    • Do Not discharge the battery entirely and ensure you recharge periodically.
    • The LED indicator turns RED at 95% or at about 2.2-2.3 volts.
    • A battery becomes damaged at about 1.6 volts but can be easily replaced.
    • Vapor Genie intends to sell replacement batteries for $3.50.

Tarzan Boy

About Tarzan Boy

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Vaping since 2000, I'm a friend to the community and advocate of healthy living.

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