People are asking for more than ever from their portable vaporizers these days. It began with precise temperature control, and once pretty much every vape on the market delivered that, people wanted to see more advanced features – predictable dosing, better airflow, purer flavor. In other words, today’s portable vaporizer user wants an experience as close as possible to what a desktop vaporizer would deliver.
Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to get with today’s best alternative vaporizers. The developers at companies like DaVinci and Storz & Bickel have done some pretty amazing work, and their latest devices offer features that people never would have thought possible with such small vaporizers only a few years ago. Portable vapes have become so different from one another, in fact, that you can’t just buy a device based on its price, the way it looks or your loyalty to the brand. You’ve really got to do your research, because you’re investing in a device that you could end up using for years.
Today, we’re going to compare the DaVinci IQ2 vs. the Storz & Bickel Crafty+. These are two new flagship-class devices from some of the world’s top vaporizer manufacturers, and they’re also refinements of two existing platforms that have proven extremely popular with the vaping community.
So, how do they stack up? Let’s dig in.
Prices, Warranties and What’s Included
- Price: $295.99 – Buy It Now
- Warranty: 10 years
- What’s Included: DaVinci IQ2 vaporizer, dosage pod, DaVinci multi-tool, charging cable, cleaning brush, ceramic extract tab, bubbler adapter, cleaning accessories
Storz & Bickel Crafty+
- Price: $279.99 – Buy It Now
- Warranty: 2 years; 3 years with product registration
- What’s Included: Storz & Bickel Crafty+ vaporizer, dosing capsule, charging cable, concentrate pad, replacement gaskets, replacement screens
- Maximum Temperature: 430° F
- Oven Capacity: 0.5 g
- Battery Capacity: 3,500 mAh flat-top removable 18650 battery
- Heating Time: Under 1 minute
- Material Support: Dry herbs and concentrates
- Mobile App Support: Yes; Android only
- Maximum Temperature: 410° F
- Oven Capacity: 0.3 g
- Battery Capacity: About 6 vaping sessions
- Heating Time: About 1 minute
- Material Support: Dry herbs and concentrates
- Mobile App Support: Yes; Android and browser-based
The biggest differences between the DaVinci IQ2 vs. the Crafty+ by Storz & Bickel aren’t in the prices, the specifications or what they include. Rather, the biggest differences are in how the devices handle the basic act of vaporizing your material. Both devices will give you an absolutely superb vaping experience, but they go about it in different ways.
We’ll begin by discussing the DaVinci IQ2. In the IQ2, the oven is at the bottom of the device. The distance between the oven and the mouthpiece gives the vapor room to cool down before it reaches your mouth, adding comfort during vaping. That’s further enhanced by an airflow control dial at the bottom of the device, which allows you to introduce extra air into the vapor path and cool things down further.
In creating their designs, the people at DaVinci have always remained focused on maintaining the purest vapor path possible. To that end, the IQ2 uses a glass-lined ceramic oven and an all-zirconia air path. Everything that touches the herbs or the vapor is chemically inert and doesn’t alter the flavor of your herbs at all. The IQ2 also features an innovation called the DaVinci Pearl that surrounds your herbs in heat and helps to maintain tight packing. When you close the oven, the zirconia pearl compresses the herbs and allows the oven to radiate heat from all sides. The pearl is adjustable, making it possible for you to reduce the size of the IQ2’s oven for a smaller load if desired.
The design of the DaVinci IQ has two inherent drawbacks that you should know about before buying this device. The first drawback is inherent in the bottom-oven design. Maintaining a distance between a vaporizer’s oven and mouthpiece helps to keep the vapor cool, but it also makes the device more difficult to clean. The fact that you can remove the vapor path from the device and soak it in alcohol, however, does make cleaning somewhat easier.
The second drawback is due to the device’s extremely small size. When you use the IQ2, your hand will be right next to the device’s battery and oven. The aluminum exterior conducts heat, so you can expect the IQ2 to feel fairly hot in the hand if you prefer high-temperature vaping.
While DaVinci’s design philosophy focuses on purity of flavor, we’d say that the designs from Storz & Bickel make efficient herb usage the primary point of focus. Unlike the IQ2, the Crafty+ doesn’t vaporize your herbs via direct contact with a heat source. Rather, the Crafty+ stores your herbs in a chamber at the top of the device, while the heating element is in the interior of the device.
The Crafty+ uses a hybrid heating system that combines convection and conduction. When you inhale, you draw air over the heating element. The hot air then heats the herbs to the point of vaporization. Convection allows the heat to penetrate all the way through to the center of the herb chamber. The Crafty+ has a smaller herb chamber than the IQ2, but in practice, you probably won’t notice because the device does such a good job of extracting every bit of goodness from your herbs.
The Crafty+ may have a top-mounted herb chamber, but the mouthpiece of the device has a design that forces the vapor through a long, winding channel before it reaches your mouth. The design ensures that the vapor remains cool and comfortable. The exterior of the device further helps with heat management. While the Crafty+ isn’t exactly small and pocketable, the device’s fins are very effective for heat dissipation and ensure that your hand doesn’t get hot during vaping.
Like the DaVinci IQ2, the Storz & Bickel Crafty+ has two drawbacks inherent in its design, and you should know about those drawbacks before buying. The first drawback is that the battery isn’t removable. Using a non-removable battery cell allows the Crafty+ to have superior battery life, but it also means that you can’t replace the battery easily when it eventually stops holding a charge.
The second drawback has to do with the fact that the Crafty+ has a plastic vapor path. The plastic is PEEK – a material that’s food safe and impervious to heat – but some people may prefer materials such as glass, ceramic or zirconia due to their superior flavor. The plastic, however, is what makes it possible for the Crafty+ to have a long, winding air channel that cools the vapor.
With both the IQ2 and the Crafty+, you can do everything you want with the device’s onboard controls. However, both devices also feature app-based controls that allow you to fine-tune various settings on a smartphone. In particular, the IQ2 has an innovative feature that allows you to estimate your cannabinoid consumption based on the herb strain you’re using.
We would suggest against making the app-based control a significant part of your decision when buying either of these devices as users have commented that both companies’ mobile apps still seem incomplete at this point. Users have complained about frequent crashes and other issues. In addition, Apple banned all vaping-related apps in 2019, so you won’t be able to use either company’s app on your mobile phone unless you’re an Android user. The Storz & Bickel app will also work on a Bluetooth-enabled computer with the Chrome web browser.
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