The company behind this amazing vaporizer is a German manufacturer who’s been on the forefront of vaping for almost two decades, a time they’ve spent perfecting their products to a really enviable level.
As a matter of fact, their Volcano desktop vaporizer is the only device that is officially recognized by the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations), to be used by Canada’s medical users of cannabis, which speaks volumes on the acceptance of Storz & Bickel’s technology.
With all this in mind, it’s hard to imagine the Crafty to perform at any level other than fantastic, and this is exactly how this vape behaves.
Naturally, some characteristics are better than others but that’s exactly why we are here, to meticulously dissect everything this device has to offer.
But let me tell you in advance, even though it’s high priced, the Crafty is truly a hell of a vaporizer.
The heating system is quite complex and it also has an intricate cooling system that greatly lowers the temperature of the vapor.
What’s in the Crafty box?
The equipment that comes with the Crafty is quite nice, and I especially like the “Easy-Filling” tool, as it greatly expedites the process of loading your pot into the chamber.
- 1 x Crafty Vaporizer
- 1 x Power Adapter
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x Liquid Pad
- 3 x Screens
- 1 x Cleaning Brush
- 1 x Herb Mill (Grinder)
- 1 x Easy-Filling Tool
- 1 x Seal Rings
- 1 x Instruction Manual
Crafty tech specs
As the design of the Crafty is pretty elaborate there’s a lot of stuff to cover, so let’s start with how it creates the cannabinoid-infused vapor from your pot, or from other derivatives like hash, waxes and concentrates.
All Storz & Bickel devices use the same vaporization technology, which is a combination of conduction and convection heating.
Conduction transfers the heat through direct contact, for instance when you place a cooking pan on a stove.
Convection on the other hand can be described as the movement of hot air in and around the object your heating up, in this particular case the plant material or its derivatives.
A great way example of a convection heating device is a blow dryer.
Conduction alone was used for the earliest models of vaporizers, and this type of heating definitely has its downsides.
In the case of vaping, it will unevenly heat the desired material, as it directly heats only a certain portion of the weed, while other sections will be much less affected by conduction heating.
The risk of combustion is also far greater with conduction, which we definitely don’t want during a vaping session, because the combustion process is what differentiates vaping from smoking.
With combustion (as in smoking), numerous hazardous substances get released for both nicotine and cannabis, most importantly tar and carbon monoxide.
Without the actual process of burning a substance (combustion), vaping heats the substance to a temperature where the active ingredients get released from it, and at the same time we avoid all the unhealthy particles from entering our body, as the active ingredients enter our lungs in the form of vapor.
Even though vapor physically resembles smoke, health-wise they are utterly different.
Convection is a far more suitable way of creating vapor, and the only downsides is that the devices capable of convection heating are more expensive, and that they require a bit more time to reach the desired temperatures.
Convection heating also allows a much more precise control of the temperature, and an even heating of the substance in question.
The Crafty uses both technologies, but relies much more on the convection heating method.
Without using your phone to fine-tune the temperature (which will cover later), there are two “default” temperatures that can be set using only the vaporizer itself.
I’ll explain all of this in great detail in the “How to Use” part of the review.
As we’ve covered heating, let’s also say a few words on the cooling of the vapor, which is much simpler, but also very important.
Before the freshly created vapor reaches your mouth and lungs, it first has to pass through a deliberately longer path, so it could cool off. The lower vapor temperatures make the vaping much more enjoyable, as lesser heat leaves the senses to better analyze the flavor and fragrance of the buds / concentrates. A metal screen is also there to “catch” some of the heat form the vapor as it travels.
The cannabinoids and terpenes don’t lose their potency while traveling through this elongated path, so this unique cooling system only improves the vaping experience, without any shortcomings whatsoever.
The chamber itself can hold up to around 0.3 grams of pot which is really good, and the mouthpiece itself has a low draw resistance which allows for amazing airflow, letting you to take some serious tokes with the Crafty.
Battery life & charging options
This is by far the biggest lacking of this unit, as the battery in my opinion really isn’t as good as it can be. A good news is that the 2018 version of this device has a 20% stronger battery, so vaping on the go will last a bit longer.
It takes about two hours for the battery to be fully charged, which is a pretty decent time.
The duration heavily depends on the temperature levels, so depending on how you use to, it can last anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes. When we consider all the benefits that come with Crafty this can’t be considered as a huge flaw, but it’s definitely something to consider. If you’re a person who’s looking the vaporize frequently (and heavily) outside the comfort of your home, you might want to choose a different device, like the Pax 3 for instance.
The charging is possible with both the wall socket and USB, and naturally the charging is quicker with the use of the wall jack. The Crafty can also be used while it’s charging, but only when the battery reaches around 20%.
The unit also has a battery-saver which automatically switches it off after one minute of inactivity. When you take a toke (or press the button) it will immediately power back on.
Flowers, concentrates or both?
The Crafty is capable of creating vapor from both flowers and cannabis concentrates, but the issue that plagues the vast majority of portable vaporizers is that they’re not primarily designed to work with concentrates and other canna-derivatives.
Except from solid types of hash, more liquid variables will leave your device very sticky and resinous, and the cleaning requirements will significantly increase.
This definitely isn’t a deal breaker, but if you’re looking to find a device with whom you will consume mostly concentrates, it’s probably best to buy a unit that’s designed exclusively for that task.
But if you’re planning to use concentrates only from time to time and flower material regularly, Crafty can be a great device for you.
In these situations use the Liquid Pad (which comes with the set) and drip the concentrate on it. The same applies for hashish.
The Liquid Pad tool is also great when you don’t want to fill the entire chamber with weed, as it will help the tool to vaporize it evenly.
Crafty vapor quality
Because of its superior heating system and an advanced cooling pathway, the vapor that hits your taste buds is truly exquisite. The dual heating vaporizes the material very evenly, and the chamber is pretty big, which is quite useful if you’re vaping with a couple of people.
Unlike a lot of portable vaporizers that have a ceramic vapor chamber, the Crafty’s is made from high grade metal, and in my opinion this is most likely a better option, as the taste and thickness of the vapor are really top notch on this unit.
As mentioned the cooling system also has a lot to do with it, as the subtle differences of the aroma and smell are much more easily detectable when the vapor isn’t too hot.
The chamber requires anywhere from 90 to 120 seconds to reach desired temperature depending on the temp settings you programmed, which isn’t really fast compared to the competition, but is quite all right if you ask me.
The design isn’t really sleek and it kind of resembles the Zeus Smite model, not so much for their design similarities, but I think both of these vapes have a certain dystopian / industrial ruggedness to them, and as a science fiction fan this is something I really like.
Because when you think about it, vaporizers are very futuristic devices, and superior to smoking in so many ways.
The size of the Crafty can be somewhat of an issue if you’re wearing tight-fitting jeans (4.3 x 2.2 x 1.3 in (11 x 5.7 x 3.3 cm)), but for cargo pants / backpack / purse, carrying this unit won’t be problematic at all.
Durable plastic covers the outer surface which resembles a home radiator, which is great for dispersing heat during the vaping session, and you’ll be able to hold the Crafty during the entire process without any difficulties.
It weighs 135 grams (5 oz), which is pretty light.
How to use Crafty
Using the Crafty is very simple without using the amazing app for your phone which supports both IOS and Android, and with it you can monitor and fine-tune a bunch of stuff. But first things first.
If you’re using flowers, first grind the cannabis with the grinder that came with the set.
Secondly, twist off the upper part of the device, and underneath you’ll see the chamber.
When you’ve finished with the grinding “pour” the weed into the Easy-Filling tool that looks like the letter “O” (also comes with the set), and screw the tool onto the top of the chamber.
Once that’s done, remove the cap that’s in the center of the tool, and pour the ground pot inside the chamber. When this step is finished, simply unscrew the Easy-Filling tool from your device, and you’re ready to turn on the Crafty.
If you’re using concentrates or hash, drip (or place) the material on the Liquid-Pad, and place it inside the chamber. The Liquid-Pad should also be used when you’re planning to vaporize a smaller amount of dry cannabis (lesser quantities than a full chamber), because it will help the even heating of the plant material.
There are two default temperatures – 180° C (356° F), and 195° C (383° F), and for the first one just click the power button one time, and for the “Boost” temperature click on it twice consecutively.
After 90 to 120 seconds the light indicator will change from red to green, and vibration will also let you know that the Crafty is ready for use.
Depending on the strength of your draw it may take a few seconds for the unit to re-establish the correct temperature, and the light will turn green every time the device is ready for inhaling, accompanied by a vibration.
Once you’ve downloaded your Crafty app on your smartphone, this will allow you to tune a very wide range of functions.
The first thing you can change is the “Default” and “Boost” temperatures, ranging from 40° C (104° F), to 210° C (410° F).
On the app there’s also a chart that informs you of the best possible temperatures depending on what you’re planning to vape, which is really informative and very resourceful. This can help to determine what temperatures you want to set for your “Default” and “Boost” warmth.
You can also check the battery life of your vape using the app, and set various features like the brightness of the light (which is way too bright on default), see the total number of hours you’ve been using your Crafty, and control the vibration settings of the vape.
The 2018 model also allows you to switch on the unit via the app, and the battery-saving shutdown can be adjusted to happen from 1 to 5 minutes of your device being dormant. If you want to continue with the session just take a toke from the mouthpiece or press a button, and it will automatically continue with the heating.
Cleaning the Crafty
The cleaning requirements for this particular device aren’t too demanding, with the exception of liquids and gooey concentrates, which definitely should compel you to do a lot more work, as your Crafty will become very resinous if you forget to clean it a few times.
The part of the unit that requires most work is the upper removable part above the chamber, and you can start by removing the mouthpiece from it. The next thing you need to do is disassemble the cap lock, which you take off by pulling it back, and just snap it off from any side.
Once that’s done, separate the removable part in two. Inside it there will be a lot of residue, and this is where you’ll be focusing your attention.
When you’ve disassembled this part, remove the two gaskets and the metal screen with the pick-like tool which is stored on the same place where the only button is, just on the opposite side of the vaporizer.
Submerge all the parts into a dish with isopropyl alcohol (ISO), and leave them in there for at least 15 minutes, so they can be properly disinfected. Make sure you don’t leave them for more than an hour, as this will possibly damage the smaller parts of the unit.
Once you’ve finished with this step, carefully remove all the residue with cotton swabs. Make sure to place all the gaskets where they belong, as forgetting this will surely do some damage to your device. The instruction manual is very comprehensive, and you’ll be able to find all the necessary information on how to do all of this in it.
Crafty standout features
The feature that stands out the most on the Crafty is definitely the vapor quality, as it is truly remarkable, and can easily be compared to the larger and more powerful desktop vaporizers.
Other than that, the chamber is rather large (0.3 grams), and it allows you to use the Liquid Pad for both concentrates and hash, but also when you don’t want to vaporize the whole 0.3 grams in a single session.
The application is also designed very nicely, allowing to perform a wide range of tweaks on the functioning of your unit.