Not every vaporizer needs to run on batteries or electricity. In this instance, where there's vape, there's fire.
What Is It?
A portable, flame-powered vaporizer shaped like a conventional pipe.
Who's it For?
Tokers in need of vaporizer training wheels, luddite stoners, or anybody that thinks smoking shouldn't require voltage.
A pipe with a two-part design. The upper bowl holds a silicon carbide flame filter. It unscrews from the rest of the pipe to reveal the material chamber.
There is a bit of a learning curve. You loosely pack some shake into the material chamber, screw the two halves of the pipe together, and insert the flame from your average butane lighter into the upper bowl while slowly drawing on the mouthpiece. You have to take care that the flame never, ever touches the silicon carbide disc that rests in the upper bowl. The disc acts as a heat dissipator—contact with fire damages the disc and reduces its effectiveness. Update: Per a VG rep, "Contact with flame, if it happens repeatedly, will eventually clog the filter. This does NOT damage the filter. The ceramic filter remains unchanged beneath the layer of soot. The soot is easily cleaned by removing the ceramic filter and burning off the soot. But this is not required by normal maintenance and it is very difficult to touch flame to the ceramic. If small amounts of soot are deposited, they are slowly burned away with normal use."
The Best Part
If the batteries on a conventional vaporizer run dry while out on the town, it's over. But you can replace a dead lighter at the corner store.
You can't see the material bowl, so you have to continually unscrew and reattach the upper section to check on it—two or three times a bowl, on average.
This Is Weird...
There is not a single pants pocket in which this pipe feels comfortable. Better bring a bag.
- The silicon carbide flame filter mixes heat from the lighter with cooler ambient air, spreading both evenly over material chamber.
- Pay attention to the mouth-feel. If you are sucking in a lot of smoke, you're heating the bowl to the combustion point. Pull the lighter away or draw faster.
- If you notice certain parts of the bowl are browning faster than others, move the flame in a circular motion around the inner edge of the upper bowl to better spread the heat.
- Leave the shake in the material bowl too long, and you end up just smoking, not vaporizing.
- Do not use a torch lighter with this. Do. Not. Use. A. Torch. Lighter. With. This.
Should You Buy It?
Its versatility, affordability, and ease of use can make it worth a shot, even if it isn't a "true" vaporizer. And totally looks like something you'd smoke weed out of (which makes it a challenge to whip it out on the street). And it's kind of a pain in the ass to use, what with the whole unscrewing-to-check process. Still, it's a handsome piece, for only $60.