Storz & Bickel has never been shy about its vaporizer designs.
From the very beginning these have leaned strongly towards the form-follows-function school.
From the conical Volcano with its balloon, to their first foray into handheld vaporizers, the Plenty.
In late 2014 the German company opted for a twin launch for its latest portable offering, a unique strategy for the industry to date.
The Mighty is the larger version of two, being 14 cms (5.5 inches) high, 8 cms (3.2 inches) wide and 3 (1.2) deep. It’s grabbable in a fist, like a walkie-talkie, rather than sitting in your palm like a pipe.
It feels sturdy and well built, as you’d expect from Storz and Bickel its precision medical device standards, and its weight (235 grams, or 0.5 lbs) does not feel excessive.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
Out of the box, the Mighty takes about 2 hours to charge its dual Lithium-Ion Battery (via mains adapter – no USB). It can be used while this is going on.
The interface is self-explanatory. Press the orange button on the side to switch on; a short trilling vibration announces that this has been successful.
A square LCD screen shows the battery level, desired temperature (white) and the current temperature above that in orange numerals. Buttons on either side of the screen change the setting (maximum 210 C/410 F, minimum 40 C/104 F.)
Charged, it takes around 2 minutes to get up to 190 degrees C (374 degrees F – holding the – and + buttons down simultaneous toggles between the two)
The Mighty arrives with a grinder, brush, spare sealing rings and an ingenious chamber-filling device.
The cooling unit twists off with a half turn, exposing the stainless steel herb chamber. Pour the ground herb from the grinder into the filler; it twists securely onto the heat chamber in the same groove as the removed cooling unit. Pull out the filler’s inner stopper and the herb can be easily and tidily swept into the chamber.
The chamber should be totally full but if not, use the wire pad included as a spacer (if you don’t, bud will go flying all over the place inside and will not vaporize). The chamber’s actually not that huge and fills easily with fluffed up 0.1 gram.
You have to hold the device in one hand, screw the filler on securely, take the lid off this and shepherd the ground herb into the chamber, unscrew the filler, tamp the herb down with the tool that slides out of the base…
Turn the flattened mouthpiece 180 degrees and it swivels cleverly into the ‘ready’ position. The draw is as smooth and easy as any desktop vape, and better than anyother handheld to date. Only its Crafty stable mate comes close; it fact, the draw on both is equally superb.
The vapor is cool and flavorsome. You cannot take a full deep lungful, but you won’t need to. The inhalation should be slow and steady – the temperature of the chamber quickly falls out of the vaping zone and takes a few seconds to reheat sufficiently.
WHAT’S THE SECRET?
Why is the vapor such a cut above any other portable? Well, when you take the cooling unit apart to clean you’ll see the thought and engineering that has gone into this vapor path.
But it is also a function of being mostly produced by genuine convection – hot air passing through the ground herb – along with a little conduction as the herb touches the side of the chamber.
This combo produces vapor as soon as you inhale, doesn’t scorch, and extracts the full spectrum of terpenes (for taste and smell) as well as cannabiniods (I suspect; I can’t say this for sure without serious lab testing). The herb does not need to be stirred, and when it’s spent it has an even color.
The makers recommend regular cleaning of the Mighty, which first requires dissembling the cooling unit. This involves removing it as for filling, then wiggling the mouthpiece back and forth a bit to pull it out of its socket. Mind that you catch its tiny sealing ring.
The cap lock is opened by pulling rearwards and flicking it up with your fingernail. This allows the cooling unit cap to be removed from the cooling unit base. Large and small sealing rings need to then be removed (using the chamber filling tool)
Now all the bits can be brushed then soaked in alcohol or warm soapy water. Dried off, the cooling unit is reassembled in reverse order. If it sounds like a bit of a hassle – and it is – that’s just the price you pay for a top of the range draw and vapor quality.
A fully-charged Mighty is good for 6-7 sessions, and the LCD screen includes a charge level indicator. This is around double the time you’ll get from the Crafty, but being 12 V mains-only, you will not be able to top it up once you’re out of the house.
The temperature range is 40 – 210 degrees C (104-410 F). I can’t imagine when you would use the lowest temperature; lavender blossom and eucalyptus leaves release their healing oils at 130 degrees C and they’re the lowest boiling point herbs in common use.
Yes, the Mighty’s not cheap; the Crafty is also not cheap but about €50 less. But if you want the very best vapor from a portable, one or the other has to be in your sights.
We like the extra battery life, and the size is not a problem for my vaping preferences. S&B have been right to not bow to the tyranny of ‘smallness at any cost.’