Review: The Crafty Portable Vaporizer
When it comes to vaporizers, Storz & Bickel have a reputation for excellence. They consistently produce vaporizers focused on high-quality vaporizing, without any of the frivolous extras or gimmicks that you see on other vaporizers - just straightforward, superior vaping. However, at the same time, all of Storz & Bickel’s vapes are big, packed full of state of the art hardware and designed for optimal heat dispersion. So, I was keen to see if the Crafty, one of the smallest vapes they have ever made, maintained the same level of quality many Storz & Bickel fans have come to expect. Although there are a few small niggles, suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Both the Crafty and its larger brother the Mighty were released to the market at the same time. Where the Mighty is big and powerful, the Crafty is compact and discreet. It measures at 11cm H x 5.5cm W x 3.3cm D. This small size makes the Crafty highly versatile, with it being easy to transport, store or hide away. It also allows for a decent level of discretion during use, as it isn’t really much bigger than the hand.
The Crafty is also very lightweight, weighing in a 136g. I would generally expect more weight from a portable vaporizer, but it means the Crafty can sit comfortably in a trouser pocket or handbag without feeling like a burden. The lightweight doesn’t take away from the sturdy build quality either.
BUILD QUALITY AND FEEL
Despite being built from hard plastic, the Crafty feels like a premium product in the hand. It doesn’t have a stylish metal outer casing, but, it doesn’t need one. Holding it, you can tell it has been designed with precision; it has been built to do a job and do it well. It doesn’t have any real notable features in the way it looks, other than the heat dispersing vent ridges that surround the heating areas of the vaporizer. This helps keeps the small yet powerful device cool, as well as offer extra grip. The mouthpiece of the Crafty is designed to swivel, sitting flush with the unit when not in use. All-in-all, the design is understated yet highly functional.
EASE OF USE
When you take a look at the Crafty, you will notice it has no dials or buttons, other than the button to turn it on. It makes use extremely straightforward, with it heating up to a pre-set temperature of 180°C when turned on (which can be changed).
However, before heating up, the herb chamber needs to be filled, which is also easy to do. The top of the Crafty twists off to reveal the herb chamber, which can be filled with roughly 0.3-0.4g of weed depending on how you grind it. It comes with a packing tool that slots into place over the chamber in the same way the lid does, taking any potential fiddly packing out of the mix. Of course, this isn’t essential to use, but a handy tool if you often find yourself fumbling your marijuana. Once full, the lid can be twisted back on ready for use.
To turn it on, the power button must be held down for a few seconds. It then vibrates and turns its light red to let you know it is powering up. The heat up time to the default 180°C takes roughly 90 seconds, and once hit, the Crafty will vibrate again and turn its light green to let you know it is ready to draw. You can also put the vape into boost mode by pressing the button twice while it is on. It will flash red to let you know this has been enabled. This will boost the temperature by a default extra 15°C. However, I didn’t personally find much use for this, as the normal temperature was perfectly fine for use.
The default temperature and boost can be adjusted, as well as tailored mid-session, using the Crafty smartphone app. This app connects to the vaporizer using Bluetooth, allowing for manual adjustment of the temperature at any point the device is on. The temperature set on the app becomes the new default temperature, even when the app is not on.
In addition to temperature control, the app gives a readout of remaining battery life, as well as gives a few options to turn the vibrate function and lights on and off. My use of the app was seamless; there was no point where it did not work, crash, fail to connect, or cause any kind of problems.
The Crafty is turned off by holding down the power button for a few seconds. It then vibrates to let you know it is off and flashes blue to give you an indication of remaining battery life.
In order to try and conserve battery, the Crafty will also automatically turn off after one minute of no use being detected. This is not much of a drawback, as it is simply a case of turning it back on when you want to continue using it. However, I did find the vapes detection of use to be patchy on occasion; you need to take a real big draw for it to register use. Not a big deal, but not perfect either.
Moving onto the actual vapour, the Crafty is able to produce dense clouds that rival, if not outdo, some of the larger home desktop vaporizers available on the market. Using the default temperature of 180°C, I never found the vapour to be hot or harsh. The first draw was a bit lighter than the following ones, and to get a real dense cloud, you need to draw for a good 8-10 seconds. Even with lighter draws, though, the vape is satisfying.
In many ways, the Crafty is very similar to the Mighty in quality, but one area where they are nothing alike is battery life. Smaller size and higher discretion with the same level of quality comes at the expense of power. Fully charged, the Crafty can last roughly 45 minutes of continual use – enough for a few sessions before you need to plug it back in, ( I averaged about 4 sessions on one charge).
On the plus side, the Crafty can be charged using a standard micro USB adapter, it also has pass-through functionality, meaning it can be used at charged at the same time – something most portable vapes do not have. It takes around two hours to charge fully.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
For those who use their vaporizers a lot, you will be pleased to know that the Crafty is very easy to maintain and clean. The vape comes with a small, well-crafted brush that allows small debris to be brushed out of and from around the herb chamber. The mouthpiece can also be detached and taken apart for easy access to the vapour path.
As mentioned, Storz & Bickel are known for quality, and as such, their vaporizers come with a price tag. The Crafty is no exception here, and while it does not cost as much some of their bigger vapes, it still sits towards the top end of the portable market in terms of price – but then again, it also sits at the top of the market for quality as well.
The Crafty has been designed to be used with a fully packed herb chamber. However, if you do not want a heavy session, or simply don’t have much weed, you may not want to fully pack it. To overcome this, the Crafty is supplied with a packing disc. This allows a small amount of herb to be used, with the rest of the room being taken up by the disc – providing optimal air circulation vapour quality for the amount. If you are fully packing it, then the packing tool also comes with a packing spacer, to ensure the perfect load every time. Just something I thought worth mentioning.
The Crafty by Storz & Bickel does the vaping market proud. It is an exemplary portable vaporizer that excels in nearly every way. Its high-quality build combined with its high level of discretion make it ideal for personal use or when you are on the go. The only thing that lets it down is its 45-minute battery life, but you can’t have high power, superior quality, and small design without making a concession somewhere; for the Crafty, it is the battery. Despite this, the pass-through functionality, micro USB charging, and quick charging time means that unless you are up a mountain for a week, you should never really be without power. All-in-all, the Crafty is an impressive bit of kit, it has easily secured its place as a top-shelf portable vaporizer.
Written by: Josh
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