Vapor quality, hard-hitting and pocketable…
Are the first 3 things that come to mind when thinking of the CRAFTY.
The CRAFTY Vaporizer is the smallest you can go while keeping PREMIUM vapor quality and clouds that can hit like a truck.
It’s manufactured by the well-known makers of the famous Volcano Vaporizer: Storz and Bickel, and it’s the smaller brother of the MIGHTY (which essentially is the same vaporizer except larger and a few other differences).
German engineering is known for its indisputable quality and reliability…
And although the CRAFTY Vaporizer indeed produced vapor of indisputable quality…
Its reliability left much to be desired the first 1-2 years it was out.
Since then, Storz and Bickel came out with newer models of the CRAFTY including firmware updates, hoping to tackle the reliability issues.
But were they able to?
Continue below to find out.
Or go straight to the pros and cons and conclusion:
Where to buy the CRAFTY Vaporizer:
- Design - 8.5/108.5/10
- Portability - 8.5/108.5/10
- Safety - 9/109/10
- Potency - 10/1010/10
- Flavor - 9/109/10
- Efficiency - 8/108/10
- Ease of Use - 10/1010/10
- Temperature Control - 9/109/10
- Reputation & Reliability - 4/104/10
Cute, small and rugged.
That’s how I would describe the design of the CRAFTY.
It’s so small that it easily fits into the palm of your hand, but the rugged plastic design still gives it a ‘tough’ edge…
Which is exactly the reason why I feel this is one the ‘cutest’ vaporizers I’ve tested.
Don’t let its cute look deceive you, the clouds this thing produces are the opposite of ‘cute’…
Its overall build quality is very good. It looks and feels very solid. I really don’t see it breaking easily in any of its parts.
The materials used in the CRAFTY are the following:
- Food-grade and heat-resistant plastic (exact type is unknown);
- Aluminum (heater);
- A little bit of stainless steel (in the bowl).
No glass as you can see…
Still, the CRAFTY is a 1st class premium vaporizer. Because the quality of the materials used is extremely high.
Size & weight
I already hinted at the fact that the CRAFTY is small…
Here’s how small in measurements: 4.3″ (h) x 2.2″ (w) x 1.3″ (d) & 135 grams.
It really is a pocket-vape, in case you were wondering.
Discreetness of design
Its design isn’t very discreet.
Anytime a mouthpiece is sticking out, most people will know what it is you’re doing…
And since it doesn’t look like a standard vaping device, most people will make the connection (at least where I live, Amsterdam).
If you were hoping to get in a few quick hits and then get out…
You’ll be disappointed as well:
The CRAFTY Vaporizer has a heat-up time of 90-120 seconds. Which really is extremely long for a portable vaporizer these days.
This vaporizer has the potential to produce huge clouds that hit like a truck (I wonder how many times I will repeat this statement in this review).
And huge clouds that hit like a truck are always going to smell more than smaller clouds, obviously.
If smell is an issue for you, just sip it, taking small and controlled draws, instead of ripping it.
This does not mean the CRAFTY is a ‘sipper’ vape.
It’s also very well possible to rip it with this vaporizer!
This is where the CRAFTY SUCKS!
The battery life is atrocious. In the beginning, you might get 4-5 full bowls from it…
But the battery degrades fast up until a point where you will be happy with 3-4 full bowls.
Maybe you were hoping to just cheaply replace your battery when it starts degrading…
They’re not swappable and to keep your warranty, replacing them needs to be done by Storz and Bickel for an additional fee ($75).
Note: There are tutorials on the internet on how to replace the battery of the CRAFTY yourself. I never tried this as it voids the warranty and you will need some proper soldering skills, so try at your own risk!
The charge-up time of the batter is right around 2 hours and you do get the possibility to use your CRAFTY while charging (passthrough charging).
Storz and Bickel is the only vaporizer manufacturer that I know of, that has vaporizers with official governmental medical certifications and other 3rd party safety certifications.
If there’s any manufacturer I would blindly trust the most in terms of safety, it would have to be Storz and Bickel.
That being said…
Let’s dive deeper into the heating element and air path.
The heating element and air path
There’s a lot of plastic in the CRAFTY vaporizer…
And while this may initially scare off health-conscious vapers, there are MANY different types of plastic.
What we know about the plastic used in the CRAFTY Vaporizer is that it’s food-safe and heat-resistant.
But that’s really all we know, we don’t know exactly what type of plastic is used.
My first guess is that it’s some proprietary type of plastic.
Here’s what we DO know:
The heating element is aluminum, which means that the full air path consists of the following materials:
- Food-grade and heat-resistant plastic (exact type is unknown);
- Aluminum (heater);
- A little bit of stainless steel (in the bowl).
I do believe glass is the safest material, and while the CRAFTY has no glass in it. I still do think it’s a very safe vaporizer.
- It’s proven that CRAFTY Vaporizer has its airpath fully separated from the electronics;
- Its bigger brother the MIGHTY (which essentially has the same design and materials) has an official medical certification;
- Storz and Bickel is the only manufacturer that submits their vaporizers to 3rd party safety regulatory institutions for approval.
I just don’t understand why the MIGHTY Vaporizer does have an official medical certification, but the CRAFTY doesn’t…
When, if ever, I found out. You will find it here.
Vapor Potency (10)
Don’t let the size of the CRAFTY deceive you. This tiny little war-machine hits like a Boeing 747.
The CRAFTY, MIGHTY and the Grasshopper Vape are the hardest hitting portable vaporizers.
With any of these vaporizers, you get extremely powerful, dense, hard-hitting and tasty clouds.
While the Grasshopper does have the potential to produce even harder-hitting clouds, the CRAFTY and MIGHTY do it with a better consistency.
Unless you really mess up the grind or the packing of your bowl, you will ALWAYS be getting these powerful clouds…
…if you would want it.
The best part about the CRAFTY (and MIGHTY):
You can really choose how to use it. You don’t need to go for those extremely powerful clouds. You can easily sip these vaporizers as well (sipping is taking small and controlled draws).
How can this cute little vape be so powerful?
Storz and Bickel has the design of powerful and efficient heating elements down to science.
Literally, ALL of their vaporizers are monsters in this regard.
Tip: For the densest and most visible clouds, grind your herb fine (not powder-fine though!) and fill your bowl up to 90%. The included Storz and Bickel's grinder works well for this (I personally don’t go this fine, because I care more about flavor than dense and visible clouds).
Vapor Flavor (9)
You would think with all that plastic, the flavor of the CRAFTY surely can’t be great.
Plastic air-paths tend to have a plastic after-taste, which is dreaded by flavor-Nazis (like myself).
Well, as it turns out:
The CRAFTY has phenomenal vapor quality. I rate the flavor of the CRAFTY and MIGHTY just right behind pure convection vaporizers with an all-glass vapor path like the Firefly 2.
When you first get it, the vapor might have a slight plastic taste.
Most vaporizers coming fresh out of the factory have this problem.
To avoid this dreaded taste, do the following BEFORE you start using your CRAFTY for the first time:
- Fill the bowl with a small amount of herb;
- Set the temperature to the highest;
- Leave your CRAFTY on for 20 minutes;
- Take a couple of draws during these 20 minutes WITHOUT inhaling the vapor/air, just immediately blow it out after your draw.
After this burn-off, the quality of your vapor will be REALLY good. Better than the Arizer Air with its all-glass air path for example.
The vapor only gets a bit harsher when you go above 392°F(200°C), but it’s still very doable IMO.
Tip: While a really fine grind does produce the densest and most visible clouds, for flavor preservation I would advise a fluffier grind with volume. The Santa Cruz Shredders are perfect for this type of grind.
The CRAFTY is a hybrid vaporizer, which means that its heating mechanism is a combination of convection and conduction heating.
I do believe it’s mostly convection.
With all conduction vaporizers that I tested, the flavor deteriorates after the first couple of hits. With the CRAFTY, however, the flavor stays super-consistent all throughout your session.
But there’s definitely some conduction heating going on, and conduction heating does take away from the session-efficiency of a vaporizer when you compare it to convection.
This means it’s just better to finish up your bowl, once you’ve started your session.
The CRAFTY’s bowl is normal size for a portable vaporizer: 0.3 grams.
This is larger than the most efficient portable vapes though.
The minimum amount you need to produce visible vapor is around 0.1 grams with the liquid pad on top of your material. This is much less than the PAX vaporizers for example, but more than the Firefly 2 or Arizer Air/Arizer Solo.
The bottom line is that the CRAFTY is more efficient than all conduction vaporizers I tested, but is less efficient than the most efficient vaporizers like the Firefly 2.
Tip: If you want to use small amounts (50% or less of a full bowl), use the liquid pad to compress your herb. Or use the Storz and Bickel dosing capsules.
Ease of Use (10)
Just like with its bigger brother the MIGHTY, the CRAFTY has NO learning curve.
Whatever your IQ, you will have no issue with using your CRAFTY properly.
These 2 vaporizers are the most forgiving portable vaporizers in vaporizer-land. Whichever way you grind, fill the bowl or draw…you will always be getting decent vapor production
Of course, if you want to really optimize its performance, there are ‘best’ ways to use it:
- Use a medium to fine grind (don’t go powder-fine and don’t fill it with whole nugs);
- Pack your bowl 90% full (or use the liquid pad to compress with smaller amounts), but not too tight;
- To keep the temperature in your bowl consistent, sip it instead of rip it (small, slow and controlled draws).
But even if you don’t take on these tips, the CRAFTY’s ease and consistency in producing proper clouds of vapor can’t be matched by other portable vapes…
…literally from start till the end of your session.
There’s just one thing that’s annoying:
- The 1-minute auto shut-off timer.
Although it does help conserve battery and herb, this is way too short if you’re going for a session (which you really should as the CRAFTY is a true session-vape).
To reset the 1-minute timer and prevent your CRAFTY Vaporizer from shutting off, just click the power button once.
There’s a CRAFTY smartphone app and you should use it.
Here’s what you can do with it:
- Change the default and boost temperature (standard settings: 356°F/180°C and 383°F/195°C);
- Shut on/off the vibration function;
- Change LED brightness of your CRAFTY;
- Do a factory reset;
- Read battery life.
You will need an Android phone or iPhone and a Bluetooth connection for this (which really shouldn’t be an issue if you have a modern phone).
It’s quite a functional app. I do feel vaporizer apps in general, are a bit gimmicky. It would have been better if these functionalities were controllable on the unit itself as well.
There is no draw-resistance.
The CRAFTY and its bigger brother the MIGHTY are the most free-flowing portable vaporizers there are.
This is great for medical patients who have trouble inhaling with power!
Maintaining your CRAFTY is easy.
Every 2-3 sessions, get a Q-Tip some ISO alcohol, dip your Q-tip in it. Then just brush out your bowl and the screen at the bottom of your bowl. This will help the airway stay free and clean up resin. The resin in your bowl (herb-leftovers) will alter the taste of your vapor in a negative way. So keep your bowl clean!
The CRAFTY does require a deep cleaning every 15-20 sessions. It will take you around 10 minutes to do a full deep cleaning.
You decide whether this is long or not…
Although the deep cleaning is pretty straightforward, there’s full written out tutorial at the end of this review.
Temperature Control (9)
If you want full control over the effects of your vapor…
Precise temperature control with a wide range of temperatures is a MUST.
As it turns out:
The CRAFTY does have precise temperature control (controllable in 1-degree increments with the smartphone app).
It does have a pretty wide range as well. The range just lacks the highest temperature as this is the range:
- 104°F – 410°F (40°C – 210°C).
Marijuana starts combusting around 464°F(240°C) and the temperatures right below that, provide you with a very intense and physical medication.
Unfortunately, you can’t reach these temperatures with the CRAFTY.
In practice, the strain you vape with is as important, if not more important than the temperature you vape with.
Why does this matter?
Well, if you want a heavy sedating session or just want to be locked on your couch for the rest of your evening…
Get an Indica strain, set your CRAFTY to 410°F(210°C) and watch as you’re slowly getting glued to the spot your sitting…wondering where that cake is you saved for this EXACT moment.
Reputation and Reliability (4)
Storz and Bickel, the manufacturer of the CRAFTY Vaporizer, does have a stellar reputation in vaporizer-land.
They designed the world-famous Volcano Vaporizer which, after 15 years, still is THE premium balloon-style vaporizer you can get.
Because the reliability of the Volcano Vaporizer is so good, they earned this reputation of making high quality and long-lasting vaporizers.
But here’s the kicker.
All this reputation didn’t prevent the CRAFTY from being one of the LEAST reliable portable vaporizers you can get (only the Grasshopper Vape is less reliable, but that one gets a lifetime warranty!).
The defect-rate of this little vaporizer is way above average and there are a lot of examples of CRAFTY Vaporizers biting the dust after 100ish hours of use. Which is exactly the reason why I don’t recommend the CRAFTY as your solo daily driver.
If you’re looking for a reliable daily driver, instead get its bigger brother, the MIGHTY. It’s is a much more reliable vape.
The CRAFTY does have a 2-year warranty, which is on the short side. But enough for most people to reach 100+ hours of vaping.
What I’m essentially saying here is:
Make sure you use your CRAFTY a lot, so it reaches at least 100 hours of use before the 2-year warranty ends!
Even if you do this and you send your CRAFTY back within 2 years, there’s still an issue:
The battery is one if its weak links and is not covered by warranty or officially user-replaceable! If you ever need to replace your battery you’re going to have to send it back to Storz and Bickel and let them replace your battery for an additional fee ($75)!
Plus, I advise you right now to be prepared for the day you need to send it back for repair/replacement…by getting a reliable backup vaporizer.
It gets better:
They do have a decent customer service in case you’re going to need to send it back for replacement/repair.
Note: If you get your CRAFTY at Vapornation, you can get it with a lifetime warranty for an additional fee. This looks like a smart move with the reliability issues of the CRAFTY. But this warranty does not cover the batteries, so I would advise against getting this ‘lifetime warranty’.
If portability, vapor quality, hard-hitting clouds and ease of use are your top priorities when vaping the herb…
AND you can accept its reliability issues…
The CRAFTY is your vaporizer.
Also, if you’re an ex-smoker and are looking for the closest experience to smoking (with all the benefits of vaping obviously) or have a high tolerance…
There’s no better choice than the CRAFTY or MIGHTY.
An important note here:
If you’re looking for a reliable daily driver, go for the MIGHTY.
Because here comes the major downside of the CRAFTY:
There’s a big chance your CRAFTY will bite the dust after 100ish hours of use and you’re going to have to send it back for repair/replacement.
If you can accept this, please prepare for that day by getting a cheaper and reliable back-up vape like the Arizer Air.
It really is a session-vape. You can’t get in a few quick hits and put it away like you could with the Firefly 2 (the FF2 sucks for sessions though).
Lastly, its battery life is quite atrocious. After the battery starts degrading (which happens pretty fast with the CRAFTY) you will be happy to get 3-4 bowls. If you think this is really going to be an issue, check out the PAX 2. It has a MUCH better battery life. The PAX 2 scores quite a bit lower on vapor quality (potency and flavor) though.
What’s the bottom line?
The CRAFTY is one hell of a vaporizer. It’s small, pocketable, produces vapor of an extremely good quality and is extremely easy to use…
…WHEN it works!
It has major reliability and battery issues. And although the newer models with firmware upgrades have less of these issues, they’re still there. I wouldn’t recommend the CRAFTY as your solo daily driver. If you’re looking for a daily driver instead go for the MIGHTY.
But if portability is more important…
Go ahead and get yourself a CRAFTY!
Where to buy the CRAFTY Vaporizer:
If you want to compare the CRAFTY to other portable vaporizers, click here:
CRAFTY Tips and Tricks
How to grind your herb:
For the densest and most visible clouds of vapor:
Grind your herb fine (not powder-fine though). The included Storz and Bickel 2-piece grinder works well for this. If you want to upgrade to a higher quality grinder, check out our guide on how to choose the best herb grinder.
For best flavor:
Grind your herb between medium and fine. Keep your herb fluffy and let it have some decent volume. The easiest way to achieve this is with a Santa Cruz Shredder.
How to pack your bowl:
The CRAFTY is a very forgiving vaporizer in this regard.
But if you’re going to optimize its performance, here’s how to pack your bowl:
Going for a full bowl:
Pack your bowl between 80-90% full. Very lightly tamp it. Don’t compress your herb like you would with conduction-vapes.
Half or less full bowl:
Use the liquid pad to compress your herb. If you go for a half-pack it is important to compress your herb.
How to draw:
It really doesn’t matter:
You can either sip it or rip it.
If you want to keep the temperature in your bowl consistent I advise to sip it.
Stir your bowl:
The CRAFTY doesn’t need stirring at all, but if you’re going to squeeze every little cannabinoid out of your herb…you could stir half-way your session (5-6 draws).
The best temperature for the CRAFTY Vaporizer
Here’s a general guideline:
- Up till 356°F(180°C): Best for flavor and very light, mostly mental medication;
- 356°F(180°C) – 392°F(200°C): Great flavor with great medication level, bodily effects will be more apparent;
- 392°F(200°C) and up: Best if you don’t have anything else to do that day, very strong level of medication, heavy bodily effects.
Realize that all of these effects are at least, if not more so dependent on the particular strain you’re vaping with.
If you want to dive deeper on vaping temperatures and how they affect your medication, read our full guide on the best temperature to vape weed.
Deep Cleaning Tutorial
The deep cleaning process is basically the same process as with the MIGHTY Vaporizer, which can be found here.