The Easy Vape Digital Vaporizer is an inexpensive box-style desktop herb vaporizer with a silicone “whip” for inhaling, provided to me for review from King Pen Vapes. It’s kind of generic (there are three slightly different models sold by a number of vendors, all with the same or similar names) and even a bit retro/cheesy looking, what with its chrome plastic and metalflake finish. But it’s a solid performer and about $100 less than most similar vapes.
My unit has five buttons and a time/temperature readout. One button turns the Easy Vape on and it immediately starts heating to the preset temperature. Another puts it into “set mode”, where you can use the up/down buttons to change the preset temperature. Then you can press the set mode button again to change the auto-shutoff timeout, or press what I call the “unset mode” button to get it out of set mode. Nothing to it!
Here’s what I like about it:
- it beeps when it reaches the set temperature, so you don’t have to watch it…just do whatever for a few minutes and it will let you know when it’s ready
- it’s consistent and effective. If you turn it high enough, you will get clouds aplenty. If you want to just vape a little cannabis at a low temperature, you can do that too.
- very easy to use…just inhale from the tube!
- it shuts itself off just in case you’re too high to remember yourself 🙂
- it looks like a pencil sharpener on your desk, so kind of stealthy
Here’s what I don’t:
- hard to read display from certain angles
- awkward angle of heater means you have to rotate the unit so as not to spill weed
- if you leave the whip on the unit after using it, some of your leftover cannabis will go to waste
Whips, Not Chains
I’ve been using this vaporizer almost exclusively for several months, mainly for the nightly dose I need to fall asleep. It takes just 2 to 3 minutes to reach normal vaporizing temperatures. After burning off the initial plastic smell (which took a few hours), everything I’ve put through it at the proper temperature has tasted just great, terpenes and all, thanks to the glass and the silicone hoses. I say “hoses” because after the first week or so, I was a bit unhappy that this setup seemed to use a heck of a lot more cannabis than I thought it should, so I scoured DHgate and got my webmaster to order me one of these items in 18mm for my Easy Vape for around $8.
At first glance, it looks just like the original, but I noticed its design has much less room between the screen and the glass joint (see the yellow lines on the photo), which means you need a lot less cannabis to fill it up, and this kind of box/whip design needs that whole area to be nearly full for best results. So I call the new one my “microdosing whip” and I’ve been using it ever since.
The whole trick to using the whip is to take it off every 3 or 4 tokes and stir the remaining weed with that cute wooden stick they include. That’s also when I turn up the temperature and repeat as necessary, although those first 4 tokes are often all I need. Be careful not to poke the screen out while stirring. You’ll have to carefully replace the 1” screen every once in awhile (less often if you clean with isopropyl alcohol), but several replacement screens are also included.
Hold On For the Rabbit Hole
Now here’s the bad news. I hate finding problems like this with products, because everyone gets upset about it (except the readers). And I only found this out by accident, so it’s likely that you would never notice this yourself in normal usage, but it really must be addressed.
Here’s what happened: I was using my Easy Vape as normal, and was planning to raise the temperature to the next level (I generally vape at 345°F, 360°F, 375°F, and then 395°F to finish). Instead of pressing the “set” button, I hit the power button by accident, which of course turned the unit off. Realizing this, I turned it back on, set it to the next level, and took a few hits after the set temperature was reached. It seemed unexpectedly harsh and I started coughing.
Five minutes later I was high af, because apparently turning the vape off and back on caused the temperature to rise out of control almost to the point of combustion. I determined to find the actual mechanism by which this occurred, but it would have to wait at least until the next day, because at this point, I was only good for watching black-and-white cartoons from the 1930s.
Unless I get a huge outpouring of demand from readers, I’m not going to go into exquisite detail about everything I did, but rest assured that with the help of a Kill-A-Watt model P4400, I was able to infer some interesting things about how this vape works. First off, it draws a small amount of current on standby, about 3 watts, which means at the US average 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, it will cost almost $40/year just to keep this plugged in (if you unplug it, you lose your time and temperature settings, although it only takes about 15 seconds to redo them).
After an initial surge of 100 watts, it holds its maximum power draw of 42 watts for 90 seconds, sufficient to get the inner glass red hot and the unit up to the minimum settable temperature of 200°F. After that, it varies a bit while getting up to higher settings, but the power usage remains fairly steady until it hits the preset temperature. And then it keeps going at the same rate. In fact, you can raise the preset temperature, and the power usage still doesn’t change (have you figured it out yet?).
If you turn it off via the power button and immediately turn it back on, the display will “properly” show that it has cooled off by 5 or 10 degrees, but this will also reset the initial 90 second delay, and the element will soon become red hot again! If you unplug it and then turn it back on, the temperature will dutifully show it starting at 80 degrees (which, as I just noticed, it always starts from rather than the actual ambient temperature), even if it was red hot a moment before!
In short, the displayed temperature uses a time-based algorithm and is not the actual temperature at all. One wonders how much ingenuity is wasted by the manufacturer attempting to fool people into thinking that they’re actually setting the temperature, rather than just doing things the right way and actually measuring the temperature, but I assume their mindset is that you can’t make enough money unless you’re tricking people. No fault of King Pen Vapes or any other vendors reselling these things either. Most people tend to assume that others aren’t out to trick us all the time.
If all that doesn’t convince you, I double-checked by opening the box up. See the gray wires in the center that go directly to the heater? There’s only two of them, so no extra wire for a temperature sensor of any kind (the two white wires that go to the circuit board are there to power a blue light for the glass). In any case, the Easy Vape works fine, even if you can’t literally believe the temperature settings, and as long as you don’t turn it off and on within about 5 minutes or so, you’ll probably never notice any of this anyway.
Frankly, I’m not sure how far down the rabbit hole this takes us. I never thought to check for it on previous reviews, and now I’m concerned that there are a lot of products out there that simulate temperature measurement, while laughing at us and displaying something that we’ve been led to expect is correct. It’s hard, if not impossible, to notice this behavior if you can’t unplug the power supply (many portable vapes use non-removable batteries). But the bottom line: let’s face it…I still like the way this vape works and use it every day.