Buyer’s Guide 2019
The vaporizer industry is all set for a massive boom now that the use of medicinal or recreational marijuana has been given the ‘green’ light in 29 states including D.C and also in other countries such as Canada. In truth, even prior to the legalization, the market is already experiencing significant growth. Many people are sensibly shifting to vaping in lieu of traditional tobacco cigarettes
In 2017, the portable vaporizer and e-cigarette markets have topped $9.5 billion. Based on projections, this figure can exponentially increase in the next decade. This bodes well for brands like Firefly Vapes which has already established a solid presence in the industry and garnered a weighty market share.
According to a published report by Cision PR Newswire, the industry is forecasted to be worth a staggering $61 billion by 2025. Other data had estimated the value to be between $32 billion and $47 billion for the same period. Even if only the lowest calculations are realized, vaporizer manufacturers would see the dawn of a golden age.
Hence, several vape makers are coming up with variants of contrasting quality. Our objective is to provide detailed information about the best choices as well as the subpar vapes in the industry. This comprehensive Firefly Vaporizing review will zero in on the brand’s most popular products and see how they compare with its peers like DaVinci and Pax that are among the top players.
Firefly Vaporizers: Who are they?
Mark Williams and Sasha Robinson founded and established the Firefly vaporizer company in 2012. While it might appear fairly recent especially in a blossoming industry, the pair has been around for quite some time already.
The profiles of both Williams and Robinson are not characteristic of the so-called ‘stoners.’ Williams rose from the ranks in Apple Inc. where he was involved in designing the Mac OS Software. On the other hand, Robinson worked in Silicon Valley where he also had a promising career in technology.
Being health-conscious smokers, the two men tried out many vaporizers. From there they saw the tangible potentials of the vaping industry. Williams admitted they were awed by the ‘pioneers’ or the early inventors of vapes.
However, they noted that the available models were more the results of ‘scientific experiments’ rather than portable, hi-tech devices. Firefly Vapes, up to the present day, have not been ‘officially’ crafted and intended for weed users.
The tech dudes decided to collaborate and endeavored to develop a dry herb vaporizer. They envisioned a vaporizer for smoking that would have the similar effect of the iPhone for music. Robinsons and Williams turned their backs on what could be illustrious careers to venture into the vaporizing market. Their infatuation for vaporizers turned to passionate desire and the pair eventually succeeded.
Creating the Firefly Vape
The industrious pair began work. On January 2011, after two years of painstaking efforts, their creation still did not meet their specific quality and safety standards. Robinson said the butane’s reliability was suspect and that “you couldn’t just hand it to your grandmother.” They scrapped the original plan and went back to the drawing board.
In the ensuing work, they switched to an electrical power source in place of butane. The main goal was to find a top-grade heating coil that would guarantee the purity of air inside the chamber. They experimented with several metals that would serve as the chamber’s inner walls.
Nickel and/or chromium alloy was the standard coil predominantly used then. However, both men developed allergies from the nickel/chromium alloy. They were forced to try a new material where at first it seemed like a faulty move. However, it turned out to be a masterful stroke of luck because it was to become an industry “game changer.”
The testing phase for the new material was a protracted one. They ran the model vape for ten seconds while powering it for five seconds. The process was repeated nearly 50,000 times. The creation eventually performed to their expectations.
The prototype was then presented to Aaron LaCascio who is one of the world’s top distributors of vape distributors. Mr. LaCascio was astonished by the ingenious product. By the end of 2013, the OG Firefly Vaporizer was finally released.
The vaping world welcomed the device which instantly earned special recognition as the best vaporizer on the market. Currently, there are two models available, the Firefly and the Firefly 2. This article will review both models in detail.
The original Firefly vaporizer hit the stores in December 2013 and came with a price tag of $269. Some were thought that the price of the revolutionary device was not as expensive. The Firefly 1 was exceptional in more ways than one but it did encounter a few issues which were promptly corrected in its second incarnation (today it is run via the specialized Firefly App).
Key Features of the Firefly Vaporizer
The original Firefly vape is basically a portable convection vaporizer wherein your dry herb is heated in roughly seven seconds. In our Firefly vaporizer review, the most notable thing that caught our attention is that it had little resemblance to the standard vape device. At the onset, Robinson and Williams wanted their vaporizer to appear sleek and sexy. Therefore it is understandable why the design of the Firefly is a complete departure from the old-school vaporizers.
They reaped success with the mobile phone-like appearance of the initial Firefly models. While it is a portable sturdy device, its weight of 278 grams is a tad heavier compared with the industry average. The extra weightiness is due to the stainless steel heat sinks which are needed to dispel excess heat. Further, it allows the unit to stay cool during and immediately after each vaping session.
The Firefly also comes with a host of accessories which includes a travel bag that lends extra space for other items. Buyers also get five replacement screens, five cleaning picks, a multi-sided brush, and several cleaning wipes. We found the bag irresistible as it allows you to discreetly store your vape device. Meanwhile, the brush’s design is excellent to make cleaning effortless.
When it comes to functionality, the vape makes use of a glass heating chamber which can hold up to approximately 0.15 grams of dry herb. By today’s standard capacity, that is a bit on small side yet it still allows you to have 5-8 hits per vaping session.
In the case of the heating element, the temperature reaches around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The instant heat is ideal because the unit’s efficiency increases with no herb wastage during extended heating up or cooling down sessions. When you’re using the Firefly 1 vaporizer, the device produces a visible warm glow. This would indicate that the maximum temperature has been reached. Apart from the signal that the vape is ready to use, the light is a marvelous sight at night.
One snag with the original Firefly vape is the removable battery which can only be used continually for no than 45 minutes per charge. That time frame is no longer consistent with the current trend. There were also complaints by some users that they could hardly finish three full chambers of bud on a single charge.
The solution is to buy spare batteries and exchange them whenever necessary. However, this is so much of an inconvenience. But the charging time of 45 minutes is a positive factor because it is remarkably faster versus industry standard.
How to Use the Firefly Vaporizer
Starting from the top, a pair of very powerful magnets holds the lid of the Firefly Vape. You’ll be distressed at first by how much force it requires to open the lid. We were a little upset too with the absence of instructions in the manual which stated that using the Firefly is as relaxed as installing the battery, plugging it in, charging it, putting in your herb, pressing the power button, and finally vaping.
Actually, you’ll be somewhat frustrated doing this. Once fully charged, you turn the power switch on (green LED light appears) which is located the right-hand side of the vaporizer. The heat button is on the opposite side and once pressed, the device will hit 400 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds. Regardless of the length of time you hold down the heating button, the Firefly will heat for a maximum of 30 seconds continuously. The vapor is thicker the longer you hold the button.
The chamber is visible once you remove the lid and we discovered that it’s better to build a mound over it when loading. Avoid the herbs touching the steel otherwise cleaning becomes tedious. For best results, make sure you use only finely ground herb.
The ease of maintenance is one of Firefly’s endearing aspects. We highly recommend that you clean the device after every session. Since the window on the cover as well as the stainless steel stays warm for an extended period, it keeps things more unsolidified and therefore easier to wipe down. A paper towel is enough to remove residue but you can also use the double-sided cleaning tool for the same purpose.
We noticed residue forming on the window and areas around the chamber after several heavy sessions using the Firefly. When the heating element has cooled down, we removed the build-up with alcohol. Based on many user testimonies, the device would have to be thoroughly cleaned after 15 sessions.
Firefly Vaporizer: Vapor Quality
During the conduct of our actual OG Firefly vape review, we preheated the chamber for six seconds then held the power button for the 30-second maximum. It led to better vapor quality. You benefit from a great draw and decent vapor quantity if you do perform this ritual. Also, to fully optimize the contents, shake the Firefly after drawing as a way to move and keep the herbs in place to the last strand.
A dense cloud will appear if you can draw for up to 10 seconds on the second hit. Most users can average about eight hits per session but our team managed to have ten. On the overall, we can say that the vapor quality is superb and during that time, only the desktop units can outperform the device.
Overall Thoughts on the Firefly 1 Vape
When the Firefly 1 vape was first released in December 2013, it deserved to be considered as one of the best portable vaporizers around. More so, the convection model was remarkably efficient as it only heats your herbs while you press the power button. Other vaporizers then took up to 60 seconds to heat and pales in comparison to the almost instant heating up time of Firefly 1.
Apart from the first few uses, it came through as presented – the Firefly is as easy as charging, pressing a switch and holding down a button after loading the chamber. With no external batteries or extra pieces, it exemplifies ‘portability.’ The 5-year warranty also gives customers the needed peace of mind. The lightning fast battery charging time of 45 minutes is a bonus plus the fact that the Firefly is definitely easy to maintain and clean.
Almost five years have elapsed since the original Firefly was introduced that it now looks outdated when ranged with the newer models particularly its successor. Price-wise, the $269 price is stiff considering that the short battery life of 45 minutes is a deal buster. You can purchase better-performing vaporizers today for less than $100.
The Firefly was the best of the lot during its heyday but has been dethroned by the Firefly 2. The app for this next generation Firefly vape is absolutely amazing. The software for vaporizer control is the newest game changer much like its predecessor when it was launched back in 2013.
Read on to learn more about the Firefly 2 and see if it richly deserves the higher price versus the original vape device.
The Complete Firefly 2 Vape Review
We had our doubts about the hysteria surrounding Firefly 2 before its formal entry into the scene. For one, the $329.95 price tag seems not too far-out for the majority of weed lovers. Next, the price would be out of reach for most vapers. Nonetheless, our review findings confirmed that the frenzy was valid after all. If you think you deserve to own the best vaporizer in town, the expense is worth every dollar.
When Firefly 2 hit the stores, some cannabis and tech publications endorsed the new vape device and persuaded people to purchase the product. Some of the biggest names released glowing reviews:
“The sleekest thing I have ever owned.” – New York Times.
“A+ Vapor, A+ Flavor, A+ Efficiency.” – The Vape Critic
“One of the most perfect vaping machines.” – TechCrunch
The positive reviews kept piling up and the list became even longer. Shortly thereafter, we learned why.
Key Features of the Firefly 2 Vape
Like the original, the Firefly 2 is also a portable convection vape for dry herb. But what’s different from its predecessor is that you can also use wax and other concentrates such as butter and rosin. The specs have changed like the weight is 55% lighter and the size is 33% smaller than the Firefly 1. But the real takeaway is that this device is way more powerful and the heating up time is a hell of a lot faster.
Unfortunately, the device is made in China even though Grade A quality materials are used. That was obvious the moment we scanned the box and its contents. (But take note that as of this writing, the defect rate of the vape is very low). Despite the lesser weight and smaller size compared with its predecessor, the Firefly 2 is equally durable.
In terms of the physical makeup, the product’s main body is made of magnesium alloy and not aluminum which explains the drop in weight. It also translated to a far lower rate of thermal conductivity for the unit. With the magnesium alloy, the exterior of the device stays cool during sessions even while there is a searing heat of 400+ degrees Fahrenheit inside.
Furthermore, the entire vapor oven, not including the removable signature Firefly 2 mouthpiece, is lined with Gorilla glass which is nearly indestructible unless you have serious intentions of destroying it in whatever way possible.
The Firefly 2 was first released on February 2016. During this period, the heating time of most vaporizers was at 60 seconds. But for Firefly 2, you can start vaping after only three seconds. That’s the quickest you can get to an instant hit.
The Firefly makers didn’t see the need to alter the design or make significant aesthetic changes because the original vaporizer was nearly perfect in those aspects.
With regards to the vape accessories that come with Firefly 2, the package contains a pair of swappable batteries, a cleaning kit with two plastic toothpicks, a multi-sided cleaning brush & alcohol wipes, concentrate pads, and a USB charging dock.
The feature where Firefly 2 completely deviates from the original is in the temperature settings. While Firefly has a single temp setting, Firefly 2 boasts of six heat settings which allow users to customize their preferred highs. The device uses a 50-watt heater and a bowl made from borosilicate glass. One of the six temp settings is reserved in case you desire to butter or wax as concentrates.
The heating element will warm herb or wax up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in a believable lightning speed of three seconds. It takes a mere five seconds to reach 420 degrees. When using concentrate, the heating element could hit 500 degrees. But an amazing attribute of the new Firefly model is that the glass chamber transfers almost no heat at all. To reinforce this fact, we were able to keep our finger in the chamber for almost 10 seconds while at the same time holding down the trigger, before we sensed any risk of getting burned.
Here is the full list of Firefly 2’s five dry herb temperature settings:
- 340 °F
- 360 °F
- 380 °F
- 400 °F
- 420 °F
As mentioned in the earlier review, a major issue against the first Firefly is the distressingly short battery life. The Firefly team made sure it was resolved in the new model to make up for that flaw. This time, Firefly 2 has a removable 770mAh lithium-ion battery. Thus, the three full chambers on a single charge in the original have been improved. The Firefly 2 vape is capable of up to eight sessions of at least eight draws each. Keep in mind that the battery life is lower when you use concentrates.
An issue with the Firefly 2 vape stuck with our team during the review. We noticed that the battery has to be installed in the device to charge it. What this means is that a second battery should be hand. This issue can be a turn-off to some.
In case battery #1 expires during the session and you switch to #2, you have to wait until the end of your session before you can charge battery #1. On the positive side, the battery is 100% fully charged in just 45 minutes and incredibly about 80% in a short span of 20 minutes. Either way, it compensates for the battery issue we found out.
How to use the Firefly 2 Vaporizer
There are some slight changes in Firefly 2 in terms of actual usage. A dual capacitive touch sensor on both sides of the vaporizer is now embedded to replace the power switch. The danger of the unit being accidentally switched on has been eliminated because the buttons can only be activated by your fingers.
If you want to see the battery, put your thumb at the arrow on the bottom of the unit then press down. In order to pull it out, put your finger beneath the lip at the top of the battery and putting it back in is just as easy. Removing the mouthpiece was quite irksome as it requires a bit of wiggling and getting used to it.
Take note that without the power button, the Firefly 2 is constantly in standby mode. For temperature control, you can install the Firefly 2 app which connects to the device via Bluetooth. It is swift and cool to use. It also tells you the battery time remaining. You have the liberty to choose which button controls the heater; left, right, or both. A detailed discussion about the app can be found below.
Another issue is the oven size, which just like the original can only pack around 0.15 grams of dry herb. To ensure the contents are heated evenly, you can stir or mix your herbs every few hits. The default temperature setting for herbs is 400 degrees which are a perfect starting point. If you desire more vapor, you can increase the temp to 420 degrees or lower it to experience a smoother and long-lasting session.
The Firefly 2 carries the same efficiency as the original. Your herbs are burned or cooked only when the heating button is pressed and drawing begins. Once you let go of the button, the device halts cooking the herb. Hence, even if the chamber size is small, you can maximize your herbs up to the tiniest part. When both sensors are pressed, the means you can start drawing from the mouthpiece.
We did plenty of experimentation to determine how to get the best of your weed. The best way is when you do long and slow draws. Also, when you hold down the buttons for 30 seconds, the device goes into standby mode.
Firefly 2 is one of the vaporizers that is easiest to clean. After continuous sessions of no cleaning, a build-up on the window will form but it won’t affect the vape’s performance. It is an advantage that there is no screen in the bowl. You can soak a power towel in a bit of isopropyl alcohol to clean it. Just make sure to wipe down the vapor on the lid as well as the body. Your stress-free cleaning is done!
The Firefly 2 offers a limited 2-year warranty after purchase against defects in material and workmanship. In case your Firefly 2 doesn’t work, contact the Firefly team by sending an email at email@example.com.
When you purchase the Firefly 2, it comes with three concentrate pads if you opt to vape wax or e-liquids. Just take one pad and place it in the chamber then add the e-liquid or wax. We used a few drops of oil or 0.1 grams of wax and found it sufficient to have a satisfying session.
If you’re using concentrates but you want to preheat the device, hold down the heat button for 30 seconds before letting go then proceed drawing the usual way. Holding down the button for a few seconds before taking a hit will result in a denser cloud of vapor.
Using the Firefly 2 app
The Firefly 2 app is available for iOS and Android smartphones. Pairing the vaporizer to your phone is as easy as activating the app itself. Touch one of the sensors to awaken the device and the app takes over to do the rest.
After the download is completed, you gain control of the six heat settings. You can now select your preferred activation option too. The battery charge indicator will tell you accurately the remaining power available.
The Firefly 2 power tuning option allows you to adjust or set the base temperature up to 111%. Hence, if you set the device to the 420-degree setting, the resulting temperature will be around 466-467 degrees. This is the best way to for the device to emit the densest clouds of vapor although you run the risk of combustion. We found fitting to set the temp setting to a maximum of 105% to ensure better vapor with minimal risk of combustion.
With a hefty price of $330, you would naturally expect the Firefly 2 to deliver extraordinary vapor clouds. In this aspect, the device resoundingly passes the test. Using the power tuning option produce even better clouds than before and the flavor is at par with desktop vaporizer standard. Slow draws lead to more satisfying vapor and if the 111% setting won’t trigger combustion, the cloud emissions are unlike any other which you can’t derive from other vaporizers on the market.
Normally, the flavor slightly dissipates at the highest temperature settings but at lower settings, you can taste the richness of the flavor. Perhaps it was an oversight that no stirring tool was provided as there’s a need to stir the bowl every 3-4 draws. Lastly, the 500-degree concentrate settings allow for potent draws and give out the incredible flavor.
The Firefly 2 is without a doubt better than its predecessor. The brand magnificently removed all the drawbacks of the first incarnation while maintaining the things that made it earn its lofty position in the market. The Firefly 2 offers real portability because of its lightness and slimmer design. More importantly, the battery life has delightfully been extended.
Firefly 2 charges incredibly quickly and the temperature settings and control are the best thus far in the portable vaporizer industry. The five settings for your herbs is already a mean feat but the addition of the special concentrate setting makes it stand out even more. Further, the app and the power tuning update heightened the sense of control.
We see only three main downsides – the small chamber, charging the battery outside the device, and the awfully high price. Nonetheless, it’s bang for your buck if you love your herbs and vaping.
Battle of the Firefly Vapes
What Are the Main Benefits of the Firefly 2?
- Exceptional vapor quality regardless of whether you use herbs or concentrates.
- Ideal for long or short sessions.
- The battery charges to 80% in just 20 minutes.
- Two removable batteries are included.
- The mobile app enables you to choose between the six heat settings and also monitors battery life.
- The power tuning option adds an extra 11% to the unit’s temperature so you can have a tailored smoke.
What Are the Downsides of the Firefly 2?
- Very expensive for a portable vaporizer.
- Small chamber capacity.
- There is a bit of a learning curve when trying to use it at first.
- The finish can scratch. For example, if you have it in your pocket, your house keys could damage the surface.
- The draw resistance is a little high.
The Firefly vs. the Firefly 2
Only two years have passed since Firefly was launched and Firefly 2 arrived. So here’s a rundown of the upgrades in the newer model.
Firefly 1 is already a winner with its stunning and sleek appearance which bears resemblance to a cell phone. No one would even assume it’s a vaporizer. But the device was too bulky for some users. The company made a major makeover with the second model. The Firefly 2 came out considerably lighter and smaller. You can purchase covers in stunning and vivid colors like red, blue, black, and gold.
There were also changes in the materials used too. The Firefly 2 is now made of lighter magnesium alloy which is the main reason for the device’s lightness. Firefly 1 made use of stainless steel and borosilicate glass while the heating chamber is made of ceramic superalloy.
Ease of Use
Forthrightly, Firefly is a lot easier to use mainly because it’s not as high-tech as the successor. Using it is very elementary – load the chamber, press a side button and let the herb heat up. When the temp hits 400 degrees Fahrenheit in around five to seven seconds, you’re ready to vape. For increased vapor production, simply hold down the button.
Using the Firefly 2 is a bit complicated given the six temperature settings (five for dry herbs and one for concentrates). You download the app to gain control of the temperature. The brand-new Power Tuning permits you to add 11% to the existing temperature for a better burn. The remaining battery life can also be viewed this time.
Users complained about the low battery life of the first Firefly model where a 100% battery charge can be used up in less than 45 minutes. The company heeded the calls for longer battery life. The battery life of the Firefly 2 has doubled. It takes around 45 minutes for the installed batteries in both models to charge to full capacity.
Both the Firefly and Firefly 2 are not exemplary when it comes to portability and for varying reasons. The Firefly 1 is bulky and too heavy when carried inside your pocket. While Firefly 2 is much lighter and smaller plus it’s made with high-quality materials, you’re not confident if the device can endure the usual wear and tear or maybe a heavy fall.
For Firefly 2, you have to preset the temp to your preferred specs before moving about. You’ll have trouble changing settings on the app especially in crowded places.
The original Firefly produces excellent vapor with great quality. However, it’s a hit or miss thing with just one temperature setting. You’ll have to hold down the power button for various lengths of time to until you get the best results.
That won’t be a problem with the Firefly 2 since you have greater control of the temperature with the six settings. There is rich vapor flavor on the lower settings and incredible vapor production on the highest settings. The power tuning only aids you to create the biggest clouds ever. But the danger of combustion is ever present whenever you set the power tuning to the maximum temp setting of 111%.
Chamber Size & Heating Up Time
The chamber size in both devices is relatively small and the brand might lose out to rival vaporizers with a bigger room for herbs. However, the speed of the heating up time in Firefly and Firefly 2 is what makes them truly attractive to vape users.
The maximum of seven seconds to heat your herb in the Firefly 1 is a marvel but the three seconds waiting period before vaping in the Firefly 2 is uniquely outstanding.
Comparing the two Firefly products is already moot and academic considering the manufacture of the Firefly 1 has been stopped. But there are second-hand devices which you can still buy.
The Firefly 2 has assumed the lead product role as it outperforms the original version in nearly all departments. The issue of battery life in the first has been corrected. There is better vapor production with the multiple temperature settings. The cool and fully-functioning app and new accessories are great additions. Last but not least, the use of vape concentrates is a novelty.
Firefly 1’s edge is the price but we are convinced that the extra $60 added to the cost of Firefly 2 is more than justified. Our primary goal is to educate readers and help them choose the best vaporizer in the market. Our final take is that Firefly 2 is undeniably the best you can find.
Firefly 3 – When is it coming?
With the huge success of the Firefly 2, people can’t help but ask if a third version is forthcoming. But perhaps the more pressing question should be, “When will the Firefly 3 be released?” On our part, we are clueless as to whether a third installment is in the works although we will be astounded if there isn’t.
The expectations will be higher in case there are plans to release a Firefly 3 vaporizer. If we are to anticipate its coming, what we can do at the moment is analyze where Firefly 2 shined and which aspect needs improvement.
In any case, the fast battery charging is a plus factor. The 3-seconds heat up time is superb while its lightness and smaller built makes it a wonderful product. In short, you can expect the brand to maintain these salient features.
But what we envision for the new model is a larger oven. Currently, 0.15-0.2-gram capacity is distressingly insufficient. You can purchase dry herb vaporizers with a holding capacity of 0.6 grams or more at cheaper prices. Maybe the company can make inserts to the Firefly 2 or make a higher lid to instantly increase oven capacity.
We see that the battery life can further improve too. The eight sessions per 100% charge are fairly good. But because of continuing technological advances, smaller but more efficient batteries might be produced similar to how electric-car maker Tesla Inc. is doing things. Firefly can pioneer the innovation in this aspect.
If there are sensational upgrades, it would be the app, temperature control, and power tuning options. More can be embedded to elevate to bring the Firefly 3 to a higher plane. The inclusion of temperature control to measure the precise degree is already a basic feature in some rival devices.
Should the new device have the above-named upgrades, Firefly 3 would fetch in the vicinity of $400. The good thing about that is that price of the Firefly 2 might be reduced.
Conclusion on Firefly Vapes
We come to the end of our comprehensive Firefly vape reviews. The original model truly gave the industry the much-needed lift. A vaporizer need not look like an electric blender anymore. Firefly was a cool, sleek and perfectly-crafted device that resembles a cellphone and users can derive a satisfying vape experience.
However, Firefly eventually lost its allure and the makers knew that major changes are needed. Thus, they diligently worked on revising the first model and eliminate the flaws. In 2016, the second installment imposingly became the gold standard in portable vaporizers. The Firefly 2 proved its worth and matched the hype that came with it.
The issues concerning the short battery life, bulkiness, and the lack of temperature control were promptly addressed. Firefly 2 can definitely compete head-on with any vaporizers available in the market. The adding of the app and the power tuning update resulted in a stylish portable vaporizer. What more can you ask for if the vaporizer fits snugly in your pocket and allows you to have more control over vapor quality and production?
The company can still inject improvements on Firefly 2 in a few areas. We are certain the company will again resolve the issues in the event a third model is due for release. At any rate, Firefly and its founders have a penchant for high quality and perfection. We can expect nothing short of a stellar and best in the universe vaporizer. You can bet on all your marbles on that.