Storz & Bickel is definitely a brand name that most vaporizer enthusiasts associate with heavy-duty, very reliable devices. But since the brand released their flagship portable - The Mighty (review | buy) was released in 2014, there have been a lot of new devices released since then. Offering more options even for the most discerning user.
The Mighty has long been a mainstay on our best dry herb vaporizers list. Its most outstanding feature is its hybrid heating system (a combination of both convection and conduction heating), which results in excellent and consistent vapor quality. The user experience on the Mighty is also made incredibly simple with its onboard controls and large display. The exterior of the device is made from high-quality, medical-grade plastic named PEEK, and is molded onto the finned design that keeps the device cool even when used at high temperatures and after successive sessions.
One of the newest devices released is the DaVinci IQC (review| buy) - which is an updated and refreshed version of the very popular DaVinci IQ2 (review | buy). It retains the brand’s signature design elements such as a lightweight and uber portable body, LED light display, and zirconia pearl. In essence, its the IQ2 with a few extras trimmed off (the dosage control and air dial) and with a few elements swapped out / improved. The IQC features the same conduction heating system as its predecessor and delivers exactly the same quality of vapor.
One of the most surprising things about the IQC is that despite being new and updated, the swaps DaVinci has made on this device have actually made it cheaper. The IQC is priced at $229, which is a lot less than the $295 IQ2. On the other hand, the Mighty’s price hasn’t changed in the last 7 years - it remains at a steep $349, classifying it as a premium vaporizer. Both devices are compatible with both dry herb and solid concentrates and I tested them with CBD herb from In-Hemp (visit store) and wax from Steve’s Goods (visit store). Although, I’d tell you right now that it’s best to keep your wax pen and your dry herb device separate since using solids on a dry herb vaporizer just makes it sticky and harder to clean.
There’s definitely a big difference in design philosophy between these two products. S&B’s entire product line (including accessories) is designed with rugged and utilitarian looks. Usually sporting the brand’s signature black/monochromatic color scheme, accented by a bit of orange here and there. The Mighty is the perfect representation of these things - the device is on the larger end for a portable and is defined in looks by the ingenious finned design that keeps the entire device very cool to the touch. The Mighty and its little brother, the Crafty +, are both made from a medical-grade, advanced biomaterial called PEEK.
The cooling unit and swiveling mouthpiece are at the top of the device, and this sits right above three (3) columns: two batteries on either side and the hybrid heating chamber in the center. Only the heating chamber is fully finned (since this is the hottest section of the device), while the two batteries are finned on the inside and smoother where you grip. The bottom half of the device houses the larger-than-usual LED screen and two tactile triangular temperature buttons.
DaVinci products, on the other hand, stick to their design philosophy of “designing tiny devices that aim to change the bigger conversation about cannabis consumption”. Which translates to very minimal and sleek devices with understated looks. The IQC sports a durable sandblasted aluminum body, and a simple columnar design that’s quite concealable in your palm. The IQC’s finish has a smooth texture and a matte finish (very similar to the feel and finish of a MacBook’s shell). And while the Mighty is only available in one color, the IQC is available in 4 different colors.
In contrast to its predecessor, which was on the flashier end due to its shiny brushed aluminum body and zirconia mouthpiece. The IQC’s black antimicrobial polymer lid makes the device look a bit more rugged (albeit still minimalist). This top lid is where the recessed mouthpiece is located and may be opened to expose the airpath and removable battery. The bottom lid also opens, and where the oven and zirconia pearl are located. The zirconia pearl is a brand signature and it serves two functional purposes: first, it encloses the oven from the bottom and heats up to create a more even “burn” of the herbs. Second, it may be screwed out a bit to reduce the space in the oven, for when you want to use less herb during a session.
The IQC’s LED display is another thing that’s signature to the IQC and has actually been the same throughout all their products. It’s a small grid comprised of 51 individual LEDs that display the current temperature levels, device status, and battery level. Due to this grid design, you’ll end up seeing this information individually. Also, for lights that are very small, they can be quite bright- to dim the LEDs, activate “stealth mode” by pressing the power button together with the down arrow button.
The Mighty’s LED display is a lot larger than most devices on the market. It’s a pretty well-sized screen that clearly indicates everything that’s going on with the device. At a single glance, you can see the current battery level, operating temperature, and the temperature you’re heating to. Between these two devices, I’d prefer the Mighty’s screen over the IQC’s grid, since seeing everything at a glance eliminates having to toggle through commands for information.
Battery and Power
The Mighty is powered by two built-in 3300mAh batteries which last 2.5 hours of continuous use on a single charging cycle. It also only takes 90 minutes to charge via the included proprietary charger, and features pass-through charging, meaning you can still vape while it's plugged in. Proprietary chargers may be sort of a downside sometimes, since once you’re out of juice and away from the charger- there’s really no way of getting it going again. But come to think of it, this long battery life is more than enough for a day out with your Mighty and the charger will really only be an issue if you’re traveling with the device.
The IQC is powered by a removable 18650 battery which is good for an hour of continuous use or 6-8 sessions before needing a recharge. The charging port on the IQC has been upgraded to USB-C, which is definitely better than the former micro-USB on the IQ2. But it still takes 2 hours to charge the battery. This is why I highly recommend purchasing a spare battery (buy on Amazon) and charger (buy on Amazon) so you can swap out the drained battery for a charged one at any time.
While the Mighty’s battery definitely lasts longer and charges quicker than the IQC’s. There’s a case to be made for replaceable batteries, since with internal batteries - the cell will one day die. There are only so many recharge cycles a battery can take, and when this happens - there’s no choice left other than to buy a new device. Obviously, the Mighty’s battery is definitely heavy duty and it’ll be a while before it’ll fail you. But if you’re simply looking at convenience, a USB-C charger is more readily available than the Mighty’s proprietary charger, and so are replacement 18560 batteries- so the IQC wins here.
The Mighty’s swiveling mouthpiece is also made from PEEK and sits right above the cooling unit. The fact that it tucks away when it’s not in use is quite convenient, but it is still relatively short. The Mighty is capable of reaching pretty high temperatures, and while PEEK is heat resistant - it’s the cooling unit that greatly helps reduce vapor temperature. It features innovative venting that further cools the vapor before it reaches your lips.
Just like all DaVinci products, the IQC kit also comes with two mouthpieces. One is a flat mouthpiece which sits flush on top of the device and another is a “straw” style mouthpiece that sticks out of the device and can also be used as an adapter to any 10mm glass rig. Both mouthpieces are made of hi-temperature silicone, which stays cool even after successive draws - much better than the zirconia mouthpieces on the IQ2. Between these two mouthpiece options, I definitely prefer the longer straw style mouthpiece, it’s easier to draw from and it adds to the length of the air path- further cooling the vapor.
Ease of use
Both the Mighty and the IQC are ready to use right out of the box - but between them, the IQC has more new-age smart features than the Mighty. The Mighty is the most straightforward device there is- using and loading the device is made incredibly intuitive by design. Loading the Mighty is also pretty when you use the filling aid included with the kit.
The display of the Mighty is flanked by two triangular temperature adjustment buttons and all the controls and information are displayed upfront. The only button that’s separate from the rest is the small orange power button on the side - although the Mighty also shuts off automatically after two minutes of inactivity.
Using the IQC isn’t complicated either, once loaded turn the IQC on by pressing the power button 5 times. The IQC has two modes: Precision mode and Smart Profiles. Precision mode allows for to-the-degree temperature control similar to that of the Mighty. While smart profiles gradually increase the oven temperature during your session and last 8 minutes. You can also opt to adjust the smart profile temperature settings on the accompanying smartphone app. Once you select your Smart Profile setting, the LED lights flash until it reaches the right temperature. Once it’s fully heated up, it also vibrates to let you know when it’s ready.
By default, these are the pre-set smart profile temperatures:
- Mode 1: starts at 350F and increases to 370F
- Mode 2: starts at 370F and increases to 390F
- Mode 3- starts at 390 and increases to 410F
- Mode 4: starts at 410 and increases to 430F
Performance & Vapor Quality
The vapor quality on Storz & Bickel products is considered the industry standard, and for good reason. S&B invented the hybrid heating system and each of their products guarantees a consistent experience at each use. The Mighty has a temperature range of 104°F to 410°F and heats to temperature in 45 seconds (on average). The Mighty has a much wider temperature range than the IQC, which is definitely a plus for those who prefer vaping at lower temperatures.
The swiveling mouthpiece also makes it fairly easy to enjoy the vapor due to its straw-like shape and low draw resistance. The first draw on the Mighty results in a light yet very flavorful vapor, while subsequent draws are denser and more visible. One of the Mighty’s best qualities is its consistency- each session on the Mighty is just as good as the last. Making it one of the most reliable devices on the market.
Just like its predecessor, the oven on the IQC is funnel-shaped, which makes it easier to load. DaVinci also sells dosage pods on their website, which can be pre-loaded with herb and stored in a holder, and then just popped into the oven while on the go.
The IQC makes use of conduction heating - meaning it heats the herb via direct contact. The resulting vapor on the IQC is delicate, clean, and flavorful. The vapor was surprisingly dense for a conduction vaporizer and I’d credit the zirconia pearl in the oven for that. The pearl helps regulate temperature and helps heat the herb more evenly than it would if it wasn’t there.
Based on portability alone, the IQC is the device to pick simply because it’s smaller and everything about it is more discreet. The Mighty is definitely larger and can’t be taken around as much - it’s more of a powerhouse and would definitely be the better choice judging from performance and vapor quality, but it is a little cost prohibitive at $350.
A major differentiator between these two products is their heating systems. The Mighty has a hybrid heating system, while the IQC is only conduction heating. While conduction heating usually results in harsh and hot vapor, the IQC’s sealed zirconia/glass vapor path does a very good job of cooling down vapor. The Mighty’s vapor is definitely denser and more visible, while the IQC’s is much lighter and wispy.
If you’re looking for a small, discreet, straightforward device, then the newer IQC might just be your pick. But if what you’re after is a device that’ll last you ages and never fail- then the Mighty is the one. There’s a reason it’s been on our best dry herb list for as long as it has- and that’s cause it does the job and does it wonderfully well.