The days of Tim “Tool Man” Taylor have long passed, but I’m still a sucker for more power.
There’s something oddly satisfying about using a well-made, powerful tool. There’s a reason people buy muscle cars, iPhones and power drills. Not surprisingly, there’s significant demand for such a thing in the world of portable vapes — and it’s been conspicuously absent for a long time.
That’s why the Grasshopper has seen a crazy level of hype. With a heating element strong enough to be in a desktop vaporizer crammed into an attractive yet clandestine package, what’s not to like? For the most part this flower vape pen lives up to its billing, but it’s a unique product with quirks you should know about.
Walk with me, Grasshopper
The Grasshopper looks exactly like a high-end brushed-metal pen, right down to the shirt clip. You could hide it in plain sight and nobody would bat an eye — until someone you try to hide your pot use from needs to write something down and grabs it, anyway.
The well-milled titanium and solid construction make the Grasshopper one of the more “put-together” options on the market, and I love the little details like the magnetic USB charger, the LED, and how the unit turns on and off just like you’d click a real pen. With the Grasshopper, you already know how to use it right out of the box.
It’s simple to load: Unscrew the tip and drop your herb in the chamber. Put the casing back on, and click the unit on. While the unit is heating up, the little holes near the tip will glow red and then switch to blue once the set temperature has been reached. You can change the temperature by turning the dial on the top of the pen to one of the five visible notches, each representing an increase of 36 degrees Fahrenheit, between 266 degrees and 410 degrees. Patients needing both CBD and THC will want to use the setting just under maximum, as that clears the upper 356-degree threshold of CBD vaporization.
The real star of the show here is what’s on the inside. Removable 750mAh Li-Ion batteries and a completely wireless construction all stand behind a comically overpowered 30-watt convection heater. Because that thing is so powerful, you only need to wait a maximum of five seconds for the Grasshopper to reach its target temperature. Normally I’d blast a product for doing what amounts to using a chainsaw to cut butter, but the Grasshopper makes the most of its highly emissive all-titanium casing to mitigate the issues of substantial heat inside its chassis. Even when I tried to make the pen overheat on purpose, I could only push the body to 105 F. That’s hot to the touch, but not enough to burn you.
When you’re done, plug the included USB charging cable into your computer, and drop the magnetic ring over the on/off clicker. The internal LED will flash red periodically to let you know it’s working, and then it’ll change to blue once it’s done. If you want to continue your session, you can always leave it plugged in and toke. If for some reason it doesn’t want to work, just unplug the USB end of the cable from your computer and put it back in. I don’t know why this is an issue, but that seems to clear it up.
All the electronics are stored in the back of the pen, away from the heat — a smart choice for longevity’s sake, even if the Grasshopper comes with a lifetime warranty. But because the body itself is used to complete its circuits without wires, sometimes the pen has an issue with the back end warming up if you don’t keep the threads clean — they also double as electronic contacts. Take your pen apart and clean the threads with some ISO alcohol and you should be fine, but if the problem persists you may need to contact the manufacturer.
Should you get one?
If your idea of vaping centers on short, quick sessions with dry herb: the Grasshopper has a lot to like. But there are some downsides to the dogged pursuit of efficiency that you should be aware of. Specifically: the heat, and how finicky the vape pen is with its components. Additionally, this is a vape for those seeking THC first, CBD second. If you’re a medical patient with a strong THC sensitivity, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere (unless you primarily use a strain like Charlotte’s Web or Harlequin).
Watch and be envious: Here’s what a $500,000 weed sesh looks like
Vaporizer reviews: What makes for a good vape? Get details on products from Grenco Science, Pax, Firefly, Herbalizer, Kandypens, Zema, Pinnacle and many more
Properly outfitted: Cannabis goods every stoney guy needs in his toolkit
For the pot tourists: This Colorado mountain resort town has a rent-a-vape option for Volcanos
The controversy: Is vaping still the ‘dumbest thing ever,’ or is resistance futile?
NEW: Get podcasts of The Cannabist Show.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Watch The Cannabist Show.
Because the heater is so strong and the vapor path is extremely short, the vapor will be far hotter than you might expect it to be. I’d recommend clicking the pen off when the vapor starts getting too hot to finish your draw without discomfort. You’re not going to lose any of the good stuff on the walls of a short vapor path, so be ready to get hit hard. If the mood strikes to take another draw, you can always click the Grasshopper on again and wait five seconds for the heater to kick into gear. You could also use a bong to cool the vapor significantly.
Though the design lends itself well to portable use, chances are good that it’s not the best idea in your state. I get that it’s tempting to toke in public with an almost perfectly camouflaged vape, but be smart about how you consume. Be sure to be up-to-date on your local laws before you make a costly mistake.
Still, this is a product that deserves a look if you’ve got the money to blow. Now that vapes are becoming a more sought-after consumer electronic device, this is one of the few that truly plays the part. Not only does it sidestep a lot of the safety pitfalls of other models, but it also provides convenience and performance that is tough to find elsewhere.
The Titanium Grasshopper costs $225 and can be found on GrasshopperVape.com.
Note: Our review unit was provided by Grasshopper