Greetings to all!
Here is my review of the Phedor herbal vaporizer/flameless lighter.
It's basically a metal box with a port for a plug in the back. The ceramic heating element heats up at the front, and the very tip (the flathead, not the whole thing) doesn't get hot, only very little from the rest of the ceramic element.
Heat-up time: Instantly, desired temp for smoking takes 30 seconds
Cooldown time: Upon de-activation the glow immediately fades away, but the ceramic tip will remain hot for 3-5 minutes
Weight: Very light, if tapped on glass, anxiety may occur
Overall Shape: For it's function, it is ideal because of the fact that you can hold it by the plug if it gets too hot. A possible improvement would be to have a handle on the end that doesn't get hot.
Estimated durability: I have clanged it on my ash-tray a few times, it still functions perfectly. I've singed myself and my pants a couple times, and the element eventually burns off all the foreign infidels. I would say that it's good for at least a year if you take care of it, only had it for 4-5 months so I'm not sure passed what I have already owned it for.
Price: $150, the biggest complaint was and still is the price. In retrospect I'd say it's too much money for the product. At the same time I haven't tried the alternatives (other soldering irons), so I can't give my opinion on them. A more appropriate price would be 1/3 of the original ($50). If that were the case I'm sure they would be selling a lot more of the product.
All you gotta do is wait for it to cool-down and wipe it with a napkin, cleans the dust right off
Comparison for Lighters vs Soldering Irons:
Lighters pollute your smoke with the butane gas that ignites the spark on the lighter. How much this affects taste is unknown to me, with proper lighting you can minimize the pollution. I would have to say that is in an acquired taste, the more you use it, the more you appreciate the cleanliness of the hits. When I use lighters for on-the-go smoking or at other locations, I can't really tell the difference. So basically it's a really small difference. However, whereas the lighter flame must burn the weed, the soldering iron can burn at a lower temp because the heat given off by the heating element can ignite the herb w/ very little contact. This is also another reason why the hits can taste a little better.
Fireballs of death!
Beware!! Fans are dangerous around this thing. They will blow off whatever little ember is left on the phedor, and send it flying in the air. I've seen these fireballs hit myself, my friends, and even my beloved bong cases! No real damage has ever been done, it's actually cool to watch most the time.
Ease of use: It's not easy
It took some time, (after burning myself and my pants a couple times from carelessness; and almost burning a couple friends) I got to the point where I can use the phedor very safely (as safe as a soldering iron around stoners can be).
It also takes practice learning how herb reacts to the phedor, it can either not burn very fast at all, burn it up too fast, or simply get stuck to the damn tip There a various techniques I use, most of them are second-nature to me now via cause and effect.
For example, if the herb gets stuck to the tip, I simple scrape it against the side of the bowl and it falls back in. If the herb is only burning on one side, I rotate my wrist back and forth to cover the whole bowl. I also use the tip to stir the weed and to poke it and compact it to maximize the efficiency of the toke.
At the end of the session, unplugging the phedor can be a chore, because the plug fits in the port very snuggly. I would leave the cord attached, but that is too reckless for me (cats).
It also takes time to learn not to forget where your power cord is, I've accidently tugged on it with my foot and seen the phedor take my ash-tray to the ground along with it. Magically the phedor landed in a red-vine container that I was using for sunflower seeds and a little bit of trash, it landed perfectly inside and didn't burn anything.
When the phedor is idle, I simple set it on my roor ash-tray which has slits in each corner (it's the square one) where the power cable can fit in so that the ceramic tip rests angled upward.
Mastering using the phedor solo takes time as well, especially when standing and you have to pull the bowl with the same hand that holds the phedor. Adding ash-catchers and carbon filters complicates this even more.
My overall opinion of the ease of use would be that it aint easy, but it's worth it in my eyes.
Storage: I just set it on it's side when it's cooled down a few minutes, it sits on a wood desk next to my monitor (it's where I keep my ash-tray, scale, and my portable hard-drive/mp3 player) Has never given me any probs, however I'm always careful not to set it next to any flammable objects such as paper etc.
Portability: Not very portable, I've taken it out of my house once and I held it while I drove. I was THAT paranoid about the tip. I don't have a case of any sort for it, so I wouldn't recommend travel unless you have one.
Ok now I'm done with the details, on to pro's and con's
-No butane pollution
-Allows smoke at lower temp.
-Daego's hash/bubble burning method
-Fast heat-up (30 seconds)
-Slightly retractable tip
-Sleak, and efficient design
-Can detach plug for easy storage
-Can use plug as handle when unit gets too hot
-etched letters "P-H-E-D-O-R" on side, you can feel them too
-Easy to clean
-Acquired taste that you appreciate with time
-Replaceable ceramic tip (unknown price)
-Dangerous! (watch where you swing it!)
-Not very user-friendly (You'll get some incomplete tokes at first, sometimes you might even get the herb stuck to it and accidently fling it down to the ground!)
-Fireballs (can be entertaining sometimes)
-Clangs against glass if user isn't careful (never good)
-Can trip over powercord (very dangerous)
-Pet hazard, watch them carefully!
-Not very portable, home use recommended
-Cannot open phedor at all, the box must stay intact (has no visible way to open it anyway) for servicing by wicked roots
-Power cable can pose a danger if detached from phedor, yet still left powered on
Final overview: Great tool for smoking, over-priced though. If I never bought a phedor I probably wouldn't now. I would try one of the soldering iron alternatives and if I wasn't satisfied with those maybe I would invest in the phedor. It's way too pricey for what you get, I don't regret buying it though.
Well after all that
I need some