Volcano Lava Atomizer
Note: All jump links for the Cisco atomizer now redirect to the Lava.
Click the link above to view this product at the manufacturer’s website. Volcano ships within the United States only.
According to a recent forum post from a Volcano employee, Volcano will soon stop stocking my favorite electronic cigarette atomizer, the Cisco. (Update: Volcano no longer stocks the Cisco.) To give customers an alternative, Volcano has had a similar atomizer designed and manufactured to its specifications. The new atomizer is the Lava. Volcano has given the Lava an attractive low price; $7.99 each (or $6.99 each for two), compared to $9.99 for the Cisco. The Lava is a low resistance atomizer, rated at 1.5 Ohms — the same as the Cisco — and thus should have similar performance. So, I purchased two.
Note: The Lava is a low-resistance atomizer, and it produces a higher power level in watts than a standard atomizer. As such, you risk ruining it if you use it on a small electronic cigarette battery. The Lava is fully compatible with the Inferno e-cig.
The picture above shows the Lava atomizer to the left, and the Cisco to the right. As you can see, the Cisco has a slightly longer barrel (and thus, a longer wick), and the Lava has a taller bridge. Honestly, I do not know how a longer vs. shorter bridge or wick affects atomizer performance. Perhaps a commenter could chime in on this. The two atomizers appear well-built, although the bridge on each one tilts slightly to the side. I do not know if this is intended or a defect. It does not seem to affect the performance.
Additionally, one of the two atomizers has a slight problem: an extremely tight draw. While it seems to operate normally and produces plenty of vapor, the tight draw makes it a little annoying to use. The second one works fine, however. I’m certain that Volcano would replace the first atomizer if I contacted them, but the problem doesn’t bother me enough to go through the trouble of shipping it back.
On to performance. I am pleased to report that the Lava atomizer does, in fact, perform similarly to the Cisco, producing plenty of warm, flavorful vapor. I also have not noticed any bad tastes, as you can get with the Cisco from time to time.
Overall, I am enjoying the Lava atomizer, and recommend it as a solid alternative to the Cisco. I have been using mine for three days, so time will tell regarding the longevity of this atomizer, but so far it seems to be an excellent buy in terms of price for performance.
Update, April 11, 2011: I recently ordered a new Lava atomizer so I could have a backup around. The original Lava is still going strong more than a month later. As expected, the atomizer that I received today does not have the tight draw of the second Lava atomizer that I tested.