• Biz
    31
    Hello like-minded people

    I have decided to sign up on two such forums following the receipt of my FF2 because I have browsed these forums extensively during the pre-purchasing process - a process I must admit I enjoy in general - to evaluate which new portable vape would be the best fit for me. The comments here have helped me greatly, thank you all.

    Use:
    I mostly vape at home, with the occasional session at the beach, which is just a few seconds away and does not require advanced logistics, so I was generally willing to compromise on ultimate portability to a degree. In that respect, it just needed to outperform my Arizer Solo, which is not hard due to its prominent glass stem, which requires very long and wide pockets even with an aftermarket 70mm specimen. Now I know that there are stem caps available, and that the slender Arizer Air (not available at the time of purchase) ships with two of these and a carry case, which would make it all easier, however, I just wanted something entirely new in its layout after all this time. In terms of vapour and quality, the new toy had to equal the Solo, which is a very tall order as many of you know.

    Contenders:
    IQ, PAX 3, Crafty, GH, Air, FF2 (see next post for some thoughts for each)

    I logically prefer a convection unit, however, I was also open to a well thought out conduction unit. Price was not an issue and did not influence the buying decision. I value a clear vapour path and good build quality. In short supply of material, the unit had to be very efficient, on-demand a fantastic prospect. Portability should be decent, and the battery and charging issue above average.

    All pointed towards the FF2 in the end, but that is where the influence of an online search for forum reviews comes in. In stark contrast to the overwhelmingly positive 'official' website and video reviews in the great interwebs, one is greeted by an army of disgruntled customers. Trying to do what a biased buyer does, I wanted to believe that the negative reviews came down to user error (is the average person too stupid to apply any sort of technique to suit a device? Well, some people stated that they've tried every common trick in the book and still have no success), or the shipment of faulty units (kind of an issue if you are not in the US and hear reports of arrogant and overworked customer service). All did not look so well anymore.

    So what did I do? I went ahead and bought the polarising thing. After reading up on it, all other vapes seemed to have a consensus, everyone sort of knew what the advantages and disadvantages were, and apart from some defective Craftys and GHs, I had a pretty clear idea of what I would be getting into. And then there was the lure of the FF2, reviewers love it, some customers swear by it, many people voiced their honest regrets in forums, at some point I just had to know.

    With the idea of just selling it in case I would not like it, I carefully opened the quality packaging, and put the pretty thing (positively surprised after seeing it online so many times) on its charging dock until the light was solid blue.

    I removed the metal filter from the mouthpiece (straight away after so many advised to forget about the thing), soaked the plastic thing (not a fan, aftermarket please do something) in iso, wiped the oven and glass surfaces down with iso trying to avoid touching the seal in order to preserve it. Then I performed a few heating cycles to get rid of these legendary 'manufacturing oils'. Made in China by people we trust, the packaging says.

    I installed the App (i.e., surrendered my data), updated to the latest firmware, and tuned the factory medium-high setting to 105%, because why not. I think I read that somewhere and it sounded right for some reason.

    Some very dry aromatherapy leaves went through the fangs of the beauty that is the space case grinder, and I lightly packed the oven somewhat fluffy to what I felt was 'just so'. The lid snaps on securely without any play.

    So far so good.

    Now I wanted the learning curve to begin, a nervous first draw: Hold the unit horizontally, touch these cool touch sensors (better than the flimsy plastic buttons that are the cheapest feeling thing about the mighty Solo), the green light blinks a few times, goes solid, the Firefly does its name justice and emits an orange glow, and I draw - immediately slowing it down as I hear the air whistle so many users try to stay 'just below' - and pull very gently and slowly, much slower than one would on the free-flowing Crafty or even the slightly resistant Solo - then I let go of the touch sensors about 15 seconds in, draw for another couple seconds to clear the heat - and exhale a decent cloud of vapour. A bit more than one gets on the first few draws of the Solo on a medium setting. Second one right after, the light is already green and the oven clearly heats up even faster, and I draw pretty much right away and feel a slight of cool vapour on my tongue, and without pulling in some more air after letting go of the sensors, I puff out a decent cloud. Shortly after, I can also feel a therapeutic effect. I let the thing sit for hours and take another perfect draw. Fantastic freedom after coming from a session vape that sits there cooking for 12 minutes or so. It truly can sit around packed all day for draws at your convenience. You'll be making the decision and be done and onto another task by the time most other devices have not even heated up. I can already see how this adds all the value I hoped for.

    So I decided to write this after my so far only bowl (split into 3 or 4 sessions) with the FF2 - and the purpose of this long and windy post is to help people with a similar decision by not posting a long-term review, but a very short-term review that addresses one of the major gripes and worries: The FF2 is said to 'not work straight out of the box', 'involve a learning curve', 'require too much technique', and to be overall too finicky.

    Without playing any more with the temperatures, or testing out many ways of drawing, or packing, or anything beyond what can be found as 'best practice' on the forums with a bit of research, the FF2 performed absolutely great straight out of the box. Almost the only thing I did not expect. I will gladly report more a few days or weeks down the track to see what can be done with various temperature settings and to make sure that I did not by chance hit the narrow band of good performance because the stars happened to align in some once a century configuration that other vape enthusiasts were denied.

    TL;DR:
    Bought FF2 after research and comparisons despite all the negative comments due to being intrigued, worked a charm.

    Thanks!
  • Biz
    31
    Here were my thoughts regarding the listed contenders IQ, PAX 3, Crafty, GH, Air, FF2:

    IQ - subject of long video and review research, it was my favourite for a while. Good vapour path (minus the gasket), replaceable battery, sleek and sturdy design with what I would consider the perfect size and dimensions. Probably the most agreeable conduction unit with a decent vapour path and the ability to use the 'flavor chamber' in a hot liquid drink. It was let down by the fact that the oven requires a fine grind and full packing, restricting my flexibility with the amount used.

    PAX 3 - I was never a fan of the PAX range for no obvious reason (other than the negative comment about it that an acquaintance made in passing many moons ago), but decided to consider it nonetheless. Despite agreeing that the 2 looks/feels better than the 3, and is probably the sensible buy after the price drop for the 2, I gave it a closer look. In the end, conduction and the vapour path were its downfall, although the stealth and portability factor (not crucial for myself) can easily make this a very good choice for the right individual.

    Crafty - I have some experience trying this unit, and its vapour quality and production is truly remarkable, at a lovely size with a clever rotating stem and vibration alerts. Prior to trying this crafty device, I was strongly against any type of plastic in the vapour path, which somehow turned into a bit of a non-issue then and there given its clean feel and taste. I still prefer a material with a cleaner perception, but it was the non-exchangeable battery (and therefore pre-programmed death) and the cleaning procedure that took this otherwise great example down.

    GH - I actually wanted to order the titanium as soon as I could. I admire the sturdy design and materials used, and on-demand heating with a good degree of convection make this a serious contender to the FF2 in that very special and oh so interesting niche. But with a constantly pushed ETA where I live (especially for the titanium version), and the hot mouthpiece and short battery life issue, I somewhat fell out of love with the device. In particular the hot vapour (I like it really cool but attaching a big glass and water contraption defeats the purpose of the design) and mouthpiece, with the over time unattractive silicone sleeve, killed this innovation for me.

    Air - Given my admiration for the Solo, the version with a great battery system and improved style and portability was undoubtedly attractive. As stated above, the similarities were also what stopped me from purchasing the Air. I wanted to own something different, ideally without the fragility the otherwise brilliant fixed glass stem system. This would not be a good sign for my ability to stick with a glass stem, because other units with such stems tend to be fragile (the Ascent's sliding glass stems come to mind) or are a tier or two beneath the others.

    FF2 - I liked the materials and design, and its true on-demand and convection construction with a decent vapour path (my experience with the Crafty has helped make the plastic mouthpiece more tolerable given the otherwise well-engineered path). The ability to take a normal grind suited my Space Case grinder, and the efficiency promised to be industry leading. If it would perform 'as advertised' this vape could be a true winner. And in the end it actually was.
  • MisterWeed
    11
    Thanks for the thorough write up!!
  • Auggiedog
    8
    Nice....FF2 back on my short list.
  • Cl4ud3
    412
    lmfao that "short list" gets longer every day
  • Auggiedog
    8
    My plan is to decide tomorrow and pull the trigger on something. This is ridiculously hard.....way harder than I thought it would be. My lungs are very sensitive I think so convection may win out for a cooler solution.
  • Bruce
    229
    I enjoyed reading your post.
  • Cl4ud3
    412
    It is a big commitment, I spent weeks going over things when I bought the MFLB and the same when I changed from that. Pray you don't get VAS.

    Glad you got a good unit and it's working as desired. Would be interested to hear how it is after a few more months as I know people who do love the thing.
  • Bruce
    229
    The FF2 by far is the least harsh vape I have used.
  • Bruce
    229
    Long Live the Arizer Solo! There are other vapes now in 2017 that match the Solo/Airs productivity they just do it differently with more "2017" features.
  • Biz
    31
    I am looking forward to the day to day with this machine, basically just leaving it packed and take a random draw whenever it tickles my fancy. That is a whole new level of convenience. It is actually a very stealthy unit that can be in and out of the pocket and do its job within under 20 seconds, and if you keep drawing for a couple seconds after disengaging the heating coil, there is no cooking whatsoever. I am very happy to have chosen this over a session vape and would value this highly enough to actually accept some drawbacks that have luckily not materialised yet.

    The orange glow is a cool feature but could be concealed with the hand if needed. The green light is clearly in view when drawing. Battery life is unknown yet, but I already like how I can just place it on a charging dock rather than having to plug it in (very annoying that the Solo has its plug at the bottom, so it can't even stand when charging).

    It is a hard decision indeed, I went back and forth with it. I never really smoked anything, so my lungs are also very sensitive. The Solo on high settings does give harsh hot vapour that can cause quite some coughing and is very noticeable when drawing, and the FF2 by contrast delivers a barely perceptible sensation when vapour is flowing, where one is somewhat surprised that a cloud is actually coming out. That said, on heat setting 6 or 7, the Solo is a serious cloud machine if that is important.

    For a session vape with 99% home use in mind and with sufficient non-OCD compatible temperature control and a pure vapour path, it is hard to come even close to the Solo & Air. If some other aspects such as the dimensions and an affinity for the latest gadgetry come into discussion, alternatives start to make sense. I scrutinise each new vape with a great attention to its technical design, and the decision to place the material directly inside an all-glass stem strikes me as genius to this day. With an additional mesh to improve the large stem holes, it offers outstanding efficiency despite being part conduction (a hybrid, really) and flexibility in terms of packing, with a full spectrum of great quality vapour - all that remains to clean is the stem, which can first be utilised to stir up a cup of hot chocolate, and then be easily made new with a bath of iso. 10 out of 10 if you do not require a giant oven and can live with limited portability.

    After I had a chance to play with the heat settings a bit, I want to take some FF2 AVB and see how much the Solo on 7 can extract beyond that.
  • Bruce
    229
    I do the opposite, I usually pack my Solo/Air with my AVB. Basically, whatever my other vapes couldn't finish the Arizer/Solo does! I agree about the genius in the glass stem, which also has the screen built in, and that round heating chamber, is thicker than any oven out there by far. I have one of my four glass stems left, living on the edge! I use lower temps for the Solo/Air, at full strength it can be very intense.
  • Biz
    31
    Yes that is what I mean, Solo to finish off.
  • Sfumato
    37
    Hmmmmmmm, the bummer for me is that I just received my email from FF2 about doing the trial program.....2 days after I pulled trigger for Swift Pro because I had not heard back from FF2.

    IM tempted to order one just to try it out and see what the issues are or are not, but it would have to be dramatically better because this Swift Pro is pretty damn good...especially for $150.
    Ive never had a full grinder load last me 3 days. Its very efficient.
  • Biz
    31
    The Swift Pro is a session vape, correct? Then it's probably about how much value you place on on-demand heating. I don't think I want to be without anymore!
  • Cl4ud3
    412
    You can get a nice WPA for the swift pro and use it with a bubbler. You could use the pro for an extended session where the FF2 would overheat. Its all about what you want and how you use things though.
  • Halada
    12
    i just bought a Mighty, which is more a cordless desktop solution than a real portable vape if you compare it to the FF,

    The FF2 looks so small that it appears to be the ideal tool when you want a small device for the road. Its truly on demand.

    Now I want one too damn it!
  • Endorious
    21
    Nice writeup.

    I had the EXACT same conundrum as you-- FF2 seemed to match my usage requirements perfectly, but the wave of negative online hate made me super nervous. I even called Firefly to get an RMA while waiting for the package to arrive because of all the complaints, which I stumbled across AFTER ordering... I ended up opening the damn thing to try it for myself, couldn't help myself, and...

    BOOM. It just worked. Exactly as you say and as the video reviews suggest. I leave mine packed, take hits whenever, the vapor quality is fantastic, I get all the clouds I want (not huge ones, but that's not my thing), and its almost annoyingly efficient compared to a session vape (annoying in that I love mixing up strains but can't seem to get through herb very fast anymore!).

    Sucks that so many people have been burned, I love the FF2. But I'm glad you're digging yours. Thanks for sharing.
  • Cl4ud3
    412
    I got a Milaana, its not a "mainstream" vape and isn't available from many places but the thing is mental. On demand like the FF2, takes any grind, stupidly powerful (you can take a lung full in 5 seconds) best taste from a vape I've had. Takes 18650 batteries, doesn't overheat so you can session it all day. Also its one you can get in Canada.
    The power on it is so mad, I can get 2 real tasty hits and I'm done for an hour, and the stem still has multiple sessions left. It will not be for everyone as its a manual vape but I would truly recommend any avid vapist to try one.
  • Halada
    12


    Interesting. I don't know what a manual vape is. What does it entail?
  • Cl4ud3
    412
    Its like the MFLB, you control the power applied by a button press or, in the case of the MFLB, pressure on the battery. It means you can combust if your not careful, but it gives hard hitting flavorful extraction similar to a log or butane vape.
  • Magicman
    93
    Hey Pssst.....
    Crafty is the best.
  • Baron23
    957
    Its what is often called an "unregulated" vape in that, as Cl4ud3 mentioned, there is no temp control and you engage the heater completely manually. But it also means that there is no protection circuitry in there either. Its just like an unregulated box mod.
  • Biz
    31
    Quick update here - device is going well. Battery went down quicker than I thought but I somewhat lost track of how many burns I did, especially because I did a few burnout and trial cycles prior to actually filling and using it.

    I originally planned to keep the extra battery as a back up to turn to once the primary battery is shot, but I now decided to charge them both whenever convenient to have an immediate backup should the FF2 drain on me.

    I had a strange charging issue that may or may not have anything to do with the FF2 - after the unit gave me red blinks after blinking green upon startup, I put it on the charging dock (same config as the initial charge, one of those small iPhone/Apple Watch usb to plug adapters, and the FF2 USB in there) - I then noticed how the blue light would stop blinking and the charger would not charge even when replacing the unit. Did the same on the other battery (starts out looking normal and blinking blue, then completely dead when looking at it again a few minutes later). I then noticed how the white Apple adapter was very hot, and the USB cable metal as well. I then plugged the USB cable into my Macbook and it charged both batteries without issues or stopping. Did anyone experience a similar thing? Anything wrong with the 5W Apple thing or is it unsuitable? Model A1444 100-240V 5V 1A...

    I assume charging via the laptop is slower, so would like to know what is going on without risking to fry my unit or charger..

    thanks
  • Flipz
    380
    I don't think you will fry anything but I personally just use the chargers that come with the units to be safe. I found some products to charge a little weird if using different wattage/voltage chargers.
  • VapeCritic
    1.1k
    Excellent excellent posts thank you for sharing your experience with it!

    I've used a variety of adapters and chargers and havent had any issues, including an iphone adapter, if you have another one you can try let us know!
  • Biz
    31
    Thanks!

    I would like to add another thing I figured out during my few days with the FF2: it is amazing how one or two draws already have an effect (caution: I am not a day in day out stoner churning through a gram per day). With the Solo, and other session vapes I have used, such as the Ascent or Crafty, you're already a few draws in by the time you consider picking the FF2 up again because you are conscious of wasting good stuff (with the auto shutoff looming as well) if you're not on top of it. But since it's no drama to take a draw and then walk off or do something else for a while, I can already tell that I have completely overused before, and just not realised that less is enough, because less was just not available or practical.

    I can feel it after just one good hit! If you're in a position where you sometimes have to stretch your supply (not everyone has the same access as some lucky people on this good earth), and have a normal tolerance, this thing can really take you a fair distance further.
  • Biz
    31
    Breaking News:

    - Stirred up the bowl after 3 hits
    - Upped to 'High' and 111%
    - Took a long very slow draw

    which resulted in the densest cloud I've seen out of the FF2, which actually made me cough (enough to post this).

    I've found out that stirring truly is key, and a quick draw does not seem to allow the air to move through the material at a hot enough temperature to produce a lot of vapour. This contradicts some accounts I read prior, where strong pulls were rewarded. It is definitely the slow and steady inhale that works best on mine.

    The importance of stirring would suggest that the FF2 does not really raise the temperature of the entire content of the bowl sufficiently throughout, but rather works on the lower third or so directly above the perforated plate.

    What are your experiences on that?
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