First Impression: Meeting the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5
If you're acquainted with the classic VB 1, a staple of the vaporizer scene since 1999, you'll find that the look of the VB 1.5 isn't radically different right out of the box. This similarity isn't necessarily a drawback; the original VB 1 remains an outstanding vaporizer, frequently gracing the shelves of enthusiasts worldwide.
However, a deeper look reveals some captivating changes. The heater now contains either 3mm ceramic or 4mm glass balls. It's here that things take a notably intriguing turn and things suddenly get pretty interesting.
Unraveling the Features: What Sets the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 Apart?
- Ball-filled heater that delivers some dense heat
- 4mm (best all-rounder) and 3mm ball (best for concentrates) variants
- Builds on the classic VB 1 experience and modernizes it
- Made from safe and high-quality materials in the USA
- Powered straight from the wall (both 220v and 110v versions available)
Getting Started: Mastering the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 in Minutes
Getting started with the VB 1.5 is a breeze. With its intuitive controls and pragmatic design, you'll be vaping in just a matter of minutes. Let’s cover a brief overview of what’s involved to showcase how quickly you can get started with this vaporizer.
- Position vaporizer on a stable surface with clear bottom vents and plug in.
- Adjust temperature: starting at 9 o'clock for dry herbs, noon and beyond for concentrates.
- Warm up for at least 4-5 minutes.
- Load your material into the bowl end of the whip (further specifics below)
- Slide the bowl over the tip of the heater and inhale through the whip
- Monitor the color of your material, adjusting the temperature or inhalation speed as necessary. Once herbs turn brown, dispose of them. For best results, experiment with your technique to find out exactly what works best for you.
Usage with Dry Herbs:
Grind your material and then fill the bowl on the end of the whip around 1/2 inch deep or less. Lightly tamp down your material to ensure it doesn’t fall on or into the heater while vaping. If you can hold the bowl upside down without any material falling out, you should be good to go.
Usage with Concentrates:
Place a ceramic concentrate disc on the screen inside the whip and dab some concentrate onto the disc. Alternatively, combining a small amount of concentrate with some dry herbs will also work, just ensure you are using enough dry herbs to sufficiently soak up the concentrate once it begins to melt to avoid issues.
The Real Cost: Is the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 a Bang for Your Buck?
You can find the VB 1.5 for around $400 USD. It’s certainly not the cheapest vaporizer around, but it does sit in line with many other desktop vaporizers. Furthermore, unlike many of its competitors, the VB 1.5 is made in the USA, not just another imported product produced at scale from China.
Could they get the price point lower? Sure, but it feels like doing so would compromise on some of the things that make Vaporbrothers vaporizers such a joy to use and own, and I doubt you’d be seeing 10+ year-old vaporizers from them still kicking if that was the case. Service from Vaporbrothers is also very good, and you can tell they place a lot of value in providing a product they can stand behind. Ultimately, once you factor everything into the price, you’re getting a fair deal on a well-made product.
Craftsmanship: More than Just a Pretty Face?
The Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 vaporizer beautifully blends practicality with functionality. It boasts a handcrafted Baltic Birch wooden housing, setting it apart from the ubiquitous plastic designs of many contemporary vaporizers. While its natural wood aesthetic offers a standout and elegant look, it might not resonate with everyone. Thankfully, alternative finishes are available to cater to diverse tastes, offering a more modern appeal in certain settings.
With just a single analog temperature control and an integrated switch, this desktop vaporizer delivers precisely what's needed. It remains unobtrusive and practical, which is an ideal approach for such a device. Had they chosen a digital path with multiple buttons and a screen, the design might not have stood the test of time anywhere near as well as it does.
One of the areas that Vaporbrothers has gone the extra mile is taking care to ensure their products are safe to use. From heat treating all of their metal screens to the design of the VB 1.5 itself down to each component, they take a lot of care to ensure you aren't breathing in anything other than what you intended. Considering health is one of the reasons many of us choose to avoid combusting, this is an important consideration.
When it all comes down to it, it's just a well-built vaporizer that looks the part. While it doesn't scream bleeding edge, it manages to get away with it thanks to some great choices made by the Vaporbrothers team.
Mixing Things Up: Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 and Water Pipe Compatibility
Using the VB 1.5 with a bubbler or water pipe is indeed possible. However, you’ll require a “H2O Water Pipe Adapter” which can be found on the Vaporbrothers website (or a suitable stand-in) to make it happen.
The performance of the VB 1.5 makes it quite well suited to pair with a water piece to push it to the limits. However, given hits are typically relatively smooth anyway with the whips it’s not something that is by any means necessary to have a great experience.
Expand Your Experience: Accessories & Consumables for the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5
One of the many things that Vaporbrothers does well is providing plenty of options, which they certainly do in terms of whips and other accessories. You can spend a lot of time diffing around on their site and find all kinds of treasures. A couple of things that would be nice additions are black tubing options and a water pipe adapter option instead of the other whips, perhaps we'll see this in future. Below are the primary whip options available.
Viper EZ Change Glass Whip: An interesting mostly glass whip option, while it generally requires picking up the whole device to use comfortably, it is brilliant if you’re not big on tube-based whips.
EZ Change Whip: This whip is the go-to if you’re looking for hands-free operation. It’s a great all-rounder; if you aren’t sure which whip to get, go with this one.
Hold-On Manual Mini Whip: Want to microdose or prefer a more engaged experience where you completely control the experience? Check out the mini whip; it’s a great way to use smaller amounts or have a more hands-on session.
Each of the whips are wonderfully smooth to use, so at the end of the day it largely comes down to preference which one you will prefer.
On the Move: Taking Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 on an Adventure
In most situations, the VB 1.5 isn’t going to be on your list of things to grab before heading out. In rare cases, such as when camping with an inverter or packing it up to take to a mate's place, you can make it work. However, in general, portable use is mainly off the cards. So, if portability is a concern at all, look elsewhere.
The Clean-Up Chronicles: Keeping the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 Sparkling
If you hate constantly cleaning your vaporizer, the VB 1.5 offers some pleasant surprises in that department. The main unit itself requires very minimal maintenance, with typical use the heater should stay rather clean leaving you only having to worry about maintaining your whip and wiping the unit down now and then to keep any dust at bay.
With all that said, whips aren’t the easiest things to clean and you’ll want to replace the tube now and then, so it’s worth considering that when considering picking up a vaporizer like this one. However, if you’ve owned a vaporizer before that relies on delivering vapor via a whip, you’ll likely already have a good idea of what to expect in that regard. The whips separate into a few core components, so you shouldn’t lose track of anything during a deep clean.
Even if you may need to replace your whip tubing occasionally, it’s a great alternative to cleaning a bunch of small components, as is often the case with vaporizers. If tubing really isn’t your thing, check out the Viper whip that is made primarily from glass; the experience is a little different in that using it will often merit actually picking up the unit, but the taste is fantastic, and it’ll last a long time given the glass parts can be just easily cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.
Vapor Quality: Does Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 Truly Deliver?
When using the VB 1.5 for the first time, you expect a reasonably relaxed convection experience. However, the upgraded heater on this model can elicit quite the “oh damn” kind of response the first time you take a solid hit from it. This gotcha moment is further amplified by how smooth vapor from the VB 1.5 can be, even when using the much shorter Viper whip.
The heater's enhanced density ensures rapid vapor production due to the incorporated balls. Even on prolonged inhalations, it retains heat remarkably well. The additional thermal mass added to the heater makes a striking difference to the vaporizer's efficiency, which is especially noticeable compared to its predecessor.
If you’re more of a concentrate user it’s probably worth picking up the 3mm ball variant, but either way, you’re in for a great time, especially with dry herbs. It’s not the absolute hardest-hitting vaporizer on the market, but it does manage to be quite competitive with most injector vaporizers. Still, most people should find the VB 1.5 more than capable, especially when compared to most portable vaporizers, and even many desktop vaporizers, for that matter.
Not Just Dry Herbs: Using Concentrates with the Vaporbrothers VB 1.5
These days, more people than ever are experimenting with concentrates, and the VB 1.5 is an excellent device for this type of exploration. Thanks to the heater being capable of putting out some relatively dense heat thanks to the thermal mass of all those balls, concentrates are a breeze to use here with just the addition of an inexpensive ceramic disk or even by simply spiking some dry herbs in a pinch.
When vaporizing dry herbs, you'll typically only use the device at around half its maximum heat capacity or even less. This overhead leaves ample room to experiment with oils, waxes, and other concentrates without feeling restricted or hitting the capability ceiling on this device too quickly.
Snapshot: Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 in a Nutshell
- Fantastic performance
- Based on a tried and true classic design
- Offers a compelling desktop vaporizer option
- A great range of first-party accessories are available
- Wonderfully crafted from quality materials
- Reliable and will likely last years if looked after
- Lacks portability
- Moderately high price point
- Warm-up takes some time
- Lacks precision temp control
- Unable to monitor the actual temperature
To Buy or Not to Buy: The Vaporbrothers VB 1.5 Conundrum
Are you looking for a desktop vaporizer with decent performance but don’t like the idea of handling a “traditional” ball vaporizer? If so, the VB 1.5 is a damn good option. Even if you merely prefer the box design or are looking for a reliable desktop vaporizer it’s well worth a look.
If you’ve used a VB 1 in the past and have been feeling nostalgic, it’s a better time than ever to get a new vaporizer from Vaporbrothers. If you do happen to have an old VB 1 lying around, an affordable upgrade option is available (depending on its age), which is awesome to see.
Whether you're vaping solo or sharing the experience with friends, the VB 1.5 promises an enjoyable session, impressing with its surprisingly robust performance. This vaporizer really is a lot of fun and could certainly end up being the daily driver for many people.