UPDATE: The Firefly 2 is now out!
We know there were a host of issues people were having with the original Firefly, mostly having to deal with battery life. For that reason, we did stop recommending the original Firefly.
However, after extensive testing with the new Firefly 2, we are happy to report that not only have the battery issues been resolved, but the Firefly 2 has improved on the original in every way possible.
While we do not recommend the original Firefly anymore, we are huge fans of the Firefly 2, and feel it is one of if not the best portable vaporizer out right now.
The Firefly vaporizer is a portable vaporizer that made its debut in December of 2013. This vaporizer is sleek, smooth, and packed with tons of useful features. It comes in three colors, Grey (which is very dark grey, nearly black), Red, and Silver, and is a great portable vaporizer.
However, this is one of the heaviest portables to date, weighing more than almost every portable I have ever seen (and even heavier than some light desktop units) at 278 grams. But, this is a good sign, showing that the Firefly is made with high quality materials, and you will never lose your precious vaporizer from your pocket ever again.
This vape is a bit different from all other models to date, as it has a removable battery and a fully removable air path for easy cleaning. All you have to do is remove the magnetic lid to open the chamber, and the vapor path is actually carved into the top of the magnetic plate. This makes cleaning as easy as wiping down with an alcohol wipe. Unfortunately, this system of taking the lid off to load and unload tends to be very messy, so you may have to clean it a bit after each session. I will expand more on this later in the review.
How the Firefly Vaporizer Works
Loading the Firefly is very simple. All you have to do is remove the magnetic lid to reveal the chamber. Then, place your finely ground herbs into the chamber, being sure to pack lightly, because it is a convection vaporizer.
This vape does have a very small chamber, and after weighing it out, I found that the maximum capacity is 0.2 grams. I have personally found that using around 0.1 grams is really the optimal amount for this device.
After placing the magnetic plate back onto the unit, you then flip the on/off switch to the “on” position, and once you see the green light, you can activate the heater.
Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky. You see, the Firefly works by you pushing a button to engage the heater, thus allowing you to vape. However, this is the major flaw of the Firefly, because it means there is no exact temperature control.
The manual explains that you simply charge the battery, load up the unit, turn it on, and push the heater button while you draw. However, I have found that contrary to the manual, it is a little more complicated. While their method does work, using the technique I describe below, you will get much better vapor.
Here is the optimal way to use the Firefly:
I have found that if you do a bit of a “pre-heat” before starting to vape, the vapor quality is much higher. Here’s how to do it:
Hold the button and count to seven or eight, at which point you’re going to see the light start to glow. This indicates that the herb chamber is being heated. I think this is where they got the inspiration for the name “Firefly”, because the unit does actually slightly resemble a firefly when it heats with the way the back/chamber piece glows.
Then, after you hold the button for seven or so seconds, let it go, wait about one second, then push it in again. Wait between 2-4 seconds, let it start to glow again and then start your draw.
Once the unit heats up a bit more, you don’t have to do the seven second preheat, and you can just hit it as the manufacturer states in the manual. I have found that the pre-heating helps you get better vapor quality and have thicker, more potent vapor.
To get a visual of how the Firefly works, check out our in-depth video review we just made:
The newest version of the Firefly comes with concentrate pads so you can vape e-liquids and concentrates all in one vaporizer. To use these, you take one of the pads (1), place it in the chamber (2), and apply your concentrate or e-liquid. You don’t need much, just a couple drops of liquid or less than 0.1 grams of concentrate.
You have a preheating method with this, but it is longer than with dry herb. You hold the heat button down for a full 30 seconds, let it go, and then draw normally while holding down the heat button. You can also hold the button down for a couple seconds before you hit it to get denser vapor right off the bat.
These concentrate pads perform alright, but I think they would do better if the Firefly had a higher max temp than 400°F. Concentrates don’t fully vape at that temp, and it takes a lot to get any vapor going. It works surprisingly well with e-liquid, but the vapor was very dry. So, while concentrates and e-liquids work, it still needs some refinement.
Now I want to state the main problem that the company had in the first month or so of its release, which was the horrible battery life this vaporizer had. Many people who got this vape as soon as it came out found problems with the batteries immediately, which could barely get through one session on a full charge. Thankfully, Firefly fixed the problem with the batteries and they are now good for 2-3 solid sessions until you need a charge.
With that being said, I do wish it lasted more than the 2-3 sessions, but it’s still a big improvement over the issues they were experiencing early on.
*Recent Update: It has come to our attention that FF has not improved the battery life, and it does not last (for most users) more than one session, and dies very quickly. Some have even had their FF be fully charged, and have the battery die even before using. This is a huge issue, so we recommend not purchasing this vaporizer until these issues are fixed. *
You can also buy extra batteries and an extra charger for the Firefly, extending the battery life to longer than most other vaporizers. This does cost a total of $60 with the extra battery and external charger, and at the expensive price of $269 for the unit, many people will not see this as an option that they would choose until they decide they want the Firefly as their main vaporizer. But, as stated, more batteries does not solve the problem.
- Heat-up Time: with the second fastest heating time on the market, but with a much higher quality experience than the fastest option, you really can’t go wrong with the Firefly.
- Build Quality: the Firefly is a quality vape built with high quality materials. It will survive falls and will provide you with great vapor for many years to come.
- Warranty: the Firefly has a generous five year warranty, giving you plenty of time to get it fixed if anything goes wrong with the unit.
- Vapor Quality: this unit produces some of the best tasting and strongest vapor that I have tried, and it rivals the top portable vapes on the market.
- Price: the Firefly is currently one of the more expensive portable vaporizers on the market in the United States, and while it produces some of the best quality vapor, it’s still a lot to spend regardless.
- Ease of Use: Every other vape within $50 of its price range, you just turn it on and hit it, making pushing the heater button and preheating the unit a bit more involved than other units. However, it does produce a higher quality vapor, so in my opinion it’s worth it.
- Messiness: when unloading this vape, much of the material comes out, but some is left behind. This excess material does not come off simply by tapping or blowing on the device, so you actually have to clean the device after each use. Not a huge deal either, but worth mentioning.
- Battery: the battery life of this vape is just non-existent. Until this gets fixed, please do not purchase this vaporizer.
Best Place to Buy the Firefly Vaporizer?
For purchasing this vaporizer, I highly recommend buying from Vape World as they are one of the largest authorized dealers of all vaporizers. The shipping is not only free, but it’s also fast and discreet. They also throw in a free grinder with your purchase.
The vape is not worth the price for the issues with the battery. It’s a high quality device with the lowest quality battery. If you would like to get a different high end vaporizer that works really well, check out our Portable Vaporizer Buyer’s Guide (I know the graphic says 2014, but it’s the 2015 version).