FIREWOOD 4

FIREWOOD 4

REVIEW SCORE: 87.5% | VERDICT: EXCELLENT

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Handcrafted Herbal Vaporizer

The Firewood 4 vaporizer and its box

Firewood 4 and cooling unit

There’s no doubt about it. It’s unique elegance is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in a Firewood vaporizer. The Firewood’s packaging feels like something you’d find in your grandparents’ attic. No plastics or tasteless graphics, only humble cardboard reminiscent of a 1940’s apothecary.

herbal vaporizer 18650 battery compartment

Surprisingly stealthy and compact

Marc, the Firewood’s creator, did a fantastic job at fusing art with performance. Its hand-made walnut body is bursting with character. The optional Tung Oil finish is a delight to the senses and it infuses a room with a sweet citrusy aroma. I recommend buying the optional finish since it adds a new dimension to the user experience. The Tung oil scent hasn’t lost any intensity after 3 months of use. Every time you remove the Firewood 4 from its box it sets the mood in a way that no other vape does.

The first time you handle the Firewood 4 you’re invited to explore its exquisite shape and angles. The walnut body looks like a folded wallet and conceals the battery compartment with a sliding wooden door. It’s a surprise how the Firewood manages to be small with hardly any space for the electronics and heater. The stealth is very strong with this one!

Firing up the Firewood 4

Firewood 4 loaded capsule

Firewood 4 capsule system

The Firewood 4 powers itself on once you load it with a battery, and it buzzes 1 to 5 times to state the battery’s charge. This vibration system replaces a visual display and makes the Firewood perfect for users with visual impairment.

The Firewood 4 herbal vaporizer is very easy to load with herbs. The chamber consists of a borosilicate-glass capsules that you can pre-load for vaping on-the-go. I found that packing the capsule with a loose and fine grind is the most effective way to vaporize your herbs. An essential accessory for the Firewood 4 is the cooling unit which docks over the rubber mouthpiece. A glass straw feeds into a walnut block and provides a cooler hit by increasing the surface area of the vapor path. The cooling unit does such a great job at improving both the Firewood’s function and design that it should be a standard inclusion. Without it, the Firewood 4 looks naked and incomplete.

All the Firewood’s features are controllable via a single button on the underside of the body. Hold the button pressed for 2 seconds and the vape comes alive. When turned on, the Firewood runs a battery check and buzzes 1 to 5 times to report the charge. Next, you set the temperature as follows:

  • 1 click for heat level 1: 250º – 299º F (121º – 148º C)
  • 2 clicks for heat level 2: 300º – 349º F (149º – 176º C)
  • 3 clicks for heat level 3: 350º – 399º F (177º – 204º C)
  • 4 clicks for heat level 4: 400º – 450º F (205º – 232º C)
firewood 4 technical diagram

Firewood 4 components

After setting a temperature the Firewood replies with a number of buzzes that correspond to the heat level. For example, 3 vibrations for heat level 3 and so forth. After several tests I found that heat level 3 was the best setting for tasty vapor production.

The Firewood’s Draw Sense technology is what makes it an on-demand vape by turning on the heating element ONLY when you take a draw. This also prevents it from delivering excessive heat from to the herbs when no hit is being taken. The Firewood’s Air flow is completely unrestricted, so for the sensor to be effective it’s best to take a slow, and long draw at an 8 to 10 second count. You might need to practice until you find the right draw speed, but a couple of sessions is all it takes.

You should remove the mouthpiece and give the capsule a shake as soon as the vapor begins to taste a bit roasted. Be careful as the glass capsule will be very hot after use, and it will burn your fingers. To be safe you should always handle the capsule by the rubber mouthpiece.

The Firewood 4 includes a safety shut-off timer that powers it off after 20 seconds of inactivity. The timer extends to 100 seconds after you take the first draw. To turn off the Firewood hold down the button until you feel a long buzz followed by a battery check. This feature is handy because it tells you how much charge remains for your next session. Again, the Firewood’s lack of a display is never an issue thanks to the way it keeps you informed using simple vibrations.

AVB Inspection

glass capsule with spent avb

Firewood 4 spent herb

As with all our vaporizer reviews, a critical test of a vaporizer’s efficiency involves taking a look at the spent herb. The Firewood 4’s AVB (already vaped bud) was golden brown with mild charring at the bottom of the capsule. The glass capsule sits very close to the heating element, and this small space might be the cause of the hot spot on the herbs. To prevent charring it helps to shake the capsule after a few draws, and throughout the session. Regardless, the slight roasting was not significant enough to corrupt the herb’s flavor. When using the Firewood at higher temperatures you can keep combustion at bay by stirring (or shaking) more often.

It is very easy to clean out the capsule in preparation for the next session, but keep in mind that it will be hot after use. You should allow a capsule to cool down for one minute before pulling it out of the mouthpiece. Once cool, a few gentle taps on the capsule empties out its contents. You can use a picking tool or toothpick to clean out any spent material from the capsule’s mesh screen.

Battery Life

Loaded with a good quality battery, the Firewood provides 5 to 6 sessions per charge on heat level 3. This is great for prolonged sessions off the grid, and you can always carry spares if you need more mileage. Interchangeable batteries should be the norm, yet somehow they aren’t.

Caution!

Only use with High Drain Lithium Ion 18650 cells rated for a minimum of 20 Amps continuous discharge current and have a nominal voltage of 3.7V
In some countries it’s illegal to ship devices to with included batteries. If you need to buy a battery for your Firewood 4 vaporizer make sure you get a high-drain Lithium Ion 18650 cell. You should choose batteries rated for at least 20 Amps of continuous discharge current with a nominal voltage of 3.7V. The manufacturer recommends the following cells for the safest and most reliable experience:

  • LG: HE2, HE4, HG2
  • Efest IMR 18650 3000mah 35A Flat Top
  • Samsung: 25R
  • Sony: VCT4, VCT5, VCT6

Party Mode

The Firewood 4 is a remarkable on-demand vape, but explore the User Guide and you’ll find a hidden mode that transforms it into a session-style device. For the sake of revision, vaporizers come in two types of styles, these being on-demand and session. An on-demand vape activates the heating element only when you need to take a hit, so you can save the rest of the loaded herb for later. Session-style vaporizers work in an opposite manner, and their heating element remains always on until you turn off the vape. A session vaporizer tends to keep heating your herbs even if you set it down; some brands roast less than others. Both styles can be very effective so it’s up to you to pick the right one based on your preference or routine.

The Firewood’s Party Mode turns it into a session vape and keeps the heating element on even after you take draw. By default the Firewood 4 turns off the heating element one second after each hit. With Party Mode you can extend this up to eight seconds in increments of one second. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn on the Firewood 4
  2. Wait for the battery level buzzes to finish, and then click the button 8 times
  3. The vape will buzz 8 times to confirm the input mode
  4. Click the button 8 more times to enter Party Mode
  5. The vape will buzz 8 more times to confirm Party Mode
  6. Click the button 0 to 8 times (0 is the default, ‘x’ clicks to extend the heating by ‘x’ seconds)
  7. The vape will buzz ‘x’ times to match your selection, and will then power off.
Please note:
Setting the Party Mode value DOES NOT enable Party Mode, but it merely stores the value in the device’s memory.

To enable Party Mode

  1. Turn on the Firewood 4
  2. Wait for the battery level buzzes to finish, and then click 1 to 4 times to set the heat-level
  3. Click 6 times to enable Party Mode, which will be disabled automatically when the device is turned off

Burn-off

A burn-off cycle burns away any toxic residues leftover from the manufacturing process. This stuff is nasty and you never want it in your lungs. Our Firewood 4 was very clean out of the box, and probably didn’t need a burn-off. For the sake of safety I chose to do it as follows:

  1. Remove the optional Cooling Unit, mouthpiece, and capsule
  2. Turn on the vaporizer by holding down the button
  3. After the battery level is indicated through a series of buzzes, click the button 4 times to set it at heat-level 4
  4. Purse your lips over the bottom vent of the Firewood 4 and blow gently to get air moving over the heating element
  5. Repeat the process for additional certainty

Strengths

  • Fantastic aroma and flavor
  • Stealthy and ergonomic
  • Capsule system is useful for outdoor use

Weaknesses

  • Draw-sense can be temperamental
  • Occasional stirring required
  • Learning curve is a bit steeper than other vapes
87.5
OVERALL SCORE
BUILD QUALITY: 80
USABILITY: 70
VAPOR QUALITY: 100
BATTERY LIFE: 85
INNOVATION: 100
PRICE: 90
The Firewood 4 is undoubtedly one of the most charming and elegant vaporizers on the portable market. This little powerhouse oozes quality in every area, from its handcrafted walnut construction to the supremely flavorsome vapor it produces. User-replaceable batteries and the option to purchase spare capsules make this full-convection vaporizer a reliable companion for hikes or any outdoor activities. Usability is where the Firewood could benefit from future enhancement, as it does take some time to get used to the draw-speed required for each temperature, and the Draw Sense system doesn't always work in a consistent manner. The optional Cooling Unit should be included by default, but is a highly recommended accessory that completes the excellent vaping experience that puts the Firewood 4 in a class of its own.
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