The IOLITE is a unique little portable vaporizer made by a company in Ireland called Oglesby & Butler. They also make the WISPR, which is very similar but slightly more expensive.
What makes this vape different is that it’s powered by butane. Instead of charging batteries or plugging it into a wall you simply fill it up butane that you can buy at most local convenience stores, the type typically used in lighters.
The heating element uses the gas to heat the herb chamber to optimal vape temperature, in this case 374°F or 190°C.
Overall I think it’s just ok and it’s probably most useful for people who don’t want to deal with having to charge batteries all the time.
This unit is sometimes called the walkie-talkie vaporizer because of the way it’s shaped, and the retail price from authorized dealers is $199.
Now the iolite is a unique Vape because of the way it is powered. It doesn’t plug-in, it doesn’t have a charger, nor does it run on rechargeable batteries like many other portable units do.
The energy source for this thing is butane, yes the same type of butane you would find in your typical lighter. This vape utilizes a butane powered heating element and an igniter switch to safely and efficiently heat the chamber to the ideal temperature.
What this means is that the main benefit of the iolite is its non-reliance on electricity to operate. As long as you have a can of butane with you, the Vape can be used over and over again, and once it runs out of fluid it can be refilled in seconds.
As far as how long each filling of butane will last, through my own testing I was able to get six full vape sessions that were between 10 and 15 minutes each. So you’re looking at a max operating time of about an hour and a half before it will need to be refilled. I’ve seen varying reports on this from other people, so this is just what I experienced during my testing.
This is an example can of butane that I picked up at a local convenience store, and I’ll show you quickly what you need to do to fill it up.
You’ll want to hold the iolite right side up, and the butane upside down. You’ll fit the nozzle of the can onto the fill valve located here, then you’ll push down to start the flow and as soon as you hear or see the gas start to overflow you know the chamber is full, and it should only take a few seconds.
After refilling the butane you’ll want to wait a few minutes for it to settle down before igniting the Vape.
During this time you can get your herbs ready and packed inside the chamber. This is what it looks like inside, this top piece attached to the mouthpiece has a screen installed inside there, and this bottom chamber is what heats up.
So what you’ll do is loosely pack your herbs inside this top piece here, and you can experiment with filling it with different amounts to see how her perform for you, and then you’ll take the main unit and turn it upside down and slide it right on top of the top piece.
Once you have your butane filled and your herbs packed inside, you’re ready to turn on the Vape. With the iolite you first flip this switch on the side from 0 to 1, to start the flow gas, then you wait a few seconds and push the igniter switch.
You’ll actually want to be looking at this side of the Vape when you ignite it because you’ll start to see an orange glow as an indicator the unit was successfully started. I found that sometimes it doesn’t always ignite the first time you push the switch, but I’ve never had to hit the switch more than three times either, so it should only take you a couple of tries max to get it goin.
So once the heating element is engaged it will heat up for approximately 45 seconds until it reaches its operating temperature of 374°F. After first reaching this temperature the unit will then cycle off and on every minute or two to keep an ambient temp inside the heating chamber.
You’ll also notice that the unit makes a low hissing sound when the heater is engaged. This sound, along with the heater, will start and stop throughout your session.
Now even though the iolite reaches its operating temp in under a minute, I found the results to be a little better if you wait about two minutes or so before you start to take draws.
One of the things that impressed me was that they picked a good temperature to set this Vape at. After a full session I’ve found that the herbs come out evenly and thoroughly vaped, and there is no signs of combustion either. 374°F also falls right into the ideal range I always recommend, and if you happen to be interested in learning more about the ideal Vape temperatures check out my site because I made a video where I did some experiments to find the best temps.
Alright so now I’ll touch on a few of the things that I wasn’t too thrilled about with this one.
The first thing is that whenever the heater is actively running you will smile a little butane if you’re holding the Vape close to you. Now I never tasted the butane while vaping, which I’m really glad didn’t happen, but it was a little offputting to actually smell it every time the heater turned on. It’s not really a huge deal, but if you’re sensitive to those types of things it might bother you a little bit.
The second thing is that hissing sound it makes, which is also not a huge deal, just a minor annoyance if you’re watching TV or hanging out in a quiet room.
The last thing that I wish was a little bit better is the size and smoothness of the draws. To get a decent amount of vapor I found that you need to take a long slow draw, which is normally fine but since there’s such a short distance between the heating chamber and the mouthpiece there is little time for the vapor to cool down.
This also is actually not a big deal, because I’m most, if not all, portable vaporizers currently on the market have a similar issue.
The only other thing to remember with the iolite is that there’s no indicator to tell you how much butane you have left, so you’ll just have to keep track of how many times you used it in between fillings. All that happens when it runs out of gas is it’ll slowly stop heating up, so worst-case scenario if it runs out in the middle of you using it you’ll have to pause for a few minutes and refill the butane before resuming your session.
So to summarize the iolite for you, it’s a convenient portable Vape that runs on butane instead of batteries, and you can get around six nice long sessions out of each gas filling. The fact that you don’t need electricity to run this one means that it’s perfect for outdoor activities like camping or for long trips.
It’s also light weight and easy to carry, and it comes with this cool little carrying case. The only thing you’ll have to do is make sure you keep a can of butane around, and to give you an example the one I have here cost me $3.50 at a local convenience store and I could probably refill the iolite at least a dozen times with a can this size.
Some of the negatives you should keep in mind are that there’s a slight butane smell each time the heater is activated, there’s that intermittent slight hissing sound, and you need to remember to take long slow draws to get good vapor.
I put a link in the description to a great Vape store that I think you should definitely check out if you’re looking to buy one of these, and they even give you your first can of butane for free to get you started.
If you want to see how the iolite compares to other portable vaporizers, including its newer sister model the WISPR, check out my website VapeCritic.com.
If you have a questions feel free to ask, and stay up!
Those who have aspirations have thousands of things, and those who have no ambitions only feel that it is difficult
I just don’t leave reviews for anything ever, but for this I think I have to. I have had my Iolite for over 5 years using it sparingly, and I have always surmised that if you have patience with it, it won’t let you down. I agree with AL-FALI below, that I feel sorry for people who got defective ones. If you have one or plan on getting one, keep it clean and hold on to it! They will probably be in a museum next to the brick phones someday! It will be a sad sad day if mine ever quits.
I have had 3 Iolite devices, they don’t last too much but I still like it more than those operated by rechargeable batteries. the old ones didn’t ignite, orr the gas valve didn’t stop the flow once I tried to do so.
I would be happy if the plastic next to the butane liquid bottle cover, would be transparent so that the amount of liquid could be seen.
I have three different portable vapes and I always go back to my Iolite. Great smoke, nice and small and super customer service from Oglesby & Butler. My Arizer Solo sucks in a bad way and so does their customer service!
This is way, way cheaper if you’re buying it in the UK. (Around £65) for that price it really can’t be beaten. It takes a while experimenting to get the most out of it. My iolite mk1 lasted me a good couple of years heavy use, it went up mountains and to gigs, and it looks so much like a radio nobody ever questions it if you leave it out.
My only gripe is when it’s on you can’t just switch it off if your boss or a family member walks in when you’re trying to keep it on the down low. As a safety feature once it’s switched off it will continue to hiss as the compressor expels the unused butane. A minor gripe though and you probably shouldn’t be using it in a situation where you’d have to take such pains to hide it anyway.
Iolite’s Wispr model does stop the gas flow immediately as you switch the valve off.
Iolite sucks! Buyer beware. Junk from the get.
hey! can i vape hash oil with the iolite ?
both I and my daughter got one of these. It’s been a pain starting 3 months down the road. I have to purge it several times and sometimes that’ll make it work for just a while. I will try the recommended method of purging and filling before each use. DON”T BUY THIS UNIT!!!!
Soooo, I bought mine from a head shop in 2011 or so. I still use it and it works like a powerhouse. …a slow moving powerhouse but still. I use it when I have time to sit and relax. It takes practice (and timing), but you can get really good hits from it.
I feel bad for people who got defective ones and I feel lucky given how often I hear about it.
Mine is so old and beat up that the gas starts to sputter sometimes but still maintains heat like it did when I first got it. The cap that clips the mouthpiece into the unit is missing so the cylinder falls out of the chamber if I’m not careful.
It’s definitely visible that it needs some maintenance, but I still use it today with no real problems.
That being said, I want to get a Firefly next and use my iolite for camping or other emergencies.
So I’ve been using my iolite for the 5th year now. 6 in October :)
I wish it would just die so I can buy something else.
But it keeps going strong, never had any issues with it.
Lol, I feel the same way about my old beat up iolite. I am looking into getting a new portable (possibly the firefly or crafty) and reserving my iolite for emergencies or camping.
I’m beginning to notice a pattern where the people who have had theirs for four or more years have no problems. I wonder if the newer models are more cheaply made?
Would you say the butane tends to last longer or as much as a battery powered tank? I’m looking into getting a butane tank and was wondering.
So what is the igniter stops working? What to do?
I dont know what yall are talking about must of been blitzed out of your mind to make this judgement. If you do everything correctly it should work just fine. Had mine for 5 years now and still works great! Hand held, portable – im can even take it to the movies, in the car, in the bathroom and it doesn’t have a bad smell. It’s the best vaporizer I own.
I have found that although most of the tips in the iolite v2 manual and online are pretty good, in my own experience I’ve found that the trick, besides; lightly packing, grinding finely, using quality butane, filling up gas before each session and making sure you replace the screen when it gets clogged, etc; that waiting a full 10 minutes from when you switch and click it on with the botanicals in there, will, with long slow pulls, give you potentially huge draws, surprisingly close to some desktops.
This requires a lot of patience though, and waiting the 1-2 minutes is enough to get started on some lighter and thinner vapour. As many, as well as the vape critic, has mentioned, it can be a little hot/dry in the throat so the included straw extension and perhaps a handy cup of water can help for that!
In all I think it’s a very convenient vape (especially if you dont like charging time), the WISPR 2 though seems to be the best butane powered vape & seems to works the same as this one with some added advancements & features.
1. yes i fill mine before every session
2. no scorching on mine and 3 years old
3. switch off when ‘your’ finished. pull long and slow (once) after every heat cycle for about 30mins. it takes 3 heat cycles to ‘turn off fully’ so accommodate for this.
love mine and never had any problems for 3 years
Hi and thanks for your great review, I just bought one and am very happy, but a couple of concerns…
1) I find myself filling with Butane for each session/evening, is this normal?
2) The bowl and metal casing around it are scorched slightly, is this normal? I am thinking maybe I am using it too much with one load?
3) At what point are you supposed to switch from 1 – 0? Mixed reviews
Thanks for your post & suggestions!
Hi, I’ve had the original v2 for nearly 3 years, love it and have never had any problems with it mechanically at all. I’m in the UK and use Swan gas which is the most common and generally considered as A1 quality. I refill it with gas every time I use it (it has run out on me on my second session once before and knowing its full and won’t run out each time is the way I like it) – outside temperature will obviously effect how often the heating cycle takes place. Taking a long slow drag ‘after each heating cycle’ and then exhaling slowly to produce a thicker plume is the way to go, so I’ve found. Turn it off when you’ve had enough :) obviously the longer you vape the better effect you get, (its only tastes like mouth watering ‘green’ skittles for the first 3-4 long pulls and then like popcorn gradually getting burnt after that. Vaping through the burnt taste so for about 20 pulls/30mins in all gives the desired effect. I vape to the point where I can just tell I’m just not getting anything more from the herb (which still gives me munchies when smoked with a roll up afterwards) lol. I loosely fill the bowl to its own level and do not pack it in at all. It goes through 3 heating cycles (to clear the tubes ‘as it were’) before it turns off for real, so I accommodate knowing this.
I’ve looked and no scorching on element or bowl so could be faulty possibly.
Hello Bud! Congratulations, the idea of your site is awesome. I bought an Iolite last year and it broke very easily. I was just trying to fill it with gas and the injection nozzle broke, making it impossible to fill. I liked it at first although it feels a bit noisy and hot to handle. Now I think there’s no way to fix it because they doesn’t sell this part separately and I live in Brazil. Can you help me?
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I’m not sure what this means but I approved the comment because I find it hilarious.
I´ve been a IOLITE user for over a year now, and I just wanted to share my story with you. I bought my unit in the UK in December 2012; it was my first vape, and I grew to love it almost immediately, so I was really bummed when it broke and a couple of weeks afterwards. If I had made my research, I would have seen there is a common complain about the IOLITE stopping sparking, and that´s exactly what happened to mine. I was very bummed, as I live in Spain, but at least it was covered by the guarantee. I emailed CS, and although they were not very quick to answer my questions, taking about 3 days to response each email, they were polite and professional. I had to send it to Ireland and pay the postage myself, but in exchange they sent me a new chamber part. It took little less than a month to get the new unit, so that´s not so bad.
However, in October 2013 I had the same issue again, and this time I have experienced one of the the worst customer services of my life. When I explained the issue seemed to be coming back, but that the IOLITE did spark eventually, they sent me an email asking me to return it, but did not answer any of my two follow up emails about the unit being in guarantee for this issue or not. As it stopped working altogether a few days later, I just sent it, with a note that I would be willing to pay the difference to upgrade to a WISPR 2. The only communication I got from them afterwards was acknowledging they got the unit, and offering to upgrade me for €70, which I declined as the price difference between a new IOLITE and WISPR 2 is €30.
I got that email on the 18th of November, and despite my multiple emails to them since, I haven´t received my unit back, nor any kind of answer via email or any other way.
Needless to say, I´m quite pissed off with them, so I thought it would be only fair to bring this to the attention of the community, so my fellow ents can avoid having the same issues I´m having.
The happy ending is that in the meantime I bought a Volcano and I´m happily vaping away with it now, and I have to say the IOLITE completely pales in comparison. I know they are designed for different things, but still :)
Are these butane vaporizers strictly for bulk type herbs and shushes or can you use them with eliquid? I would live to have an alternative to batteries for Vaping juice
Yes these are designed for use with dried botanicals
I’m one of the guys with the iolite tossed in their drawer, I hope this comment will help you avoid wasting your money like I did.
I got my first iolite two years ago and it stopped working within the first day, couldn’t get it to ignite. I took it back to the shop thinking I was doing something wrong but the guy there couldn’t get it working either, handed me a new one. It worked really good for a few months then it too wouldn’t ignite. I was using the proper butane and I’m familiar with all the purging procedures and did all the troubleshooting.. but it seems that they all have a major flaw with the peizo ignition. And this was the second version of the iolite, they replaced their first design because it had a bunch of flaws.I know two other people with iolites and they had the same problem I did, both of their iolites are chilling out in drawers along with another friend’s who didn’t think that using different butane would make a difference (it really really does, any impurities end up leaving gross residue inside that clog the gas vents in a totally inaccessible spot. DO NOT use the wrong butane with the wispr or iolite). We all upgraded to the Extreme Q tower over dealing with customer service, not worth the month wait to get back something that could just break again in a week. I really wouldn’t recommend this vape to someone. It’s cool at first, but any stealth and portability you get are totally outmatched by the MFLB and it’d never come close to the taste or ease of the PAX or solo. Which might cost a bit more, but you gotta remember that you’ll be buying butane every few weeks to keep filling the iolite anyway, and it’s not exactly stealthy to be carrying around a bottle of butane in your pocket. A few more negative things I noticed about the iolite were:
– that the screens are expensive and ridiculously hard to clean so you’ll be getting sticky lips from the tube and ressy chamber in no time
-they give you a pipe cleaner to help clean the tubes, but it just tears off and clogs them..
– the first one i had had plastic threads on the stem and that kind would often get ressed up and stuck in the iolite forcing me to heat it up again to take it apart, and the second one had metal threads on the mouth piece which got heated from the chamber and MELTED THE PLASTIC TUBE!
-it’s the only vape I’ve used that people complained about the mouth piece getting too hot for their lips (even MFLB with the tube right by the element isn’t even close to as hot, one of my friends burnt her leg keeping it running in her pocket, you neeeeed ventilation for this thing)
-you have to somehow clean it to ship it away for warranty
-it is actually quite noisy and doesn’t stop making sounds for a few minutes after you turn it off, beware if you’re getting this to hide from the rents like I did.
-if you live somewhere where it gets fairly cold you can’t leave this thing in your car as the butane will freeze up, also makes it hard to fill it outside because the butane won’t pressurize properly and you end up getting a bunch of air in the chamber which messes with the flame flow
I know some people love this thing and for them it’s the perfect battery free solution.. But I’d strongly recommend going with one of the other vapes Bud has reviewed. Spend the extra money and go with the pax or solo (assuming you’ve ruled out home units), or settle for the MFLB if you realize you more just want the portability and stealth factor.
I have this unit and was happy with it at first but after a year the clicker no longer ignites the butane. I use the expensive stuff and I can click it like 30 times and no spark.
Wish I had bought the Pax
Is there any way to replace the flint? I can’t find one.
I bought the Iolite, had it for about 4 months, and I really love it. Thanks for the frank and concise review, it helped a lot! Also bought a space case 4pc. small. One advantage of a space case, at least in my opinion which might be worth adding is the amount of pollen collected, might not speak for all Space Cases, but it’s astounding. I think I will invest in or at least check out a MFLB, the Iolite is great, but leaves something to be desired when it comes to truly low key vaping and durability. Once again, thank you!
Thanks for posting Eryk!
I have used this for almost 3 years, it’s been ok but finally it is not so reliable
sometimes it only will reach orange light status, the first time, then nothing. If I keep it off for a few minutes, it will go to orange again once. then the third time is the charm it will work semi normally but I also think the vapor quality is not quite as it used to be. Truthfully I stopped using their preferred butance companies, like Collibri, I used one the cigar store owner says is best on his market persepctive, maybe that it why. But a point here is that you really should be using the Collibri or on their list; and this is hard to see locally so you have to order online, so the hassle of batteries replace is the same. I am still torn as to what to get as a replacement. I go back and forth between the Vapir and MFLB or maybe splurge on the Arizer Solo. Money is tight but also, i have this feeling we are going to see more and better products hitting the market and would rather spend less now and get another new one. The thing on the Vapir I dont’ like is it doesnt seem as portable as the Iolite or MFLB.
My Arizer solo died after only 9 months of moderate use & the one my friend bought only lived for 1 week…I would not recommend this unit, especially at the price
Why not use odorless butane?
Yea you’re supposed to use higher quality butane than what I show in this video. Even the good stuff has a tiny bit of odor though.
sorry for the double post but you can also stick a short whip on the mouth piece and alot of my friends like it like that
hey i was noticing that your ratings for alot of devices you review seem to be alot higher than i would expect after watching your vids so ya i was wondering why
Also the reason im posting on this vid is because i like the iolite and was wondering if you have tried the “iolite optimizer” I think it does a fair deal for this vape mind you it does have a draw back or two but i think it might surprise you
Which ratings were higher than you expected?
I think the iolite is ok, and I’ve used it with the optimizer piece also, but there are def other vapes that perform a bit better in my opinion.
mostly the mflb but recently my opinion of the iolite has dropped damn screen gets clogged with a fine grind
I like the MFLB a lot and use it frequently, I think it deserves the rating it got.
I actually lowered the ratings of the iolite and Wispr recently because of all the reliability complaints I received.
Lowered the ratings on the original iolite? Every vaporizer needs to be adjusted to…. I’ve had mine for two years. This is an excellent vaporizer. I swear, most don’t know how to use it correctly!! Remember to purge the air out of the gas chamber when empty once in a while. Use the tip of a small screw driver to purge the air out of the gas valve.
I just got my iolite and it’s been running out of gas after only 1-2 sessions (so about 20-30 minutes). Am I filling it wrong? Butane on top, not shaking it first, holding it down until I see liquid coming out.
Hey Jeff it sounds like you’re filling it correctly to me, there may be something else wrong with your unit if it’s running out of gas that quickly. I would try contacting O&B to see if they can provide any insight into that.
I’m interested in this vape because it doesn’t need batteries and it seems pretty discreet, would you recommend it?
I think it’s a decent vape overall but the main benefit as you mentioned is that it runs on butane and never needs to be plugged in. So if that’s a feature you’re looking for or require then I think you might like it.
It doesn’t produce the highest quality vapor out of the portable vapes I’ve tried, but it’s not terrible either.
The only other thing to consider is that there have been a fair number of reliability complaints with the iolite and the Wispr – a handful of people have mentioned to me that their unit stopped functioning after a few months or so.
Not everyone is affected, and the manufacturer does seem to honor warranty claims, it’s just something to keep in mind.
Hey, I’m another person whos iolite has stopped working before the warranty. It’s super frustrating and you end up getting butane all over your hands trying to fix it. I emailed to see if they will replace it but if they won’t I’m buying a different vape. When it works its great though…probably not worth the risk if its your only vape though.
I really like my Iolite. Very portable and gets the job done.
I have one issue though: my unit sometimes makes electric like sound in between heatings.
At first I thought I had a fly trapped in herb chamber (my herbs were that good :D) but sound is definitely coming from the heating coil thing.
Have you ever encountered anything similar? Unit works great and nothing seems to be broken. and the sound stops after about 5min use.
This is the first time I’ve heard about an issue like that, and never experienced that myself, I would suggest contacting Oglesby & Butler and asking them what could be wrong, they may replace it for you.
Let me know how you make out!
pretty sure thats just the sound of the unit heating up no? It’s supposed to sound like a torch lighter, like a slight hiss.
Thanks for the review. I just picked up a new one and I was also able to find a 15″ silicon whip with a glass mouthpiece for under $10 which will help a lot for cooling down the vapor.
My Iolite has recently started to heat up – thus burn my herb way faster – to a temp that turns it black after three or four pulls. This is after a year of use. Any suggestions?
Hey Mike that sounds like a defect and I would contact the manufacturer to see what they can do about it, hopefully it’s something that would still be covered under warranty.
Oh man, where do I order that 15″ silicon whip with a glass mouthpiece? Can you provide details?