“For those who need a compact portable that can handle the concentrates just as well as it can the dried blends, the Pax 3 is a solid option that will not disappoint.”
SPEED REVIEW (SUMMARY)
This is one of the best portable vaporizers on the market right now. It works and it works well. With above average vapor production, compact design, wide range of useful features, customizable temperature, app, and the ability to vape just about anything you'd want to put in it, the Pax 3 offers some serious bang for your buck. We recommend it to anyone in need of a compact portable that vapes dry blends and concentrates alike.
*This is a quick summary, in-depth review below.
Without its app, the new Pax offers four temperature settings to choose from. With the app, a fifth temperature option becomes available. What is this fifth temperature setting? It’s whatever you want. Well, anything between its operating range of 360 degrees Fahrenheit to 420 degrees Fahrenheit (182°C – 215°C). The four preset heat settings and their corresponding heat up times are as follows:
- Level 1 – 360°F (182°C) – 16 seconds
- Level 2 – 380°F (193°C) – 16 seconds
- Level 3 – 400°F (204°C) – 17 seconds
- Level 4 – 420°F (215°C) – 18 seconds
To determine which temperature setting you’re on, simply look at the LED-style display. One green light indicates that you’re on the first setting, the lowest setting. Two yellow lights indicate that you’re on level two, three orange lights for level three, and four red lights for level four – the highest temperature setting. As far as the highest setting is concerned, 420 degrees Fahrenheit, we would have preferred a higher top end range. The Firefly 2, for instance, goes all the way up to 455 degrees Fahrenheit, which is obviously quite a bit higher. And the DaVinci IQ, another Pax rival, can go as high as 430 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, the Pax 3’s temperature range is more than adequate – it just would have been nice to see it operating at a higher temp.
In addition to the fifth temperature option that the app provides access to, the Pax 3 app also provides users with a handful of heat settings that we’ve explained below.
- Standard – This is the basic setting, which boosts the oven’s temperature by five degrees Celsius when it detects the users lips on the mouthpiece. Once the user removes their lips from the mouthpiece, the temperature quickly drops back down. The idea here is that by raising the temperature while the device is in, the oven’s set temperature remains consistent.
- Flavor – In a very similar fashion to the Standard setting, the Flavor setting boosts the oven temp by five degrees Celsius while the user is drawing on it, only it reacts more quickly – increasing and decreasing the temperature quicker than the Standard setting. This mode offers a slightly more efficient experience as it helps prevent some unnecessary heating of the blend while the device is not in use. It also helps preserve the blend’s flavor profile, resulting in tastier hits. It works, but it doesn’t seem to make a big difference.
- Boost – For quick sessions and dense vapor, use this setting. It’s a more aggressive version of the Standard mode in the sense that it very rapidly increases the heat when the user draws and again, very rapidly decreases the heat when the user stops. For quick sessions, this is our preferred setting.
- Efficiency – This setting employs the Standard mode’s algorithms for heating with a twist: it increases the temperature by one degree throughout the duration of the session. This is the mode to use if efficiency is what you’re after as it’ll help you conserve your blend.
- Stealth – This is a really interesting little feature. What it does is turn the brightness of the lights down while aggressively cooling the oven down between draws. The idea here is to reduce the amount of odor that the Pax puts off while it’s in use while reducing the brightness of the lights to make things that much more sneaky. Stealth mode.
Heat Up Time
As far as portable vaporizer heat up times are concerned, the Pax 3 kills it with what its manufacturer claims is a “best in class” heat up time of just 22 seconds. While we’re by no means disputing their claim that its heat up time is the best in its class, we can’t help but note that it’s actually better/faster than what they claim as our own tests have shown that it actually heats up a bit quicker than what they say – between 15 to 20 seconds to be exact, which is much faster than the roughly 45 seconds it took for its predecessor, the Pax 2, to heat up.
The battery life on this bad boy is actually pretty good, but there is one obvious downside: the rechargeable battery it employs is not intended to be replaced by the user. So you won’t be swapping out your dead battery for a fresh one when you run out of juice. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the charger which takes about 100 minutes to fully recharge the battery. On the upside, the 3500 mAh 18650 lithium-ion battery, which comes as an upgrade over the Pax 2’s 3000 mAh battery, lasts for about 1.5 hours before it needs to be recharged. Translating this into bowls, it’s roughly enough juice to make vape through about 5-10 bowls before it needs to be charged again, depending on the length of sessions of course. Translating into draws, this equates to about 150 draws per fully charged battery. For the most part, what this entails is enough juice to make it through the day and them some.
In order to check how much juice is left in the battery, simply shake it gently and look to the LED light petals to tell you approximately how much juice you have left.
Weight & Size
Pax 3 weighs approximately 93 grams and stands 3.87 inches tall, 1.2 inches wide, and 0.85 inches deep. Needless to say, it’s one ultra compact portable that’s not only smaller, but weighs less than most other portable vaporizers we’ve come across. In comparison to the Crafty by Storz & Bickel, it weighs about 42 grams less. Compared to the DaVinci IQ, it weighs about 52 grams less and in comparison to the Firefly 2, about 47 grams less. Obviously, it’s one of the lightest around. Or in other words, this is one highly portable vaporizer that you may forget you’re carrying due to how unobtrusive it is while packed snugly into a pocket or purse.
How To Use
Using the Pax 3 is surprisingly easy due to its reliance upon a single button. This button, located at the top of the device, underneath its mouthpiece, is used to power the device on and off as well as to adjust the temperature setting. Click it once to turn it on and click it again to turn it off. When you turn it on, it’ll start heating up immediately. While it’ll automatically revert to the last temperature setting used, you can quickly change the temperature setting by pressing the button down and holding it for a couple of seconds, which brings up the temperature options. Once the temp options are up, a quick press will cycle through to the next temperature setting – press it until you’ve reached the desired setting. The last setting, the fifth temperature setting, corresponds with the custom temperature programmed via the app. To use it, simply install the app and use it to choose the temperature of your choice, programming it into the fifth setting.
You can also access the temperature settings by shaking the device. And for reference, the fifth temperature setting can only be adjusted via the app.
In addition to the aforementioned fifth temperature setting that the app makes accessible to users, the app also has some other nifty features, which include boost modes, a stealth setting, some cool games, and the ability to adjust the device’s color theme, brightness, and touch sensitivity (haptic feedback). As far as brightness goes, the app provides the ability to dim the lights all the way down to what it is tantamount to the lights almost being off. The haptic feedback settings allow you to either turn it off entirely or choose between medium and high sensitivity. And then there’s an option that some of you might find useful and that’s the ability to lock the device. However, we should note that if your phone dies and you’ve locked your Pax, you’re basically screwed until you’re able to turn your phone back on and once again access the app – so you may want to make a point to use this feature with a bit of caution, unless of course you don’t mind being locked out of your vape.
The different color schemes to choose from include red, blue, yellow, and the default color, green.
As for the app’s games, there’s Pax Says, which is basically Simon Says. There’s Spin the Pax, which is intended for a group of people. The idea being, four people sit around in a circle and it randomly chooses a person to vape. Then there’s Pax Man, which is more or less a variant of the classic Pacman game in which the user starts with five lives and runs around collecting white petals while avoiding the others. Once a white petal has been consumed, Pax Man can then consume the colored petals. While the games are obviously accessible through the app, they can also be activated by tilting the Pax sideways and rotating it three times.
While we’ve heard of issues with the concentrate attachment’s leaking, we’ve never experienced any leakage with our own. Subsequently, we strongly suggest reaching out to the manufacturer, Pax Labs, or the retailer from which you purchased your Pax if you have any issues with your concentrate attachments leaking because they definitely shouldn’t be leaking. But be warned, the Pax 3’s manufacturer warranty does not cover damage caused by the concentrate adapter, concentrates, or waxes. Which, frankly, is a real problem if you have any issue with your concentrate attachment leaking.
Beyond this, the only other issue we have with the new Pax is how warm its raised mouthpiece gets, which is why we suggest using the flat one instead.
Cleaning & Maintenance
While the original Pax vaporizer had some serious cleaning and maintenance issues, particularly with the mouthpiece sticking and eventually getting stuck due to a lack of cleaning, the latest variant has no such issues. Cleaning it is fairly straight forward and relatively easy to accomplish. All you have to do is brush out the oven after every session and when it calls for it, perhaps every 7 or 8 sessions, remove the screen and soak it in isopropyl alcohol. Additionally, you’ll want to take a q-tip dipped in ISO and use it scrub the mouthpiece, the area around the mouthpiece, oven, and oven insert. Then there’s the vapor path, which is easy to clean: just put a bit of ISO on a pipe cleaner and stuff it down into the vapor path and move it back and forth until you’ve cleared out all of the gunk. Once everything is clean, make sure everything is dry and then put it all back together. That’s all there is to it. Do this regularly to ensure that it stays it proper working order. Fail to do it as often as you should and you may notice a degradation in performance, particularly with the draw resistance as it really starts to feel like you’re sucking through a straw after a while – a good indicator that you haven’t kept up with the cleaning as well as you should have.
- Use the flat mouthpiece instead of the raised mouthpiece because the raised one, for whatever reason, actually seems to get hotter than the flat one, especially when you’re taking some strong draws. Even though it gets a bit warm to the touch, which we notice when we press our lips up against it, it’s still not nearly as bad as it was with the Pax 2. Much better now. But definitely worth using the flat mouthpiece instead if you notice any discomfort from the warmth of the raised mouthpiece.
- Grind your blend extra fine with a grinder like the Magic Flight Finishing Grinder for the best clouds and densest vapor. But note, while doing this, you may very well notice an increase in draw resistance and will more than likely find the need to clean the vaporizer more often than you would were you using a less finely ground blend.
- While this is less of a tip than it is a sharing of our preference here at Vaporizer Shark, we prefer to grind our blend just a bit shy of fine and pack it pretty tight into the half-pack lid.
- For sharing, use the full chamber as it tends to be more than one person can handle in a single session. For personal use, stick with the half-pack lid. This helps keep the smell to a minimum as it allows you to dump the contents of the oven after each session. It’s also more efficient given that the oven will continue to cook your blend as it cools following your session.
Wondering how the Pax 3 compares to other popular portable vaporizers? You certainly aren’t the only one, which is why we’ve opted to include some comparisons below. Check them out to learn how the Pax fairs against some of its strongest competitors.
- Pax 3 VS Pax 2 – While the Pax 2 is a relatively solid portable, the latest version is actually that much better. With its concentrate insert, it comes stock with the ability to vape dried blends as well as concentrates, which gives it a leg up on the last Pax. Beyond this, it also heats up quicker, lasts longer between recharges, and it offers haptic feedback as well as an app. All things considered, the Pax 3 is the obvious choice.
- Pax 3 VS DaVinci IQ – Now this is a good comparison to make, the newest Pax vaporizer versus the newest DaVinci vaporizer, which will win? When we look at these two, there are quite a few differences, but yet there are many similarities. For instance, the DaVinci IQ is not designed to handle concentrates, whereas the Pax is. Both run on internal batteries, but only the IQ’s is designed to be user replaceable. So which one is better? The IQ produces better vapor but the Pax is smaller and can also vape concentrate. In the end, the choice is yours: do you want a smaller vape that can handle concentrates or do you want a dry blend only vape with superior vapor production? Regardless of how you answer and which one you choose, you can rest assured that you’ve made a good decision because both of these vapes are extremely solid. If it’s a sneaky vape you need, the Pax is likely the better option given that it smells less and it’s more compact.
- Pax 3 VS Firefly – This is a comparison to the Firefly Vaporizer, the original, not the new version, which is what we’ll get to next. We’re going to make this a quick comparison because the original Firefly really doesn’t have much if anything on the new Pax. It’s too big, its vapor production isn’t all that impressive, and while it does have a quick heat up time, so does the Pax. So all things considered, the Pax blows it out of the water. The choice is obvious here: Pax or bust.
- Pax 3 VS Firefly 2 – These two vapes, while both portables, are extremely different from one another. The Pax uses a stainless steel vapor path, whereas the vapor path on the Firefly is constructed from a mix of both stainless steel as well as borosilicate glass. While they both run on batteries, only the Firefly’s is removable so only the Firefly offers the endless vape sessions that are the boast of the changeable battery systems. Oven capacity wise, the Pax is the clear winner as it holds roughly twice as much blend in its heating chamber. And while the Pax is undoubtedly quick to heat up, the Firefly is actually that much faster – taking a mere fraction of the time to heat up. Now while we have quite a few obvious differences between the two, perhaps none more obvious than the fact that the Firefly 2 uses convection (super heated air) to vaporize while the Pax on the other hand uses conduction. When it comes to the quality of vapor, they’re both good but the Firefly’s vapor tastes better, is a bit smoother, and there’s noticeably less draw resistance when you use it. Given that it’s only a little bit larger than the Pax and it too supports concentrates as well as dried blends, this is a really tough call to make. While it doesn’t matter which one you choose, as both are good, we tend to find ourselves using the Firefly more often even though it smells more and is a bit less compact because it heats up a lot faster and its vapor production is a tad bit better.
- Pax 3 VS Crafty – Storz & Bickel’s Crafty vaporizer is large. There’s just no getting around it. But being large seems to have its benefits, as the Crafty is an absolute beast when it comes to vapor production. In regards to vapor quality, it’s one of the best and while the Pax is good, it’s definitely not as good as the Crafty. If you want a portable that produces vapor better than most plugins we’ve tested, the Crafty is where it’s at. But if you need something a bit more portable, the new Pax is a much more suitable option. If we had to choose between the two, we’d have to go with the Crafty because its vapor production really is that much better.
- Pax 3 VS Mighty – When it comes to portable vaporizers, the Crafty and the Mighty are amongst the best. Their vapor production is absolutely incredible, but their size is entirely different story. While the Crafty is fairly large, the Mighty is that much bigger. It’s one of the least compact portables we’ve ever tested. But if you can look passed its size, you’ll find that it to be one incredible vapor producing machine. If you want serious vapor production, the best a portable can offer, the Mighty is what you’re after. But if size is critical and the Mighty is just too big, the Pax is a nice alternative. It doesn’t vape quite as well, but it’s more compact, less expensive, and more than capable of doing what you want it do, which is vape dried blends and concentrates on the go. And it does so with style. So in the end, the choice is yours: do you want portability with a reasonable price tag or something bulky and expensive that produces vapor like you can’t even believe? For us, we prefer to use the Mighty when we’re lounging around the house but when we go out, it’s the Pax that finds itself along for the ride.
There are quite a few Pax 3 accessories available and always the possibility of more on the horizon so with that in mind, here’s a list of the accessories that were made available by the manufacturer at the time we composed this review.
- Pax 3-Piece Aluminum Grinder – This is a 3-piece grinder made by Pax Labs specifically for the new Pax. It might not look like much but it’ll certainly get the job done.
- Pax Concentrate Insert – For those who require a replacement, they might be expensive, but they’re always available direct from the manufacturer. For those who purchase the new Pax, the concentrate insert comes with the vape. Useful for vaping concentrates.
- Concentrate Insert Replacement Lid & O-Rings – This little set of replacement parts for the concentrate insert includes a lid as well as o-rings.
- Mini-Charger – This is a portable USB-enabled charger that’ll keep your Pax battery full of juice no matter where you are.
- Multi-Tool – This is a very nice accessory to have. It’s cheap, works well, and it’s a lot more useful than some of you may otherwise think. If you don’t have something similar, you may very well want to buy this.
- Accessory Kit – This bundles basically comes with everything you need to keep your vape working as intended. Replacement parts, cleaning supplies, and more. Get it if you need it.
- Flat Mouthpiece Pack – This is a pack of three flat mouthpieces in various colors. Nice if you need replacements. There’s also a 2-pack option where you can specify which color you want, be it green, pink, or blue. The 3-pack comes with one of each.
- Cleaning Kit – This is a must have. If you have pipe cleaner and ISO, you really don’t need it but if you don’t, it’s everything you need to keep it clean.
- USB Charger (Cord + Dock) – This is the cord and dock for charging the vape via USB.
- Raised Mouthpiece – If you need to replace your raised mouthpiece, you can pick these up. They come in packs so you’ll get more than one when you buy.
- Pax Screens – These come in packs of three. Buy them when you need them and trust us, you will need them eventually – even if you do make a point to clean them regularly.
- Half Pack Oven Lid – Just a regular replacement lid for the half-pack oven. Simple as that.
The Pax 3 warranty coverage is only valid for the original purchaser of the device. The warranty does not cover counterfeits so make sure you buy yours from an authorized retailers. It’s good for 10-years from the date of purchase. The 10-year limited warranty protects against defects in craftsmanship and in materials, but only under “normal use.” Keep in mind, if you bought yours second-hand, the warranty coverage is no longer valid as it is nontransferable from the original owner.
If you have a warranty claim deemed valid by the manufacturer, the manufacturer will either offer you a replacement or a repair.
Note: The warranty does not cover any damage caused by the concentrate adapter, waxes, or other forms of concentrates. So if you’re using yours to vape some concentrates, be careful!
Those familiar with the Pax 2 won’t notice much of a difference with the quality of vapor produced by the new version given that the oven and vapor path are virtually the same. For those who are unfamiliar with the quality of vapor produced by the last version, we’ll elaborate. The vapor is fairly thick, much thicker than the original Pax, and pretty tasty. For a portable conduction vaporizer, the end product, the vapor, is fairly impressive. While there’s certainly room for improvement, we’re relatively satisfied with its capabilities. Although not the best, we consider its vapor production to be above average.
The enhanced heat control options provided by the various modes accessible through the app are a nice improvement that are unique if nothing else. But while we appreciate the technology here and what it allows, it unfortunately does not do much to improve the overall quality of the vapor. Small gains at best.
With everything that the new Pax has to offer, it’s perhaps no surprise to find that it’s one of our highest rated portable vaporizers here at Vaporizer Shark, but is it really worth the money? For those who need a compact portable that can handle the concentrates just as well as it can the dried blends, the Pax 3 is a solid option that will not disappoint. While it doesn’t come as too much of an improvement over its predecessor, the Pax 2, it’s dramatically better than the original, the Pax 1. For all that it entails, it’s easily worth the money. It produces good vapor and it does so quickly while offering a range of useful features that make it that much more enticing. We strongly recommend this vaporizer to anyone who needs a compact vape that’s relatively inconspicuous and easy to use. If you’re interested in buying one, we suggest buying it from this authorized retailer here.