“…one of the smallest and lightest portable vaporizers designed to work with dried blends.”
While some vaporizers offer a wide range of temperatures to choose from, Pax keeps things simple and offers just three distinct temperatures to choose from. These temperatures cannot stray from their programming so if you’re displeased with the three predetermined settings, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But if you’re content with having just three settings to choose from, which range from 370°F to 410°F, you’ll be just fine. For us, we prefer to have more control over our vaping temperature, which as it turns out, isn’t asking much as more than a few other portables offer just that. But seeing as the Pax 1 is now years old, we’re going to cut it a little slack and say that it might not offer much in way of temperatures to choose from, but what it does offer is good enough to get the job done.
Each temperature setting corresponds with a different color of light emit by the vape’s star-shaped LED indicator, which can be found on the front of the device. The three preset temperatures and their corresponding light colors are as follows:
- Low (YELLOW) = 370°F / 188°C
- Medium (ORANGE) = 390°F / 199°C
- High (RED) = 410°F / 210°C
Cycling through the different temperatures is easy enough. Simply remove the mouthpiece by pulling it straight up and out. Once removed, you’ll notice a little button glowing inside of the now exposed area where the mouthpiece was. Clicking the button cycles through the different temperature settings.
We prefer to start on the middle setting, 390 degrees Fahrenheit, and allow it to warm up a bit and begin roasting the blend before we begin to draw. After a few draws, we like to crank it up to the highest temperature setting and finish it off.
Tip: For the best draws, try packing the oven nice and snug with finely ground blend.
» Heat Up Time
While there are vaporizers that definitely heat up faster, Pax, the original, doesn’t take all that long to heat up as it tends to heat up within a mere 30 to 45 seconds. In this regard, the Pax actually does quite well in comparison to quite a few other portables – especially those that came out before or around the same time as Pax.
» Battery Life
On average, the Pax Vaporizer’s battery tends to last long enough for to provide us with about 3 to 5 sessions before it needs to be put back on the charger. Fortunately, charging is somewhat convenient as all you have to do is drop it on the charging station and walk away while it recharges. We recommend charging it frequently in order to ensure that it’s always ready for the next session, but keep in mind, Ploom claims that its internal battery’s strength will be reduced by about 20% after 300 complete charging cycles. And seeing as the battery is not intended to be replaced by users due to the vaporizer’s design, it’s best to contact the manufacturer if your battery ever runs out of juice and fails to retain a charge.
» Weight & Size
If you’re wondering how much the Pax vaporizer weighs, the answer is not much, or to be more precise, 3.4 ounces. And if you’re wondering just how small it actually is, the answer is 4-1/8 x 1.4 x 7/8 inches, which is small enough to fit in your pocket. And at just 95 grams, you’ll hardly notice it’s there.
Both aspects considered, the Pax is definitely one of the smallest and lightest portable vaporizers designed to work with dried blends.
The Pax Vaporizer problems we came across when it was first released really came as a surprise to us as we didn’t notice them immediately. Instead, they only became apparent after prolonged use. The main issue was that the vaporizer would become unusable. This came as the result of the mouthpiece getting stuck, as the mouthpiece acts as the power button and when it gets stuck, it doesn’t turn on. Initially, Ploom decided to release a lubricant which, while a working resolution to a degree, somewhat disgusted us. Fortunately, they eventually came up with a real resolution to the problem – redesigning the mouthpiece so that it doesn’t get stuck. Now, no matter how much we might try, we simply can’t get it dirty enough to get stuck. Needless to say, their resolution, redesigning the mouthpiece, did the trick.
For reference, the issue with the original mouthpiece getting stuck came as the result of a lack of cleaning. After some use, the internals would get sticky and eventually so much so that the mouthpiece wouldn’t slide out when you tried to click it in to turn the device on. While it might sound as simple as keeping up with regular maintenance by cleaning it, the reality was that it just wasn’t that easy as the Pax’s design made it difficult to clean, particularly in the areas where the mouthpiece would get stuck. But as we said, this problem of the past has since been resolved and is no longer an issue, which is obviously a huge relief given that it was such a critical flaw in the vape’s design. Beyond this, we have no real issue with the original Pax given that it has the updated mouthpiece so as it stands, the Pax is basically a solid vape.
For reference, the new mouthpiece’s sliding ring shape, which is located at the top of the mouthpiece tube, differs in shape and size when compared to the original mouthpiece. And it is this little difference, however insignificant it might seem, that makes a world of difference when it comes to the overall quality and usability of the product.
» Cleaning & Maintenance
Some vapes need to be cleaned more than others and in our opinion, the Pax 1 is no exception. It needs to be cleaned regularly and in order to do so, the manufacturer provides a limited cleaning kit which comes with sterilizing wipes, pipe cleaners, and some lubricant that is something else entirely. The sterilizing wipes and cleaning sticks are enough to clean it the first few times or so but when they run out, you’ll want to pickup some isopropyl (ISO) alcohol–also known as rubbing alcohol–and q-tips if you don’t have some already because the combination offers a convenient and cost effective way to clean the device. You’ll also want to grab some pipe cleaners because they make the job that much easier. One option is to simply buy the Pax cleaning kit, which comes with pipe cleaners and alcohol wipes.
If you do decide to use ISO to clean it, just make sure to avoid accidentally cleaning inside of the mouthpiece chamber because this little mistake may cause your temperature control button to stick.
While we covered what you shouldn’t do when cleaning it, we also want to give you a quick overview of the cleaning process, which you can see below.
- Dip q-tip in ISO (do not soak)
- Use the q-tip to clean the oven lid
- Moisten pip cleaner with ISO
- Push pipe cleaner all the way through the vapor/air pathway so that it runs clear through to the other side and pushes out the screen. Then run the cleaner back and forth until the path is clean.
- Soak the mouthpiece in ISO for an extended period of time. You can simply drop it into some ISO and allow it to soak while you sleep and then remove it from the ISO and rinse it thoroughly under warm water.
- For users of the original Pax without the updated mouthpeice, we’ve opted to add this additional step in the cleaning process as it helps prevent issues with the mouthpiece getting stuck. Use denta-stick moistened with ISO to very gently clean the area where the mouthpiece connects.
The first five steps above are for all users while the last step, the sixth step in the cleaning process, is intended for users who do not have the updated mouthpiece.
As far as cleaning and maintenance are concerned, it is admittedly a bit of a hassle to keep up with when it comes to the Pax. But so long as you keep it clean, it should, assuming the battery keeps up, continue to work just as good as the day you got it.
» Usage Tips
- When using the original Pax, we suggest you use the mid-temperature setting to start but this is something you’ll want to play around with to find what works best for you. Then cranking it up to the highest temperature setting for your final draws.
- When taking draws, be sure to draw in nice and slow. If you draw too hard, it’ll actually cool down the oven. And if this isn’t quite your style, you may consider gently puffing on it.
- As a general rule of thumb, if the mouthpiece feels warm, you’re probably drawing too hard. To remedy this, try taking long, steady draws in a methodical fashion or quick puffs as an alternative.
- When it comes to packing the oven, we prefer to pack it nice and snug but there are those who prefer to pack it a little loose in order to stir the blend with a quick flick of the wrist. We suggest testing both methods in order to decide which one you find to be preferable.
- When it comes to basic maintenance, we strongly suggest cleaning the Pax every 3 to 5 sessions.
- In order to help ensure that it’s always working when you want to use it, make sure to charge your Pax frequently, preferably after every use. And if it makes sense for your situation, pickup the car charger accessory.
- As we suggest doing with most new vaporizers, make sure you heat cycle the Pax before you use it. Doing so will help burn off anything that may be leftover from the manufacturing process that you would otherwise find yourself unintentionally vaping. In order to do this, simply heat the vape up while on its highest temperature setting and repeat this process with an empty oven for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes before you using it. You may notice a strange odor coming off of it, in which case, continue to heat cycle it until the odor disappears. And if it doesn’t disappear, be sure to contact the manufacturer or the store you bought it from.
Pax might be an impressive little vape, but just how impressive is it when compared to the likes of some of the most popular vaporizers on the market? That’s exactly what you’re going to find out in this Pax vaporizer comparison section. And up first we have the Ascent Vaporizer by DaVinci with its all glass vapor pathway.
- Pax Vaporizer VS DaVinci Ascent – This is a reasonably fair comparison to make given that these two portables were released roughly around the same time. The Pax came out first and not long after, the Ascent hit shelves. There’s quite a bit that sets these two apart from one another, such as the Ascent’s ability to vaporize dried blends as well as liquids, whereas the Pax has only the ability to handle dried blends, not liquids. When it comes to vapor quality and features, we prefer the Ascent. When it comes to portability, the Pax certainly gives it a run for its money as it’s not only lighter, but considerably more compact.
- Pax VS MFLB – The Magic Flight Launch Box is the little “wooden” vaporizer that you may have come across as it’s retained popularity for some time now. It offers a compact and relatively simple vaping solution that takes a bit of getting used to, but for how much it costs, we really can’t complain. In contrast to the Pax, it’s definitely not as easy to use, but in regards to maintenance, it’s much easier to keep up with as it’s noticeably easier to clean. As far as vapor goes, it definitely tastes a bit woody to us so we’re not all that impressed, which is in part we why prefer the Pax over the Launch Box. In the end, it really comes down to preference. If you want a really small vape that runs on a single AA battery for less than you’ll pay for a Pax, you’re probably going to want to go with the MFLB. If you want something a bit more hi-tech that really looks and feels like a vaporizer you’d pay good money for, it’s the Pax all the way.
- Pax VS DaVinci IQ – This is hardly a comparison worth making given that the IQ Vaporizer by DaVinci, the same company that puts out the Ascent and self-titled DaVinci vaporizers, is the obvious winner. Its vapor is better, it’s easier to clean, offers features like vibration style notifications, and its LED display is much more useful. All things considered, it absolutely blows the original Pax out of the water.
While it comes with a mouthpiece, oven screen, charging stand, power adapter, power cord, instructions, and a fairly modest cleaning kit, the original Pax also has a variety of additional accessories available to it that can be purchased separately. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Car Charger – A nice accessory for just about anyone who spends any kind of time on the road on a regular basis.
- Mouthpiece Lubricant – A food-safe, water-soluble lubricant made available by the manufacturer in an attempt to resolve the issue with the mouthpiece getting stuck. We don’t recommend it, but if you have the older mouthpiece style, you might need it. We strongly suggest getting the new mouthpiece because it resolves this issue without requiring lubrication.
- Replacement Parts – If you happen to lose a part or simply want a spare, the manufacturer sells replacement mouthpieces, oven lids, screens, and cleaning kits.
The original Pax is covered by the manufacturer’s 10-year limited warranty that kicks into effect the moment you buy your vape from an authorized retailer. Fake Pax vaporizers purchased from unauthorized retailers are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
The warranty, which only covers the original purchaser, specifically covers defects in workmanship and materials under normal use.
» Vapor Quality
The quality of vapor produced by Pax 1 is not all that impressive in comparison to some of the other portable vapes we’ve used, yet it still manages to be above average. The taste is okay, the density is a bit lacking, especially in comparison to some of the newer portables on the market like the ridiculously powerful Mighty Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel. Overall, it’s not bad if you’re looking for some quick puffs but if you’re looking for the thick, dense clouds of vapor that you know some vaporizers can produce, you’ll want to look elsewhere because the original Pax is not where you’ll find those super thick clouds you’re after.
» Final Thoughts
While fairly old now and no longer a contender for one of the top portable vaporizers, the original Pax is still a fairly decent vape given all that it entails. It has multiple vaping temperatures to choose from, boasts a highly portable design that’s sleek, lightweight and compact, and it’s more reasonably priced than it was when it first came out. If you’re interested in buying one, we highly recommend you buy through an authorized dealer such as this store here. They offer some of the best deals around and their customer service has never let us down.