Described as the Apple of dry herb vapes, the PAX 3 is a sleek, stylish, high functioning piece of hardware perfect for those looking to make the switch from smoking. The PAX 3 has been in my collection for 2 years now, it has never yet let me down and has become a firm favourite when out and about.
If you are looking to vape dry herb for the first time this is an excellent choice as it is easy to use and requires no learning curve. If this isn’t your first time, there are enough bells and whistles to still make this a worthwhile purchase.
Below I will set out why I like the PAX 3 and where I think it could be better. This is based on my own long term at home, in groups and when I am out and about.
Ease of Use
Having tried many different vapes you very quickly realise that there is no consistency to how they work. Is it 3 clicks or 5 to turn it on? Do I need to hold down a button when I pull? How do I turn it off?
If nobody shows you, or you do not read the instructions, turning the PAX 3 on and off could be a mission the first time. The on off button is hidden under the mouth piece. To turn it on you press down on the centre of the mouth piece and it begins to heat. To turn it off just press down again. Nice and simple once you know how!
The temperature is also controlled through the same button and requires you to hold it down for a couple of seconds. This changes the colour of the lights and you select the option by clicking through. Then to finish hold the button down again to confirm and begin heating.
This is all pretty simple to master and is easy to do if you have limited dexterity in your hands. Once turned on you also have no need to hold the button down and it heats up in 15 seconds. You just pull as and when you need to and turn off again once finished. There is also an auto shut off function. If you stop using the vape for 3 minutes it will turn itself off and save your herb for another time.
As mentioned you can adjust the temperature via the power button. The PAX 3 has 4 built in temperatures and these are represented by the leaves on the front of the device. Again this is very simple with one leaf being low and 4 being the highest.
- 1 Leaf = Low: 182°C
- 2 Leaves = Med-Low: 193°C
- 3 Leaves = Med-High: 205°C
- 4 Leaves = High: 215°C
If you are seeking simplicity then this is perfect. If you want to extract specific terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids then not so much. To do so you require a much more accurate temperature control. On the PAX 3 this can be done through the use of an App. I of course tried this out but in all honesty was not a fan. It is good because you can make small adjustments and it has some built in functions like flavour mode.
However, the App feels a waste of time and effort. For starters I don’t need another App cluttering up my phone and someone else with potential access to my data. The Android version is also not that good and was clunky and poorly laid out, I hear the Apple version is better but this is little consolation to me. If accurate temperature is what you want I suggest looking at another portable vape like the Mighty by Storz & Bickel. To see the app in action check out the video below. Skip ahead to 6 minutes 35.
How to Use The PAX 3
PAX provided this video that will walk you through all the steps of loading, turning on and off, adjusting temperature and how best to pull. Well worth a few minutes of your time.
Early on I was disappointed with the shiny finish. I thought it was destined to get scratched and lose its pristine look. After two years this still looks good, even if it does get covered in finger prints when being passed around a group.
Inside, the chamber is still solid and the pathway has remained clear with regular cleaning. I have dropped it a few times with no ill effects. Once I even dropped it in a glass. Rum and ginger beer if I remember correctly. After emptying it of herb and leaving it to dry (and cleaning off the stickiness from the drink) it still worked without fault. Although I wouldn’t suggest doing this to find out for yourself!
My biggest disappointment with the build is how hot it can get when being used. This couldn’t really be helped as it is intended to be a portable vape but it is annoying when you have to turn it off and cool it in the middle of a session.
Without doubt convection vaporizers are much tastier as they draw the heat through the herb, rather than heating directly like a conduction vape. However, the PAX 3 delivers a pretty clean and tasty vapour. This is especially so on the lowest built in setting where taste is at its peak.
Whilst the vapour tastes good don’t expect massive clouds. There are vaporizers that produce vapour more efficiently than the PAX 3 which delivers moderate amounts on each draw.
Cleaning and Maintenance
You do not need to spend much time maintaining the PAX. If you leave it too long the draw quality will be restricted and the taste tainted so it is best to do so weekly if you use it heavily. All in all it takes around 10-15 minutes to thoroughly clean.
The most difficult thing about cleaning is removing the oven screen. You will need to push something down the draw path to pop this out from the other side. If you leave it too long then it will be covered in resin and may require some effort.
You can put any lose parts into some Isopropyl alcohol to soak. Then using cotton buds and pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol you can clean the inside.
If you use the concentrates insert you will need to clean more often. This can be very messy. If concentrates are your thing maybe consider a specialist device. Even though this works you may require to go a little hotter for efficiency purposes.
Value for Money
The ten year warranty and build quality make the expense worthwhile. Here in the UK you will however have to send it to the US for repairs if it does go wrong and that does mean you could be without for sometime. Also, PAX had issues with turn around times in 2018. Personally, I have not yet had a problem with mine in two years.
The PAX 3 does also come as a basic kit if your budget won’t stretch to the complete set up, which can add an extra £50 to the price. With the basic you won’t get the half pack lid, the concentrates insert, multi tool and spare screens. If you look around you can get all these items for less and you only really need the half pack lid which in my opinion is a must.
- Half pack lid. Good if you don’t have a high tolerance and ensures no stirring half way through a session.
- Wire/nylon pipe cleaner. Reduces time to clean and the only way to get into the draw stem.