Vaporizers are becoming increasingly popular among cannabis users as they look to move away from smoking. Enter the PAX 3, one of the best portable vaporizers on the market when it was initially released. However, that was a few years ago. We’re going to check out whether this device has stood the test of time.
- Official Website: www.paxvapor.com
PAX 3 Highlights
- Four temperature settings you can change manually
- The app allows you to change the temperature in single-degree increments
- Relatively easy to clean cannabis flower
- Minimal learning curve unless you use the app
- Reasonably fast heat-up time
- Small, light, and discreet
- The powerful battery allows for plenty of use on a single charge
- 10-year warranty
- The oven doesn’t get warm enough to vaporize concentrates properly
- You can only use the app on Android because Apple has banned vape apps
- There are better vaporizers out there for the price
PAX 3 Vaporizer Review – Who Created This Device?
Let’s begin our PAX 3 review by looking into the creators of this device. PAX Labs, originally called Ploom, is an American electronic vaporizer company. Co-founded in 2007 by James Monsees and Adam Bowen, the San Francisco-based organization specializes in the development of vape devices for marijuana users. Both men had left the company by June 2017, but it has continued to perform well ever since.
Apart from creating the PAX, PAX 2, and PAX 3 vaporizers, PAX Labs is also behind Juul Labs, Inc. Although the brand was proud of its first two PAX devices, the third iteration remains its best work.
PAX 3 Release – Lots of Hype, But Is There Substance?
The PAX 2 was considered a major upgrade on its predecessor with longer battery life, a bigger oven, and no moving parts to maintain. However, the PAX 3 was feted as another enormous step forward. While PAX Labs unveiled its device in September 2016, the actual PAX 3 release date was November 2016.
At the time, this new handheld vaporizer was considered hi-tech, and its $199.99 retail price was deemed reasonable by many vapers. Now that the PAX 3 is several years old, is it still worth purchasing, or has its time been and gone? Let’s find out!
PAX 3 Design
This device has a dual-use chamber that enables you to enjoy cannabis flower and concentrates. Apart from the PAX 3 device, you also receive:
- Charging cradle and USB cable
- Two interchangeable mouthpieces; one is flat and already fitted on the device, and a raised option
- Two interchangeable oven lids; one is pre-fitted, while the other is designed for when you only want half an oven load
- A concentrate insert for the oven
- Three extra oven screens
- A keychain multi-tool which lets you pack the oven and remove the mouthpiece
- Maintenance kit, including pipe cleaners and a wire brush for whenever you need to perform a deep clean
Please note that on the official PAX website, this device is only available with the extras for $250. You might find the device without the added screens etc., for $200. However, check the terms and conditions when buying from a third party, as they could differ from those on the official PAX site.
The PAX 3 has a fairly basic yet stylish design. It is a rectangular shape with rounded edges that’s slightly less than four inches in height. You can fit it in your hand or slip it into your pocket. The power button is located on the top, and operating it involves pressing and holding that button.
All you can see in front are four LED lights, which represent the device’s battery level. The PAX3 is fully charged when the four lights are full, and the lights turn solid. Each light represents a 25% charge.
The anodized aluminum material feels solid. You can also purchase the PAX 3 in Matte or Glossy styles.
Now, let’s take a look at some of this device’s main features.
PAX 3 Temperature Control
You get to control the PAX 3’s temperature manually. A higher temperature allows for more vapor, while lower heat is best to experience more flavorful draws. PAX Labs recommend medium-high or high temperatures for concentrates.
There are four temperature settings on the PAX 3, again represented by the LED lights on the device. Press the power button for around two seconds to ensure the device enters the temperature set mode. At this stage, you can switch between the following four settings by pressing down on the power button.
- Low (360 Degrees): One LED Light
- Medium (380 Degrees): Two LED Lights
- Medium-High (400 Degrees): Three LED Lights
- High (420 Degrees): Four LED Lights
The PAX Vapor App enables you to access a greater degree of temperature settings. Indeed, you can change the temperatures in single-degree increments (between 360- and 420-degrees Fahrenheit) for precision vaping. We thoroughly recommend downloading the app and linking your PAX 3 with your smartphone. You can also lock your device using the app and benefit from the following user modes:
- Standard: Ideal for first-time users.
- Boost: Rapidly increases temperature and cools the device down faster.
- Flavor: Similar to Boost but designed for better flavor.
- Stealth: Produces less vapor and odor, dims the LEDs and cools down faster.
- Efficiency: The temperature of the oven increases by a single degree across each session. This feature helps save battery life.
At the time, a maximum temperature of 420 degrees was considered high. However, newer devices now offer temperatures of over 450 degrees, which is ideal for concentrate use.
Other PAX 3 Features
If you don’t touch the device while powered on for 30 seconds, it enters Standby Mode. It will vibrate, and the LED lights will turn blue. Pick the device back up, and the PAX 3 begins increasing the temperature. If you don’t touch the vaporizer for three minutes, it automatically switches off.
The device comes with a full or half oven lid. The bigger one holds up to 0.35 grams of dry flower, while the half-lid gives you 0.15 -0.2. Alternatively, you can use the concentrate insert to enjoy potent shatter or wax.
There is also a magnetic charging dock, so you can slide your PAX 3 over the charger to begin. It takes around 90 minutes for its 3500mAh battery to charge, and you get around 8-10 vaping sessions per full charge.
Cleaning the PAX 3 is easy and can be completed in minutes. Remove the mouthpiece and oven lid, and insert a pipe cleaner or wire brush. For thorough cleaning, place the mouthpieces and oven screens into isopropyl alcohol. However, never submerge the entire oven lid into the alcohol. PAX Labs recommend cleaning PAX 3 every three uses.
PAX 3 Tutorial – How to Use It & Battery Performance
There is plenty of information on using this vaporizer online, not to mention the PAX 3 user manual that comes with the device. There are also lots of PAX 3 user guide videos on YouTube.
In reality, once your vaporizer is fully charged, it is easy to use. Load your ground bud or concentrate in the oven and pack it using the requisite tool. Cover the oven with the lid, activate the device by pressing the power button, and wait for around 15 seconds before taking a draw.
However, many users have found that the PAX 3’s oven doesn’t heat the concentrates to a high enough temperature. The result is a sticky mess that you need to clean as soon as the unit cools down.
On the plus side, the draw resistance is fine even when you pack the oven tightly. There is little difference in the vapor quality between the PAX 3 and the PAX 2, which is disappointing. Also, as it uses conduction heating, the flavor is never quite as apparent as with vaporizers that use convection heating. That being said, having the ability to adjust the temperature enables you to find the vapor and flavor combination you desire.
Should I Buy a Used PAX 3?
Despite being available for several years, PAX Labs still charges $250 for the full kit. Therefore, even though PAX 3 reviews are generally positive, a growing number of people are looking at refurbished devices. This is, of course, a fancy term for ‘used.’
Some sites specialize in selling such devices, so our advice is to find the most reputable ones and go from there. It is always a risk buying from an individual seller online, as you’ve no idea what condition the device is in. Also, when you buy from PAX Labs, you benefit from a 10-year warranty. You won’t have this protection if you don’t use a trustworthy retailer when purchasing a used PAX 3.
PAX 3 Review: Our Final Thoughts
When the PAX 3 first arrived on the scene, it was heralded as a game-changer. Fast forward a few years, and that’s no longer the case as several brands and their vaporizers have passed PAX by.
The PAX 3 is a reasonable upgrade on the PAX 2 but isn’t worth the money if you already possess its predecessor. The app’s ability to change the temperature in one-degree increments remains cutting edge, but the device itself isn’t. Without the app, the PAX 3 is fairly limited in what it can do.
The oven doesn’t vaporize concentrate effectively, nor does the device produce huge amounts of vapor. It is still a device of reasonable quality, but it is hard to justify its cost when there are now better options at that price range. There are also lots of choices if you’re on a budget. In conclusion, the PAX 3 remains a decent quality vaporizer but is no longer at the ‘premium’ end of the spectrum.
Final Rating: 7.5/10
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