Pax 1 Original Pocket Vaporizer

The original Pax 1 vaporizer was a game-changing vape in the dry herb portable space. But has it withstood the test of time and new model enhancements? In this review, we’re going to summarize what’s really going on with the original Pax 1 vaporizer – the good, the bad and the not so bad.  We’ll begin with the bad, which mainly involves excessive resin buildup and not-so-excessive vapor production.

Pax 1 Vapor Production

For us, the overarching issue relating to the Pax 1 original is its rather unremarkable vapor production compared to other small portables like a DaVinci. Does it create decent vapor? Yes. But nothing close to what you’ll get from Storz & Bickel’s Crafty+ or Mighty+ portables. Perhaps comparing to the Mighty is a bit unfair as it’s a larger device. And the Crafty, although a competing pocket portable that produces outstanding vapor, is admittedly not as small and sleek as the Pax. Regardless, with respect to vapor quality, these are the benchmarks for any comparison of portable vapes.

Pax 1 Resin Accumulation

If you can look past the very average vapor production aspect, there remains one other issue that cannot be ignored. This has to do with resin buildup. At first, everything works great. But after a while, the original Pax 1 vaporizer starts to accumulate a fair amount of resin in areas that inhibit mechanical functionality. While this is not an immediate problem, the Pax 1 is not exactly easy to clean.

To be more precise, after some time and use, resin buildup will stop the mouthpiece from smoothly popping out as intended. The problem is that the moving mouthpiece doubles as the ON/OFF switch. So when you push the mouthpiece in, it clicks and then pops out, turning the power on in the process. Sooner or later the mouthpiece starts to get stuck. If you never clean it, eventually it will stop popping out altogether. And that’s when you have to drop everything and do a thorough soak and brush job.

Cleaning Schedule

Fortunately, the manufacturer became aware of this problem and issued a workaround. A resolution came in the form of a lubricant to keep the mouthpiece sliding in and out smoothly as intended. This keeps the vape working but we’re not overly impressed with this method, for two reasons:

  1. Our first issue with this workaround is that constantly lubricating the device is a nuisance, forcing you to buy and store lubricant in a handy place, and
  2. Our second issue is that the lubricant is applied inside the device, which is possibly unhealthful. Why? Because it’s a vaporizer, and so it’s going to heat up and vaporize whatever you put inside. For this reason alone we prefer to avoid the lubricant and focus on keeping the device clean.

The best way is to regularly clean it using isopropyl alcohol and an old-school fuzzy pipe cleaning wire. So long as you perform regular maintenance, the original Pax 1 vaporizer should provide an acceptable service life.

How to Use Pax 1

After reading all that, you might think we’re not fans of the Pax 1, but that would be incorrect. The original Pax 1 vaporizer does have its good points. For starters, it’s extremely compact and shapely. The Pax 1 has a form factor that’s easy to carry and conceal, and when it comes to portable vapes this is key. Maintenance and cleaning aside, it’s also easy to use. You basically load the chamber at the bottom, click the mouthpiece, wait for it to heat up, and inhale.

The Pax 1 offers three temperature settings – low, medium, and high. The low setting is 370°F, medium is 390°F, and high is 410°F. This correlates with 188°C, 199°C and 210°C. To adjust the temperature you must remove the mouthpiece, which fully dislodges when you pull on it.  Inside you’ll notice a little button. Clicking the button cycles through the temperature settings. When you click it, you’ll notice the star-shaped LED on the body of the Pax will change color. Yellow is low, orange is medium, and red is high. Once you’ve selected your preferred vaping temp, replace the mouthpiece and proceed.

The original Pax 1 vaporizer is an aesthetically pleasing device. The design is cool, which is no surprise given the background of its developers – a couple of Stanford Design Program graduates. But looks aren’t everything; and so with all things considered, here’s what we really think about the original Pax 1 vaporizer:

Original Pax 1 Vaporizer Review – the Bottom Line

When Pax Labs, previously known as Ploom, introduced the original Pax in 2012 its impact on the dry herb vaping scene was consequential. Ploom had designed a reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing, palm-sized, portable vaporizer that was nothing short of revolutionary. However, since that introduction a number of worthy competitors have entered the market. Fortunately, the original Pax 1 vaporizer was only the first in a constantly evolving series.

So while we do enjoy the original Pax, and find it to be decent value for money, it does have a couple of annoying issues. We recommend reading our reviews on the company’s subsequent models before making a decision. The Pax 2 is basically an upgraded and slightly smaller version of the original and the Pax 3 adds a splendid new feature – the ability to vape concentrates and oils.

If you want to check out the original Pax 1 vaporizer we recommend doing so at this store, but if you’re looking for something a little more robust we suggest that you also consider some other portable vaporizers we’ve reviewed like the Crafty+ or Mighty+.