Crafty vs Davinci IQ vs Pax 3: Battle of the premium, super-portable vaporizers
One of the most competitive niches in the dry herb vaporizer market today is the super-portable, high-end vaporizer. With over a dozen models in this category, the best vaporizer is a topic for serious discussion. However, most serious vape heads would agree that Crafty, Pax 3 and Davinci IQ are in the running for the crown.
Despite their tiny size, The Crafty, Pax 3 and Davinci IQ manage to squeeze in a wealth of technological innovations whilst offering some of the best vaping experience money can buy.
It can be really difficult to make a decision choosing the best vaporizer for you especially when you’re spending up to £200!
The best device for you will largely depend on what you prioritise in a vaporizer so we decided to break down each device’s features individually to help you understand what each model is really about.
Round 1: Which vaporizer looks and feels best?
In the old days, a vaporizer was a vaporizer. In 2019 however, a vape is also a fashion accessory and are expected to look and feel as good as they perform. The top brands are now focusing as much effort into aesthetics and ergonomics in the quest for creating the perfect vaporizer.
Pax is often referred to as the ‘Apple’ of dry herb vaporizers for a very good reason; their devices look every bit good as they perform. Pax 3 is no exception.
Its entire body is made of one uniform sheet of anodized aluminium. On first appearance there are no buttons on the mouthpiece, instead, they’re hidden in the top of the vape.
At just under four inches tall, it’s curved rectangular body feels comfortable in even the smallest of hands and I very much doubt you’ll even feel its presence in your pocket.
On the front of the device are the now-iconic petal lights that convey vaping information. Also, the charging port is magnetic and clips into place.
Score: 10/10 – The Pax 3 is the benchmark for a sleek and aesthetically pleasing herb vaporizer.
Davinci’s previous models, the Classic and Ascent were solid performers but were not very pretty. With the IQ, Davinci has stepped up its game and taken design notes from the guys at Pax.
Like the Pax 3, the IQ has no protruding mouthpiece. Also gone, is the LCD screen. Instead, the Davinci IQ conveys useful information using a unique 51 LED grid display.
The Davinci IQ is so sleek and small you’d be forgiven for not thinking it was durable. However, its outer shell is made of aluminium and has a nice weight to it.
Score : 9/10 – The IQ comes dangerously close to the Pax 3 in terms of aesthetics and ergonomics.
I think most of us would agree that The Crafty is not the prettiest vaporizer in the line-up.
Also, it has a protruding mouthpiece which isn’t great for stealth.
Score : 7/10 – Not quite up to the standards of the Pax 3 and IQ but this is to be expected. The function is the most important feature for S&B products.
Round 2: Which vaporizer has the best mobile phone app?
Nowadays, a smartphone app is almost a must-have for a premium vaporizer.
To be honest, I prefer to not use an app. So for me, a smartphone app is only useful it enhances or improves my vaping experience.
The Pax 3 comes has just four temperature options built into the device. However, if we use the app you can create a more bespoke vaping experience by selecting the precise temperature you want to vape at.
I think precise temperature settings are overrated. I don’t think anyone can tell the difference between 170c and 175c. However, what is interesting is the ability to choose between one of four vaping modes:
- Boost – A hot oven with no auto – cooling – great for those of us who enjoy huge satisfying hits.
- Flavour – Great for those of us who prefer flavour and smoothness over thick clouds
- Efficiency – Gradually increases the temperature throughout the sessions squeezing every last terpene out of your vaporizer
- Stealth – Dims the lights and cools in between draws for stealthy, short hits that are light on smell.
Score : 8/10 – an impressive application that enhances your vaping experience.
The Davinci IQ has the best mobile phone app of any dry herb vaporizer. It has all the usual features such as the ability to turn off vibration alerts or get device information like total usage time. However, it’s the ability to create and edit your own smart path mode that will change the way you vape!
Smart paths gradually increase the temperature over a ten minute period as you vape. I’ve mentioned several times before how I use multiple temps during a session, this allows me to set it up on auto-pilot. Also, you can set up custom smart paths for your favourite strains.
In short, you and your friends could share the same vaporizer but never has the same experience!
Score : 9/10 – Smartpaths add a level of customizability that is head and shoulders above the competition.
Out the box, the Crafty has just two pre-programmed temperatures: 180c and a boost mode that gradually heats up to 200c.
The app lets you edit the vaping and the boost temperatures, adjust the LED lights. You can even set your phone to vibrate when the device is ready to vape. This saves a more herb than you imagine!
Score : 8/10 – Limited in features, but really easy to use and conveys really useful information.
Round 3: Which vaporizer provides the best vaping experiences?
All the bells and whistles built into a vaporizer count for very little if it doesn’t provide a top-quality vaping experience.
The Pax 3 utilises conduction heating and with exception of the Black Mamba, is the fastest vaporizer I own. It heats to vaping temperature in just 15 seconds.
The vapour quality is also very good both in terms of taste and thickness.
A disadvantage of the Pax 3 is that there is no cooling unit. Because the device is quite small the air path is also quite short. As a result, the vapour produced can be quite harsh on the throat when using high temperatures or boost mode
The ‘Complete’ version of the Pax 3 comes with an oil and concentrate insert. However, t here are several vapes that do oils and concentrates better. For most people, the ‘dry herb’ only version of the Pax 3 should be satisfactory.
Score 7/10: Maybe not as impressive as the IQ and Crafty but is still one of the best available today.
Like Pax 3, the Davinci IQ also uses conduction heating. This results in thick, dense vapour and a fairly impressive heat time of just 45 seconds.
Some of the drawbacks of conduction heating are that the vapour an be quite harsh and that the oven does not heat evenly. The IQ utilises two innovations to combat this.
- The Pearl – The IQ evenly distributes heat in its oven using a ‘pearl’ in the lid of the oven. It works too! I didn’t have to stir the oven once!
- Flavour Chamber – this sits between the mouthpiece and the oven. It has the unique benefit of lengthening the air-path and acts as a makeshift cooling unit.
One disadvantage of the Davinci IQ is its draw resistance. The best technique with this vape is shallow sips.
Score 8/10 – These features result in the best vape quality of any conduction vape on the market.
Every product from Storz & Bickel is renowned for providing the best vaping experiences and The Crafty is no exception.
Despite its tiny size, its engineers have managed to cram two useful innovations into the device.
- Hybrid Heating – Conduction vs convection is a hotly debated subject between vape heads. Both these heating methods have their individual pros and cons. The Crafty is the only vape of the three that offers hybrid heating. This means it utilises both conduction and convection with all their advantages and none of the drawbacks.
- Air-Cooling Unit – In between the mouthpiece and oven is a specially designed compartment that collects vapour from the chamber. Before this vapour reaches your mouth it is forced over specially designed ridges that cool it down so you can better taste the individual nuances of each strain.
Finally the crafty comes with an oil and concentrate pad. It vapes both of these materials as equally well as dry herbs.
Score : 10/10 – Head and shoulders above not only the Pax 3 and Davinci IQ but pretty much every other single vaporizer as well!
Round 4: Which vaporizer boasts the best build quality?
By their very nature, portable vaporizers are designed to be used outside. As such, they need to be able to withstand a little rough and tumble and cope with being exposed to the elements.
Behind the pretty looks, is a pretty tough and rugged vape. The pax 3 has been built to last.
The Pax 3 is the most travelled of all my high-end vapes. It’s been on holidays, festivals and camping trips and has been exposed to rain, snow and sun. Still, it performs just as it did when I first received it.
Unfortunately, it is notoriously susceptible to scratches. This is strange because the Pax 2 isn’t. I’m not sure why they changed the material of the exterior.
The oven itself is made of stainless steel which is a great material for a conduction vape to evenly distribute heat.
Furthermore, the Pax 3 comes with a massive 10-year warranty.
Score: 8/10 – Though the body may earn a few scratches the Pax 3 can withstand a good few knocks and drops.
The IQ’s oven and air path are made of ceramic zirconium. This material carries vapour and flavour as well as high-quality glass but it is twenty times as strong.
A disadvantage to the IQ is that it has several removable pieces. It’s more bits to damage.
Also, the pearl seems quite fragile. However, Davinci stand by their design and back it up with a 10-year warranty, just like Pax.
Score: 8/10 – High-quality materials ensure that the IQ should last you for years to come.
The quality of Storz & Bickel products is so high that they are actually cleared to be used as medical devices in Canada and Israel. It’s interior is made of medical-grade stainless steel and aluminium and no ceramics so it can really survive a drop. T he Crafty has been tested and certified by TÜV SÜD (the “Southern Technical Inspection Association”) in Munich, Germany.
Score : 10/10 – Again the Crafty is superior here.
Round 5: Which vaporizer has the best performing battery?
Battery life is super important for a vape that you’ll be using away from home. At a minimum, I expect a vape at any price to last an entire day.
The Pax 3 has a massive 3,500mAh battery. From a full charge, you can expect 110 minutes of oven time and it only takes 100 mins to charge. This is really impressive.
Score : 9/10 – A decent oven time coupled with fast charging time.
The Davinci IQ has replaceable batteries which is very convenient. I took my IQ on a long weekend to Barcelona last week and didn’t have to worry about finding a charger once. Two batteries lasted me the whole trip!
The battery itself is impressive too. It has a capacity of 3,500mAh and provides 80-90 mins of oven time.
The only downside is that it takes a lifetime to charge; 3 – 4 hours!
Score : 8/10 loses several points for its charge time but makes it back up with replaceable batteries.
At 2,700mAh, the Crafty’s battery has the smallest capacity of the three and it shows. It provides only 50 mins of battery life which is just enough for six sessions.
On the plus side, it offers pass-through charging so you can vape whilst it is plugged in and can be fully charged via any USB port in just 2 hours.
Score : 8/10 – The shortest battery life but it is also the most convenient. You can charge it anywhere you can find a USB Port. The wall, TV, Computer etc.
There are only one or two points in it showing just how great these vaporizers are. It could be argued that there is no ‘best’ vaporizer out of the three. Instead, you should choose the best model for you.
Pax 3 – 42/50
The Pax 3 is Europe’s most popular dry herb vaporizer for good reason. It looks great, is incredibly easy to use and produces vapour easily. It is a great option for someone buying their first serious vape. The device only option is considerably cheaper than the IQ too whilst having the same features.
Davinci IQ – 42/50
The Davinci IQ is a great device for the connoisseur. The flavour chamber and smart paths add a degree of customizability never seen in a dry herb vaporizer before.
The Crafty – 43/50
The Crafty is great if you value a no-nonsense vaping experience over design and technological features. Due to its unparalleled build quality, it is probably the best option for medical users too.One of the most competitive niches in the dry herb vaporizer market today is the super-portable, high-end vaporizer. With over a dozen models in this category, the best vaporizer is a topic for serious discussion. However, most serious vape heads would agree that Crafty, Pax 3 and Davinci IQ are in the running for the
Pax 2 vs Crafty Vaporizer Comparison
This will be a comparison between the Pax 2 and the Crafty portable vaporizers. The Pax 2 is one of the smallest, lightest and easily concealable portable vapes on the market. While the Crafty offers a full temp spectrum (104F – 410), produces extremely smooth/cool vapor plus more efficient and consistent with my herbs.
Below I’ll break down all the pros/cons, explain the different charging systems, go over the temp options and talk about some of the cleaning/maintenance involved with both the Pax 2 and Crafty.
Before we get into the comparison, prices have dropped a few times on both of these units and the new Pax 3 is out. The Crafty is now $279, the Mighty is $349, the Pax 2 is $149 and the Pax 3 is $249. I also recommend checking out my top portable vaporizer list for more options.
Pax 2 vs Crafty Vaporizer Comparison
The Pax 2 is a bit better in the heat up time department, it comes with a 10 year warranty, and it’s still the most portable/concealable vaporizer currently on the market. The Pax 2 is my go to vape for outdoor activities especially in group scenarios.
In the end, both of these vaporizers are very good and you will be happy with either one.
Size & Portability
The Crafty is the slightly larger unit at 4.3”H x 2.2”D x 1.3”W and the Pax 2 comes in at 3.87”H x 1.21”W x .085”D. The main difference in the size category is the weight; The Pax 2 weighs roughly 92 grams while the Crafty is around 136 grams.
Mind you both of these are actually really light for a portable vaporizer. By comparison, the Firefly weighs 241 grams, the Ascent weighs 192 grams, and the Mighty weighs 230 grams.
The main thing you’ll notice in size the bulkiness to the Crafty. You can still fit it in your pocket but it’s definitely not the streamlined smooth design of the Pax 2.
Batteries and Charging System
Both battery systems are good for today’s charging capabilities. The Pax 2 comes out on top as far as average continuous use. They also upgraded the battery compared to the original Pax so it will pretty much crush the Crafty in continuous use.
However, the Crafty can vape a full oven quite a bit faster than almost all portables including the Pax 2. So the Crafty still vapes a good volume of herbs per charge despite medium to low continuous use time.
Neither units use replaceable batteries but both offer the option to charge via USB. I just picked up a battery pack off amazon for around $25 and it will charge both of these units from dead multiple times over. I definitely recommend this option if you are going to be taking it on long day activities.
*Pro-Tip: If you already have the original Pax, you can use the old charging base cord to plug-in directly to the new charging system so you can charge via home outlets.
TL;DR: The Pax 2 has longer battery life, both will charge about the same speed and both can be charged via USB.
Chambers, Heating Elements and Vapor Paths
The Crafty is a hybrid unit so it uses both conduction and convection heating methods. It will use a slight amount of conduction in the beginning to heat the chamber and mostly convection from then on out.
The Pax 2 is 100% conduction and definitely the less efficient model of the two. The Pax 2 will hold quite a bit more herbs which some people like and some don’t. It’s completely up to you and what you want out of a vaporizer.
The Pax 2 chamber is huge. I can get about .25 grams with a medium coarse grind and if I run it through the MFLB Finishing Grinder, I can get upwards of .4 grams into the chamber. This is a lot for one person unless you’re a heavy user (likes yours truly) or going to be passing it around with friends.
There are a few different methods to use smaller loads in the Pax 2, one company came out with a “sandwich” that is basically a stainless steel press to eliminate all the extra space in the chamber. This allows for smaller bowls for 1 or 2 people and doesn’t make it quite as wasteful. I am currently doing some testing on a few different methods of partial loads. I’ll update the Pax 2 review and this review as soon as I finish up.
One of the biggest differences between the Crafty and Pax 2 is the amount of resistance during draws. The Crafty has one of the most free flowing vapor paths of any portable currently on the market. Whereas the Pax 2 has a lot of draw resistance if you don’t draw slow.
The Pax 2 definitely requires a bit of technique while drawing. I recommend a long slow draw for about 10-20 seconds. The Pax 2 is also more affected by the type of herbs you are using, what temp you are vaping at, how fine/coarse your grind is and how full/tight you packed the chamber.
With the Crafty you can literally pack the chamber in any fashion and get the same results. You can put in .05 or .25 and always get consistently even AVB. The lack of resistance allows me to take HUGE draws which is something that I personally like but it’s not for everyone.
The Crafty uses two temp settings but you can change those two temp settings to anything ranging from 104F to 410F via the smart phone app. You can use the app (available for iOS & Android) to control the two temp options, check battery life, and see your temp in real time, and various other less important features. I really like being able to see the actual temp because I can control my draws to maintain temp the best.
The Pax 2 comes with four different temp settings which is an upgrade from three on the previous Pax model. The new Pax 2 temps range from 360F – 420F (Original Pax 370F – 410F). Each range is controlled via the temp of the herbs rather than the temp of the chamber to ensure a more consistent draw from first to last. The new Pax 2 is definitely an improvement over the original but still not as efficient as the Crafty.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The less maintenance of the two would have to go to the Crafty. I literally used the Crafty for 30+ days without cleaning it (testing purposes, don’t recommend). The only issue that I ran across was the mouthpiece would get stuck and wouldn’t turn around but you can just wait for the unit to heat up and it will turn around just fine.
Now I don’t recommend doing this because you can damage the mouthpiece if you try to crank on it without it warming up. This was just for testing purposes. You can get away with cleaning the Crafty after 20+ sessions or so and it will take around 5 minutes.
The Pax 2 is a HUGE improvement in the cleaning department over the original Pax but still not quite as the Crafty. The Pax 2 works best if you use a find grind and tight pack. This causes a bigger mess than say using a coarse grind with a light pack. The herbs are much more condensed and the finer particles get everywhere.
The good thing is that even when the new Pax 2 gets dirty, it will still work! Yay! Downside is the draw resistance is increased the longer you go without cleaning so I recommend running a pipe cleaner with some ISO down the vapor path after about 10 sessions. The mouthpiece is no longer in the vapor path and no more lubricant to mess with. Just clean the vapor path and the oven.
Total cleaning session for the Pax 2 takes less than 5 minutes so it’s still not that big of a deal but the Crafty is definitely the easiest of the two to maintain/clean overall.
Pax 2 vs Crafty Summary
Overall the better unit would be the Crafty IMO. Much less draw resistance, most efficient with your herbs, and full spectrum temp control. The main reason that would sway me into the Pax 2 would be the extra portability/pocketability along longer battery life.
The Crafty has a pretty average battery life but like I mentioned earlier, you can plug it in practically anywhere via USB. The Pax 2 is also the slimmer streamlined unit so I could see myself picking the Pax 2 for portability.
The Crafty is just an easier unit to maintain and use. I really enjoy the smooth, cool vapor produced from the Crafty and the smartphone app makes changing the temps extremely easy. Both of these units are two of the best vaporizers to come to market and I highly doubt that you would be upset with either so don’t beat yourself up over it too much.
Please leave a comment below if you have any more questions about these two units or if I missed anything that should be added to this Pax 2 vs Crafty vaporizer comparison. Feel free to post your experiences below with either device so fellow vaporents can get some more viewpoints.
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Where to Buy Pax 2/Crafty:
Pax 2 and Crafty charging via Vapium SpringFull Pax 2 vs Crafty vaporizer comparison with side by side photos. Check out which of these two best portable vaporizers I recommend and why. ]]>