PAX Mini Review – So Easy a Caveman Can Use It
The PAX Mini is one of the two newest released dry herb vaporizers from PAX, the makers of the PAX, PAX 2 and PAX 3. The Mini is an ultra portable conduction vaporizer intended to replace the legacy PAX 2 – of which it models many of its features after.
The PAX Mini comes in standard cardboard packaging. Nothing special here like the hemp case you get with a competitive vaporizer like the G Pen Elite 2. This is actually a digression for PAX who was one of the first to incorporate that refined Apple-esque unboxing experience with it’s previous line up. We assume this plain jane packaging is likely a cost cutting measure with everything getting more expensive while vaporizers continue to decrease in price.
The good news with PAX being such a globally popular vaporizer is there are plenty of premium cases and carry accessories around.. Anything that works to transport your PAX 2 or PAX 3 will work for the PAX Mini. Ultimately you are buying it for the vaporizer and not the unboxing experience. We however do like to address how well the OEM packaging works for practicality in our reviews.
PAX Mini Comes With
Just as the PAX Mini packaging is minimalist so too are the accessories. The Mini comes with.
- PAX Mini Vaporizer
- Flat & Raised Mouthpiece
- 3 x PAX Mini Replacement Screens
- Cleaning Brush
- Charging Cable
The parts & pieces on the PAX Mini are interchangeable with the PAX 2 and PAX 3 even to include the new adaptation dubbed the PAX 3D Oven Screens.
The screens are the only thing which has changed with the PAX Mini parts & accessories. The screens now have raised sides with air holes. PAX says the new 3D Screens add a component of convection to your session, but that is a huge stretch and should be considered a marketing gimmick at best. In vaping with the PAX 2 screen in my PAX Mini I noticed no noticeable difference.
Also to be noted where the PAX Mini parts & accessories will work in the PAX 3, The PAX 3 half pack oven lid and concentrate insert will not work in the PAX Mini given it’s smaller redesigned herb chamber.
PAX Mini Dimensions
|Dimensions||3.5" x 1.2" (in.)|
These dimensions make the PAX Mini Vaporizer a compact and pocket-sized device that is easy to carry with you on-the-go. The PAX Mini is the smallest PAX Vaporizer to date, but not by much. It is only about 1/8th of an inch shorter than the PAX 2 with the size coming directly out of the oven.
The PAX 2 had a rather large oven which could accommodate roughly .35 grams of ground flower. The Mini oven can do about .17 – .2 grams. So if you are looking for an herb vaporizer to pack a decent amount for over 10+ draws in one sitting you might want to check the other PAX release, the PAX Plus, or for even more the Davinci IQ-C.
PAX designed the Mini with the smaller chamber while making the Plus with a larger chamber size users who had the PAX 3 would be accustomed to. The chamber size presented an odd dilemma for PAX with many users wanting to vape small amounts with others wanting to pack it full.
When packing small amounts in previous PAX devices, the herb decreased in volume over the session and would whip all over inside the heating chamber. This made vapor production very difficult. PAX’s answer was the half pack oven lid which decreased the size of the chamber making it possible to vape smaller amounts. The issue being the half pack oven lid only came with the PAX 3 complete kit or as an after market purchase on the PAX 2 and PAX 3 Basic kit. The PAX Mini’s smaller oven size does away with the need for an oven reducer; the compromise comes at the overall volume of the chamber.
Dynamic Conduction Heating & Temperature Range
There is no need to reinvent the wheel and the conduction heating, which has made PAX Vaporizers of old so dependable, is the same type of heating used in the PAX Mini. Conduction heating involves transferring heat from the oven directly to the herb being vaporized.
Where the PAX Mini is much different is that it does away with temperature controls and offers a dynamic heating range in between 380°F – 420°F. So as PAX did away with temperature controls on the PAX Mini, it put in place a dynamic heating algorithm of sorts which adjusts temperature to accommodate the session.
Your PAX Mini would start in the lower end of the spectrum and increase temperature over the duration of your session from things like your draw but also other variables such as how much herb was input into the oven. The more herb the more the unit needs to heat and thus operate at higher temperatures. Moisture of your herb and consistency of grind will also affect the dynamic heating, as well as external factors such as vaping outside in the snowy mountains or inside by the fire.
Another nifty feature programmed into the PAX Mini is standby mode. When vaping the PAX Mini will show a solid green to indicate ready for vaping. If the unit senses the device is idle after 40 seconds it will begin flashing a blue light and start to cool down. Simply picking the PAX Mini back up will restart the heating cycle. This preserves battery life and your herb should you be gaming or just want to take prolonged breaks between draws. Like I did when writing the PAX Mini review.
The PAX Mini’s dynamic heating was designed for those who want to take the guesswork out of vaping. For those who like to dial it in at a specific temperature something like the AirVape X, or getting your hands on a used PAX 3, would be much more fitting.
Single Button Control
Another nifty feature for those new to vaporizers is the single button control on the PAX MIni. You press the home button down for a second and the unit automatically begins to heat. In a little over twenty seconds the light pedals change from a pulsing purple to a solid green letting you know the unit has reached temperature and you are ready to vape.
While the home button operation sequences (different presses of the home button for changing temperature, turning on/off etc.) on the PAX 2 vaporizer was not exactly rocket science it did create a small barrier to use. Changing between the temperature selection and then putting it back into vape mode would often cause me to just accidentally change the temp again. This is not an issue with the PAX Mini’s single button function.
Easiest PAX to Operate
The PAX Mini Vaporizer is designed about as easy as can be. No app, no button sequencing. Just load, press and vape. The PAX Mini will go into standby mode when idle. This occurs after one minute. After three minutes in standby mode the PAX Mini will automatically shut off. It is recommended to turn it off on your own if done; A simple press of the home button. However it is likely designed this way so you are not always turning it on and off.
The PAX Mini is designed for solo sessions and night caps for those trying to lightly unwind. While this is a very portable device with the required durability, it just does not have the oven capacity or the vapor production to make it something you would want to bring to a concert or camping. It however is a solid little vaporizer to take the dog on a walk.
It is hard to say what I would classify the PAX Mini as. It is certainly a session vaporizer but does not feel like one compared to others such as the Davinci IQ or Boundless CFX+. The PAX Mini is like a session vaporizer to bust out when you are doing other activities. A session vaporizer for those with ADHD 😉
My best sessions were actually writing the PAX Mini review and using it while doing so. It is a nice little hit every couple moments. I can take a hit, put it down and come back in like 45 seconds to take another one. Put it down one minute later, pick it up and take a hit.
I was only getting about 6-7 hits when I would approach it this way but they were more fruitful and better quality with the long pauses in between versus using it as a session vaporizer, taking hits in perpetuity until there is nothing left.
The vapor quality on the PAX Mini is flavorful but way too light. I do not feel the taste is any better from previous PAX Vaporizers – in the 2 & 3 yet those give you a more consistent and greater vapor production.
PAX did say that certain factors could affect the temperature range. I had some good fresh stuff but it was more on the dryer side. So maybe we can dial this in and put out a PAX Mini tips & tricks blog post with how to get bigger clouds. I am thinking the waiting 20-30 seconds before draws certainly helped in that department.
My tolerance must be a tad too high cause vaping some solid herb through the PAX Mini I still feel like I need some more. One session is not enough to get me that couch lock I used to get with my Ghost MV1 (now out of production).
PAX Mini Battery Life
The PAX Mini Vaporizer contains a 3000 mAh built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Since the battery is not removable and you are using a proprietary cradle PAX charger, the PAX Mini can take up to 3 hours to charge if using a USB port, especially one from your computer. To charge the PAX Mini the fastest it is recommended to use an AC wall charger outlet adapter.
PAX claims on a full charge you get 2 hours of run time. Not one to sit here for 2 hours to see if that claim is true, I decided to test how many sessions I got on a single charge. On a single charge I was able to pump out 11 sessions until the PAX Mini died on me. This is in line with what PAX states and gives the vaporizer a great battery life rating.
To check the PAX Mini battery level, shake the PAX Mini during a session to view battery life. The pedals indicate the levels in 25% increments across the 4 light pedals on the unit.
PAX makes the hands down best vaporizers for portability and it’s been this way since they came out with the PAX 1 way back in 2011. The PAX Mini is the smallest one to date. Nothing is better for something on the go and that is the same going for the PAX Plus as well. You will see above the durable metals used on its shell and size comparison as the smallest PAX featured next to the slightly larger PAX 2.
Cleaning is another feature which customers love about the PAX and the PAX mini is no different. The straightforward design and stainless steel chamber and silicone oven lid and mouthpiece make this the easiest vaporizer to clean in the game. If you do minor cleaning and wipe out with some isopropyl and punch the vapor path bore every 5-10 sessions there will never be a reason to do a deep clean.
PAX Shying Away From Herb Vapes
This does not really feel like the upgrade or evolution of one of the most formidable herb vaporizers of this time. There is no secret PAX has heavily pivoted into their Era series – A proprietary vape pen battery and pod for cannabis oils. PAX COO Steven Jung had even stated in a recent Fast Company interview about how herb vapes were a race to the bottom. This was one of the reasons we had previously written about how the PAX 4 will likely never come.
Regardless the PAX Mini Vaporizer still remains a great device and some of the adjustments in design will serve new and non picky users well. If you have 3 different herb vaporizers already (An act known as Vaporizer Acquisition Syndrome) the PAX Mini’s vapor quality is not going to bring anything to the table for you. If you just want something quick and easy for some after work hits in the car or a high end herb vaporizer for the purse, the PAX Mini was made for you.
Really solid review, I appreciate the honesty! I got s DaVinci Miqro and was super disappointed. That being said, I’ll be using the Arizer Plus most of 4/20! Love that the glass tube is what holds the herb. Anything that’s easier to clean and functions well? Sign me up! Cheers TTCV!