This article is a comparison between the Pax 3 and the Davinci IQ portable dry herb vaporizers. The Pax 3 “Complete Kit” retails for $249 while the Davinci IQ is $199, both come with a 10-year warranty, both have smartphone apps, and both use conduction heating. The biggest difference between these two brand new portables is the battery setup and charging system.
Some other noticeable differences include a 15-second heat-up time on the Pax 3 versus a 45-second heat-up time on the IQ, the Pax 3 weighs around 50 grams lighter and the Pax 3 offers an option for concentrates.
Let’s go ahead and break down the details between the Davinci IQ and the Pax 3.
Pax 3 vs Davinci IQ Size, Portability, Durability
The Pax 3 is the lighter unit coming in at 90 grams while the IQ weighs roughly 145 grams. The heavier weight with the IQ is not really a downside since it makes it feel durable and solid in the hands. It’s not too heavy for the pocket and the compact size allows me to completely palm the unit for discretion. Both units fit well in my pocket and I’ve taken both of these vapes on long bike rides with no problems.
Pax 3 and IQ Size: The exact dimension of the Davinci IQ is 3.54” H x 1.65” W x .94” D and the Pax 3 is 3.87” H x 1.21” W x .85” D. The Pax 3 is a little taller than the Davinci IQ causing it to stick out of the top of my hand. Now don’t get it twisted, these are two of the most portable vaporizers currently on the market, but between the two, I think the Pax 3 holds the sleeker/slimmer profile. If you needed to completely palm the unit, I would go with the shorter Davinci IQ.
Portability and Concealment: One thing that is noticeable between the two units is the buttons. The Pax 3 uses a completely concealed button under the mouthpiece at the very top of the unit. If you didn’t know how to use the device it would be hard to even turn it on. On the other hand, the Davinci IQ has three buttons that run down the side of the vaporizer giving off the appearance that it’s a device of some sort. Obviously, the Pax 3 is a vape too but hopefully, you get what I’m saying. This is just another +1 in the sleek/slim profile for the Pax 3.
Durability: I can’t really talk about the durability of the Davinci IQ yet. I have dropped it from a good height (not on purpose) and it still works just fine. It did put a little dent/mark on the top towards the mouthpiece but it’s barely noticeable. After years of use with Pax products, I can definitely stand by the durability and reliability of their vaporizers but I’m not for sure how the new polished finish will hold up. So far my Pax 3 hasn’t had any bad drops on hard surfaces or picked up any scratches to test the shell so I’ll keep an eye out for this and update my reviews if I notice anything.
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Davinci IQ vs Pax 3 Charging System and Batteries
After extensive testing, I’ve found the Pax 3, which uses a non-replaceable internal 3500mAh 18650, will provide about 100 minutes of average use on a full charge and take a bit over 100 minutes to completely charge from dead. Whereas the Davinci IQ, which uses a replaceable/rechargeable 3500mAh 18650, will provide about 50-70 minutes of use per battery and takes about 240 minutes to charge from dead within the unit. So if you do not want to or plan to carry a spare battery, the Pax 3 comes out ahead in the battery situation, however, the IQ allowing user-replaceable batteries allows even the heaviest users to get through some like an all-day festival or even a camping trip.
If you decide that you want to go with the Davinci IQ, I would recommend picking up an extra battery or two and an external charger like the Nitecore i2. Not only do the external charge two batteries at once, but they also charge them in about 120-150 minutes instead of it taking 240 minutes to charge one internally with the IQ.
If you just look at both battery systems, the Pax 3 or the IQ could be better for you specifically depending on how often and in what situations you plan to use the unit.
Chambers, Vapor Path, Mouthpieces
The Pax 3 uses a stainless steel oven, stainless steel vapor path, and a food-grade silicone mouthpiece. You actually get two mouthpieces with both the Pax 3. I personally use flat MP more since I just prefer the look and feel. The raised mouthpiece works well and no longer gets your lips hot like the Pax 2 raised MP.
The Davinci IQ uses a ceramic zirconia oven, vapor path, MP with just a tiny bit of food-grade silicone in the vapor path, but less than the Pax 3. Unlike the Pax 3 where I generally stick to the flat MP, with the IQ I like and use both the flat and raised MP. The raised mouthpiece doubles as a 10mm water pipe adapter, and I’ve noticed that I get a little better airflow with the raised mouthpiece but it’s nowhere near as discreet as the recessed mouthpiece. You can literally palm the Davinci IQ with the recessed mouthpiece which is a huge plus when you want a compact dry herb portable vaporizer so each mouthpiece definitely has its advantage.
Davinci IQ Vapor Quality and Temp Options
After about a month of testing, I feel like I enjoy the sessions more with the Davinci IQ. Overall they both have a very similar draw resistance but the vapor is cooler and a bit tastier with the Davinci IQ. The IQ can also kick out dense clouds a bit more consistently. Both the IQ and Pax 3 offer very good vapor quality for conduction vaporizers coming in at the #1 and #2 spot, however, the IQ slightly wins this category.
The Pax 3 offers the same temp range as the Pax 2 running from 360-420F but the new Pax Vapor APP allows you to choose any temp within that range. So instead of getting only 4 preset temps, you now get a full temp spectrum. The downside to this is you’ll need to have your phone/app to change these temps. They can’t be changed without the app.
The Davinci IQ offers a full temp spectrum ranging from 250F-430F and four heating profiles called “Smart Paths” with can all be used without the app. Within the app, you can modify the time, and temperatures during your smart paths, and view your usage statistics. The default starting temp for the smart paths starts out at 350 and ends 20-degree higher with the next path beginning where the first left of. So Smart Path 1 starts at 350F and will gradually climb to 370 halfway through the session. It will then remain at 370F for the rest of the session.
The Pax 3 does heat up much faster than the Davinci IQ. After testing the Pax 3 averages about 15 seconds to hit temp whereas the Davinci IQ takes about 45 seconds on average.
Last but not least, you can use the Davinci IQ and practically all of its features without the need for the Davinci APP. You can select precise temps in the precision mode, you can boost temps still, change smart paths, dim the LEDs, and check battery life. Pretty much the one thing you CAN’T do is customize your smart paths. You will need the Davinci app to do that.
Pax 3 vs Davinci IQ Cleaning and Maintenance
So far both of these vaporizers have been pretty easy to clean. The Davinci IQ has some tighter spaces and more parts to clean, but both units can be cleaned up with some ISO and a few Q-Tips. Both units tend to produce more draw resistance at about the 8-10 bowls area and will need to be briefly cleaned to keep it running at peak efficiency. Overall the Pax 3 does take a bit less cleaning, but it’s minor.
Concentrate and Wax Options for Davinci IQ
With the introduction of the Pax 3 came the new concentrate lid. It’s basically an oven lid with brackets supporting a stainless steel chamber that hovers in the oven. The good news is that it actually works and doesn’t create any big messes. You definitely get more of a session experience and it doesn’t finish the load as fast as an e-nail or pen but it has great flavor and is very smooth. I definitely wouldn’t necessarily buy this vaporizer if I were only going to be using wax/concentrates. I would buy it because I mainly vape dry herbs and want the option to vape concentrates without it being a hassle. So far, the Pax 3 concentrate lid has been an enjoyable experience.
The Davinci IQ does NOT offer the option for concentrates. However, it’s still always possible to sandwich a little bit in the middle of a dry her bowl with basically any vaporizer. This method can be messy so you need to use a very small amount, and overall the experience is nothing amazing, but it can be done.
Partial Oven Options – Single Person Sessions
Both the Pax 3 and the IQ function best with a full oven that is tamped down which is generally around .30 grams with the strains I have weighed. If you want to use a smaller load with the Pax 3 you will use the half-pack lid. I have actually found myself using the half-pack lid more often than the standard lid so I am really glad they included it. As the name states, the loads have come out to basically .15 grams in the strains I tested.
With the IQ you can unscrew the pearl to reduce the oven space slightly, however, I had the pearl fall off once and almost get lost while messing around with it, so now I keep it screwed in tight. I have found the best way to use partial loads in the IQ if by packing down the load tight against the bottom of the oven almost creating a puck of dry herb.
While the puck method with the IQ does a pretty decent job, if you plan to be using small loads often the Pax 3 half-pack lid is more convenient.
Summary Pax 3 vs Davinci IQ [TL;DR]
Here are the big differences for me.
- The Pax 3 offers much quicker heat up times while being the sleeker, slimmer device and offers the ability to vape concentrates.
- It does come with a full temp spectrum but you can’t change temps without the app and you only get to pre-program one custom temp option.
- The Davinci IQ offers slightly better vapor quality while being more compact and uses replaceable batteries. Other than customizing smart paths, you can completely control the device without the need for the app.
- You get more battery life per session on a full charge with the Pax 3 (roughly 100 minutes on a full charge), but you can purchase replaceable batteries with the Davinci IQ (about 50-70 minutes per battery).
- The Davinci IQ will take roughly 240 minutes to completely charge a battery from dead whereas the Pax 3 will charge a dead battery in 100 minutes.
You can pick up an external charging dock and extra battery for the IQ adding only about $25 price. Is it worth it? For me yes, it cuts the charging time down from 240 minutes to about 150 minutes. You are also able to charge two batteries at a time, but some people will be fine without.
Overall each unit has its perks. Personally, I would go with the Pax 3 if I wanted the quick heat-up times and concentrate option and I would go with the Davinci IQ of neither of those mattered to you. Both of these units are feature-full, capable, and very compact vaporizers that have delivered on all fronts except for the fact they are not convection.
For some people being able to completely control the Davinci IQ with the 3 buttons on the side of the device is going to be priceless, for others the simplicity of a single hidden button on the Pax 3 will be more desirable.
Both units come with a 10-year warranty. The Pax 3 is now $249 and the Davinci IQ is $199. I recommend picking up the Pax 3 from Vapor or PaxVapor and I recommend picking the Davinci IQ up straight from Davinci.
Thanks for checking out my Pax 3 vs Davinci IQ vaporizer comparison review. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about either of these new ultra-portable vaporizers.