In this post you’ll learn how to get the best performance (most vapor) from your Pax vaporizer and also how to use it with a very small amount of material (like 0.15g-0.2g).
These tips also work with the new PAX 2.
Q: I feel like I’m not getting enough vapor, what can I do to get better results?
One of the main things that affects how much vapor you get is how finely you grind your material and how you pack the oven. The grind consistency that everyone is used to from a common 2-piece or 4-piece grinder will work with most vaporizers, but if you really want maximum performance you need to grind your herbs even finer, almost to a powder or the consistency of coarse sand.
This picture is an example of the grind consistency you get with a 4-piece grinder like a Space Case or Santa Cruz Shredder:
Most vapes perform very well with material in that condition, but to really supercharge your results you need to take it to another level.
The most convenient way I currently know of to grind your material super fine is with a Magic-Flight Finishing grinder. If you have a coffee grinder lying around you could technically use that also to try this out, but be sure to grind in short bursts.
This model was specifically created for the Launch Box vape, but I’ve found myself using it often with other vapes as well to boost their performance. Magic-Flight also makes another grinder called the Nano, which is a pretty good option and is less expensive but doesn’t quite grind as fine as this one.
This one works in a similar way to a cheese grater, and here’s what your herbs will look like after being “grated”:
I really can’t stress this point enough – I can almost guarantee that grinding finer will get you better results if you’re not doing it already, especially with a vape like the Pax.
If you don’t want to buy any new grinders there are a couple of things you could try with what you have. First thing to keep in mind is that you’ll get a finer grind and more vapor if your herbs are fully dried out with very little moisture left in them. After you initially grind your material you can try laying it out on a sheet of paper for a short while to dry even more, which I talk more about in this video. Then you can try vaping as-is or re-grinding again to break it down a little more.
If you have a 4-piece grinder one thing you could try is holding it upside-down when you first start grinding, this will mimic the action of a 2-piece model which could possibly help get your herbs a little finer.
It is also very important to pack your herbs fairly tight inside the oven, you don’t want your stuff to be loose in there at all. What I usually do is pour enough ground up herbs into the oven to overfill it so that there’s some extra on top, then I take the back of my Volcano brush or a pen and pack the herbs back down into the chamber until it’s even with the top edge. I say to pack it “fairly tight” because you want the material tight and firm inside there but not so tight that you can’t get any air through it.
Loose material in the oven is a leading cause of poor vapor production, a hot mouthpiece, and disappointing results.
Q: How much material do I need to use with this vape?
The recommended way to use this vape for maximum vapor production is with a fully packed oven. Depending on how finely your material is ground up the amount needed to fill the chamber ranges from 0.3g to 0.4g. When you fully pack you can expect approximately 20 full draws before your herbs are spent.
Here’s what a full oven looks like after packing it down, which is 0.3g to 0.4g of herbs ground up in the Finishing grinder:
There is also a way to use the Pax with less material which I haven’t talked about much before. Using the method I’m about to describe you can get away with packing only about 0.15g-0.2g in the oven (half full) and still get pretty good results. The tradeoff is that when packing less material the vapor it produces won’t be quite as dense and you won’t get quite as many draws before it’s spent, but it’s still cool that this works and I’ve started doing it occasionally when I don’t want to vape a full session.
First thing you do is pack your herb chamber about half full, which is usually about 0.15g-0.2g, and then pack it down so it looks like this:
Now for this next step I’m sure there are various ways this can be accomplished, but what I’ve been doing is using a plain old round pipe screen.
What you want to do is bend up the edges of the screen so that it creates somewhat of a U shape – you can try bending it around a skinny pen to keep the curve uniform. Then, depending on the size of the screen you use, you’ll probably need to trim off the edges so that it will fit inside the oven properly, which you should be able to do easily with scissors.
Here is what the screen piece looks like after it’s bent and the edges are trimmed:
Next you take the screen and with the bottom of the U facing down (as pictured above) gently place it on top of your material in the oven. The screen’s job is to take up the extra space in the chamber while keeping some pressure on your material so that it stays pressed against the base and walls of the oven.
Here’s what it should look like after placing the screen on top of your herbs:
You may need to trim the screen a few times to get it to fit perfectly – you basically want the top edges of it to just reach the top of the oven. It’s important that the oven cover still closes completely with the screen in there so just make sure it’s not sticking up at all after you put it on.
The oven cover should look like this if everything was done properly, completely flush with the edges:
Now you’re ready to rock and roll!
The only other thing I noticed when doing this is that the oven cover will get a little hotter during use than it normally does when you fully pack the chamber. This is only the very bottom of the unit I’m talking about, which is not normally touched during use, so if you’re holding the vape properly you probably won’t even notice a difference.
So like I mentioned in the beginning this is a great way to use your Pax without having to fully pack it. You’ll still get the best performance and most vapor production with a full oven, but sometimes a little half-sesh is all you need.
If you try this out yourself leave me a comment and let me know how it works for you or if you have any questions about what to do.