Pax Tips: How to Get More Vapor & Use Less Herb

Pax 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).

I’ve been using mine regularly for over a year now and these are questions I’ve been asked multiple times, so I wanted to share these tips with you to make sure you enjoy yours as much as I do.

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. 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:

4-piece Grinders

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.

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”:

Finishing Grinder

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.

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 0.2g to 0.4g, and it’s usually somewhere around 0.3g. 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 lightly packing it down, which is 0.3g of herbs ground up in the Finishing grinder:

Pax Full Oven

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 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, and then lightly pack it down so it looks like this:

Pax Half Full

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:

Modified Screen

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:

Screen in Oven

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:

Pax Oven Cover

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.

Stay up!

80 comments... add yours here

  1. ok thanks bro, but i kNow this might be dumb but How do i know when the bud is done? meaning when not to smoke it any more and when to dump it and reload?? can you please show me a pic or video of a cashed out oven or burnt up [herb] that is done and fried? thanks alot man , i only watch your videos, they always answer my questions, like your very helpful man
    dave

    • Hey man I just responded to your comment on my other post but basically you’ll know the herb is spent when you stop getting vapor from it. You’ll notice a gradual tapering off of vapor production as you near the end, which if you pack it full is usually about 20 draws (10-15 seconds each).

      In this vape the herb will come out dark brown when it’s completely done.

  2. I’m not understanding what the screen does exactly. Is it too heating up and toasting the herb from the top? Or is it just keeping the herb in place?

    I will say that having used both the Pax and MFLB with a 2 piece and 4 piece Space Case grinder that a coffee grinder is far superior, IMO, in that it produces a finer grind and thus more robust vapes in both units.

    • The screen is there mainly to block your material from traveling up the vapor path to the mouthpiece area. As the oven heats up the screen will heat up too and as long as your herb is pressed against the bottom and sides of the chamber it’ll vaporize your stuff from all angles.

      And yes you’re exactly right, grinding super fine will definitely give you better results with this one, as well as most other vapes.

  3. I find that you should pack tightly, not lightly pack. even with .2 g, it should not need a screen. And I find a full packed unit can take up to .5, although I usually settle at .3, but it not at the top packed tightly.

  4. Same question, but with a different vaporizer. How about the Ariza extreme Q? I would love to know how to be more efficient with it.

    • Have you seen my video about elbow packing with that vape? It’s the second video shown on this page: http://www.vapecritic.com/vaporizers/extreme-q/

      I’ve found that packing in the elbow screen of the EQ is more efficient than packing in the main cyclone bowl piece. You can pack about 0.1g to 0.2g in there and get two good bags of vapor or a handful of good draws from the whip.

  5. Hey Bud, When I take my first draw from my Pax,should I turn it off after each draw,or should I keep it on, wait for the green light and take my next draw and so on…. Does turning it off save me any product? Thanks, Mark.

    • Hey Mark,

      You should keep your Pax on until you’re done with your session (finished vaping). For best results it’s recommended to vape the entire chamber in one session, but you can still get good results shutting it off in the middle of a sesh and saving the rest for later.

      For best vapor quality I recommend only re-vaping the same material once after the initial session.

  6. I’ve just recently discovered your critique videos, blog & site. I like your direct honesty! Have you checked out the various Stainless Steel materials, toxic safety concerns, which grades & types to stay away from which ones are more practical for inhaling practices? I would assume that the 304 and 316 kitchen grade Stainless steels would be a safer product than just any screen material. I know that galvanized SS is dangerous, when heated, chromium a of some kind or another?, and lower cheaper grades have their inherent possiblities towards dangerous particles. I imagine it would also be prudent to wash the screen with soap and water, plus boil it for 10-20 minutes, to remove any handling contaminants and machining oils.

    • Hey thanks I haven’t really gotten into those kinds of details but when in doubt I try to err on the side of caution and only recommend things that have been around for a while with no reported ill effects. Like for instance in this post the screen piece I talk about I got from a local store that has been selling them for ages so I figured the use of it inside a vape is probably no different than it’s normal intended use.

    • All grades of stainless should be fine for use. Stainless steel is made up of Carbon, Steel and Chromium and only at extremely high temperatures (thousands of degrees) will any of those materials begin to break down/vaporize. Galvanized anything is a huge no-no; galvanizing is usually referring to Zinc coated steel and after welding galvanized steel as much as I have I can say it will most certainly poison you and cause “zinc fume fever” and can be toxic at higher doses. That being said the 410 degrees shouldn’t cause Zinc to vaporize but I wouldn’t chance it. As for pre-cleaning the screen I’d just use a lighter to get it red hot and all oils and other junk should burn right off. Generally stainless steel parts like screens aren’t oiled during or after manufacturing as they don’t rust or corrode which is what the oil is used to prevent. Hope this helps!

    • I would experiment to see which setting works best for you but generally I’ve found medium heat to produce the most consistent results.

      If you’re using very finely ground up material and packing it correctly you should roughly 20 good draws from a full packing and approx. 8-10 good draws from a half packing (as shown in this post).

  7. If you use the screen, which is normal hardware cloth, at those temps. doesn’t that degrade the plastic composition of the hardware cloth/screen? Meaning aren’t you now inhaling burning plastic or polymers thereof?

    • The screen I show is a regular pipe screen which people normally put a flame to, so I think if you stick with a proper stainless steel screen you should be ok. I don’t believe hardware cloth is what you should use in this application.

    • Not dumb at all, some people will say that higher temps equals more vapor but I’ve found that the vapor can be a little too hot and irritating on the high setting, so I prefer and recommend the medium heat setting where you get just as much vapor but it’s more comfortable going down.

    • Hey Dave yes grinding very fine is one of the most important things with a vape like the Pax.

      Also make sure you’re either fully packing the oven or using the half-pack method I describe in this post.

      It’s important to not have your material floating around in the chamber, needs to be packed to a medium-tightness.

  8. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Have good material finely ground. Have oven filled and tamped down, but not getting anything close to the draws you were getting on your video…even in the hi heat setting. ;>(

  9. After my third time filling I’m happy to say I am now getting nice size draws.
    I have no idea why it took three times… I did exactly the same thing every time.
    Love your blog and you videos!

  10. I just got the Pax and finished my first cleaning. I’m having problems getting the screen back in the unit. Is there a method to put it back in securely? it keeps on popping out. Also is there a tool that you use?

    • Hey it’s normal for the screen to pop out a millimeter or two, I wouldn’t worry about it not being completely snug against the bottom, you actually get better airflow when it’s not.

      I usually just push it back down into place with the back end of my Volcano brush, but any poker-type item should work.

  11. Hey Bud. Thank you so much for the screen trick I’ve been watching the vids loyaly and thanks to you I have ended up with the one and only “PAX” best portable vape ever (Since about Jan). It’s the best thing to run around with as well as on the balcony. My only issue is the thorough cleaning I have to go through weekly. I know this is a pax review but do you think getting the “Arizer Solo” is a good idea to stay home with? From what I’ve seen

    • Hey Tony yes the Solo is pretty good for home use but I’m actually reviewing a new model now called the Firefly that could end up being better for this purpose, should have my review posted within a week or so.

  12. HI Bro,

    I had a question about the pax.

    I have listened to your advise and bought a finishing grinder from MF, and a PAX from the website you recommended. and have to say the finishing grinder does a brilliant job of shredding the herb. I used the pax yesterday for the first time and it was AMAZING. I packed the oven fully, and took 4 draws and then realised that , that was all i needed. I then switched off the PAX. I didnt remove the herb from the oven because I plan to vape the remaining today/

    Is it bad to leave the herb in the oven overnight?
    Is it okay to take 4-5 draws, and then switch off the pax and then after an hour or 2 switch it back on, and start vaping again?

    HOpe to hear from you soon bro

    Sunny

    • Hey Sunny it’s totally ok to use it like that, nothing bad will happen, but I do notice that it performs best and it’s most efficient when all the material is vaped in one session.

      Usually what I do now is if I don’t wanna vape a full oven at once I just half-pack it and put the screen on top, and then re-pack it again later when I want more.

    • POC: I have done this already, and it makes it vastly better in terms of vapor quantity (taste is slightly altered however), but I guess to rephrase the original question would brass screens be the better move here

      • Hey I didn’t experiment too much with different screens but as long as whatever you use holds your material firm against the bottom of the oven it should work

  13. So I have a question. Have you ever tried putting the screen the the inside part of the pax? The reason I ask is I wonder if this would help your herb from drying out faster bc it would be farther from the heating element… Just curious

    • Hey I haven’t tried that I just mentally figured it wouldn’t work as well, maybe I’ll give it a shot soon just to see what happens.

  14. I was using the Pax for about a week and it was working very good, but then i got some different herb and it hasnt been vaping it fully like it was doing before. Is it the different herb or somethings wrong with my Pax? Btw the first week or so i had it i was using a more dry type of dense herb and now i have some more fluffy type herb and grinding both in my Sharpstone grinder.

    • Generally drier material will produce more vapor, and you may need to grind it finer than what the sharpstone can do, I usually use my finishing grinder with this vape.

      Also after 6-12 sessions if you don’t clean it the residue buildup may start to restrict the airflow a little bit and make it harder to get a big draw, so if you haven’t done that definitely give it a try.

      Let me know how it goes!

  15. Waz up, Bud?? I bought a pax yesterday at a smoke shop. The first vape session tasted nasty. The third was better. I like how it heats up and can keep my hands warm while fishing. Are there any pouches or bags or some sort of case, so the vaporizer doesn’t get fish guts on it? Thanks

  16. Hi Bud!
    I tried the screen trick and am now getting twice as dense a vapor with less herb. Thank you so much for sharing this!
    Mike

  17. I already have the extreme Q, but am interested in getting a portable vape. I only need a draw or two at a time. I’m leaning towards the Launch box or Pax. Which one do you think would be best?

    • Hey Sheila for that type of usage I would recommend the Launch Box as the better option, the Pax is generally a better choice for longer sessions where you will take at least ~10 draws.

  18. Hey Bud, I recently bought the pax and ive been having some issues. i have watched every video of urs and read this entire article. ive tried the second screen and all the temp setting. im packing the bowl full with medium tightness. i have cleaned it even though its new bc in the beginning while it was working it tasted really and i mean REALLY bad. after i cleaned it it worked for about 3 puffs and then just completely stopped giving me any vapor, but continued to heat my material just with out any vapor. ive wasted 2 fully packed bowls trying out different things that every one talked about but i cant get it to work. i really hope there is some way to fix this without having to exchange it for a new one. i have messaged ploom about this but i think they’re off for the holidays. i really enjoyed it while it worked and would love to use it again without wasting all of my material just trying to get it to work :/

    • Hey man sorry to hear you’re having issues with your vape!

      It doesn’t sound like a common problem, if the material is being heated the vapor should be going somewhere, are you any closer now to figuring out what the issue is?

      Also are you grinding your material up extra fine?

  19. Your info is right on and nicely done as well. I needed a resource for my new purchase .. and bingo .. you are right on my brother. Additionally, I am going to start using your very perfect salutation “Stay Up !”. You should license it now while you can !!! Vaya con Dios amigo !!!

  20. Wutup Bud?
    I made a decision to [try vaping]. An e-z vape had been for sale was no longer available, it had been the only vape I ever used. Decided I wanted something portable (car friendly) instead anyway. High times gave atmos raw a good review, how could they be wrong? LoL actual user reviews disagree. USA made thermo vape, how could you go wrong? User review calls it out for tipt temperature problems. Also it looks like fallic. Not excited :/ LoL @ 300$ for a hot dildo. Stumbled upon a video of you vaping w/ the pax, your review good, user review good. Put my chips down. Got it 3 days ago. Wasn’t sold day 1. Moisture was an issue. Tip was slightly hot. Once dry and ground fine still very little vapor production. Watched a video on dual wielding screens as you suggest. Was skeptical about it. I took it to a friends to use and show off… hoping I would be able to get it to work properly or surely get laughed at for spending a wad on a paper weight. We threw in on a pile… more than I had been using. Thought what the hell. Packed it and set it at red. Here goes nothing. Green light, waited 7 seconds to make sure it was gonna vape something… and I got a lung buster. Now I had gotten clouds, thin clouds, but this was much thicker. Not smoky, just robust. Wow said my friend… he took a draw, and he got same thickness. I explained I must have packed it right finally, and that some people use a regular screen to do a half session. By the time we vape the whole thing we were both plenty good. He gave me a screen to try, and said people do a half sesh cuz that’s all 1 person needs. Gave it a try yesterday, and between packing it good and using another screen this thing is a beast. Wanted to say today I’m defo sold and enjoying my pax.
    thanks for the lift_

  21. Got the Pax this week and not happy with the way it draws. It seems you have to toke heavily to get a pull out of it, which is nothing like my Vapir no2 home unit. Any ideas toward improving this? I read your other responses and enjoy your info.
    Thanks
    Doug

    • Hey yea the draw is definitely more restrictive than most others, one of the things I’ve found that affects it is how the oven screen is positioned – if the screen is pressed all the way down to the bottom it could restrict airflow, it’s better if you leave the side where the opening is a few millimeters up off the bottom.

      When buildup starts to accumulate inside the vape that also can affect airflow so definitely keep it clean for best results.

      You can also experiment with how tightly you pack your herb in the oven, try a few different things and see if it helps at all.

      Normally right after I give my Pax a cleaning the first few sessions feel like there’s very little draw resistance, and then it slowly gets a little harder to pull after every few sessions from buildup.

      One other thing you could try is making the outlet hole on the mouthpiece a little bigger with a small drill or screwdriver, but I would recommend buying a second mouthpiece and trying it on that in case it doesn’t work out.

      Let me know how you make out!

  22. So I cleaned my pax with the materials in the box now my pax isn’t turning on and when I put it on the charger it’s blinking green what’s going on? Any advice?

    • Where did you buy your Pax? there’s tons of fakes going around and they all have issues and don’t work as well, the first thing to verify is that you have a real one. That specific issue isn’t a common one so if you do have a genuine unit and it’s acting like that I would contact Ploom support.

      • Hey Bud, how do you suggest people verify that their Pax is real? Don’t tell them to contact Ploom because the “Ploominatti” apparently don’t know how to read, and will reply with a boilerplate ‘sorry, no warranty’, regardless of whether or not you ask for one.

        Do your readers a HUGE favor and inform them that Ploom will not warranty ANY PRODUCT purchased online. You won’t find this anywhere on their website, but they sure are quick to inform you of this after the fact.

        • Hey I mean the only real way to know for sure yours is real is if you bought it from a true authorized dealer like the store I link to, and Ploom is actually awesome at honoring warranties for real units.

          It’s safe to assume that almost all of the units being sold on auction sites and those being sold for less than MSRP are not genuine.

  23. Yoo just got my pax. Not getting any vape. If batt is low will it effect ? And how dry does tha flower have to be. On a scale from 1-10 what’s tha highest amount of vapor does pax give ? Thanks

    • Step 1: Make sure you bought a real one, there’s a lot of fakes out there.

      Step 2: Follow steps described in this post for best results.

      Low battery will not reduce performance and I would say basically the drier your material the better.

  24. Is an electric spice grinder appropriate for grinding product? I use lots of spices and its worked well for that.
    Just ordered the Pax and haven’t tried it or any Vap yet….odd after 49 years of the other method of ingestion.

  25. Great site and reviews, thanks! seeing such a huge divergence of opinions on the Pax, including the vitriolic comments by that Limey Vapefiend whose Pax requires deep cleaning “every single day”, I suspect undetected Chinese fakes are wreaking havoc with this unit’s reputation.

    The Chinese have gotten so good at forging everything that it would be very helpful to post close-ups and identifying tips for both fakes and known authentic Pax units. The shape of the LED flower for instance, the exact color of internal materials, etc. VapeOn!

  26. Hey Bud–great site & VERY helpful. Got a question though–have had the Pax for about 6 weeks & once I got the “hang” of the grind, dryness, packing, it was working great. The last week or so–not so much, so I bought a new screen(old one was looking very tarnished despite cleaning), made sure the entire unit was all good & clean, herb dry & finely ground–and yet–sometimes I seem to be getting NO vape based upon exhale, though the inhale sure tastes as though Im getting it & other times, its a good vape exhale for a couple of hits & then thats it. Feel like im wasting herbs when this happens because they are “toasted” looking when I dump the chamber. I have read all the comments & replies above–any OTHER suggestions? Also–I HAVE had times in this last week when I see no exhale BUT–DEFINITELY feel the effects, so again–should you ALWAYS be able to SEE the exhaled vape? Any input or suggestions you might have would be appreciated. Fortunately, I DID take your advice & buy from an authorized dealer, so if i have to go to PAX for help, i should be covered. Thanks in advance

  27. I bought my pax about 2 months ago direct from ploom. When I turn it on now it blinks blue 5 times and shuts off. I cleaned and charged it. I emailed ploom and still no response. Any suggestions?

    Enjoy your info and bought my pax based on your review. Keep up the non biased reviews, very informative.

    • Hey that sounds like what happened to my first one after 15 months, and it did end up being defective and getting replaced. Definitely let me know if they get back to you and help you out.

  28. Hey Man,
    Love your posts, it helped me to my decision to buy the Pax. I love it!!
    Just had a little tip for Pax users who want to conserve a little bud. I like to pack my pax halfway full with the good herb, then fill the second half of the bowl with other various herbs like peppermint, damiana or pretty much whatever you want. This saves bud, tastes amazing and it stops your oven lid from getting that sticky res on it! Just though some other people would appreciate it, it has changed my vaping experience!
    Thanks!

  29. Thanks for the videos & great advice. I’m new to vapourizing & checked different reviews , yours by far as I’ve seen gives the straight fwd no nonsense info. The covering of the subject is excellent.
    My question, I just bought a Pax Ploom & it seems to work great but I do not get the strong vapour I see in your vid. I’ve packed it high, not full about 3/4 to top with ground material. I believe I do not get anywhere near 20 draws. I’m just thinking if mine is faulty, 1st & only vape I’ve tried. Btw I use a cleaver and cutting board to grind mine and it looks more ground than your pix using the grinders.
    When it comes to packing I see in the pix you have it just covering the base. Is that fully packing or packing to the top where you cannot fit any more material in? 2 other things, the bottom gets a little hot, not sure if normal? Also the vapour has no taste.
    Finally the material looks all “burnt”, brown colour, after the system heats once. Is that normal or is the material done? That was more than 2 questions I think ha

    Thanks for the info. & great site!

    VK

  30. I just opened my pax and it (when turned in for the 1st time) smells funny. Is this just stuff that needs to burn off ( like heating it to “ready the oven”) or did I not get a new pax?

  31. I just bought a Pax and I’m reading and watching all your instructional videos before I start using it. I have no question right now, only a comment about your presentations. You are one BAD man. Intelligent, communicative, straightforward, understandable, and very well presented. You have my respect and appreciation for all your effort and preparation. Thank you.

  32. Love my PAX!! Lately the heat adjusting lighted button inside does not work. I cant get the temp to change. The button does not seem to pop back up any longer. Even tried moving it up and down with tweezers. Any ideas that you have are greatly appreciated.

  33. Yo man, just got the pax, its amazing. but every time i take a draw, i feel the material going in my mouth. is this because of how finely ground i made it? Or is there anything i can do to remedy this? I notice also that my screen is somewhat loose, like if i tap the pax with a little bit of force, it falls off. is that normal?

  34. Works like a charm! Filled the Pax halfway, popped the screen on top, and it was good to go. Thanks for the great idea (I’ve had my Pax for a few weeks now and love it).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>