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-0.2g).

I’ve been using mine regularly for over two years 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 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:

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, 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”:

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.

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:

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-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:

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!

181 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 enjoyed reading your reply. It always makes me smile on the inside when an expert chimes in on someone’s laymen opinion. What does it take to become a stainless steel fabricator and would starting the process at 34 be a waste of time?

      • Hello!

        Would 304 Stainless Steel Perforated Sheet .020″ x 24″ x 24″ – .045″ holes work? Would the .045 holes be small or too big?…

        Thanks!

    • 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!

      • I’m on my 3rd or 4th time, and I’m still not getting much at all. I’m cleaning it one one time and trying with super finely ground “material” and see what happens. I don’t think mine is getting hot enough, even on the hottest setting. After I empty it, I re-use the “material” in my home vap.

      • sometimes if your battery is about to die you wont get enough heat to really get a good pull on it or even get it heating up right.

  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.

    • I may of had a similar problem at first, because my screen was a little bent–I’d click one side, but then it would pop out when I clicked the other side. I now hold down both sides as I click them in.

  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

  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.

      • I have both the Launch Box and the Pax (just bought it today, in fact). I like the launch box. For one or two hits, it is very good. The batteries don’t last very long for longer sessions. Thats what I wanted something else. Was the Pax or a new water pipe. I figured I’d give this a shot.

  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?

      • I too have encountered that problem. The pax worked great for the first month or so. Cleaned it thoroughly when I started noticing build up on the mouthpiece. Now, when using the same grind and packing method, I’m only getting 3-5 decent pulls before the vapor seems to disappear. I open the cover and the material seems to have plenty of life in it. Do you know if the screens need replacing? Mine is pretty scorched on one side. I’ve done my best to clean it but to no avail. I hate wasting my material and have since gone back to the tried and true dugout. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Same problem no vape, just got 3 days ago. Sending back after further research it looks like I bought a fake . Very upset spent 199.99. I think problem is mouth piece. Heats up even nice brown but very little vape. I think it’s the mouth piece

  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.

          • I got a counterfeit, had issues with it, and actually talked (by email) with someone at Pax who told me someways to spot a counterfeit. He was able to check the serial number on mine which was black and tell me the number belonged to a blue one so mine was counterfeit. I got reimbursed by ebay

            Here’s a couple ways to tell. There should be a barcode on the side of the box, outside, with the serial number on it. The manual is not laminated.

            My fake looked very good, pretty pax box and all, but was a counterfeit.

  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

    • On the initial draws from my PAX, which I have had for about two weeks, I definitely felt the herbs affects and saw now vapor. So hold it in for awhile and enjoy.

    • Hey sorry for delay, I’m not really sure what could be going on that would cause that if you’re following the steps exactly as I show, if it’s clean and packed right you should def be getting visible vapor, maybe it’s stuck on low heat setting?

  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.

      • 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!

    • same thing happened to me; if you haven’t sent back yet, oil & push in mouth piece few times lightly & set on charger. I was pushing down to hard

      • Great idea, thanks…I plan to try this when my PAX arrives next week. I also hope to save $ by doing all of my initial testing using OTC herbs…just in case of a failed attempt or 2 ;)
        Really appreciate everyone’s comments and ideas, btw. Will be a huge help to me.

  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

    • Hey the most important things you need to do for best results are grinding your herb extra fine and packing the chamber full and tight. If you’re not using an extra chamber screen you need to actually over-pack the oven and then pack it down to make it tight and full to the top.

      It’s also very important that the vape is clean and there’s no residue around the bottom screen in the oven.

      When you pull from it you need to take long, slow draws and I recommend the medium heat setting for best results.

      After a full session it’s normal for the herb to come out dark brown and it’s also normal for the vapor to not have a strong taste after the first five draws or so.

  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.

    • Glad you’re diggin it Missy! but bummer about the temp button :\

      That could possibly be caused by getting rubbing alcohol into the button but if that is definitely not the case I would contact support and see if they can help you out.

  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?

    • Hey it’s normal for the oven screen to sometimes be loose but you should def not be getting pieces of material in your mouth, are you sure the screen is firmly pressed against the bottom of the oven before you pack it? And are you fully packing the chamber tightly? Glad you’re diggin it though!

  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).

  35. Ok…so I did this a** backwards, but I swear I thought my Pax was on the fritz, which I have had a couple of years. I had slipped her in a drawer probably 8 months ago, never looked back b/c it wasn’t playing nice. Decided to give it a go one more time, sort of cleaned it, charged it with anticipation and…to no avail, would not cooperate. Frustrated, decided to drop another $250 on a new one today at local smoke shop. Came home, pulled out my old girl to say good bye, with anticipation ‘again’ that I now have fully operational unit. While my new unit was busy charging, I decided to google ” issues with Pax”. The number one hit was cleaning…and not my type of cleaning, but take 5 minutes and clean it thoroughly with the right tools. Then it occurred to me, why not give the old gal one more chance. Followed a very helpful link on YouTube, gave her all I had…and WaLa…my girl was back in business. Lesson learned…these units are like anything, if not properly cared for, they become sick, in so many ways.

    This leaves me to my other dilemma… I now have two Pax. Unfortunately, my local shop does accept returns…period. [some text redacted]

    • Hey that’s awesome I’m really glad to hear you were able to bring it back to life!

      I have two Paxes also! on purpose! lol

  36. Great site and awesome tips. Thoughts on vaping [pollen] in the pax. I assume it would work fine since it would be very fine product. Do you think it would restrict the airflow since it would be almost powder? Either way I will likely try it tomorrow and I’ll share my thoughts on it. Cheers!

    • Hmm at first thought I would think it could clog it up, normally you need to mix any concentrates with some regular herbs to use it in this vape, but def let me know how you made out!

  37. Bud,

    Just wanted to give you some props on your site. I had been searching a while for a one-stop info shop on vapes and came up really short.

    Great videos and really helpful tips. Keep up the good work!

  38. Hey bud,

    I’ve had my pax for a few months now and its simplicity and awesomeness is ingenious! I was wondering if you can use the half pack method with a pax screen? This post only mentions that pipe screen and the pax screen as you know is flat and not U-shaped so would it work the same or is there an alternative method?

    • Hey glad to hear you’re diggin it!

      Some people do use a second Pax screen on top instead of one like I show, you just need to somehow make sure that your material stays pressed against the bottom of the oven.

      So the ‘U’ screen I use accomplishes this when you put the oven lid on but if you only had a flat screen in there the material could possibly loosen up inside the chamber, and this could cause sub-par results.

  39. I was gifted a PAX at Christmas and it wasn’t until today, after this post and your feedback to comments that I got it to work.

    Thanks!

  40. my tiny plastic grinder is a no go. I don’t have the money to get a nice grinder ($100 or even 50) Would a coffee grinder mutilate the herb? all this grinding makes me nervous. thanks again.

  41. I love this idea since I’m all about conserving. I jus bought my pax yesterday and I’m already obsessed. My only concern is wouldn’t using the added screen technically void the warranty? I suppose if your careful and make no scratches, who’s gunna know right? LOL

      • love the site and reviews man. A couple of things that work for me:
        -The metal screen that comes with the pax should have a slight bend to it. I found that by increasing this bend a bit to give the oven hole more air space helped my vapor output considerably
        -clean and lube the pax often. every session I clean up with ISO and pax lube the mouthpiece/connecter

        -get your material to near powder, but not quite powder A 4-piece grinder with a mix of normal/upside down grinding will do the trick.

        -pack the oven tight as you can (I use a USB cap) so that it fills 1/2 to 2/3 the oven (I live 1/2 myself). if you pack too much its harder to stir/mix later

  42. Hey Bud, just purchased my pax on 4/23/14 from an authorized pax retailer here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I had looked at many articles & videos over the past couple of weeks; including yours and already owned the classic volcano for several years. And I thought this Pax just came out last year, but when I got home I saw a 2012 copyright date on the box. Which may mean this has been sitting on someone’s shelf for a year or so. I mention this because I thought the oven door was going to be ceramic instead of the Stainless Steel I got.
    After charging I filled it up with finely ground herb, turned it on and was able to get several lite to medium draws but the mouth piece became uncomfortably hot. I turned it off for awhile and tried a second session about 1/2 an hour later, but got little to no vapor until I turned it up to high setting and than there was a little more vapor, but again the mouth piece got very hot.
    I now have buyers remorse and will try again tonight with your half filled screen suggestion. I tried to read and look at as much as I could find on the Pax, but have not noticed anyone else complaining about the mouth piece gettting real hot. Can you please let me know what is up with this, am I doing something wrong? Thank You.

    • Hey Mike the most common cause of a hot mouthpiece is not packing enough herbs in the chamber and also not packing it tight enough.

      Try grinding your herbs up really fine, pack either full or half-full (using screen method) but make sure you pack it fairly tight, then take long, slow draws and you should get better results.

  43. Bud , thanks a million, you answered most all my questions, growing to love my expensive pax. As a long long time herb smoker, does the vap. really work as quick & well as old school pipe & lighter ?

    • Hey glad to hear it, I wouldn’t say it’s quite as quick as more traditional methods but I definitely think the end results are pretty similar and that it’s way more convenient for use on-the-go

  44. I’m new to using herbs and I’m having a hard time with my Pax. I only get 4 or 5 draws before I don’t see any vaper. I’m grinding it fine and packing full. Any ideas about what I’m doing wrong?

    • Make sure you pack the oven full and TIGHT, if your material is loose in there you won’t get much vapor and it won’t last very long.

  45. just got my pax and I am in love. The one thing I noticed is that it does’t stay charged very long. What’s your average charge life?

  46. Hey Bud

    Great reviews man. I see people selling cotton filters and mouthpieces for pax now. I have never used cotton or hemp filters for vaping before. Is there any reason to filter your vape?

  47. Great site and posts…Pax newbie here and just discovered on strike three that I was pulling waaay to hard. Slow is better.

  48. There are tons of fake paxes out there. Look for the hexagon bolt in the back, if fake. An original by ploom will have a circular metal bolt in the back of the device. Look closely, the difference is hard to spot, as the hex sides are tiny indeed.

    Dont buy fakes! I did (at a reputable shop, although a non-authorized dealer) and now i know. The difference in performance is striking.

  49. is it best to keep the pax on the charger when not in use. keep the battery top of the charge. or should run it down?

    • Yes they recommend putting it on the charger whenever you’re not using it, keeping the charge “topped off”. It can sense when it’s fully charged and won’t overheat or anything.

  50. hey vape critic, I just bought the PAX because from your review and I like it a lot. How do I know when the herbs are completely done? You know that the active ingredient has been consume completely?

    I thought I have seen in your website a couple of photos you posted of how the herbs look when finish vaping, but I am having an issue finding them.

    • Hey you’ll know they’re done when you stop getting any vapor, and then when you open up the oven you should find dark brown material. The Pax roasts it pretty good, so it won’t be as light in color as some other vapes, expect it to be dark.

  51. I just got the pax. Question on the powering up and down with the mouthpiece. My mouthpiece doesn’t stick when I depress it quickly. It only seems to stick when I depress slowly and carefully. Is this normal or is mine faulty?

  52. I want to try the screen trick by bending a used pax screen and using it to push down the herb. It is not clear in your videos if you always have the pax screen in the bottom against the oven. Basically, is the herb sandwiched between 2 screens, or are you using a bent screen to press the herb against the bottom of the oven?

    • Yes I have the original Pax screen at the bottom of the oven, and then I sandwich the material between that and another screen on top (the bent one).

  53. i grind my material and pack it really tight, but really really tight. no joking, i can get like 10 or 15 minutes of full clouds on every draw, i pack it so much that when i take the material off the vape it looks like a perfect brown rectangle. some times i take this and repack it and i can get a couple of desent clouds. i dont know if its the lighting in my room but this thing really produce vapor. I really like your reviews BTW, really critical.

  54. Hey Bud,

    First of all bro, I’ve been reading your reviews and I want to give you a thumbs up for taking the time to reply to everybody, and I mean : EVERYBODY!

    Now I’d like to add my two cents on the Pax.

    I Had to get mine from an auction website, since I live in Belgium and Ploom doesn’t ship outside of the US and Canada.
    So I can already kiss my guarantee goodbye, but anyway!

    I was an active [J enthusiast] (around 8 a day, for a cost of about 75 bucks a week) and at first, I was kinda disappointed with the Pax.

    The thing I didn’t get to read on forums so far, is that you need to TRAIN yourself to CHANGE the way you [indulge] when you get a vaporizer, imho.
    Not only with vaporizing instead of smoking (huge taste difference), but also with the frequency, length, and quantities you use.

    I saw the trick with the metal grid to pack and get more vapor from it (thank you lord) but before that, and even now, I feel like I’m consuming more herb that I normally would by simply rolling up.

    That being said, I switched from 8 a day to one or two smoking sessions a day. I [feel more effects], for longer and feel more satisfied than before. I also use WAY less herb.

    But it took me some times to get there, and like many others that I could read about, I had to do it a couple of times to get a hang of it.

    So my general advice would be this : if you think about getting an “electronic” J when you purchase a vaporizer, think again (except maybe for the Magic flight launchbox?).

    For me, [using] the Pax on the same frequency as [other methods] would mean bankruptcy pretty fast :)

    [some text redacted]

    For guys like me who are skeptical at first (and might feel robbed), those advises really do work, and I saw you saying this yourself :
    - Packed chamber (tight)
    - Red temp (for couch-lock effect, but orange is best overall)
    - Grinded material
    - Trick with the grid for 5 to 8 quick draws
    - Get a car charger

    And for people abroad, don’t forget a universal charger adapter, otherwise the US plug won’t fit.

    Thank you for what you do, Bud, please keep it up.

    Greetings from Europe!

  55. hi! after watching almost all of your videos, including cleaning tutorials and other things, i decided to buy a pax. I’ve been using it 3 times, and i liked it, but now i have a problem: when i turn on my pax, it doesn’t heat up. the light starts to flash red, 10 times. Then it turns off. First i thought that i have to charge it, but when i put it on the charger, the same thing happens, and it’s not charging. Is it because i already have to clean it? In the manual, nothing is said about it. And i’m probably not able to use the warranty because i live in germany (the pax is not a fake), so i have to find another way. Maybe you can help me.

    • Hey Andy that sounds like it may be defective :( or possibly a counterfeit, but you sound sure that it’s not. I’m not sure what to recommend if you’re not under warranty I’m sorry man :\

  56. mine stopped heating up to point where green light stays on? feels hot on outside.have to shake for green to start flashing again?

  57. I’ve had this unit, Pax, for about a year. Oddly, I try to start the unit and when the mouthpiece is engaged in it’s outer position(Start position) it blinks orange until I put slight pressure on the mouthpiece to get the unit to start working correctly- mind you I need to keep applied pressure on the mouthpiece for it to work. Furthermore, I do clean the instrument often and have taken care of this on a regular basis.
    Do I need to buy another mouthpiece?
    Any suggestions?
    You have a great thread here and offer great advice

    • Hey Phil it sounds very much like you’re experiencing the “temp light” issue.

      It’s most likely behaving like that because there’s a tiny bit of hidden residue on the mouthpiece connector or on the outside of vapor path tube.

      The best thing to clean that area is an inter-dental brush, I show how I do it in my cleaning video to avoid that issue: http://www.vapecritic.com/blog/2013/03/12/pax-cleaning/

  58. Came to your site because I was so disappointed with other sites that had obvious paid reviews. The fact you attach videos and describe in detail what goes on is great. Looking forward to my Pax. I wish you did show a smoke session in the video like you have with others just so I could get a better idea of how long you have to draw and the quality of the vapor but I trust your words.

  59. Hey I love the review. I would love to know how long your packed pax session lasted around how many hits were you getting and what settings were you using?

  60. So I’ve been using the Pax a little and I found it was ok but a lot less vapor than expected…I tried the trick in this article (though I used two Pax screens one flat and one bent to make a spring to hold it down), and the difference is night and day. It’s unbelievable…on the very first hit I could feel it in the back of my throat and it produced a lot more vapor. This was with it about 1/2 full.

    I’m vastly more satisfied with it and the company should highly consider making a factor screen press.

    • I usually use the back end of my Volcano brush to pack my herbs in the oven, but you can really use anything, the back of a pen works too.

  61. hey Bud,

    I’ve bought a PAX and saw your grinder review on Youtube.
    I then ordered a Magic-Flight finishing grinder.

    But now I saw a review where a person claims, that his PAX broke because the material was to fine…

    so my question is – is it safe to use this grinder?
    Is the PAX supposed to be used with herbs grinded fine like with this grinder?

    It would be so great if you could answer me on this question.

    Sorry for my bad english and greetings from Germany,
    Chris

    • Hey Chris, I’m not sure what that person was talking about but as far as I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with using very finely ground up material in this vape. In fact, that is how you get the performance from it.

      The “screen” in this vape is not really a screen at all, it doesn’t have any holes in it so there’s nowhere for material to go no matter how fine it is.

  62. I just read the return policy from the company you recommend to purchase from. You can’t return it if you use it? I want to be able to try it first.
    Is this a new policy?

    LOVE your videos! VERY informative!

  63. Can you use this device with a powdered herb product, as opposed to herb leaf? I’m referring to concentrated herb that comes in a lump you scrape and then vape the granules. Are there any tricks, like how fine the granules should be or proper packing procedure to get the best vapor?

  64. Pax loose pack with little material. i love my pax. i add a small pinch, almost a small one [draw]. I dry it out by leaving the lid open on my supply. Then pinch off a little and smash it between 2 fingers making a powder. Start with the 1st temp. holding the chamber down so the material falls on to the lid. then take small puffs. after a few puffs were you feel the heat of vapor reduce increase the temp the middle. puff until the vapor feels as though it reduces then hold it up right so the material falls to the hotter oven surface. I tap it and shake it a bit to stir the material. After the vapor is reduced again i go to the last hottest temp and finish it off. This last heating makes a thicker smoke. After that i just add a little one [draw] pinch and start with the heating unit pointed down …puff…puff….then hold upright. Some times i change back to the low temp and run through it again, sometimes i add a pinch in between temp changes. I am not looking to extract a thick vape as i believe you you exhale a lot before it is retained. But small slow heating samples one can extract everybit of goodness.

    [some text redacted]

    Based on that a large tightly packed oven can help reduce the rate of the vaporization as the temp moves from the hot heating surface ……thru to the top edge of packed material, but the first few puffs of light vapor will contain the most [stuff], not visable thick vapor.

    Small portion, tight temp controls, and small puffs delivers it all to you in a controled manor.

    Have fun with different methods, but remember, the good stuff is there even thought visable vapor is thin.

    • As soon as the oven becomes a bit full of the loose pack the heating efficiency is greatly reduced. If you want a full dense vapor and use a full oven, then tight pack as mention in this thread is crucial. I still use the 3-step heating profile (i would like to the assent with its programmable temp profile someday).

      No middle ground. Loose pack a tiny bit or pack a bunch more very tightly.

  65. Hey Bud,
    Great tips and reviews, keep them coming. I plan on buying a Pax, and wanted to get your best recommendations for cleaning? 1x week? More than that for daily usage? I want to be able to enjoy it without having to clean every day.

  66. I’ve just recently bought the Pax and am now trying to for the first time.

    I’ve tried each temp. setting and have made sure my bud is ground pretty well but I can’t see to get any kind of decent vapor.

    Any advice on why would be greatly appreciated.

    Now and then when I take a pull I see some vapor at the end of the pax (strange?) but that’s about it.

    Thanks for the help

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