Portable Vape Comparison: Pax vs Firefly

P

Pax vs Firefly The Pax and the Firefly are two of the all-time best portable vaporizers I’ve reviewed.

Definitely check out my current top picks for best portable vaporizer to see which models I rate the highest right now.

Even though I gave them very close overall ratings they actually work in pretty different ways…

With the Pax, you pack the oven full or half-full and you turn it on, wait about a minute for it to heat up, and then you start taking draws. You basically just keep drawing from it until your material is spent, which should be between 10-20 draws depending on how full you pack it.

With the Firefly, the herb chamber is smaller so you only pack between 0.1g-0.2g in there. That amount should get you about five good draws before the material is spent. To produce vapor you press the heater button which heats up the chamber, and you keep the heater engaged while you take a slow, long draw. This vape is a perfect fit for people who only want to take a few draws at a time, or want to take breaks between draws and don’t want to waste any material.

Vapor quality is another area where these slightly differ. I use my Pax all the time and I consider the vapor it produces to be above average, but the Firefly can produce really excellent vapor that has a clean, pronounced flavor.

Battery life also varies between the two; the Pax has an internal rechargeable battery that takes about an hour to charge and provides about an hour of usage before it dies, and the Firefly has a removable battery that takes about 45 minutes to charge and provides enough power for about 10-15 draws.

If you’re looking for a vape to carry around with you and use on-the-go the Pax is what I recommend. If you want a great cordless vape to use around your home or travel with, one that produces connoisseur-quality vapor, the Firefly hits the spot.

Stay up!
-Bud

43 comments

  • I’ve had my Firefly since December and have had nothing but problems. Out of the box it wouldn’t hold a charge for longer than 12 hours or 4 hits whichever came first. I returned it to the company who sent it back after two weeks and with no packing slip listing what was work was done. The unit had the same exact problem. After contacting customer service again they told me that they replaced the circuit board and heating coil and sent it back. They also said that the technician noticed that the battery was near the end of it’s life… That means that they sent it with a bum battery to begin with and didn’t bother sending an email or a note with the reconditioned unit. Also, this assumes that they replaced the board and coil knowing that the problem was most likely the battery, which… wait for it… has only a 30 day warranty. Great job guys! While this appears to be a quality product, it is made and serviced by amateurs. Possibly great product but a garbage company. Buyer be forewarned!

  • Just tried to get a PAX repaired. Seems it was sold to a japanese form (jtii) that does NOT honor 10 year contract. We will see, but i have gone ahead and preordered the firefly 2…..hopefully they will trreat me better. Jeff

  • Heads up. My ploom pax 1 needs repair. Called to check in on ot (10 year warranty, right). Seems the company has been purchased by a japanese firm. Sounds VERY unlikely it will be covered. Just a word of warning to anyone considering a PAX. Very disappointred. I have an order in for a firefly 2… Hopefully this company will treat me better. Jeff

  • The Firefly vaporizer I received was defective – it could not be used for more than 10 minutes without recharging – so I phoned Firefly tech support. I was told not to worry: the unit is under warranty for a year and I could send it back for repair at any time within that period, but I was NOT told that the battery is only warranted for 30 days. When I sent the unit back later in the year, Firefly determined that the battery was defective but they informed me that I would have to pay for a new battery. If I had been told when I phoned shortly after purchasing the unit that the problem might be the battery and I should send the unit back immediately, I would have done that, but I was not given correct information by Firefly support, so I did not return the unit immediately. Although the fault lies with Firefly support for failing to give me accurate information, I must now pay for a new battery. Lousy product, terrible support, insensitive customer service!

  • I got a Pax locally from Austin Vape and Smoke and really like it. My buddy’s Firefly is nice too, but I think I made the better choice.

  • Absolutely do not purchase this vape. I have had mine for only a few months of light in home use and the heating mechanism has stopped functioning. Firefly will have you pay to send it to them and wait 2 weeks for them to fix or replace it. Horrible customer service. An item this expensive shouldn’t break so quickly.

  • I strongly advise against the Firefly. After using it for several months, the battery ceased to charge. Upon contacting Firefly, I was told that the batteries have a life expectancy of 3-6 months, and they generously offered to sell me a new one for $30. In other words, you’ll have to spend between $60-$120 more a year just to keep this unit running.

  • I strongly advise against this vaporizer. After using it for several months, the battery ceased to charge. Upon contacting Firefly, I was told that the batteries have a life expectancy of 3-6 months, and they generously offered to sell me a new one for $30. In other words, you’ll have to spend between $60-$120 more a year just to keep this unit running.

  • Hey Bud! Love your videos and written reviews. Is it possible to get an updated video of the PAX 2 VS Firefly? Thanks!

  • There seems to be a bit of a debate between grinders and non-grinders when it comes to the Firefly. When I spoke with VapeWorld, they categorically recommended whole material. The company itself recommends ground, but not fine. Most online discussions are pro-ground. All online demos use ground. Simple physics suggests ground is better due to increased exposure of surface area. But perhaps a small bud simply gets permeated by the hot air. What say thee?

    • Hmm interesting, I haven’t actually tested it very much with whole pieces, mainly because no vape I’ve ever reviewed works well with whole pieces.

      I would probably stick to grinding for best results, not too fine in the Firefly to minimize chance of combustion and to keep it cleaner.

  • Firefly all the way! I have heard good things about the Pax, but i am satisfied with my Firefly. Before purchasing my Firefly, I held both the Pax and the Firefly in my hand and i prefer a sturdy device that looks nice and delivers high quality performance and the firefly does just that. Thanks for reccomending it Bud! -Dylan

  • Bought the Firefly (£140) and have spent the weekend trying to get something out of this and, like AusBud, failing miserably. I have tried all different combinations – using it straight away or heating it up for about 10 secs beforehand; filling the oven both half & full with fine ground or hand torn herb; taking 5 second tugs or really long 15 second pulls on it and from the entire weekend what vapour i’ve exhaled wouldn’t fill a mouse’s condom. Disappointing…

    • Hey man keep trying, it works but it’s very finicky

      Pre-heat the oven for 8-10 seconds first, release the heater button for a second, then hold it again for 4-5 seconds before you start your draw

      Then keep the button pushed in the entire time you draw, and take a long pull for max vapor, you may have to go as long as 10-15 seconds

  • Please review the VAPORCUP. I’m anxious to see if it combusts like most conductive vaporizetrs or if it truely vaporizes. Best stealth vaporizer i’ve seen

  • Ive had nothing but trouble with the firefly I glad the store I bought it off took it back . It looks the shit but if you don’t get the heating time spot on you get bugger all vape or very toasted flavour . I honestly recon this is just a gimmick . Lets face it when your up you don’t want to have to concentrate to continue the climb . I also found if you hit it to early you got a nice little mouthful of herbs . Trying to get a lung full you need it hot and this consequentially drains the battery so one bowl per battery . Maybe mine was just a dud and others r better . cant wait to try the crafty witch is charging now . For the money you might get your value in metal from the firefly but in performance its just not there :)

  • Hey Bud. I am a beginner and I use all your reviews in making my purchases. Based on your reviews I went with the Pax and it’s all what you said it would be. Thank you.. I only use premium herb to load the chamber and yes It’s all in the packing of the chamber for the draw and vap. I am a little upset with the taste of the herb. Is there anything I can put on the herb to get a better taste??

  • I have both a Pax and a Firefly…… Pax for shows . Firefly for home use…. Both are well worth the money…..I have given four Pax to friends with cancer and they love it….if you keep,it clean and lubed it works perfectly….the Firefly is much easier to clean…..Both are great vapes..

  • hey i’ve been looking at your reviews and they are great , great information overall , i have a question .
    i was really excited to try the pax for the first time and let me tell you that i was disappointed , at first i didn’t know that you had to grind your material really fine so i will take the hit on that one , however when i did try it the second time now with my material fine grinded did the same thing maybe this vaporizers don’t really take moist materials ?? the chamber got all stucked with material and that was the end of it basically , so my question is what am i doing wrong ?? do i have to buy some other dryer material for a better performance ??

  • I’m trying to get away from smoking to be kind to my lungs, but I’m having problems getting the kind of intense effect I get from [combusting]. I have a MFLB and an old Vapir Nicohale. The Vapir does give me the [effects I want], and the less material I put in the better it works, so it’s what I use at home. But it needs to be plugged in (I made a car cord, but it won’t go backpacking). The MFLB just doesn’t give me [those effects], no matter how much or little I put in or how long I run it; I am assuming that the small surface area of heating contact and the unregulated temperature (declines with battery voltage) have something to do with that. But the MFLB allows me to swap batteries, so it’s really the only solution for backpacking or traveling where I don’t have access to a charging outlet. Everyone hails the Pax, but apparently the battery can’t be swapped. What do you suggest for a portable vape that gives me the desired effect but allows swapping batteries?

    • Bud doesn’t seem to be currently monitoring the thread, so I’ll answer my own questions. I got the Firefly because the Pax doesn’t have a removable battery. Firefly works great, very effective extraction due to the hot air technique (as compared to a heated screen that only vapes what it touches). In that way, it’s similar to the operation of the Vapir, and almost as effective as the Vapir. It beats the MFLB for effectiveness hands down. One strong point is the terrific flavor for a fresh load. The ability to swap batteries makes it usable for my backpacking application. Weakest point is battery life, lasts less than a day of hiking, so I have purchased four extra batteries, a standalone charge cradle, an extra charger, and a car cord. Battery quality is variable; two of the brand-new samples show a red light when charging and don’t seem to accept a full charge. Also, the unit is rather heavy for backpacking (particularly when you add in the weight of the spare batteries I need to carry); and the car charger cord (which contains no electronics, only connectors and wire) is absurdly overpriced at $30. Watching the LED while vaping is possible, but certainly not convenient; they should have put it on top. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the setup, but it cost me over $450 all told.

      • I think a solar portable charger for a backpack or baseball cap would be a good idea.

        how about a solar panel to attach to your baseball cap or backpack. charge on the go

  • Firefly all the way. I own a Firefly and have used a Pax and the Firefly has a much better flavor and is much, much more efficient. I recommend the Firefly to everyone.

    • Agree 100% the thing I love about my Firefly is tha it’s not a race to smoke. Personally when alone I like to take my time enjoy my smoke not rush or feel pressure to finish it all at once out of fear of wasting material. The Firefly is all about your individual pace, that being said the Pax is also great but for me more for social gatherings and group outings

  • I love my pax, but I don’t think it’s great as a take a few hits and put it away unit. Once the unit heats up, you have pretty much cooked what’s in there, so you have to finish it all. A smaller bowl chamber might be nice or the option of pulling out product from the chamber while it cools.

    • I agree, I normally recommend people use the Pax as a “full session” vape, and not to turn it off in the middle of vaping. Some people report that they use it this way and are satisfied, so I’d say it’s mostly personal preference, but I myself always vape it all in one shot.

      For anyone wondering how to use it with a smaller amount of material for shorter sessions check out this post: http://www.vapecritic.com/blog/2013/07/08/pax-tips/

  • Hi Bud,

    I’m a big fan of your reviews and I’ve been reading and seeing all your videos. Thanks to your reviews I bought a Vapir NO2 (my first vape), Pax (my all time favorite) and the Plenty ( my best vape for home use with 2 or more friends).

    Thanks to your Pax videos I’ve learned really well how to use and clean my Pax, cause this device really has a learning curve and if you don’t do it right, you’ll hate the device and say it sucks, but it’s usually your fault. Grinding my material very fine and packing it tightly to the Pax chamber has done miracles and I get very long sessions with huge clouds of vape and it does the job flawlessly. I love it’s discreetness, I’ve used my Pax when I was snowboarding in the top of the mountain or even using the lift, and you can’t beat that kind of freedom using a portable vape on the go. I bet a lot of folks thought I was drinking something…lol!!!!

    I want to buy a new portable vape to use on the go as well and I’m thinking about getting the Davinci Ascent cause it really looks so cool, so advanced and I really liked the idea of owning a portable that uses all glass path and ceramic chamber, I’ve always read that you can only get purest flavor by using glass, is that true??

    I’ve seeing your reviews of the Firefly and how good it is, but I want to use my new vape on the go, just like I use the Pax. I already have the mighty Plenty to vape at home, which does the job really well, even if you have company of 3 or more friends.

    So, do you think the Ascent might be the best portable vape for me, considering I’ve already have the Pax which I really love it?

    I see that Firefly is too heavy, battery life is not a bonus and is kind of bulky, right? The Ascent has a great battery, large chamber, lots of advanced digital features, very unique and cool design, looks like a cell phone or mp3 device, and the all glass vapor path really shines to me, since all my other 3 vapes, Plenty, Pax and Vapir NO2, all use metallic and plastic chambers, I was looking for a portable vape that would be quite different from the Pax, do you think the Ascent woud be a good choice???? I think the FF resembles to much the Pax and MLFB, the Ascent seems very differently.

    Also, is the any chance you might do a review comparing the Pax and the Ascent, or Ascent vs Firefly????

    Keep up the great work for the Vape community!!!! Cheers!!!

    • Hey thanks for posting Franco, I’m really happy to hear you’re diggin the vapes!

      I think the Ascent is good and I like it but there are two main reasons I don’t use it as often as the others…

      First is that although it has a glass & ceramic vapor path I actually find the vapor it produces to be a little on the hot side, it’s slightly uncomfortable to me. It has a slightly purer taste for sure, but I actually find myself preferring to use the Pax because even though it might not taste quite as good I find the vapor is more comfortable which is more enjoyable for me.

      The other thing is that you really need to pack the Ascent chamber full to get the best results, and it’s quite large, you can fit about 0.5g in there. With the Pax and Firefly you can use as little as 0.1g-0.2g and get good vapor, but I couldn’t get the Ascent to perform well with that amount of material.

      If you don’t mind vapor that’s a little on the hot side, and you don’t mind fully packing the oven, I think the Ascent is a good choice and you’ll probably like it.

      Thanks for your request regarding more comparison videos, I’ll definitely consider doing those.

      Stay up my friend!

  • I have the PAX and its a good portable vape…..using a q-tip moistened with alcohol to clean the mouth piece and internal passage “temp setting” it doesnt change the temp now.It reset to level one…..i believe alcohol caused the short, I have other vapes but to be frank I prefer glass all the way

    • Ah yea you have to be a little careful when cleaning with rubbing alcohol, if any gets underneath that temp button you could run into issues :\

      Although, heat level one isn’t too bad, that’s actually the setting I started using mine on most often. Sometimes I bump it up to medium heat mid-session and sometimes I leave it on low the whole time.

      Some people do prefer glass vapes, they generally have a slightly purer taste but the vapor isn’t always more comfortable, sometimes it can feel a little hot.

      Thanks for posting and sharing your experience

  • I got the Pax after watching your review and have recommended anyone interested in a Pax or any vaporizer to check out your site. I keep seeing all these new portable vapes coming out and I feel the Pax is still as good if not better than the newer ones. I check the reviews here and Bud keeps picking the Pax as his portable vape of choice and I agree 100%. Love your work and continued success testing the best vapes in the world.

    • Awesome thanks, I agree that newer isn’t always necessarily better, the Pax has been out for a couple years now but still holds its own and it’s still my first choice for vaping on-the-go.

      Thanks for posting, vape it up!

  • Excellent points and differences! I have them both and the plain truth is not which is better but rather, if you can, own both. I seem to be the only one who seems fully convinced the pax is superior in flavor (especially at low and medium temps) but I’ve been without my pax for repair so I continue to master the FF. It truly is manual. It is like playing an instrument-it takes practice! With finesse I am getting far better results. I find that hand torn or close to whole nuggs to be ticket to this device. The finer the grind the more challenging I find this vape. Pax is closer to an iphone in that it just works. The FF is like the mflb in that it takes technique and when you master it it is very rewarding!

    • You’re absolutely right, I also think getting both (if possible) is a wise decision, they each have unique advantages.

      Very glad to hear you’re enjoying the vapes.

    • I love the taste of my Pax far more than any other portable or even table top vaporizer, you are not alone! Plus the warranty Ploom offers is second to none.

About Bud

Bud

What's up! I rate & review vapes - learn more about me and my VapeRatings. Stay up! -Bud

Follow Me