If you’re having a hard time choosing between the Pax 3 and the DaVinci IQ, don’t feel bad. The similarities between these two vaporizers is almost unbelievable at first. They’re both conduction style vaporizers. They both have a reputation for producing good vapor when you check out user reviews. They both have an app that can be used with them. They cost roughly the same, they come with the same warranty, and they were released at the same time. They’re both even the third generation vaporizer from well-regarded companies!
Pax 3 vs DaVinci IQ
Both the DaVinci IQ and the Pax 3 produce vapor using conduction-style heating, and both do it very well. The IQ is still the clear winner in this department. The reason is simple: you can taste more of the subtle flavor differences between varieties of herbs when using the IQ.
The reason that the IQ delivers a better flavor profile is the material used for the vapor pathway. The entire thing is made out of a type of ceramic called ceramic zirconium, except for a very small silicone seal. Ceramic doesn’t affect the flavor of the vapor at all, which means the very faint flavors don’t get overpowered. The vapor pathway in the Pax 3 is made out of stainless steel and silicone. This is a good choice for a vapor pathway in it’s own right, just not quite as good as ceramic.
When it comes to the amount of vapor that each can create, there really isn’t a difference between the two.
When you look at both of these vaporizers and the features each manufacturer was able to pack inside them, it’s hard not to feel that DaVinci did more work. Especially when you compare them to their predecessors. The Pax 3 looks like an exact clone of the Pax 2, other than the fact that it has a different finish. Many people actually like the Pax 2 better than the Pax 3 because they don’t view the upgrades as actual upgrades.
DaVinci, on the other hand, moved to the (almost) entirely ceramic vapor pathway and also built in a bunch of cool heating styles for advanced users. We’ll go over these in the temperature flexibility section below.
As far as durability goes, they both seem to be constructed well. However, the IQ does feature hinges for both the top and bottom compartments. We have already seen a few reports of these hinges bending or breaking if the unit is dropped. As well, the IQ had a lot of customer service issues at launch, but most of those issues seem to have been rectified since launch. And even though each comes with a 10-year warranty, and I would expect either one to perform well for a long time, we have to give a slight edge to the Pax 3.
This was a very hard category to judge. Neither one of these vaporizers are hard to use when simply using the base settings. They both have an app you can use to unlock additional flexibility, and once you play around with them, both are pretty straightforward as well.
The IQ has several special heating modes which complicate things a bit. For a beginner, all the different modes and settings may seem overwhelming.
This is where it got really complicated to pick a winner. While the Pax 3 seems easier to use, this appearance largely stems from the fact that the IQ is simply offering you more. Learning what Smart Paths are and how to set them may be difficult, but you don’t have to use them. And that’s the key. You can’t fault a vaporizer for offering additional, optional features that are actually pretty great once you learn how to use them.
If you are looking for the easier device to just pickup and use straight out of the box, we have to give this one to the Pax 3, though its a narrow win.
It may seem hard to believe that a DaVinci vaporizer could ever compete with a Pax on portability, but with these latest models, the IQ is every bit as portable as the Pax 3. The size differences are negligible.
Again, the temptation was there to call the Pax 3 more portable. I mean, that has been their thing since the beginning. Pax has always been known as one of the absolute best vaporizers in terms of portability. Even looking at the Pax, it seems like it is smaller.
If you look closer, you’ll notice that the shapes are different but the size is pretty close. The Pax is thinner but taller, while the IQ is wider and a bit shorter (depending on the mouthpiece you use).
More importantly, portability has nothing to do with how it looks and everything to do with how easy it is to carry around. For us, the pocket test is critical. And both of these vaporizers can easily be carried in the pocket of a pair of shorts or in a bag.
If portability is a concern for you, I really don’t think it makes a difference which one of these you are using. They’ll both do well. However the DaVinci IQ has a secret weapon which gives it the edge in this category, but we will touch on it next.
Both the Pax 3 and the IQ come with 3500mAh batteries. They both get roughly the same amount of use out of a full charge, but it largely depends on how you are using them. In actual practice, you’ll probably get a little bit more out of the Pax 3 before needing to charge it.
No, that’s not a typo.
Draw for draw, you may get a little more from the Pax 3 than the IQ for each charge. But the IQ is still the winner in terms of battery life. Confused?
There’s a feature we haven’t mentioned yet. The IQ has removable 18650 batteries while the Pax 3 battery is internal. In other words, you can keep extra batteries charged and ready to swap in any time the IQ runs low. In theory, you never actually have to worry about needing to stop and charge it.
When you factor that into the equation, the IQ is the winner.
Both the IQ and the Pax 3 have a bunch of cool heating modes, plus an app that helps you control them and set specific temperatures. This already puts both of them well beyond almost every other vaporizer in existence.
There are standard, flavor, boost, and stealth modes for each. Despite all this, there are a few things that make the IQ better.
First, the temperature flexibility without the app is much better with the IQ. You can adjust the temperature up in one degree increments using just the device, which you can’t do with the Pax. Second, the IQ has “Smart Path” technology, which is just a fancy way of saying that the device can automatically increase the temperature for you while you vape. There are 4 of these preset on the device to begin with, and you can change the temperature levels to anything you like by using the app.
Again, both of these are very advanced in terms of temperature flexibility, but the IQ is slightly more so.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
We started with two very good vaporizers that appeared to be extremely similar, and now we have a clear winner.
The IQ is the better vaporizer.
Even though the Pax 3 has a very good set of features, the IQ manages to be a step ahead of it in almost every category. The most important are the flavor differences and the temperature flexibility. When you are paying for a premium device, you should expect excellent flavor. This is one of the hardest things for a manufacturer to get right. You can get extremely cheap units that produce functional vapor. You can’t get cheap units that taste great. So even though the flavor differences may be hard for inexperienced vape users to notice, the fact that there is a difference is important.
The additional functionality and settings is also nice. They’re not needed, but again, the price is the same and it does add a little extra enjoyment to each session. With the Smart Paths, you can start low for maximum flavor but bump it up for the last few draws to make sure you achieve full extraction. All without lifting a finger. That’s pretty cool.
The icing on the IQ cake, for us anyway, is the removeable battery. This is a great feature that can add a ton of functionality. Being able to pack an extra battery so you are guaranteed to not run out can be a game changer on a busy day. And there’s also the fact that you’re unit can never ‘die’ just because the battery fails. If that happens with the IQ, just pop a new one in.
Our verdict: two great vapes, but the IQ is better.
If you are convinced the DaVinci IQ is the right unit for you, be sure to pick one up from our store.
Still think you like the Pax 3 better? Everyone has their own personal preference and if you are looking to grab one be sure to call our shop to place an order.
P.S. If you like the look of the Pax option, seriously consider the Pax 2. It’s cheaper, and the actual performance isn’t that different. They look identical, and a lot of people like the finish of the 2 better than the 3 because it’s more resistant to getting dirty.