The PAX 3 and the Crafty+ are two of the more popular dry herb vaporizers on the market, but they're very different devices. The PAX 3 is the latest portable vaporizer from Pax Labs. The Crafty Plus is made by Storz and Bickel, and it's the smaller sibling of their flagship portable vape, the Mighty. But which is better, PAX or Crafty?
We'll compare the two dry herb vapes in terms of vapor quality, precise temperature control, battery life, airflow, ease of cleaning, portability, and more. After reading this review, you'll understand the strengths and weaknesses of these two vapes.
In a nutshell, compared to the Crafty+, the PAX 3 is more compact, sleek, and portable. It heats up faster and has better battery life. But the Crafty Plus has better vapor quality, flavor, a larger temperature range, and better display.
In terms of drawbacks, both vaporizers could do better on battery life and portability, and both require a mobile app to fully control the temperature settings. Let's go in depth to learn more about the differences between the two dry herb vapes.
PAX and Crafty Compared: Vapor Quality
Most portable dry herb vaporizers use conduction heating to vape cannabis. The PAX 3 is a conduction vaporizer. The Crafty vaporizer, on the other hand, uses hybrid heating, a combination of convection heat and conduction heating.
The main difference is that in conduction vapes, the heating chamber is found directly beside the element, and is heated through direct contact. In convection heating, there is no direct contact. Instead hot air is heated and then flows through the oven. The Crafty Plus uses a combination of convection and conduction, with an emphasis on conduction.
When it comes to vapor production, Crafty has a big advantage over the PAX 3, in large part due to this different system. Crafty might not quite hit the levels of its bigger sibling the Mighty, but it still delivers excellent vapor quality, with a smooth draw, and delicious clear flavor. It's very efficient with cannabis.
The PAX 3, on the other hand, is a bit harder to pull from, and it's less of a smooth vaping experience. It still has decent vapor, but the flavor is worse than Crafty, and you can taste more of a burnt quality in your hits.
Battery Life: PAX 3 vs Crafty+
Part of why the Crafty vaporizer delivers better, more flavorful vapor is because it's bigger. The Crafty+ is definitely not a pocket vape. PAX made some sacrifices in terms of vapor experience to have a sleek design and easily fit in your pocket.
The Crafty takes longer to heat up though, and has worse battery life. The Crafty’s batteries will only last for 4-5 sessions before running out.
In comparison, the PAX 3 battery life is a much more respectable 8-12 sessions per charge. Both vapes have internal batteries that aren't removable, and recharge via USB. The PAX 3 takes 2 hours to recharge, and the Crafty takes 1.5 hours.
So PAX 3 wins hands down on portability vs Crafty. But the battery could still be better, and reloading the PAX while you're out and about can be a real pain. Also, both vapes need a smartphone app to set temperature, which also limits how portable they can be.
Oven Capacity and Temperature Settings
Both vapes can hold a similar amount of cannabis in their ovens. The Crafty vaporizer has an oven capacity of 0.25 grams, while the PAX is slightly larger at 0.3 grams.
The temperature range is very different between the two, with the Crafty having more options. The Crafty+ has a range of 104-410°F, or 40-210°C. PAX 3 is smaller, from 355°F (179°C) to 420°F (216°C).
That range isn't a problem when vaping cannabis, but if you want to vaporize other dry herbs, the PAX 3 falls short. It's harder to vape more delicate herbs (which need a lower temperature setting) in a PAX 3 vs Crafty. Both devices also have a boost mode button, letting you jump to a higher temperature when needed.
Preset temperatures using mobile app
In order to fully access the temperature settings of both the PAX 3 and Crafty, you need to download apps, so you can control your vape using your phone. This can be a problem if you've got an iPhone, because the Apple App Store has banned vaping apps.
The PAX 3 has four preset temperatures, and one customized temperature setting you can set using the PAX app. You can switch between these five settings or "dynamic modes" on the device itself, but the customized temperature can only be accessed using the app.
The Crafty app only gives you two preset temperatures, but you can set them to be any temperature you want. And unlike the PAX 3 app you can leave the Crafty app open and make changes on the fly, while you're using the device.
Features and Design
The Crafty+ and PAX 3 have a radically different design from each other. The PAX 3 is a sleek, compact device designed for portable vaping. Although it's not one of the smallest vaporizers, there's no question it's discreet, futuristic, and just plain cool.
The Crafty also looks cool, but in a very different way. Instead of a sleek look, it's got more of an industrial feel. It's a bulky device, with a mouthpiece that sticks out of the top making it less discreet vs the PAX 3.
Neither vaporizer has a display, relying on lights and haptic feedback to let you know when the vape has reached the desired temperature. Looking at the Mighty vs (Crafty's bigger sibling) has a more fully featured display, but the Crafty had to get rid of it in order to become more compact. It’s only one of the many tradeoffs of the Crafty vs Mighty.
Vaping Concentrate: PAX 3 vs Crafty+
In general, dry herb vapes aren't designed for vaping cannabis concentrate. But some vaporizers have accessories that let you safely vape concentrate. Both PAX 3 and Crafty have accessories available that let you enjoy the occasional extract session.
With Crafty, you can get liquid pads that prevent melting concentrate from damaging the vape or creating a mess. Although it does make the device compatible with concentrates, it still gets messy and isn't really a convenient way to vape concentrate, especially when you're using it as a portable vaporizer.
PAX 3 has a better solution: a concentrate insert that you place inside the vaporizer oven. It's included with the complete kit but not the basic PAX 3 kit. You can also buy it as a separate accessory. Don't fill the chamber too much, and use only a small amount of extract in each session to keep things cleaner.
Concentrates in dry herb vaporizers
Loading and cleaning the PAX 3 concentrate insert is time consuming, but it's easier to keep from getting messy vs Crafty. PAX 3 can hit higher temperatures, so that's better for concentrates too.
But both options leave a lot to be desired. If you'll be vaping concentrates regularly, you should either buy a dedicated concentrate vaporizer, or check out Furna, a PAX alternative with swappable ovens.
With Furna, you can get ovens for both dry herb and concentrate and swap them instantly, no waiting required. You can also pre-pack your ovens, giving you the freedom to go back and forth between herb and concentrates mode. Without having to clean and reload in between.
Cleaning and Maintenance
All dry herb vaporizers need to be cleaned regularly. When you're done with a vaping session, you should give your vaporizer a quick clean by sweeping out your vape's oven with a brush. There’s usually one included as an accessory.
You also need to do a deeper clean on a regular basis, or else cannabis residue will build up on the oven and mouthpiece, and in the vapor pathway. Both the Crafty and PAX 3 need to be taken apart and most parts will be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol.
To clean the Crafty Plus, there are a lot of small parts that need to be removed and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. Pay close attention to the user manual so that you take it apart and reassemble it correctly. The PAX 3 is similar, requiring separate cleaning of the oven, mouthpiece, and vapor path.
Both devices are kind of time-consuming to clean. The Crafty is easier to clean though, once you're familiar with how it works. The Crafty also gets less residue build up in the first place vs PAX 3, Still, neither device was designed with easy cleaning in mind.
Best Device: PAX 3 vs Crafty
It's tough to say which dry herb vaporizer is better, PAX or Crafty, because each has its strengths. If you're looking for better vapor quality, and don't care about how compact your device is, the Crafty+ beats the PAX 3. If you value having the highest temperature option, long battery life, and slim design, PAX 3 wins vs Crafty.
But both vapes still leave some things to be desired. The battery technology on both devices could be better. The Crafty vape in particular needs improvements here if it wants to be taken seriously as a portable vaporizer. Both devices also need a mobile app to fully control the temperature.
The Crafty vaporizer might have great vapor quality, but it's still in many ways a lower-end version of the Mighty. The Mighty has respectable battery life, better vapor production, and a full display that lets you control temperature settings without a mobile app. It’s also even more bulky and expensive. But if you're thinking about buying a Crafty vaporizer and don't care about portability, the Mighty has some big advantages to offer.
A better option: Furna portable vaporizers
The Furna vaporizer combines the best features of both the PAX 3 and Crafty. It has better vapor and a smoother draw than the PAX 3, but it's smaller than the Crafty+ and easily fits in your pocket. And its battery life beats them both, with one charge lasting 15-20 sessions. Have a look at our PAX 3 vs Crafty vs Furna comparison chart for a handy breakdown of all the differences.
Furna's vapor quality is not quite at the level of the Storz and Bickel Crafty+ or Mighty. But Furna still gets great flavor and a smooth draw compared to other portable conduction heating vaporizers. But don’t forget, the Mighty and Crafty are both quite bulky. And the Crafty has poor battery performance for a portable vape.
Furna also has a display, letting you access temperature control on the vaporizer itself. No need for a mobile app. But the truly interesting thing with Furna, is its swappable oven technology. With Furna, you get more than one oven, and can swap instantly between them.
This lets you pre-pack your sessions before leaving the house. You can also use specialized ovens for concentrates and 510 oil cartridges, giving you every option in a single device. Have a look at the Furna vape and see what you think for yourself.