The DaVinci IQ2 and the PAX 3 are two of the best reviewed portable dry herb vaporizers on the market. There's no question that they compare well to the average vape out there.
The cost of both devices is high, so it makes sense that they perform better than most vapes. But are they worth the price? And which is better, PAX or DaVinci?
We'll review both vaporizers, and look at how they compare in terms of vapor quality, durability of materials, settings, and features. We'll also look at things like battery life, charge time, smell, cleaning, and overall design and controls.
DaVinci IQ vs PAX: Vapor Quality
For most users, the most important thing in a dry herb vape is the quality of the vapor. It doesn't matter if it looks cool or has a nifty display if it doesn't deliver on the fundamentals.
Both the PAX and the DaVinci IQ 2 are conduction vaporizers. This means the heating chamber is located directly beside the element. In general, conduction heating vapes are a good choice because they're more portable, and have much longer battery life.
Between the two, DaVinci probably has the better vapor. The PAX 3 tends to run hot, and the draw resistance is high. The flavor of your herb tastes a bit muddier, and it's not a smooth vape. The IQ has better tasting vapor: a cooler, smoother draw that tastes more like the cannabis strain being vaped.
Temperature range and vapor production
The DaVinci IQ 2 can heat to a bigger range of temperatures than the PAX 3. The IQ 2 can be set between 250°F (121°C) and 430 °F (220°C). PAX 3 can only hit a narrower range, from 355°F (179°C) to 420°F (216°C).
The range of both devices is fine for cannabis, and should meet most users' needs. But the PAX won't be able to properly vaporize herbs like lavender or chamomile, which are more delicate and need lower heat settings.
Both the PAX 3 and the DaVinci IQ use smartphone apps for more precise temperature control. With DaVinci, you can use the app to customize four smart paths, or different heat settings. You can switch between each smart path mode on the device itself.
The PAX also requires you to use an app to set the temperature. Similar to the IQ, you can cycle between 4 settings using the device. It's a bit annoying to have to use a smartphone app to fully control your vape. Also, Apple has banned vaping apps so it's only a usable option for Android devices.
PAX & DaVinci IQ Vaporizer Comparison
The oven capacity of the DaVinci IQ 2 is 0.3 grams, which is similar to the PAX 3's 0.35 grams. The IQ is quite a lot easier to pack compared with the PAX, and tends to deliver good vapor production without relative ease.
With PAX, it's a bit tougher to load the chamber. Loading a dry herb vaporizer has to be done right or else you'll end up wasting weed. You need to pack the entire oven pretty densely to achieve the best vapor. People refer to this as the PAX learning curve.
Often, frustrated users will just do their best, and have varying results in their vaping sessions. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. One advantage of the PAX 3 is you can use a half pack insert to reduce the oven size to 0.15 grams, if you want a smaller amount of herb.
Materials and vapor path
The DaVinci IQ 2 is a definite improvement on the original IQ, which had some major problems with the pearl in the oven breaking off. Both the PAX 3 and IQ are sleek devices that have a distinct look.
The PAX 3 uses a stainless steel oven and a stainless steel vapor path that leads from the oven to the mouthpiece. The stainless steel is high grade and doesn't affect the taste of your cannabis. The DaVinci IQ 2 uses a ceramic oven and ceramic vapor path.
Both the PAX 3 & DaVinci IQ 2 perform excellently here. In comparison, in cheaper dry herb vapes, the vapor path can be full of materials and components you don't want you don't want to be vaping.
The PAX 3 gives off a stronger smell than the IQ2. The PAX does a worse job of keeping smells contained inside the device when you're not using it.
Battery Life & Charge Time Comparison
When it comes to the portable vaping experience, it's important to take a close look at batteries. Although battery performance might not be as key as temperature control, it's still an essential part of a portable vaporizer. Running out of battery power when you're hoping to use your vaporizer is always a huge let-down.
Often, a lightweight vape like a dry herb vape pen will have terrible battery life. Higher-end portable vaporizers like the DaVinci IQ and PAX 3 should be able to deliver top notch battery performance. And although they could be worse, they could also be better.
The PAX 3 will give you about 1.5 hours of usage, or 8-12 sessions. The IQ2 is slightly worse, 80 minutes of usage, which will last about 6-9 sessions. The IQ has a removable 18650 battery, so you can buy extra batteries to make your device more portable.
PAX 3 has a charging dock that is the only way to recharge the device. It takes about 2 hours to recharge completely. DaVinci IQ 2 takes two and a half to three hours to charge via USB.
Cleaning and maintenance: PAX 3 vs DaVinci IQ2
One of the big disadvantages of the DaVinci IQ2 is how complicated it is to clean. It has a number of different parts, more than the average vaporizer. And all of them need to be cleaned individually, with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. It takes longer to clean the IQ than other dry herb vaporizers, which means you might clean it less often than you should.
The PAX 3 may have less parts to clean vs DaVinci IQ2, but it's still far from easy. Cleaning the mouthpiece, vapor path, and oven all need to be done separately. Cleaning accessories are included in the kit.
Neither vaporizer is a breeze to clean, but PAX has the edge here. If you don't clean dry herb vapes often, residue will build up and block airflow in your device. It will ruin the flavor of your cannabis and create weaker, lower-quality vapor.
Dry Herb Vaping vs Weed Concentrates
So far, when comparing the DaVinci IQ vs PAX 3, we've been focusing entirely on vaping dry herb. That is, regular cannabis. But you can also vape concentrates. These are forms of cannabis that have even stronger effects.
Normally, it's not safe to vape concentrate in a dry herb vape. As a concentrate is vaporized, it will turn into a liquid and can create mess and possibly damage components. How do the IQ2 and PAX 3 compare when it comes to cannabis concentrate?
The PAX 3 has concentrate pads you can buy, which you insert into the heating chamber. This keeps spills from happening. The DaVinci IQ 2 also has an insert you can place in the bowl. It's a ceramic dosage pod that essentially does the same thing.
The dosage pod is a little more awkward to get in and out of the vaporizer, so PAX gets the edge here. But neither vape is well-suited for concentrates, things can still easily get messy, and you've got to be careful not to handle hot parts.
Multiple ovens for more options
The Furna vaporizer takes a completely different approach to dry herb vaping, with its swappable oven system. With Furna, you get more than one oven, and you can swap between them in an instant, with no waiting for anything to cool down.
It's very convenient to be able to pre-pack ovens before leaving the house. Then when you're out and about, you don't have to worry about finding a discreet place to reload if you want a second bowl. It makes for a more portable device. There are specialized ovens for dry herb, concentrates, and 510 oil cartridges too.
Furna has both DaVinci IQ 2 and the PAX 3 beat when it comes to battery life. It lasts 15-20 sessions on a single charge. It has a noticeably smooth draw, and the flavor of your herb will come through clearly. Furna also has a fully-featured display, letting you control temperature settings without an app.
If you want a more detailed comparison, check out our article comparing PAX 3 vs Furna. We've also got a review of how Furna stacks up against the DaVinci IQ2. Want a big handy table comparing all the specs of IQ vs PAX 3 and Furna too? Check out our product comparison page.