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Pen Focus Vaporizer

Discussion in 'Portable Vaporizers' started by PPN, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    Focus Review and Focus to Xmax Comparisons

    Background: The Focus and Xmax are similar types of cigar-pens. Another Xmax user and I have been beating up the Focus for 2 weeks as our daily driver for this review. We average 3 sessions each per day. We’ve been using the Xmax for months before the Focus and at times as our daily driver. You may get different results than I did due to the type of herb you use (dry, moist, cure, etc.) as well as personal differences like lung capacity.

    Summary: Ever seen one of those car advertisements where the base model is $14,999 and the luxury package is $25,999? The Xmax is the base model and the Focus is the luxury model. Both units will take you where you want to go but only the Focus will do it in heated leather seats.

    Detail Testing:
    - Battery life: I used the same battery for the Xmax and Focus, (Samsung 18650 25R). The 25R is/was the recognized standard for 18650 batteries. The battery test was done the same way for each unit. Charge the battery using an Intellicharge I2 external charger, set temp to high, (428F), allow the unit to run for 5 minutes, wait for it to cool off for 10 minutes before the next session test. Run the test till the unit won’t turn on because the battery is too low.
    Focus: 12 sessions and even had enough to start a 13th session! Normal Daily Use: 8 sessions.
    Xmax: 6 sessions. Normal Daily Use: 4.5 sessions.
    Conclusion: Focus beats Xmax by a large margin. I could probably get an entire day’s use from one full battery on the Focus. Wouldn’t come close with the Xmax.

    - Heat Settings:
    Focus: 6 settings, 320F, 338F, 356F, 374F, 392F, 428F
    Xmax: 5 settings, 356F, 374F, 392F, 410F, 428F
    Conclusion: My favorite settings are 374F, 392F so either unit will work for me. I can push the Focus to 428F and since removing the mouthpiece screens the Focus is harsher than before but still smoother than the Xmax with a similar mod. The Focus wins by having 2 lower settings and more smoothness. Note: I don’t do concentrates.

    Combustion: In each case I completely wasted the herb so it was dry and more burnable and then gave it a beat down at 428F.
    Focus: Did not combust and had the most blackened ABV.
    Xmax: Did not combust.
    Conclusion: Neither combusted and I suspect neither will. Focus wins by taking the herb to a more completely spent state.

    - Initial Time to Reach Temp/Peak Vaporization: Recorded using a stopwatch against a freshly charged battery and again when the battery reached lowest usable level.
    Focus: 30 seconds to reach high heat level in each case. Another 15 seconds is needed to heat soak the herb and reach peak vaporization. Total time till first optimal draw is 45 seconds.
    Xmax: 100 seconds to reach high heat level in each case. At 100 seconds the heat soaking of the herb has reached peak vaporization. Total time till first optimal draw is 100 seconds.
    Conclusion: Focus wins easily by time recorded AND the focus oven air holes can be blocked to enhance the heat soak as well moderate the air intake.

    - Taste: Both units were tested at 392F for the number of draws where the taste was favorable. If you vape at lower levels you could extend the tastiness.
    Focus: 2 tasty hits. Bit smoother.
    Xmax: 2 tasty hits.
    Conclusion: I’d give a slight advantage to the Focus for smoothness. There are many hits remaining in both units after the taste dissipates.

    - Ability to Overload Oven Temp: Both are purely conduction vapes requiring draw moderation to keep the vapor coming strong. You can overrun the oven with either of these units. In each case the initial draw will produce nice clouds. A continuous mid to high level draw and the vapor ceases to be visible at the end of the draw. The Xmax seems to be able to handle the harder draw a little better but it is sacrificing smoothness. The Focus can be used ‘dry’ at the highest temp unlike the Xmax to mitigate some of the oven cooling.
    Conclusion: There is no clear winner.

    - Session Time: How long a session will last and how convenient it is to extend the session.
    Focus: After 5 minutes the Focus turns off the oven and ‘sleeps’ for 3 minutes before turning off. Holding the button for 2 seconds wakes the oven and you’re back in business for another 5 minutes. Brilliant!
    Xmax: After 5 minutes the unit turns off.
    Conclusion: Focus wins this one easily. This area makes the Focus a much better group vape than the Xmax.

    - Learning Curve: I’m color blind so discerning what the one light on the Focus was trying to tell me about battery strength/temp selection was frustrating for the first two days. The Xmax has a separate light for each temp level so it was initially easier to use. The Xmax button press can be erratic though and I have had to turn it off/on to reset or figure out where I was in the sequence. The Focus adds vibration to the mix which lowered the learning curve. The Xmax button is more tactile than the Focus button but the Focus’ vibration makes it more apparent where you are in the use sequence.
    Conclusion: The Focus is easier to learn than the Xmax.

    - Quality/Engineering: The Focus performs consistently each session. The Xmax button has been erratic at times. It should be noted that the Xmax has never let me down. The Xmax mouthpiece can come off in transit. The Focus mouthpiece screws in and eliminates this issue. The Xmax turns off after 5 minutes and the starting sequence has to be followed again to extend the session. The Focus goes into sleep mode (turns off the oven) for 3 minutes after the initial 5 minutes and can be woke by holding the button for 2 seconds. The Xmax 5 minute timer includes the time to reach the selected oven temp as does the Focus. The Focus reaches temp so much faster that the Focus allows the user to use more of the initial 5 minutes than the Xmax. The battery that came with the Focus is a good 2500mAH 18650 while the Xmax is a decent but lower rated 18650 at 2200mAH. The Focus loads easier as the top of the chamber slopes downward at a higher degree and the slope material is less ‘clingy’ to herb. Replacing the battery is easier with the Focus. With the Xmax you unscrew the middle of the unit and it’s a little awkward to screw back in. With the Focus you unscrew the bottom piece, the battery fits within its cup holder and you more easily screw the bottom in.
    Conclusion: Focus is the better thought out unit. Did the Focus engineers deliberately set out to improve on every aspect of the Xmax (Except price)? Focus feels more dependable but it will be months or more before a final dependability conclusion can be made.

    - Flower Conservation: Both the Xmax and Focus do an ‘ok’ job in this area with neither having the upper hand.

    - Initial Prep / Burn Off – The Xmax should have a burn off done of at least 6 high temp sessions. The old silicone mouthpiece will need to be soaked in ISO and rinsed a few times during the ISO soak to get rid of the taste and smell. The Focus will require no more than 2 high temp sessions to get rid of the ‘new smell’.
    Conclusion: Focus has way less smell and taste issues out of the box.

    - Maintenance: Like most cigar pen vapes the Xmax and the Focus are both weak when it comes to oven cleaning. The herb comes in direct contact with the oven. Reclaim can build up on the oven bottom and the oven cannot be removed for cleaning. I prefer vapes like the Solo where the herb is placed in a device that in turn is heated by the oven. The bottom of the Xmax and Focus oven will become caked with reclaim over time if not kept clean. If you allow the reclaim to build up on the bottom and restrict the draw it’s going to be hard to clean. The screens/filters in the mouthpiece are very small and will require timely cleaning but they are removable and easily cleaned.
    Conclusion: Neither the Focus or the Xmax have an advantage here.

    - Draw Restriction/Use: Neither unit is draw-restrictive.
    Conclusion: The Focus wins by having an adjustable intake.

    - Extraction: The ABV is consistent and dark in both the Xmax and Focus. No need to stir. The Focus can be used ‘dry’ at the highest temp where the Xmax is too harsh for me to use at the highest temp. Conclusion: The Focus wins by allowing for more extraction by using the highest temp and producing blacker/darker spent ABV.

    Miscellaneous Observations:
    - I like to fill half the oven and tamp down lightly and then fill the other half and do another light tamp down. Not packing enough to restrict the draw but enough to increase vapor production by having more herb in the oven.
    - Remember to allow 10-15 seconds or so between draws to allow the oven temp to heat soak the herb again for optimal results.
    - Bubbler – With just the standard unit mouthpiece both units can be used with my D020-D bubbler and/or my 14mm Gong. Remember to allow for a heat soak, moderate your air intake and/or close off all but one air hole and set the temp to high.
    - Security: The Focus wins easily. It feels heavier, is more substantial and has a covering that is easier to grip than the Xmax. If you’re attacked you could hold the Focus like a roll of quarters, start swinging and do some real damage. If it was just a little longer it’d make a nice Billy-club (Please excuse my feeble attempt at humor)

    Final Conclusions: The Focus is hands down a better unit than the Xmax. The look and feel of the Focus is impressive, it performs well and battery life is amazing for a cigar-pen. Still…the Focus is not going to replace the Solo as my daily driver or as my bubbler companion. I would recommend the Focus to anyone looking to add a cigar-pen to their collection, a starter vape, a night-on-the-town vape or as a top-o-the-line backup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    Jill NYC, babaindica, JeeSee and 14 others like this.
  2. hi_there

    hi_there Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
    Got my focus, this vape is the real-deal. Quality feel, fast heat up, works with small or full loads, good taste, cool vapor. I enjoy this as much as my Arizer Air and it heats up faster. I feel the focus may be a little more portable.

    Let's hope reliability is good.
     
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  3. hi_there

    hi_there Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
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  4. Vaperist

    Vaperist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    my Arizer Solo is starting to collect a dust. Fucus is conquering it out by its fast heat up time mainly.
     
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  5. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    I've removed the standard screen and screw off portion of the mouthpiece along with the ceramic diffuser screen. I have pushed in a custom screen that fits perfectly (beneath the 1st groove) under the pyrex mouthpiece under a slight groove between the 2 black parts. This screen is gummed up by oil only, no bits of herb; as I also use a screen from the pinnacle pro glass mouthpieces. This screen is placed directly on top of the finely ground herbs and helps to tamp down the load. Combined this dual screen filter is a nice combo that enables cleaning to be kept to a minimum.
    I really like this portable, it currently has a nice position in my rotation. With the water adaptor it hits fast and punchy for nice potent quick hits at home; wheras my air is a more comfortable lounging affair, taking many smaller (slightly tastier) hits over a session. The focus is also a staple for those nice quick hits while out & about or can also be temperature stepped over a session. I need to get some of those flowermate capsules to try with this thing, if they fit & work as nicely as the pinnacle bullets this will be my number 1 go to.
     
  6. Vaperist

    Vaperist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    i found that Focus can do a session vaping almost as good as Arizer. i heat it up to dee max temperature, waiting 20 sec for heat to soak. then i turn it one or two temperature settings down and take a lot of small hits. like smoking a joint. very satisfying.

    and yes, i also removed that ceramic thing from mouthpiece. better hit and easier to clean.
     
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  7. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    I can't help myself taking big water cooled rips with this unit. I generally clear the glass that I'm using with each hit, removing the vape as I simultaneously finish my pull with a harder breath in to draw in all the vapour to my lungs. So flavourful, and by the time I'm ready to take another hit (few seconds of holding in clouds to absorb the goodness) the focus has built up another huge cloud ready for my grateful lungs.
    I personally find the vaping experience better (a little less harsh on my lungs and throat, a tad more efficient, prolonging the high and the herbs) with temperature stepping sessions rather than blasting it straight at high temperatures. (Although I will try this approach with the air shortly). However, I will say when becoming immune or accustomed to 1 particular strain then hitting straight at max temperatures changes the cannabinoid ratio profile being absorbed compared to temp stepping.
    I digress, if only this vape had some publicity maybe more vapists would jump on board with this 1.
     
    moondog, Chance2Vape and His_Highness like this.
  8. Vaperist

    Vaperist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    i'm too amazed why this thing is not a main stream vape. Focus got everything + nice price to be a must have in every collection. or as dee first vape for somebody who start vaping. because this thing is very versatile and easy to use.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  9. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge

    Messages:
    12,425
    It just came out.
     
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  10. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    The boundless vapes came out at a similar time yet they seem to have a lot bigger of a following than the focus :) I couldn't comment on these as I haven't had the pleasure of sampling these devices yet certain selling points and advantages of both are shared by these devices. Ie fast heatup, good taste, fairly free airflow. However I prefer the user replaceable batteries, adjustable airflow and form factor of the focus. Also the feel of the faux leather and look. In fact just the whole package as is presented with the added capabilities of customisation through altering the stock screen arrangrment, using a capsules system, water tool usage. It feeling rugged and cheaper as well. I can't see why I'd go for either of the boundless (but I haven't tried them to be fair) over the focus. So obviously I feel biased to my current newest toy, but I cannot convey how much I am enjoying using it.
     
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  11. hi_there

    hi_there Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
    The screen and ceramic insert can just be cleaned by putting them in ISO? I think the ceramic thing helps make the vapor cool?
     
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  12. PPN

    PPN Fleurs&Vapeur

    Messages:
    3,859
    Yes you can and yes , I can't see another function for this thing...
     
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  13. mulciber

    mulciber Member

    Messages:
    71
    I thought it might serve to slow the draw in order to keep too much material from clumping on the screen at once, and impeding flow. An attenuator.
     
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  14. jdent3

    jdent3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    262
    I just received my new Focus. I'm gonna test it out and see how good this thing really is. Happy 421!
     
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  15. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy FUCK CANCER TOO !

    Messages:
    1,149
    Excellent review, @His_Highness! I've been using the FM Aura (non-hybrid) for awhile and getting ready soon to start using the X-Max. I will try to do a write up comparing those two vapes following your EXTENDED outline on this thread, above. Really nice!

    Thanks again for your contribution! This noob REALLY appreciates it!:clap:

    FF


    .
     
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  16. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    Excellent! Please let me know when your review is up. I'd love to read it. Here's a suggestion ....stopwatch is your friend if your hitting and writing .... I had been doing the ol' one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand kind of thing. When I broke out a stop watch my seconds went up by almost 30%. Could have been the new batch of flowers......:smug:
     
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  17. jdent3

    jdent3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    262
    Has anyone had black marks form in their heating chamber? I ordered one for myself and my brother. My brothers Focus has developed some black marks inside the chamber on one side. I'm concerned because I don't want him to be inhaling anytbing he shouldn't. This is only after 2 bowls out of it. I've only used my Focus once so I havent been able to see if it happens to mine. Any help would be appreciated! Other than that though the focus hits like a champ and heats up really fast.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  18. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    I've got some dark specs (almost black but more like somewhere between dark chocolate and milk chocolate colored). They look to me to be a combination of a tiny, tiny bit of reclaim burnoff and really dark ABV specs from using the highest temp levels. I came to the above conclusion after using a dry q-tip on the oven walls and inspecting the q-tip. I don't see anything to worry about. Since your unit hasn't got any of the black marks you could probably verify it's just really dark ABV specs by finishing off a fill at the highest temp level and see if your ABV and the left behind specs are the same. You could also ask your brother if he was using the higher temps and if the ABV was close to the same color too.

    Another question is how finely ground was the herb. I ask this question because my black specs are just above powdery so if your grinding finely you may see more of it if my ABV guess is correct.
     
  19. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    Interesting you should mention the dark marks in the heating chamber. Upon receiving mine I noticed a dark spot on 1 side of the chamber. After a iso swab and burnoff with 0 offgassing I convinced myself it wasn't to be an issue. If it's not producing any off gassing at max temp it is certainly not going to be giving off anything at temps lower than this.
    Personally I run my focus on pink at the end of the session to ensure all active compounds are used, unless the mouthpiece/wpa has become gummed up with oil then heating on red - 220c usually gives a couple extra nice hits of a more sedative nature & helps clean things up a little before putting them in an iso bath.
     
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  20. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    Are you saying that yours had a dark spot before ever using the unit? If so...did it all come off when you did the ISO swab?
     
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  21. jdent3

    jdent3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    262
    Here is a picture of the marks in my brothers Focus. I don't think its from ABV as the marks won't come off when swabbing it with a qtip dipped in iso.

    http://imgur.com/MCNkVtp
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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  22. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    I stand corrected. Those black marks look nothing like mine. Yours are more substantial in size, color and possibly depth.

    I expect that those marks weren't there when it was first used so heat and/or herb somehow caused them to appear?

    Can you get an idea of the texture? Is it tacky/sticky or is does it seem to be bleeding through from behind the ceramic covering? They kind of remind me of black resin from my old combustion days.
     
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  23. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    Yes it came with a dark spot in the oven before I even did my burnoffs. Almost like part of the ceramic had chipped off or something at first glance? The iso swab did nothing to this btw. I find my ascent bowl has stained like this with alot of use, my old flowermate is the same inside too and the sonic I had years ago went the same before I returned the unit. Hmmm maybe this happens to ceramic bowls heated repeatedly?
     
  24. His_Highness

    His_Highness In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    Messages:
    2,577
    I have 2 Xmax Pro V2s and now the Focus. They all have a ceramic oven and have not been treated kindly in terms of heat and stress. None of them had those black marks when they arrived and none of them have them now. One of the Xmax units was a daily driver for a few months too.

    The one burning question (Pun Intended) I have is for any units that had those marks before first use.....did anyone try and contact support for an answer on what it was? If not...the Focus site has a contact page for questions...would be a great test to see how responsive they are and what they think those marks are.
     
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  25. priestsmiler

    priestsmiler Well-Known Member

    I ordered mine from vapowelt and with them being a none English speaking company couldn't really be bothered with attempting any communication with them regarding the mark as (imo) it is a purely cosmetic issue. I suspect at sometime my unit was turned on & tried for qc purposes to ensure the unit was correctly working or something. I never thought of reaching out to focus directly in an informal, not requesting a refund or new replacement unit, simply curious manner. Not a bad idea @His_Highness .
    :)
     
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