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The Pax and MFLB: a subjective comparison

Discussion in 'Portable Vaporizers' started by pakalolo, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    I compiled this list a while ago. I made it to show someone who said he was probably buying the Pax as his next vapourizer. I was reluctant to post it publicly because, first and foremost, I thought it would incite a religious war and maybe result in a lynch mob at my door.

    Perhaps unwisely, I then mentioned it in the Pax thread and immediately received several requests to see it or to start a thread like this one. I consulted my fellow mods and not having received an objection, here's your thread. I recuse myself from moderation here, but it will be watched closely by other mods because as I said, the potential for inflamed passions is high.

    The second reason was that I felt some people would immediately declare I was not qualified to judge the Pax, not having used one. I don't feel that someone who does proper research is disqualified from commenting. For the record, this comparison was of interest to me so I did research and have discussed the Pax privately with some owners. The Pax information was taken from those discussions and from comments in the Pax thread, usually from several users.

    As the thread title states, this list is subjective. You might choose other comparison points. Some points are factual, like the price comparison. Others are statements of opinion, like the way I feel about the designers.

    Last, I do not hate the Pax, I just wouldn't buy one. I would love to try one though. Anyone who wants to send me theirs can PM for my mailing address. :D

    Pax: $249
    LB: $119

    Pax: Brushed aluminum, looks like it was designed by Steve Jobs.*
    LB: Naked wood, looks like it was crafted by a hippie.

    * I am a confessed Steve Jobs bigot

    Pax: 30-90 seconds to warm up depending on selected temperature.
    LB: 3-5 seconds to warm up.

    Pax: Heats until turned off, goes to standby heating after 30 seconds without detecting movement, walking or even driving in a car prevents this.
    LB: Stops heating as soon as battery is removed.

    Pax: Exterior gets fairly warm at oven end, can be uncomfortable to hold.
    LB: Exterior never gets hot.

    Pax: Oven takes a while to cool down and continues to cook meanwhile.
    LB: Screen cools down within a few seconds of removing the battery, no unwanted cooking.

    Pax: Has a huge oven that manufacturer says should be tightly packed, at least .25g and I've read as much as .4g.
    LB: A full trench is about .1g, maybe .2g if really fine grind and overfilled. Handles much smaller loads nicely.*

    * I realize those after big hits see this as a plus. I don't.

    Pax: Three selectable temperatures.
    LB: Any temperature I like up to combustion, controlled by technique.

    Pax: Difficult to connect to water filtration.
    LB: Can easily be connected to water filtration, even without buying the WPA.

    Pax: Uses internal Li-Ion battery that requires return to the manufacturer for replacement.
    LB: Uses NiMH batteries that I can buy at the corner store.

    Pax: Has a proprietary charger that needs an outlet.
    LB: Uses a standard charger I can buy almost anywhere.

    Pax: Needs the charger once the Li-Ion battery is depleted.
    LB: I can carry an extra battery--or six.

    Pax: Pretty coloured lights that flash different colours to tell me things (if I am not colourblind and can remember all the combinations).
    LB: One teeny light that isn't even necessary.

    Pax: Has a draw like a milkshake that gets worse with use
    LB: Vapor forms almost in your mouth, one technique for big hits is to inhale gently only through the nose

    Pax: Burns the lips easily
    LB: Does not

    Pax: Has 10 year warranty excluding battery
    LB: Has lifetime replacement warranty that even covers user error
     
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  2. JoeKickass

    JoeKickass Well-Known Member

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    These are the downsides to the Pax that I personally noticed, but like pakalolo acknokledged, his second to last point is a big plus for high tolerance users.

    Thanks for the list!
     
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  3. joey shrier

    joey shrier Member

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    This isn't as much of a comparison as it is a "Why LB is better". You've included none of the pax's positives and none of the LB's negatives.
     
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  4. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    I said it was subjective. Where's your list of Pax positives over the LB?
     
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  5. joey shrier

    joey shrier Member

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    Not trying to be rude or anything. I came to this thread hoping to learn some things. I have owned neither. I am awaiting my pax to arrive via fedex though. I initially went out shopping for a LB because a buddy of mine was raving about it some time ago but then I stumbled upon the pax thread on this forum. Thank you for your list and the time you put into it I just don't feel it is a comparison but more of a LB pros vs Pax cons. doesn't seem fair to me.
     
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  6. JDSupreme

    JDSupreme Head of Pot

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    Nice write-up as usual. Here's my comments so far.

    Right out of the gate, if the Pax holds up to semi regular use over the next year or so without many issues, its a big win. But its way too early in it's life to gauge long term reliably. Unless you break it, the LB will always work.
     
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  7. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    I left out the PA because that changes the comparison quite a bit. I disagree that technique isn't an issue with the Pax. In fact the most common criticism I've seen is based on ignorance of the correct technique: the inability of some people to get much vapour out of it. They're drawing too hard. It's a conduction vapourizer and needs a slow gentle hit, just like the LB. The difference is that the Pax wants you to pack tightly, thus the milkshake draw.
     
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  8. zmurder

    zmurder vaporist + cartographer

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    Good additions JDSupreme. I'm thinking of getting a Pax. I've had a couple MFLBs for the past couple years but have only gotten weak piddly hits off of them. I've read a bunch and changed my technique -- just think their vapor output just isn't for me. So the pluses of the Pax are sounding quite good to me
     
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  9. JDSupreme

    JDSupreme Head of Pot

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    If you want to remotely compare hit quality and vapor production (very important IMO), the PA needs brought into this. But then you lose the portability comparison.

    Here's some more...Portable Warfare!! lol

    There is a technique with hitting the Pax, but it is nothing like hitting a LB. Developing a good LB technique takes time. I feel that I could explain to someone how to hit the Pax easier than the LB. And once they get one good hit and realize what they did, they are a pro. I have friends who still cant hit the fucking thing without burning my load all up, even after many uses and me trying to explain.

    The LB is more efficient and uses less herb, but the Pax hits harder therefore uses more. You get less hits, but they are much stronger. If you are hardcore about conserving, the Pax may not be for u.

    The whole inside of the Pax can be cleaned, the LB builds up vape resin inside that can't be safely cleaned but that mellows out the screen over time so it is needed (this is why I feel the LB needs 'broken in'). I would feel more comfortable traveling with a cleaned pax over a used LB.
     
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  10. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

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    And your contribution to the discussion would be?

    You see missing information I should be considering, please state it. Blind criticism of a guy trying to help sort it out is not helpful IMO.

    Same thought here, please add you (hopefully informed) opinions to the discussion.

    I also note you had the manners to thank the man for his efforts, which I much respect. Thank you for that.

    OF
     
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  11. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    These are valid points, although in my experience I can teach someone to use the LB in a couple of minutes. There's no doubt that there's an infinitely higher risk of a newb combusting the load, though, since the Pax can't reach combustion. Again, the PA makes this argument moot since I can set it and then let the novice do whatever, the worst that can happen is no vapour production.

    I have no doubt that the Pax can produce bigger thick hits more easily, but it was a subjective list and I don't value those highly at all. I am a low temperature thin tasty vapour person.

    Agreed, but to be fair, I wasn't trying to sort them out so much as show why I'd not buy a Pax compared to the LB. Others are filling in the list that he (and I) left out.
     
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  12. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl SPACE GOD 宇宙

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    What I love about my box is that I can use the PA at home all day, and then switch immediately over to batteries and keep vaping anywhere I am, be it upstairs on on the way to somewhere.
     
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  13. OhTheAgony

    OhTheAgony here for the chicks

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    Wait, does this mean the rules have changed & vaporizer comparison threads are now allowed on FC? Just checking.
     
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  14. stickstones

    stickstones Wasted Staff Member

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    For the record, I was a LB beta tester and found the box to be quite liberating for its stealthinesss. Beta units delivered no visible vapor at all and were designed to be that way. Feedback indicated that users wanted to see their vapor and they raised the temp for production units. I enjoyed this change greatly and bought a production unit. I, however, have historically enjoyed higher temp vaping and denser hits, and the LB was never my favorite portable for that reason. I've never gotten hits from my LB that could equal the intensity of what I could do with my VG and Solo. For me, the LB was perfect except for the weakness of the hits. I have heard people who love their LB's talk about how it does everything they want and those who find it lacking simply don't have the proper technique down. I disagree with this, and my thoughts were confirmed when I saw bigdaddyvapor's video of him hitting a tube with the LB. The draw was so slow that I would never find that style of hit satisfying. I want a bong style rip, not a slow drag. So I, for one, am pretty excited about the possibilities of the Pax. I have not used one, and will not buy one until I can get it cheaper, but it is at the top of my list of vapes to get. I think it is easy to see why Pakalolo and I see the box differently as I like a higher vape temp than he does. Now on to my comments in bold...


     
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  15. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    Concerning the speed of the draw, I'll just reiterate. The Pax is primarily a conduction vapourizer too, and so it also responds best to a long slow gentle draw. It does have a bigger load and the mouthpiece opening is larger as well, so I have no doubt it can deliver a thicker cloudier hit; however, requiring a slow draw and not being capable of clouds at all are quite different things. The response that those who can't get clouds from the LB simply aren't using the right technique is accurate. Whether you find that satisfying or not is a different issue.
     
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  16. stickstones

    stickstones Wasted Staff Member

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    Clouds are possible with the LB, it just takes a draw that is too slow for my liking. That is why I liken it to the draw of a Pax. Yes you can suck hard on either unit, but you will get nowhere with either one that way. What I'm trying to say is that while you can get more airflow through the box than the Pax, you still won't get vapor if the draw is too fast. This limitation makes it no better than a unit that is impossible to draw fast through in that respect.
     
  17. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl SPACE GOD 宇宙

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    I found that a fast draw was required when I went higher than ~60% with my PA, almost to the point of pipe-type of draws, but it runs the risk of combusting way easier if you're not careful.
     
  18. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    Both units are similar in that a fast draw won't work. The difference is how easily the LB (wind tunnel) lets you do this as opposed to the Pax (milkshake). Both respond well to micro-hits, but the LB without the PA is trickier because there is no temperature limitation. Point to the Pax.
     
  19. Slightly Medicated

    Slightly Medicated (SliM) Iron Lungs

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    I think this comes in to an area where you have not tried the PAX, so you can't speak to the thickness of the clouds on the PAX versus the MFLB. Even with the proper technique the MFLB can't match the PAX in the density of hits. It does a better job of transferring the conduction heat around the oven then the MFLB does. The contents of the PAX oven are packed tighter, so they can transfer the conduction temperature quicker and more efficiently. This gives you better results from the PAX in terms of vapor production. The MFLB trench is usually fluffy, usually you shake it in between hits. This leaves more air in between the plant material which reduces conduction efficiency.

    A fast draw will work in the PAX, it will just not deliver as thick of a hit as you would expect from a slow draw. I can still get visible vapor from the PAX even if I rip the heck out of it. It just does not preform as well as it could if you slowed down your draw. T

    That is a weakness of the LB for me. I need .25-.4 grams per session to reduce anxiety, and more for pain reduction. I would need 2-4 batteries for that when I am out and about per session... that would be one session for me. If I went to the opera I would do 3/4 sessions, so I would need somewhere between 6-16 batteries. 2 batteries at 3 sessions is 6 or 4 batteries with 4 sessions is 16. I used to carry 10 batteries around with me and that would last about a half a day. Things start to get really annoying real fast when I need to charge that many batteries at home.

    I agree with this completely. I used the MFLB as my only vaporizer for quite a long time. This was back in 2009 when there were not as many portable options on the market. I know exactly how to use it properly, so it is not an issue of technique for me. It always left me wanting more. Most portables require 2-3 sessions for me... it is a major downside when each session takes 5-15 minutes. I end up not getting medicated enough, because I did not have enough time to sit in my car and medicate before an event.

    I like to medicate quickly, with as little distraction or fuss as possible. I never felt like the MFLB provided that for me. Battery maintenance was beyond annoying for me... almost deal breaker annoying. The device took to many sessions to get me where I needed to be.
     
  20. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    I don't see how the tightness of the load can contribute anything significant to conduction. Plant material, even when dried, is an extremely poor thermal conductor. The capability of the Pax to exceed the LB in thick hits is due to the oven size. More material is heated therefore there is more vapour production. It is also the reason why the Pax will use up your stash faster.

    Also, I'm not sure why I can't speak to the thickness of the clouds. I never said the LB could match the Pax there, in fact I said exactly the opposite. I'm pretty sure I'm right too, since you own both and that's what you're saying.
     
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  21. Slightly Medicated

    Slightly Medicated (SliM) Iron Lungs

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    I was referring to the air in the fluffy trench of the MFLB and not the plant material. Air is not a good thermal conductor, so it creates some resistance in terms of transferring heat among the plant material. Air and other gases are generally good insulators, in the absence of convection. If the plant material is packed tightly (with little to no air in between the material) then it will produce better conduction results.

    Also about the price:

    I paid way more then $119 into my MFLB. At current prices:

    the charger was $64 and batteries $16 for a pack of 8. I bought 4 packs of 8 which is another $64.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E5S648/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

    http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-New-Recharge-Batteries-4-Count/dp/B00000J47L/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345417165&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=27mha rechargable AA battery

    You did not want to bring the power supply in to this so I will not mention that price.

    So for the unit and a new battery charger and some batteries I paid roughly: $247 over the life of my product.
     
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  22. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    Air or plant material, it doesn't matter. They are conduction vapourizers so most of the heating comes from surface contact. Whether it's air or plant material not conducting the heat is immaterial. I don't believe tightly packing the material helps conduction in any way.

    Fair comment that you bought extras, but not everyone has to. I got by for months with just the two stock batteries and charger.
     
  23. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl SPACE GOD 宇宙

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    As did I, but seriously the PA puts it on a different level.

    Even considering what I paid for the box ($120 locally) and then the PA ($60 online), $180 for this thing is great, since you don't remove the ability to switch to batteries in under one second.
     
  24. Slightly Medicated

    Slightly Medicated (SliM) Iron Lungs

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    From what I noticed it does. You can do an experiment. You can do it with the PAX or the MFLB. I did it with the MLFB a long time ago, but I tried it with the PAX most recently.

    Put the same amount of material in the device. Leave it fluffy once and pack it in the other. I have noticed a difference when things are packed in. If you just turn the device on and let the vapor rise off the device. The tightly packed oven/trench will have more vapor rising off of the device.

    Also in terms of the batteries... It is a personal pet peeve. I can see how it is not as big of a deal for others. It is because of me being a photographer and all my tech junk. I must have 50 something AA laying around for various equipment. I also must have 10+ unique charges for propitiatory batteries. Almost every plug in my house has surge protector/plug strip. Some plug strips have plug strips attached. I just have too many electronic items. I have to label all my cords and charges so I can keep track of them.
     
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  25. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v3.17 (ticking) Staff Member

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    Now that I've thought about it, if you pack it in you are forcing more material into contact with the heating surface. I therefore retract my statement that it has no effect at all. I still think it has nothing to do with conducting heat.
     
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