The PAX 3 and DaVinci IQ are two of the most prominent vaporizers on the market, and today we’re going to put them in a head to head match up to find out which one is more worthy of your hard earned money. These two are actually more similar than a lot of people realize. They’re both conduction vaporizers with very good vapor, advanced heating modes, and slick designs. They also have roughly the same battery life, and the price of both is even the same. Despite this, they aren’t interchangeable. Let’s find out which is better in general, and where they each excel…


Vapor Quality

Pax 3

The PAX 3 produces very good vapor. The flavor is well above average when you compare it to vaporizers as a whole, though towards the bottom of the top tier of vaporizers, if that makes sense. I’ve been pretty harsh on the PAX 3 for not differentiating itself enough from the PAX 2, but I’ve as I’ve learned more about it and used it more, I’m beginning to appreciate it more as well.

For example, the PAX 3 is more efficient with your herbs thanks to the way the heater is programmed. It can ‘sense’ when you aren’t actively using it and will actually cool the chamber down in order to preserve your herbs. This translates to more draws and better flavor later in your session.

In general, you can expect enjoyable vapor that is cool with good flavor from the PAX 3.

DaVinci IQ

The DaVinci IQ also produces very good vapor, and I’d put it a bit ahead of the PAX 3 in this department. It’s not going to compete with the elites of the portable world like the Crafty and Mighty, but it is still positioned well within the top tier of vaporizers in terms of vapor production. Draws retain good flavor and are smooth throughout even relatively long sessions.

Like the PAX 3, the IQ has advanced heating modes that help enhance the vapor. While it can’t detect your motion to automatically adjust the heat levels, it does offer the ability to choose Smart Paths instead of a specific temperature level. Smart paths are just a way to make the vaporizer automatically increase the temperature as your session goes on to make sure you are extracting everything.

Like the PAX 3, there are features that I’m learning to appreciate on the IQ the more I use it. One is the “flavor chamber”. This is an open area where you can actually load extra herb to infuse your vapor with additional flavor. This herb isn’t vaped and you can use it later.



Vapor Quality Winner: IQ


Build Quality

Pax 3

Again, I’ve traditionally been pretty harsh on the PAX 3. When I first tried it, I didn’t like how similar it seemed to the PAX 2, and I really didn’t like the exterior. I still don’t like the exterior (it scratches very easily), and I wish the heating chamber would have been improved. But there are obvious improvements, and this is definitely a well built vaporizer.

I’ve already mentioned the upgrades to the heater. I like that it senses how you are using it and cools if it has been set down, even if you don’t turn it off. The app gives you precise temperature control, but I still wish the actual vape itself would provide more options for changing the temperature level.

The battery life is average, clocking in at about 1.5 hours with a full charge.

DaVinci IQ

The IQ is also growing on me. DaVinci seems to be working out kinks with their battery and charging system, and I’m hoping that less users will experience problems with this with new production runs and new batches of batteries. Time will tell.

I really like the loading area on the IQ. The area around the actual chamber slopes down into it, which makes it very easy to get herb in without spilling it or getting it inside the unit itself. This may seem small, but it’s honestly very convenient, especially after a few sessions.

The IQ also uses great materials, especially in the vapor pathway (ceramic zirconia). The battery life is the same as the PAX 3’s, although it is powered by a removable 18650 which gives it an advantage. Another strength comes from the temperature controls. The IQ has way more settings in it’s app and they’re fun to play around with. More importantly, you can adjust the temperature in one degree increments from the device itself, so you don’t actually have to use the app.


Build Quality Winner: Draw



Pax 3

Portability has always been PAX’s claim to fame, and that continues with the PAX 3. The shape and size make it very convenient to carry in your pocket.

It doesn’t really take up any room at all, and the battery life is also good enough to get you through a day or two.

The one downside is the scratchable exterior. If you want it to stay looking as sharp as when you buy it, you can’t carry it in your pocket. Keys do a number on it.

DaVinci IQ

The IQ is actually a little bit shorter than the PAX 3, though its a good deal wider too. It’s still very easy to carry around, including in your pocket.

You may not have quite as much room in your pocket as you would with the PAX 3, but that’s what your other pocket is for!

I’d give this one to the PAX 3, but the swappable batteries for the IQ make it so the battery life can be easily doubled. I’m calling this a tie for that reason.



Portability Winner: Draw



Pax 3

The PAX 3 is a great option if you don’t want to attract attention because the whole thing can easily be concealed in your fist.

The app even features a Stealth mode, which will disable the lights and aggressively cool during draws so it won’t keep burning your herb if you have to quickly shove it in your pocket.

This is honestly one of the most discreet dry herb vaporizers on the market.

DaVinci IQ

The IQ can be pretty discreet, but it can’t compete with the PAX 3. I already mentioned that it’s bigger, and it isn’t as easy to conceal it with your hand.

It does have modes for keeping vapor and clouds to a minimum, but it still isn’t a match for its competitor in this situation.

With that being said, it’s stealthy enough that I wouldn’t avoid it just because you care about being discreet.



Discreetness Winner: Pax 3


Winner: DaVinci IQ

These are both good vaporizers, but the DaVinci IQ is our winner.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, these actually have a lot in common. They’re both conduction vaporizers with above average vapor quality. They have a battery life of about an hour and a half, and they feature innovative programming for the heater.

The IQ earned the win today because it outperformed the PAX 3 on vapor flavor and production and it’s build quality is slightly higher. Some unique features that I really like are the smart paths and the sloped loading area. The removeable 18650 is also great.

The PAX 3’s big advantage is its size. If you’re looking for something small, portable, and discreet that can still pump out good vapor, it’s a great choice.

I did my best to keep this comparison as objective as possible, but any time you pit two vaporizers that are as big and popular as these, you’re bound to have people who disagree. Whether you think this was on the money or I got things wrong, let s know in the comments!

If you are thinking of picking up a Pax 3 or the DaVinci IQ, we recommend grabbing them from, they have no tax and free shipping on orders over $100.

Also be sure to check out how these units stack up against the field with our Portable Vaporizer Ranking.

About The Author

Senior Content Specialist

Dan is a writer with a massive vaporizer collection who loves video games, superhero movies, finding new music, comic and regular books and critically deconstructing those things until he wonders why he liked them in the first place. He's also a pragmatic fitness enthusiast who believes that the best actions you can take in your daily life are those that help you reach your goals, and that naps are the most lofty, but also the most noble goal one can have.

2 Responses

  1. Mike

    Which one has the larger heating chamber? The Davinci heating chamber looks super small to begin with and then the heating-ball is also there taking space away.

    • Dan C

      The DaVinci chamber is larger than it appears, but the Pax 3 chamber is definitely the larger of the 2, the Pax provides you with a lid that will deduce the chamber size as well for people who prefer smaller sessions.


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