PAX Mini Review: perfect for the light user
The PAX Mini dry herb vape is a great place to start your vape adventure! Confused by all the vape tech and options on the market? The PAX Mini cuts through the clutter for a simple, no-frills vape session that gets the job done for the beginner or light user. It’s small, classy, affordable and dead-easy to use.
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In this vaporizer review we will cover the PAX Mini portable vape, see where it fits into the PAX family, and help you decide which PAX dry herb vaporizer is best for you.
|PAX Mini Features|
|One easy way to vape|
|Punchy, tasty vapor|
|20-30 second heat up time|
|Smart shut-off timer|
|80-minute run-time per charge (around 15 sessions)|
|2-3 hour charge time|
|Improved oven screen|
Why trust my review?
My name is Jerry, and I’m a vapaholic. I started vaporizing dry herbs daily in 2008 after my first hit from a Volcano Classic hooked me. Since then I have beta tested and reviewed vapes for various manufacturers and Planet of the Vapes since 2016.
Today I co-host the Troy and Jerry ThinkDank, a weekly YouTube livestream about vaporizers, and love to match the right vape to the right person.
One-trick pony - but it’s a good trick!
The PAX Mini does one thing and does it well - leisurely vape a bowl anywhere you go with no fuss at all. Pack the oven, press the button, wait 20 seconds and vape away. It’s dry herb vaping simplified, and I think people will welcome it.
Vaporizing can be intimidating to anyone who’s never done it before. There are dozens and dozens of good vaporizers with different shapes, features and functionality that are designed to meet different needs. Not to mention different heat settings, grinds, and oven packs. The PAX Mini has an answer for all that.
Inside this little vape is a lot of tech you’ll never see or access, but you’ll benefit from with each draw. The PAX Mini watches how you vape and adjusts the temperature to match your style, and produces very relaxing sessions with no thought on your part!
“Pack the oven, press the button, wait 20 seconds and vape away. It’s dry herb vaping simplified…“
Lightning fast heat-up time
The PAX Mini heats up really fast. Most sessions start after only 20 to 25 seconds. Only when the battery is near its end do things slow to 30 seconds. That’s incredibly fast for a vape like this. Tasty vapor is ready immediately - no need to heat it up any further.
Relax into sessions with PAX Mini tech
The PAX Mini dry herb vaporizer is one of the most relaxing vapes I’ve used. Sessions go as long as I want, and the auto shut-off timer doesn’t end them prematurely. I never think about the technical points of a PAX session…I just enjoy it.
Once the PAX Mini heats up, the tech adjusts to your style so you can vape without thinking about it. It starts each session at the same temperature, but watches how long and strong your draws are, and adjusts the heat on the fly to keep you on a steady track until you’re done.
PRO TIP: For thicker vapor, take longer and slower drags. This will tell the PAX Mini to turn up the heat to keep up with your draw. Once it turns the heat up, it seems to stay there.
The PAX Mini has a unique approach to save battery life. It works wonderfully, and sessions end on my time. It has an accelerometer to detect movement, and a lip sensor that knows when you hit it. If you don’t move or hit it for a minute, the PAX Mini goes into standby mode and stops the heater. Wait another minute and it will shut down altogether.
“Once the PAX Mini heats up, the tech adjusts to your style so you can vape without thinking about it.”
Fifteen full sessions per charge
Because the session length is dependent on your style, the PAX Mini battery life is hard to compare to other vaporizers. PAX claims up to two hours of runtime on a single charge, but I got 80 minutes of runtime with mine.
On average, my 80 minutes translated into 15 sessions before the battery died. That’s a lot of battery capacity and sessions from such a small portable vaporizer. The PAX battery level is shown with four petals, and I typically squeezed out five more sessions when it hit the last one. My average session length was five and a half minutes.
Incredibly easy to use
Once you know your way around the PAX Mini, it couldn’t be easier to use. There are no confusing settings or modes, and you don’t have to learn any vape theory for best results. Load the oven at the bottom, press the dimpled button on top, and wait for the lights to change before you hit it. That’s it!
Dry herbs only
The PAX Mini is not a dual use vaporizer. It is for dry herbs only - no concentrates! Its oven is less than half the size of the PAX Plus, so the PAX Concentrate Insert doesn’t have compatibility here.
Sleek, outer look hides a smart and tough vape
The PAX Mini’s modern, sleek design blends in with today’s latest smartphones and can get lost in a pocket. When left out on the counter, it looks like an Apple product or something out of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Under all those good looks is a smart design for cool and comfortable vapor. Most vapes anywhere near this size fail to cool the vapor, but the PAX Mini surprises. It uses an internal stainless steel tube to cool the vapor as it flows to the mouthpiece. That’s why it can work well despite its small size.
But it’s also durable and comes with a 2-year warranty. The PAX Mini is made of strong materials - no glass or ceramic - and can take a beating. I ran around with it in my pocket with keys, and in a backpack with other similar metal objects with barely a scratch on the matte finish.
The controls aren’t intuitive, but are easy once you figure it out. The dimpled power button blends into the mouthpiece on top, and the magnetic oven lid only opens when you press in on one of its side edges. The PAX Mini is available in two colors - Onyx (Black) and Platinum (Silver).
“I ran around with it in my pocket with keys, and in a backpack with other similar metal objects with barely a scratch on the matte finish.”
Oven screen is easy to clean
The new oven screens for the PAX Mini conduction vape are easier to remove and have better air flow. Common complaints about previous PAX oven screens were reduced air flow and taste because they were hard to remove and clogged easily. Now that I can easily replace or clean the screen, I won’t have to deep-clean very often.
A tight pack most of the time
Google “how to pack the PAX vaporizer” and you’ll find the same advice everywhere - use a fine grinder and a tight pack. It’s a good technique to get the strongest, thickest vapor production. But I want to encourage you to try different things with your PAX Mini.
Most of the time I pack the oven tightly. The clouds are thicker and the flavor is more intense. But sometimes I want a shorter session with a little more air flow. When I pack the PAX Mini lighter, the session is shorter, the taste lasts longer into the session, and I can take faster, longer draws. Play around and find your favorite techniques!
PRO TIP: The PAX Mini doesn’t come with the Multi-tool to pack the oven, but you can pack the herbs down pretty tightly if you use the end of the Oven Lid. You’ll have to wipe down the Oven Lid more often if you do this a lot, but it works great in a pinch.
The PAX Mini oven is perfectly sized for individual use. The PAX Plus can hold a group-sized bowl with over a half gram of dry herbs, but I could only get a third of that oven capacity in the PAX Mini oven.
My packed bowl measured 0.17 grams, which is closer to the size of the bowl in the POTV ONE. Lighter users will get a couple sessions out of a single pack, while typical users will finish off the oven in a single sitting.
Some PAX accessories that are cross-compatible with other PAX vapes won’t work with the Mini. The Half-Pack Oven Lid fits the PAX Mini but completely fills the oven - no room for your herbs. The Concentrate Lid won’t fit this oven either. But feel free to grab the Multi-tool to pack your PAX Mini - I use that thing all the time.
Pack it with the Multi-tool
I’m not usually one for packing tools, but this one is helpful. The PAX Multi-tool is perfectly shaped to pack the oven, with curved edges to match the oven walls. Since I pack the oven tightly most of the time, this thing comes in handy. And it attaches to my keyring - I always know it’s there.
The metal “spine” pops out and is a good scrape tool to remove spent herbs out of the oven, and remove the oven screen. But to be honest, I like the Multi-tool for the PAX 2 and 3 a little better ($9.95) than the new one for the PAX Plus. The spine stays in place better and keeps the silicone stiffer, so I can pack the oven tighter.
Loading Funnel - a must have accessory
Another great accessory for the PAX Mini, and it’s only $6.50, is the Loading Funnel. If you load the PAX directly, you’ll see herbs collect on the ledge around the oven. It’s not a huge deal, but those herbs will get squashed by the oven lid and start to make a mess.
My Loading Funnel fixes this! It fits right on that messy ledge and drops the herbs directly into the oven. It’s cleaner and easier to load my PAX Mini with this funnel.
The PAX Mini comes with a pretty slick little proprietary charger. It works great, but if you misplace it your PAX will soon be useless. In a world that’s moving to universal charge solutions (like USB-C), proprietary chargers are outdated, even if it’s an attractive design.
Part of me wants to complain about the lack of custom options or temperature control, but that’s what makes this vape great for people who don’t want to fiddle around. Instead, I think it could be lower priced. Even though it’s a PAX, and comes with a solid warranty and high-tech under the hood, it’s still a one-trick pony and I’d prefer it were closer to $100.
PAX Mini Pros and Cons
|Pros 👍||Cons 👎|
|Great beginner vape||Same PAX tech|
|Ultra-pocketable||No custom options|
|Super-fast heat-up time||No temp control|
|Easy to use|
|One simple vape mode|
The PAX Mini dry herb vaporizer takes the mystery out of vaping. Forget about confusing custom options - just pack, press, and vape.
PAX covers any workmanship and defect issues for two years. Like all of our products, the PAX Mini is covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Height: 3.66 in / 9.3 cm
Width: 1.22 in / 3.2 cm
Depth: 0.86 in / 2.2 cm
Weight: 3.14 oz / 89 g
What’s in the box
- Pax Mini Vaporizer
- Flat & Raised Mouthpieces
- Oven Lid
- Wire Brush
- USB Charger
For best results
Our Tips and Tricks article is coming soon, but here are some tips in the meantime.
- Buy the Loading Funnel and Multi-tool - I use these all the time. The funnel keeps it clean and the Multi-tool packs it tightly.
- If you want thicker vapor quality, take longer, slower draws, especially in the beginning of a session.
To vape like a pro, check out our PAX Mini Quickstart Guide.
Simple to maintain
We’ll have a full Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for you soon. In the meantime, empty out the bowl and wipe off the oven lid immediately after a session, before things have cooled down. All of my cleaning nightmares start when I leave a spent oven in there overnight.
Who is the PAX Mini for?
The PAX Mini is for the beginning dry herb user or light user who is confused with all the vaporizer options on the market and just wants to vape. This thing is dead simple - pack, press, vape. If you have a low tolerance to dry herbs, the PAX Mini is a great place to start.
“If you have a low tolerance to dry herbs, the PAX Mini is a great place to start.”
Who is the PAX Mini not for?
I wouldn’t recommend the PAX Mini to someone who smokes or vapes a decent amount of dry herbs. It’s built for the beginner / light user with a low tolerance for dry herbs. For the typical to heavy user, this vape most likely won’t cut it. The bowl is too small and the single heat mode doesn’t satisfy. While the PAX Mini hits a lot of talking points when it comes to battery life, size, and ease of use, it falls short in the vapor category for anyone other than the light user.
PAX Mini vs PAX Plus
They look the same but feel like different vapes. If you’re a light user and just want a simple session every now and then, the PAX Mini fits the bill. But if you want to stray out of the elementary school playground even a little bit, stretch for the PAX Plus vaporizer. The Plus costs $100 more, but comes with several must-have accessories and three additional heat modes.
👉Read PAX Plus vs PAX Mini Vaporizer Comparison
PAX Mini vs PAX 2
For as long as the PAX 2 is still available, I would probably choose it over the PAX Mini because of its lower price ($120 vs $150). The PAX 2 isn’t much harder to use than the Mini, and it’s a little more versatile, with a bigger oven and four set temperatures instead of one heat mode.
PAX Mini vs PAX 3
These vapes are very different. The Mini is for light users that want simple and easy sessions, and the PAX 3 is for heavier users and people who like to tinker their way to their sweet spot. The PAX 3 feels like Mr. Professor next to the one-trick-pony PAX Mini. The PAX 3 is currently $50 more, comes with a ton of accessories (some not compatible with the PAX Mini), and has a smartphone app with dozens of ways to customize your sessions. The PAX Mini streamlines you into only one of those rides - it’s easy, but limited.
The PAX Mini surprised me. I thought PAX labs would come out with something more technically advanced than earlier PAX vapes. Instead we got something more convenient and easier to use. That’s a different kid of tech, and it’s about time we made dry herb vaporizers more user-friendly.
“...it’s about time we made dry herb vaporizers more user-friendly.”
PAX used the same philosophy for the PAX Plus, and I think it will pay off. I already use the PAX Plus more than the PAX 3, which was my PAX of choice. I prefer the PAX Plus to the Mini because I’m a heavy user, but the PAX Mini feels like a good vape to hand to a vape noob. Time will tell if PAX nailed the single vape mode to please the masses.
PAX Mini FAQs
Q: Is the PAX Mini better than the PAX 2?
A: These vapes are very similar. The PAX Mini has a smaller oven and only one vape mode that starts at low temp and increases throughout the session. The PAX 2 has a full-sized oven and four set temperatures to choose manually. Both are simple to use, but the Mini takes no thought at all.
Q: Is the PAX Mini better than the PAX Plus?
A: For the beginner, yes. The PAX Mini is cheaper and built for the lighter user. The PAX Plus is for heavier users, and comes with more versatile accessories and vape modes.
Q: Does the PAX Mini have temperature control?
A: No. The PAX Mini has one set vape mode that starts at a low temperature and changes based on your draw style. If you want a little thicker vapor, take longer and slower draws.