IN OUR spring Cannabis Issue ["The High Life," April 15], we reviewed a selection of vaporizers using Mercury staff and friends as testers, most of whom are light to moderate smokers ["The Great Vape-Off"]. To switch it up, this time we opted to focus specifically on handheld, cord-free vapes, and selected three reviewers who are cannabis professionals—in other words, daily smokers (and then some). We used three strains, grown from Garden of Dreams Seeds.
Meet the Team:
• Kyle B. Nichols of the CO2 Company
• Ryan Walsh of the CO2 Company
• David Tu of the Vault Auction House
A review for this device nearly didn't happen, because it got lost in my house for weeks—it's that small. This is version 2.0 of PAX's vaporizer, with modifications that have made the device slightly smaller and easier to use. The mouthpiece of the original popped out, but got sticky and clogged with resin too easily; with the update, it's one seamless piece of machinery. It could use a tracking chip, however, for when it slips between the sofa cushions.
PROS: Size. Everyone liked that this could fit into the coin pocket of your jeans. It's also well insulated, with little to no transfer of heat to the body of the unit from the heating element. Well designed and stylish. Discreet.
CONS: This is a conduction-heating device, so to extract all the terpenes (flavor oils) from your bowl, you need to stir the ground cannabis around after a few hits. The finish scratches easily.
This was a divisive device. I liked it, but I can understand some of the reviewers' concerns. It takes some time to understand how all the pieces fit since this unit vapes both herb and concentrates, using two separate compartments to do so, allowing you to mix and match.
PROS: It really allowed you to taste the terpenes, and having the option to mix and match bowl contents is a cool feature. Great-looking unit, like a high-end Dug Out with a mouthpiece that slides into the unit for safekeeping when not in use. Clean hits with oil or flower.
CONS: All of the pieces. This would be a total pro for someone who enjoys tinkering with small parts in a mild OCD manner, however. There are baskets, concentrate pads, a second type of basket, silicone covers, and—to remove the hot metal pieces after use—tweezers. There is a high probability that pieces will be lost or stepped on by stoned users.
Made by Storz and Bickel, the folks who brought us the Plenty that we previously reviewed. Their foray into cordless handhelds includes the single-battery, smaller unit, the Crafty (which comes with a phone app, because it can), and the dual-battery, slightly larger model, the Mighty.
PROS: This unit got the highest marks for taste, and reviewers liked the smart battery feature, which turns itself off after a minute of use. It had no heat issues, and we appreciated how easy it was to change the temperature. Easy to use.
CONS: The bulky size means it doesn't fit easily into a pocket. The design doesn't allow the unit to stand up without assistance or without leaning it against something.
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