Strap in for the ultimate vape showdown: The Crafty vs. The Pax 3. Will the innovative Pax 3 produce better vapor than the Crafty? Which heating system is the fastest? How easy is each vaporizer to use? Read on to find out which vape reigns supreme!
CRAFTY VS PAX 3
The Storz and Bickel Crafty is considered one of the best portable vaporizers of all time thanks to its combo convection/conduction heating technology and desktop power in the palm of your hand. Not to be outdone however is the Pax 3, which boasts uber-compact size and a sleek design.
Both of these vaporizers represent an “elite” level of vaporization, so no matter your choice you will experience pure vapor, rich flavor, and reliable performance. Let’s get into what exactly separates these two giants of the vape industry.
Vapor Production and Quality
Ok let’s get to the most important part of this showdown right away: the vapor production and quality.
The Pax 3 uses the same conduction style heating as the previous models, and while conduction is often thought of as the “lesser” heating style, Pax always manages to deliver solid vapor. The draws (when done slowly) are smooth, and at the highest temperature you can produce some pretty voluminous clouds. Where the Pax 3 falls short is flavor and taste. At higher temperatures your dry herb will taste a little “burnt” due to the conduction heating, thus losing flavor. In terms of taking a draw with the Pax, it was easier to use a slower-than-usual draw to ensure a full vapor experience.
Storz & Bickel gave the Crafty a combination convection/conduction heating system that gives the best of both heating worlds. The Crafty’s convection heating vapes the dry herb with hot air without the risk of burning it, while the conduction portion heats herb against the walls of the Crafty chamber, which creates vapor faster than the normal conduction-only method. This combo gives you the flavor experience AND the opportunity to blow billowing clouds, no matter how far along into a session you are. The airflow on the Crafty doesn’t require a slow draw, so there is less of a risk of “ghost draws”.
The Pax 3 heats up quickly, as most conduction vapes do, but it loses to the Crafty based on flavor. Convection heating gives more of a complete flavor profile and the Crafty’s combo-oven is perfectly engineered to do just that, while still heating up at a decent clip.
These two vaporizers couldn’t be further apart on the “design philosophy” spectrum. The Crafty is a brutish, hard-edged silhouette while the Pax 3 is a sleek and elegant unit with a tasteful spectrum of LED colors that notifies you of the temperature status during your session.
The Pax 3 fits easily in your hand and is backed with a 10 year warranty, a nice bonus especially when you’re spending so much on a vaporizer. The fancy-yet-unassuming nature of the Pax 3 allows it to become a conversation piece without dominating the space it is used in.
Looking at the Crafty you get the opposite feeling. There is a strong “power tool” vibe from this vaporizer, which includes a warranty that covers the device for 2 years.
While this is a fairly subjective subject, it’s hard to deny that the Pax 3 has a sleeker, more modern look that fits with anyone’s vape vibe. Plus the Pax 3 is available in a wide array of colors, giving you more options to express yourself.
WINNER: PAX 3
The Pax 3 provides users with 4 preset temperatures to session with: 360°F, 380°F, 400°F, and 420°F. In terms of preset temp vaporizers, the Pax 3 does a good job of covering all vapers needs: the lower temperatures do a great job of releasing flavor while the higher options produce more substantial vapor. There is a fifth temperature option that is set with the Pax 3 app, but this temperature is chosen from the 360°F-420°F range, so you can’t reach a higher temp if you happen to be looking for larger clouds or more “throat feel” with each draw.
Storz & Bickel gave the Crafty kind of a combination temperature setting system. The Crafty has two “base’ temperatures: 356°F and a “boosted temperature” of 383°F that you can enjoy. The Crafty also has an app that can be used to control the temperature; unlike the Pax 3 app, the Crafty has a wider range of temperatures spanning from 338°F to 420°F. If you use the Crafty while the app is open it turns into a precise temperature unit, giving you total control over your session.
The Pax 3 only allows for one custom temperature, while the Crafty gives you more options. The two preset temperatures did make me wary when first looking over the instructions, but the ability to set the base temp and boost temp, plus the wider range of temperature compared to the Pax 3, gives this category to the Crafty.
Pax Labs does a great job of upgrading their batteries with each new version of the Pax. The Pax 3 is no exception with an improved battery life of an hour and a half, up from the one hour of power on the Pax 2. This half hour is a nice boost to the amount of sessions you can get, and who doesn’t want more sessions?
The Crafty has a weaker battery. The power demands of a convection heated vaporizer are much greater than a conduction unit like the Pax 3. We got around 45 minutes of power, or around half of what the Pax 3 was capable of.
This category is a pretty easy one to call. Thanks to conduction heating the Pax 3 has much longer battery life and can extend sessions, not really a competition as far as this category goes.
WINNER: PAX 3
The Pax 3 is one of the smallest vaporizers out right now, and easily fits into a pocket or purse making on-the-go vaping very easy. There is a small magnetic cap on the bottom of the Pax 3 that lets you pack your dry herb and save the bowl for later, a nice “convenience” touch added by Pax.
In years past, Storz & Bickel hasn’t really put an emphasis on “portability”, but the Crafty is the most mobile-vaping friendly unit they’ve made to date. You can put the Crafty in your pocket, but will definitely notice it, and the design makes it pretty obvious you’re using a vape out in public. As mentioned above, the battery life is a little lacking on the Crafty, so using it throughout the day requires some session-budgeting.
Small size, powerful battery, and a “pack and stash” option give this category to the Pax 3. The Crafty is definitely an on-the-go vape, but should be considered more of a sedan whereas the Pax 3 is a compact.
Winner: PAX 3
THE OVERALL VICTOR IS…
Now if you tally up the categories, the Pax 3 takes this one 3-2. BUT, the Crafty won the two very important categories of Vapor Production and Temperature Settings which means I’m giving the overall victory to...both of these vaporizers.
If you’re looking for a vaporizer that puts a premium on battery life and on-to-go vaping then the Pax 3 will work fantastic thanks to the lightning-quick heat up time of conduction style heating. The Pax 3 is a much more “beginner friendly” vaporizer as well.
The Crafty does have its faults (shorter battery life and bulky body) but the overall vapor production and the fact that you can choose your exact temperature are fantastic options for more experienced vapers.
Have a different opinion than us? Let us know in the comments which vaporizer YOU think comes out on top, and if there are any others that may rival these two elite devices.
Head over to our Most Popular category to check out both of these vapes and a few others we love using!
Charles Mockler is a vaporizer critic and writer at The VaporNation Blog, a leading source for expert opinions and information about vaporizers. His blogs are read by tens of thousands of people each month. He specializes in the latest technology trends including induction heating and decarboxylation.
Charles' goal is to provide readers with reliable, helpful, and balanced opinions on vaping. He does not recommend vaping to those who don't already smoke, but his articles do offer advice for existing vape enthusiasts including reviews and how-tos about the latest vaporizers. Charles has reviewed and tested a myriad of vaporizers and recommends people do as much research as possible before buying any vaporizer.
Charles was introduced to vaping after moving to Los Angeles during the vaporizer boom. A fan of "true vaporization," he prefers convection vapes with ceramic ovens. His articles include What is an Induction Vaporizer?, How to Decarb Dry Herb, and 8 Best Electric Dab Rigs of 2018.
A graduate of the University of Montana, Charles now resides in the Greater Los Angeles area where he reviews vaporizers and hosts a podcast about the Los Angeles Clippers.