Handheld Vaporizer Comparison; Ploom Pax and the Magic Flight Launch Box
Portable vaporizers are fantastic; they are discrete, easy to use. As the owner of a Ploom PAX and Magic Flight Launch Box myself, I can highly recommend either one of these devices to anyone who is looking for a high quality vaporizing product.
Vaporizing, whether it be an aromatherapeutic herb or tobacco leaf, is much healthier than incinerating the product. Rather than combustion, vaporizing will use one of a few methods to heat a chamber which will cause the product to release any natural chemical it may contain. Vaporizing is healthier due to the lack any real smoke, it contains fewer metal oxides than smoking and doesn’t leave you unable to smell yourself.
The Ploom PAX
The Ploom PAX is almost awe-inspiring. It really does look like a neat little cyberpunk device. The PAX is made out of a thick aluminum shell, which gives it a complete and professional look. The shell for the PAX is available in four colors, with the new PAX 2 model having additional colors available. On the bottom of the PAX sits the chamber, while at the top is the mouthpiece; all of the internals and battery are contained within, and attempting to reach them may void the warranty. However, the PAX does have a great battery life, and I have never had any trouble with mine – I typically get around an hour and a half of straight vaping, or I can stretch it out throughout the entirety of a day.
The PAX features an LED that will change its colors, based on a number of functions. While the PAX is heating up the chamber to an optimal temperature for vaping the LED will be purple. When ready to vape it will glow green. When the mouthpiece is removed, it will glow either green, yellow, or red, depending on the preferred temperature of the chamber – this can be changed by the press of a small button, requiring either a paper clip, pencil, or the user to have not sausage fingers.
The mouthpiece itself is the trigger to turn on the Ploom PAX – there is no on button or any buttons on the outer part of the aluminum shell. To turn the PAX on, the user clicks the mouthpiece in, which causes it to slide out – unfortunately, this requires the piece to be properly lubricated so it does not get stuck. The mouthpiece can then be clicked in to shut it off when the user is finished vaping.
The oven at the bottom of the PAX is rather large for a device so small; it can hold a lot of product. However, the oven is much more compact than the MFLB’s, giving a better concentrated vape, but ultimately requiring the user to stir the contents of the oven more frequently.
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The Magic Flight Launch Box
The Magic Flight Launch box is a little rectangular wooden box with a plastic (or glass, depending on aftermarket accessories) cover used to store all the product in place. The MFLB requires the user to either purchase batteries from the website (which is recommended, due to MFLB requiring the perfect battery for properly function) or use a battery which they supply themselves – an AA battery size will suffice. It is typically recommended that these batteries be rechargeable, due to the nature of the power supply for the MFLB.
The MFLB houses a little chamber which can be packed tight with a surprising amount of product; this chamber can definitely house more than the Ploom PAX. In order to heat the chamber, an outside battery is required to be pushed into a little tunnel, where it makes contact with a coil and begins to heat the coil by drawing power from the battery. The battery can run a little hot, so it is recommended to take caution when using the MFLB. The vapor will then travel through the chamber to be drawn out by the user through, in my opinion, a rather too small hole; however, there is an available straw accessory that seals in the hole and will make it much easier to take a draw of vapor. Without the straw, the action of inhaling is a little too much like kissing the thing, and it may not be entirely appropriate to share without the straw accessory.
The MFLB is available in a number of different wood types, ranging from Cherry to Walnut. These prices start at $125, but include EVERYTHING a user needs to get started – the launch box, two batteries, a battery charger kit, a decorative tin, and a cleaning brush. The MFLB is also backed by a lifetime warranty; should the MFLB just naturally stop working for any reason not caused by the user, MFLB will replace the launch box with little issue.
Both the MFLB and PAX are great devices to own, and there are a few things a potential buyer should know about and acknowledge before purchasing a device. Vaporizers will require a lot of maintenance, love, and care to keep functioning properly for a long time. They should be treated with great caution, and never dropped or stored in a position where they can bounce around – the more wear and tear a vaporizer suffers through, the quicker the age of it will start to show.
The PAX requires the user to have a few supplies ready to clean it – pipe cleaners to clean out the tubing through which the vapor travels from the oven to the mouthpiece, a glycerin which is used to lubricate the mouthpiece and keep it from getting stuck; the oven plates may need to be replaced if they are used too much, or they can begin to build a resin-y type of unwanted gunk after using the wrong product or too much product without cleaning it. The PAX requires a lot of care, and I typically clean mine every 3 or 4 days in order to keep it functioning properly.
The MFLB is a lot more straightforward than the PAX, and much easier to clean – the oven chamber is accessible from the top of it and can be cleaned once it has cooled down (I typically dab a towel with some 90% rubbing alcohol and clean it out). The action of inhaling draws the vapor out, and there is no need for such a long chamber as in the PAX – there is nothing to really clean with a pipe cleaner, as most of the parts that need cleaned and maintained in the MFLB can be reached from the surface.
Both of the vaporizers perform excellently, and I have never had any issues with the devices themselves. The type of performance (and style) would be up to the user – would you prefer the nature-inspired look of the wooden MFLB, or the more futuristic look of the aluminum clad PAX?
The main difference between the two would be their use of battery. Unfortunately, the PAX has a proprietary charger that requires it to be plugged in (typically with the mouthpiece facing down, although I have started doing this in the reverse) and thus, disables it from being used. The MFLB is powered by AA-size batteries, and also includes an optional attachment that can be plugged into a wall or USB, allowing it to be used even when the batteries are charging. The main point is that the MFLB can have steps taken to prevent any downtime from ever happening, either through the cyclical use of batteries or owning the attachment; the PAX, unfortunately, must be left alone to charge due to the proprietary charger that it must use.
Both the PAX and MFLB are great devices, and the price gap between the two is fairly substantial – the PAX is available for $199, and the MFLB begins at $129. However, both are worth the price, and should they be treated with care and properly maintained, could last a lifetime of great vaping.