Hey guys, it’s Sneaky Pete here, and today I want to talk about the best dry herb vaporizers for beginners. We all start as beginners at some point, some of us have an in-person mentor to show us the ropes, while some of us need to learn it all on our own, or at least with the assistance of people online, like myself.
Making good first vape recommendations to beginners is really important to me, I want to convert as many people over to dry herb vaporizing as I possibly can, because I think it’s a far superior consumption method compared to the other options. A beginner level device should be foolproof and super easy to learn to use, without a lot of explanation or experimentation being necessary to get great vapour.
I often find that people choose the wrong first vaporizer and have a negative experience, which leads them to mistakenly think that vaporizers just aren't for them. Don’t let a bad vape turn you off of vaping, let Pete help you!
Boundless CFX+ portable dry herb vaporizer
The Boundless CFX+ is the follow-up version of a classic budget vaporizer, the Boundless CFX. The CFX+ is quite a bit smaller than its predecessor, and it doesn’t have a fold out mouthpiece anymore, instead it has a magnetically attached mouthpiece with an integrated zirconia cooling path for smooth and pure vapour. I find this new mouthpiece to be superior in looks and function, it also has an integrated stirring/loading tool, a convenient detail which I always love to see.
The bowl on the CFX+ is massive, one of the larger ones you’ll find on a portable, it’s easily capable of holding .25g of herb, or even more since the heating is provided purely by conduction, meaning you can pack it in a bit if you want to fit as much as possible. This is great because you’ll be reloading less often, and get longer or multiple sessions from a single load. Because it's a conduction vaporizer, the CFX+ heats up quickly, and produces insanely thick vapour clouds. New users usually appreciate easily visible vapour production, since it’s an obvious sign that the vaporizer is working correctly, and the CFX+ just pumps it out in spades.
Boundless have upgraded the CFX+ to use USB-C charging, which seems to be pretty much standard on most dry herb vapes at this point. While they don’t list the actual battery capacity, it has been impressive in terms of battery life per charge, much like the old unit. It has a full colour screen which is huge compared to those seen on most other vaporizers. This conveniently displays all the pertinent information, making operation a breeze, and really enhances the overall perceived value of the device.
The user interface of the CFX+ has been greatly enhanced since the CFX, there are two buttons on the side which control everything. Pressing both buttons at the same time will take you to the settings menu where you have a bunch of options you can customise to meet your needs. You can adjust the session timer which will automatically turn the CFX+ off to help preserve your battery life, alter the screen brightness, select one of four preset temperatures for simple operation, or change to fully adjustable precision mode which lets you control the temperature 1° at a time.
The Boundless CFX+ is a great dry herb vape for beginners because the screen and preset temperatures make it easy to use, it has a massive bowl, and produces thick vapour. The CFX+ is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank.
XMAX V3 Pro portable dry herb vaporizer
The XMAX V3 Pro is arguably the best value choice on the market in terms of battery powered dry herb vaporizers. You get a tremendous amount of bang for your buck with this unit, and it's also extremely easy to use.
On the top of the unit is a magnetically attached mouthpiece with a cooling spiral inside to help cool the vapour down, which is useful since your mouth is quite near to the bowl on this one. It also has an extended segment on the mouthpiece for stirring or unloading your bowl. The stainless-steel bowl itself isn’t massive, it’s more on the average side. Dosing Capsules are available for the V3 Pro, these greatly cut down the frequency that you’ll need to clean the bowl, and increase convenience by allowing you to pre-pack a few capsules that can easily be slotted into the bowl.
Believe it or not, with this low-price vaporizer you get convection heating. Usually vapes at this price point tend to use conduction, so it’s a huge bonus to get the pure flavour and great effects that convection provides. I get the best results from long hits, if you prefer really short hits I’m not sure the V3 Pro is the best choice for you. When you do rip it long and slow, you can get some big and satisfying vapour clouds that taste fantastic.
The XMAX V3 Pro features USB-C charging, and it is powered by a single removable 18650 battery, meaning it’s easy to swap in a fresh battery at any time to keep the session going, or to get back to the brand new device level of performance. This is pretty much an ideal battery set up, and it’s kinda amazing that XMAX have been able to achieve it in this incredibly pocketable size. The V3 Pro is about 6 inches tall, but the slim profile makes it easy to put in a pocket.
Operation is pretty simple, click the top button three times to turn it on, and you will be met with a strong vibration motor, which will also indicate to you when it is at temperature. The screen is bright, vibrant, and easy to read, displaying you the temperature, battery, and session timer all at once. The V3 Pro can be used in one of two different modes: session or on-demand. Session mode works like a traditional vaporizer, choose your temperature, let it get to temperature, and then go ahead and enjoy until the timer runs out. On-demand mode is activated by pressing both of the lower buttons at the same time, in this mode you just hold the button to heat it up, and then let go whenever you are done with your hit. It gets to temperature in about 10 to 15 seconds, and I find this the coolest way to use the device, when you do it one hit at a time it is quite smooth.
The XMAX V3 Pro is a brilliant choice for a new vaporizer user, you get a tremendous amount of value, with a way better build quality and feature set than you expect at this price. The battery setup is great, the interface is intuitive and easy to use, and the fact that you get convection heating, with session and on-demand mode, make the V3 Pro seem like a bit of a unicorn.
Pax 3 portable dry herb vaporizer
The original Pax was one of the first portable dry herb vapes that was available on the market, and it was also one of my very first portable vaporizers. The small size of it was amazing and it felt futuristic, but the vapour was extremely harsh and left a lot to be desired. Pax have come a long way since then, and the Pax 3 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a straightforward, extremely portable, and very effective vaporizer.
On the top of the Pax 3, you connect one of the two included silicone mouthpieces, either a flat or a raised version. I find the flat version much more comfortable to use and it makes the device as low profile as possible, but the raised mouthpiece isn't too tall either, and it stays on there very tightly. Underneath the mouthpiece is the control button, when you have the mouthpiece connected you can’t really see it, but the mouthpiece makes it clear as to where you need to press.
The Pax 3 was designed in Silicon Valley, and it really shows in terms of the overall polish and the intuitive design of the system. Essentially you have a device with single button control and a four panel LED indicator which can sometimes be a convoluted system, but on the Pax 3 is dead simple to use. Pressing the button once will turn the device on, and it will immediately start heating up to its last set temperature. If you want to change the temperature, just hold the button down, and then press the button to increase the temperature level one notch at a time. When you get to your preferred temperature level, you are going to interact with the device using its other input method: by shaking it. To check the battery level, when the device is turned on just shake it and it will indicate the level in 25% increments.
The Pax 3 is less than 4 inches tall and under an inch and a half wide, so it is insanely portable, and coupled with the super-fast heat up time it makes it an excellent choice for on the go use. Inside this tiny device Pax has packed an 18650 battery for great battery life, a vibration motor, and Bluetooth. If you have an Android, you can download the Pax app to customise your device, and they also have a work around that you can use if you have an iPhone. This app lets you do some cool stuff like changing the colour of the LED, which I really like because it changes the overall feel of using the device, so you should try it if you have one.
With the Pax 3 you get a pure conduction oven, meaning that you can stuff a lot of herb into the bowl, so you don’t need to reload it very often, and you also get super thick vapour, which is helpful for a newbie. Pax also sells a deluxe kit that lets you expand its capabilities to concentrate use and also includes a half pack oven which creates a smaller bowl, which I love. Whichever version you select though, you get an ultra-portable, quick heating, battery efficient vaporizer, which has a huge oven that spits out thick clouds back-to-back for a satisfying session.
Storz & Bickel Crafty+ portable dry herb vaporizer
Sometimes the smaller Crafty+ is overshadowed by its larger and more popular brother the Mighty+, but the Crafty+ is an ideal choice for anyone selecting their first vaporizer and aiming for the high-end of the market. The Crafty+ offers an extremely similar high-quality convection vapour experience to what you get from the Mighty+, but in a significantly smaller and less expensive form, albeit with less precise temperature control.
The Crafty+ has the same plastic build you get on the Mighty+, but it feels extremely well-made and like a high-quality piece of equipment. It’s palm sized, and while you still get a cooling unit on the top before it reaches your mouthpiece, it is smaller than the one on the Mighty+, so it won’t provide quite as much vapour cooling power.
The 2021 update of the Crafty+ added a ceramic lining to the bowl, which stays much cleaner and gives you purer flavour. It can be loaded with flower directly, or you can use the included dosing capsule. I highly recommend using dosing capsules whenever you can, they make the bowl much easier to load, reduce cleaning frequency, and it’s very convenient to pack multiple capsules beforehand to take on-the-go with you.
The 2021 Crafty+ now uses USB-C charging, with both an improved charge time and overall battery life. The primary factor I would use to decide between getting a Crafty+ or a Mighty+ would be the overall battery life. With a Mighty+ you’re getting a whole additional battery inside, so the battery life is superior, but the Crafty+ still gives you a good number of incredibly fruitful sessions before you need to worry about charging.
It includes a stirring tool, which is conveniently stored inside the body, towards the bottom, and unlike the Mighty+, the Crafty+ has a flat bottom, so you don’t need to add a stand. On the other side of the device is the single button which controls everything, surrounded by a pair of LED indicators. The Crafty+ has three built-in temperature presets, when you press the button once it will immediately start heating up to the lowest temperature, which to me is the perfect temperature when using it without additional cooling accessories. If you double press the button, the LEDs will blink to let you know it is heating up to the second temperature, and if you triple press it, the LEDs will blink fast to let you know it’s at maximum temperature, which I would only use through a water pipe.
Having a single button that controls everything lowers the customization possibilities, but it increases the ease of use. You can give somebody a bag full of dosing capsules, tell them to put one in the bowl, press the button, and start inhaling when it vibrates, it’s just that easy. There is no technique required, it spits out exceptionally high-quality vapour with ease, and can absolutely go toe-to-toe with the larger and more expensive Mighty+.
The Storz & Bickel Crafty+ is a great choice for anyone who is willing to invest some money for a next-level piece of gear. The controls literally couldn’t be easier to use, the construction is solid, and the vapour quality is outstanding.
I hope this has been a helpful aid in your quest to find your ideal beginner dry herb vaporizer and that you enjoy your adventure into the world of vaporizing, I’m sure you’re going to have a brilliant time! Thanks so much for reading and watching guys, I really appreciate it.
Keep it green, keep it sneaky!