Cleaning and maintaining your vaporizer
Recommended for: beginners / intermediate By: Alex P. Date: March 2020 Tips and tricks for cleaning...
Recommended for: Beginners / intermediate vapers
27/01/2020 | By: Robert
Back in 2016, when the original IQ came out, we at VapoShop were elated by its look and feel, as well as its performance as a daily driver - a vape you use and take with you all the time. Yet, the original IQ wasn’t without its shortcomings. Some found the draw resistance a bit much, while others had trouble getting to all the nooks and crannies for thorough cleaning.
DaVinci claims that with the new IQ2, all these grievances are a thing of the past. So as soon as it hit my desk, I grabbed the first preview model of this portable vaporizer and set out to run it through its paces. Let’s find out if these claims have any merit.
Let’s begin with saying the IQ2, as a dry herb vaporizer, is a breeze to use. I just love how intuitive this device is. It’s exceedingly easy to fill, thanks to the shape and surface of the bottom filling chamber. I only need to tip my grinder at a slight angle over the bottom of the device (with a bit of tact, of course) and gently push the finely ground herb straight into the oven.
No spillage at all and no need for a brush. A handy feature to have for a vape one will mostly use on-the-go. Loading up the IQ2 with concentrates and extracts, however, is a whole other bag of marbles, but more about that later.
Once I switch on the device, the ease-of-use-parade continues with the IQ2 immediately going into Smart Path mode - a mode with four preset temperature range programs that gradually raise the temperature as the session progresses. This helps ensure that all the active compounds and terpenes in the herb are thoroughly vaporised by hitting the right temperatures for their individual boiling points. I understand this may be a bit abstract for beginners. If so, I suggest you read our short blog on “Best vape temperatures” for more information.
30 seconds of heat-up time later and I can start vaping. No need to think about it, just switch it on and go!
Let’s face it. Not all vaporizers on the market are as fashionably good looking and stylish as the DaVinci IQ2. The new colours and the brushed aluminium body give it a kind of allure that other vaporizers just don’t have.
And yet, superficial beauty means nothing when the soul has no substance. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, and the IQ2’s insides are all premium quality material. The vapour path and the “Pearl” are made from zirconia, all the metal used is of medical grade and the oven has a glass lining. This makes the IQ2 just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
I appreciate the fact that when I’m on the move or at a concert, I can just switch my device on - without checking the temp - vape and pass it on to my mates, without worrying about whether I have selected the right settings or not. That’s what I call peace of mind.
The Smart Paths are indeed smart. Trust me, DaVinci knows what it is doing. Luckily, I can switch between Smart Paths and precise temperature control with the push of a single button.
If I want to be a Smarty McSmartypants, I can always customise the Smart Paths with the DaVinci App to my heart’s content. An app, by the way, that connects to my Android phone as effortlessly as everything else on the IQ2. (Apple still has all vape apps in quarantine)
Ah! One of the most important questions to ask about a vaporizer. Well, this is somewhat of a conundrum. Seeing the IQ2 is still a conduction vaporizer, you shouldn’t expect an explosion of flavour throughout a complete vaping session.
Yet, the first two to three hits are indeed truly yummy. It’s just a shame that it never really lasts till the last hit.
Speaking of flavour, the zirconia vapour path, which doubles as a Flavour Chamber for the IQ2 can help in this department. Not only can you fill this chamber with an additional helping of the intoxicating herb we all love for an extra flavour kick, but you can also introduce other herbs to the experience. How about adding some mint, sage or hibiscus to the mix?
Flavour purists may say this is blasphemy, but I say experimenting is fun! And it really helps if your base material isn’t the best-of-class to begin with.
Another reason the new IQ2 has a (slight) leg up on the original IQ is that it now has airflow control with the newly added Air Dial. This Air Dial not only gives you more command over the draw resistance, the extra airflow also adds more flavour and creates somewhat denser clouds of vapour.
Short answer? Yes. However, not by extreme leaps and bounds. The fact that DaVinci made the oven bigger (and better insulated) does help. But, to say the IQ2 is now a regular cloud-chucker is a bit of an overstatement.
With a conduction vaporizer like the IQ2 it’s important to pack the material tight. This means you’ll need quite a bit of dry herb for a full oven. Having a bigger oven is great, especially if you are sharing. But, if you are vaping alone, a full oven may be a bit much.
With the previous IQ, DaVinci solved that problem by adding an ingenious element called the “Pearl”. A little zirconia nob at the bottom of the oven that could be turned to extend it, thus reducing the volume of the oven considerably. In other words; a way to fill the oven with less material, without decreasing the performance of the device.
The IQ2 comes with an improved version of the Pearl, which extends even further, reducing the oven volume by 50%. If you are looking to use the IQ2 for “microdosing”, you might want to invest in getting a pair of DaVinci’s glass spacers. These reduce the oven size even further.
New to this version of the IQ is the option of vaping semi-solid concentrates of a waxy or crystalline texture. I say “option” because even though it’s a welcome addition, it is quite a finicky procedure: to load extracts onto the ceramic extract disc and then getting it right side up together with the organic cotton pad, and into the dosage pod, is quite a challenge.
Not the best solution for avid concentrate aficionados, but a good enough first try by DaVinci nonetheless. Then again, with the IQ2 in my pocket, I prepared the dosage pod before I embarked on a night out on the town and ended the night with a little extra kick before turning in. Works for me.
*fair warning though! The dosage pod is excessively hot right after a session. Don’t be like me! Wait a couple of minutes before removing the pod from the device.
When you are consuming mind-altering substances, it is always nice to know how much will get into your system, so you can adjust your dosage at the next vaping session. This is why DaVinci added a new feature to the IQ2 and the accompanying mobile app: the Dosage Calculator. A mode that tracks how many hits you took and how many active compounds those hits contained.
Sounds great in theory, but for this mode to work, you’ll need to know exactly how much of which active compound is in your dry herb. This is no problem if you live in a country where the information you need for input is reliable and readily available. I happen to live in a country where info on active compounds in the herb isn’t reliable at all. This makes using the dosage calculator a guessing game and mostly useless.
In the future, however, I see great potential for features like this, especially for those who use vaporizers for medicinal purposes. It’s just a matter of time.
Keeping in mind that the IQ2 is a session vaporizer with an eight-minute cycle per session, expect to do 5-6 sessions on low to mid temperature settings. Which is on par, if not above average, compared to competitors like the PAX 3 vaporizer. Once I got to the higher temperature ranges above 200℃, I noticed that the maximum sessions I could do with a single charge dropped to 3-4.
A little birdy told me that the IQ2 has an improved chipset compared to the original IQ. This explains why I was able to get a respectable amount of sessions out of the device. Not bad, DaVinci, not bad at all.
Using the USB cable that comes with the IQ2, it took me 6 hours to charge the empty 18650 lithium-ion battery. That’s indeed a long time. Luckily, the IQ2 works with a replaceable battery, so I recommend using an external charger, which tops-up the battery in 3 hours and bringing that extra battery for those long walks on the beach.
Keeping your vaporizer clean and gunk free is crucial for the longevity of the device. This goes twice for the Flavour Chamber and vapour path, especially at the bottom. In the past, the original IQ had some issues there, where some people failed to maintain the device properly. Due to the better alignment between vapour path and oven and the use of better materials, the IQ2 is much easier to clean and blockage of the airflow is now a thing of the past.
The new IQ2 has a lot of new features that offer an even better daily vape experience than we were used to with the original IQ. DaVinci has listened to their fans and has tackled previous gripes and upgraded what was already great about the IQ. I think DaVinci, as a manufacturer, deserves props for that!
That doesn’t mean the IQ2 is the ultimate vape for everyone. It’s a jack of all trades, not a master of one. It’s a great device for beginning vapers and for those who own several vaporizers but want a hassle-free, just-get-it-done daily driver for on-the-go. For those expert connaisseurs who want the purest flavour experience or the full, in-your-face effect with thick clouds of vapour, there are perhaps other vapes on the market that do better in these categories.
However, if you simply want to enjoy your favourite dry herb or concentrate while enjoying life - and look fashionable doing so - there is, at the moment, no better choice than the DaVinci IQ2.
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