The word “vape” means different things to different people. E-liquid vaporizers are the primary focus of this website. For many, though, vaping is the act of heating dry herbs to inhale their beneficial compounds via vaporization rather than combustion. It’s been a while since I last discussed a dry herb vaporizer on Vapegrl.com, and DaVinci graciously offered to change that by sending the DaVinci IQ vaporizer to me for review.
If you think that the e-cigarette industry has changed over the past several years, you should see what the dry herb vaporizer industry has done. E-cigarettes and dry herb vaporizers have grown with each other in a number of ways, borrowing technologies and design cues from one another as the years have done by.
The DaVinci IQ is one of the most e-cigarette-like dry herb vaporizers on the market, and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s incredibly powerful in spite of its small and stylish design, and it’s one of the only dry herb vaporizers on the market that features a removable 18650 battery — something that you probably have several of if you use e-liquid vaporizers. Let’s get down to it!
View the DaVinci IQ at the DaVinci website. The device ships as a full kit and costs $274.99.
What’s Included and First Impressions
The DaVinci IQ may not be a cheap vaporizer, but you can definitely feel the added value when you open the box. In addition to the IQ vaporizer itself along with a removable 18650 battery, the kit includes an extra mouthpiece, a very nice USB charging cable, an extra packing/picking tool, some alcohol cleaning wipes, a stiff cleaning brush and a cool metal can that allows you to carry one or two oven loads of ground herbs — totally smell free — on your keychain. The can even comes in a color matching the IQ itself. All of the fun pack-ins add class and style to the DaVinci IQ kit. None of that would matter, of course, if the IQ didn’t feel like a $275 device. The good news is that it does.
The DaVinci IQ feels really, really nice in the hand. The anodized aluminum exterior of the device has a nice sandblasted finish that adds a bit of texture and grip without making the IQ a magnet for dust or fingerprints. The IQ has just enough heft to make it feel like a durable, high-quality device that can withstand years of daily use. The hinges are tight but move smoothly. I really have nothing negative whatsoever to say about the build quality of the DaVinci IQ. It’s priced like a luxury vaporizer, and it feels like one. It’s small enough to travel anywhere and durable enough to weather the miles with grace.
The DaVinci IQ includes a 10-year warranty.
DaVinci IQ Specifications
- Oven size: About 0.3-0.5 grams, slight adjustments possible
- Oven type: Ceramic conduction
- Air path: Ceramic zirconia with silicone gaskets
- Battery: Removable 18650 cell (Sanyo, charges in about 3 hours and lasts about 70 minutes)
- Heating time: Up to 60 seconds depending on temperature
- Material compatibility: Dry herb only
- Temperature range: 250-430 F
- Controls: Built-in buttons or Bluetooth mobile app
Loading the Oven
Loading the oven of the DaVinci IQ is incredibly easy. I like to begin by retrieving the tamping tool stored under the mouthpiece at the top of the unit. When you open the bottom lid, you’ll see a metal slide leading down to the oven. Place your ground herbs on the slide and tap the IQ a few times. The herbs slide into the oven, and you can tamp them down using the tool. Repeat a second time, and the oven should be full. As with any conduction vaporizer, your goal when loading the DaVinci IQ is to pack the oven as tightly as possible without restricting airflow.
The DaVinci IQ Pearl
The round thing that you see when opening the oven is the DaVinci IQ Pearl. The Pearl is a zirconia sphere mounted to a silicone thread. It’s actually a pretty cool accessory because it conducts heat to help you use your material evenly. It also packs your material down and keeps it in place. The Pearl makes it possible to adjust the quantity of material in your oven to a certain extent; unscrewing the Pearl slightly reduces the oven capacity a little. It isn’t quite the same, though, as a spacer designed for half loads.
The DaVinci IQ Flavor Chamber
The first time you clean your DaVinci IQ, you’ll notice that there’s a hollow, bullet-shaped ceramic pod on the inside. That interesting little accessory is the Flavor Chamber. You won’t find another accessory quite like it in the world of battery-powered vaporizers, and it allows you to spice up your vaping experience in some interesting ways. When you use the device, the vapor passes through the Flavor Chamber before reaching the mouthpiece. If you want to add a bit of extra flavor to your vaping experience, try loading the Flavor Chamber with ground lavender or catnip. You can also use the Flavor Chamber as an extra storage space for your herbs. The resin from the herbs you’re currently vaping will collect on the herbs in the Flavor Chamber, making those herbs even more potent. Hmm, the possibilities!
Using the DaVinci IQ
To turn on the DaVinci IQ, you’ll press the power button five times. The IQ responds with a gentle vibration, and the display lights up. I absolutely love the LED grid; it looks extremely classy compared to the utilitarian LCD screens of most dry herb vaporizers.
The DaVinci IQ gives you two ways of controlling your vaping temperature. The default method is the Smart Path mode. You have four Smart Paths available, and you can toggle between them by pressing the temperature adjustment buttons on the side of the vaporizer. The LED grid displays between one and four squares to indicate the relative temperature. In the Smart Path mode, the DaVinci IQ increases the oven temperature gradually during the session for maximum utilization of your material. Alternatively, you can press the power button once to adjust your vaping temperature manually.
DaVinci vaporizers have always been known for offering the best flavor quality in the dry herb vaping industry. DaVinci’s previous flagship vaporizer — the Ascent — used an all-glass vapor path. The glass pipe was great for flavor, but it was very fragile. I broke three stems for the Ascent in less than a year, and I’m pretty careful. The ceramic zirconia vapor path of the DaVinci IQ is better, I think. The flavor quality is just as good — maybe better, since the IQ heats your material much more efficiently — but the fact that you can’t remove the entire vapor path does mean that it’s a little harder to clean.
Low Battery Warning
If you’ve ever had a battery-powered vaporizer shut off right after reaching its target temperature, you’ll appreciate the fact that the DaVinci IQ displays a low battery warning when you turn it on if it’s time to charge the battery. If you see the warning, you should swap the battery or postpone your vaping session until you’ve had a chance to recharge the device.
Cleaning the DaVinci IQ
The DaVinci IQ has several small parts and accessories, so it’s a bit more complicated to clean than some other vaporizers. The kit includes a nice brush and some alcohol wipes to help you out, but it’s a good idea to also have some cotton swabs and a bit of alcohol available.
Start by disassembling the IQ. Open the bottom lid and unscrew the Pearl. Drop the Pearl in a jar of alcohol. You can use rubbing alcohol for the maximum possible cleaning effect, or you can soak the components for a few hours in a drinkable alcohol such as Everclear if you’d like to reclaim the resins and make a tincture.
Next, open the vaporizer’s top lid and remove the tool from its slot. Use the tamping end of the tool as a hook to remove the lid from the Flavor Chamber under the mouthpiece. Now you can use the tool to remove the Flavor Chamber itself. Drop both in the jar of alcohol. Lastly, remove the mouthpiece and silicone gasket from the top lid. Place them the alcohol.
Dip your cleaning brush in the alcohol and use the brush to scrub the vaporizer’s oven and chimney. You may also find it helpful to use cotton swabs or to wrap one of the alcohol cleaning wipes around your finger. DaVinci recommends cleaning the outside of the IQ with an alcohol wipe.
When everything is clean, you can remove the small parts from the alcohol bath. Rinse and dry them. Reassemble the vaporizer and turn the oven on for a few minutes to evaporate any residual alcohol in the oven and chimney.
Is My DaVinci IQ Overheating?
One of the things you’ll notice when using the DaVinci IQ is that it can really become quite hot when you use it. The IQ is also an incredibly small vaporizer, and the battery is right next to the oven. Some people have expressed concerns about the battery and its potential to overheat, and I found an interesting forum thread in which DaVinci chimed in. Evidently, DaVinci packed multiple layers of insulation between the oven and battery while allowing air to escape the battery compartment through the top and bottom. DaVinci also stress-tested the battery by disabling the safety timer and running the vaporizer at the maximum heat setting until the battery died. No problems occurred during the stress test.
DaVinci IQ Review: The Bottom Line
With a sleek design and a virtually identical price tag, it’s obvious that the DaVinci IQ is meant to compete with other small, fashionable vaporizers such as the PAX 3. Between the two, I think that the DaVinci IQ is better. Although beauty is subjective, I think that the IQ looks nicer. I also like the fact that DaVinci came up with a display that’s just as stylish as the LED petals of the PAX 3 while providing far more information. It’s a major benefit that the IQ gives you full control over the device without requiring an external mobile app, although a mobile app is available. The oven is also more efficient — thanks in large part to that clever zirconia Pearl — and provides thicker vapor while using your material more completely.
The DaVinci IQ provides great vaping sessions in a beautiful package that fits in any pocket. It’s absolutely worth the price.
View the DaVinci IQ at the DaVinci website. The device ships as a full kit and costs $274.99.
DaVinci IQ Review: The Pros
- Probably the best looking vaporizer on the market
- Super efficient oven surrounds your material with heat for complete utilization
- Top-quality flavor and vapor production
- Flavor Chamber opens up interesting possibilities for resin reclamation
DaVinci IQ Review: The Cons
- Gets hot during use
- More difficult to clean than some other vaporizers