We stumbled upon the Pith several months ago. Made by iFocus, the Pith is an ultra small, bare bones vaporizer. With the surprisingly low MSRP of $29, we had to get our hands on this vaporizer to learn more.
Note: "Pith" is this vaporizers generic brand. You will see this product rebranded and sold under different names.
Pith, The Basics
The Pith is a ceramic conduction portable vaporizer. It is only 2.5 inches tall (3.25" with the stem) and weighs less than 2 ounces. The single button design turns on and begins heating with 5 presses and adjusts between three preset temperatures by holding down the button. The three LED lights display battery life and temperature.
Internally, the Pith is advertised as having an isolated air-path with adjustable airflow. This got us excited, it isn't often we see lower priced vaporizers with air-path isolation.
Of course we have to verify these claims and make sure this product is up to our standards. Which means it is time once again for a TearDown :-D
Taking the Pith Apart
First we have to find our entry point. These two silicone plugs near the air intake look like a good place to start.
Yup, underneath those plugs you will find two screws. These screws hold your base plate in place. Once the plate is removed, the internal chassis slides out of the aluminum shell.
Such a simple design, the Pith is basically a heating chamber and a battery connected to a board. The air-path does appear to be fully isolated from the electronics. We see popular brand name vaporizers that don't pay this much attention to product safety. Kudos to iFocus.
Notice the blue and red wires connecting to the side wall of the chassis? That is your haptic (vibration) sensor.
The Printed Circuit Board has the LED lights and control button on the front with the Micro-USB port on the side. A very minimalist design indeed.
The fixed internal battery is a 3.7V Li-ion with 850mAh / 3.15Wh capacity. 14500 Li-ion batteries are exactly the same size as a standard AA with about 3x the max output. From our testing we get about 4-5 3 minute sessions per charge paired with a 30-45 second heatup time.
From what we have seen, ceramic conduction heaters are usually insulated above and below the chamber with silicone cushions. This keeps the ceramic from breaking when dropped and also shields the heat of the chamber, keeping other parts of the vaporizer from becoming too hot.
Two sets of wires connect to the chamber. The outer two wires are your power and the other two connect to the temperature gauge, which is pressed to the outside wall of the chamber.
Typical with all Ceramic chambers, the sides are insulated with cotton and wrapped with heat-resistant tape, usually Polyimide.
The Pith Mouthpiece
One of the last things we noticed about the Pith was the mouthpiece. The glass is suspiciously connected to this metal base. These two parts could be pressure fitted together however it isn't often you see glass used in this manner.
After smashing a few of these parts we were able to conclude how this part is held together...... Glue
We reached out to iFocus about the use of glue in the mouthpiece and received this response:
"The glue we used on the mouthpiece connection is the food grade, which mostly used on the CBD cartridges, and passed high temperature oven."
We love seeing new vaporizers enter the market and we are excited to see the progression of the Pith. The Isolation of the air-path is fantastic and we love the simplistic design. $29 is an awesome price tag; affordable vaporizers play an important role as entry level products for those of us that aren't ready to spend a lot of cash.
It's not time for us to carry the Pith yet. Glue in the mouthpiece isn't something we are willing to overlook. However this could be resolved with a small design change if the manufacturer cares to do so.
The vaporizer itself functions great and we have no concerns with the build other than the mouthpiece. iFocus is an interesting company that has tried some unique designs in the past and from what we have seen they have exciting new products in the works.