Since the term ‘vape’ was Oxford Dictionary’s 2014 word of the year, the vape industry has become of the world's fast growing, expected to reach $33 billion by 2021. That’s a lot of vaping! Orders for oil cartridges for vaporizers have increased up to an amazing 400% between 2015 and 2016, partly because of the health benefits. Vaping avoids combustion, which brings with it harmful, often deadly carcinogens. Vape is often said to make the most of the active ingredients in herbs or oils or waxes, and that makes vaping a win-win for everybody.
All this new popularity has delivered a plethora of vape machines to the market; big and small, expensive and economical, effective or just a waste of time and money. Of the new vapes I’ve used, the Flowermate line is consistently a solid choice that will not let you down, all factors considered. I’ve used the original Vape V5.0, the V5.0 Pro, and lately, the cool mini V5.0 3-in-1. What makes it 3-in-1? Some vaporizers are designed exclusively for e-juice or dry herb, some have adapters to accommodate both. The 3-in-1 also allows the user to vape concentrates, which makes it the most versatile type of vaporizer available.
The Flowermate Mini Pro Vaporizer V5.0 3-in-1 has another advantage that even the other Flowermate models cannot boast, and that is its amazing size. It is a sleek and streamlined 84mm high, 44mm wide and only 19mm wide. The Flowermate Mini weighs less than 90 grams. Lightweight and portable, the Flowermate Mini delivers performance and economy of models that are much bigger, heavier, and more expensive.
The Flowermate Mini Pro Vaporizer V5.0 has all the benefits of the new, bigger model, the V.5 Pro, including handy temperature and battery level indicators. And like the Pro, the Mini as no exposed coils so there’s no combustion, no ashy taste, no unhealthy side effects. The mini kit includes the charger, cleaning brush, instruction manual, packing tool, and borosilicate glass mouthpiece; everything you need to start vaping immediately.
The Flowermate Mini looks nothing like a vaporizer. With its detachable mouthpiece and 2 USB ports, it could pass for any external computer hard drive. The Mini as the same slide door top and bottom for storing the mouthpiece and for sealing the heating chamber for completely inconspicuous appearance.
An adjustable airflow feature means you can have tighter resistance on the airflow if desired, Just slide the door on the bottom chamber to make that simple adjustment. The mini has an isolated air path for better air flow than previous models.
The Flowermate Mini Pro, like the bigger Pro version, uses Alumina ceramic, the best type for mechanical strength, electrical insulation, high frequency loss, thermal conductivity, not to mention heat and erosion resistance. That may sound like a lot of rocket science, but it makes a big difference in safety, device longevity, and quality of use.
The Flowermate Mini Pro can also be used as a power bank for your other USB computer devices. It won’t give your phone or laptop a full charge, but it could start you up in a pinch, and if you’ve ever needed to make a phone call, you know how handy that can be!
The Flowermate Mini Pro comes with a rechargeable, internal lithium battery for years of regular use. One charge produces about 6 to 8 vaping sessions. I got about 20 bowls, or almost 3 hours of usage time per charge.
Charge up the Flowermate Mini using the USB port, which is much more convenient and flexible than the AC pin chargers. The first charge should be about 3 to 4 hours. Once the battery is “conditioned” in that way, subsequent charges don’t take nearly as long, just 2 hours or so. But make sure you’re done charging before you vape; with the Mini, you can’t do both at once without battery surges and damage to the device.
Like the Pro version, turning the mini version on and off couldn’t be easier. Five quick pushes of the power button turns it on, a steady press of the same button for 2 or 3 seconds begins the heating process, which takes about 30 seconds. The (+) and (-) buttons to set the temperature.
This model has an adjustable OLED display on the side of the unit (unlike the front-mounted screen on the Pro model) which tells you the precise temperature anywhere between 40°C (104°F) to 230°C (446°F). Hotter temps create bigger hits, lower temperatures release milder hits. And depending on your preference, you can use the same (+) and (-) buttons to change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, just press them both simultaneously to go from one to the other and back again.
Simply slide the bottom container open first and remove the mouthpiece. Close the door and set the mouthpiece aside. Open the slide door on the other end to reveal the heating chamber. You can fill the chamber directly, or use one of the handy metal pods (one is for concentrates, another perfect for a travel stash of herbs when you don’t to load in full view of anyone). Slide the door closed, screw in the mouthpiece, and you’re good to go!
The Flowermate Mini shares another valuable safety feature with the Pro model, an automatic shut-off mechanism that puts the device into sleep mode 5 minutes after it’s turned on. That prevents wear on the heating coils and electronics. Just press the power button for 2 seconds or so and the vaporizer is back up and ready to start heating again. Five quick pushes of the power button shuts the vaporizer off again. And it goes back to the temperature you had it set to before it went into sleep mode. That’s intuitive technology!
As with all vapes, it is always good to do a pre-heat session, which means, heat the heating chamber up to the highest temperature and let it roast for a minute or two. After a couple minutes the heating chamber will be good to go and you can start vaping.
One of the big benefits of vaping is the cleanliness; no filthy bong water, no gooey pipes. Like the bigger Pro model, the Mini is easy to clear and clean. You’ll know when it needs a deep cleaning when it becomes harder to draw, then clean out or replace the stainless steel screen. Other than that, you’ll be using the included brush to clean out the heating chamber, pods, and mouthpiece. Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol works great if you really want a deeper cleaning but be super careful as any liquid at all will damage the vape. Just put the parts like the mouthpiece and screen into a juice glass filled with the solvent, give it a few good shakes, and clean out with a cotton swab. If you’re using a swab to clean the heating chamber, which doesn’t come out of the device, make sure to wring the swab Thoroughly at first. Otherwise drops of the solvent are bound to squeeze off and leak into the device. Make sure NEVER to let any alcohol or other liquid of any kind gets into the device itself, not even a single drop, as it will fry the electronics. It’s a good idea to rinse the external parts such as the mouthpiece too, so they’re nice and clean.
Always use completely dry herbs if possible, and grind them as fine as you can for better air flow. Grinders work best, but if you’re going to use your fingers, really get in there and break that stuff up!
Don’t overpack the heating chamber. The mouthpiece slips into the chamber, which compresses the herb just a bit anyway. Since the chamber is easy to fill, easy to clear, and makes the most of your herb, there’s no need to overfill anyway.
The mouthpieces are durable and comfortable, but they do get a bit warm at the bases, nearest to the unit (this is where it attaches to the heating unit, so that only makes sense). So if you’re going to unscrew the mouthpiece directly after using, try holding it from the tip where it’ll be nice and cool and not by the base, where it could be pretty hot. It’s intuitive to screw and unscrew from the bottom, so think twice! The mouthpieces are strong, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking.
Like all smaller vapes, the Mini gets hot quickly, so that’s something to keep in mind between choosing between the Flowermate Mini Pro V5.0 3-in-1 and the Flowermate V5.0 Pro.
With its light weight and small size, advanced electronics, flexible temperature control, discrete design, ease of use and maintenance, the Flowermate Mini Pro V5.0 is an ideal entry-level vaporizer and for longtime enthusiasts, for medical or recreational use. It shines as a good value for lovers of clean vape and a healthier, happier lifestyle.