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Dabbing On-the-Go: Portable Dab Rigs

 4 min read

portable dab rigs
With the buzz over portable dab rigs getting louder, lots of conventional dabbers have been wondering what all the fuss is about. What does a portable dab rig do? How does it work? What even is a portable dab rig?

Don’t get overwhelmed. If you’re used to a regular dab rig, a portable one will be no problem for you to get the hang of. If you’re just starting out but want to get a portable dab rig instead of a standard one, you can make the right purchase once you get a little information under your belt.



What is a Portable Dab Rig?

Unlike regular dab rigs, portable dab rigs (both of which are largely focused on vaporizing concentrates) are powered by a battery, not a butane or propane torch. The way that portable dab rigs work is simple: typically, the controller box is connected to the e-nail via a heated coil. One charge of a portable dab rig battery usually last from 40-60 dabs, depending of course on the battery itself. Some batteries claim that they can last up to 150 uses!

portable dab rig
Most portable dab rig batteries allow you to adjust the temperature, much like you would with a vape pen. While certain batteries might only have low and high modes, some batteries come with the ability to modulate the temperature between 300-900+ degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for both low and high temperature dabbers. Some even allow you to operate the battery based on wattage rather than temperature. Regardless of which type of temperature gauging you prefer, the heating consistency of these rigs mean you can leave the laser temperature gun at home with the lighters, a relief for people who are tired of the heat-up/cooldown cycle.
 



Utilizing Electric Nails

E-nails are perfect for dabbers who love precision. While they can be used with a regular dab rig, portable dab rigs are the perfect way to ditch the table-bound e-nail cord and instead leverage the e-nails’ accuracy to create a small, easily tote-able dabbing solution. With portable dab rigs and e-nails in general, the total wait time to take a dab is shorter. Whereas with a torch-powered rig you’d have to light a banger nail for roughly 60 seconds to get it to a red-hot point and then wait another 15-35 to hit the dab, a portable dab rig can get to the perfect temperature in less than 30 seconds and eliminate the need for any cooldown at all. It’s great for a group setting where you don’t want to spend a ton of time fussing over the nail being too hot or too cold.

enail



Levels of Customization

While some portable dab rigs are a simple battery-and-nail combo, others incorporate ornate glass mouthpieces (like percolators) into the setup to allow for more space for the dab’s vapor to fill. Some of these glass elements are designed to hold water for filtration purposes, making it function more like a regular dab rig. Many portable dab rigs now come with threaded glass attachments, meaning that they can work with the ever-growing range of add-on water filtration accessories. There’s definitely a higher level of customization available to portable dab rigs these days than there ever was.

perc portable dab rig
photo credit: Kindland

Some portable dab rig kits come with other accessories like carb caps, which can make the dabbing experience better for those who prefer to cap their dabs rather than take a domeless one. Some are designed for only capped dabs, as the nail is covered by a glass dome that leads to the mouthpiece.



Freedom of Nail Choice

Portable dab rigs come with one or a number of different types of nails. Depending on the kit, you can choose a quartz, titanium, glass, or ceramic nail (some batteries come with specific temperature settings for different kinds of nails). Though nearly all of them are designed specifically to vape concentrate, some e-rigs even allow for vaping dry herbs in case you prefer that.

portable dab rig nails



Cons

Complaints about portable dab rigs are generally limited, though some dabbers lament that the nails and vapor chambers on these pieces are too small for dabbing a large amount of concentrate at once. As e-nails and electronic rigs in general develop and grow it’s to be expected that such limitations will change and eventually be pushed past.



Conclusion

Portable dab rigs are the perfect choice for people who want the full dabbing experience on the go without any of the cumbersome preparatory steps. They’re convenient, fast, and ultimately customizable, meaning that you can pair your efficient e-nail with a setup that works the way you’d want a regular rig to. All things considered there are certainly cases when portable dab rigs are a better choice than a standard dab rig, for both beginning dabbers and the experienced ones. As dab technology progresses, these portable e-rigs are bound to improve.


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