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Best Portable Dab Rigs: Vape Concentrates Anywhere, Anytime

For everyone out there who loves the flavor and feeling that cannabis gives them, it’s a golden time to be alive. More than half of the US considered legalization this year, and more will soon. Thanks to all that change, there are now more ways to vape more dry herb and cannabis concentrates than ever before. Sweet!

But it’s not always easy to choose which portable dab rigs are best, and that’s a problem. As the technology improves, there are more choices out there—and most of them are expensive. So which portable dab rig is best for the discerning cannabis connoisseur or the brand new medical marijuana patient?

What Are the Best Portable Dab Rigs?

  • The Dipper – Chrome
  • Puffco Peak – Smart Rig
  • Higher Standards – Rig Kit
  • Vivant – Dabox Vaporizer
  • Dr. Dabber – Stella

Best portable dab rigs

On to the important issue: the best portable dab rigs on the market right now. This list was curated by the VaporVanity editorial team after some debate.

Everyone on the VaporVanity editorial team is pretty serious about their vaping. We have each been using dab rigs for long enough to be glad that e-nails are now an option.

That said, a few of us will never totally abandon our torches! Therefore, we have included one torch-and-burn model, and one smaller box mod option. We also included a portable dab rig that can also handle flower, because we believe in something for everyone and a vape for all.

As a team, we think these are among the best portable dab rigs on the market today, this post is here to explain why. Rest assured that any portable dab rig on this list is an excellent choice.

Ready to get your dab on? Let’s go.

Here Are the Best Electric Dab Rigs

We fought long and hard, and although at first the Puffco Peak Vaporize ended up on top, new tech sometimes changes things. Now, the best electric dab rig of 2020 is The Dipper.

The Dipper

Ousting the Puffco Peak Vaporizer from the top spot: The Dipper. Here’s why.

It’s truly one of a kind. It’s the single absolutely portable dab rig that gives you a nectar collector or quartz chamber with a pen feel that also doesn’t use water or a separate heat source. It is stupid easy to use, and there’s nothing else exactly like it on the market.

The functionality is great and the flavor is even better. You get instant heat from the element, and if you are missing that classic experience, use the DipWhip accessory. (Some of our testers liked the flavor even more that way anyway.)

Cleaning is really, really easy. It’s the easiest to clean and redeploy that I have—and I have a lot of them. This whole design eliminates many of the problems with wasted concentrate that are basically inherent to other units.

And the final blow knocking PuffCo Peak out of the top spot: value. The Dipper’s price tag (without our awesome coupon, that is) hits $114.99. Next to the Peak, this is a way better value, not to mention way simpler to use and more portable. And the one-year warranty make it even more worthwhile.

Finally, it’s not quite as sexy as the PuffCo Peak design-wise—but it’s close. And in exchange, it’s high-quality, sleek, and compact. It’s a real pocket unit but it delivers on performance for a truly portable dab. If you want to dig deeper into this great and truly portable dab rig, read our in-depth review here.

* Use the code “vaporvanity” for 10% off your order!

Puffco Peak, Smart Rig

Yes, there is no question: the Puffco Peak Smart Rig has a style advantage. And so what? When you’re investing in your top piece of dabbing equipment, you want it to look amazing, and the smart rig from Puffco truly does. But that’s really just the beginning.

The Puffco Peak is a portable e-nail made up of a glass spout and a base. It stands 7 inches tall, and looks a little like an e-bong, a small water pipe, or the banger-hanger type of rig that lots of dabbers may find familiar. The glass chamber is hand-blown, and gives you that vapor diffusion and water filtration that is so nice.

This is not a stealth vaping option, is what we are saying.

The Puffco Peak Smart Rig features four heat settings: blue is 450°F, green is 500°F, orange is 550°F, and white is 600°F. So although you don’t have total, bespoke control over your temperature, you do have a lot of precision, and every setting produces a lot of vapor with this bubbler. You can adjust the temperature based on what’s in the chamber, or how much you’ve put in there.

The Puffco Peak portable dab rig charges in about two hours, and takes only around 20 seconds to heat up—pretty awesome compared to other portable dab rigs. Every full charge lasts about two hours, or up to 30 dabs.

Where the Peak really shines, though, is user experience. You control the rig with a single button on the front. It features haptic feedback, such as a gentle vibration that lets you know when it has reached the right temperature.

This smart rig also delivers precision temperature feedback via an LED ring that wraps around its base. The ring also pulses when it’s firing. And the Puffco Peak’s new “sesh-mode” function also retains some of the old-school pass-around fun of sharing your portable dab rig with friends and extending your vaping session.

Downsides to this portable dab rig? Obviously, the cost. At $400.00, this is a serious hit on your wallet. Also, you have to replace the ceramic bowls sometimes, and even the chambers with some regularity.

In fact, they are designed to be replaced—but at $24.99 each once a month, that is an ongoing cost to consider. Furthermore, not breaking things like the ceramic stem is a challenge, and although I am one of this unit’s biggest fans, breakage is a problem.

The bottom line: If you want a real showpiece for concentrates, the Puffco Peak Smart Rig is your portable dab rig. It performs beautifully, tastes great, and looks super cool. It also provides a sexy user experience and a great, old-school sesh mode without any of the old-school hassles.

Dr. Dabber Stella

This little pen heats up to somewhere between 460 to 770 degrees to give you the smoothest, tastiest rips of your favorite concentrate.

Small and discreet, but amazingly powerful little dab pen will be your new best friend.

Pulsar RöK

If you need the dual use of flower and concentrates but you can’t handle that Switch price tag (we feel you), the Pulsar RöK is for you. The Pulsar RöK also has its own interesting look, and we can imagine Mr. Spock (or Dr. McCoy at least) using it to stun us.

The Pulsar RöK is 6.75 inches tall and fits nicely in hand. The RöK has its water bubbler is at its base encased in highly durable borosilicate, an interesting design. The Pulsar RöK also has a disc percolator, which means cooler, smoother vapor, although all of these features mean it’s not a quick rig to assemble.

The RöK is made from scientific glass and metal as well as tougher plastic so it’s a fairly durable device.

Fill the base no more than halfway with water. Attach the downstem to the device body’s underside.
Put the base on a level, solid surface, and then put the RöK body on the base and line up the parts. Lock them in place.
If using concentrate, dab your concentrate onto the quartz coil. If using herb, switch to the ceramic dry herb coil.
Power on the device by fast clicking the button five times. Cycle through temperature settings by clicking three times.
RöK mode or sesh mode maintains the selected temperature for thirty seconds so you don’t have to constantly hold down the power button. To engage or end it, fast click twice.
Once you’re done heating, cover the coil with the carb cap and inhale.

Clean RöK atomizers using the included alcohol-filled cotton buds or a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. They can be alone or attached when you clean them, but clean threaded connections, too.

Take glass parts off the rest of the RöK to clean them with isopropyl alcohol. Remove any clogs in tubes using the included cleaning brushes and soak the tubes in iso as well. Rinse all the glass parts and tubes with cold water and air dry.

The RöK heats fast and stays cool, even in sesh mode, or should we say RöK mode. We didn’t find the vapor quality from the RöK on par with the Switch or the Peak, but it is still very high end because of the disc percolator and quartz coil, mostly.

You can chase some huge clouds at the high temperature setting, but we loved the flavor at lower settings, which was smoother. The RöK delivered better dry herb vapor quality than we predicted, maybe because it comes with a carb cap and coil specifically for vaping flower. Stay on the lowest setting and you too may be pleasantly surprised with your dry herb experience.

One complaint was that the RöK takes over two hours to charge unlike competitors that use faster USB-C connections, it uses a Micro USB port. Another was the plastic pieces detract from the overall design. Finally, the highest temp, to us, is a little high for some concentrates and for dry herb. Still, overall it is a much cheaper alternative to the competition, and these are issues that some are willing to trade on.

The bottom line: The Pulsar RöK is a nice alternative to a huge rig like the Switch both in terms of cost and size if you need one device for both dry herb and concentrates.

Carta Vape Rig V2

For those of you who just cannot see shelling out that much for a rig but want a vapor experience in the neighborhood with the Puffco Peak, the Carta Vape Rig V2 is the next best option. It is definitely not in the same league design-wise, but in terms of performance it does everything you want—for a lot less.

The Carta consists of the base unit, the borosilicate glass water attachment, and the atomizer. Assembled, the whole thing is about 7” tall, and although it does have a plastic finish, it has a heavier feel in the hand than it seems like it would.

The basic Carta V2 is black and white two tone, but it’s not nearly as appealing as the monochrome options, which each have their various tinted glass options to go along with the colored base—a definite upgrade compared to the two tone version.

The concentrate atomizer comes with quartz and titanium bowls. You also get two 18350 batteries that you can change out for charging, a charging cable, a carb cap, and some tools. There is also a dry herb atomizer available for $30; it works well here and it’s a unique feature in a portable dab rig.

The Carta V2 charges fast via USB-C, typically less than an hour. Of course you can always keep one of the two batteries charged, and you’ll get around 30 hits before needing to charge anyway.

Start by clicking the button five times, and you’ll get that haptic vibration. Now the Carta V2 is in standby, so tap once to go into your last heating setting. To select a new temperature, one-click between 500°F and 842°F, and once you choose, let the unit heat. When it’s ready, it will flash and vibrate again. The lights remain solid green until the cycle ends.

The unit heats quickly, in 10 to 15 seconds, depending on the setting. The water attachment is actually larger than the Peak’s, which cools the vapor considerably. If you like big dabs, the bowl can handle it.

To shut down your Carta V2 when you’re done, hold the button down or press it five times. It also has an automatic turnoff feature in case your product is a little too good.

We love this best for concentrates, and if you are a cloud chaser you’ll love cranking this up. This is so easy to use, and great flavor. No torch, no hassle.

The Carta feels solid in your hand, especially for its size and the materials, and the glass especially is sturdy. This is not as sexy a piece as the Peak, but especially those monochrome designs are very cool looking, and this performs like a true competitor—even before you see the price.

And that’s a big deal, because at $250 to $350 (depending on the style you like) compared to $400 for a Medusa Peak even before you replace anything? That matters.

The bottom line: The Carta is a fantastic portable e-rig. The best features are the huge clouds, fast heat-up time, auto-shutoff safety, and the removable batteries. It isn’t the showpiece that the Medusa Peak is, but it performs like a dream, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value.

What Are Portable Dab Rigs?

Portable dab rigs, often called enails although they’re not all electronic, are riding the wave started by the synergy between the cannabis and wellness industries. There are so many reasons for this, but the main one has to do with the changing face of who is dabbing—and what we dabbers are willing to accept and demand.

Today’s consumers want higher impact cannabis without lung damage. Enter the portable dab rig, and vaping explosion.

But before portable dab rigs came onto the market, the torch-and-burn rig set up with nail was the only option available. If that sounds complicated, and potentially dangerous, that’s because it can be.

Old-school dab rigs use a torch to heat the nail. You have to achieve the right temperature before applying your concentrates. Insufficient heat means a sticky, uneven mess and wasted product you are left cleaning up. But apply too much heat, and your dabs go up in smoke, and not in a good way.

Unlike larger, more traditional versions, portable dab rigs are powered by a battery instead of a butane torch. Portable e-rigs may seem complicated, but they are pretty simple. The base or controller box joins the nail and a battery which heats it. Concentrate goes on the hot nail, producing vapor.

Portable dab rigs powered by batteries on the market today offer freedom from the heat and stigma attached to torches, not to mention more precise temperature control. With that comes smoother, tastier dabs filled with richer terpene profiles and more impressive psychoactive effects—and even a noob can achieve them.

Portable e-nail rigs are smaller, simpler units compared to the bigger desktop models, but they still use a glass mouthpiece, some form of heating element, and a power source. Some rigs are battery-powered, while others attach directly to a vape mod 510 connection.

Still, even the modern torch-and-burn portable dab rigs are really impressive. And for dabbers who love absolute control of temperature in the palm of their hand—at least as far as their sense of touch can afford them—these torch dab rigs are still appealing.

Any way they are powered, portable dab rigs are by far the best way to get both the flavor a true aficionado wants and the portable package anyone who is on-the-go needs. An enail rig can remove any perceived “druggie” element out of things, not to mention the potentially eyebrow-singing aspects of the process. Or, an old-school torch plus a new-school, high-quality build can give you years of performance.

Using portable enail rigs

If you’ve never used a portable electric dab rig before and you’re feeling a little intimidated, you’re not alone. I broke the first three I used, mostly because I was embarrassed about asking for help and I couldn’t find it online!

This should help (don’t worry. It’s easier than it seems).

How to Use a Dab Rig:

  1. Step One: power the dab rig on.
  2. Step Two: select your optimal temperature. Remember, you don’t want to overheat it, especially if it’s dry herb.
  3. Wait while it heats up to the optimal temperature.
  4. Use a small amount of wax/concentrate (they call it a “dab” for a reason– so use a small amount).
  5. Put the dab of concentrate on the hot nail as you inhale the vapor.
  6. If there is a carb cap, use it on top of the nail while you inhale.

Pros and cons: portable dab rig materials

A titanium nail is what you see most in these rigs, because titanium that is Grade 2 or higher quality is safe to inhale, lower-cost, and long-lasting. It also heats quickly, which is nice.

The trouble with titanium nails is apparent as soon as you inhale, if you love concentrates. They just don’t taste as good coming off of these dab nails.

Ceramic dab nails are in many newer electric dab rigs for just that reason. Ceramic tastes delicious, is fairly simple to use, and doesn’t retain heat the way metals do.

On the other hand, it certainly takes longer to heat ceramic. And I’ve had my heart broken by more broken ceramic dab nails than I can count, because that is ceramic’s other flaw: it is fragile. Oh, and one more tiny complaint: ceramic starts looking kind of gross and stained pretty quickly, if that bothers you.

Quartz nails are the flavor fan’s best friend. This is not because these dab nails taste that much better than ceramic, but more because they have the best overall safe, delicious heat.

On the down side, quartz nails take more time than, say, metal, to heat. They are also breakable. But if flavor counts for you, there isn’t yet a way to escape breakable pieces completely.

How much does a dab rig cost?

Speaking of price, how much do these things cost? A portable dab rig will typically cost approximately $50.00 to $400.00. I know, not cheap, especially the newer enail kits.

Just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. If you’re new to dabbing and unsure what you like or what matters to you, it may make sense to save your money.

Some of the cost of many of these models is definitely about the power source. Torch-and-burn models still offer a lot more in the way of saving money, as do smaller box mods. The rest of the difference is often about whether or not there is water filtration, how fancy the user experience is, and the quality of the build and materials.

Better builds, higher quality nails, and more advanced features such as precision temperature control come at higher price levels. This translates into a superior vaping experience, so if you do prefer dabbing, it’s a worthwhile investment to get the right portable dab rig.

Sources

Alzghari, Saeed K., To Dab or Not to Dab: Rising Concerns Regarding the Toxicity of Cannabis Concentrates, September 9, 2017, National Institute of Health

Strongin, Robert M., Toxicant Formation in Dabbing: The Terpene Story, ACS Omega

Hyde, Will, The Best Dab Rig for You, Leafly

What is the best portable dab rig for vaping concentrates? Our continuously updated list contains a few surprising choices you won't find anywhere else.

Best E-nails of 2020

KandyPens Oura

The Oura is a high-end, easy to maintain portable dab rig that produces terrific vapor quality and offers the choice of Ceramic or Quartz atomizers. It has four preset temperature levels, with the top one being 800°F. It is well-designed and small enough to operate with just one hand. The Oura is a premium vape that will change the way you dab & the lifetime warranty makes an already good thing even better.

Dr Dabber Switch

The Dr. Dabber Switch is a revolution in vaping technology because of its use of induction heating, and it’s dual compatibility (Extracts + Dry Herb). It heats up almost instantly and produces tasty vapor. The Battery lasts over 100 uses per charge, and it has 25 preset heating profiles for specific substances. Yeah, it might be too big or expensive for some, but if you’re a home vaper that can afford it, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Puffco Peak

For a brand new style of vaporizer, the Peak is surprisingly impressive. It delivers excellent vapor quality, is very easy to use, and has a cool, stylish design. However, it is one of the more expensive vapes available, but if you can afford it, then vaping satisfaction is guaranteed.

Vista Mini 2

The Mini 2 is a portable eRig compatible with concentrates and oils that delivers impressive performance for its excellent price – $159. It features wireless charging, four preset temperature levels, and a unique design with a clear carb cap. The Vista is a functional device and the vapor quality is satisfying for most average or entry-level users. Awesome value on this one.

G-Pen Roam

The G Pen Roam is a portable concentrate vaporizer that features a unique self-contained water filtration tube that results in cool & pure vapor. This is an unusual feature in any portable vaporizer but is especially interesting in a wax vape. A lot of thought and creativity went into designing and engineering this vape. The Roam is a dab rig packed into a vape that can fit in your palm.

G-Pen Connect

The Connect is an e-Nail that can attach to any traditional bad rig, and eliminate the need to use a torch or the danger of having an exposed nail. Once connected, it allows precise calibration and customization of your sessions. All connections are magnetic, it uses a ceramic heating element, and it has three preset temperature levels. If you already own a Rig, and are looking to convert it to electric, the Connect is the way to go.

Focus Carta Vape Rig

I’ve enjoyed all the portable dab rigs I’ve tried so far and the Focus V Carta is no exception. It has the superfast heat time and great flavor I expected. But it goes a few steps further and adds a smartphone app and removable batteries. But, possibly best of all, is the fact that it costs less than the competition.

Pulsar RöK

The RöK is a uniquely-designed versatile dab rig that can vape both wax and dry herb. It has an inverted design which means the water bubbler is used as a base and features a disc percolator that further filters the vapor. It also has 3 temp settings that range from 680-850°F and features a sesh mode which some vapers might find useful.

October 2020 UPDATE-

Puffco Peak PRO coming soon! Puffco just announced on October 7th 2020 that they are releasing a new version of the PEAK, called Puffco Peak PRO! Here is what we know so far:
The Peak Pro offers improvements in all aspects, and will have the following features: Bluetooth App Connectivity , Wireless Qi Charging, USB-C Connection, Auto-Sleep Function, Real-Time Temp Control, Large Sealed Ceramic Chamber, Customizable LED Lights, High Volume Water Capacity, Oculus Carb Cap.
The Peak Pro will also have the following optional accessories: Power Dock (wireless charger / portable battery) and a Travel Pack (increased backpack storage, an angled mouthpiece, and a new hinging tether)
Peak Pro Release date and price The Peak Pro release date and Retail price have not been announced yet, so stay tuned for that and the full review! We expect the release date to be Early November 2020, and the retail price is $400.

e-Nails / Dab Rigs Buying Guide

What are e-Nails / Dab Rigs?

E-nails, aka e-rigs or dab rigs, started out as a simpler way of using traditional dab rigs, where the user employs a blow torch to heat up and vaporize the wax. This is hardly convenient, and so e-nails were invented as an easier way to vape wax at high temperatures. E-nails use electricity instead of a flame to heat up and vaporize the wax, they also have a water bubbler to help cool down the vapor because the wax is vaporized at very high temperatures. Every dab rig consists of the following parts:

The Body – This holds the battery and supports the other components of the e-nail.

The Heating Element – As you can guess, this is used to heat up the wax.

The Nail – This is where the wax is placed, and it can be made from various different materials.

The Mouthpiece – All dab rig mouthpieces have a water bubbler attachment. This is necessary to cool down the hot vapor created by the heating element.

All of those components mean that e-rigs are far less portable than vape pens. The kit of many e-rigs usually includes some kind of carrying case that makes storage and transport a little easier. Nonetheless, the assembly involved means that e-nails are mainly stay-at-home devices.

Things to consider when buying an e-Nail

1. Advanced use

E-nails are not meant for beginner wax vapers for many reasons. For one, they produce very intense vapor, which might be too much for newbie vapers to handle. They are also more complex to use than vape pens since they consist of several different components that require some assembly. Portable dab rigs are less complex than e-nails but are still not suited for beginners. New wax vapers are better off starting with vape pens since they are the easiest wax devices to use.

2. E-Nails VS traditional Nails

E-nails have a lot of advantages over traditional nails, the main one being that they are easier to use since everything you need to vape is included in their kit. Traditional nails require the use of a blowtorch to heat the nail and vaporize the wax. E-nails also allow you to more precisely calibrate the temperature, which is something that isn’t possible with a blowtorch. E-nails also take up less space than a rig and torch setup. The only real advantage traditional nails have is that the blowtorch allows them to reach higher maximum temperatures than e-nails. However, that is only an advantage for hardcore users who like really intense vapor.

3. Size & Portability

Both e-nails and portable dab rigs aren’t exactly portable. It’s not just their size that limits portability, it is also the fact that they consist of several different components that need to be assembled. Plus you need water to fill the bubbler. All of those factors prevent them from being travel-friendly devices.

4. Portable Dab Rig VS Nail only Devices

One alternative to both e-nails/portable dab rigs and traditional nails is the electronic nail device. These are devices that consist of a battery powered nail that can be attached to traditional rigs. There is no need for a blowtorch since electricity is used to heat up the wax. These devices are good for those who already own a rig but want an easier, more convenient way to use it. They are not suited for anyone who does not already have a dab rig because of the expense of purchasing both a rig and the device.

5. Nail Types

There are three different coil types available for e-nails, they are titanium, quartz, and ceramic. Some e-nails will include all three types of nail in their kit, while others will have one or two. The differences among the three of them are as follows.

Ceramic – They heat up slowly but retain heat well. The flavor they produce is very good because ceramic is a neutral material that keeps the flavor pure.

Quartz – Quartz is also a neutral material that keeps the flavor pure. It also heats up quickly, but it loses heat more quickly than the other materials.

Titanium – These nails heat up fast and have high-temperature retention but the vapor quality is lacking compared to the other nails. That is because titanium can leave a metallic aftertaste to the vapor.

You can buy them at online head shops and dispensaries in states where marijuana has been legalized.

The small amount of wax that is placed in the nail is called a dab, so dabbing is the act of placing the dab into the nail. However, many people use the term as a shorthand for using a dab rig, e-nail, or portable dab rig in general.

There are low temperature dabs, medium temp dabs, and high temp dabs. The one you choose depends on the effect you want to feel when you vape and your level of experience.

Low temperature dab (315°F – 450°F) – You get a lot of flavor at this temperature, but the vapor is not that dense, and it takes longer to feel the effects of the THC. Hits in this temperature range are smooth and easy on the lungs, making it the ideal range for beginners.

Medium temperature dab (450°F – 600°F) – This temperature range gives vapers a good balance of flavor and intensity, though it offers less of either quality than the more extreme ranges. This is good for intermediate users.

High temperature dab (600°F – 900°F) – This range is all about intensity. The vapor is hot and harsh even with the water bubbler to cool it down. Plus the effects of the THC come on much faster, though the flavor is the weakest at this range.

Using an e-nail is easy since they all share the same general design. First you pour some water into the bubbler, then you place a dab into the nail. Next you turn on the power and select a temperature. Once it reaches the selected temperature, place the carb cap over the nail and inhale from the bubbler.

They are the most intense way to vape wax and they tend to offer a lot more customization than vape pens do. However, they are not very portable and take a while to set up. So, the answer comes down to what you want from a wax vaporizer, the portability and convenience of vape pens, or the customization and intensity of e-nails.

It comes down to personal preference, but most people prefer quartz or ceramic nails because they do not affect the flavor of the vapor. Titanium nails tend to leave a metallic aftertaste that most vapers find unpleasant.

You can, but that is not advised. Most e-nails can heat the wax to 600° and higher, which means that the vapor produced is extremely hot. The water is needed to cool the vapor down otherwise it would be uncomfortable and unpalatable for users.

It depends on what you want when you vape. If you want more customization options, then traditional e-nails are the better choice. If you prefer convenience and ease of use, then portable dab rigs are the more appropriate choice for you.

Using an old school rig and torches is the "old" was of dabbing, here is my list of the best enail of 2020 to get you dabbing like a pro.