What is a Carb Cap? How do you use a Carb Cap?

What is a Carb Cap?

A “carb” is short for carburetor, and like the one you would find in a car, it helps control airflow and pressure within a space. Carb caps for dab rigs are a pivotal dabbing accessory that effectively operate in the same manner, even sharing the nickname. Acting as a lid to trap heat and vapor within your nail, the cap helps enhance your dabbing experience for a fuller concentrate flavor profile — but how? In this article we’ll take a closer look at carb caps (What are they? How do they work?) and help you decide if you should invest in one. (We think so!)

Different types of carb caps

carb caps

While the functionality of all carb caps is the same — to trap heat and lower the temperature at which dabs will vaporize — there are a number of different types and styles that are ideal for different dabbing setups.

Some popular types of carb caps include:

Standard carb caps

Standard carb caps are simple, with a rounded end that acts as the cap and a handle to hold during the dabbing process.

Bubble carb caps

Named for their bubble-like shape, bubble carb caps have hollow stems that extend from both the top and bottom of the cap, creating the carb. They were designed to work with the flat-top quartz carb cap, The rounded shape creates a seal against the flat top, which allows the concentrate to vaporize faster. The shape also allows carb cap dabbers to easily rotate the dab cap, which can move the concentrate across the banger faster (known as chasing), making for a more efficient dab.

Directional carb caps

Directional flow carb caps also create a seal on banger-style nails, but a directional flow carb cap features a carb hole and a thin, angled stem that extends from the bottom of the cap. When rotated, the airflow created by the stem will chase the concentrate around the surface of the nail, allowing it to vaporize more quickly.

In terms of materials, most carb caps are titanium, quartz, or glass.

How do you use a carb cap?

carb cap

Step 1: Apply a dab to heated nail or banger surface.

Step 2: Cover the nail or banger with the carb cap.

Step 3: If you’re using a directional flow or bubble carb cap, gently twist or rotate the carb cap, which will spread the concentrate across the nail surface by pushing the flow of air around the chamber. If you’re using a standard dab tool with carb cap or a cap with a flat base, use a gentle up-and-down motion to control the airflow.

Step 4: When you’re ready to inhale the vapor, remove the carb cap to clear your rig

The benefits of using a carb cap

The main benefit of using a carb cap is that it allows concentrates to be vaporized at a much lower temperature. When the nail of a dab rig is heated to an extremely high temperature — torches can heat the nail to upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 538 degrees Celsius  — it can effectively destroy the taste and potency of the dab, leaving dabbers with a burnt, ineffective vapor. By dabbing with a low temp carb cap, heating to only 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 149 to 204 degrees Celsius, dabbers can experience the full flavor and taste profile of the concentrate while maintaining the terpenes, which preserves the concentrate’s therapeutic and intoxicating effects.

Dabbing at low temperatures vs dabbing at high temperatures!

Most first time dabbers typically start with high temperature dabbing for a variety of different reasons. The main reason being first timers are still learning how to properly heat the nail which can be confusing to someone that has never dabbed before. It’s important you are using the right torch to heat your nail. Learning to properly heat your nail is one of the most important things you can learn to ensure you get the most from your concentrates and your dab nail stays in good shape. Once you get the hang of heating your nail you will want to figure out how long it takes to cool down to the perfect temperature. This is usually accomplished with some trial and error that can be fun because you get to take a lot of dabs! Once you find that sweet spot dabbing will be as easy as riding a bike. 

Hottest Part of Flame

There are two major areas that you need to consider in order to get the most out of your flame. The two areas are the bright blue part and the light blue part.

  • The bright blue part of the flame is where the primary combustion will occur; it is where the initial burning happens. It is NOT the hottest part of the flame.
  • The hottest part of the flame is at the tip of the inner flame. When you use this part of your flame, you will find that you are left with far less combustion byproducts and a much faster heating time.
  • The high temperature dabbing trend may have also come about from the common misconception that your nail needs to be red hot in order to use it but this is not true. The perfect temperature for vaporization is going to occur between 350 and 410 degrees F.

    If you try to use your nail when it is red hot it will only result in less efficiency while burning away your materials. The type of nail you are using will not affect this. If you have nails that are made out of glass, quartz, titanium or ceramic, they will all still work the exact same way.
  • A red hot ceramic nail and a red hot titanium nail will be the same temperature. Titanium does have a tendency to lose heat rather quickly and this is why people using titanium are told to wait until the red glow from their nail fades before applying their concentrates.

Final Thoughts. Do I really need a carb cap?

No, but you also don’t need a car to get places but it sure does help! So the answer is yes you will need a carb cap if you want to get the most from your concentrates and dabbing sessions. It’s best to invest in the right carb cap for the nail you’re using rather than just throwing anything you can find on top of your nail. Doing that can damage your nail and you can easily burn yourself. A carb cap will pay for itself time and time again and you will be very glad that you read this article and decided to buy a carb cap. What are you waiting for? Stop wasting your dabs and get a carb cap now!

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