As a dabbing enthusiast, you already know there is no better way to enjoy your favorite botanical than by loading it into a sleek dab rig. And while the rich flavorful hits never grow dull, there are a few tricks to take your dabbing experience to the next level.
Enter the carb cap. When added to your rig, the small-but-mighty accessory enhances vaporization and makes the most out of precious concentrate.
With its slim design and smoker-savvy function, it’s no wonder carb caps are one of the most popular dabbing tools on the market. But before you rush out to purchase one of your own, there are a few things you need to know first — so let’s get started.
What Is a Carb Cap?
A carb cap is a small lid-like accessory that you can add to most dab rigs. Short for carburetor, these caps control airflow and pressure in the banger to enhance vaporization. Concentrated airflow and pressure might seem trivial, but even the slightest change can significantly impact your smoke session.
Say you’re taking a dab, and you happen to heat the quartz banger too long. Usually, the wax would quickly burn, and precious terpenes would be lost. But when using a carb cap, the entire surface area of the nail maintains its optimum temperature, meaning you’ll never burn a dab again.
Why Should I Use a Carb Cap?
A carb cap while dabbing is a great way to improve your smoking experience. Carb caps help to distribute the heat evenly, providing a smoother and more flavorful hit and preventing wax waste. You can also use them to create thicker vapor clouds at low temps. In short, if you’re not using a carb cap already, it’s time to start.
Reason #1: They Enhance Flavor
These essential accessories offer more control over the amount of air that enters the banger. With less oxygen in the chamber, vapor increases in density and flavor. The simple change in heat and air pressure brings out subtle tastes and terpenes in wax.
Reason #2: They Prevent Wax Waste
One of the most significant benefits of adding a carb cap is reducing waste. By trapping heat and increasing pressure, the entire surface area of your banger reaches an even temperature. So when you add a glob of the dab, it vaporizes thoroughly no matter where it lands on the nail.
Reason #3: They’re Perfect for Lower Temperature Dabs
Another benefit of increasing the heated surface area is the banger stays hot for longer. Instead of overheating the nail to temperatures that burn concentrate, you can take an efficient dab at lower temperatures.
What to Look for in a Carb Cap
Carb caps are made in various styles and shapes — and the material of carb caps varies and can make a big difference in your smoke session. That’s why you need to watch for two main things when purchasing a carb cap: Material and shape.
Carb caps are made from durable, heat-resistant materials like quartz and glass that can withstand temperatures upwards of 1,000°F.
- Quartz carb cap: Quartz is a highly flexible material and can be shaped into various artistic styles, which is ideal for those looking to enhance the look of their rigs.
- Glass carb cap: Thanks to its versatility and durability, glass is one of the most common carb cap materials, so you can find a variety of them anywhere you shop.
Size and Shape
Without the right carb cap, you’re bound to get bad results and hits, so make sure to measure the size of your nail first before you purchase a new cap.
These are designed to help regulate airflow, so too much or too little space between the carb cap and nail poses issues. If your carb cap is too loose, you'll have a gap, which disrupts air flow and results in lost concentration.
Different Carb Cap Styles
Carb caps are one of the most sought-after dab accessories on the market, so they’re made in various fashions to fit each smoker’s tastes. Below you’ll find the most common carb caps and what’s unique about each one.
Style #1: Directional Airflow Carb Caps
Directional flow carb caps are designed to manipulate airflow. The air is directed from the carb hole into the chamber by an angled tube extending into the cup. Directional carb caps can also be swirled around to create a cyclone of air, which is a fun party trick to try out at any smoke sesh!
Style #2: Bubble Carb Caps
A bubble carb cap is most compatible with flat-top nails. The spherical shape is ideal for regulating airflow and pushing wax around inside the banger.
Style #3: Spinner Caps
If you want to add a bit of flair to your smoke sesh, then spinner caps are the way to go. Also called vortex carb caps, spinner caps are designed with small slits that allow the smoke to swirl in the shape of a vortex at the bottom of your banger.
For an even better experience, combine them with a few terp pearls. You’ll watch the vortex vibrate and spin them, which adds even more vaporization as you get ready to inhale!
How to Use a Carb Cap
Now that you’ve chosen between different carb caps, it’s finally time for the fun to begin. Using a carb cab is pretty intuitive, although a few techniques can fully maximize its benefits. Let’s go over using your carb cap step-by-step.
Step #1: Prepare Your Banger
Start by preparing your banger with a torch. (Carb caps are ideal for low-temperature dabs between 350°F to 400°F).
Step #2: Scoop in the Wax
Using a dab tool, scoop a dose of wax and apply it to the dab nail. Once the concentrate vaporizes, top the banger with your carb cap, and then take slow inhales through the mouthpiece to add pressure.
Step #3: Swirl and Tap
Tap your finger on the carb cap’s small hole to create turbulence. You can also swirl the carb cap around the banger.
Step #4: Lift and Toke
At last, it’s time to enjoy the toke! Plug the carb with your finger and open it by removing the finger. There’s no need to remove or replace the cap at this point: The motion acts like stoking a fire to trap heat and pressure.