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First introduced only about 5 years ago, carb caps are a new innovation that can help to burn wax and concentrate at lower temperatures while also maximizing the amount of wax that is able to be consumed. This leads to bigger and smoother dabs from oil rigs that are known to get very hot. Normally, oil rigs feature an open circulation design where the nail that the wax is dabbed on is open and exposed to surrounding air. Carb caps cover this open area and minimize airflow, effectively changing how the oil interacts with the heated nail resulting in smoother tasting hits. They can vary in shape, size, material, and function while serving a wide range of rigs.
Not all Carb Caps are the same. They vary widely and we get into the difference below...
Carb Cap Sizes
Due to the fact that carb caps come in such a variety of shapes and sizes, it is important to pay attention to the respective size of your nail in relation to the carb cap you need. In order for a carb cap to serve its purpose, it must form a seal over the domeless nail it is covering. This allows for the air flow into the chamber to be altered and result in the bigger and cleaner dab. When purchasing a carb cap, simply keep in mind the size of your nail and its shape and match it to a corresponding carb cap that will provide a proper air seal over the nail.\
Carb Cap Materials
The type of material your cap is made of is very important, as each type of material has its own set of pros and cons. There are a ton of options for choosing the correct material including temperature preferences, customization, aesthetics, and functionality. Ultimately, finding the correct carb cap will come down to matching it with your nail and personal style preferences.
1. Quartz Glass
Quartz glass accessories have gained popularity throughout the community due to the many unique and artistic designs that they come in. Due to the molding ability when crafting, carb caps made from glass and quartz are able to be made into a variety of cool shapes, colors, and sizes. While the aesthetics of the glass materials are top notch, their durability is not the strongest, as these pieces are much more breakable. Also the sizes with quartz nails tends to vary more widely than the ceramic and titanium counterparts, so if you are having difficulty finding a good carb cap fit, getting a custom galss cap that fits your rig may be your best bet.
One of the most popular and widely used choices for pieces of all kinds, titanium composite metals are the workhorse of all materials. With a virtually indestructible design, getting a correctly-sized titanium carb cap can provide you with tasty, low temperature dabs for the foreseeable future. While they normally are not the most creative or self-expressing creative pieces, they provide top notch function, durability, and peace of mind.
Another reliable and durable material, ceramic pieces offer added durability over their glass and quartz counterparts, in addition to pure taste and dab quality. Similar to titanium, the attraction to ceramic pieces comes from their function rather than their artistic appeal. While most attribute improved taste to ceramic carb cappers, the benefits really stem from the effect the cap has on the vapor that flows through the piece. While it is more durable than glass and quartz, it is still breakable, just not fragile. The most cost-effective option, ceramic caps are a unique pick that can help give less-harsh hits and more durability than glass and quartz.
The Carb Cap Dabber
If you have ever used a carb cap before, chances are it was attached the dabber you used for the dab. The most common and popular style available, these caps come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes. Carb cap dabbers usually consist of the circular dome that has an opening where you can screw in the dabber that is attached. To have a more simple cap without the dab tool will increase steps in the dabbing process, plus increase the chance of burns, breaks, and accidents. The carb cap dabber is an all-in-one setup that allows for a simple scoop, dab and cap.
The Benefits of using a Carb Cap Dabber
As mentioned, carb cap dabbers greatly simplify the dabbing-and-capping process that provides unrivaled taste and potency from a dab. Some of these benefits include:
1. Allow for simmering and “baking” of wax at low temperatures
2. Finish your dabs completely; caps capture more vapor
3. Fewer tools means more efficiency
How to Choose a Carb Cap Dabber
When choosing a carb cap for your oil rig, the most important thing to remember is that your cap needs to be a very similar size to your nail in order to provide a proper seal of air flow into the chamber. Without this seal, you will be wasting your time capping dabs and will continue to lose precious concentrate. There are 14mm, 18mm, and 20mm variations of nails and caps that are mostly universal, so take care to match these dimensions when making a purchase. As for the type of material, this really comes down to preference. Based on all of the aforementioned benefits and downsides of each material, you should be able to decide which type of material would be best for your rig. Do you want durability and functionality? Or are unique and creative designs your addiction?
How to Use a Carb Cap Dabber
Low-temperature dabbing is a newer concept and has begun to be attempted by more experienced users all over the community. Unlike high temp dabs, low-temperature dabbing is known for optimizing flavor and providing a much smoother hit. Since first gaining popularity, new tools such as the carb cap have been created to assist in the low temp dabbing process, and those who are familiar with this will often swear that a carb cap makes all the difference.
The open-air dabs approach works relatively well, at least in terms of providing a great experience. However, it also degrades the flavor and quality of the smoke. This occurs due to wax that hits the nail first being subject to much more heat than the rest of the dab. This leads to a harsher taste, though the natural flavor of the oil can still come through to some degree.
As we mentioned, dab caps close the open system, changing the way the oil interacts with the heat. In order to use a carb cap, you must also make sure you are using a product that operates as an open-air system. These systems normally utilize bangers, domeless nails, or curves.
Essentially, it creates a chamber with restricted airflow for your concentrates to vaporize within. Most carb caps have a single hole which helps to create suction within the chamber, and this, in turn, produces a vortex that helps cool down the air and vapor trapped inside. To use your carb cap, simply place it over your dab as soon as soon as the smoke inside your piece begins to diminish. The timing of this can be fickle, and as your experiment with your carb cap and others, you will begin to pinpoint your ideal timing and method!
How to Clean a Carb Cap
Rarely, carb caps will require some slight cleaning and maintenance. This mainly requires scraping off excess wax buildup and burning off any remnants of discoloration. It is recommended that you maintain your cap every other day, as doing this will make cleaning easy and keep your carb cap looking brand new and functioning properly for a long time. Burning the carb cap with your torch is the easiest way to quickly clean and sterilize your cap. You can also use salt and isopropyl alcohol together to clean and residue from the surface that may have built up over time.
Carb Cap Tips
Carb caps can elevate you and your dab game, and help you get the most out of your precious concentrates. Once you have gotten used to using your cap, you can take it a step further and really enjoy your dab to the fullest by allowing your nail to cool off to a slightly lower temperature than you would normally. Once you do this, place your dab on the nail and watch it melt and slowly bubble without producing any vapor, then cover the nail with your carb cap. The slight vacuum created facilitates the oil to vaporize into a dense plume of vapor even on a not-so-hot nail.
This technique is a way of approaching your nail from a lower temperature, and dropping the pressure around it as you cap results in a more flavorful experience and a more potent and clear high. On the other hand, scorching the nail and letting it cool down—the high-temperature approach—results in less taste and more burnt wax. Once you are comfortable with your cap, try this prime method to boost your dabbing skills!