E-Nail Devices Versus Other Dabbing Devices: E-Rigs, Portable E-nails, E-Nectar Collectors, Dab Pens, Dab Torch Rig Setup
It's official—we are now in the golden age of dabbing. Torches are so yesteryear.
Especially with the many ways to dab without a torch, thanks to recent technological advancements. The only problem is that it can seem like there are too many options.
Where do you even begin to choose?
In our next few blog post’s we will be laying out all the pros and cons of the most popular electric dabbing devices from e-nails to e-rigs, and from electric nectar collectors to dab pens while comparing and contrasting one to another. We explain what each one is and which type of consumer they are each best for. We will lay it all out for you, but ultimately we leave the educated choice up to you.
What is an e-nail?
An e-nail is an electrically heated coil, which attaches to the banger or nail at the end of a rig or bong, to create the most precise and powerful dabbing experience. An Enail is the electric alternative to traditional dab rigs which use a dab torch. The heating coil plugs into an electronic control box that heats the dabs to the exact temperature selected by the user, some Enail devices are Analog E-Nails while the more popular devices are Digital E-Nails.
Heating coils are capable of heating up bangers more evenly than torching—for more efficient dabs. Some e-nails are compact and battery powered, but most require a wall socket. E-nails excel at power, precision and consistency. They are the most dependable daily drivers.
E-nail devices have many advantages, the main advantages being temperature precision, power/efficiency, maintenance and lifetime cost.
E-Nail Temp Precision
E-nails utilize an electronic box to regulate temperature. With Digital E-Nails you can enter your exact desired temp into the box, with the up and down buttons while viewing the LCD display. While Analog E-nails may not offer the same level of precision, Analog Enail devices are still extremely accurate. Digital display enail devices also show the coil temperature as it is being heated.
E-Nail VS E-Rig Temp Precision
- Electric Dab Rig devices up until recently didn’t have precise temperature. The temps purported were merely based on testing of the atomizer with whichever power settings were being attempted. Now that some Erig devices have introduced a feedback loop combined with a temperature sensor and a digital display or bluetooth app, precise temperature is available in limited circumstances like the Puffco Peak Pro.
E-Nail VS Portable E-nail Temp Precision
- Portable E-nail devices rarely offer a digital display like with the Lookah Q7. Although you may not be able to choose the exact desired temperature, if the device runs at a temp you like, you will be satisfied with their consistent power and performance. You can view temperature settings under the additional information tab on the product page.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Temp Precision
- There are a few digital display Electric Nectar Collectors, like the Galaxy Nectar Collector Kit, however most E-Nectar collectors are portable battery powered devices which rarely offer a digital display, we are sure to see that change shortly. With their heat up time and different power sources, some experience is needed to understand the temp of your E-Nectar Collector. Temp Precision is therefore not the best when it comes to E-Nectar Collectors.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Temp Precision
- Some dab pens do have precision temperature, like the Pax 3 , which through an app can achieve whatever desired temperature, however that is on the super high end of pens. The large majority of pens do not offer a digital display nor an app.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Temp Precision
- When using a dab torch, it's easy to accidentally overheat your banger, or not heat it up enough and have to reheat it again, causing a wasteful super low-temp or rough high-temp heat. With electric dab nails, that's not an issue. E-nails also allow you to experiment with different temps so you can find the one that hits the spot. Once you have found your sweet spot, you can dial it in every time and get the exact puff you like, whether you prefer high-temp, medium-temp or low-temp dabbing.
E-Nail Power / Efficiency
Efficiency is a big advantage of an Enail. The enail heating coil constantly heats up your nail or banger, whereas with all other devices there is limited heating time in their cycle. No matter how big of a dab, the e-nail doesn't stop heating until you tell it to. Since it heats more evenly, they provide fuller and more satisfying hits with better overall flavor and no waste especially when combined with Terp Pearls! Properly heating the dab prevents excess reclaim even if your inhalation rate is too high. The ultimate equation regarding dabbing efficiency is the Saturation Rate vs Vaporization Rate. Saturation Rate being the amount of concentrate being saturated onto the coil, banger, nail or tip. The Vaporization Rate being the temp of the coil, banger, nail or tip and its resulting amount vapor. The more saturated a coil is, the lower the vaporization rate will be, there is a happy equilibrium to be met, which provides the perfect amount of vaporization at whichever temp you are running, dependent upon the saturation rate.
E-Nail VS E-Rig Power / Efficiency
- With a limited timed heating cycle, the proper saturation rate is crucial in not wasting concentrates, there is limited power for a limited time with E-rigs. With an E-Nail, power and time is practically limitless, allowing for full vaporization of any amount of concentrates at any temp setting about 420 Farenheit. Electric Dab Rigs are great for many things, efficiency is not one of them until you learn the proper amount of concentrate to place inside the device, to prevent oversaturation and excess reclaim.
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Power / Efficiency
- With a limited timed heating cycle, the proper saturation rate is crucial in not wasting concentrates, there is limited power for a limited time, whereas with an E-Nail power and time is practically limitless, allowing for full vaporization of any amount of concentrates at any temp setting about 420 Farenheit. Portable Enail devices are great for many things, efficiency is not necessarily one of them until you learn the proper amount of concentrate to place inside the device, to prevent oversaturation and excess reclaim.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Power / Efficiency
- The only device to rival the efficiency level of an E-nail is the Electric Nectar Collector. Merely for its ability to be removed from the concentrates unlike other dabbing methods. This mitigation of the saturation level creates ultimate control over the vaporization rate, once the power ramp up is understood. Although its efficiency rivals that of the E-nail, you will rarely find an Electric Nectar Collector which will provide the power of an e-nail. The Huni Badger may be the only one which comes close, but is still a far cry from an enail which is plugged into the wall and can power up to 1000 degrees.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Power / Efficiency
- Bla, O’cmon, do I even need to spell this one out? Dab pens are notorious for waste and reclaim, with the same limitations regarding their saturation rate (once you drop in the concentrates, if its too much, it’s too late, you’re committed). Power varies with pens based upon the heating style and quality. While relatively less powerful than all previous options there are outliers like the Pax 3 and Owar 2.0 which can be relatively efficient.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Power / Efficiency
- The only device which can truly compare to an e-nail when it comes to power is the traditional Dab Rig Torch setup. Although it may be the most powerful, efficiency is slightly harder to find with Dab Torch setups. Properly heating the banger is a challenge to begin with but with new tools like the octave and terp timer, you’re able to know the exact temp of the banger. Regardless of initial heating precision, the moment the torch stops heating the banger the vaporization rate will begin to fall, creating an uneven cloud size from beginning to the end of the dab, not because of the amount of concentrate but because of the amount of heat. This can be mitigated by heating the banger with the concentrates still inside.
E-Nail Replacement Parts & Maintenance/Cleaning
Most e-nails feature interchangeable parts, which include the heating coil, electronic controller box and banger. There isn't a lot to do in terms of maintenance with a good enail. Never leave the enail on for extended periods of time and do not bend or rip the cord or coil. Of course, you'll still need to do all of the general maintenance required for quartz bangers and the glassware. E-nail parts tend to last for years at a time. When necessary a replacement e-nail coil may run anywhere between 30-60 dollars whereas a e-nail digital controller box would typically run 100-150 dollars. Missing o-ring e-nail clips or silicone e-nail coil clip holders run under $10 while replacement bangers can be found for $10 and up.
As with all dabbing setups, cleaning solutions, cleaning caps, cotton swabs and cleaning brushes aid in maintaining the device to be working as close to “like new” as possible!
E-Nail VS E-Rig Replacement Parts & Maintenance
- As opposed to the minimal maintenance and rare need for replacement parts, E-rigs do require a significant amount more maintenance and replacement parts are needed more frequently. Being an all-in-one solution, E-Rigs do require their glass to be cleaned, water to be changed, vapor path to be cleaned and coil to be cleaned much like you would a banger. Keeping the device clean will help it function as close to new as possible while also elongating the coils lifespan. Replacement parts are more frequent with Electric Dab Rig devices, most commonly being the erig atomizer (for $20 and up) and the erig glass for ($20 and up).
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Parts & Maintenance
- When compared to E-nails, Portable e-nail parts are replaced more frequently and frequent maintenance is required to keep the device functioning properly. Coils and cleaning of the vapor path. When it comes to portable e-nails replacing coils is the number cost and concern followed by keeping the vapor path clean. Replacement coils will be significantly cheaper than E-rig replacement atomizers and E-nail Replacement Coils, Portable e-nail replacement coils start as low as $5. Utilizing cleaning solutions like formula 710 or any isopropyl alcohol helps keep your device as clean as possible.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Parts & Maintenance
- When it comes to E-Nectar Collectors there is a tremendous variance regarding maintenance and replacement costs. Regardless there is sure to be more replacement parts needed as well as more frequent maintenance than with an E-nail. E-nectar collectors have the same concerns as portable e-nails regarding replacement tips, while some last longer than others, being aware of the coil quality of the device will impact the lifetime cost. Some devices make cleaning easier than others, and are designed to need cleaning less frequently. Some Electric nectar collectors have bubbler attachments that would also need cleaning. You can save hundreds in the long run by choosing the right device. As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the device, the cheaper the coil, the more frequently they will need to be replaced. Higher quality electric nectar collectors come with a Ceramic Tube Tip which was pioneered by Huni Badger.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Parts & Maintenance
- Blah, O’cmon, do I even need to spell this one out again? Dab pens are notorious for waste and reclaim, coils are cheap for the most part but you will be going through them frequently. There are some pen designs, that do not use a coil and use a heating chamber instead which remove that replacement cost, however the cleaning will still be necessary on the steady to keep the device working properly and your experience enjoyable. Replacement coils start at $5, cleaning solutions are highly recommended to be used with pens.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Parts & Maintenance
- The only device which can truly compare to an e-nail when it comes to parts and maintenance is the traditional dab torch rig setup. With the only difference really being the torch, butane is the only differentiating perishable. Hot dabs or cool dabs may be cause for additional cleaning, however all things being equal regarding temp, there shouldn’t be much maintenance difference, no need for replacement parts. Quality dab torch devices can last years and some come with extended warranties.
E-Nail Lifetime Cost
As we previously mentioned, e-nails tend to have good longevity, some can last 10+ years. They cost the most up front, but actually are the cheapest in the long run. This is an important thing to consider when buying a device for dabbing, initial outlay vs lifetime cost. E-nails are surely a worthwhile investment, especially if you dab on a regular basis. The below calculations do not include any breakage of the rig or bong being used with the e-nail or other devices.
E-Nail VS E-Rig Lifetime Cost
- Electric Dab Rig devices typically last a few years and require replacement parts 1-2 times a year whereas an e-nail will last as long as 10+ years and require replacement parts once every two years (only with super heavy usage), otherwise even less frequently. A $200 E-nail will cost $200 over the span of 2 years, whereas a $200 E-rig may have $50-$100 in replacement costs over a 2 year time span, with a new device possibly being needed after 2 years with heavy usage where the battery cannot be replaced. The Carta and other high-end E-rigs do offer non-integrated batteries for replacement, preventing the need for a new device. Remember these devices use lithium-ion batteries, which much like the ones in your cellphone lose strength and charging retention over time. After 6 months the cost of a $200 Electric Dab Rig will exceed the cost of a $200 e-nail.
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Lifetime Cost
- Between replacement coils and replacement devices, a $100 portable e-nail will cost as much as a $200 e-nail within 1-2 years, while the e-nail will require no significant replacement parts. Remember these devices use lithium-ion batteries, which much like the ones in your cellphone lose strength and charging retention over time.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Lifetime Cost
- Between replacement coils and replacement devices, a $75 electric nectar collector will cost as much as a $200 e-nail within 12-18 months, depending on usage, while the e-nail will require no significant replacement parts. Remember these devices use lithium-ion batteries, which much like the ones in your cellphone lose strength and charging retention over time.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Lifetime Cost
- Between replacement coils and replacement devices, a $50 dab pen will cost as much as a $200 E-nail after 12-18 months, depending on usage, while the e-nail will require no significant replacement parts. Remember these devices use lithium-ion batteries, which much like the ones in your cellphone lose strength and charging retention over time.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Lifetime Cost
- Again the only real competition, the traditional dab rig torch setup will last long and only require butane to be replaced. Lifetime costs for the torch setup will therefore be minimally more than an e-nail.
The main disadvantages of e-nails are portability , ease of use and safety.
The original e-nails were not designed with portability in mind and Dab rigs in general are not meant for that. When it comes to portability it’s going to be pretty much a wash out for e-nail with the other device options that don't require an electricity source, whether because they are battery powered or butane powered.
E-Nail VS E-Rig Portability
- The Electric Dab Rig was invented with portability in mind, so it is a sure winner versus the E-nail, an E-Rig is an all-in-one dabbing solution. No plugging in means its power on the go, although the power does not last forever so you will eventually need to get to an outlet or a portable charger.
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Portability
- It’s in the name, portable e-nail devices are surely more portable than plug-in e-nail devices. No plugging in means its power on the go, although the power does not last forever so you will eventually need to get to an outlet or a portable charger.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Portability
- E-Nectar Collectors are the rival to the king of portability, the Dab pen. Nectar collectors are way more portable and offer a similar throat feel to the at home e-nail if worked properly.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Portability
- The king of portability, fill and go, dab pens are mostly chosen for their portability and stealthiness, so of course the plug-in e-nail won't be able to compete with it.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Portability
- So the only thing that makes a dab torch rig setup more portable than an e-nail is not needing an electrical source to use the device. Other than that lugging everything around to setup may be a bit of a pain and cause damage to your glass or torch, however it can be done safely when travel cases are used.
E-Nail Ease of Use
E-nails are the easiest devices to use once setup properly, however there are other devices which are easier to setup and get going with. When it comes to e-nails, you will want to learn what the parts do , how to properly secure your e-nail to your rig and which temp you like to run at. Once you've done that, you can just turn it on, wait for it to heat and take a dab. Having a designated area for your enail to remain setup is always recommended. The learning curve with E-nail devices is less than with other devices, where an e-nail once setup is just a matter of temperature mainly (inserts and carb caps being another variable) whereas with other devices there may be a larger learning curve for an enjoyable and efficient experience.
E-Nail VS E-Rig Ease of Use
- As an all-in-one solution Electric Dab Rig devices do offer a simpler solution for dabbing at home or on the go, they are easy to use with several temp settings and no real setup required besides water. There may be a learning curve in understanding the heat settings or how to power on/off your device (press the button 5 times) but besides for that they are super easy and somewhat easier than an e-nail.
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Ease of Use
- As a load and go, minimal setup device, portable e-nail devices are easier to setup and use than e-nail devices, although as always with any battery powered device , especially when dealing with a coil, there will be a learning curve concerning proper saturation rate.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Ease of Use
- E-nectar Collectors are super simple to use, with no setup needed, just take it out , turn it on, wait for the tip to heat and dab away. It’s hard to compete with that, Mr. E-nail. As always with any battery powered device , especially when dealing with a coil, there will be a learning curve concerning proper saturation rate. With the ability to remove an e-nectar collector tip from the concentrate, it’s slightly easier to learn the proper saturation rate per the device and your desired experience.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Ease of Use
- Dab pens are a simple load and go setup, super convenient and easy to use, it’s hard for an e-nail to compete with that. As always with any battery powered device , especially when dealing with a coil, there will be a learning curve concerning proper saturation rate per the limited adjustment availability in the vaporization rate.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Ease of Use
- An e-nail setup is somewhat easier than a torch setup, excluding the needing be near a plug thing. Aside from that, using an enail is more efficient, enjoyable and easier than a dab torch setup any day of the week!
- E-nail devices are designed for power and control, their exposed coil can be a cause of concern for some and should be treated with care and respect.
- Never touch a hot coil while the coil is on or anytime soon after it has been used.
- Never has anything flammable near the coil. Always have the coil securely connected to the banger.
- Never leave the coil on for extended periods of time. (30+ min)
E-Nail VS E-Rig Safety
- Electric Dab rigs are surely a safer option than E-nails with no exposed heating elements. Lithium-ion batteries must be handled properly and charged properly, do not abuse your device.
E-Nail VS Portable E-Nail Ease of Use
- Portable e-nail devices are likewise a safer option to that of an enail, with no exposed heating element the likelihood of getting burned or burning something is dramatically reduced. Lithium-ion batteries must be handled properly and charged properly, do not abuse your device.
E-Nail VS E-Nectar Collector Ease of Use
- Electric Nectar Collectors do have an exposed heating tip which must be treated with care and respect, it can burn you or something else so do not touch the tip to anything you do not want to melt or burn! Lithium-ion batteries must be handled properly and charged properly, do not abuse your device.
E-Nail VS Dab Pen Ease of Use
- With the heating element buried deep inside, dab pens are surely a safe option. Never open the coil cap and place your finger on a hot coil…duh! Lithium-ion batteries must be handled properly and charged properly, do not abuse your device.
E-Nail VS Dab Rig Torch Setup Ease of Use
- With a freakin jet flame flying out your hand, it can be safe to say an e-nail is a safer setup than the traditional dab torch rig setup.
If you have made your way all the way to the end of this discussion you will have a firm understanding of the pro’s and con’s of an e-nail dab device and be able to make an educated decision as to whether an e-nail is best for you!
Please comment below with any questions or comments you may have!