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Essentials for the low temp dabber

If you’re trying to figure out the next step to improve your dabbing experience, you might want to consider low temp dabbing. Keeping the temperature lower, you can enjoy more flavor from your concentrate and make your dabs less harsh on your throat . This article will help you set up a low temp dab station and learn how to get started enjoying more flavor from your concentrate.

The essentials

You can dab from any water pipe, but for low temp dabbing, I suggest having a small rig. Keeping your rig small will keep the vapor concentrated, which generates more flavor from your dab. You’ll also want to make sure you separate combustion and vaporization if you want the best flavor. Smoking and vaporizing out of the same piece will cause everything to taste like smoke, so there is no way to enjoy the flavor of your concentrate. Once you’ve picked a dedicated rig, you’ll need a nail or banger.  The first step is deciding between ceramic, titanium, or quartz. This is another situation where anything could work, but some will perform better than others. I would recommend using quartz for low temp dabbing. Quartz doesn’t hold heat as long as titanium or ceramic, but it makes up for this in flavor. Not holding heat isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. In low temp dabbing, you to heat the banger past your desired temperature to ensure even heating, then, quartz will cool more quickly meaning there is less wait to reach your desired temperature. Also, with quartz, you can see your concentrate vaporizing, which, aside from being a beautiful sight, can help monitor temperature! Since you’re trying to hold a low temperature for a long time, you’ll want something thick or double-walled to hold heat. Personally, I prefer a nice, thick quartz banger. This will allow you to evenly vaporize larger dabs at your desired temperature. You’ll also want to make sure you have a well-fit carb cap for whatever option you select. It is essential to use a carb cap when low temp dabbing to get convective heating going along with conduction in order to evenly vaporize your concentrate. If you are curious about conduction and convection, this is described in more detail in the carb cap article.

Timing is everything

Finally, if you don’t have an e-nail, you’ll need something to time with. With a torch, you’ll need to figure out how long to heat your particular banger and how long it needs to cool before it reaches your desired temperature for optimal flavor. The heating and cooling time can depend on the design, thickness, and material you choose to dab with. Figuring it out for your particular piece can take a bit of experimentation. You’ll want to make sure you get your banger evenly heated, but overheating can damage your banger and will just make you wait longer.  You’ll also have to determine how long you need to wait to achieve optimal flavor and minimal puddling. When low temp dabbing, a small puddle left at the end means you’re doing it right, but leaving too much is wasteful and disappointing. This method is as much an art as a science, and it may take a few tries to get it dialed in. Be sure to use a timer when heating and letting it cool for consistency. If you don’t mind investing another $15-$30, you can purchase an infrared thermometer and directly monitor the temperature. An infrared thermometer will let you know the exact temperature of your dabbing surface, and if you time it, you should be able to consistently produce your optimal dabbing experience.


Optional Improvements

These may not be absolutely essential, but they will help you get the most for your money and improve your dab station. When low temp dabbing, a reclaim catcher can really improve your set up. Dabbing at lower temperature will keep the vapor temperature lower as well, and this causes more condensation than in higher temperature dabbing. This recondensed vapor is called reclaim. If you stop it from clogging your rig, it can be cooked with or even dabbed again. A reclaim catcher will allow you to catch and use this byproduct as you please and keep your rig cleaner for longer.

Once you have your timing figured out, you can also improve your dab station by investing in an hourglass. Sure, you can use your phone, but that gets annoying and an hourglass just fits so naturally into a dab station. I also recommend considering “q-tip technology” to keep your quartz clean. This simply means using a q-tip to wipe up the puddle left over when you’re done, but it will keep every dab tasting just as good as the last. Dabbies are a reusable alternative to a general cotton swab, but either will get the job done.

Go get started!

So, now you know what you need to adapt your dab station to hitting those lower temperatures. It may take some practice to perfect the technique, but using this list, you can start off with everything you need. Whether you want to keep it simple or go all in, switching to low temp dabbing is sure to improve your dabbing experiences!


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