What is a Carb Cap?

In the world of dabbing, the use of a carb cap can turn a good session into a great one. Using a carb is not a new concept in the smoking arena. However, new applications see its use more practical in the realm of dabbing. Today, vaporization is considered one of the most popular methods of herbal consumption. In this article, we will be exploring what a carb cap is, how it is used, and why it is essential.

Types of Carb Caps

Types Of Carb Caps

While the functionality of all carb caps remains the same, there are different types depending on what nail you have. Many who seek pain relief choose the benefit of being able to dab without using too many gadgets. Tools like this are designed to create minimal steps to achieve the desired outcome. Carb caps give more control to the user for the best experience possible. These are some of the most popular:

Directional Carb Caps

Designed to be used for banger-style quartz nails, these come equipped with an angled carb that can be rotated to spread the concentrate. This makes for more vapor by pushing the air around to evenly distribute the oil. Perfect for those who want something small and efficient.

Bubble Carb Caps

Usually made of quartz, these are best used with a flat-top quartz banger. Hollow stems extend from the bubble in the middle which creates superior air control. This creates a sort of ball-and-socket mechanism which make it easier to rotate. A great option for those who have more experience with dabbing.

Flat Carb Caps

Best used with a banger or trough-styled quartz nail, the design is simple and straightforward. Usually made of glass, this doubles as a dabber which makes the experience much easier. Perfect for those just starting out in the world of dabbing, this carb cap features a longer design that is ergonomically sound for the beginner.

Carb Cap Dabber

There exists however a more practical option, which is called a carb cap dabber. This is used for banger or trough-styled nails, as well as castle-styled nails. Castles have a center tube that rises higher than the sidewalls of the nail. Some of these can also fit different sizes of nails without having to swap them out. More on that in a bit.

Carb Cap Sizes

If you do not have the right size, then it defeats the entire purpose of having one. Always make sure to line up your carb cap with your nail to ensure a good fit. There should be no gaps whatsoever! Finding the right size is simple for most smoking devices. The three main sizes are 14mm, 18mm, and 20mm, which makes choosing the right size very straightforward. Just line up your nail with the carb cap and you know you have the right fit. 

Carb Cap Materials

Carb Cap Materials

Just like sizes, there are three main types to choose from. The benefits of each material are worth considering when choosing your carb cap. There is no best option, since each also comes with a slight drawback. Ultimately, the style you choose will come down to preference. Each has their own unique attributes to make the most of your dabbing session:

Glass and Quartz

The most fragile of the three, it is also the most aesthetically pleasing. Customizable and unique, these types of carb caps blend practicality with art. You would hard-pressed to find one you do not like. All of them require the most care and attention to ensure their longevity. Like ceramic, glass retains the integrity of the flavor profile without compromising quality.


The go-to option for anyone who favors pure efficiency. A titanium carb cap is virtually unbreakable and meant to endure a lifetime of usage. This type of carb cap is designed for beginners or those on the go. Experienced users can appreciate the practicality of titanium and prefer this over other options while traveling. However, there are some who prefer not to use metal when vaporizing their concentrates.


Another solid option for those who prefer purity and performance. Like titanium, ceramic is limited in its artful variety. Though what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with offering the user a cleaner experience. It is cheaper than titanium and more durable than glass. Vapors flow through ceramic without the worry of losing flavor with metal.

Carb Cap Dabber

The Carb Cap Dabber

This style is the most popular due to its versatility. Given the nature of dabbing, utilizing a dabber with a carb cap combination is ideal. These also come in either glass / quartz, titanium, and ceramic. The best part about this combo is not having to look for different tools. One can simply dab & stir, then immediately cover the nail with the cap on the other end. It is the most resourceful type of carb cap.

Benefits of a Carb Cap Dabber

Aside from its versatility, the carb cap dabber’s main function is to cool down the vaping temperature. This allows for a smoother experience with an enhanced flavor profile. Less heat means more concentrate. By restricting airflow, you control how much vapor you want as well. Another added benefit is extending the life of your nail by exposing it to lower temperatures. Over time this will save you money and the headache that goes with having to replace a broken banger.

How to Choose a Carb Cap Dabber

How to Choose a Carb Cap Dabber

After determining what size & style you want, choosing your tool comes down to sheer preference. One important aspect to consider is what type of nail you are using. Ideally, you would want a quartz banger to have a quartz carb cap dabber. The reason is because you could inadvertently break or wear down your quartz nail quicker using titanium.  This is especially true with inexperienced dabbers. They are all compatible with one another however. No matter what you end up using, choosing the correct size is truly paramount.

How to Use a Carb Cap Dabber

How to Use a Carb Cap Dabber

The versatility of a carb cap dabber makes it easier on the user. Without having to worry about fiddling with various tools, you can dab & cap all in one shot. Start by having all your tools & concentrate ready to dab. With your nail heated through either a torch or e-nail, scoop up your concentrate and spread inside your nail. Draw in as you do this and flip over the carb cap to regulate the airflow. You will notice the smoke thicken as you do this. You can rotate the car cap to evenly distribute the airflow around your concentrate. Once you draw in the vapor you want, remove the carb cap to clear out the rig. That is all there is to it!

How to Clean a Carb Cap

After your nail cools down, you can use a dabber to scrape off any excess concentrate to be used again. Cleaning off is just as easy. After storing any excess concentrate, wipe away any burnt residues with rubbing alcohol and a cotton cloth. The last thing you want is to taint your flavor profile in a dab with a dirt carb cap! Always use caution when cleaning more delicate materials like glass. Depending on how often you dab, it is advisable to clean your carb cap at least once a week.

Carb Cap Tips

One of the best tips for using a carb cap is realizing that you will be using lower temperatures. Most people heat up their nails until they are red hot. Since the carb cap maintains temperatures by trapping heat, you will have to experiment to find the sweet spot. Another tip is to always keep your accessories clean! Make it a habit to clean off your carb caps after they have cooled down. This will ensure a fresh experience every time. The main thing to remember here is that size does matter! Whatever you end up using, just make sure that it fits. Happy dabbing!

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A List of the Best Carb Caps to Use for Dabbing Wax

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