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Portable E-Nails: Can a Portable Vape Really Match an E-Nail?

By February 23, 2019 No Comments



When I think about portable dabs I normally imagine this without water filtration. This is probably because I started with a terrible globe-style eGo, and at the time they didn’t have a lot of handy bubbler attachments on the market. Plus, I wasn’t really looking for one because a lot of times when I’m dabbing “on the go” it might be in a park or place where I would prefer it to be somewhat inconspicuous (even though legal where I live). This is difficult to impossible with a bubbler attachment. Even if it blended in a little better and didn’t sound like I’m chugging a strawberry milkshake through a straw, there was still the issue of having to find water and dispose of it after used– being very careful not to leave too many drops in the attachment to later drip into my pocket, backpack, car, etc.,

I can go with or without water filtration– but usually I prefer the water. Unfiltered is great sometimes to get an unfiltered flavor; but it can be a on the harsher-side compared to a water-filtered dab. That being said, it definitely can pack quite a loud flavor and deliver an amazingly clear terpene profile when keeping the temperature settings of the vape mod in the #lowtemp range. Of course terpenes are solvents, and can therefore be harsh on the lungs without that water filtration, so I go really easy on it with slow breaths so not to irritate the lungs too much.

I like the idea of a portable vape that can attach to a rig, like the Megatoke (see video on the Dab Spot channel). This may be a better way for you to bring the dab rig setup around to different spots a little easier than with an e-nail controller (compact or not) and having to pack the power cable, heat coil, and nail to bring along. Some like the Pelican case (or similar versions) to bring their e-nail to an outside sesh, but for some reason many of those designs have all of the electronics sticking out of the sides! Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a waterproof, impact-resistant, pressure-regulated case? It’s nice when you can get a case that is big enough to fit the entire dab setup inside– but that can get pricey as you go with the larger cases (over $100 just for the case) and isn’t ideal for everyone. That’s why I really prefer solutions like the Sai Top Airflow which packs a rather large isolated Ti bucket over a ceramic doughnut-shaped coil and works really well for me on a KBOX200 mod. Many really like portable vapes like the Megatoke (if your have the means), which has models for both dry herb vaping as well as oil attachments. The Megatoke Model 3 even acts like a portable Flowerpot to combine flower and dry herb all in one dab with two separate heating chambers that both feed into the mouthpiece, which allows you to harness the entourage effect by combining multiple cannabinoids and terpenoids into one flavorful draw.

If I bring my e-nail around it’s because where I’m bringing it already has a dab rig there. In short, e-nails are portable- but e-nails, dab rigs and the whole setup gets to be just a bit too much for me to want to bring around most of the time.



The other issue that arises from potable dab solutions that try to match an e-nail is the fact that the heating coil on a standard e-nail is much larger than on a portable vape, and for good reason. The extra mass and surface allow a larger dab surface to be heated at once, which allows for a much more even and full vaporization compared to a smaller and thinner coil designed to heat a much smaller dab surface. Given current marketable battery tech., power requirements are just a little too much for a full e-nail coil to make a battery pack that will fit into a form-factor considerably more compact than the standard e-nails on the market– let alone the compact/mini e-nail controllers.

Again, if you are not using some sort of water filtration it may seem like you got a larger pull than you would have with water filtration simply because it will hit a little harsher. For me the pull is more full and satisfying with water filtration– but then again sometimes it’s nice to mix it up with the slow-burn lowtemp terpy draws without water to put that cannabinoid entourage into full-effect with the extra terps that normally get filtered.

One option to use a full e-nail heat coil portably is to get a “laptop power bank” and haul that sucker around with your kit. This will work with a standard AC-powered heat coil, however there are DC heat coils and controllers avvailavle which makes the DC battery last much longer since it bypasses the need to invert (and therefore lose energy to the conversion). Laptop battery packs that are 200W are the min. requirement for standalone battery cells being inverted to AC power. This is because the efficiency should be conservatively estimated to cut the output in half– meaning a 200W pack is needed to power a 100W coil (at minimum).

Another option is to use a car inverter that plugs into your car lighter port. This converts energy created by your automobile’s alternator while it is running. These are inexpensive (normally under $40 for a 300W) and work well if you are camping or parked in a private area.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to drop a line.