Does a portable enail compare to a full enail?

Is a portable enail even a thing? Which Come Closest? The Switch? Puffco Peak?

I like the idea of a portable unit that can attach to a rig, like the Puffo Peak or Dr. Dabber Switch. This may be a better way for you to bring the dab rig setup around to different spots a little easier than with a full, traditional enail setup. But can the Puffco Peak really match up to a full enail set? One major complaint is that many users have posted about the Puffco having rapidly failing parts. Sometimes warranties are honored and sometimes the case is disqualified. This is a risk that you may be taking trying out product that has not been time tested.

Some say it is the most costly device to maintain, but there are also some really cool heady glass bubbler attachments that make this device shine above the majority of portable enail products on the market right now. If I had the extra cash I would probably get one with a heady American glass attachment just to try it out and see for myself.

Battery Issues:

The major complaint about portable enail solutions so far is that the heating element is too small. The heat coil on a standard enail is much larger than on any available portable unit. The extra mass and surface on an enail coil allow a larger dab surface to be heated at once. Larger coils allow for a much more even and full cloud compared to the smaller and thinner coils designed to conserve battery power. Power requirements for a full enail coil are just a little too high given current battery tech. It can be done, but you need to find a battery pack that is quite large. None of the current lithium technologies allow for a battery pack that will fit into a standard enail case on the market. Your best bet at this time is to use a laptop battery bank and a DC capable enail controller.

Cig Plug/Car Inverter

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 very well for camping and outdoor events.

Ultra Portable Units:

Some daily dabbers swear by ultra portable units such as the Sai Top Airflow, which have isolated heat coils. These coils sit in a separated area from the dab surface, and therefore never come in contact with the concentrate. This eliminates off-flavors that result from residues and deposits collecting on the heat coil. As long as the bucket stays relatively clean, the flavors will stay clear for a surprisingly long time. The flavor is also greatly improved using the “double burner” effect. The heat coil indirectly heats the concentrate through the bottom of the Ti bucket rather than contacting it directly. This serves to slow the heat down just enough to give a perfect, even rip (and avoid burning/charring).

Other really like the Megatoke, which is pricey but has models for both dry herb as well as oil. That’s another one I really wouldn’t mind giving a try one day, along with the Storz & Bickle Mighty.

That Rare Long-Lasting Atomizer:

You don’t need to worry nearly as much about ongoing maintenance with a isolated atomizer like this. Make doubly sure your work is reduced by picking up an extra atomizer that you can let soak in ISO and switch out in the morning. The Sai TAF uses temperature control mode to balance the perfect temperatures. This can be even further improved by flashing Arctic Fox firmware to get the latest, most precise open source software. If you are looking for a portable dab solution that is easily adaptable to any type of extract, the Sai TAF is the clear choice. It’s my favorite for portable dabbing and vaping on any type of oil or concentrate available. For flower, I like vaping with my health stone pipe (I think it’s called a “Smart Pipe”)

Water Filtering:

When I think about portable enail I tend to imagine a straight-shot rip with no water filtration. I started with the infamous globe style pen. This thing was a total piece of garbage. No decent bubbler attachments on the market existed at the time. Even now they tend to be more hassle than they are worth when the silicone seals fail or start tasting like junk. I am normally on the go if using a pen or mod. When I’m dabbing “on the go” it might be in a park or place where I would prefer to keep on the low-down. A trade off is necessary between water filtration and inconspicuousness when dabbing on the go. Therefore I consider portable solutions to be mostly un-filtered/dry. A Puffco works in the woods, but not so well in a public park or campsite. It’s next to impossible to stay incognito in public with a bubbler attachment. Even if it didn’t sound like I’m slurping a ginormous strawberry milkshake through a straw, the issue remains of having to find water. Then you need to find a place to dispose of it and avoid spills after.

No Filters:

Sometimes I actually prefer the taste of dabs without water filtration — but usually I prefer the water. Terpenes get somewhat filtered out with water, which is one thing you notice right away after an unfiltered rip (extra flavor). I actually prefer unfiltered sometimes for that 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 device in the #lowtemp range. Terpenes without that water filtration may give a harsh rip, since they are solvents technically. This is why pinene is in Pine Sol and limonene is in hand soap. Go easy on the more terpy dabs with slow breaths to reduce lung irritation until you know your ideal mix. It sometimes may seem like you actually get bigger rips from a portable enail solution. Actually, it just seems like a bigger rip most likely because it’s more harsh and less filtered.

AC Power Banks for Full Portable Enail Game

Make your enail portable with an “AC power bank” and bundle it with your dabbing kit. These power banks work with a standard AC-powered heat coil, however there are also DC heat coils, controllers, and power bank outputs available. DC power makes the battery last much longer since the extra inversion to AC means some output loss in inverting. Laptop battery packs that are 200W are the minimum specs you will need for standalone battery cells being inverted to AC power. This is because the efficiency should be conservatively estimated to cut the output in half. This means that a 200W pack is the minimum needed to power a 100W coil.

The Case For a Decent Peli Enail:

Many dabbers trust the Pelican case (or similar brands) to transport, but for some reason most of the Peli designs have compromised their protection. The electronics protrude from the sides of a protective case. Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? This completely defeats the purpose of a waterproof, impact-resistant case. I get it. The electronics don’t all fit in a standard sized Peli case and the larger cases can get pricey. An XL case isn’t ideal for everyone, but it’s nice when you can fit your entire dab setup inside. I would rather see a case designed for the electronics and glass only. Leaving the cables out is a small price to pay for keeping the protective qualities of the Peli case.


Portable enail solutions strive to match a full enail setup, but none quite have the battery power for it. In order to fully heat a nail for sustained sessions, wall power is still necessary until battery technology improves. This being said, some of them are still good solutions for portable dabbing when it’s just not possible to find an outlet or transport a larger setup.

Conner G (A.K.A. "Bob Drillin")

Conner G (A.K.A. "Bob Drillin")

I am a DIY electronics enthusiast who has been 3D printing since 2018, making custom e-nail controllers since 2016, and putting together custom electronic instruments since 2011.

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