Not the tiki torches at summer barbecues or torches found in medieval castles, but the little ornaments found in every professional dabber’s kit. If you’re a newcomer to the world of dabbing or have dabbed for years, an electric torch is arguably the best upgrade you can make to your rig. Whether you’ve used a torch before or have only seen friends or YouTubers use one, now’s the time to get the down low on torches.
To understand the necessity for a torch, we need to get a little background on dabbing. Dabbing, which looks pretty weird if you don’t know what it is or have never seen it, is the act of imbibing your favorite oils and waxes by heating them. Often, you can can use a heated nail and water pipe to inhale the vapor of your favorite oil, but there’s a whole world of concentrate vapes designed for quick and portable dabbing. People dab using a dab rig, which are a type of water pipe much like a bong, but they’re often smaller as they don’t need as much water or filtration to enjoy the vapor.
The most important step, arguably, of dabbing is not necessarily the rig or type of nail you use, but the heat source. Unlike a bong, which requires an open blame to burn the herbs in the attached bowl, the dab rig has a nail which requires much more heat. A typical lighter will not cut it with a dab rig: if you see someone dab, you’ll actually notice that the nail becomes so hot it will even change colors, turning red hot--this is not something a simple box of matches can do. Instead, you’ll need a butane torch to properly heat the nail so it’s hot enough to melt the dab of oil placed on the nail’s head.
When most people think of butane torches, they either think of high school chemistry class or maybe something found at a home improvement store. We’re here to tell you that although you could technically use these more rudimentary options to heat your nail, it’s neither the safest nor easiest method for dabbing.
Before we go into the best kinds of torches for dabbing, we need to take a step back and consider what’s included in a standard dabber’s kit. First off, you’ll need a dab rig. Our beginner’s guide to dabbing can go into better detail on how to dab, and we even have a quick quiz to help you choose the best dab rig for you. To keep things simple, you can shop for dab rigs online or as your local head shop for dab rig recommendations. You’re essentially looking for a small bong that has a nail instead of a bowl; generally, a 14mm 90 degree male bong is de facto a dab rig as most dab nails fit those dimensions.
Of course, you can repurpose an old bong by simply swapping out the bowl for a nail. Choosing the best dab nail is a whole other story, but rest assured you can’t go wrong with a classic domeless nail head. If you’re a beginner, we like to start off with dab buckets like these (also called banger nails) because they contain the dab better than a standard dab nail can.
You’ll need a few more dabbing accessories though that stray from a standard bong kit: a dabber is incredibly important in the dabbing process. Often made of glass, a dabber is often the length of a pencil and allows you to place your dab onto the nail, which is way too hot to use your fingers on. Dabbers help keep you safe while also letting you place a tiny amount of dab with precision and accuracy. What we love most about dabbers is how unique they are: you can buy a standard glass stick dabber, or get really personal with fun designs and shapes like a Crayola crayon dabber.
You’re off to a good start in building up your dabber’s kit with the above tools, but dabbing will be a lot easier if you can add on accessories like a silicone dab mat to keep your surfaces clean (imagine scrubbing wax off your counter tops, it’s not fun) and silicone storage containers to keep your dab clean and safely put away.
Lastly, you’ll need a torch to heat the dab nail! As previously mentioned, dab nails get hot, extremely hot: reaching temperatures of up to 900-1000 degrees Fahrenheit, this is something that the standard lighter you’ve been using for your other pipes won’t do. For your safety, we highly recommend investing in a torch designed specifically for dabbing. Our favorite torch brand is Cinderwitch: designed by aerospace engineers in Savannah, Georgia, Cinderwitch is the ultimate in safety and caliber design. Full of safety features and personal touches designed with the dabber in mind, Cinderwitch has consistently won national awards for their torches.
The Benefits of dabbing with a Cinderwitch torch:
One, two or three flame options
Easy to hold, ergonomic designs
Fits on top of most standard butane cans
Flame lock features makes dabbing extra safe
No more refilling your torch
Cinderwitch torches are so easy to use--you just place the Cinderwitch on top of any standard can of butane, and you’re ready to rip! With something that can be so potentially dangerous, it’s worth it to have a quality dab torch. Cinderwitch keeps it safe with a flame lock that stops the butane torch from accidentally firing or being played with by children or other users. Their torches are available with one, two or three flames, letting you turn the dab nail hot red or leave it at a lower temperature for higher flavor dabs. With safety ranked as the #1 concern for dabbers, the Cinderwitch line of torches will elevate your next dabbing experience.
Of course, for those who just don’t like handling an open flame no matter how safe the torch is, there is an alternative to torches with electronic nails or e-nails. These popular devices are pricey but incredibly useful: simply place the silicone and titanium nail into where you would normally place a nail, and connect it to the battery. A press of the button will heat the nail in two seconds, without using a single open flame or torch.