What is a carb cap and are they important?
A carb cap is a tool that is primarily used while dabbing to improve the flow of the heat and the direction of the airflow for better intake. The carb cap is meant to be placed on top of a banger that has been heated up and has concentrates applied. The point of including a carb cap is to improve the overall outcome of the delivery with clean flavor and smoother rips that are noticeably more quality and in the taste, flavor, and terpenes.
Where to start with dabbing:
Starting up with dabbing is a lot different then starting up with dry herb or roll ups, while with both you may have to develop some skills; when starting off with dabbing there is a whole new set up that is required. Even the most simple set up still requires a piece, a glass banger, a torch, a tool, and a carb cap. For an easy and affordable all-in-one kit, check out Daily High Club Ultimate Concentrates Dab Kit, that includes all the tools and even some more accessories for $89.99!
What is the science behind a carb cap?
By now, carb caps are just considered basic in smoking etiquette but much of this basic smoking etiquette are habits that were never thought of or even put into consideration just years ago. Carb caps come in all different shapes, styles, forms, and sizes but they all hold a similar goal; to keep the heat contained and at a good temperature. Although each dabber may have different temperature preferences, ultimately having a carb cap will consistently maintain that preferred temperature throughout the duration of the rip.
Where does the carb cap go?
The carb cap is supposed to be lightly placed over a heated banger. After the quartz piece (or the banger) has been loaded with concentrate, a carb cap is placed on top to retain the heat of the glass. There are different ways that people like to use them; for a larger, more immediate load it’s better to get that carb cap on right away. For a smoother lighter rip, it’s better to start inhaling first rather than immediately applying the cap over the banger. Of course, the perfect load will be different for each individual, and finding that perfect middle ground comes with practice!
Although the unattached carb is exclusive to the dab rig, much like a standard pipe or a water pipe, a carb is meant to improve the air flow. Typically carbs or carburetors are built in with the piece as a covering, like the one in this eggplant pipe. Carb holes are now an essential for most dry pipes and it is actually more unlikely to find a piece without a carb hole because of the improvement and innovation over the years. The carb hole improves the quality of the outcome and helps maximize performance, which is why it’s important to have one for these high temperature devices.
In simple style water pieces like this they will sometimes include a carb hole as well because the joint of the piece is designed for simplicity and ease, not particularly for airflow.
What are the benefits of using a carb cap / what’s it like without it?
You are reducing the amount of air entering the glass while maximizing the quality of the intake, ensuring that the rip is more potent then it would otherwise be. Without the carb cap applied, air flows through the piece at a quicker rate. Not only does this cause the banger to cool off at a faster rate, but less of the actual uptake would contain the heated concentrate element since it is being mixed with more air flow.
So how exactly does it provide a better quality performance?
The reason that a carb cap makes for a noticeably better quality is because it gets a good mix of air and smoke in. Without a carb/ carb cap the delivery would be very rough to throat, harsh to take, and would even feel very hot. Having more control over the airflow also allows for a more potent flavor output because the air dilutes the terpenes making for a smoother, cleaner hit.
How do I pick out a banger for my rig?
Just like the variety in standard pieces, bangers also come in different sizes and forms. Beginning with the three standard joint sizes, there are bangers starting as small as 10mm, moving up to 14mm, and continuing to 18mm, so that they can be compatible with most water pieces. So it’s important to start with knowing the size of the piece that you are using to begin with. In addition to having the standard male versus female options, bangers are unique because they have different angles that come into factor as well. Some bangers are angled at 45 degrees while some are angled at a full 90 degrees.
45mm Premium Quartz Banger
The first picture of a 45 degree banger would be ideal for glass that is meant to be used with a piece that also has a 45 degree joint. This way the banger sits flat with the piece so it is easy to use.
90mm Premium Quartz Banger
The one at 90 degrees match with glass that also has a 90 degree joint. Keeping your surface flat makes for more even heating as you drop your dab into the banger! 90 degree joints are typically better for short rigs because the length in height makes for ease in torching and ideal for most standard pieces.
When it comes to matching it up with a carb cap, the most important feature amongst all of these will be the size of the cup of the banger, just to ensure that the carb cap is compatible with the setup. Banger cups come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from extra narrow and deep to massively wide extra extra large made for slab dabs!
Carb caps take on a multitude of different forms, shapes, and styles. Here at DHC we carry some of our favorite caps like the Olive Dab Tool / Carb Cap Combo, which is a perfect two in one piece for convenient smoking. While some are aimed towards simplicity, others are made for duality, and some are simply for accessorizing or collection growing.
These tools will overall improve the quality of the experience, however each person will have a preference to why they enjoy the tools they use. Overall carbs are most important with rigs for the smoothest and most potent outcome.