Choosing the right tool to help you melt down and absorb your wax concentrates and similar substances makes a world of difference in the experience that you have. For modern vape enthusiasts, two of the most common products that you’ll see recommended to you are nectar collectors and dab rigs. But what’s the difference? Does choosing one over the other really matter that much? In this guide, we’ll take a more comprehensive look at these two popular dabbing products to understand what they are, what they do, and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each to help you choose the right tool for your needs.
What’s a Nectar Collector?
A nectar collector is a revolutionary new way to vape your concentrates that answers the age-old question, how can I smoke my wax on the go? Rather than being built with the body of a bulky dab rig, a nectar collector is slim and compact, allowing you to heat the tip, dip it into your concentrates, and inhale with ease. These products are perfect for dab enthusiasts who’ve always wanted to take their dabs with them but never were able to find the right product for this need.
Benefits of a Nectar Collector
In comparison to other dab products on the market, nectar collectors come with multiple benefits that make them an excellent choice. Let’s take a look at a few of these benefits as well as the pros and cons of this tool so that you can compare it with a nectar collector during your buyer’s journey.
Arguably the greatest benefit of the nectar collector is that it’s portable, making it so that you don’t have to deal with the struggles of trying to successfully secure your dab rig wherever your go, pull it out, fill it up, prepare your tools, take a hit, and empty it before going somewhere else. Instead, everything that you have to use is compact, making it easier to pull it out and use it without having to worry about extensive storage techniques and an even more extensive preparation process.
Ease of Use
Taking a dab, like other forms of vaping, should be easy. With the nectar collector, all you have to do is heat the tip of your tool, dip it into your concentrates, and inhale. Even better, there are plenty of electric products on the market that streamline this process further and allow you to get more from your tool while having to do less in order to operate it.
What are the pros of using a nectar collector? These include:
As we stated above, the biggest pro is that you can take your nectar collector anywhere. Compact and easy to store, there are plenty of tools that you can use to store your nectar collector for additional protection. If you’ve always wanted to have easy access to your concentrates, making the decision to purchase a nectar collector is one you won’t regret.
A Lot of Smoke
Vapors produced by a dab rig have a while to travel throughout the device, meaning that you may be slowly inhaling all of the vapor over time while it goes through the various percolators and vapor pathways. Nectar collectors, on the other hand, feature a small percolator and a shorter vapor pathway, meaning that you’re getting very powerful hits once you heat your tip and dip it into your concentrate of choice (a bonus for certain vape enthusiasts).
Of course, every tool comes with its cons as well. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest cons that may prevent you from getting more out of your nectar collector.
No Temperature Control
Traditional nectar collectors have no temperature control. Like dab rigs, you have to heat the tip of the tool until it reaches a certain temperature and color, wait for it to cool, and dip it into your concentrates so they heat and vaporize. This lack of control can be a drawback for some users, but many new dab straws do offer temperature control, so it all depends on which type of nectar collector you’re looking for and what you ultimately want. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to different types of nectar collectors as well!
How to Use a Nectar Collector
Using a nectar collector is a very straightforward process. Simply:
- Fill the percolator section of your nectar with water, assembling your nectar collector so that it’s tightly connected and ready to go.
- Use a blowtorch to evenly heat the tip of your nectar collector, taking great care to avoid any potentially flammable items or breaking your tip in the process.
- Once your nectar collector’s tip is properly heated, dip it directly into your concentrates and inhale!
Cleaning a Nectar Collector
Most nectar collectors are quite easy to clean as they come apart, allowing you to soak the glass in a mixture of warm water and soap or diluted rubbing alcohol until the built-up residue has loosened and can be removed with a soft brush. Make sure to clean your tools regularly so that this doesn’t happen!
What's a Dab Rig?
A dab rig is a tool that most are familiar with. These large, complex water pipes feature percolators and water filtration systems that serve to cool down vapors and filter out any of the harmful substances that are found in them. A dab rig is generally the starter tool for dab enthusiasts and you can easily find one in any smoke shop near you.
Benefits of Using a Dab Rig
Although nectar collectors have picked up steam as a desirable product, that doesn’t mean that the dab rig is no longer a useful product to own. Let’s review the benefits of this dab tool as well as the pros and cons.
The dab rig allows you to truly unlock the potential of your concentrates, helping you get massive hits whenever you feel the need to vape. Much like a bong is an excellent starter tool for smokers who may try dry herb vaporizers later on, the dab rig is the essential foundational tool to your dabbing experience before you move onto tools like a nectar collector.
Dab rigs were built for dabbings, making them very efficient in vaporizing your concentrates, ensuring that they’re properly cooled and cleaned before they make it to your lips, and providing you with an excellent experience. Because of this, you should definitely try hitting from a dab rig at some point.
Most dab rigs are made entirely from glass, preserving the flavor of your wax concentrates from heating all the way to your first inhalation. Additionally, the water pathways make it easier to enjoy your dabs without having to deal with intense heat. Overall, the dab rig provides you with quality dabs each time.
The pros of using a dab rig include:
Requires Nail or Banger
A dab nail is a tool where you vaporize your concentrates. These give you full control over your vaping experience as you decide just how much you place onto your nail.
As we stated above, the taste of your vapors that come with using a dab rig is immaculate (as long as you make sure to clean your dab rig regularly).
Even these popular tools have their downsides! Some cons of using a dab rig include:
No Temperature Control
The biggest downside of a dab rig is that there’s no temperature control. However, there are some electronic options that may be able to offer you this if it’s a must in your dabbing experience.
How to Use a Dab Rig
Despite its size, a dab rig is fairly easy to use. All you have to do is:
- Fill the internal components with water until you can inhale and it starts to bubble.
- Evenly heat your nail until it’s red hot. Wait for 20-30 seconds to let it cool.
- Use your dab tool to scoop out some concentrate and place it on the nail. Inhale!
How to Clean a Dab Rig
Dab rigs are whole, meaning that they’re a bit difficult to clean. You’ll want to fill your dab rig with warm water and soap or a diluted isopropyl alcohol solution for an hour or longer to loosen residue and find a tool that can help you clean the internal components more effectively. The more regularly you clean, the better off you’ll be.
Differences and Similarities
Nectar collectors are very similar in nature, but there are different features you’ll want to focus on when you begin shopping.
The key differences between dab rigs and dab straws include:
Dab rigs are large and bulky while nectar collectors are much more compact and thin (which plays a crucial role in portability and functionality).
Dab rig shapes vary wildly, but you’ll often find massive options. Nectar collectors, on the other hand, are more like a pen, which is why another common name for them is a dab straw.
Both dab rigs and nectar collectors are relatively easy to use. However, nectar collectors are easy to use on the go whereas dab rigs are really only functional for around the home or at a party.
How are dab rigs and nectar collectors similar? Let’s take a look.
Require a Torch
Unless you’re using an electronic option, you’re going to need a torch to heat up the nail of your rig and the tip of your nectar collector.
Vapors from dabbing are quite hot, which can make it difficult to truly enjoy your dabs. Fortunately, both dab rigs and dab straws have water filtration tools in place to keep your vapors filtered and cool when you inhale.
Dab rigs and nectar collectors are both great tools for dab enthusiasts. However, each tool comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re shopping for a new tool to help you enjoy your concentrates, use the guide above to learn more about these two options and determine which will be best for you!