Sometime in 2015, we saw a new category of vaporizers rise from what was previously nothing. Units like the Dr. Dabber Boost and the Cloud V Electro were some of the first to spring up in the market and create a new form factor of vaporizers that finds itself in between a vape pen and a traditional oil rig.
These portable e-rigs are great for someone who is looking for a simple system for dabbing concentrates. I feel most concentrate consumers will find these portable e-nails very convenient even if you don’t medicate much away from home. Traditional oil rigs and e-nails require more space and time to operate than these units.
For the most part, all of the e-rigs listed in this guide are ready to use within about 30 seconds of you wanting to medicate. Also, they are small and very easy to store away if you cannot have paraphernalia out in the open.
They have been coined “E-Rigs” or “Portable E-Nails” by their manufacturers and the community, so the terms are interchangeable. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll be referring to each device as a portable e-nail for continuity and uniformity.
This buyer’s guide serves as an overall summary of each device rather than full in-depth reviews. We realize not everyone has the time to read long reviews and scour online forums to find the best device, which is why we wrote this guide.
We do have full detailed reviews available for most of these units where you can get an in-depth look at each of the vaporizers. This guide just aims at simplifying the process of deciding if any of these highly rated devices are a good fit for you.
We have selected 3 units to include in this portable e-nail guide, and each one we feel fills a different niche in the e-rig market:
- Best All Around Unit
- Best Home Unit
- Best Budget Unit
Now without further ado, here are our top picks for portable e-nails!
Best All Around Portable E-Nail:
SOURCE Nail Temperature Control Kit – $199.95 From Vaporizer Chief (Use Promo Code BUDS for 10% off)
Out of all the designs I have tried, this has been my favorite implementation of the portable e-nail. The design is very modular and works with other SOURCE Vape products; it also isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. You’ll have no issue picking up this design and using it if you have any experience with SOURCE’s other products or just e-cigs in general.
The design uses specially designed “nail” atomizers that emulate a traditional e-nail.
SOURCE Vapes provides each kit with Titanium, Ceramic, and Quartz nails. Unlike the other options on this guide, you are able to finely adjust the power delivered to these nails.
You can power these atomizers so low that you only taste the concentrate, or you can power them so much that it instantly sublimates all the oil in the nail, or if you’re like me, you can find the middle ground in between flavor and vapor production.
Most of the other e-nails on the market don’t give the user the degree of control that SOURCE does, which is one of the reasons why I rate this unit higher than the others.
You have the option of using SOURCE’s temperature control mode in degrees, or you can use watts. I like this because some people definitely prefer to not use watts to adjust the temperature of their vaporizer, and this also makes it less intimidating for someone completely new to vaporizers to jump in and use the device.
The split-glass bubbler included with the SOURCE kit isn’t my favorite looking glass accessory, but it is the most convenient and easiest to use of the bunch for one simple reason: You can actually empty and clean this bubbler quickly.
All of these bubblers have a splash guard that make it virtually impossible to get the water out of your bubblers, but SOURCE’s design allows the splash guard to separate from the main body letting you easily empty the water at the end of a session or to thoroughly clean after it’s been used a lot.
Using the Source Nail is pretty easy; you have two ways of actually using the device:
For starters there’s the traditional dabbing method. Take the included quartz dabber/carb cap, and hold the power button down for 1-2 cycles with nothing in the nail. Once you’ve heated it a cycle or two, hold the button down again, and add the concentrates into the center of the nails dish. Once the dab melts off the dabber, turn it around and cap the chamber with the other side of the dabber.
If you’re used to traditional vape pens, the fill then heat method may be more to your liking. This is where you load a small amount of concentrate into the nail while it is cold, from there cap the bubbler with the carb cap and hold the button in. This experience is a little different and I recommend you trying out both to see what you prefer.
Battery life is pretty good. I average about a days worth of usage, but I tend to be a bit more of a heavier user, so you may find yourself getting more battery life than myself.
In my opinion, for only $199.95 this is the best value on the market currently in terms of portable e-nails.
It’s an easy kit to pack up for a day out away from home, and the size lends itself well for home and away from home use.
The SOURCE Nail is a great and easy to use design that works with other SOURCE products instead of being a standalone proprietary kit. SOURCE played to their strengths in this design and it shows, they didn’t try to anything crazy and it resulted in a vape that excels well for anyone regardless of what they’re looking for.
Like SOURCE’s other products, I feel like there’s a little something here for everyone.
>>This was just a summary of our in-depth review, if you have the time be sure to get the whole story on this vape!<<
Best E-Nail For Home Use
Cloud V Electro – Starting at $165.95 from Vaporizer Chief
If you’re looking for the biggest portable e-nail, the Cloud V Electro is what you’re looking for. These guys aren’t the most portable options if that’s your primary focus, the units are big with thick and large glass pieces to accompany each unit.
If home use is your primary focus, I think this would be the best option for you. The unit itself is very large and substantial, and the battery has a charging cradle that also widens the base of the unit making it more stable than the other units on this list.
The Cloud V Electro uses more traditional style nails which feature a large dish for the oil to evenly spread out on. Cloud V offers a choice between quartz and titanium nails depending on what you personally prefer.
This unit has two temperature settings of 800 and 1000 Degrees Fahrenheit. There isn’t much in the way of low temp dabbing with this unit, which is why I recommend it to people looking for something large and substantial that just hits hard every time.
However, there is a temperature control model available now in what seems to more limited quantities. There is a bit of a price increase, but it may be worth it to someone who is looking for more control over their experience.
The Cloud V may also be the unit for you if you like your glass to be on the larger side. As stated before, this unit is pretty big when compared to the other offerings on this list. The glass with the Cloud V electro is noticeably larger and heavy.
There are many options as well that have colorful designs if you’re into that. Some people prefer to have something a little more unique, rather than run of the mill clear glass. This may very well be a good option for you if you’re someone who appreciates high quality glass and is looking for an easy to use solution to vaporize concentrates.
Overall, I would say this is the best unit for strictly at home use on this list. Personally, I think the larger size defeats the purpose of a “portable” e-nail, and I think this unit lends itself more so towards an oil rig replacement for home use.
Traditional oil rigs with a torch can be a pain to use and unsafe if you aren’t careful, and the same goes for traditional e-nails.
I am a very experienced dabber and I can say I have accidentally burned myself with a hot enail a few times, and I know many people who can say the same. That’s the problem with a device that’s on all day. You forget its on, you forget its hot, and you end up burning yourself reaching for something.
Something like the Cloud V Electro only heats up when its time to dab, and it heats up quickly unlike a regular old enail. There are benefits to using a regular enail, but the convenience and ease of use with these e-rig devices like the Cloud V Electro are unbeatable in that category in my opinion.
Best Budget E-Nail:
Dr. Dabber Boost E-Rig – $147.95 From Vaporizer Chief
I feel the Dr. Dabber Boost comes in somewhere in between the other two units in this guide. It’s not the best in any one category, but it does find itself at a noticeably cheaper price point.
The Boost is smaller than the Cloud V Electro and bigger than the Source Nail, to put size into perspective. This lends itself a little better for being a dual purpose home and travel unit. The unit isn’t stupidly large or heavy and is very easy to bring along with you if you want to.
The base isn’t as stable as the Cloud V Electro’s, so you do have to be a bit more careful with this one if it is going to be primarily a home unit for you.
The Boost has two different temperature settings, but I think most people will stick with the hottest setting as the lowest heat setting doesn’t fully vaporize your concentrate.
The vapor overall is very smooth, especially when compared to a wax pen. Likewise, the Boost also produces a lot of vapor even with a very small dab.
The Dr. Dabber gives its users the option between a titanium, ceramic and quartz nail. The kit I have didn’t include the quartz nail at the time, so I can’t comment on it personally.
The ceramic nail I felt didn’t conduct enough heat from the heating element, but I felt the titanium nail offered a great experience.
The titanium nail will fully vaporize your concentrate leaving very little residual remnants on the nail.
The glass included with this unit can be a bit of pain to empty at the end of a session. The splash guard works very well while you’re using it, but comes back to bite you when its time to finally empty the bubbler and clean it.
It just requires a little patience to empty, but un-convenient when compared to SOURCE’s Split bubbler design.
All in all, this is a great device, but I feel the other offerings provide better experiences.
If money really is an issue, you can’t go wrong with the Dr. Dabber Boost. However, its older design has its flaws when compared to newer and more refined designs like the other two in this guide.
The Boost is a great budget offering if you need a portable enail on the cheap, but if you can spend just a little more, I think you’ll be happier with the SOURCE Nail or the Cloud V Electro.
Conclusion – Which Portable eRig is Best For You?
In closing, any of these offerings will give you a good and enjoyable experience. However, I think different people will lean towards different options.
If you’re looking for the best unit on the market that works great as both a home and a travel unit, look no further than the SOURCE Nail.
If you’re looking for something large and hard hitting for home, definitely consider the Cloud V Electro.
If price is your main concern and you’re just looking for the most economical option, I would go for the Dr. Dabber Boost.
Overall, this is still a pretty new market of vaporizers and its rapidly changing. We’ll be staying on top of new units to keep this guide up to date on the latest portable enail devices.
We hope this buyers guide helped you out, if you have any comments or questions be sure to leave them down below. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about any of these devices.