The Dr. Dabber Switch is a dab and flower rig with a ceramic-coated titanium heating element. The heating element sits atop the Switch’s satin-covered hourglass frame. It also lights up in twenty-five unique color patterns that users can toggle between.
The element has a hollow middle where vapers insert one of two material loaders included in the kit. The white ceramic cup is for vaping herbs, while the black cup is for dabs. The Switch uses a simple, three-button user interface for temperature control. The control panel also features a two-choice selector switch so users can configure the device for vaping dabs or flowers.
Table of Contents
A First Look at the Dr. Dabber Switch
The Dr. Dabber Switch stands at over 9″ with a base diameter of 4″. The device is top-heavy, as the induction heater atop is a ceramic-encased, titanium electromagnet. Despite this design, though, the Switch is stable and does not wobble. Whether it is a “portable” device depends on what a person considers portable.
There should be no problem taking the Switch from one part of the house to another or a friend’s house. The Switch, however, would not fit into a pocket.
The reason is that apart from the ceramic top, the Switch needs another attachment — a borosilicate glass percolator — work properly.
This attachment fits snug atop the diameter heating element and cools down the vapor. The heating element has a diameter of 46mm (1.8″), and the glass percolator piece fits snug over it, as it measures in at 50mm (1.9″) at its opening.
The glass piece comes with the device in the immense product package the Switch comes in, as there is a lot that goes with it. To be sure, there are other versions of the glass piece that vapers can order from Dr. Dabber.
Along the front of the device are five, vertical LED lights that show battery level, heating level, and the mode (regular or advanced ((more about that later)). Beneath these lights are the temperature controls (a plus button and a minus button) and the power button. There are various button combinations to activate or deactivate certain features, but we’ll also talk about that later.
At the base of the device is a selector switch (hence the name “Switch”) that has three positions: an “off” position, and a position for herbs or concentrates, which are marked by a leaf and oil drop icon, respectively. Users need to select one of the materials as the Switch is also the power button. Selecting either flower or concentrates turns on the device.
As the Dr. Dabber Switch is a dual-use device, vapers can expect to get a lot of accessories, not only to use it but also to keep it in good working order. It is a rather large box that the Switch comes in, but don’t expect too much fancy packaging or anything like a carrying case, as the Switch has too many things for someone to carry around.
Here is what users can expect if they get a Dr. Dabber Switch:
- 1 x Dr. Dabber Switch
- 1 x Battery Pack
- 1 x Glass Percolator Attachment
- 1 x White Ceramic Induction Cup (For Oil)
- 1 x Black Ceramic Induction Cup (For Dry Herb)
- 1 x Ceramic Flower Filter
- 1 x Dab Tool/Carb Cap
- 1 x Reverse Action Tweezers
- 1 x Silicone Wax Container
- 1 x Charging Cable & Adapter
- 1 x Instruction Manual
A Look Inside the Switch
The Switch is one of the few dab or flower vaporizers that use induction heating. While the rest of the flower and concentrates vaporizers on the market divide between conduction or convection heating (or a hybrid of both), induction heating breaks the mold and could be the way of the future for vaporizers.
A good way to explain the way the Switch works is by looking at the oscillating lights around the heating element. The reason they turn like that is that induction heating involves the energy created by an electromagnet that is then directed, or absorbed by the ceramic cup.
When the cup absorbs the energy, it becomes heat that then vaporizes the material inside. This explanation is a simple one, but induction heating is the reason why the heat-up time on the Switch is significantly less than other popular vaporizers. The standard heat-up time for other non-induction vapes is between 20-30 seconds. The Switch is ready to vape in only five seconds.
The design of the Switch is such that no electronics (wires, coils) touch or come in contact with the heating cup or material. As the vapor only escapes via the attachment, the vapor does not pass through any electronics. What’s more, as the cup itself is removable, the material does not even come in contact with any electronics or metal.
The Switch uses a removable, 3000mAh battery pack that attaches to the back of the device. The battery pack can output a maximum of 120W and can last (on a full charge) for a little more than a full day. Using certain high-drain functions installed on the device can use up more battery power, which then affects the battery life.
These high-drain functions include the device’s self-cleaning feature, as well as the functioning of the lights installed around the titanium heating element. Yes, the Switch can “clean” itself. This feature can eliminate any residue left in both cups, flowers, or Oil.
Users need to leave either of the cups in the heating element and then press and hold the “+” for five seconds. The LEDs will turn red to show the heating level increasing. The heating will continue until the user presses the “Go” button to end the heating cycle. Users will see tiny wisps of smoke emerge from the cups, which is the leftover residue evaporating.
When the cleaning cycle is over, users can wait for the cup to cool down or remove it using the reverse-action tweezers included in the kit. Users can engage the cleaning cycle whenever there is significant residue in the cups, not after every single use, which would drain the battery faster. If users decide on using another cup, such as the crystal quartz cup (sold separately), then the self-cleaning function cannot be used, as it is only for use with the ceramic cups.
More Features of the Switch
Apart from the choice between flowers and concentrates, the Switch has two operating modes: regular and advanced (there is a separate Crystal mode for use with the quartz crystal cup). Users can move between the modes by holding the “Go” button as they select between flowers and concentrates.
The LEDs will flash rainbow colors to indicate it is in advanced mode. One note about the selector button: when in either flower or concentrates mode, users cannot switch from one to the other. They must first turn off the device, let it cool down, then turn it on again to the different material options.
The reason for this is that selecting one of the options calibrates the device for that specific material. Dry herbs and concentrates vaporize at different temperatures, which is why there are two temperature profiles for each on the Switch.
Choosing to vape flowers opens up the preset temperatures that are specifically for herbs. Choosing to vape concentrates opens up the preset temperatures that are specifically for concentrates.
In regular mode, there are five preset temperatures for each material. In advanced mode, the number goes up to twenty-five different presets for either flowers or concentrates. The presets are divided between five colors:
- Purple (lowest level – 300F range)
- Yellow (highest level – 800F range)
Each color contains five preset temperatures for a total of twenty-five. The LED lights represent the settings within each color. One LED is the lowest setting; five LEDs are the highest, etc.
The Switch is dual-use, meaning it vapes both herbs and concentrates. It has over 25 different preset temperatures for each material, so vapers have a lot of leeway in controlling vapor quality. While they cannot directly dial-in the temperature like with precision control devices, they have a wide range of temperatures to produce different effects.
Another advantage is the induction heating style that keeps the material away from other substances as well as the water bubbler filtration that filters the vapor even further. So, expectations were high for the type of vapor the Switch can produce.
Before vaping, vapers need to take the following steps:
- Fill the percolator with water
- Fill the ceramic cup of whatever you want to vape (herbs or concentrates)
- Insert the container into the heating element
- Place the percolator onto the glass section
- Select the material mode (herbs or concentrates)
- Select the power/heat setting
- Press the “Go” button to start the heating process
- For herbs, place the carb cap over the opening
- For oils, use the reverse side of the carb cap to stir the material in the enjoy
As mentioned, one of the outstanding features of the Switch is the short heat-up time. Only a few seconds after pressing the “Go” button, the device is ready to vape. There is no haptic feedback (vibration) or ping notification other than the LED lights turning green from red when heating up.
When using the white ceramic concentrates cup, the Switch worked like a charm. At the lowest-to-mid temperatures, the vapor was rich and flavorful. Going higher on the temperature scale led to bigger clouds that were not overly hot or unpleasant, while still retaining the original flavor profile of the lower settings.
Vaping flowers in the Switch had its problems, though. While burning or combustion is not such a problem with concentrates, the power of the induction heating was often too much at times for dry herbs. For herbs, there is a fine line between vaporization and combustion.
Given the fact that there is no screen or display for users to dial-in the exact temperature, setting the Switch for a temperature range — even a mid-level one — could lead to smoke, instead of vapor. Dr. Dabber has said that the design of the percolator and the carb cap prevents air (and therefore prevents burning) from entering the ceramic cup.
But, as vapers have noted on online forms, there are other ways that air can enter the chamber (like through the mouthpiece), so the “no oxygen” argument does not hold up. Even at the lowest setting, the vapor production was lacking, but the material was charred and almost black.
Using fixes like a fine grind or not packing too much material lead to the same result: mediocre vapor and near-burnt material. Induction heating may be quick, but it can be overpowering for herbs.
The Vape Off: Dr. Dabber Switch vs. the Puffco Peak vs. the Volcano
The Puffco Peak
The Peak came out at around the same time as the Dr. Dabber device, and they have similarities, including their size and functioning. They are both portable (somewhat) dab rigs, except the Switch can also vape herbs, while the Peak cannot. As stated above, the heat-up time for the Switch is around four seconds, while the heat-up time for the dabs-only Peak is around fifteen seconds.
The Peak is much smaller (it can be held with one hand) and portable (it comes in its own carrying case) while the Switch is heavy, wide, and not very portable at all. When it comes to vape quality, the Peak has four preset temperatures, while the Switch has twenty-five different heat settings, although neither has precision temperature control.
The Volcano (Hybrid version)
The Volcano is also a dual-use device. It was originally a dry herb vaporizer with analog controls. Then a digital version came out that could also vape concentrates with a pad of steel wool. Now, there is a new Hybrid version that combines the features of both the analog and digital versions. The Volcano (no matter the version) uses a combination of conduction and convection heating, which is different from the induction of the Dr. Dabber device.
With that said, the heat-up time is much longer on the Volcano than the four-second wait time on the Dr. Dabber unit. The LED control panel makes using the Volcano much more comfortable than the Switch. Vapers can adjust the airflow of the internal fan to control the vapor quality and size. The inhalation technique of the Volcano is different from the Switch, as it either uses a whip or balloon for users to inhale the vapor, so there’s no need to use a water filtration system.
Dr. Dabber Switch Specifications
|Dr. Dabber Switch|
|Energy Source:||Power grid|
|Battery Capacity:||3000 mAh|
|Temperature Settings:||25 Settings: 300°F - 800°F|
|Size:||25.4 x 10.1 x 10.1 cm|
Pros & Cons
- Works with oils, dabs, and herbs
- Glass rig grants high-qualitative clouds
- Lights up in twenty-five unique colors
- Average heat-up time is 20-30 seconds
- Induction heating method
The Last Word on the Dr. Dabber Switch
The Dr. Dabber Switch represents a new way for concentrates vaping — maybe not so much for flower vaping. The induction heating method for oils is sure to win over hardcore dabbers, but it might leave flower-lovers with a bad taste in their mouth, literally. The Switch is well-made, and it feels like Dr. Dabber spared no expense in designing and creating the unit.
The oscillating lights were a good idea to mask the presence of the electromagnetic coils under the glass piece. There are also twenty-five different light patterns that users can choose for the lights, so there is a lot of variety all around with the Switch.
The only downfall of the Switch is its ambition. It strives to do two things well – vape herbs AND concentrates – but it lacks in the former, while the latter seems to be a dream come true for dabbers. The Switch comes at a steep price point, which is about the same as the Peak, but much less than the Volcano. If there are dabbers with the money to spend on a high-end, high-performance (somewhat) portable dab rig, they could do no better than the Switch.
Have you used either a Switch or a Peak? Would you rather see a device do both things (vape herbs and concentrates) or just one thing? Has vaping dabs changed your mind about vaping herbs and vice-versa? After trying both, which do you prefer, dabs or flowers? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.