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Dr. Dabber Switch Review: Heats Up When You Need It The Most

Dave Kriegel
December 16, 2019

Intro

I’ve been familiar with the Dr. Dabber brand for some years now. They are best known for their wax pens and dab rigs. Today, we are looking at their latest creation. The Switch is a hybrid between an electric oil rig and a weed vaporizer. It features a patent-pending induction heating technology, which heats up within seconds using electromagnetism.

The Switch can also be used as a desktop or portable unit. It has a tiny switch on the bottom that lets you toggle between dry herb and wax. There are 25 different heat settings and a built-in ambient light function with over 25 different LED presets. In this review, I will be testing out the Switch for both dry herb and waxy concentrates. I am curious to see how it performs compared to the many vaporizers and dab rigs I have used. The question is: can the Switch be a potential replacement for your bong and dab rig?

The Switch was sent courtesy of Dr. Dabber for the purpose of this review.

Price: $399

Specifications

  • Output power up to 120 watts
  • Battery capacity of 33.3 watt-hours
  • 64kb memory
  • LiFePO4 non-volatile battery cells built into battery pack
  • Pass-through charging
  • Over-voltage
  • over-current
  • under-voltage
  • over-temperature
  • short-circuit
  • and reverse-polarity protection built into the unit
  • Multiple modes for multiple materials
  • Precision heating induction cups
  • Customizable hold times
  • Self-cleaning mode
  • Auto cool down cycles
  • Standby lighting
  • Integrated power management
  • Glass percolator attachment
  • Stylish design
  • Quality tactile satin finish
  • Solid foundation
  • Simple & intuitive interface

Kit contents

  • Dr. Dabber Switch unit
  • Borosilicate percolator
  • Dab tool / carb cap
  • Silicone wax container
  • Reverse action tweezers
  • Precision heating induction cups (2)
  • Ceramic flower filter
  • Quick reference cards

Switch build quality & design

The device itself stands at around 10″ and weighs about a pound and a half. It doesn’t weigh a lot, but it sure feels heavy duty. It has a sleek hourglass shape to it, a sexy black satin finish and some beefy knurling on the top for aesthetic purposes. The induction coil is concealed by a thick layer of frosted glass, so it never comes in contact with any herb or wax. The frosted glass only makes contact with the metal induction cups, so it’s looking like a dream come true for neat freaks like myself.

The inside of the induction cups are made of ceramic, but they have other materials available like quartz, sapphire and SiC (silicon carbide), each sold separately. The glass percolator and carb cap both come with black silicon seals, which provide a more secure fit and protect the glass. I would highly recommend using them.

The Switch comes in a huge box which reminds me of a video game system or something. I like how everything is well-organized within the box, so I have been using it for storage too. You can use it as a carrying case because it has a handle on top. I wonder if they will ever release a more rugged travel case for it in the future. The Switch is more of a desktop unit in my eyes, but it is still portable enough to chuck it in your trunk and take it on the road. I think it’s more practical as a desktop, but I appreciate its versatility.

The battery life on the Switch is insane! They say it’s good for up to 150 uses on a single charge. Not only that, it charges in about an hour flat, and does passthrough charging too. The Switch utilizes a LiFePO4 battery and comes with a charging cable that looks like it’s for a laptop or something. The battery itself is fully replaceable, so if anything ever happens to it, you don’t have to replace the whole unit. The device also features built-in safety protections and comes complete with a two-year warranty.

I like how Dr. Dabber put a lot of thought into not only the performance of the device, but long-term maintenance and usage too. There are also a bunch of exotic goodies available for it like percolators and carb caps designed specifically for that purpose.

Switch interface and functionality

The entire interface is operated by three buttons and a switch. The buttons are (+), (-) and a middle (Go) button with the Dr. Dabber logo on it. There is a slight learning curve, but everything is relatively straightforward. It comes with a detailed user manual. If you don’t do user manuals, there are little instructional cards located inside the bottom of the device underneath a magnetic plate. They contain a “cliff notes” version of the instructional manual, so you can refer to them at any time.

  • The power switch has three positions. The device can be turned on by selecting either the left dry herb or right oil mode, indicated by a leaf and oil drop. When the middle position is selected, the LEDs will light up cyan and fade out indicating the device is off.
  • Press the (+) or (-) button to display the current heat setting, and press or hold either one within five seconds to adjust it. To save it right away, press the middle (Go) button. If you don’t press it within five seconds, it will automatically save your selection.
  • After setting the heat level, the LEDs will light up pink. Each LED represents 20% of the charge and when they are all flashing, that means it has less than 10% battery life. You might be able to get one more session out of it, but at that point you should just plug it in.
  • To enter the advanced mode, make sure the device is turned off first. Then hold the (Go) button while flipping the power switch on. You’ll see multicolored LED lights. Now when you select your heat setting, you can cycle through five ranges, each containing five presets. The ranges are displayed by color, and the presets are indicated by the five LED lights. I prefer using the regular mode but it’s nice to be able to dial in a more nuanced heat setting.
  • To start your session, make sure the carb cap is on and just hit the (Go) button.
  • The Switch will emit a red ambient light while heating up and turn green when it’s ready to hit. I like to give it a few extra seconds to let the vapor build up.
  • When the Switch gets too hot, it will automatically go into cool-down mode and the ambient light will turn blue until it is ready for your next session.

Performance in Oil mode

In oil mode, there are two main ways to go about it. My preferred way is to pre-load it before placing the induction cup into the device. The other way is to use it more like a traditional dab rig. If you do it that way, be sure to use the included glass dab tool. Remember, the device runs on electromagnetism, so metal dab tools are a no go. I prefer pre-loading it because it’s less messy and you don’t miss a drop of those terps.

I’ve used plenty of dab rigs and e-nails before. My regular setup is a titanium e-nail attached to a traditional glass piece. The Dr. Dabber hits just as hard as my dab rig, especially on the two higher settings. The heat settings seem to be a tradeoff between flavor and denser vapor production. The third setting is a nice middle ground between clouds and flavor. The fourth setting seems to be my ideal setting for a nice strong hit. The fifth setting hits really hard, but is a bit too intense for my liking.

A traditional dab rig requires at least a minute or two of torching the nail to get it up to temp. If you leave your e-nail on all day, then it’s always ready, but otherwise it takes a few minutes to fully heat up. The Switch heats up within a matter of 5-6 seconds tops.

From my general experience with dab rigs, the water part is optional. The water cools down the vapor, and it just looks, feels and sounds amazing. The downside is that it creates more work for cleaning in the future. When I use the bong without water, it doesn’t gunk up nearly as fast as with it. The other potential advantage of using it with no water is that you get hotter and denser vapor, so you can utilize less battery power.

The carb cap was designed to have a very tight airflow hole, but the idea is that it draws all of the vapor into the glass percolator. When you remove the cap, you get a massive direct lung draw—it sends the vapor straight into your lungs. There are many ways to hit it, but I like to gently release the cap so I can have complete control over the airflow.

Performance in Leaf mode

I used dry herb with the Switch, and played around with a few different heat settings. I found that you can get an experience between a real vaporizer and a traditional bong. The lower two settings are going to give you that true vaporizer experience and the higher you go, the more it will feel like smoking. I like the versatility of the device, but for the vapor purists out there, you don’t want to go past the first or second heat setting.

The flavor is really good on the lower two settings, but the vapor production is more like a weed vaporizer. On the higher settings the vapor production is more abundant, but you lose most of the flavor, and it turns your herb black, so there’s that. It’s not necessarily burnt, but it’s very dark. On the lower settings, it turns your herb into more of a golden brown to a dark brown color, which is typical of a standard cannabis vaporizer.

In leaf mode, it heats up just as fast as in oil mode, which is very impressive. You just load up the cup, chuck it in, and put on the ceramic cover, which will prevent plant matter from flying all over the place. Keep in mind it does restrict the airflow a bit, but even with it on, you still have a ton of airflow to work with.

Cleaning the Dr. Dabber Switch

Cleaning the Switch is relatively easy. All you need is some isopropyl alcohol, sea salt and a few Q-tips or paper towels. The self-cleaning mode is quite effective, but I like to hit the induction cup with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol after each session. The reverse tweezers are perfect for removing the cup, but take a bit of getting used to.

One more thing that I should mention is that if you are switching between dry herb and concentrate, you’ll want to give it a good clean in between. If you don’t really care about taste and you’re just trying to get ripped, go for it, but the flavor will suffer.

The induction cups can be swabbed with a Q-tip and alcohol—for deeper cleaning, you can soak them in alcohol for a few minutes. The self-cleaning function works really well, but if the induction cup is very dirty, you are running the risk of staining the inner glass part. I already got a few stains on the inside of the glass from using the self-cleaning mode, but it’s not the end of the world. I hear it’s pretty common, and you don’t even notice it until you actually remove the cup. I have to say, it’s amusing watching the cup glow red and seeing all the vapor coming up. You can get the cup looking mighty clean that way.

To clean the percolator, I like to fill it up with some sea salt first. Then I pour some alcohol in and give it a good shake while plugging the holes with my fingers. After that, I empty it out and run some water through it to get it sparkly clean. You can clean the inside of the device with a Q-tip or napkin and some alcohol. If you are diligently cleaning it after each session, there isn’t going to be much work for you to do.

Pros / Cons

  • Utilizes induction heating
  • Does dry herb and concentrates
  • 25 different heat settings (in advanced mode)
  • Heats up within seconds
  • Feels heavy duty
  • Nice aesthetics
  • Great bubbler attachment
  • Easy to maintain
  • Huge battery life
  • 25 ambient light settings
  • Wide open direct lung draw
  • Various upgrades available
  • Turns herb black on highest settings
  • Only compatible with Dr. Dabber accessories
  • No visual interface

Verdict

So the real question is, will the Switch replace your current setup(s)? Technically speaking, it can. It gives you the option between vaporizing and straight up blazing your bud, not to mention it’s a fully functioning dab rig that heats up in about five seconds. The Switch isn’t a cheap device by any means, but to put it into perspective, there are high-end glass pieces being sold every day for hundreds of dollars—and that’s just for the glass! The Switch is a standalone unit with everything you need straight out of the box.

To be honest, my cons are a bit nitpicky because there is not a whole lot for me to say. I had no issues learning how to navigate the interface. And as long as I stick with the lower heat settings, it doesn’t turn my herb black. I’m sure some of you wish it were a bit cheaper, but you also have to consider the innovation and technology behind the device. I’m not gonna lie, the ambient light feature is a nice option to have, but it’s really just the icing on the cake. If you’re not into all that, or just want to preserve more battery life, there’s a stealth mode option so you can turn the lights off whenever you want.

The Switch might run you a pretty penny, but there’s really nothing out there like it, and it’s built tough. It comes with everything you need to vape herb and concentrates. It also comes with a two-year warranty, so that’s another plus. All in all, if the Dr. Dabber Switch is in your price range, I would easily recommend it.

What do you think of the Dr. Dabber Switch? Would you make the Switch? Leave a comment below!

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dave has always had a passion for helping people quit smoking. As a former smoker himself, he knew how hard it could be. As soon as he learned about vaping, he instantly became obsessed with it and helped many people stop smoking. Vaping360 has given Dave a platform to do this on a much larger scale, by educating the public about the wonders of vaping. When Dave is not writing he is either listening to music, performing it, or cruising around on his Penny board.

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