The Dr. Dabber Switch is a portable, induction powered, concentrate vaporizer that makes dabbing fun, easy and safe. I’ve wanted to review it for a while now, so forgive me if I go long. I had the pleasure of beta testing it before its release, and it’s been one of my favorite dab rigs ever since. Contrary to public perception, it doesn’t vaporize dry herbs. But it doesn’t need that dual-use gimmick, anyhow. It’s worth the high price tag for the dabs alone.
A dream to hit
The Switch comes with two ceramic coated titanium induction heater cups that heat up fast for tasty hits. The black one is intended for Leaf mode (herbs), while the white one is for Oil mode (concentrates). They are identical, except for color, so feel free to use either for oils. Dabs evenly boil off the bottom, instead of collecting in the corners. When it’s time to clean up, the Switch has a cleaning mode for the cups. From dab to cleanup, the Switch is very easy to use.
Connoisseurs will love the delicious add-on cups with inserts made from ceramic, sapphire, quartz and SiC (Silicon Carbide). The premium cups are messier and clean up like traditional at-home dab rigs, with q-tips, deep soaks, and burn-offs. While the taste was better on the premium cups, I found myself using the stock cups the most - they're a breeze to use!
Crazy battery life
Dr. Dabber claims up to 150 dabs on a single charge and, while we didn’t get anywhere near that claim in our testing, the Switch battery life is still best in class by a long mile. While 150 dabs on a single charge might be mathematically possible on the lowest power settings, real world use will be much different. We ran a battery dry, using only the middle temperature for dabs with the standard cups, and got 96 cycles before it shut down. But that was without any cleaning cycles, a necessity that would run the battery down quicker.
We then put the Switch through a more “real world” battery test, using only the stock cups, but with any temperature we felt like at the time. Over the course of a few days we took 48 dabs and ran 11 cleaning cycles before it conked out. We typically averaged a cleaning cycle every four or five dabs. The Switch is built to run all day, and when the battery runs out, you can still use it while it charges to full in around 30 minutes.
Heats up in seconds
The Switch is fast. Turn it on, load a dab, and push the button. Ten seconds later you’ll be deep into your dab. The stock cups are built for torture, heating up quickly over and over again without fail. We’ll talk a bit more about the premium cups later, but they dab differently. They heat up slower (as long as 20 seconds) and are less efficient, but taste divine.
I prefer “cold load” dabs, when I load the cup before turning on the heat. But the Switch works just as well with “hot load” dabs. Just turn the heat on, wait for it to turn green, and quickly load your concentrate.
Industry leading tech
Induction heating isn’t just a buzzword when it comes to the Switch. It’s what sets it apart. Induction changes everything from the heat up time, to battery life, efficiency, safety and durability. The Switch instantly hits consistent temperatures, evenly boils concentrates, and safely cools down without burning. But the best part might be the durability of the induction cups.
At first glance, the Switch might look fragile with the glass bubbler hanging off to one side, but durable innovation lies inside. The big glass top hides a deep well that holds the cups, and heats them up. Other dab rigs use fragile ceramic cups and thin wires to heat up, but the Switch ditches all that for durable, titanium cups that magically heat up through the glass well. The only thing you should have to replace is any accidentally broken glass.
No one else is even attempting this kind of technology. The Switch is way ahead of the rest of the market, and will have a very long shelf life.
So many temperatures and options
Pick a dab, any dab! Out of the box, the Switch is ready with five temperatures for dabbing. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover 25 options from 300° F to 800° F in 20 degree increments (150° C to 425° C). Between the stock cups and the premium cups, there are well over 100 possible combinations, each with its own character. This doesn’t even consider the separate dry herb temperature scale, with its own 25+ temperatures settings. But that’s because we don’t consider the Switch a dry herb vape, and you shouldn’t either.
Not a dry herb vape
While the Switch is one of my favorite ways to dab, it’s unsatisfying, at best, with dry herbs. The first hits from a cup are barely noticeable, and quickly turn to a mixture of vapor and smoke that won’t taste good to anyone who’s vaporized before. Don’t fall for the marketing. You should only buy the Switch for dabs.
If you’re booking for a dry herb vape, we’ve got lots of great ones that compliment the Switch well. If anything, Leaf Mode on the Switch is a hit with smokers. It’s potent and more efficient than smoking. If your idea of heaven is dabs and smokes, stop reading and buy a Switch now! Grab an extra bubbler, too, so you can switch between oils and herbs without contaminating your dabs with the strong, smokey taste.
Portable but big
If you long for something that’s easy to hit on the go, like the Puffco Peak, the Switch isn’t it. It’s battery powered and portable, but stands at 13” tall, or twice the size of other e-rigs. The Switch is more comparable to at-home dab rigs with big glass bubblers, electronic controllers and wires, and in this context it shines. It’s more compact, with no exposed hot spots, and I can walk all over the house with it without any problems. The Switch packaging doubles as a carrying case, for those times I want to power someone else’s party. So while it’s portable with great battery life, I don’t expect to see it on many beaches or accompanying any dog walks.
Fun light show
Some might see the Switch light show as unnecessary, and maybe even a battery drain, but I love it. I mean, why not? If I can have a great vape, or a great vape that is fun to look at, I’ll take the latter. It has 25 light options from solid colors to flashing rainbows, that are a beacon in darker rooms. One of the options is a stealth mode, when you don’t want to draw attention. Mine is always on!
Cleaning and cool down modes
Once you’ve dabbed several times in the stock cups they will get dark, indicating it’s time to clean. Hold in the “+” button until a few seconds after it hits the highest temperature, blinks red, and starts heating. Let it run a full cycle, and then give it time to cool down.
When doing multiple back-to-back dabs, the Switch can enter cool down mode to protect the internal circuitry. Don’t get mad, it’s keeping you from ruining your $400 vape! It will start blinking blue until it’s done. Let it finish. If you turn it off before it’s done, it will start the cool down process again when you power it back up. The Switch will enter cool down mode quicker, and cool down longer, if you use the self-cleaning mode, or the premium cups in Quartz Mode.
Every vape has its own process that can either draw you into the “ritual”, or frustrate it. The Switch ritual is quick and simple, and gets you back to whatever you were doing. A typical Switch session looks like this:
- For a cold load, place your concentrate in your induction cup.
- Turn the Switch on (toggle left), and select your temperature.
- Use the reverse action tweezers to drop the cup into the glass well, and cover with the carb cap.
- Hit the Go button, wait for the light to turn from red to green, and start your hit.
- If you want, twist the carb cap during your hit.
- Finish when you’ve had enough, or when it times out.
- Set it aside and come back later for more.
Dr. Dabber is a crowd favorite when it comes to accessorizing. The Switch comes with two ceramic coated induction cups and a glass attachment with a tree-style percolator. Dr. Dabber regularly releases new Switch glass attachments, and we tested the Ball Attachment. The pulls felt more turbulent, but in a soothing way, and I prefer it.
Premium induction cups make a big difference. The Smooth Ceramic Induction Cup vapes a little slower than the stock cups, but tastes better. The other three premium cups (Quartz, Sapphire, SiC) vape considerably slower with significant taste upgrades. The Switch has a separate temperature scale (Crystal mode) that heats up slower for the premium cups, and none of the premium cups work with the Switch’s cleaning mode.
The most important upgrade is to the carb cap. I consider it essential, and wish the standard kit came with one. The included carb cap isn’t directional, which means you can’t push the air further into the well, for thicker hits. The good news is the Bubble Cap is the cheapest of the Switch upgrades, at only $19.99. I spent most of my time with the Sunset Directional Carb Cap ($100), and it was well worth it.
Regular maintenance boils down to a quick wipe of the carb cap and glass well with an alcohol sanitizing wipe. The Switch cleans the stock cups for you. Soak the glass attachment in isopropyl alcohol whenever it suits you. That’s about it - really easy.
We will cover this further in our Cleaning & Maintenance Guide coming soon, but the premium cups require regular swabbing and alcohol soaks.
If you’re new to dabbing, go slow with all the features. Start with the standard mode and explore all five temperatures. Then you can move on to some more subtle changes with the Advanced Mode temperatures.
Invest in a directional carb cap before getting premium cups, as they make every hit better.
If it feels like your Switch is broken, make sure the induction cup is inside the well. The Switch won't heat up without it in position. We’ll dive deeper in our Tips and Tricks Guide.
Who’s the Dr. Dabber Switch for?
In a lot of ways, the Switch is the ultimate dab rig. Yes, it’s big, and you’re going to pay a lot for it. But it fixes so many problems. Broken atomizers don’t exist with the stock cups. Start your dabs in five seconds from a cold start. Chasing prized flavors? The premium cups are worth it.
Your friends won’t burn themselves. And speaking of friends, invite them all over for dabs (once it’s safe), because the Switch can power any party. The battery life is insane, recharges are short, and it dabs while charging!
Who’s the Switch not for?
If you’re looking for a small vape, move along. The Switch is bigger than almost any vape I’ve seen, for dabs or dry herbs. Portable, yes. Run around town, no.
It’s also a high priced vape, starting at $400 for the basic kit. Add at least another $20 for a new carb cap. The rig I hit most of the time is $700 after a new glass attachment, directional carb cap, and a premium induction cup.
The Switch vaporizer isn’t new to the market, but it’s still misunderstood, mostly due to the Leaf Mode. If you love to dab and smoke, then this is the vape for you. If you want a top-shelf dab rig, this is the one I reach for more often than not. If you want to vaporize dry herbs, get something else.
Most of my favorite vaporizers are fragile, require a place to set up, and are tethered to a wall. The Switch makes it easy to share my favorite dabs, and take them anywhere in the house. And don’t underestimate the tech in this thing. It feels like it will be serving up dabs years from now.