Time to compare the two top contenders for best portable enail out there: The Source Nail vs Dr. Dabber Boost.
What do these two enails have in common?
With ease-of-use, excellent vapor production, and advanced glassware and nail atomizers, both could easily be your favorite enail--even vape pen, since both are fairly compact and portable.
That said, in a tight race, we believe the Source Nail comes out ahead. Just looking at brass tacks, Source Nail is more powerful, versatile, and boasts a lifetime warranty that stands as a testament to its quality.
Source Nail vs Dr. Dabber Boost Enail
Source Nail XL Premium Kit is a portable dab rig with a full-fledged kit of glassware, atomizer nails, and a temperature controlled battery with three settings (rare for a portable enail). It even has a built-in wax container, making it an all-in-one enail that’s great for on-the-go vaping. Source Nail delivers milky, flavorful, lung-filling vapor out of the smallest amount of wax, and with a rapid 30 second heat up. As an XL series from Source Vapes, the Source Nail is compatible with over 30 Source atomizers from the 3 Series, 4 Series, and XL Series. That's some serious versatility that you're not going to find in most vaporizers, let alone enails.
(Source Nail XL Premium Kit with nail atomizers and glassware.)
Dr. Dabber Boost produces similarly thick, tasty vapor, though not as fast as Source Nail XL, and without as many temperature options. Dr Dabber includes a glass bubbler and three nail atomizers (ceramic, titanium and quarts), but no globe attachement like the Source Nail. The Boost enail is super easy-to-use, satisfying, and features a replaceable battery which is convenient for a few important reasons. But overall not as compact, versatile and well-built as the Source Nail XL Premium Kit.
(Dr. Dabber Boost portable enail.)
Both portable enails give you everything you need while keeping the dabbing process simple. But Source Nail offers a bit more than the other. And since they’re the same price, the right choice is pretty clear.
When you stand the Source Nail next to the Boost vaporizer, it’s easy to see Source Nail is the more portable enail.
The Source Nail XL battery is just a smidge over 3 ½ inches long and ¾ inch wide, while the Dr. Dabber Boost battery is heftier at about 5 inches long and an inch wide. Source Nail is also much lighter and won’t burden your pocket, while the Boost enail seems more geared toward home use. The Boost and Source Nail bubblers are about the same size--just under 5 inches. But with the bubblers attached, the Source Nail XL is more compact than the Boost enail.
(The Boost Enail on the left is larger and heavier than the Source Nail on the right.)
If you’re looking for a more portable enail, Source Nail is your best bet. If you want something strictly for home use, Dr. Dabber Boost comes with a magnetic stand attachment for desktop use.
But that said, Source Nail harnesses the thick and tasty vapor production of a desktop dab rig and can totally be used as a home device, making it the more versatile portable enail rig.
Source Nail features a sub-ohm high drain battery that really rips. The Source Nail can reach temperatures around 100F hotter than the maximum temp of the Boost enail. Expect around 30-40 uses from the Dr. Dabber Boost, depending on the temp setting you’re on.
One thing Dr. Dabber Boost has on the Source Nail XL Premium Kit is a replaceable, removable 18650 battery. This enables you to stock up on batteries, charge them, and never get stuck waiting for the Boost enail to charge up. Switching out batteries is simple. The Dr. Dabber Boost vaporizer unscrews in half to reveal the battery, which pops out easily.
(Dr. Dabber Boost features a replaceable battery.)
Overall, if you want continued use without charging, Dr. Dabber Boost affords you that option if you arm yourself with multiple batteries and keep them charged up. But the Source enail is more powerful and longer lasting. Plus once the battery dies out, if it dies out, the Source Nail is protected by a lifetime warranty.
For the sake of discretion and convenience, the Source Nail features a secret built-in wax container on the bottom of the battery with a threaded cap. The wax jar is non-stick, so you can use up all your wax without any sticking to the walls and becoming gunk. This built-in wax jar is super convenient, and rare among enails, let alone vape pens and portable vapes.
(Source Nail features a built-in wax container for discreet, convenient storage.)
The built-in container gives Source Nail an all-in-one quality, so you don't have to carry with your wax jar for vaping on-the-go. In terms of the size of the container, it's as big as the one found in the Source Slim 4. Those familiar with the Source Slim 4 will know the container is large enough to carry an ample amount of wax.
Source Nail comes with the Source Bubbler and Source Globe attachments. Both are made of high quality borosilicate glass that cools and filters vapor and doesn’t crack under the duress of heat. The Source Bubbler is split glass (made of two pieces), so you can detach it and clean the inside or easily fill it up. When used with the Source Nail, the Source Bubbler does a great job of cooling off and moisturizing each hit considering the high temperatures reached by enails. It’s easy to clean, attaches without hassle, and boasts a solid design.
You can say the same about the Source Globe. It gives hits more time to cool off while preserving the flavor of waxy oils. It also features a carb, so you can control airflow and make sure to clear the globe when you take a hit. Like the Source Bubbler, the Source Globe attaches to the atomizer via silicone o-rings, not threading, so you can fit the glass piece snuggly onto the atomizer with no screwing necessary.
(Source Bubbler and Source Globe are compact yet solidly built with borosilicate glass.)
The Dr. Dabber Boost features a bubbler, but no globe, which means it lacks the option of using it in more of a vape pen style. The bubbler is solidly designed, though it isn’t split glass like the Source Bubbler so it’s harder to clean the interior of the chamber. Like the Source Nail vaporizer, the Dr. Dabber Boost connects to the bubbler via threadless o-ring connection, which isn’t quite as easy to connect as the Source Nail and Source Bubbler. You have to squeeze the bubbler a bit to apply enough pressure to fit it onto the o-rings, which feels like the glass might break.
Both the Source Nail and Dr. Dabber Boost come with a quartz, ceramic, and titanium nail. But the Source Nail features removable cups so you can clean or replace the atomizer much easier. You’ll notice when taking the cup out that a ceramic heating element sits beneath the cup. You won’t notice too much difference between the Source Nail and Boost atomizers in terms of vapor production. The hits from both enails are smooth, tasty, and milky. The quartz atomizers especially are great at preserving the flavors of wax. You’re also essentially creating an all-glass vapor path with the quartz atomizer and bubbler.
(Source Nail Atomizers with lab-grade ceramic, quartz, and titanium removable buckets.)
Overall the Source Vapes atomizers are higher quality. The ceramic and quartz atomizers found in the Source Nail Premium Kit are lab-tested and food-grade. While the titanium is 100% Real Grade 2 Titanium. And the Source nail atomizers are more convenient with the removable buckets. So if you’re a stickler for high quality material and cleanability, the Source Nail XL Premium Kit trumps Dr. Dabber Boost.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Source Nail Premium is way easier to clean than the Dr. Dabber Boost enail. Source Vapes was very thoughtful in designing the pieces to be easy to clean or replace. The Source Bubbler is split glass which makes it much easier to wipe film off the inside of the chamber, and also makes emptying and refilling the bubbler more seamless. Even the globe is easy to wipe out. Just disconnect it and q-tip it with some iso alcohol. The Dr. Dabber Boost bubbler is harder to clean and refill than the Source Nail glassware, which isn’t the end of the world, but plays a part in the overall ease-of-use, vapor quality, and lifetime of the glass pieces.
(Source Nail boasts a split-glass bubbler for quicker cleaning and filling.)
Like we said before, the Source Nail XL Premium atomizers feature removable buckets that make cleaning them a breeze. You can unscrew the atomizer using your fingernail or something thin like a guitar pick. Then you can soak the cup in isopropyl alcohol and wipe out any resin. Expect about a month to two months of use from the Source Nail atomizers depending on how frequently you clean the units.
(Source Nail atomizers have removable buckets for easy cleaning.)
In a nutshell, Dr. Dabber Boost can’t really compete with Source Nail in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Source Vapes is just a step ahead of most vape manufacturers with the cleanability of their components.
Dr. Dabber Boost and Source Nail Premium Kit deliver the kind of big, tasty clouds you’d expect from an enail. And both can produce giant clouds from just a tiny bit of vapor. That’s thanks to the higher heat and the efficiency of the atomizers. Both enails also come with carb caps which magentically attach to the dab tool so you can cover the bowl while you take a hit. But in the end, Source Nail gives you more command over your vapor with a more dynamic temperature range.
(Dr. Dabber Boost, like Source Nail XL, features a nifty magnetic carb cap.)
Dr. Dabber is known for their low temp vaporizers, the Boost Enail more or less continues that tradition with a relatively low temp range for an enail. The highest the Dr. Dabber Boost can go is approximately 500 to 600F. You get smoother vapor that’s more flavorful. Great for flavor chasers. But because of the lower temp, to keep the nail hot you have to take a hit, then restart the Boost enail to keep the nail hot. This will also help burn off residual wax that’s not burnt off by the low temperatures.
The Boost enail has really satisfying flavor thanks to its low temp nature. The thing is, Source Nail can reach the same low temps as the Boost portable enail, but can also reach higher temps, with a maximum of around 700F. You get much more versatility for customizing your vapor profile, from small clouds to moderate to lung-busting, which again sets the Source Nail further ahead than the boost.
Source Nail XL Premium Kit vs Dr. Dabber Boost - The Verdict
(Source Nail XL Premium Kit proves to be the better enail.)
Dr. Dabber Boost is a solid enail rig. It has everything you need to take big rips. And it’s way more convenient and portable than a desktop torch rig. But we have to go with the Source Nail XL Premium Kit. It does what the Boost Enail does, but better. Source Nail XL Premium Kit has more temperature settings, a wider temp range, more glassware, a built-in wax jar, and more compact, discreet design. And with the removable pieces for easier cleaning, replacing and filling, Source Nail takes the top spot as the most easy-to-use, compact, versatile, and powerful portable enail rig currently on the market.
William Updyke is a writer and creator at The VaporNation Blog, an online publication providing the latest news, advice, and opinions on the vaporizer industry. His articles are enjoyed by a monthly readership of over 60,000, while his instructional videos on Vaporizer Education: The Official VaporNation Channel have been watched over 120,000 times.
While he didn't attend vape college, per se, William does know a good vaporizer when he sees it. A vape enthusiast for the past four years, he has a deep understanding of the heating styles, materials, build quality, and functionality that separate decent vaporizers from great ones. You can read his reviews and how-tos for helpful and trustworthy information about the latest devices, trends, and practices in vaping.
William graduated from the University of Montana before moving to Los Angeles, where he writes weekly blogs about vaping and hosts a Clippers podcast. You can read his articles on Leafly, Inked, and more.