Portable dab rigs have become such a popular category of extract vaping that it’s now time for an old-fashioned showdown! The Puffco Peak was the first out of the gate, but a bunch of different companies followed on Puffco’s heels to produce their own portable rigs. Of those multiple challengers, we’re going to take a look at the KandyPens Oura and the Pulsar Rök to see how they fare against the original. Is the first one still the best one or have its successors surpassed it? Keep reading to find out.
Design and Features
The Oura doesn’t have the usual flash that you associate with KandyPens’ products but it manages to stand out nonetheless because of the unique bulb shape of its water bubbler. Another way that the Oura stands out is through the use of a touch sensor instead of a button. That helps to maintain the smoothness of the body without sacrificing functionality. Even though you don’t have the tactility of a button, you still get good feedback thanks to the LED light that encircles the base.
It lights up to the color that corresponds to the selected temperature, plus the Oura has haptic feedback as well, so the vibration gives you feedback in addition to the light. The Oura is about the same size as the other portable rigs, which is a little under seven inches tall, so it’s easy to comfortably hold in one hand. The Oura can use two different atomizers and swapping them out is very easy. The Oura may not be the flashiest device, but it is very user-friendly.
The Rök has a unique design among portable dab rigs because, unlike all the others, it has the water bubbler on the bottom rather than on the top. There are some advantages and disadvantages to that unique design. One of the advantages is that its bubbler is the easiest to fill because it has such a wide opening. Also, vaping from the Rök feels a little more natural because the mouthpiece sticks out at an angle. So you don’t need to hold it directly beneath you when you inhale, you can hold it out in front of you, which is a little more comfortable.
However, one disadvantage is that the Rök takes a longer time to assemble than the other portable rigs. The unique configuration of the Rök also means that it has more components, which means that it takes longer to put together and to clean than the other rigs. That means the Rök is a more high maintenance portable dab rig than the other two. The Rök can vape both dry herb and wax using two different atomizers and swapping them out is quick and easy.
The Peak is the original portable dab rig and, amazingly, it’s still the best-looking one. The sleek, angular design is still eye-catching while being user-friendly. Naturally, since it is the first of these devices, it has all the features that you see in the rest of them. That means it has the standard one button operation, the small size that enables it to be held in one hand, and haptic feedback. It also has an LED light strip to indicate the temperature.
There are some downsides to being first out of the gate, the main one being that it is less versatile than the other rigs that came after it. That means it can only vape wax and that it only has one atomizer. However, that does keep things simple, which makes the Peak the easiest of these rigs to use and maintain. Since it’s been around a while, the Peak has some great accessories available that add style and/or practicality.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Oura is very easy to clean. You mostly just need to worry about cleaning the atomizers, and that is easy because the cleaning implements are included in the kit. The alcohol-infused cotton swabs are used to wipe down the atomizers, this should be done while the atomizers are still warm before any of the wax reclaim dries and hardens.
You can also soak the atomizers in isopropyl alcohol for an hour or two instead. The bubbler also needs to be cleaned on occasion, which can be done by pouring some iso alcohol into it, swishing it around, pouring it out, and then rinsing it out with warm water.
The Rök is easily the most high maintenance rig here, which is a consequence of its unusual inverted design. That design means that the Rök consists of more parts than the other rigs here, which means that they each need to be cleaned individually. For example, the bubbler and mouthpiece are the same things in the other rigs, but with the Rök, they are two separate parts that need to be cleaned individually. You also have to clean the air path tubes as well as each atomizer, assuming you use both of them. The myriad components that comprise the Rök mean that cleaning it can be an exhaustive process.
The Peak is the easiest of these rigs to clean because it is also the simplest. It has one atomizer for you to worry about, which is simple enough to clean using the usual combo of iso alcohol and cotton swabs. The bubbler is cleaned using the usual procedure as well, swish some iso alcohol around in it and then rinse it out with warm water. Simple as that.
Longevity and Reliability
The Oura is a relatively new product so longevity and reliability aren’t really factors just yet. There haven’t been any issues reported so far, but if any do crop up, at least the Oura has a lifetime warranty, so you can get replacement parts free of charge.
Warranty – Lifetime
Like the Oura, the Rök is new enough that no major issues have shown up so far. I can anticipate problems that may stem from the user not cleaning their device thoroughly enough or often enough, but that would be on the owner rather than the product. The fact that the Rök consists of more pieces than the other rigs could mean that it is more susceptible to problems, but as I mentioned, nothing has been reported so far.
Warranty – One year
The early Peaks were like beta versions of the device and as such, they had a lot of issues with the heating element, electronics, and software. Puffco seems to have ironed out those issues with the newest versions of the Peak so they should be pretty much problem-free. However, you may end up going through atomizers faster than you would like, so you might need to replace it every few months depending on how often you use the Peak.
Warranty – One year
The Oura includes two different atomizers, a quartz one and a ceramic one, both produce great tasting vapor, but the quartz atomizer is the superior one. It produces great tasting vapor and huge clouds as well. The ceramic atomizer is also very good, but it takes longer to heat up than the quartz. The Oura has much higher temperature settings than the other two rigs here, so it’s better suited for the hardcore user. However, if vaping newbies stick to the lower temps, they can enjoy it too.
The Rök can vape both wax extracts and dry herb, it does better with wax as you would expect, but its performance with dry herb is surprisingly good. It won’t replace the Arizer Solo 2 or Mighty as your stay at home dry herb vaporizer but it’s a good choice if you can’t be bothered to switch devices when you feel like switching substances. As good as the dry herb performance is, it is with wax where the Rök really excels. The special filter used in the bubbler and the airpath that is isolated from the electronics each help to produce very strong, great-tasting vapor. That makes the Rök great for vapers of all experience levels.
The Peak isn’t outshined by the other newer vapes when it comes to vapor quality and cloud production. The ceramic atomizer is capable of producing some great tasting vapor and some serious clouds. It takes a little longer to heat up than the other rigs, but it is still pretty fast. There are third-party quartz atomizers available if that is what you prefer, but they aren’t necessary if you want to enjoy the Peak’s vapor.
So, which one should you choose?
For a fairly new class of vaping, the devices in this category have all been pretty good so far, they are a nice alternative to even the best e-nails, and they each have qualities that make them worthy of purchase. However, one of them stands out from the pack, so let’s take a look at their positives and negatives.
The two atomizers of the KandyPens Oura both produce excellent vapor and the entire device itself is very easy to use. It has a long battery life and it is the only rig here that uses a USB-C charger, which gives it the fastest recharge time. Maintenance is low and so is the learning curve. It also has the longest session mode of the three.
The Pulsar Rök also uses two atomizers, but one of them is for dry herb. The Rök is great at vaping wax extracts and very good at vaping dry herb, which makes it the most versatile rig here. It is also the most complex rig here because its design necessitates a lot of different parts, so assembly and cleaning take the longest of all the three rigs.
The Puffco Peak is the simplest rig here so it is the easiest to use and the simplest to maintain. It also has the most accessories—some of which should probably have been included in the default kit, admittedly—out of all three rigs, a result of it being around the longest. It is also the best looking. While the Peak is still good, it offers the least amount of vaping options of the three.
When you take all of those qualities into consideration, the clear winner is the KandyPens Oura. It includes two different atomizers, both of which produce excellent vapor, it has the best session mode, and it recharges the fastest. The Rök is good, but the lengthy assembly time and high maintenance drag it down. The Peak is still solid, but it has fewer customization options compared to the newer rigs, plus it costs the most. The Oura simply has the best feature set of the three. So if you are interested in taking part in this fledgling vaping category, then the Oura is the best place to start.