A little background is necessary here because the Carta is the latest entrant in what is still a pretty rare category, that of the portable, handheld dab rig. So far, the only other products that fit that classification are the Dr Dabber Switch and the Puffco Peak. These portable rigs differ from e-nails in that they are easier to use and easier to hold in your hand, which makes them more convenient than e-rigs. Keep reading to find out if this is the kind of concentrate vape you might be interested in.
Kit and Accessories
- Focus V Carta
- Two quartz buckets + Two titanium buckets
- Borosilicate carb cap
- Cleaning kit
- Dab tool
- Two 18350 batteries
- USB-C charging cable
- Carrying case
Compatibility: By default, the Carta is compatible with solid concentrates like wax, shatter, budder, crumble, and so forth. However, an optional dry herb atomizer gives it additional compatibility with weed as well.
Along with the aforementioned dry herb atomizer, you can get replacements for the various components and accessories of the Carta. These include the quartz and titanium buckets as well as the carb cap, batteries, and everything else included in the Carta’s kit.
You can also get a replacement for the glass top included with the Carta. These replacements include tops identical to the one that comes with the Carta, or if you’re feeling adventurous, glass tops that come in different shapes, but still perform the same functions just as well as the default one.
Design and Features
General Design: At first glance, the Carta looks a little like some sort of mysterious kitchen appliance than it does a vaporizer. That is mainly because of the bland white and grey color scheme and the bulbous design. However, once you get past the looks, you’ll find that it’s a pretty practical device. The Carta is designed somewhat like the Puffco Peak in that it consists of a base where the heating element and dab receptacle are both located.
The glass piece from which you inhale is mounted atop the base, giving it a stable platform that allows you to hold the whole thing in your hand. The power button is located near the bottom of the base, which makes it easy to access whether you’re holding the Carta in your hand or resting it on a table.
There are four diagonally aligned lights near the power button that indicate the temperature and battery levels. However, you don’t need to look at them to know when the Carta has finished heating because it features haptic feedback so it will vibrate when it is ready. The Carta might not be much of a looker but it is easy to use and feels nice and stable.
Portability: These portable rigs aren’t as portable as vape pens obviously, but they are small enough to be comfortably held in one hand while you vape from them. The Carta is a little over seven inches tall so it’s the right height for both handheld vaping or vaping from a surface. The included carrying case does make the Carta more transport friendly than the other rigs in this category.
The Carta has an app that gives you additional temperature controls as well as stat monitoring. You can use the app to select more precise temperatures than you can on the device. The app can also give you information related to your sessions such as their average time and duration. This is a nice option that is common in premium weed vapes but rare in these types of portable dab rigs.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The various buckets can be cleaned by using a cotton swab that has been soaked in isopropyl alcohol to wipe down their inner surfaces once they have cooled down. More stubborn residue can be cleaned via a burn-off, which is when you place the bucket in the receptacle and turn up the heat to the highest setting. This should melt any excess residue and make the bucket easier to clean.
The glass top is cleaned by pouring some iso alcohol into it, swishing it around, pouring it out, and then rinsing it out with warm water.
How to Use
- Pour some water into the glass top after attaching it to the base.
- Place one of the buckets into the receptacle on the side of the device.
- Press the power button five times to turn on the device.
- Tap the power button to select one of the preset temperatures.
- Once heating is complete, dab some wax into the bucket, cover it with the carb cap, and inhale from the mouthpiece.
Temperature Range: The Carta has four temperature settings that range from 600°F to 940°F.
Performance and Vapor Quality
Rig Performance: The Carta heats up very quickly, only taking about five seconds with the quartz buckets and roughly seven seconds with the titanium ones. Only the Switch, with its induction heating technology, is faster.
Vapor Quality: The vapor produced by the Carta is quite tasty, but I got the best results with the quartz bucket at the second lowest setting. The quartz bucket keeps the flavor pure, whereas I got a slight metallic taste when using the titanium bucket. The second lowest setting is the sweet spot for me because it provides the best flavor and a decent amount of vapor.
The higher settings gave me bigger clouds, but less flavor. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend you vape at the highest setting at all since it’s better suited for burn-offs than for vaping. The water-filled glass top keeps the vapor cool regardless of the temperature setting.
Battery Performance: The Carta uses a pair of removable 18350 batteries for power. On the one hand, even two of these batteries don’t make the Carta last as long as the other rigs in this category. On the other hand, having the batteries be replaceable does give the Carta a lot more versatility. It also uses a USB-C cable so charge times are quite fast.