Dab Rigs: Everything you Need to Know

What is Dabbing?

If you have delved into vaping or smoking before, or know people who are in those circles, it is likely you have heard about Dabs or dabbing. You may know them as being basically bongs that you hold a big flaming torch to instead of a lighter. That detail alone may scare some people off, but for the brave and/or curious, we made a quick yet comprehensive guide on Dab Rigs, with everything a complete beginner needs to know.

Silicone Dab Rig and Dab Bong

Difference between Dab rigs and Bongs

A lot of people, especially those new to smoking or who have not gone deep into the culture, do not know what a dab rig even is, or how they are different from bongs. The most important difference is that dab rigs are for consuming concentrated, pure forms of the substance (often called wax) found in the flowers smoked with bongs. This also means dabs are vaped like a vape pen and or dry herb vaporizer, not smoked, which means they are much cleaner, smoother, and better for your body (in moderation).

Dab Rigs themselves also look a bit different from bongs, they are much smaller on average, and in the place of a bowl, they have a small dish or dabbing tool called a dab nail. The way they work means a certain technique is necessary to properly use a dab rig, which might discourage people who are accustomed to the simplicity of a bong or joint. Do not worry however, further on in this article we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to dab.

Why Dabbing with a Rig

So, what are the benefits of dabbing, and using concentrates as opposed to flower? As we previously mentioned, dab rigs are vapor-based, making them a lot easier on the lungs and throat. The most mentioned and important difference perhaps is the effects, dabbing concentrate as opposed to smoking herb provides a much stronger, streamlined, and overall unique experience, that we recommend for anyone looking for some variance.

Since dab rigs are smaller than bongs, they are much better suited for transportation and use outside of the house, while packing a stronger punch. Of course, this is only if you can carry along the additional tools and materials needed to dab. The exception being E-Rigs which are electronic dab rigs.

How to use a dab rig two photos

How to Use a Dab Rig

Okay, we have covered what dab rigs are and why people use them, so as promised, let us get to how they are used. It may seem intimidating at first glance, but it is a lot easier than it looks, and after the first few tries, we promise you will be a pro.

First of all, check if you have all the necessary tools

  • Dab Rig: obviously
  • Torch: unlike bongs, dab rigs require a lot of heat, and so a common lighter will not cut it. If you have an electronic dab rig, aka e-rig, then you do not need a torch.
  • Wax Dabbing tool: this is just a small metal spoon-like stick used to scoop your wax into the dab rig
  • Wax Concentrates
  • Water
step by step picture of the dab rig process

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Pour a small amount of water into the large container of your dab rig (around 1/3)
  2. Heat the nail using your torch, for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your nail’s base is red
  3. Wait at least 15-20 seconds for the nail to cool down, during this time you can scoop up your wax
  4. Bring your dab tool with wax in contact with the nail while simultaneously inhaling, remembering to swirl the tool around slightly.
  5. See how you feel before considering another hit! Dabs are super smooth, but also many times stronger than typical bong hits.
Dab rigs and nails for the best time smoking

Types of Dab Nails

Throughout this article, we have repeated the word nail over and over, and though we gave a brief definition, we thought it best to give a more detailed explanation, as well as provide you with things to consider when choosing the best nail for your rig.

A dab nail is a small dish-like container that fits into your dab’s downstem (The tube extending up from the side). The nail is what you want to heat up when dabbing and where you will be placing your concentrate to be vaporized. This is a simple concept, but it is executed in many different ways, including:

Glass Dab Nails

These usually come packaged or even attached to your dab rig and are the most common nails out there, they are relatively cheap and do not take away from the flavor, though some may crack easily from quick temperature changes.

Titanium dab rigs high quality

Titanium Dab Nails

If you, like many, worry about dropping and shattering your precious nail, you should consider investing in one made from titanium. These are also extremely resistant to temperature changes, though they may transfer unwanted heat to your rig if you are not careful.

Quartz Dab Nails

When it comes to heat resistance without drawbacks, quartz reigns supreme, you do not have to worry about breaking these nails with heat, though gravity may be an issue. Quartz nails also provide a similar flavor to glass nails when treated correctly. 

clear glass dab rig being smoked

Types of Dab Rigs

After learning the basics of dabbing and dab rigs, you may be interested in buying one of your own. If during the course of reading this article you opened another tab to find a good rig to purchase, you were probably surprised by the sheer variety at your disposal, if so, welcome back, and either way we’re here to help. Here are three of the most common types of dab rigs:

Silicone dab rigs

For the cheapest and most durable build, silicone dab rigs are the best choice. They are also super easy to clean, especially if you have a dishwasher since you can just pop them right in and forget about it.  Negatives in relation to glass dabs are that not many accessories fit them, and a bit of flavor is lost.

Glass Dab rigs being prepped for smoking

Glass dab rigs

As is the case with bongs, glass is king when it comes to dab rigs. They occupy an overwhelming majority, and they have the specs to back that up. Glass dab rigs are relatively durable, though not as indestructible as silicone, grant nearly unlimited customization options, and while more expensive than silicone is still affordable. The only major downsides are that a big drop is still likely to break them, and they can be a pain to clean.

Electronic Dab Rigs

If you took a look at our guide and found using a torch is a bit too much for you, you are in luck. Electronic dab rigs, or E-rigs for short, remove the hassle and potential danger by heating up with a press of a button. E-rigs are also very resistant to falls and are way smaller than traditional rigs, allowing for easy and discreet use on the go. If you like customizing your rig however an E-rig you should consider the other options.

Final thoughts on the Dab Rig

Final Thoughts

Dabbing may be a confusing, at least at first, method of enjoying your favorite waxes, but once you get to know exactly how it works, and maybe try it out for yourself, you realize just how amazing and simple it really is. Whether you came here to study for your first big dab hit, wanted a quick introductory course on dabbing, or were just curious, we hope this article helped you out.

Related Blog Posts

DAB RIG VS DAB PEN - THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

HOW TO DAB WITHOUT A RIG

9 TIPS FOR USING A DAB RIG


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