How To Dab Without A Rig

by Chelsea O. July 09, 2019 6 min read

Dabbing Without A Dab Rig

These days cannabis aficionados tend to opt more and more for dabbing concentrate over traditional smoking methods. Unfortunately, not everyone tends to keep a dab rig around, especially when they are on-the-go. Thankfully, just because you do not have a dab rig, does not mean you cannot partake in concentrates. In fact, there are plenty of methods you can use for dabbing without a rig.  

Dabbing Without a Rig – How It Is Done

While dab rigs are a typical choice for dabbing concentrates, it is not the only route you have to take. There are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite concentrate without running out to buy a new rig. Common choices you can use include bongs, bubblers, nectar collectors, wax pens, even your devices for smoking dry herbs (ex. pipes). The only difference between each of these devices is the method in which you smoke (or vape) the concentrate. 

How To Use a Nectar Collector to Dab

Nectar Collector For Dabbing

Nectar collectors (also known as honey straws) are very similar to dab rigs. Unlike dab rigs, a nectar collector generally is comprised of three main components - the body, the mouthpiece, and the tip. Depending upon the specific model you choose, it may or may not have a chamber within the body for holding water. If water is used, always make sure it is properly contained within the body, and the tip and mouthpiece are free of water before you begin. 

Nectar collectors are a very straightforward device. It is extremely easy to get the maximum efficiency from it and has a very simple design. In most cases, once you understand how to properly put your device together, you will not have any issues with using the device. 

Honestly, the biggest difference between a nectar collector and a dab rig is you do not load a nectar collector. Once you heat the tip of the nectar collector, you place the tip directly into the concentrate. This will heat the wax until it turns to vapor, and you simply remove the tip of the device once you reach the desired hit size. 

Water Bongs for Dabbing 

One of the most popular methods for smoking wax without a dab rig is with a bong. Unlike nectar collectors and dab pens, this method requires you to use some form of a base. Most users generally create a base made up of dry herbs. 

To partake in this method, you first need to create a circular disk shape with some of your concentrate and set it to the side. Inside of the bowl, you want to make a dry herb base. However, it is important you do not fill the entire bowl. You will want to fill it about halfway, then place the small circular concentrate disk on top of it. Since you do not want direct contact between the flame and your concentrate, you will want to place another layer of dry herbs on top of the concentrate before you begin to smoke.  

When it comes to water bongs and dab rigs, they are very similar in nature. In fact, many water bongs can even be turned into dab rigs by replacing the bong bowl with a dab nail. The biggest difference between the two devices is the stem (the part that fills with smoke), which is often much thinner on a dab rig than a water bong.

Dabbing with a Bubbler

It is important to understand not all bubblers are suited for use with concentrates. Even so, there are some bubbler models you can use for dabbing. Specifically, bubblers that use a bong bowl (ones similar to bongs) can be used for smoking concentrates. Like bongs, this type of bubbler can replace the bong bowl with a dab nail and can be used exactly the same as a bong for dabbing concentrates. 

Wax Pen Dabs

Wax Pen Dabs

Dab pens are traditionally the most convenient and discreet way of partaking in concentrates without a dab rig. It is also great for on-the-go vaper users who love to stay under the radar. Not only are wax pens popular, but they are a very affordable option both online and in-store. These electronic devices are very straightforward to use and do not require any special knowledge to partake. In fact, using a vape pen versus a dab rig is similar to using a bowl versus a bong.  

To use a wax dab pen, you begin by turning on the device. Usually, this is completed by quickly clicking the power switch 5 times. Typically a light will flash to show it has turned on. Once your device is on, load your concentrate by opening the mouthpiece and placing the wax or oil onto the exposed coil. Then simply close the mouthpiece, and hold the power button. This will heat up the coil, causing your concentrate to melt and turn into vapor. 

To be fair, a vape pen is not as powerful as a dab rig. However, there are plenty of wax pens and coils (such as a quad coil) you can use that will offer as close a dabbing experience as possible to using a rig. Just make sure to take the time to read up on the dab pen reviews before you go out and buy one. Different models and options can change not only the quality of the vape pen but how long it can last (which is especially important for those who vape regularly). 

Box Mod Vape Dabbing

Box Mod Vapes for Dabbing

Box mod vapes are a step up from vaping with wax dab pens. They are more powerful and many come with an attached wax atomizer. Box mod vapes are a common choice among concentrate users because of their customization options. Along with portability, a box mod vape allows for a wide range of intensity levels. This stems from the extensive collection of atomizer options to the different types of concentrates you can use. 

While the exact process can be slightly different depending upon the type of atomizer attached to the box mod vape, typically they work in a similar fashion to other forms of vaporizers. Powered by a battery, box mod vapes heat up a coil (located inside of the attached atomizer) to create the vapor. Once the desired vapor is created, the user then inhales the vapor through the mouthpiece. It is a fairly simple and straightforward process, with the user placing the concentrate into the vaporizer and igniting the atomizer with a press of a button. 

Dab Rig Vaporizers

Dab rig vaporizers are not a form of a wax pen or box mod. Essentially, it is a type of electronic dab rig. Many dab rig vaporizers are also classified as desktop vaporizers. Therefore, they are not the best choice for those looking for portability. Nevertheless, they are a great option for a stationary device. Not only do they offer pinpoint accuracy for the dab nail surface temperature, but they also provide superior technology allowing for maximum vapor quality and a better overall vaping experience. 

While you cannot carry these devices around, the main purpose of dab rig vaporizers is to provide a better performance, giant clouds, better temperature controls, and rich flavoring. The exact method for vaping concentrates partially depends on the model of the dab rig vaporizer you choose. In most cases, you load your vaporizer and heat it up. Once it has reached the desired temperature, you can achieve your perfect hit. 

Dipstick Vapes 

Dipstick Vapes aka Electronic Nectar Collectors

Dipstick vapes, such as the CF 710 Dab Pen, are very similar to nectar collectors both in design and setup, and in a way, are the equivalent of an electronic version of a nectar collector. The biggest difference between a nectar collector and a dipstick vape is how you heat the device. A nectar collector requires you to heat the tip using a torch or some form of a flame, while a dipstick vape just requires you to press a button and the coil will heat up. Dipstick vapes also are very easy to use, and once heated you simply dip it into your concentrate. After the concentrate turns to vapor, you simply keep the tip in the concentrate until you have reached the desired hit size.

Where to Buy Dab Rigs and Other Dabbing Tools

It does not matter whether you plan to buy a dab rig, a wax pen, a box mod vape, a vaporizer, or other dabbing tools, you can find everything you need both online and in-store. Most local smoke and vape shops will carry a nice selection of options, while online places can offer items you may not find in-store. Plus, a bonus to purchasing online is many places offer extra perks. For example, vapevetstore.com offers no minimum order requirements and FREE USPS standard shipping on all domestic orders within the United States. 

Chelsea O.
Chelsea O.


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