When it comes to dabbing, your dab rig takes center stage in your setup. It plays a vital role by accommodating all the necessary components and offering a water-cooled vapor pathway for your dabs. Unlike bongs, concentrate rigs are specifically crafted to enhance the flavors and deliver exceptional hits from your concentrates. Typically compact in size, these rigs are purpose-built to accommodate a dab nail or banger, which are used to vaporize concentrates.
What is a dab rig?
Also known as an oil rig, a dab bong or a wax rig, a dab rig looks a lot like a small bong or water pipe. Usually crafted from glass or silicone, these rigs are usually small in size to help promote more efficient vaporization of concentrates and better flavors. Since dabbing doesn’t involve combustion, smaller water pipes without a ton of different percolators ensure an enhanced flavor profile and satisfying hits. However, dab rigs come in all sorts of styles, including recyclers, beakers, and bubblers equipped with one or two percolators or additional filters.
What are dab rigs made out of?
Dab rigs are usually made from glass or silicone, but some of them may be made with ceramic or other materials. Glass dab rigs are the most popular since they stand up to heat well and offer a few spots for filtration and percolators. They’re usually made with heavy-duty borosillicate glass, which is sturdy and easy to clean. On the other hand, some dabbers prefer silicone since it stays cool and is virtually indestructible. However, they don’t offer any filtration or percolators and may alter the flavor of your dabs.
What’s the difference between dab rigs and bongs?
The main differences between bongs and dab rigs boils down to size, attachments, and water chambers or percolators. Bongs used for flower are usually much larger than a dabbing rig since flower is combusted. Since you’re playing with fire when smoking, bongs need a longer vapor path to house more percolators and water chambers to cool and filter smoke before it makes it to your lungs to smooth out the hits. Bongs usually come with a bowl head attachment for flower, too.
Dab rigs are much smaller since dabbing doesn’t require combustion. Most rigs only have a single water chamber and a smaller vapor path to promote better flavors. Some small rigs may contain one or two small percolators to help cool down the vapor without sacrificing flavor. They also usually come with a quartz banger or nail attachment.
How do you dab with a dab rig?
To use a dab rig, you need a few things to get started:
- Dab rig
- Banger or nail
- Carb cap
- Dab tool
- Your preferred concentrates
- Torch or e-nail
- Isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs
- Digital thermometer or e-nail, and timer (not required, but helpful)
To dab with a dab rig, follow these steps:
- Fill the water chamber of your dab rig with water and attach your nail.
- Use a torch or e-nail to heat your nail to your ideal temperature, ideally between 400-500 degrees.
- Allow the banger to cool down if you’re using a torch, or reach the desired temperature by setting it on your e-nail.
- Wait about 30-45 seconds or utilize a digital thermometer to allow your nail to cool to the perfect dab temperature.
- Scoop a dab of your favorite concentrate with the dab tool and apply it directly to the bottom of the banger. Inhale as you do so.
- Cap the banger with the carb cap and inhale.
- Once finished, allow the banger to cool down. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean any remaining dab residue from the banger.
What to consider when buying a dab rig
If you’re looking to buy a dab rig online, consider five key factors before you make a purchase:
Mouthpiece Size and Shape
Unlike bongs, dab rigs are designed for sipping, not ripping. Opt for a dab rig with a smaller mouthpiece. Since clearing the chamber is not necessary in dabbing and air passes through the banger continuously, a smaller mouthpiece allows you to savor the flavor of your dabs without wastage. You might also want to consider whether or not you’ll prefer to do dabs from a tabletop or standing. Many dab rigs come with an angled neck and mouthpiece for seated tabletop dabs while others are vertical.
Dab rigs can be made of glass, silicone, or other materials. Silicone rigs tend to stay cool and have good durability, but they may slightly affect the flavor, lack percolators, and be more challenging to clean. Glass rigs, on the other hand, are a popular choice because they’re designed with aesthetics in mind. They’re also easy to clean, heat-resistant, and include water filtration and percolators. Among glass rigs, those made of borosilicate glass are the sturdiest.
Joint Size and Shape
Glass joints come in various sizes, so it’s essential to choose a dab rig that fits your existing banger. The sizes typically range from 10mm, 14mm, to 19mm, with options for male or female joints. For dab rigs, 10mm joints are often ideal as they provide more airflow restriction, enhancing the flavor of your dabs. On the other hand, female jointed bangers may get stuck to a male rig due to reclaim buildup, so many people prefer buying a female dab rig and a male banger in the 10mm size. You should also consider the joint on the rig itself. It can either have a straight or 90-degree angle, or it can be a 45-degree angle. You’ll want to buy a banger that has the same angle as your dab rig.
Filtration and Percolators
A dab rig should have at least one chamber for water to ensure a smoother experience. However, excessive percolators are unnecessary since dabbing doesn’t involve combustion. A little percolation is great and helps to cool down your dabs, though. Look for a rig with no more than one percolator, so you can find a balance that won’t overly bubble the water or increase airflow volume, which hurts your flavors. With dab rigs, less is more!
Dab rigs should lean towards the smaller and simpler side. Larger water pipes create more volume, leading to potential loss of potency and dissipation of vapor flavor due to increased oxygen content. Smaller rigs offer better flavor for your dabs by minimizing the path your vapor has to travel before it reaches your lungs.
Where can you buy high-quality dab rigs?
You can find high-quality dab rigs all over the place. Your favorite head shop likely has many in stock. However, if you want to avoid headshop markup and save money, explore our dab rigs at Legal Smoke Shop. Each of the rigs we carry are made with heavy-duty borosillicate glass and designed for the best dab seshes at the lowest prices online.
How much do dab rigs cost?
Dab rigs can start as low as $20 and go up to thousands of dollars. How much you’ll spend depends on a few things like artistry, craftsmanship and design.
While cheaper dab rigs can get the job done, they tend to be more prone to breakage and may have ill-fitting joints, which can affect airflow and make it challenging to enjoy a good, flavorful dab. They also tend to be on the simple side, so they may not be as durable or as pretty to look at as more expensive rigs.
On the other hand, expensive dab rigs often stand out since they’re usually made with higher-quality materials. The more expensive rigs may come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, and feature intricate designs, water chambers, and percolators that may fetch a higher price tag as a functional art piece.