If you want to enjoy dry herb concentrates to their fullest potential, then you need a dab rig. Concentrates are many times more potent than their equivalent weight in dry herb. They can only be consumed at very high temperatures. This, combined with their sticky consistency, means that bongs and pipes just don’t work.
Dab rigs are specially designed to be able to withstand the temperatures needed to consume concentrates. They use nails, specialized buckets made out of conductive material such as titanium or quartz. Dab rigs universally use water reservoirs to cool their hits to a temperature that is smooth and easy to inhale.
While they were once a niche product for experienced herb fans, dab rigs are now becoming increasingly popular.
Check out best dab rigs and e-nails of 2021
Affordable options for Dab Rigs
High Life - Mini Dab Rig with Barrel Perc
Double Stereo Matrix J-Hook Perc Dab Rig
Top picks of Dab Rigs
Dr. Dabber Switch
Spaceship Puck Rig by Snoop Dogg | 6 inch
What to look for in Dab Rigs
A good dab rig will always have a percolator. Concentrates vaporize at very high temperatures, and thus they can be a little harsh to inhale directly. Filtering each hit through a water reservoir helps cool them, but a reservoir can only act on the surface area of a hit. A percolator breaks a heat up into smaller, but more numerous bubbles, this results in an increased level of cooling.
If you are committed to getting the coolest possible dab experience, then you should seek out a rig with a recycler and multiple percs for an added level of cooling.
A good nail is also an important feature. Most rigs will come with a quartz nail, this is perfectly serviceable. However, more advanced users may prefer a more exotic material like ceramic or titanium. These materials do have great advantages but are far from essential.
Finally, a dab rig will usually feature an angled mouthpiece, this saves the user having to grasp and tilt the piece towards themselves when taking a hit. This is not only more stable, but safer too.
Differences between all Dab Rigs
The most obvious distinction between different types of dab rigs is whether they are electric or combustion based. All rigs user vaporization in some form, but they achieve this feat either with an internal electronic heating system or with a butane torch.
Traditional dab rigs require the user to heat the nail directly with a butane torch. A normal lighter won't cut it here, it simply can't reach the requisite temperature. Electronic solutions, like vapes or e-nails, use internal electronic heating systems to quickly and easily vaporize concentrates.
Within combustion based dab rigs there are several more specific differences. The most important of these is the material the nail is made out of. The average nail will be made out of quartz, this is perfect for rapid heating. However ceramic is another option that leads to more even and consistent vaporization. Finally, titanium has a super rapid heat-up time and it also features consistent and smooth heating, the best of both worlds.
Finally, percolators. Nearly all rigs, electronic or combustion, use percolators to cool their hits. There are hundreds of different types of percolators out there, and generally, they all work in similar ways. The real difference comes with a rig that uses a multi-perc setup or a recycler. This breaks up each hit for even more effective cooling.
Dab Rigs FAQ’s
Q1: Are Dab Rigs and Bongs The Same?
No, bongs are specifically designed for dry herbs. They tend to be larger and feature a bowl rather than a nail. This holds the herb while a flame is put directly into it. Dab nails on the other hand are heated directly until they reach dabbing temperature, at which point the concentrate is applied.
Q2: Can Dab Rigs Get Moldy?
Over time your dab rig will begin to experience a buildup of grime. This is caused by the vapor of your hits and other pollutants sticking to the glass. This will eventually begin to affect the flavor and potency of your hits, so frequent cleaning is a must.
Q3: Why Are Dab Rigs Small?
Dab rigs are generally much smaller than a bong because the vapor produced by concentrate more quickly dissipates into the air. So to enjoy a potent hit, you have to ensure that it doesn't have to travel as far.
Q4: What Are Dab Rigs Made Of?
Generally, dab rigs are made out of borosilicate glass. This is a type of specially treated glass that is resistant to thermal shock and stress fractures. This is a must when dealing with the high temperatures associated with dab concentrates.
Dab rigs are a fantastic way to enjoy concentrates. They allow users to experience potent sessions in a fraction of the time of a dry herb bong, and with a fraction of the material. As they become increasingly mainstream the industry is producing some truly incredible pieces. Some of the finest electronic dab rigs can stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best of the vape industry. If you enjoy concentrates or are looking to try them out, then a dab rig is a must.