When it comes to dabbing the rainbow of various cannabis concentrates, or dabs, dab rigs, wax rigs, or oil rigs are among the main tools you will need. Dab rigs are a relation of the bong family with many similar features as your everyday water pipe.
But there’s so much more to it than that! Read on to learn more about dab rigs, including how dab rigs work, what kinds of dab rigs are out there today, and where to buy the best dab rigs—not to mention how to find cheap dab rigs that still work great.
Why Should I Buy a Dab Rig Online?
Three words: selection, selection, selection!
That’s not totally true, because that leaves out price and value, but that’s the place to start.
Thanks to the medical marijuana and legalization boom, consumer demand has driven glass artists to create beautiful, highly functional, recycling dabs rigs with an assortment of attachments, designs, materials, shapes, sizes, smoke styles, and themes. There is literally a dab rig online for everyone today.
Where to Buy Dab Rigs
Thanks for asking! We have already been searching for the best places to buy quality dab rigs online, and we’ve got them right here.
There is so much that goes into choosing the perfect dab rig! But it’s totally worth it. You get hours and ultimately years of enjoyment out of the right dab rig. What’s your favorite kind?
Dab Rigs For Sale
Here are some of the most common questions we hear, from how to use a recycler dab rig on down.
What Are Dabs?
Dabs refer to vaporized plant concentrates, usually from the cannabis plant. If you’ve ever seen dry herb with those sticky crystals or resin on it, that’s the source of cannabis dabs.
Manufacturers extract essential oils from the various plant components and then produce a concentrated form of them, usually a sticky, waxy, or oily substance. How the manufacturer produces the concentrate determines the precise consistency.
Dab rigs are like the bongs of the wax, oil, and concentrate world. They are water pipes, a type of vaporizer usually made of glass or silicone, designed for heating, filtering, and consuming these kinds of plant concentrates.
The term dabbing arose from the motion you make as you use the oil rig; you literally dab your concentrate onto the hot nail to vaporize it. This turns the concentrate into vapor, not smoke, which is rich in flavor, not carcinogens.
Temperature is one of the keys to flavor, feel, and safety while dabbing, and that’s where water comes in. The hot dab nail is like a melting point for the concentrate, but the water cools the vapor instantly.
By the time you inhale and take a drag, the suction from pulling on the mouthpiece moves the vapor through the downstem into the dab rig, and into that water. The mouthpiece is usually fairly cool, because the vapor moves through the water before it hits your mouth, throat, or lungs.
In addition, most dab rigs use some sort of diffusion to cool the vapor even more. By diffusion we mean the structure or design of the dab rig will force the vapor through underwater holes, causing lots of bubbles. This action means more water contact and less concentrate waste from this kind of vaporizer.
What Are the Main Parts of a Dab Rig?
Mouthpiece. Inhale here! There are countless shapes and styles, so choose one you like that allows for a comfortable airtight seal.
Dab nail. This is where you melt your concentrate, usually with a dab torch. The dab nail works like a melting pot for your wax or oil, but it typically takes just a moment for them to vaporize. Once the dab turns into vapor, you inhale, moving it through the joint and diffusion or percolator structure, and up the mouthpiece.
Joint. This connects the dab nail to the dab rig. Joints have both sizes and male and female genders, because they must attach to dab rigs, glass attachments, and bongs, so be sure you ensure your products are compatible and can create an airtight connection. Popular joint sizes in both genders include 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm.
Diffusion/Percolator. Diffusion is the bubbling the percolator or other holes create when vapor is forced through them. This action cools the vapor faster by breaking it into tiny bubbles. There are lots of bubbler or diffuser styles, such as the honeycomb or showerhead perc.
How Filtration Works in Dab Rigs
There is a difference between filtration and cooling, but both involve pushing something through water. When smoking cannabis flower, it helps to filter the smoke with water. Bongs with lots of filtration or even an ice catcher sidecar feature make for fewer carcinogens and a cooler, more comfortable experience.
Dab rigs, on the other hand, are for consuming cannabis concentrates, which are known for flavor and potency. You really don’t want to filter all of that goodness out! Dab rigs vaporize the concentrates, and that vapor contains less in the way of harmful substances compared to smoke, so dab rigs really don’t need percolators for filtration. Dab rigs use filtration to cool vapor, and minimally, to impact flavor less.
Dab Rig Styles
Classic or direct inject. The most basic, simple design is the classic, direct inject. In this style, the bowl is near the top supported by the nail column. Load in your concentrates there, and the vapor moves from the bowl’s bottom to the top of the nail column and then travels down along the rig. This design doesn’t need a dome because of its structure. These might come in different shapes and styles, such as hourglass or inline perc bongs.
Banger hanger. Banger hanger rigs use domeless quartz nails for a clean, functional experience.
Standard. This is a low-cost option, but it does need a dome to collect the vapor and redirect it into the rig’s base. You heat the nail which has a cupped end and place the concentrates there. They melt and flow over the top of the dab nail.
Daisy or castle. This design eliminates the need for a dome, but also makes it harder to use a carb cap. The nail turns into a bowl with openings along the rim at the top of the rig. The openings pull the vapor into the rig’s base.
Angled cut. These are often some very beautiful nails due to their unique asymmetrical design, and they also are domeless. Bonus: depending on the angle you use to hold your rig, they may provide a larger surface area for concentrates and more vapor.
What is the Difference Between a Dab Rig and a Bong?
The differences between a dab rig and a bong are in structure and intent.
Dab rigs are a variety of water pipe that is similar to a bong, but specifically designed to consume dabs, oils, waxes, and other concentrates. They often come with a dab nail, such as a quartz banger, and if they don’t, you’ll need one to make them work.
Dab rigs are often more portable than bongs, and feature percolators with less filtration and more airflow for the reasons discussed above. The structure and design of dab rigs maximize concentrate flavor which is why having one is essential if concentrates are your jam.
The first thing that may strike you about the average dab rig is that it tends to be small. But the size, truly, isn’t the issue here. Dabs don’t use combustion. Instead, creating thick, rich, smooth vapor depends on careful temperature control.
A dab rig that doesn’t get hot enough robs you of product, wasting it inside the glass as it cools too fast and sticks. On the other hand, too hot means you lose terpenes and ruin your experience. Consistency is key with concentrates, and so the right shape and size gets you there.
What Are Silicone Dab Rigs?
Silicone dab rigs are ideal for those people who can’t seem to stop breaking things—or who know it’s a risk they’re not willing to take. If you’ve broken glassware and your heart along with it in the past, silicone rigs are unbreakable. This is especially useful if you might be handling your rig when you’re slightly impaired, ahem.
What Are Glass Dab Rigs?
A glass dab rig remains the most popular to vaporize almost any type of wax, dab, oil, or concentrate. The main reasons are temperature control, flavor, style, and durability. It’s true that glass can break on you, but borosilicate glass is tough, and dab rigs made using female joints in particular are stronger. The toughness of glass allows for long-lasting performance, and the flavor you get from high-quality glass dab rigs is basically unmatched. Bonus: they are relatively easy to clean.
Are Wax Rigs and Oil Rigs Different Than Dab Rigs?
No, not really. Wax rigs are not only used for wax, nor are oil rigs only used for oil. Actually, they can be used like any other dab rig. A wax rig or oil rig and a quartz banger are all you need to dab—well, that and some kind of delicious concentrate.
What Are Mini Dab Rigs?
Just like they sound, mini dab rigs are just a lot smaller, easily fitting in a pocket. The mini rig is ideal for the traveler who loves to dab on the go, because you can pack it away even in a small bag. Cannabis cup, here we come with our mini rigs and nectar collectors!
What Are Custom Dab Rigs?
Many local glass blowing artists create custom dab rigs, and one way to find them is to search Instagram for “custom dab rigs” and see what’s out there. Here are some of the coolest customized dab rigs we have seen online.
How Do Recycler Rigs Work?
Recycler rigs are a variety of dab rig that creates a feedback loop to recycle vapor several times before it’s inhaled. These specialty dab rigs achieve this recycling effect by create a feedback loop using carefully placed pathways and water chambers.
Glass artists have invented numerous recycler designs such as honeycomb percs that deliver a more potent and flavorful dab without overcooling, from propellor percs to venturi chambers. We’ve reviews some of our favorite inline recycler rigs from designers, glass artists, and manufacturers worldwide to curate a list of premium recycler rigs you can buy online.
What Is An E-Rig?
E-rigs, sometimes called smart rigs, battery powered, self-contained dab rigs that don’t need an outside heat source. In other words, e-rigs are rechargeable and portable, and they replace a dab rig, dab torch, and dab nail set up.
Spoiler alert: some of the newest dabbers have never even used anything else. No wonder; e-rigs are a natural, next generation version of electronic dab nails or e-nails. These are the next step up from the vape pen style device, replacing the dab torch with a temperature controlled, digital heating element.
After the Puffco Peak’s beaker bong style e-rig exploded onto the market, many similar devices have entered the scene, with loads of options, features, and price points. The most popular e-rigs out there today include the OG, the Puffco Peak, along with the G-Pen Connect and the Pulsar RoK.
E-Rigs vs Glass Dab Rigs: How Do They Compare?
They are just as good, no one version is better. This is more a matter of choice. Some people worry that e-rigs won’t be as good as classic vaporizers, but actually e-rigs are just as good as glass dab rigs. In fact, if you need portability, e-rigs can be even better, because they are a self-contained solution. No need to bring along a dab nail and torch, too! Just bring the e-rig and some tasty concentrate anywhere you feel like going.
Cost: Why Are Dab Rigs Cheap?
The biggest reason you can find cheap glass dab rigs for sale is because of the filtration issue we talked about above. The more layers of filtration that are necessary, the more complex the glass structure has to be. Even in size, dab rigs can afford to be much smaller than most bongs. They just don’t need to waste as much space on filtration. Cooling is all they need.
Remember, just because dab rigs under $50 are cheap doesn’t mean they’re no good. Some great silicone dab rigs and portable dab rigs in particular come in under $60 and perform just like they’re supposed to.
What Else Do I Need to Start Dabbing?
This is the benefit of knowing a great online headshop—just saying! To go along with your dab rig you may need carb caps, cleaners, dab tools, dab torches, reclaimers, quartz bangers, titanium nails, and more. Follow the links to read on to learn about all of them.
What tools do I need to dab?
Remember how you made a pipe from an apple and smoked flower blissfuly using nothing more than a lighter? It’s true, dabbing takes a few more tools (unless you’re an e-rig person) although some people are internet famous for their home dab rigs. Here’s what you need for a great dabbing experience.
A carb cap is a critical piece of low temperature dabbing, as it helps trap the vapor—and the flavor—inside the dab nail. You can get the optimal terpene and flavor profile from your concentrates using a carb cap.
It’s essential to keep your dab rig clean, particularly the dab nail. Besides, failing in this department means you’re failing at flavor—and what’s the point of dabbing that way?
The style of the dab rig and tools you use will determine which cleaners and cleaning tools work best. If you use an e-rig, be sure to defer to the instructions! In general, most users clean at least their banger nail after use each time with a q-tip to preserve flavor next time and extend the life of the banger nail.
A dabber is really just a small tool used to transfer concentrates from container to dab nail. (It’s not easy—they’re sticky, crumbly, or any number of consistencies!) This range of textures in concentrates on the market is why dabbers are available in a variety colors, sizes, and tip styles.
Dab nails come in a range of materials and styles. The most popular type is the quartz banger nail, but titanium ceramic nails are also popular.
Heat your glass, titanium ceramic, or quartz banger dab nail with your (usually) butane dab torch. The ideal color, flame style, and size is a matter of taste.
How to Smoke Dabs Like a Pro
Dabbing is simple and easy once you’ve done it a few times.
Gear up. Grab your dab nail, dab rig, dab torch, dome if you have one, and concentrate.
Torch and nail. Fire up your torch and heat your dab nail until it is red-hot.
Nail and dome. Cover the nail with the dome. Quartz nails need about 45 seconds to cool, while titanium nails need about 10 seconds. Don’t just slam the concentrate on there without cooling it!
Dab with the dabber. Apply the dab of concentrate inside the dome, directly onto the dab nail using the dabber and slowly inhale. Avoid wasting your product by rotating the tip of the dabber.
What Is the Best Dabbing Temperature?
What’s the ideal temperature for dabbing? Science reveals the answers, and it may surprise you to know that less is often more.
As you know, to vaporize concentrate, you have to heat the nail. Cannabinoids and other healthful compounds such as terpenes are released starting at 315°F. They continue to be released until the temperature reaches 440°, but after that you are burning your product.
Is there a golden temperature for maximum enjoyment? Or does it depend on the concentrate—or the person?
This is why we advise you to heat up the nail until it glows red-hot, so you know it will certainly vaporize, and then let it cool down sufficiently to avoid scorching. Impatient dabbers don’t wait long enough and lose product, or try too soon and end up with a sticky mess. Let it sit for just the few seconds it needs to be perfect.
Pros and cons of lower temperatures
If you’re a real cloud chaser you might hate hearing that a low temperature is better. After all, higher temperatures usually mean bigger clouds! They also mean an instant hit and high intensity—right?
Maybe, and they burn down the concentrate to the last bit, too, which can seem great until you’re coughing and hacking on harshness instead of enjoying flavor.
We have a few extra seconds to spare, because lower temps mean more time to experience the complex terpene profiles of our high-end concentrates, and smoother hits while we do it.
Low temperature tips and tricks
Heat your dab nail as normal, red-hot, but then wait about 30 seconds before using—so it is no longer red hot anywhere
Hit your nail only when you can hold your hand just over it without it feeling too hot
Let the oil just slide off the dabber onto the nail so you can cap it rapidly. No smoke will be coming from the nail, even though the wax may seem like it is starting to smoke. With the cap in place, you should then begin to see the vapor fill up the rig.
30 seconds is a place to start, but experiment.
How Do I Save the Concentrate From My Dab Rig?
Sometimes you can save some of what’s left, but you may not be able to, depending on your dab rig. You can use a reclaim catcher to maximize how much concentrate you can salvage. This also helps prevent your dab rig from clogging.
How Do I Clean My Dab Rig?
It is easy—but crucial—to keep your dab rig clean. A banger nail that doesn’t get cleaned after just about every use will become garbage. It’s not like a bong or bowl. That may sound bad, but actually it’s easy to clean your banger nail and dab rig.
To clean the banger nail, use 99% isopropyl alcohol and q-tips. Just swipe away the residue after each dab.
As far as the dab rig goes, be sure to change the water after every use. Resin coating can build up on the walls of a dab rig, whether it’s glass or silicone, but 99% isopropyl alcohol removes it.
What Is the Best Dab Rig For Me?
Ah, this is the fun part.
Like something little you can take everywhere on the DL? What about a gorgeous glass art piece to display at home? Or maybe you just need a standard 7″ bent neck showerhead dab rig or basic fab egg dab rig. If you’re not sure, read on for some dab rig shopping tips and ideas.
How Do I Choose the Best Dab Rig For Me?
It may seem intimidating, but choosing the right dab rig for you is actually a lot of fun, and an exciting purchase to make. Here are few things to consider as you shop for dab rigs.
First off, consider how much recycling and filtration you want and need. A serious recycler offers a different kind of airflow and type of experience.
Where will you be using your dab rig? Will it be a daily driver, or just a party or weekend dab rig? Does it need to come with you all day? There are dab rigs out there big and elaborate, or small and functional—that’s up to you.
Do you suffer from butter fingers? Maybe a beaker style rig, a puck oil rig, or even a silicone dab rig is best for you.
Are you worried about high quality materials? Look for scientific, borosilicate glass, like you might find from Grav Glass or Empire Glassworks.
Analog or digital? The future is now, so if you’d like to be free of fire forever, opt for an e-nail.
Whatever your decisions up until this point, consider the joint size and dab rig size you want. Consider the height between the dab nail or joint and the mouthpiece, as things get hot and there is a lot of variation. The dab rig must feel comfortable when you hold it.
Express your style. Color and aesthetics matter, especially for something you use every day or maybe share with others. This is your dab rig! You should get just the details, colors, features, and materials you want.
Personalize your dabbing experience with accessories that match your usage, lifestyle, and needs. Make sure your rig can support all of the tools and accessories you love to use, like grinders, dabbers, splash guards.
Remember that your dab rig should be built to last. A high-quality glass dab rig should be made of borosilicate glass so it won’t crack or fracture, even when heated.