All You Need To Know About Dab Rigs and Using One As A Beginner

Dab rigs is designed specifically to help heat and vaporize your concentrate, offering the full flavor profile with relatively low temperatures. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for ways to improve your experience, this guide will provide everything you need to know about using a dab rig!

A Dab Rig Explained

An essential component of your dabbing setup is your dab rig, also called a wax rig or oil rig.

  • A dab rig is a special type of water pipe that is used for smoking concentrated forms of cannabis, such as waxes and oils.
  • Dab rigs are similar to bongs, in that they use water to cool and filter the smoke. However, dab rigs typically have smaller chambers and use less water than bongs.
  • Dab rigs also have a few unique features, such as a domed nail instead of a bowl, that make them better suited for smoking concentrates.
  • Dab rigs can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, metal, and ceramic.

Using a Dab Rig

Yes, a dab rig has various moving parts and techniques. But not to worry, using one can be pretty easy once you know your way around it. The components of a fully functional dabbing rig setup include;

  • A dab rig
  • Quartz banger (or other dab nails)
  • Carb cap
  • Butane torch
  • Concentrates
  • Dab tool
  • Laser thermometer, stopwatch, or timer (optional)

Follow the steps below to use your dab rig setup;

  1. Start by filling your rig to the water line. 
  2. Slide the banger into your rig. 
  3. Using a butane torch, apply heat evenly to the nail surface until sufficiently hot. With the stopwatch method, you can allow heating until it is red hot and leave it to cool for 45-50 seconds. Alternatively, a laser thermometer can set the right temperature before taking your dab. 
  4. With the best dab temp detected, drop your concentrates into the hot nail using a dab tool. Follow this up immediately by capping the hot nail with the carb cap. 
  5. Ensure the even distribution of the concentrates across the nail by spinning the carb cup on the top. 
  6. Sip from the mouthpiece. Pull the vapor into your lungs until you fully vaporize your concentrate. 
  7. Leave the nail for some minutes to allow it to cool down. You can hit the cool nail with a bit of isopropyl alcohol. You can also use a cotton swab to keep it clean and ready for the next dab. 

Choosing the Right Dab Rig

Look out for the following when shopping for your next dab rig;

Mouthpiece—the ideal dab rig should have a small, narrow mouthpiece similar to a bendy straw. You want a mouthpiece that can sip rather than rip, and an angled mouthpiece is the best for the job. 

Material—go for a dab rig made with glass instead of silicone. Dab rigs made with heavy-duty borosilicate glass are known to hold up to heat excellently. In addition, the glass is easy to clean, and unlike silicone, it doesn’t seep foreign flavors into your concentrates. 

Joint size—the ideal dab rig has a joint size of 10mm. This is small enough to prevent oxygen permeation. If you are going for a different size, ensure that the joint on the nail and the one on the dab rig have the same size. A male rig also goes with a female nail, and vice-versa. 

Percolators—the best dab rig should have a single chamber and no more than two percolators. The longer your vapor travels to your lungs, the more flavor and potency you lose. Go for something simple and small. 

Size—the best dab rigs are small because you want your vapor to travel the shortest distance possible to your lungs to preserve all the taste and flavor. Small dab rigs with a small mouthpiece and joint and no more than two percolators are excellent and will give you the best dabbing experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about dab rigs for beginners;

Are dab rigs expensive?

Expensive here is relative, but let’s see how much a dab rig costs. The cost often depends on the artistry and craftsmanship involved. You can get great options between $50 and $300, but there are $20 rigs and those that cost several thousand dollars. Again, the pricing usually depends on the quality of materials and craftmanship involved. 

Price doesn’t always indicate quality. However, choosing a rig made from heavy-duty borosilicate glass would be best. Choose the smaller models with a simple design. The bigger and more complicated it is, the higher the cost without a corresponding improvement in user experience. 

What is the difference between a dab rig and a bong?

There are a number of them, but the size is the biggest. Bongs for flowers are designed to be bigger than dabs rig. They also have a bigger joint size and a wider mouthpiece. In addition, you will find more than one water chamber and percolators or filtration devices in bongs—they are used for cooling and filtering smoke from the flower. On the other hand, dab rigs are primarily made to keep the distance your dab vapor travels to reach your mouth as short as possible. 

Dab rigs also cool and filter smoke, but they are overall simpler and smaller. The mouthpieces are smaller to allow easy sipping. 

What quantity of water should be in your dab rig?

No two rigs are the same. Therefore, the question of filling your dab rig with water is purely based on the type of rig you are dealing with. However, it is recommended to have sufficient water in your rig to create a bubble as you draw vapor into the chamber. At the same time, you don’t want the water splashing through the mouthpiece or burping up the joint and into the banger. 

Overall, fill each chamber with water and cover all your percolators for the best experience.

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