Dab Rigs for Beginners:
How to Choose and Use
How to Choose and Use
A dab rig is a type of water pipe used primarily primarily with oil or wax extracts through the process of "dabbing." It gets this name because you "dab" the material onto a heated nail, which we'll explain more about below.
We have a special place in our heart for dab rigs, and we think you will too after reading our in-depth guide to dab rigs for beginners. Keep reading to find out how to pick 'em and how to work 'em so they take your not-so-cheap concentrates to peak performance.
Dab pipes are not for beginners, but tend to be an art preferred by intermediate and expert level enthusiasts. If you're looking for a solid concentrate experience without the learning curve -- check out quick and easy (even one-button!) concentrate vaporizers that streamline your steps. Once beginners have mastered the vape or dry herb pipe, they'll know a bit more about the dab rig that's the right fit.
Before we get down to it, you need to know nails if you want to know concentrates. This is the part of the dab rig where you "dab" on your waxy extracts; where all the heating takes place.
Even if you end up switching to a concentrate vape one day, it's a big help to know what the different materials are. The nail material on a dab rig is comparable to an atomizer's heating chamber in a vaporizer. Choosing the right material effects the flavor, freshness, heat-up time, and ability to hold onto heat in a concentrate device.
They come in all kinds of shapes, too, to let personal style shine.
High-end dab rigs such as POUNDS or UPC are the rare brands that include a top shelf nail with their rig. Standard brands will include a cheap glass nail to keep the cost of your rig down. The POUNDS Collection actually includes domeless nail and quartz banger!
Banger nails are the best dab nail for beginners because they are just so easy to heat and work with, while keeping your dab rig clean.
Because concentrates literally concentrate the amount of power a small amount of material can produce, you may be surprised to learn that dab rigs don't get nearly as big as dry herb bongs.
Think of it this way: other water pipes are built as large as possible (like beaker bongs) to filter out the harsh smoke created when dry herb combusts; that’s why there’s so many percolators and chambers to push smoke through and cool it down. With a dab rig, there’s no combustion of the flower since it’s already processed when they make concentrate, so you don’t need many chambers or a large water container to filter the smoke, since it’s just vapor.
Mini Rigs, Nano Rigs, and Bubbler Rigs make up a large portion of our most frequently five-starred dab rigs.
Petite yet powerful, this cloudmaker measures only two inches wide. All-quartz construction has fast heat-up time and preserves fresh pure flavors. Even the nail it includes is made from quartz, which means no need to upgrade!
At 6 inches tall, this top-seller includes a dry herb slide and a quartz concentrate nail for premium dual function. The POUNDS collection ranges from this "mini rig" to full-sized dab rigs fitted with impressive percs you can see below.
Handcrafted in Los Angeles, UPC presents an extra-thick glass dab rig with two honeycomb percs at a moderate 8 inches tall. The slender, streamline design is excellent for sliding into small spaces while a thick quartz bucket nail delivers at peak performance.
A cleansing UFO perc takes this 9.5 inch tall dab rig to the top shelf. Ronin's powerhouse collections are each named after the weapons of warriors to emphasize the strength and precision in every design.
This piece includes a standard dome and nail that you may want to swap out for a banger nail.
Extra-thick 5mm borosilicate and a two-prong dewar's joint makes this one of our most durable dab rigs. It stands 12.5 inches tall as our most towering top-seller. The dual function water pipe is fitted with two swirling turbine percs and one cleansing honeycomb perc in a legendary combination.
A silicone storage jar, torch, carb cap, and dabber are the essentials every dabber eventually acquires.
Silicone is an excellent material for sticky concentrates, because even the hardest to handle material slides right off the smooth non-porous material. Silicone is also dishwasher safe and can stand the torch-hot tempertatures concentrates require.
Nucleus Silicone Storage Jar and stackable Silicone Blocks are DopeBoo's bestsellers.
You'll definitely need a way to heat your dab rig's nail. E-nails are a great option for intermediate and expert enthusiasts, but we recommend getting started with a classic butane torch.
A regular lighter just won't get the intensely hot heat that herbal concentrates need to activate all the right ingredients.
This is the little tool you'll use to scoop concentrates onto a heated nail. This where people like to spark in some personality the most -- dabbers come in all kinds of inspired designs from Pokemon to Medieval themes.
A great option is the two-in-one carb cap and dabber that fits two useful tools into one effective device.
Just like nails, dabbers are popularly made with titanium, quartz, ceramic, and glass. Titanium tends to be the most durable while quartz preserves the pure flavor best.
A carb cap works like the side-carb on a dry herb pipe: it's for airflow control. With a carb cap, you keep concentrate vapor from wisping away into the air and let in cool, outside air.
These are often combined with dabbers in a two-in-one style. They also come in eye-catching themes from genie lamps to teapots.
Any dabber’s heart beats when they see a little disc of wax: it’s a beautiful sight (if you’re not quite sure on how wax works, check out our wax and concentrates guide). And they know it will get you higher than you can imagine, with just a little piece of wax placed on a hot nail--the exact opposite of packing a deep bowl for a water pipe. Because you need such little dab to get the desired effect, a little goes a long way: the flavor from a tiny amount of wax is intense, and you can really enjoy the flower’s effect. You are going to taste the flavor at least three times more when dabbing with a concentrate instead of smoking the dry herb. We recommend dabbing for all of our delicate flavor connoisseurs out there.