DAB RIGS

Types of Dab Rigs

Dab rigs are water pipes specifically designed for vaporizing concentrates like shatter, budder and hash rosin. Although similar to bongs, rigs tend to be smaller, compact pieces that feature a quartz banger instead of a bowl piece. Compared to smoking dry herb, dabbing produces a powerful, flavorful and immediate high. Because vaporizing concentrates preserves more terpenes as well, it unlocks the full-flavor profile and potency of each strain.

Tips for new dabbing enthusiasts

Quality Concentrates

Most products within dispensaries go through rigorous lab testing and are the best way to ensure quality. Clean lab tests means that your concentrates have been tested for residual butane, mold, etc. That’s why we recommend buying concentrates from your local dispensary.

Dab Size

Start small and work your way up over time. You should get roughly 40 dabs out of a gram of hash oil. Most importantly, avoid back-to-back dabs and give yourself lots of time in between so you don’t overdo it.

Be Among Friends

Make sure you’re in a comfortable setting, among good company. You’re much better off in a close friend’s living room than a concert or a stranger’s backyard. The important thing is to surround yourself with friends who will look out for you.

Glass of Water

You’ll likely have a coughing fit your first time dabbing so prepare a glass of water beforehand. 

Avoid Overheating

Timing your dabs is key to preserve the full flavor and potency. It’s best to have someone experienced by your side to show you how to dab so you can enjoy it to the fullest. 

Avoid Burnt Fingers

Be mindful that your rig, banger and your dab tools can stay hot to the touch long after you’ve turned off the torch. 

Quality Tools & Accessories

While your buddy’s homemade rig may look awesome, for your health, choose high quality borosilicate glass or food grade silicone. The materials will also impact the quality of your experience. 

Customize to your Taste

As you start dabbing more you will get a feel for what works for you. The unique part about dabbing is that there are many cool accessories such as terp slurpers, terp pearls and carb caps that will further elevate your experience. These tools all help vaporize dabs more evenly for more consistent vapor, preserving terpenes and letting nothing go to waste. 

Rig Size

Size matters and in this case, smaller is better for more potent, flavorful vapor. The same goes for the mouthpiece, smaller is actually preferred to extract the nuances in flavor.

Portability

If you like to dab on-the-go, a dab pen or silicone rig may be the way to go. While both are travel-friendly and easy to stash away in your back, a dab pen offers an additional level of discreteness for everyday toking. 

Convenience

If you want to dab anywhere and everywhere consider a dab pen. If you’re dabbing mainly at home but don’t feel comfortable with a torch or want to streamline your experience, an e-rig may be better for you.

Traditional vs Electric?

Electric dab rigs are efficient, convenient and straightforward. They don’t require a butane torch and have precision temperature control. While e-rigs deliver more consistent vapor quality and ease of use than traditional setups, they are significantly more expensive.

Best Dab Temperature

Terpenes and cannabinoids have different boiling points so fine tuning each dab to the perfect temperature runs deep and there isn’t one straight answer. However, the best temps for dabs tend to fall into three main groups: standard, low and mid-range dabs. 

Standard dabs: 545-570°F

The standard dabbing range for most dabs is 545-570°F. This temperature is ideal for crumble, live resin, rosin, shatter and sugar. Heating at this temp will vaporize most dabs fully while preserving flavorful terpenes.

Low-temp dabs: 400-500°F

Low-temp dabs are in the 400-500°F range but your oil may puddle up without completely vaporizing and go to waste if you don’t know what you’re doing. Low temp dabbing offers the most flavor of all methods but it is not the best for beginners using a traditional setup. One particular style that’s gaining popularity is called reverse or cold start dabbing

Mid-range dabs: 500-545°F

If you’re just starting out, mid-range dabs within the 500-545°F range may be the perfect dab temp for you, striking a balance between standard and low-temp. This way, you can experience the full terpene profile without accidentally scorching your dab or conversely having it form a pool in your banger. For instance, solventless hash like hash rosin or ice wax vaporize especially well at this temperature.

Dag Rig Parts & Accessories

A quick lesson in dab rig anatomy will prepare you for an A+ dab. There are also countless accessories that elevate the sesh, whether that’s by maximizing the quality of your vapor to keeping your gear clean and organized. Many will seem like nice-to-haves at first glance but they may quickly become an essential part of your setup.

Banger

You place your dab onto a banger to vaporize. Bangers come in two versions: domed and domeless. The most common materials are quartz bangers or titanium nails. The main sizes are 10mm, 14mm, & 18mm. A quartz banger, for instance, has the classic swan-like neck and bucket at the end.

Dab Torch

A butane torch is used to heat up your banger. Butane is preferred over propane because it does not impact the flavor and is safer to use. 

Carb Cap

Dab carb caps generally made of borosilicate glass or quartz are used with domeless nails to inhibit airflow. As soon as you’ve placed your dab on the nail, you cap it off. This turns your banger into a convection oven, allowing it to retain heat for longer. Doing this maximizes flavor and lets you get the most out of your dabs since it restricts cool air from entering the chamber. There are many different styles of dab caps including bubble, spinner and directional carb caps.

Dab Tool

While you could use a bobby pin or safety pin, a dab tool is a much better option especially since they are super cheap. Dabbers for wax are normally made of titanium or borosilicate glass and allow you transfer wax from your concentrate container to your nail.

Dab Containers

Made from non-stick silicone or glass, wax containers are where you store your concentrates. Silicone dab containers are extremely durable and concentrates can be easily scooped up. That said, many dabbers still prefer the quality feel of glass jars even though you are likely to lose some wax on the surface.

Dab Mat

A dab mat is typically made from non-stick silicone. It protects the surface beneath your hot dab rig and keeps it steady in place. You can also use it while manipulating concentrates and to set down your dab tools.

Terp Pearls

Terp pearls go by many names: banger beads, dab pearls, terp balls, terp beads and the list goes on. Terp pearls are balls made from borosilicate glass, quartz or gemstones like ruby that are placed in the banger nail to distribute concentrates and get the most flavor out of each dab. They normally measure 4mm or 6mm. 

Terp Slurper

A terp slurper is a version of a quartz banger that has an additional dish at the bottom. When you drop a dab into the dish, it is slurped up through the slits at the bottom of the barrel. It normally comes as a set with a marble and terp pearls to get the full effect and bring out the full flavor of your dabs. 

Dab Pen

Even more travel-friendly and convenient, dab pens are a cross between a vape pen and a dab rig. This smoking device uses prefilled or refillable dab carts filled with cannabis concentrates. Unlike vape pen cartridges which are diluted, dab pen carts offer the flavor and potency of hitting from a rig, without the hassle. 

Dab Straw

Essentially an extremely portable dab rig, a honey straw is a long, tube shaped pipe made of borosilicate glass or silicone that’s used for dabbing concentrates. These are ideal for on-the-go dabbers. Also called a nectar collector, one tip acts as the banger and the other the mouthpiece. Once heated, simply apply gently into the concentrate dish and inhale through the other end. 

Dab Station

A dab station is a tray with various slots and holders to keep all of your dabbing supplies organized including dab tools, dab mats, q-tips, carb caps, bangers and jars. The dab tray is normally made of plastic but some are made of more high-end materials such as walnut wood. Often, the dab mat is directly embedded into the smoke station so you can set your rig down and easily manipulate dabs with all your tools at the ready. 

Terpometer

A terpometer is a dab thermometer that helps you time your dabs. Essentially, it gives you the exact temperature of your banger or whatever surface you are dabbing on. A dab temp reader is able to gauge no matter if you’re using quartz or titanium. An alternative to the dab temp reader is the terp timer which is similar in concept but allows you to be handsfree. 

Dab Press

Also called a rosin press or wax press, this tool consisting of two hot metal plates uses force to press cannabis flower into resinous rosin concentrate. 

FAQ

What is a dab rig?

A dab rig is a smoking device made for vaporizing dabs like oil, hash rosin and crumble. 

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in most plants; think pine, orange peel, lavender and of course, kush. Their particularly high concentration in cannabis are what give dabs their strong aroma, flavor, therapeutic and mood altering effects.

Although more research is needed, the aromatherapeutic benefits of terpenes such as Mrycene, Caryophyllene and Limonene may have far-reaching medicinal applications, meaning the exploration of dabbing has only just begun.

How does a dab rig work?

Unlike bongs, dab rigs aren’t designed for intense filtration but rather to cool smoke and maximize flavor. Rigs with minimal diffusion deliver vapor with little to no drag and have an effortless pull for a smooth dabbing experience. The smaller size and condensed chambers common among dab rigs gets the vapor straight to your lungs so it never goes stale. 

Essentially, instead of lighting a packed bowl, you place the concentrate on a hot dab nail. This dab nail, often called a quartz banger, will melt the wax as you inhale through the mouthpiece. As you breathe in slowly, the vapor travels through the downstem and into the chamber filled with water. The water and percolators cool the vapor before it reaches your lips. 

Percolators in dab rigs are designed to create many tiny bubbles to accelerate cooling without overcooling. It’s about striking a delicate balance, because you don’t want to overcool and cause your precious concentrate to coat the inside of your rig and go to waste.

How to dab?

Dabbing can seem pretty complicated at first, from dosing to finding the perfect dab temperature to how to take a dab. The truth is, there’s a learning curve. Many dabbers start with the 30/30 method (30 seconds on heat followed by 30 seconds off). You can follow our complete guide on how to smoke dabs

First, turn on your torch. The tip of the inner blue flame should hit the corner edge of your banger. As soon as the flame touches, start your stopwatch. The banger should glow red hot. After 30 seconds, turn off the torch. Wait another 30 seconds to let it cool down because if you don’t that dab will burst into flames and you might end up hacking up a lung. Once 30 seconds have passed, rub the face of the dab tool with your concentrate along the inside of the banger, cap it off with the carb cap and inhale slowly. 

Do you put water in a dab rig?

Yes, you should put between ¾-1 inch of water inside. To test the level, blow into the downstem. If water reaches your lips, pour some out and try again until it bubbles without splashing up.

How long to heat up dab rig?

About 30 seconds.

Do dab pens smell?

Dab pens are known for being discrete but they do give off a slight smell. It’s best if you hit in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. If you’re inside, leave the window open and blow directly outside or use a sploof. 

How much is a dab rig?

While it depends on quality, material and features, cheap dab rigs cost around $20-50 while most clock in around $50-$100. 

Where to buy dab rigs?

You can buy a dab rig at your local dispensary, smoke shops or from online headshops. Online headshops tend to have a larger selection of products including related dabbing accessories like dab tools, quartz bangers, terp slurpers and carb caps. 

How to clean a dab rig?

Follow these steps in our how-to clean a dab rig guide using 90%+ isopropyl alcohol, coarse sea salt, pipe cleaners and a ziplock bag. 

How to clean a dab rig without alcohol?

How to clean a dab rig banger?

After you take a dab, it’s important not to let it sit and get cold because it’s so much harder to clean. We recommend using q-tips dipped in isopropyl alcohol and rubbing the inside of your banger immediately after hitting to remove any sticky residue that cannot be salvaged. After a while it will become second nature.

How to make a homemade dab rig?

The most common way to make a dab rig is using a water bottle and hot knife, although we don’t recommend it since plastic can release toxic chemicals when heated.  

How to smoke dabs without a rig?

There are many ways to take dabs without a rig: smoke it in a bowl, roll it in a joint, load it in a vape pen or even knife hits, as a last resort. 

What are terps?

Terps or terpenes are the compounds found within most plants, including cannabis, that give off a distinct aroma and flavor. Common terpenes in kush include myrcene and limonene.

What are terp pearls?

Terp pearls, also known as banger beads or dab balls, are commonly made of ruby, quartz or borosilicate glass. They spin within the banger to evenly distribute concentrates, maximizing flavor by preserving terpenes.

How to use terp pearls?

Place the terp beads gently into your banger. When you put the carb cap on, it will make the balls spin. This splashes the shatter around and hits all the hot spots, so you can get an extra two pulls in.

How to use a terp slurper?

First, heat the dish bottom for 20-30 seconds. Let it sit for another 30 seconds, then immediately place the carb cap on top. Drop your dab into the bottom dish and inhale. You can also follow our step-by-step terp slurper guide.

What is terp sauce?

Terp sauce gets its name because of its sauce-like texture. It’s a cannabis extract high in terpenes that’s usually made into vape carts.

How are dabs made?

There are different methods of extraction but the most common are via Butane Honey Oil (BHO) extraction, Supercritical CO2 Oil extraction, ethanol extract, water extract and isopropyl oil extraction. BHO, the most common method, involves mixing cannabinoids and butane together in one container until all the butane evaporates. Since butane is a highly volatile, flammable substance, there’s a risk of fire and explosion.