Although not every rig will check all of these boxes, the “best dab rig” is really the one that works best for you.
For instance, some dabbing connoisseurs say that traditional glass dab rigs offer milkier hits than what you can get with e-rigs. Others vow by their electric dab rig with its precision control heating to reach the perfect temp. At the end of the day, it comes down primarily to preference, comfort and ease.
And if you’re working within a set budget, the best affordable dab rigs will be simpler, more traditional setups.
Traditional dab rigs
Traditional dab rigs are simple and sleek with a glass banger, percolator and mouthpiece. They are commonly made of borosilicate glass or food grade silicone. Most traditional rigs can easily transform into a bong, as long as you have a bowl at the ready. This makes it ideal for people who like to dabble between herb and wax.
Electronic dab rigs
E-rigs don’t require a torch to heat up. Instead, the battery heats up the element located in the middle so it’s all contained which removes the main intimidation factor of dabbing. No more butane torch; no more open flame.
E-rigs offer precision heating, multiple modes and some even allow you to switch between flower and concentrate. They tend to be super convenient and portable with everything at the push of a button. That makes e-rigs perfect if you’re looking for ultimate ease and dab on-the-go.
Things to consider when buying a dab rig
Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are new to dabbing and looking to buy a new dab rig.
Mouthpiece size – When you are smoking dry herb from a bong a larger mouthpiece is better so you can take in a larger hit. However, with dabbing, a smaller mouthpiece is preferred. This is because the smaller the mouthpiece, the more condensed and flavorful the vapor will be before it reaches your lips. That’s why the best dab rigs tend to have a characteristically thinner neck and mouthpiece.
Rig size – Since the smoke circulates continuously inside a dab rig, small and mini dab rigs are actually better because they preserve the flavor. You can experience a loss in potency with larger rigs since the vapor travels through larger chambers. Also, larger dab rigs are harder to clean since there’s more surface area for reclaim to build up.
Percolators – The best dab rigs tend to have just one percolator. The point of bong percolators is to cool and filter smoke for smoother, cleaner hits. Since smoking dry herb from a bong requires burning it, percs help to remove the contaminants and ash from the smoke before it gets to you. However, since dabbing does not use combustion, the point of percs in a dab rig is to cool the smoke, not filter it.
Filtration – Again while minimal filtration is best to preserve the flavor of dabs, it’s still an essential part of cooling down your dab.
Bubbles – Since percolators create the bubbling effect, the style and placement is important. The best dab rigs are made so that the bubbles pop up close to the base of the neck because it will give off a stronger aroma and flavor. Some of the most popular percolators for dab rigs are the honeycomb, turbine, barrel and inline percs. But then again, it’s really about finding out which style is most comfortable for you.
Style – There are many styles of rigs including the e-nail, e-rig, dab pen or traditional rig. Often, there is an intimidation factor with traditional rigs since they require a torch to heat up. So if you want ultimate ease without fear of burning any fingers, an electric dab rig may be the best option for you.
Joint size – Ideally you should choose a 10mm or 14mm. The smaller the joint, the more condensed and flavorful the vapor will be.
Banger vs nail – This is where it can get confusing for new dabbers. You’ve probably heard banger and nail thrown around interchangeably. So what’s the difference really?
A banger can be made from a variety of materials, although it is most commonly made from quartz. It has a bucket shape ideal for placing dabs and a swan-like neck that curves and connects with the joint of a dab rig.
It can also be called a banger nail but is very different from the classic titanium nail which has a more cylindrical stacked shape. While extremely durable, titanium nails take much longer than quartz bangers to heat up. However, titanium does retain that heat for much longer.
Nail material – Banger nails are commonly made of quartz, borosilicate glass, titanium or ceramic. Each has different advantages and drawbacks. The best overall option is quartz because it is stronger than glass and ceramic, without the potential impurities that a low-grade titanium nail may exhibit. For instance, although titanium is the strongest, it can produce a metallic taste when heated which takes away from the dabbing experience.
Flavor – If you’re trying to preserve the flavor it’s best to use a carb cap in conjunction with quartz banger on a small recycler rig. As mentioned, smaller rigs will condense smoke and flavor more. Quartz bangers will give you the true taste of your terps while a carb cap placed on top will let you dab at lower temperatures. Since high temp dabs degrade terpenes, dabbing at low temps or even cold-start dabbing will bring out the full flavor of your dabs like never before.
Portability – Desktop rigs are meant for dabbing at home while more portable devices like wax pens are made for the on-the-go dabber. There are also portable e-nails too. This is a style of electronic nail that you can take with you on-the-go and plug directly into any bong or dab rig. But perhaps the best option in terms of portability are silicone dab rigs. Made from food grade silicone these pieces are virtually indestructible.
Larger dabs – If you are taking dabs for chronic pain or simply out of preference and require larger dabs, using an e-nail is ideal because of how it retains its heat. Once you let that dab melt it’s not going to pool up. Instead, the remaining bits of the dab will vaporize just as evenly as when it first hit the nail.
However, e-nails are not built for portability and are meant for long sessions in one place.
The best part about e-nails though is just how easy they are to use. All you need to do is plug it in, turn it on and once it heats up after 30-60 seconds you’re ready to dab. Ideally, when using an e-nail you want a larger rig with a thicker base so it doesn’t tip over since there is often a downward pull. This is due to the cord that connects to the box which controls the heating mechanism.
Best recycler dab rigs
Silver Fumed Recycler Dab Rig – With its four recycler arms, reclaim catcher and inline perc, this is one of the best quality dab rigs in our online headshop. The reclaim catcher makes all the difference so this piece stays beautiful and clean without ever clogging up.
Lavender Double Recycler Dab Rig – This lavender recycler rig with its two arms and triangular base make this an elegant piece to add to any dabber’s collection.
Iridescent Glass Dab Rig – One of the best quality dab rigs available in our shop, this piece features four recycler arms and a mindblowing iridescent finish.
Jade Recycler Rig – This glass dab rig pulls smooth and circulates the smoke effortlessly through its three curvaceous recycler arms.
Rainbow Recycler Rig – Measuring ten inches this is the perfect piece if you are looking for a slightly larger dab rig. The gorgeous trippy rainbow finish will be sure to elevate the sesh, especially once you hit that dab on the other side of it.
Best mini dab rigs
Cute Mini Dab Rig – Just under $20 this is perhaps the best mini dab rig for your buck. This piece measures just over three inches so its compact size elevates the flavor of each dab like never before.
Quartz Mini Dab Rig – With a 10mm female joint this mini dab rig made of quartz will condense the vapor so you can enjoy the flavor of each dab to the fullest.
Mini Heady Dab Rig – One of the best glass dab rigs in terms of sheer beauty this piece stands out for its heady glass marble fumed with glitter inside.
Mini Mushroom Dab Rig – This mushroom rig is an adorable piece with its heady glass mushroom caps and mushy marble embellishment. Measuring just five inches it features a showerhead perc and mushroom cap dome so after a dab or two you’ll find yourself in the magical forest that is your mind.
Mini Silicone Dab Rig – This is the best portable dab rig in our collection if you are looking for a care-free option perfect for your on-the-go escapades. Measuring just six inches and made from food grade silicone it’s super easy to take this little No-face with you wherever. You can simply fit the thick quartz banger inside his belly for the journey.
Rick and Morty Dab Rig – One of the best portable dab rigs, this piece is made from 5mm thick borosilicate glass and measures just six inches.
Best dab rigs under $100
If you’re looking for the best dab rigs under $100, nearly all of the pieces previously featured come in under $100. So if you are looking for the best cheap dab rigs that don’t compromise on quality, you can check out our full selection of dab rigs here.
Best electric dab rigs
The best electric dab rig currently is the Dr. Dabber Switch. The Switch uses induction heat technology which maximizes the flavor of each dab without degrading the terpenes. With its precise temperature controls and 25 calibrated heat settings the technology enables you to perfect the process of dabbing.
What truly makes this the best e dab rig around is the experience it delivers. It simply cuts out the maintenance common with traditional rigs. Most interestingly is its ability to switch from flower to concentrate in just 10 seconds. But then it also has an extremely long battery life that delivers 100 uses with one charge. And finally, its self-cleaning mode keeps it sparkling clean with next to no effort.
Best electric dab rig under $100
While it’s a dab pen, the Utillian 5 (V3) is a powerhouse for the price that rivals the best e dab rigs. Just $89.99 this piece has some amazing features. It includes a 1500mah battery and two ceramic coils that deliver puffy, terpene-rich clouds on-the-go. This wax pen offers airflow control, can be charged via USB and even fits in your pocket.
Best place to buy cheap dab rigs
High quality yet cheap dab rigs are hard to come by, no doubt.
However, specialized online headshops tend to have a much broader selection to meet your exact needs. So whether you are looking for a recycler rig or an electric dab rig for under $100, you’ll be able to easily compare online and find what you’re looking for.
Stoners Rotation is an online headshop with a growing selection of rigs at the intersection of quality and affordability. We primarily offer cheap dab rigs, glass dab rigs, mini dab rigs, portable dab rigs, silicone dab rigs and recycler rigs with plans to expand into affordable e-rigs.
Our goal is to become the best place to buy dab rigs online, whether you are looking for a tricked out rig or something more classic.