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Types of Dab Rigs

Types of Dab Rigs

To the novice cannabis user, dab rigs can seem very intimidating. Reminiscent of a bong, dab rigs are often sought out once someone has been smoking weed for a while and they become interested in taking their high to the next level. 

This article will look closely at each type of dab rig so that you can make the right decision when it comes time to purchase the dab rig of your dreams. 

How Does a Dab Rig Work?

Before we get into the different types of dabbing, let us first review the process of smoking dabs. 

“Dabbing” gets its name from the style of smoking. Rather than using cannabis flower, smoking dabs requires weed concentrates such as: wax, shatter, or oil. These concentrates are usually packed full of THC, and can be extremely flavorful. 

Since we are dealing in concentrates, not much is needed to achieve a potent high- just a dab, hence the nickname, “dab” as in, “A dab will do ya!” 

One of the benefits of smoking dabs is the many different customization options. For instance, smoking dabs at a lower temperature will unlock flavor profiles that might have been difficult to notice back when you had to ignite your weed all at once with a uniform flame.

Accessories You Will Need

A nail. You can remember that it is called a nail, because just like a nail that goes into a wall, this nail goes into a rig.

The nail is the receptacle that you will drop your dab into, and in some cases, the nail is able to be transferred between rigs, unless you purchase a rig that has all of the pieces built into it. 

There are a few different materials that the nail can be made out of: quartz, glass, ceramic, titanium, or medical grade steel. All are good options, but each one has a few subtle differences.

  • Quartz Nails
    • Quartz is the most common type of material that a banger is made out of. 
    • Quartz is food grade quality, and thus does not emit toxic gases when heated to high temperatures. 
    • It is strong, but fractures easily.
    • Quartz heats very quickly, but does not retain the heat and needs to be reheated often for an ongoing session.
  • Glass 
    • The most standard option.
    • Fractures easily.
    • Somewhat thin, the flavor can be affected by the torch fuel.
  • Ceramic Nails
    • Known for its durability, ceramic is stronger than quartz, costs about the same, but is less popular for some reason.
    • Ceramic takes a longer time to heat, but conversely, retains the heat for a long time.
    • Great for dabbing at a lower temperature, which is the best way to taste the delicious flavors of your concentrate
    • Not as easily available as quartz or titanium. 
    • Ceramic can be too heavy on a silicone rig.
  • Titanium/Medical Grade Steel 
    • The most expensive option, also the best option because it will never break.
    • Takes longer than Quartz nails to heat but less time than ceramic nails. 
    • Retains heat for a long time and is quick to reheat.
    • Needs to be seasoned before use so that the smoker doesn’t inhale metal coating.

You will need a loading tool. This is a pokey, metal device that looks sort of like a tool you would see a dentist using. The loading tool is the way to get the dabs out of their container, and into your nail. 

A butane or propane torch. These torches are handheld, refillable, and can be used in the kitchen when caramelizing sugars, or charring vegetables or bread. 

When vaporizing dabs, the nail that the dab gets dropped into works best when it is between 300-800 degrees.

You will also benefit greatly from having a carb cap. Once you drop the dab into the banger/nail, you can trap the vapor from escaping using a carb cap. These caps come in many different designs, can be flat or spherical, and often feature whimsical designs.  

 

Different Types of Dab Rigs

As your smoking career continues, you may discover that different things are important to you than when you began. This evolution is normal, especially with the many smoking apparatuses available on the market today. 

When making an initial dab rig investment, try and factor in where you imagine yourself primarily smoking. If you are going to be posted up at home to rip your dabs, you can likely invest in something a little more “fragile”. 

If you’re going to be on the go, or traveling, there are also great portable options for you.

Now let’s go on a deep dive into the different types of material a rig can be made of. 

Glass

Glass rigs are where dab rigs got their start. Similar to a glass bong, but without a need for so much water, these are the easiest pieces to add to the bong that you may already be working with. 

Glass rigs are often made from borosilicate glass, which is stronger and more durable than, say, a whiskey glass.

Silicone 

If you are clumsy, but want to experience dabs, there is hope for you! 

The body of a silicone dab rig is made out of durable and forgiving silicone, which removes the need to move in slow-motion in order to protect the rig. 

The banger/nail will not be made from silicone, because that would be toxic for you to heat and inhale. 

Electronic (Stationary)

E-rigs are all the rage online, but can hit you hard in the pocket book. But like all new technologies, an E-rig is an investment. 

E-rigs are great for heating to exact temperatures without having to bust out a flaming torch. It just…does it for you.

The only downside fo E-rigs is that they are not as easy to clean as non-electronic setups, because there are parts that can’t disconnect from the wiring. This shouldn’t be a big deterrent though, and is nothing that a Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol can’t fix.

Electronic (Portable)

Portable electric dab rigs are very sleek and enticing. It’s perhaps the most straightforward way to partake in a concentrate because it removes having to scrape out the wax with a tool, and heats itself up with the touch of a button.

You will need to be careful with these devices though, because they have an additional glass bulb attached to the mouthpiece that a regular vape doesn’t have. 

Beware, pockets don’t always pair well with glass. 

Mini-Rigs 

A portable smoking device is great because it’s small, can be used in the home, or on the go. 

Mini-rigs are usually the most cost effective options due to their size. However, don’t write a mini-rig off for fear of it lacking potency. Since we are dealing in the world of concentrates, you will surely still be feeling absolutely stoned, even from a little guy.

In Conclusion

There are many options for dabbing, but it may take a few tries before you find the right apparatus for you. 

It is possible to buy an attachment for the bong you may already have, and to start building out your curiosities from there. 

 

We hope you enjoy dabs as much as the internet loves dabbing!

 

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