How to Shop for Your First Dab Rig

Dab Rigs and Oil Rigs - What Are They?

A dab rig, also known as an oil rig, is used to smoke shatter, rosin, CO2 oil, butane hash oil or other cannabis products.

As the use of cannabis products continues getting popular, people are continually exploring the various ways that they can use to consume different cannabis products.

One of the popular ways is dabbing, and in this article, we will let you know all there is about dabbing and dab rigs. We will also share with you some of the best dab rigs in the market today.


Dabbing is considered a safer alternative of inhaling cannabis as compared to that of a direct flame set to char/burn oils, concentrates or herbs.

Dabbing relies on convection to vaporize herb concentrates. In simple terms, dabbing relies on heating or ‘cooking’ the concentrates on a protective surface rather than heating them using a direct flame.

What Is A Dab Rig?

A dab rig is a special type of smoking pipe that is generally made of glass.

A dab rig system consists of a nail, also known as a skillet (made of glass, titanium or quartz and is used to hold the dabbing concentrate) and the main part of the rig that looks like a traditional bong.

The nail must be made of a tough material that can withstand the temperature needed to vaporize the herbs. A dabber is used to place the concentrate on the dab nail.

Once the cannabis concentrates are on the nail, you use the dab rig’s mouthpiece to inhale the vapor.


How a Dab Rig Works

Dab rigs vary and will work differently depending on the style and the design of the concentrate rig in question.

However, a typical dab rig works by incorporating a nail, a recycler, a 90-degree joint, and a glass vapor slide.

Although all these components are essential, a nail is considered the most critical aspect of the dabbing process. As already mentioned, nails come in different materials ranging from glass to titanium. All these materials have their pros and cons, and it is, therefore, crucial to understand them.

Some dab rigs feature vapor domes which fit over the nail. This prevents the loss of the vapor produced. Unlike the traditional water pipe which has a 45-degree joint, most dab rigs have 90-degree joints. They are also small in size, a feature that helps prevent or reduce the dilution of the vapor so produced.
Some dab rigs may also come with a recycler which can be described as a unique water pipe whose main function is to push the water throughout the dabbing device.

Water and smoke move from one chamber to the other, then goes back into the 1st chamber. This provides a continuous loop of filtration, maintaining the vapor and the water at constant cool temperatures.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Use an Oil Rig

Start by heating the nail using the torch. If using a quartz nail, heat it up until it glows red. This ensures that you are starting off with a hot surface and that even the smallest particles are burned off your nail.

Allow the nail to cool down to avoid scorching your dab.

The amount of time to wait will depend on the material as well as the thickness of the nail. Temperatures should be maintained at around 149-232 degree Celsius.

Place your herbs on the nail and start inhaling the vapor. You will realize that unlike the traditional bong, a dab rig will require a long and slow inhale since the majority of the herbs do not burn or vaporize instantly. To get the best results, take a slow and deep breath.

If possible, place a carb cap on the nail. The carb cap acts like an oven and helps trap or concentrate the heat on the nail.

Personalizing Your Dab Rig

When building out your very first dab rig kit, there’s a lot of room for personalization. For instance, if you’re looking for a travel rig, there are plenty of small, mini-rig options available.

Nail slide sizes typically go down to 10mm, small enough to fit a pocket-sized rig. And nail manufacturers have managed to make them even smaller than that.

If flavor is your forte, try outfitting your rig to include minimal chamber space, low percolation, and a quartz nail meant for low temperatures.

For those looking to build a setup for social gatherings, consider a slightly larger table top rig with a titanium or quartz nail designed to hold heat longer, thus providing more pulls per heating session. Electronic nails (or e-nails), although more expensive than a classic nail, are another great way to outfit your rig for continual dabbing at precise temperatures.


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