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Everything You Should Know About Dab Rigs
Dab rigs (also called concentrate rigs or oil rigs) are used to smoke concentrates and oils. They are typically made from glass or quartz, and have quartz or titanium dab rig accessories such as bangers or nails.
Recently, dabbing concentrates has become highly popular among the smoking community because they are affordable, potent, easy to use, and offer the smoker more control. Because of this, there are already dozens of ways to dab, but the most common way is with a dab rig.
What is a Dab Rig?
Dab rigs are water pipes that are specifically designed to handle the high temperatures of dabbing. Due to the high heat of dabbing, most rigs are made out of thick quartz or borosilicate glass, to be less heat sensitive and more durable. Oil rigs are typically more complicated than bongs, with extra layers of percolation and filtration, along with more twists and designs in the tubing to help cool the smoke.
What is Dabbing? How Do You Dab?
Dabbing is the process of smoking dabs, or dabbing concentrates using a dab rig. When smoking using a rig, this entails:
- Filling up your dab rig with water and setting it up
- Heating your banger or nail with a torch
- Using your dabber tool to drop some concentrates on the heated banger or nail
- Inhaling at the same time
- Using your carb cap (if you have one) to contain the vapor
- Exhale and repeat
Overall, dabbing is more intense than smoking, as concentrates tend to be highly potent. On top of that, you tend to get hit with them all at once very quickly, intensifying the feeling.
For first time dabbers, the best thing you can do is start small, and at a lower temperature in order to find the best process for you.
Different Types of Dab Rigs
Depending on your smoking preferences and your budget, there are a few different types of dab rigs for you to choose from.
Glass Dab Rigs
Glass dab rigs are the traditional way to smoke oil and concentrate. They tend to be made from thicker, borosilicate glass which is specifically designed to withstand rapid changes in temperature without fracturing or weakening over time.
For most applications, these rigs are the best option. They come in a wide variety of shapes, designs, and sizes, and are manufactured by highly trusted glass brands from around the world. On top of that, they typically have more options for dabbing accessories - as they tend to come in standard sizes.
Quartz Dab Rigs
Quartz dab rigs are less common than glass ones. More often than not, they are made with fixed parts such as the downstem, and sometimes even the bowl or banger. For many dabbers, this is a bit of a downside, because it does not allow you to customize your dabbing accessories or smoking experience as well. It also makes cleaning more difficult, and if one piece breaks (though unlikely) it makes the whole piece worthless.
Not all quartz dab rigs are designed this way, but most are. However, they are typically a lot more durable than glass or borosilicate glass, and tend to stay clean longer. Overall, quartz dab rigs are a great option for you if you’re looking for something you plan on keeping for a long time, and you don’t plan on changing up.
Silicone Dab Rigs
Silicone dab rigs have been gaining a lot of popularity in the last few years, and rightfully so. Trusted brands have now created dishwasher safe, BPA-free, heat resistant, anti-microbial, and nearly indestructible silicone dab rigs that are cheaper than most bongs.
The real beauty of them is that a lot of the trusted silicone dab rig brands like Eyce and WaxMade even produce specific banger and nail attachments - so you can get the smoothness of a regular dabbing experience, with all the durability and portability of a silicone rig. Then when you’re done, simply take it apart, pack it up, and get back on the move.
Mini dab rigs are exactly what they sound like - small dab rigs. Normally they come in sizes smaller than 8” tall and less than 3.5” wide at the base. Despite their small stature, theses little guys still pack a massive punch - and should not be underestimated.
Generally, because of the smaller size, mini rigs have to be more creative in the way they distribute smoke before the mouthpiece - in order to cool it effectively. As a result, many mini dab rigs feature lots of advanced percolation, or twists and unique designs in the tubing. For the most part, mini rigs are relatively affordable, and well worth the investment. These rigs are great if you still want a real, quality dabbing experience, but don’t have the room or time to set up a full rig every time you want to smoke.
Recycler dab rigs are by far the most complex, expensive, and high-quality dab rigs on the market. They get their name from the process of recycling the smoke through the inner tubing and percolators multiple times before it reaches your mouth. This allows you to take massive dabs at high temperatures, and still get extremely cool and smooth hits every time.
These rigs tend to be a lot larger than traditional ones, as they need more room for percolators and tubing. They also tend to have extremely unique and artistic designs, as well as some of the most mesmerizing glass out there - in our opinion. As a result, the price tag tends to be higher, but it’s well worth it if you enjoy beautiful glass and smooth dabs.
What Kind of Dab Rig is Best for You?
It honestly all depends on what you’re looking for and your budget. If you’re looking to spend roughly $50 to $100 on a reliable rig with nothing fancy, you may be best off with a traditional glass rig, or a mini rig. If you want the smoothest hitting rig around, a recycler is probably best for you. Or, if you’re looking for a way to dab on the go without the worry of breaking your piece, then a silicone rig is definitely your choice. For beginners, we recommend a traditional glass dab rig with a quartz banger.
Why You Need A Quality Dab Rig
We all enjoy dabbing for fun, but when it comes down to it, dabbing is serious business. You’re heating syrup like concentrates up to 400F+ degrees for prolonged periods of time on a glass object.
Needless to say, when we frame it like this, it doesn’t seem so casual - and more like a mad scientist working in his lab ;). No matter how much of a pro you are at dabbing, a low quality piece can really ruin your day.
The last thing you want to have to worry about while smoking is whether you’re being exposed to dangerous chemicals from the glass, quartz, titanium, or silicone you’re smoking from. You also don’t want to ever have to worry about your rig or banger exploding all over you because of high heat.
At the end of the day, investing in a quality dab rig is important for a few main reasons:
- Dabbing safely
- Lasts longer
- Get better value
- Smoother smoking experience
When it comes down to it, we all want to get the best value for our money - and you definitely want to get a smooth, safe smoking experience from your rig. Investing in a quality dab rig is essential to stay safe, and get the most out of your purchase. Don’t gamble with off-brand, foreign based online head shops - shop right with HelpingPot.
5 Things to Look for in a Quality Dab Rig
Want to find the best dab rig? Of course you do. These 5 quick tips will help you get the best value for your purchase, and select a rig you can enjoy for years to come.
1. Trusted Brands
The most important thing you can do is shop from trusted, established brands with a history of producing high quality products that people love. At HelpingPot, our online headshop works with only the best dab rig brands to provide you with the supplies you need to dab safely and smoothly.
2. Standard Sizes
Dab rig accessories may not be the first thing on your mind while purchasing your rig, but down the line, you may want to customize your rig to change up your dabbing experience. If this is something you plan on, you should try to stay with dab rigs that have standard joint sizes, which typically include 10mm, 14mm, 18mm, and 20mm. If you can’t find a rig with these sizes that you like, don’t worry, there are accessories specifically designed to help make any joint or accessory universal.
3. Thick Tubing & Base
Dabbing is a lot harsher on your piece than smoking is for a bong. Rigs are heated and cooled rapidly, and often get moved around a lot more while smoking. You need a base and glass tubing that is built to last and take a beating, while being sturdy enough to not fall over or crack. Most of our rigs are made with thick 2mm, 5mm, or even 9mm tubing and glass, to ensure that your piece lasts you a long time.
4. Quality Dabbing Accessories
Most rigs will come with quartz banger, or a dab nail. You want to make sure though that the stock accessories they come with are quality. You’ll also probably want to pick up a few additional dabbing accessories such as a carb cap, quartz banger, reclaim, ashcatcher or dabber tool.
Look, you might now be one of those people who cares about a bong having a perc or not, but when it comes to dab rigs, you want at least a little bit of percolation. Be sure to choose a rig that at least has a diffused downstem or some form of internal percolation to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Dabbing Accessories You Should Consider
Dabbing accessories aren’t necessary - but dabbing is definitely a lot more enjoyable and convenient with them. If you’re just getting your first rig, there are a few accessories you absolutely must have to get the best dabbing experience.
Dab nails are nails that you attach to the joint of your dab rig. Just like a banger, you then heat them up, and place your concentrate on them in order to smoke. They’re typically made out of titanium, glass, quartz, or ceramic - with the most common ones being quartz and titanium. Dab nails heat up quicker than bangers, and are best for smaller dabs. Overall, having one around is great for when you want to take a quick dab by yourself.
E-nails or electronic dab nails are fairly new on the market, but are making a big splash in the world of dabbing. The reason why so many people are jumping to them is that they make dabbing a calculated, repeatable process, instead of a guessing game. Simply plug it in, put it on your rig, and then select the temperature you want. Depending on the type of e-nail you use, it will hold that temperature indefinitely until you turn it off.
The best part? They’re relatively affordable, and fit just about any rig. If you like to have consistent dabs, and don’t want to worry about heating your rig up every time with a torch, e-nails are right for you.
Quartz bangers are the large, bucket-like attachments you may have seen on dab rigs before. They work the same basic way as dab nails - heat them up until you have the temperature you’re looking for, and then put your concentrates in, and smoke. The main difference is that quartz bangers have much deeper chambers - which allows you to take larger dabs.
It also allows you to drastically reduce the amount of mess our dabs make, as your concentrates remain stuck in the banger until you smoke them or clean it - unlike nails which can drip concentrate everywhere. Bangers come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs - each with their own way of cooling the smoke, or allowing for convenient features like reclaim. If you want to give yourself a wider range of dabbing capabilities, quartz bangers are for you.
Ashcatchers are the same as percolators, but they can be attached to your dab rig as an accessory. Basically, they allow you to get a smoother, cleaner smoke by filtering out particulate through water, and cooling the smoke through percolation. These nifty accessories are nice because they can be added to just about any bong or dab rig and instantly make for a smoother smoking experience.
Dabber tools or dabbers are used for placing your concentrates on your dab rig. You can get by without one, but it might cost you a few burnt fingers or some of your concentrate from spilling. Overall, they make scooping up and taking dabs easy - allowing you to find the right amount every time, and then get the most out of it while smoking.
By swirling the dab around on the end of your dabber, you allow the dab to burn evenly, and waste less concentrate that accumulates in your rig. Dabbers also act as a cool way to accentuate your dab rig, with wacky and zany custom blown designs that are affordable, and sure to blow your friends away.
Carb caps or res caps, are used as a way to maximize your dabbing experience when using a quartz banger. Basically, once you have begun smoking your dab, you place the carb cap on top of your banger to stop any heat or concentrate vapor from escaping.
This helps your rig to stay warm a bit longer, get a more even burn on your concentrates, and save a lot of dabs in the process. It also helps you to burn through dabs faster, leaving less resin at the bottom of your banger. If you want to get the most out of your dabs while using a quartz banger, you absolutely need a carb cap.
4 Dab Rig Tips: Get the Most Out of Your Rig
Want to get the most out of your dab rig? Of course you do! These simple steps form the experts at HelpingPot will help you get the most out of your new rig:
1. Get the Right Accessories
As smokers, we all tend to be a bit cheap when it comes to purchasing a new piece. But with dabbing, you really do get what you pay for. If you can, invest $20-50 more in the best accessories for your dab rig. It really does pay off in the long run to have the equipment you need to change up your dabbing experience at any time, and get the most out of it every time.
2. Find the Right Temperature
A lot of new dabbers have this conception that the hotter the dab, the better. This simply isn’t true. Studies show that dabbing above 550F is dangerous to your health and can cause serious burns if you’re not careful. Typically, you want to stay in the 350F - 450F range to get the best flavor, experience, and feeling from your dab concentrates.
3. Season Your Nail or Banger
Seasoning your quartz banger or dab nail is one step that you absolutely don’t want to miss. Basically, it’s the same idea as breaking in a new baseball glove. Seasoning your banger or nail to make it last longer, by opening up micro fractures in the material, then closing them with warm concentrate resin, and letting it cool. Repeating this process a few times treats your banger and nail to ensure that it lasts longer, and that you don’t get any nasty aftertaste when dabbing.
4. Clean Your Rig Often
So many people wait until their rig is clogged up and practically brown all over to clean it. Look, cleaning your dab rig sucks, and no one wants to do it. But just like keeping your car in good condition, over time, cleaning your rig will help it last longer. On top of that, it will make for bolder flavors, and smoother hits. You don’t have to clean it every day, but if you dab regularly, you should at least clean it once every 3-6 months.
Dab Rig FAQ: Answers to All Your Questions
Looking for even more information on dab rigs? Don’t worry, at HelpingPot, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know before making the right purchase. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for here, our blog has hundreds of articles that can help you get answers and find the best dab rig for you.
What’s the Best Dabbing Temperature?
There’s technically no “best” temperature for dabbing - at least not as far as we know yet. That being said, the best range of temperatures for dabbing is between 400-550F. This is where you’ll get the best combination of smoothness, flavor, and absorption.
Lower than this and you might not full melt the concentrate or activate the chemicals in it. Higher than this, and you might expose yourself to dangerous chemicals that are released at higher temperatures. High temperature dabs can also cause burns, and tend to ruin flavor, and can even do damage to your rig if too hot.
Do I Need to Season My Dab Nail or Quartz Banger?
Usually yes. For dab nails and quartz bangers, we strongly recommend that you ALWAYS season them before using them. Some brands do offer products that don’t need to be seasoned, but it still can’t hurt to be safe. Basically, this process just makes your dabbing accessories last longer, and allows you to get a better, more consistent experience out of it.
Is Dabbing Safe?
At this point, dabbing is still so young that it’s hard to tell. At the end of the day, inhaling any type of smoke or vapor is not good for your health and can cause long term damage to your lungs and respiratory system. To ensure a safe dabbing experience, you’ll want to look for a quality rig made from safe materials from a brand you can trust, that also has high quality percolation. You’ll also want to invest in a quality dab torch that has solid safety features.
Are Silicone Dab Rigs Safe?
It all depends on the type of silicone and the other materials they are made out of. There are a lot of cheap silicone dab rigs and bongs out there that are not BPA-free. When looking for a silicone rig, you’ll want to make sure that you choose one from a trusted company like Roll-Uh-Bowl, Alien Ape, Eyce, WaxMaid, or a few other brands we carry to ensure that it’s made BPA-free in a country that has quality health standards.
What’s the Best Dab Rig?
It all depends on your preferences really. Some people prefer to have a glass rig that is massive, while others prefer mini rigs, and even others prefer the convenience of a silicone oil rig. Ultimately, you should take into account all of these factors when you’re looking for a new dab rig.
Dab Rigs vs. Bongs: What’s the Difference?
The main differences between bongs and dab rigs are:
Overall, you can find rigs that are in the same price range as most bongs. You also can turn just about any bong into a dab rig, and vice verse with a few bong or dab rig accessories. But, you’ll find that really high quality dab rigs have far better percolation than most bongs, and they also have far more complex designs to diffuse heat and filter smoke.
Dab Rigs vs. Oil Rigs: What’s the Difference?
There is no difference, it’s simply a different name. Dab rigs are commonly also referred to as oil rigs, rigs, and concentrate rigs. There is no difference between any of these terms.
Why Should I Buy a Dab Rig Online?
Buying from an online headshop makes your life a lot easier. You get access to tons more product options, better prices, and thousands of ways to customize your dab rig to fit your smoking style. At HelpingPot, we offer free shipping on all orders, and have great deals on some of the best dab rigs on the market - from only the most trusted glass brands.
What Are the Best Dab Rig Brands?
Determining which one is best is really a matter of opinion. But in general, here are some of the best dab rig brands in terms of quality, consistency, price, and overall performance of their rigs:
- Diamond Glass
- Alien Ape
- Smoke Cartel
- Empire Glass
To learn more about the best glass brands, read this comprehensive guide.
How Much Do Dab Rigs Cost?
Generally, dab rigs cost between $50 and $100 for some pretty high quality pieces. You can easily find rigs under $100 that are high quality and that will last you a long time. To learn more about the best deals on dab rigs, check out this guide.
Find Dab Rigs for Sale Online | HelpingPot
At HelpingPot, our online headshop features a wide selection of dab rigs, mini rigs, and oil rigs from the best brands at great prices. Get access to a wide variety of high-quality rigs, and get free shipping on all US orders!