Looking for something extra? When a joint or a bong doesn’t hit the spot, a dab rig is just what you need– it’s basically a bong for THC concentrates instead of bud, so it’s fast, it’s effective, and it’ll get you higher than a kite on a windy day.
Interested? Of course you are. Read on to find out all about the blazing delights of dab rigs.
So, what is a dab rig exactly?
It looks like a bong, it acts like a bong, but it’ll get you higher than any bong ever could. Dab rigs use dabs instead of regular flower, those tiny but mighty THC concentrates (you might also know them as shatter or butter) that produce next-level highs and set your mood to ‘bliss’ in a matter of minutes.
Dabbing is great if you’re impatient or you’re just not into tobacco, but it’s also perfect if you’re using marijuana for pain relief.
Sounds awesome, but how does a dab rig work?
OK, we know the word ‘rig’ conjures up mental images of the complicated mechanisms and pulleys that you might find on a ship (or is that just us?) but don’t stress, a dab rig is just a water pipe made specifically for THC concentrate.
That’s nice, but here’s the best part: one dab is like smoking almost one whole joint. Sweet.
Dab rigs do have a few different parts, but once you know what’s up they’re super easy to use so you can focus less on getting that dank goodness flowing and more on enjoying your high.
What parts does a dab rig need?
- Water pipe:
OK, this one’s obvious. We like an 8-10 inch pipe to start with.
The dabber loads the dab, if you didn’t guess. We like glass, but they come in all sorts of variations and you can even have bespoke ones made (yeah, dabbers are fancy like that).
Can’t get lit without a lighter! A butane torch works best but you can also get an e-nail if you want to avoid a torch altogether.
Where the action happens: you drop your dab into your dab rig’s nail using your dabber (it’s really easy, promise!)– you can choose from a few kinds of nails, too, and a lot of people opt for one known as a banger, but more on that later.
- Carp Cap
It’s like a little hat for your nail to regulate airflow.
OK, what’s the difference between a banger and a nail then?
One of those classic, age-old dilemmas, we’re here to demystify the argument of nail vs. banger once and for all.
It’s actually outrageously simple: a banger is just a type of nail with a fancy swan neck and a bigger dabbing surface. They have a few extra parts you should know about:
The dab goes in here. Easy.
The neck of the banger joins the bucket to the joint.
The joint of the banger fits onto the dab rig.
That’s it, the mystery of bangers is solved.
Thanks, but what types of bangers and nails can I get for my dab rig?
A banger is personal, so we always recommend trying a few to find your favorite, but to start with quartz is always a winner.
They’re hot, they’re fast and they look legit. There’s nothing to dislike about quartz bangers.
Quartz bangers’ chilled-out sister, glass bangers are pretty similar but need to be heated slowly to avoid cracking.
The stalwarts of the banger world, titanium bangers are unbreakably strong and hold nice, generous dabs.
The flakiest members of the banger family, ceramic bangers get the job done but are so breakable they could leave you high and dry at any moment.
What size dab rig should I get?
No need for a skyscraper to get as high as you want, a small dab rig will do the trick. About 8 to 10 inches is the perfect size for your dab rig, but you can go smaller if you’d like something neat and nifty.
But why is a smaller dab rig better?
Because science, that’s why.
When your rig is small, the distance between the banger and the mouthpiece is small, so the gas has a shorter distance to travel. It can't be lost back into the water and you get more blaze for your buck.
How do I use my dab rig?
If you can use a bong, you can use a dab rig. If you can’t use a bong, you can still use a dab rig– just follow our steps below and you’re on the highway to...well, high.
1. Set up your pipe
Add a little water to the pipe and make sure it’s firmly fixed to the banger.
2. Heat things up
Heat the banger with your torch for about 30 seconds, then let it cool off for another 30 seconds
3. Load your rig
Drop your dab into the nail using your dabber. You can get concentrate in many forms, from honeycomb to crumble, but shatter is a good place to start.
4. Vaporize & Percolate
The cool part: your dab vaporizes and passes through the water pipe to cool. Nice work, science.
5. Smoke away
Inhale that creamy hit and marvel at the wonders of the dab rig. You can pop your carp cap on now to keep that hard-earned smoke where it should be.
OK, I love dabbing. How do I clean my dab rig?
We knew it. A dirty dab is no good. Keeping your dab rig clean is crucial for getting the best flavor and cleanest hits, and not cleaning it can result in a build up of sticky residue called reclaim that pretty much ruins the whole party.
How to clean your dab rig
Mix some isopropyl alcohol and salt, and dismantle your dab rig.
Use pipe cleaners, paper clips and cotton buds to scrape out the residue from inside all the parts.
Fill your dab rig with the alcohol and salt mixture. Cover the holes with a plastic bag and secure it with a rubber band. Soak for 30-60 minutes.
Rinse with lukewarm water, leave to dry and you’re good to go.
You can also just buy a lot of products to clean dab rigs, which leaves more time to actually get high and if you ask us, that’s a far better option.
How much is a dab rig?
The all-important question. The cost of a dab rig? Anywhere from around $30 to a couple hundred bucks. The cost of that pure, blissful high? Priceless.
How much your dab rig costs depends on what rig you go for. Usually, silicon dab rigs sit firmly on the lower end of the price scale and electronic dab rigs come in at the very top, sort of like the Rolls-Royce of rigs. Glass dab rigs cost anything from less than $50 all the way into the hundreds, depending on how intricate the rig is.
Going for the cheapest dab rig is great for testing things out and discovering if you like dabbing, but for seasoned dabbers, investing in a pricier dab rig is going to ensure durability, longevity and high performance levels.
Of course, the cheapest dab rigs tend to much simpler in design too, and if you invest a little more you could end up with a rig that can double up as a piece of art when not in use from seas creatures to ramen bowls, glass dab rigs can get pretty whacky in the best way possible.
Dab rigs: the FAQsWe’ve covered pretty much everything on dab rigs above, but just in case you’re blazed while reading, here are the main bits you need to know in one handy package.
Do dab rigs use water?
Yes, just a little in the pipe for percolation.
How often should you clean a dab rig?
How much of a stickler are you? One a week is good, once a month at the least, and less often if you rarely use it, but we all know that’s unlikely.
Are dab rigs legal?
Owning a dab rig is completely legal. Whether you can put cannabis into it depends on which state you are living in.
Can you smoke herb out of a dab rig?
It’s possible if you can switch the nail out for a bowl.
You can shop dab rigs and all their parts at Weedipedia. If you want any advice on building one, or to find out which bangers our team love the most, just get in touch and we’d be happy to help.