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What’s a dab rig?

What’s a dab rig? 

Are you 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 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 a 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 excellent 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 fantastic, 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 simply a water pipe explicitly made 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.


The dabber would load the dab if you didn’t guess. We like Glass. Glass comes in all sorts of variations, and you can even have bespoke ones made (yeah, dabbers are fancy like that). 


You can’t get lit without a lighter! A butane torch works best, but you can also get an e-mail if you want to avoid a torch altogether. 

Nail or banger

Where the action happens: you drop your dab into your dab rig’s nail using your dabber (it’s effortless, 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 bit of a hat for your nail to regulate airflow. 

OK, what’s the difference between a banger and a nail then?

What’s a dab rig?


One of those classic, age-old dilemmas, we’re here to demystify the argument of nail vs. banger once and for all.  

It’s effortless: 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:

  • Bucket

The dab goes in here. Easy. 

  • Neck

The neck of the banger joins the bucket to the joint.

  • 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. For me, quartz is always a winner. 

Quartz Bangers

They’re hot, they’re fast, and they look legit. There’s nothing to dislike about quartz bangers. 




  • Stronger than glass
  • Heats up fast
  • Cheaper than titanium
  • Gives a good kushy flavor
  • Breakable if dropped (not ideal if you have a slippy grip when high)

Glass Bangers

Quartz bangers’ chilled-out sister, glass bangers are pretty similar but need to be heated slowly to avoid cracking. 



  • Cheap and easy to buy
  • Breakable
  • Crack if heated too fast
  • Heat spread can be patchy

Titanium Bangers

The stalwarts of the banger world, titanium bangers are unbreakably strong and hold nice, generous dabs.



  • Unbreakable (even when high)
  • Long-lasting
  • Holds large dabs
  • So strong they can actually heat the joint too much and break it
  • Lack the finesse of quartz and give off less flavor

Ceramic Bangers

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. 



  • Super cheap and replaceable
  • Easy to clean
  • They break. All. The. Time. 


What size dab rig should I get?

There is 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 of 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. The rig can't lose it back into the water, and you get more blaze for your buck. 

How do I use my dab rig?

What’s a 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 – 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.

  1. 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 concentrate in many forms, from honeycomb to crumble, but shatter is an excellent place to start. 

4. Vaporize & Percolate

The cool part: your dab vaporizes and passes through the water pipe to cool. Excellent 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 how 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 to reclaim that pretty much ruins the whole party.  

How to clean your dab rig

Step one

Mix some isopropyl alcohol and salt, and dismantle your dab rig. 

Step two

Use pipe cleaners, paper clips, and cotton buds to scrape out the residue from inside all the parts. 

Step three

Fill your dab rig with the alcohol and salt mixture. Cover the holes with a plastic bag and secure them with a rubber band. Soak for 30-60 minutes. 

Step four

Rinse with lukewarm water, leave to dry, and you’re good to go. 

You can also buy many products to clean dab rigs, which leaves more time to 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 of hundred bucks. The price of that pure, blissful high? Priceless. 

How much your dab rig costs depends on what rig you go for. Usually, silicone 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 into the hundreds, depending on how intricate the rig is. 

Going for the cheapest dab rig is excellent for testing things out and discovering if you like dabbing, but for seasoned dabbers, investing in a pricier dab rig will ensure durability, longevity in high-performance levels. 

Of course, the cheapest dab rigs tend to much more straightforward 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 FAQs

We’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 our dab rigs legal? 

Owning a dab rig is entirely 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 how to find out which bangers our team loves the most, get in touch, and we’d be happy to help.