Dab rigs may look like good old-fashioned bongs, but they’re a little bit different. Instead of being used to smoke marijuana, a dab rig features a nail that heats up to a high temperature. You place any kind of cannabis concentrate on a heated surface called a nail and inhale the resulting vapor through the rest of the rig. Unlike small pens and concentrate cartridges, dab rigs give you complete control over how much you apply to the nail. If you’ve got a basic familiarity with dab rigs and are ready to find something that really fits your lifestyle, here’s what you need to know to narrow down the choices.
Dab Rig Body Styles
Most of today’s dab rigs are made primarily from glass. Glass is easy to clean and it’s capable of withstand the heating and cooling cycle that comes from using a nail. In fact, glass can even work for the nail itself, although it’s not exactly the best material. Thicker glass is better because it’ll be less likely to crack, either from regular use or when it tumbles onto the floor. For those that just can’t seem to stop breaking glass pieces, silicone dab rigs are also available. They’re a little trickier to use, but they’re unbreakable and great for dabbing while traveling.
The body of the dab rig cools and delivers the vapor to your lungs, but it’s the nail that does the hard work of vaporing the shatter, wax, or budder in the first place. A nail is simply an object shaped almost like the bowl on a bong, yet flatter on top and not as deep. You heat the nail, either with a handheld torch or by turning on an electric-powered one, and simply apply the concentrate when the nail’s hot enough. Glass was the first material available for dabbing, but it’s not great as a nail because it’s very fragile. Titanium is lightweight, quick to heat, and very tough. Some people say quartz nails produce a cleaner flavor, but they’re still prone to breaking like glass. Ceramic is tougher than glass yet still breakable, but it’s widely available and holds heat the longest out of all nails.
Do You Need a Cap?
Nails come in domed or domeless styles, and it’s all a matter of preference. A domed nail will have a partial cover with just an opening in the middle. You apply your concentrate to the heated nail through the opening, and the enclosed sides help trap the vapor so you inhale more of it. Domeless nails are simpler, featuring just a flat top for applying the dabs. It’s much harder to miss with an open design. If you like the idea of capturing lost vapor but aren’t coordinated enough for the domed nail, try a nail cap. You use it with any domeless nail and simply hold or drop the cap over the nail after you apply the concentrate and as you start inhaling. It’s easier than having to buy a whole new nail just to see if you prefer domed dabbing.
Finally, you’ll need to heat the nail. A handheld butane or propane torch is the standard option, but you’ll have to buy fuel refills and deal with the fire hazard. An e-nail is an electric nail that heats itself after being plugged into the wall. If you enjoy dabbing and do it regularly, you’ll appreciate the ease of just switching on the nail when you want to heat it.
Put all these pieces together and you’ll have a dab rig that’s easy to use and reliable. Now you’re ready to try some DabsLabs concentrates! Whether you choose our diamonds, budder, shatter, wax, or any other products, please consume responsibly.