What is a Dab Rig?

Dab rigs, also known as oil rigs or wax rigs, are similar to bongs but differ in a few distinct ways and separate themselves into a specific category all their own. First, dab rigs are used primarily to smoke concentrates, wax, oil, or other extracts. Many people, myself included, believe a dab rig is the best way to smoke wax. Although, if you don’t have access to one, there are ways to smoke dabs without a rig. While many bongs can double as dab rigs or vice versa, there is some specific equipment that is needed to make the transition.  Most bongs with a glass on glass downstem will just need a dab nail that fits the same size glass joint. For these applications, a quartz banger will usually be the right nail for the easiest use.

Bongs Vs Dab Rigs

The major thing that differs between dabbing and smoking from a bong is that the heat delivery system for dab rigs is completely different than organic plant material. The extract is going to be a consistency that wouldn’t hold up well to your standard lighter flame. We are going to first need a blow torch or crème brule torch to get the appropriate amount of heat. Then we want to heat up our point of smoke, known as a dab nail, and then press our concentrate onto that and capture smoke as it’s vaporized.

While many are familiar with the styles of bowls for bongs, you may not be as familiar with the varying style of dab nails. There is a wide range of nails and they all have their positives and negatives, but we will expand on that in another post since I could write 1,000 words on nails. For now, we need to know that the basic types of nail materials are ceramic, titanium, and quartz. These nails can come in a variety of styles like domed, domeless, buckets, bangers, and many others.

Dab Rigs Styles

Dab Rigs generally tend to be smaller than bongs, because you do not necessarily need as much air mixing with the smoke and it tends to be smoother than plant matter. Dab rigs also rarely have angled downstems like many traditional bongs, as the angled joint would not allow for reclaiming among other concerns.

Oil rigs also tend to have more varied and elaborate percolators than other bongs, although not a lot of percolation is needed generally. But, it allows for less water to cool the smoke and maintain a smaller bodied piece so the smoke stays intact. Many rigs accomplish these small frames by using recyclers, which is a style that has gained a lot of popularity.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of choices out there and buying a piece is a very personal decision. If you are new to the dab culture, do your best to try other people’s rigs and learn your preferences that way. Then, when you are ready to purchase, you can pick something that you will be happy to have in your dab station.

To learn more about cannabis concentrates, check out our awesome guide!