Growing in popularity just like the wax you use with them, dab rigs are water pipes designed for use with concentrates. They tend to share the same shape or look as a bong, but often have a more narrow airpath which is better equipped for dabbing. Taking a dab through a normal bong can produce a very large cloud which may be overwhelming to some. If you’re new to dabbing, then a mini dab rig could be the best option to get started.
What are Dabs?
A “dab” is the term used for vaporized concentrates. The material can be made through a few different methods, but all result in the extraction of essential oils and different compounds from the dry herb. The styles of concentrate can vary from a runnier oil through a thicker substance known as wax or shatter.
What to Look for in a Dab Rig
Size – The performance of your dab rig will depend a lot on the size. When dabbing, the goal is to have the perfect amount of space for only water and the vapor. Too large of a dab rig or too much water and you risk losing some effects from your dab.
Water Filtration – An important feature of a well performing dab rig is a slight amount of water filtration. The nature of oil vapor makes it stickier than dry herb, which means the more surface it comes in contact with, the less you receive. A compact dab rig with minimal water in the chamber is ideal.
Design – If you plan on dabbing frequently, aim for a dab rig with a simple design that has less water volume. This ensures you get the most out of each dab and don’t lose potency during filtration.
Joint Connection – Having a solid connection between your dab rig and the quartz banger or nail is crucial. A rig with a ground glass or glass on glass (GonG) joint creates a seamless connection for optimal airflow when dabbing.
Different Types of Dab Rigs and How to Choose
There are a growing variety of dab rigs on the market. This has led to the creation of other unique products for dabbing with different form factors. With some many styles of concentrate rigs, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
Designed for dabbing directly into your wax, Nectar Collectors (also called Honey Straws) are some of the newer devices for dabs. You heat the metal tip which is then dipped into a concentrate container, creating instant vapor that is inhaled through a straw-like fashion.
Recycler Dab Rigs
If you want the smoothest dabs, then a recycler dab rig is what you’ll want. These rigs feature a tube that allows water to “recycle” from bottom to the top of the chamber for a continuous filtration loop. The unique design makes that great to display when not in use.
Mini Dab Rigs
Often considered the most efficient style, mini dab rigs have the least amount of internal surface area to prevent flavor loss. Since oil vapor is more viscous, a shorter airpath and smaller water chamber for the best results. Plus it is easier to handle a mini rig alongside a torch and dab tool.
Electric Dab Rigs
For those who don’t want to mess with a torch, electric dab rigs provide constant heat to quartz or ceramic atomizer chamber where the wax is placed. They’re powered by batteries or directly plugged into an outlet to ensure consistent temperature control.
Silicone Dab Rigs
Ideal for those who are concerned about breaking glass, silicone dab rigs are a virtually indestructible option. Most feature a silicone body paired with a glass banger or metal dab nail. These are some of the most affordable concentrate rigs available because of the material used to make them.
If you’re on the go a lot and something to take with you, dab pens (also called vape pens) are a great option. Often no bigger than a permanent marker, the use an atomizer that heats the wax without any flame required. Simply connect the concentrate chamber to the battery and away you go!