The practice of dabbing has been gaining adepts and users in the past few years. Being that dabbing is healthier, tastier, and more potent, it’s a no-brainer that cannabis users are finding in it a new way to enhance their weed experience and take it to higher levels. Now, when thinking of dabbing for the first time, a series of questions arise, with the main one being: “What type of dab rig should I use?”
Indeed, there are many types of dab rigs, torches, dab mats, and other accessories to choose from. The industry is booming. When it comes the hard time of choosing your dabbing equipment, knowing the pros and cons of each type is the best way to find the one that works for you.
This guide is aimed to present and compare the types of dab rigs to help you make your choice, but first…
What is a Dab Rig?
A dab rig is a specialized type of bong or water pipe specifically designed to smoke dense cannabis concentrates through water vapor. Dab rigs, also called oil rigs or concentrate rigs, are usually made of glass.
At first sight, it might seem like dab rigs and bongs are the same thing. After all, they’re both water pipes that use percolation to filter the smoke or vapor. The main difference is that bongs come with a bowl to be used with tobacco, dry herbs, and cannabis flowers. In contrast, dab rigs have a dab nail, generally made of quartz or titanium, to put cannabis concentrates or dabs.
What are the Different Types of Dab Rigs?
We’ve put together these five different types of dab rigs.
- Traditional Dab Rig
- Mini Rigs
- Silicon Dab Rigs
- Recycler Rigs
Like choosing your favorite cannabis, picking your dab rig depends on your personal needs and preferences. Each one has unique characteristics that may slightly change the smoking experience. Ultimately, knowing these differences will help you make a more informed decision.
Traditional Dab Rig
The traditional dab rig is a glass device that looks like a bong. These dab rigs are typically made of thick borosilicate glass, which makes the rig heat resistant and able to handle the high dabbing temperatures.
These rigs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and even colors. You’ll usually find them ranging from 6” to over 12” tall.
Traditional oil rigs are perfect for beginners, as they’ll have a sturdy device that allows them to enjoy the flavor of dabs fully. On top of that, with traditional rigs, you have complete freedom to add accessories and enrich your dabbing experience with hundreds of options.
Another great advantage of getting dab rigs is that you get a great value for the money you spend. Glass dab rigs are really durable, versatile, and cost-effective. No wonder it’s the number one favorite for rookie dabbers.
The only con would be that you need to clean it regularly if you dab often. And all things considered, I don’t think that’s particularly bad.
As you’ve probably guessed, mini rigs are just smaller versions of the traditional glass dab rigs. These are usually found in 7″ tall or smaller sizes. They’re also typically made of thick borosilicate glass, although you can also find them in silicon.
The first perk of getting a mini rig is that you can take your smoke on the go and keep things low-key. The dabbing experience does not get affected in any way when size-dropping from a regular rig to a mini rig. If anything, the added percolation makes for an even smoother dabbing.
Also, as mini rigs are meant to be portable, manufacturers tend to make them out of even more resistant and thicker glass. There are also those who went straight to the better-safe-than-sorry side and made mini silicon rigs.
The ultimate perk? You get a top-notch oil rig that is easily portable, easy to get accessories for, and for a lower price.
Silicon Dab Rigs
Silicon dab rigs have earned their righteous place within the smokers’ favorites because of their affordability and durability. From a particular perspective, this is the most convenient type of dab rig and also the cheapest.
Silicon rigs are your thing if you’re not that much into thorough cleaning and you’re on a tight budget. You’ll get a long-lasting, nearly indestructible rig that you can throw in the dishwasher for a much lower price.
What’s not to like? Well, silicon rigs do have a disadvantage. You will have to sacrifice some of the flavor for the price and durability. Also, you’ll not be able to find as many accessories.
However, if you’re looking for a device that endures your accident proneness, then going for one top-of-the-line silicon dab rig will be definitely worth it.
Recycler Dab Rigs
Recycler dab rigs are meant specially for those smokers who like to collect beautiful glasswork. Don’t get me wrong. Dabbing with a recycler rig is, without question, the smoothest way to dab.
These are called recycler rigs because of their unique system that allows filtering the smoke through the percolator and the tubes several times before you actually aspire it, refining the flavor like nobody’s business. Most of them are taller than 8″ and have pretty sophisticated designs. So if you’re up to looking cool and impressing your smoker fellows, the recycler rig is for you.
Depending on which side you’re standing on, you could say one con is that recycler rigs are not as portable and lowkey as others. However, that’s the whole point of this elaborated glasswork. It’s there to be seen and admired.
The real con is that they are more expensive than regular glass rigs. However, getting the most flavorful hits from a durable and exquisite piece of work is well worth the purchase.
E-rigs (Electronic Dab Rigs)
Electronic dab rigs are all about convenience, portability, and speed. When using an e-rig, you won’t need a torch as these are electrically heated. They are also small, easy to carry in your pocket, or break down into pieces to take them in a kit.
Although the dabbing experience from an e-rig cannot be compared to the one from a glass dab rig, it has significant advantages for both regular and beginner smokers. For example, e-rigs have rechargeable batteries that last up to 8 hours, can heat your dabs really fast, and offer precise temperature control.
Now, depending on how you load them and your expertise, things can get pretty messy. So make sure to get one that you can take the pieces apart for easier cleaning.
E-rigs is definitely a great choice if you’re looking for something portable and beginner-friendly. Also, don’t underestimate their potency. Although not comparable to the smooth experience of a traditional rig, your dabbing experience with an e-rig can be highly satisfying and enjoyable as well.
What to Consider Before Getting a Dab Rig?
If you made it through here, that means you’re determined and ready to purchase your first dab rig. Congrats! But before you do, consider these points:
If you really want to get the most out of your dabs and fully enjoy the flavor, then you should go for smaller rigs. Specifically, look for a smaller mouthpiece. Small mouthpieces allow you to taste the vapor better than large mouthpieces where you draw a larger hit, but the vapor comes out less concentrated, somewhat dispersing the flavor.
Although there are dry rigs out there in the market, don’t ever try to take dry hits. Dabs are way too hot, and if you take dry hits, you’ll burn your lungs. That’s precisely why we need water in our dab rigs. Water cools the smoke as it travels through the rig, allowing for a safe smoke. That said, always buy a rig with a water filtration system.
A percolator is that extra filtering layer to make the smoke smooth and enjoyable. It’s like an extra hoop smoke needs to jump through before getting to you. Percolators further diffuse, filter, and cool off the smoke. If you’re aiming at the smoothest hit possible, consider getting a dab rig with a minimum of two percolators.
Obviously, we all want our glass rigs to last an eternity. But the truth is that the aesthetics and our cheap inner selves sometimes play dirty tricks on us.
Look for a sturdy and resistant device. It doesn’t matter if it’s beautifully crafted. If it’s made out of low-end, thin glass, chances are your rig will be gone in a few weeks. Found a suspiciously inexpensive one? Probably it’s not gonna last either. So our advice is: spare no expense on this. Unless you want to buy a new dab rig every couple of months, that is.
We know the jargon can be intimidating for first—timers. There are tons of dab rigs, dab pens, dabbers, nails, percolators, torches, and other accessories. And as the industry grows and the smoking counterculture keeps gaining ground worldwide, manufacturers will keep reinventing themselves to make their customers happy. That means that dab rigs will keep evolving, and new devices will make it to the market.
But fear not, novice smokers, from this blog, we’ll keep updating you on the latest practices and features for an enjoyable and smooth dabbing experience.