Dab Rig Guide

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A dab rig, sometimes called a Dab Rig, is a gadget that uses heat to convert cannabis concentrates, often known as oils, into vapors. A bong works in the same way as a dab rig by filtering concentrate vapors through water at the bottom.A dab rig is a glass, quartz, ceramic, or titanium platform (also known as a nail or banger) that contains the concentrate or “dab” and is used to vaporize it. Customers also use a long, thin instrument to apply the dab and a butane or propane torch to warm up the nail before applying it.

What are Dab Rigs?

A dab rig is a glass pipe with a nail or banger that is used instead of a traditional bowl on a bong. New dabbers may be intimidated by the process, expense, and number of accessories required to use dab rigs and pipes. Dab rigs and pipes, on the other hand, offer potent, easy-to-use effects as well as distinct terpene tastes.

Dabbing isn’t difficult, and a dab rig is easy to use. The technique is simple: heat the nail with a torch, fill it with a dab of concentrate, and breathe in the resulting vapor.

With all of these pieces in tow, you’ve now got the modern-day dab pipe. The glass piece, a nail, a dabber, a torch, and a carb cap are all part of today’s dab pipe. Carb caps have risen in popularity because they enable users to dab at lower temperatures while still retaining vapor inside their nails for longer periods of time. If you want to get the most out of your concentrate usage, consider a variety of factors before making a purchase.

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Why are Dab Rigs Small?

Although bongs and dab rigs are both “rigs,” or pipe chambers containing cannabis products for smoking, they differ in several ways. You might have thought a dab rig was a bong or seen a tiny dab rig or pipe and been perplexed by its diminutive size.

Bongs and dab rigs are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The dimensions of these devices may usually be interpreted to suggest which sort of device you’re looking at.

The most significant distinction between a bong and a dab rig is that dab rigs are used to vaporize concentrates. Dab devices, like marijuana pipes, are frequently smaller than normal. Reduced chamber drag allows for faster lung absorption of vapor. People who desire a strong terpene profile can get tiny rigs made by reputable glass artists and production glass companies.

Other Differences Between a Bong and a Dab Rig

Dab rigs have been around since the 1990s, and they used to be defined by a 90-degree male connection that linked to a female attachment. Male connections have a smaller hole for attachments to go through than do female connections. The nail designs that made them popular are no longer fashionable.

As of 2018, 10 and 14 millimeter female joints are available. The internal diameter of a female joint is measured in centimeters.

History of Dab Rigs

Knife hits have long been the most popular technique of vaporizing concentrates, and dab rigs began to be popular in the early 2000s. Cannabis users from the 1960s through the 1990s would inhale the vapors produced by two heated knives and a piece of hash placed on them via a tube or soda bottle with the bottom removed when they used a “swing skillet” in place of a bowl on a bong.

The First Dab Rigs

In 2006, the glassblowing brother-and-sister team Hashmasta Kut (HMK) and Lucy Carson (GGirl) created the first “dab rigs” or “dab pipes,” which are pieces that can be described as such. HMK’s and GGirl’s dab rig featured a titanium swing linked to a titanium skillet that lowered below a glass arm on hot. The dab would vaporize on the heated pan and be breathed through the glass arm. Their designs were popularized by Toke City, an extremely popular internet forum before social media existed.

The Glass Dome and Nail

The first commercially practical glass attachment for use with any waterpipe was the glass dome and nail version of the dab rig. WBM is one of the most well-known glass artists to promote a glass nail for dabbing that fit within a bong’s downstem with a dome positioned above it. John V. Toro, the founder of Toro Tubes, came up with the concept for the dome and nail so that consumers may dab using a genuine dabbing gadget. The dome was placed over the nail, and a dabber, usually a paperclip in those early days when convenient dabbing solutions did not exist, was used to coat the nail with honey oil.

Emergence of Dab Rigs as Functional Art

The demand for hand-blown, one-of-a-kind works from renowned glass artists has increased as more states legalize recreational and medical cannabis. At the same time, dab equipment components have grown in popularity as dabbing becomes increasingly popular. “Artists who quit making flower pipes switched over to oil rigs in 2009–2010 and stopped producing them,’ says Brad Melshenker, co-author of “This Is A Pipe,” a book about the history of glass pipe manufacturing and dab rigs. “Flower pipes moved over to oil rigs in 2009–2010, with artisans slowing down production.’

Headies have become linked to creative products meant to be used with concentrates. Artisans utilize sophisticated glassblowing techniques to create a wide range of shapes, including basic-looking bongs and towering masterpieces. Several internet stores specialize in dab pipes and dab-related goods, but the popularity of social media has aided in the distribution of glass art works for the entire sector.

Dabbing has grown to such an extent that it has its own holiday, which is observed on July 10th (written 710 upside down with LCD-style numbers) with dabbers. Stoner holidays like April 20th and July 10th are perhaps in league. Most dispensaries have special 7/10 sales on concentrates and other dab goods. Dabbing and dab rigs were previously a minor aspect of the cannabis business, but they are now an important element of contemporary cannabis culture.

Dab Tools and Accessories

A dab rig, like the other equipment associated with cannabis flower, may be enhanced with various attachments to match a wide range of personal preferences. The following are some of the most basic things you can add:

  • A dabber
  • A carb cap
  • A quartz, titanium, glass, or ceramic nail
  • A butane torch may be used to remove stains from your nails.
  • An electronic nail
  • A dab pad
  • A clock, timer, or stopwatch
  • Cotton swabs

Are Dab Rig Expensive?

In general, dab rigs are more expensive than standard bongs. This is due to the fact that dab rigs require additional components and equipment.

Dab rigs are also like bongs in that you may spend whatever amount of money on high-end creative accessories produced by hand. If you only want to use your dab rig for practical reasons, be prepared to pay more for a better or handmade item than you would for a regular bong.

What’s the Best Nail for Dabbing?

It’s all about matching your equipment to your rig and personal preferences when choosing the ideal nail or banger for dabbing. Here are some basic suggestions to assist you in determining which sort of nail is appropriate for your needs:

  • Titanium nails: Dab nails are made of titanium wires and rods, which have a high resistance to heat. They get quite hot and keep their heat for a long time. They’re also rather durable. However, you may notice an accumulation of titanium oxide over time, which might reduce the effectiveness of your dab nail and allow pollutants to leach at high temperatures if you use titanium. If you want to use titanium, it’s suggested that you invest in a medical-grade 2 nail.
  • Ceramic nails: Ceramic and titanium nails are the ones that take the longest to warm up, because they retain heat the best. Ceramic nails are also known for being very clean and toxin-free, making them an alternative to metal or wooden nails. These are, however, more likely to break than other forms of nail enhancements owing to their material type.
  • Quartz nails: Quartz nails, also known as quartz bangers, are heated rapidly but lose heat at a fast rate. Quartz nails, like ceramic ones, are recognized for being incredibly clean and non-leaching in terms of pollutants.
  • Glass nails: Glass nails are highly heat-resistant and retain heat well. These are frequently constructed of borosilicate glass and are typically the most inexpensive to purchase. Glass nails, on the other hand, are the most delicate and can shatter at temperatures as low as 400°F (204°C).

How to Use a Dab Rigs

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It may take some time to feel comfortable with your oil rig abilities. Once you’ve got a good understanding of the fundamental procedures, however, consuming cannabis concentrates and optimizing them is a highly efficient method. If you’re planning on starting your first dab, keep the following instructions in mind or have them handy until you get the hang of it:

Step 1 

Do you have to fill your dab rig with water as a novice may ask? Yes, you do. Fill the base of your device with enough water so that the downstem is submerged before doing anything else. This water will help to cool and filter the vapor produced by your dabs in much the same way as a bong’s water does.

Step 2

Use a torch to heat the nail. Heat the quartz nail until it’s crimson if you’re using it for the first time. This ensures that any fine particles are burned away from the nail, as well as ensuring that you’re working with the hottest possible surface.

Step 3

Allow the nail to cool down after applying it. You don’t want to burn your dab by being hasty. The amount of time required depends on the thickness and material of your nail. To extract the most flavor from your concentrates, aim for a temperature between 300 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or 149 and 232 degrees Celsius. Depending on how hot your nail gets and the thickness of your nail, it may take 30 to 60 seconds to cool down.

Step 4

Place the dab on the nail and, as slowly as possible, draw in the vapor. Because most of the concentrate does not evaporate immediately after being applied to a hot surface, dabs require a lengthy, slow breath. To get the most out of your experience, take a deep breath.

Step 5

If a carb cap is accessible, place it on the nail. To make inhaling the dab more effective, use a carb cap to trap all of the heat within the chamber of the nail and extend its life.

Step 6

Exhale the dab vapor as soon as you’ve breathed it in. Remember that you don’t have to keep your vapors in before exhaling. Your lungs are incredibly efficient at absorbing all of the active terpenes and cannabinoids, so there’s no need to hold them in.

How to Clean Your Dab Rig

There are a few simple cleaning techniques you may utilize to guarantee that your dab session is as delicious as possible.

There should be plenty of residual oil globs at the bottom of your nail if the temperature is accurate. Cleaning the interior of a quartz nail with a cotton swab removes any remaining oil and helps to keep your nails healthier by allowing for better dabbing.

Use rubbing alcohol to remove stubborn residual oil from your dab rig’s components if that is what you want to do. Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a powerful solvent that dissolves the difficult-to-remove oil that may build up in your nail or banger, as well as around the chamber walls. If using an alcohol-soaked cotton swab does not work, dissolve the oil particles on your glass with ethanol before running a cotton swab or pipe cleaner over it. Because rubbing alcohol is combustible, make sure to rinse and dry your device completely before use.

E-rigs for Dabbers

Today’s E-cigs, such as vape pens that vaporize distillate, are a more powerful platform for vaporizing various concentrates. Early versions were fixed and required to be connected to an outlet, but current versions are usually battery-powered. Portable, concealable vape pens are the most popular. Their features combine elements of both dab rigs for personal use and inconspicuous, portable vape pens. E-rigs have power and durability thanks to their discretion and overlap characteristics of dab rigs and torches.

The e-rig’s temperature control aspect is another benefit. Unlike a standard rig, in which you are at the mercy of the flame and a timer, an e-rig allows you to precisely adjust the desired temperature while being certain that the nail will stay within a specific range of your chosen temperature.

Turn Your Bong Into a Dab Rig

Although it is technically feasible to convert a typical bong into a dab rig, it is not the most desirable option.

The most essential component of this process is finding a nail that fits into the downstem of your bong. To do so, make sure your bong has a detachable bowl before going any further. If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to convert it into a dab rig. Measure the diameter (typically in millimeters) of the downstem’s female joint if there isn’t one after removing the bowl.

A downstem at a 45-degree angle is common on most bongs and water pipes, whereas a dab rig’s standard 90-degree angle is not. As a result, the end of your nail will be angled as well, so keep an eye on your melted extracts to make sure they don’t leak out of the nail.

You’re ready to go after you’ve inserted your nail into the downstem of your bong. Simply heat the nail as usual, place a dab in it, cover it with a carb cap, and draw through the small bong’s mouthpiece. Because smaller bongs enable you to pull in the vapor more easily while also preserving the flavor profiles of your concentrates, they are ideal for use as dab rigs.

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