A dab rig is a waterpipe that is specially equipped for consuming cannabis concentrates or “dabs”. The dab rig goes by many other names like oil rig, vapor rig, wax rig, concentrate pipe… you name it. Dab rigs have gained worldwide popularity in recent years because they are very reliable in delivering a cool hit and a flavorful experience.
Things to look for when shopping for a Dab Rig for your shop
There are a multitude of factors that goes into finding the best dab rig: price, quality, appearance, function, and the list goes on. Whether you value portability, durability, efficiency, aesthetics, or your wallet; Biohazard Inc. will guide you through our collection of dab rigs, dab tools, and accessories to help you stock your smoke shop.
Main Dab Rig components
Shopping for dab rigs can be intimidating at times, we totally get it! If you’re unsure about a specific dab rig component, what it looks like, or how it functions, then you came to the right place. Let’s go back to the basics!
The base of a dab rig is the flat-bottomed, lower-most portion of the rig.
The chamber is any part within a dab rig that holds water. Dab rigs have at least one water chamber, but it’s not uncommon to see rigs with multiple chambers (aka the recycler rig).
The mouthpiece is the part of the dab rig from where the user inhales the smoke.
Also known as the neck, the tube of a dab rig conducts vapor from the chamber and the mouthpiece.
The joint is the connection between the dab rig and the dab rig. You may notice "joint sizes" and "joint genders" referred to on certain products at Biohazard Inc. such as bongs, dab rigs, and glass attachments. They are useful in determining whether the components are compatible to create an airtight connection. The most common joint sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm.
A dab nail is the small nail-shaped component where dabs are vaporized when heated.
A banger is a type of dab nail that can vary in design but are typically flat-bottomed with a curved neck.
A domed dab nail is a dab nail with an attached dome – it doesn’t get simpler than that! The dome walls trap the vapors to make sure no dab vapor is wasted.
The percolator inside of a dab rig is a water diffusion mechanism that filters and cools vapor. There are a wide variety of percolators, and some of the most recognizable dab rig percolators include:
Named for its tree-like appearance, a tree perc has a main stem that branches out to any number of “arms”. Slits at the end of each tree arm filters the water and vapor to produce a clean, smooth hit. Generally speaking – the more arms, the more effective diffusion.
Shaped like a typical showerhead, a showerhead perc has a vertical stem with a flared round chamber. The slits at the bottom of the chamber filters the water and vapor.
A honeycomb perc is a disk with any number of holes, resembling a honeycomb. The holes of the honeycomb perc reduce the size of the bubbles that passes through, resulting in clean and diffused vapor. In general: the more holes, the more effective diffusion.
These dab tools and dabbing accessories are absolutely vital for a safe, clean, and convenient dab session. Ranging from simple and effective to bold and unique, Biohazard Inc. has a wide array of dab tools that will complete your smoke shop’s dab rig collection.
A dab torch is a hand torch (butane or propane) used for heating the dab nail for dabbing at just the right temperature. We recommend a butane hand torch; it allows the user to emit a low or high temperature flame. A propane torch generally burns a hotter flame that runs the risk of damaging the nail. Regardless of what kind of dab torch you choose, just remember to keep a timer handy to get the most from your concentrate.
A dabber is a tool designed for removing a dab from its concentrate container and placing it inside the dab nail or banger. If you don’t want to cinch your fingers while you’re dabbing, then a dabber is an essential buy!
Made out of glass, ceramic, quartz, or titanium, a carb cap is a dab tool with a small hole meant to cover the top of the nail. It restricts airflow and traps heat, allowing the dab to vaporize at a lower temperature.
Also referred to as a dab pad, a dab mat is placed under a dab rig to protect desks, tables, counters, or any other kind of surface from residue dripping from the dab nail. Most dab mats are usually made of an easy-to-clean silicone material.
Dab rig style
Dab rigs come in a variety of styles that are informed by their size, shape, material, and function. Learn more about the styles Biohazard Inc. has to offer below, from the dependable daily driver to the attention-grabbing statement piece.
The classic glass dab rig is made of borosilicate glass, which is highly touted for its heat resistance and for being quite durable for glass. The glass rig comes with an effective percolation system that will cool down your concentrate vapor. It is a very popular option among concentrate fans because the glass material allows for a pure, flavorful hit. The glass dab rig is the quintessential dab rig.
Typically standing less than 7” tall, the mini rig is combines portability with performance. The mini rig, like the classic dab rig, is usually made out of thick borosilicate glass. In fact, many dabbers prefer the mini rig over other dab rig styles. Its short stature allows for less drag which preserves the strong concentrate flavor.
Silicone Dab Rig
If you want a dab rig that is durable, easy to clean, and very affordable, then look no further than the silicone dab rig. These rigs are constructed with BPA Free & Food grade silicone which is non-toxic, dishwasher-safe, and stick-free. Silicone dab rigs are virtually indestructible, so you can put them almost anywhere – from a coffee table to a high traffic store display – without fearing they’ll break. Even though a hit from a silicone rig may not be the same as a glass rig, this is still a solid dabbing option!
The nectar collector is a nifty, portable dab rig with a slim vertical profile. Also known as a honey straw, a nectar collector has a straw-shaped mouthpiece used to inhale the concentrate vapor. It also has a titanium or quartz tip that works essentially as a dab nail, a silicone or glass dish that holds the concentrate, and a small water chamber.
With the electronic dab rig, or the e-rig, there is no need for a dab torch. The e-rig eliminates the process of heating a dab nail and timing the dab. Instead, you have complete control of the temperature of your dabs simply by digitally inputting your desired dab temperature. Although e-rigs may be more expensive than the standard dab rig, dabbing has never been so easy!
Frequently asked questions
What does a dab rig do?
A dab rig has a similar function to a waterpipe; however, dab rigs work best with concentrates. The process is of getting your smoke is also very similar: after the dab nail is heated (and subsequently cooled) and the concentrate is placed in the nail, vapor travels and percolates through the water chamber. The water cools the vapor before it goes up the tube and mouthpiece where the user inhales.
What are the benefits of using a dab rig?
A hit from a dab rig packs a flavorful punch.
This is probably the biggest reason why the dab rig is the preferred smoking device for many in the cannabis community. Cannabis concentrate consists of cannabinoid and terpene extracts, making it more potent than dry herbs. No matter which dab rig you choose, you are certain to get a powerful hit.
You have more control of the quality of your hits.
If you want to tailor your dabs to your liking, you can certainly do that with your dab rig. Some heat their dabs at a high temperature, while plenty others prefer low temp dabs. All in all, your experience is what you make of it.
Dab rigs are a work of art.
Just like waterpipes, dab rigs can be an elaborate glass masterpiece. Glassblowers and artists continue to innovate, transforming functional pieces into an incredible display of creative expression.
Why are smaller rigs better for dabs?
It’s important to keep in mind that dab rigs are generally smaller than the typical waterpipe. The standard dab rig stands somewhere between 8” and 10” in height, whereas the standard waterpipe is about 18” tall. However, smaller dab rigs that are less than 7” are preferred by dabbing enthusiasts. Concentrates are better enjoyed in a drag-free smoke. The more sophisticated percolators and bigger water chambers that are constructed in comparatively large dab rigs may dilute the concentrate vapor, which prevents dabbers from enjoying the full flavors that comes from their dabs. A smaller rig with a condensed chamber will cool down vapor with less drag to deliver a more flavorful smoke.
Finding the best nail for dabbing depends on customers budget and dabbing preference. Each kind of dab nail or banger caters a specific need for your customers. The most common dab nail material includes:
Titanium nails are incredibly durable, and they can heat up quickly and retain heat very well. However, the nail may develop a buildup of titanium oxide that could affect the nail’s performance and emit harmful contaminants at high temperatures. Therefore, if you decide to purchase a titanium nail, we recommend that you buy a nail that is rated grade 2 titanium.
Despite being prone to breakage and slow to heat up, ceramic nails are excellent at retaining heat. They also tend to be very clean and do not pose the risk of leaking contaminants into your dabs.
Quartz nails and quartz bangers are the most popular nail option for dabber because heat up rapidly. However, they tend to lose heat relatively quickly, so we recommend using a carb cap with a quartz nail. Like ceramic nails, they are exceptionally clean with no risk of leaking contaminants.
Borosilicate glass nails excel at heating up and retaining heat. Glass nails also happen to be the most affordable dab nail material. However, glass is a notoriously fragile material, and it may shatter at very high temperatures.
An electronic nail, or e-nail, a dab nail that comes with a controller box that heats the nail with a coil at your desired temperature. Once you have an e-nail, then you won’t need a dab torch anymore. With a press of a button or twist of a dial, you can input your preferred temperature for precise control of your dabs.
Proper cleaning and maintenance are key to ensure that your dab rig will last a lifetime. The simplest, foolproof method for cleaning your rig is to use a rubbing alcohol and table salt mixture. Biohazard Inc. supplies smoke shops with a wide variety of cleaners and cleaning accessories specially formulated for use on waterpipes and dab rigs.