Dab rigs can be a little bit intimidating. Even before you get to the big open flames and the massively potent hits of concentrate, you might find yourself scratching your head at the miniature lexicon required to navigate all the different pieces of a dab rig.
In principle and in operation, dab rigs are quite simple. However, there are several terms that get thrown about which can leave newcomers feeling a bit confused.
That's why we're here! Let's do a quick anatomy lesson on dab rigs. We'll take a look at each of the essential pieces, what they do, and why they're called what they're called.
Let's dive in!
Some dab rigs might include fancy accessories or additional parts designed to improve the dab experience. But for the most part, all dab rigs have the same essential set of parts.
Here's the breakdown of a basic dab rig:
Bong or Water PIpe: Every dab rig needs a bong or water pipe. This is just like a standard bong -- nothing fancy! The bong gives the dab vapor a chance to cool as it travels through the chambers, as well as providing water filtration for additional cooling and cleaning of the vapor before it reaches your lungs. In theory, you can use just about any bong or water pipe, as long as you have a compatible sized…
Nail or Banger: The nail or banger is the business end of your dab rig. This is the part that gets heated via a torch or electric heat source and is responsible for actually vaporizing your concentrates. Nails are typically made of quartz or titanium and consist of a long thin piece of metal or quartz designed to handle repeated heating. Bangers are almost always made of quartz and come in the form of a small bowl like structure. Both nails and bangers do effectively the same thing, and which you use falls largely to personal preference.
Torch: To get things heated up, you'll need a powerful torch. These are usually butane or propane torches. Some smaller torch lighters can also get the job done.
Dab Tool: Dab tools are small pieces of metal which are used to load and manipulate your concentrate. Although it might seem like a small, forgettable piece of a dab rig, this is the essential device which brings your concentrates into contact with the heated banger or dab, making it an indispensable device when it comes time to take a dab.
These four pieces are the essentials needed for a basic dab rig. But there are a few extras you might come across as well:
Electronic Nail or eNail: An electronic nail lets you skip the torches and open flame. Plugging into a wall outlet, electronic nails use an electrical heating element to bring the nail up to temperature. Just plug it in, turn it on, and wait for it to produce enough heat to take a delicious dab.
Vapor Dome or Vapor Curve: A vapor dome or vapor curve is a slightly more complicated version of a banger or nail. They include a sort of glass “hood” which captures the vapor. This can make it a bit easier to take a dab, especially for beginners who aren't good with the timing of it all.
Wasn't that easy? Now you know all the essential parts of a dab rig and what they do. Next time your buddy breaks out the dab rig, you can eye it with expertise.
Or maybe you're now prepared to break into dabbing yourself! If you already have a bong, you're halfway there. All you really need to do is find a banger or nail which has compatible joint sizes and attach it to your bong.