Dab Rigs and Vaporizers: the Future of Cannabis

There are countless ways to enjoy the fruits of the marijuana plant and chances are you've tried them all. From spliffs and blunts to bongs and pipes, each method has its own pros and cons when it comes to enjoying a nice strain. However, all of them have one major drawback: smoke. Dab rigs and vaporizers are a great way to experience cannabis without any of the harmful byproducts of combustion.

Benefits of Dabbing and Vaping

Vaping and dabbing are not exactly the same but they are infinitely cleaner than regular smoking. The reason for that is that they don't produce smoke and users don't have to inhale the carcinogens that go with it. Instead, what comes out of vapes and dab rigs is pure, harmless vapor.

But it's not just health benefits that make dab rigs a better choice than regular smoking. Due to the lower heating temperatures (remember, you are heating the flower not burning it), cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and terpenoids (that give flavor) stay intact, giving a better experience to the user.

There are lots of things to consider when buying a dab rig. There are many different parts and materials going on in the market, that are enough to confuse a beginner. In this guide, we are going to do our best to help you find the best device for your needs.

Dab rigs - they are not bongs!

Yeah, hot take there. We know.

By that, we mean that you don't have to get a humongous model to get bigger tokes. A dab nail is nothing like a bong bowl, which is used to combust hash and flowers. Instead, with a dab rig, you can only use tinctures and oils (that's the main difference with vaporizers as well). For that reason, dab nails offer a better airflow, and therefore, a more "wholesome" experience to the user.


Most dab rigs are considerably smaller than bongs and that serves a purpose. You see when you inhale vapor, size is actually a drawback. In theory, you could transform your old huge bong into a dab rig if you installed a dab nail. However, that would severely damage the potency of the vapor, which would have to go through a larger distance before entering your mouth. So don't worry about size. The quality, on the other hand, is really important.

How to find a good dab rig

When it comes to selecting a great dab rig, don't waste too much time looking at the device itself. Instead, it is the dab nail that makes or breaks the deal. If you're just starting out, focus on getting a great quality dab nail and a heavy duty torch lighter (does not apply for models with e-nails). Below we go through all the important factors you should have in mind when in the market for a dab rig.

Bong or Dab Rig? The Definitive Guide to Solve All Your Questions

Bongs are arguably among the most famous mediums for smoking herb (and they have been for centuries). Even if you are a newbie stoner, chances are that you have already tried smoking at least something resembling a bong.

However, as legalization storms the nation, more cannabis products are becoming available, transforming the traditional ways of consumption. “Dabbing” is a relatively new term and refers to smoking cannabis tinctures (oil, wax etc). As these products grow in popularity, so do “Dab Rigs”. Devices that work like bongs, look like bongs but are used precisely for cannabis concentrate consumption.

When browsing the market for a new smoking device, you might have a hard time telling each one apart. Although they do not seem to be much different, there are some key elements that separate bongs and dab rigs. Let’s find them out!

Bowls and Nails: The Anatomy of a Dab Nail

The biggest difference between bongs and dab rigs is not the design of the device itself, but rather the design of the attached pipe. We know that bongs feature a bowl in which you can burn anything from hash to plain tobacco. Dab rigs are an entirely different concept. In order to vaporize tinctures or waxes, dab rigs use a dab nail in which the oil is inserted. In addition, unlike bongs, the dab nails do not need a mesh underneath.

Dab Nail Materials

You can find nails made from a wide range of materials, such as ceramic, glass or titanium. Each one will affect the quality of your smoke to a certain degree but essentially, it all comes down to personal preference. The most popular choices are listed below:

  • Glass – It might be your best bet for a bong, but glass is not the ideal choice for a dab nail, as the temperatures rise dramatically. If you are set on buying a glass nail though, it makes sense buy some replacements

  • Ceramic – Better heat dissipation, but still quite fragile.

  • Quartz – Much more durable than glass or ceramic, but it cools down way quicker, offering uneven heating.

  • Titanium – The golden ratio of dabbing materials. Titanium is extremely durable and immune to heat. In fact, its resistance to rising temperatures is such that you should be careful with overheating issues.

  • E-nails – Basically electric nails with a port for a coil and a PID that controls your coils temperature. These fancy devices are more expensive and offer absolute control over the temperature of the nail. It goes without saying that you never use a torch with an e-nail, as you set it manually. As different products vaporize at different temperatures, this can be really convenient.

How to Nail that Dab

By using a torch (not a lighter), you raise the temperature as needed and then you place the consumables on the nail. You may then inhale the product like you normally would with a traditional bong. In theory, you can just attach a dab nail to your bong and have the same results, however, dab rigs are generally more stylish and solid.

If you are on the fence about buying a dab rig, we strongly suggest that you invest in a quality dab nail. You should have three things in mind before choosing:

  • The material should dissipate the heat evenly so that it releases all the flavor without burning the tincture

  • The material must be able to take a lot of heat, so it makes sense to choose a dab nail that is durable and that will last you for multiple uses.

  • Choose a dab nail with a dome. Not only is it safer to use, but it also holds more vapor offering a smoother experience.

Dab with Style

Looks is also an important distinguishing factor. Quality bongs are generally bulky and the reason for that is that, contrary to dab rigs, they do not need to be any particular size! The smoke coming from a dry bud can travel through the bong tube no matter how long it is without ever dissolving (if you have ever tried smoking out of a soda bottle then you know what I mean).

Meanwhile, the essence that comes out of a concentrate needs to be consumed immediately before it blows into thin air. Dab Rigs are more compact than bongs, to ensure that the vapor will stay smooth and intense, giving you all the cannabinoids. So, even if you're a seasoned smoker, you might find that a strong dab might contain quite a punch for its size! In comparison to a bong, the vapors coming out of a dab rig are cleaner and purer and that’s one of the reasons dabbing is increasing in popularity.

Should I Try Dabbing?

There isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t! Dab rigs do not cost much more than a quality bong and they are generally more convenient, safer and better looking. The crucial part is to get a quality rig that won’t ruin your night (or day, we don’t judge).

At a glance, you should be aware of the following before choosing a dab rig:

  • The dab nail is essentially what separates bongs from concentrate rigs.

  • There is a great selection of dab nails on the market. Choose the material of your pipe wisely!

  • Heat dissipation is of the utmost importance when vaporizing marijuana oils and tinctures. Remember, the goal is not to burn the product and inhale the smoke.

  • You need a torch to heat the dab nail before adding the concentrate of your choice. Make sure it is fueled up to avoid a total buzzkill.

  • Much like bongs, dab rigs require frequent cleaning. Use the same techniques that you would clean a regular bong.

Whatever you do, be safe and respect others! Check your six and always smoke, dab and vape in a safe environment with good company.