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Dab Rigs: Water Pipes for Wax and Oil

Dab Rigs: Water Pipes for Wax and Oil

Legal herbs are becoming increasingly more used. More and more people are turning to various forms in order to reach the effects that they desire. Concentrates have been making their way around and the more popular they get, the more accessories are made for them. However, unlike herbs in the flower form, these wax concentrates aren't smoked using a lighter. These types of substances require a water pipe known as a dab rig.

What's a Dab Rig? 

A dab rig is a smoking tool specifically designed to be able to handle the vaporization of wax and oil concentrates. Although there are modifications that can be made to bongs so that they can take on dry herbs as well as oil and wax concentrates, these tools are not the same as dab rigs. Dab rigs often feature specialized designs that allow the vapor to travel throughout the rig in a certain way so that it is cooled before it reaches the individual. This is because of the fact that these bangers or nails have to be heated to high temperatures. Oil rigs will typically be made of glass and will also feature a water filtration system in order to cool down the hot vapors.

Difference Between a Dab Rig vs Bong

You may have noticed that we discussed the modifications of bongs and the similar nature of bongs and dab rigs earlier in this article. However, bongs and dab rigs are not the same device.The main difference between a dab rig and a regular water pipe is that the rig generally comes with a male joint in the stem. It also goes straight up making it parallel with the chamber of the oil rig.

Besides those two, the key differences lie in the functions of the two devices. Bongs are designed specifically to smoke dry herbs. Although they can be modified, they are still bongs. Dab rigs come with dab nails or bangers attached to the equipment. This is supposed to handle concentrates only. Besides this major difference, there are also minor differences, such as the fact that dab rigs are smaller than bongs. They're also usually much more intricately designed than bongs. Bongs for herbs also come with a deep dish bowl. These are some of the biggest differences that differentiate the dab rig and the bong.


When using a dab rig in place of other smoking mediums, there are a lot of benefits that will be experienced. Here are a few of the most notable benefits that you will enjoy when you are using a dab rig.


The process that the dab rig uses turns wax and oil concentrates into vapors rather than burning them.Traditional methods of smoking dry herbs typically required the user to set the substance on fire in a process known as combustion. This turned the it into smoke that is then inhaled. The issue with combustion is that it is linked to a variety of negative health effects that make it undesirable. With vaporization, you avoid these negative health consequences and enjoy your concentrates in a much safer manner.

Less is More

Dry herbs often requires you to burn large amounts in order to get a large amount of smoke. Concentrates produce a large amount of vapor without you having to dab a lot of concentrates into your dab rig. In addition, dab rigs tend to be much smaller devices but they still produce quite a bit of vapor. This means that you will get much larger and fuller hits with your dab rig and will get the effects that you are wanting to experience.

Better Taste and Flavor

Concentrates are well-known for their superior flavor experience. While other forms of herbs are meant to be smoked, the vaporization of concentrates allows the full flavor profile to come out. With dab rigs that are designed with concentrates in mind, this means that you are going to be using a tool that was crafted to make sure that these flavor profiles are experienced as they were intended to be. These flavors and smells are often called terpenes.

Less Distinct Smell

Along with the excellent flavor profiles of concentrates, there is also the added benefit of the lack of smell. As most smokers know, different herbs have a very distinct odor that tends to cling to clothes. It can make the user smell like the smoke. Concentrates do have a slight odor however they smell less and are much less detectable in comparison to smoking dry herbs. They may also be flavored so that the scent is sweeter and enjoyable. An oil rig can help with the smell, especially if you use a banger which vaporizes in lower temperatures.

As you can see here, the dab rig comes with plenty of benefits that make it a desirable tool for those who are wanting to use concentrates rather than other forms of THC.


Use Less

Concentrates can be extremely potent. A regular spoon pipe and ground up herbs will generally require users to pack multiple bowls in order to get the desired effects. Dab rigs allow you to vaporize concentrates and get more intense feelings while having to use less. This is a great advantage for those who go through their herbs very quickly and who are looking to cut down on their overall usage.

Save Money

A byproduct of having to use less of your concentrate is that you want will also be saving money in the long run. A good dab rig will last you a long time and will provide you with a great dabbing experience each time that you use it. Unless you are someone who already smokes high amounts of concentrates, investing in a dab rig and switching to concentrates may be a more budget-friendly option. Although dab rigs cost under $100 usually, there is still ways to save money on it.

Cleaner Experience

Using a dab rig gives a cleaner experience when compared to using it in its herbal form. Although buildup will occur on the inside of your dab rig as you use it, this is the only type of mess that you can expect to experience. Gone are the days where you have to deal with ground up herbs, cleaning your bong from residue and clean up the ash after The dab rig makes the smoking process much simpler.

Better Hits

Dab rigs eliminate the harshness that users normally deal with when they are smoking herbs. Heated up herbs can often produce smoke that is harsh on the throat and only gets worse when you find yourself closer to the heat source as you would when you are smoking a blunt or a joint. Dab rigs feature filtration and cooling systems that bring down the heat. This way you can smoke without having to deal with this issue. Although concentrates can be intense, the heat won’t.

Better Taste and Flavor

Since there is water in the dab rig, it makes it easier to taste your dabs. As long as you keep the water clean, every hit will be purified and clean. The taste will be unadulterated as long as you get the temperature right.


    Learning Curve

    Not everyone is accustomed to using a dab rig. Some dab rigs feature complex systems that can be very confusing to first-time users. Along with these systems, there is also the issue of learning how to load and vaporize your concentrates. This itself can be enough to deter interested smokers from making the transition to a dab rig.

    Not Discreet

    While the smell of concentrates are semi-discreet and will prevent others from smelling your smoking sessions, dab rigs are not very discreet or portable tools. This means that, although you can use them while you are at home or if you bring them to a friend’s house, you cannot fill them while you are on the go and use them. The tools that are required to operate a dab rig are also quite large and not the most portable. If you're looking for something more mobile, portable rigs like nectar collectors will be more ideal.

    How to Use an Oil Rig

    Like we mentioned above, it can be difficult for first-time users to figure out how to operate a dab rig on their own. For this reason, we have compiled a brief guide that will help you to learn how you can begin using a dab rig. Here are the most important steps.

    1. Before you start loading your wax concentrates, it is important that you add water to your dab rig to prepare it for the filtration/cooling process. To see if you have filled it to the right level, try inhaling and see if the water bubbles. If it does and no water leaves the intended area or comes out to you, you will have adequately filled it. Prepare again by seasoning your dab nail.
    2. Prepare your wax by scooping a small amount onto your dabber tool, which is essentially a small tool designed to pick up and place wax concentrates onto your dab nail. Try not to scoop too much unless you know that you are able to handle larger levels of THC as concentrates are known to be very intense.
    3. Set aside your dabber tool and grab your propane or butane torch. Unless you have an electronic nail, you will need to heat the dab nail until it has turned red from the heat. Turn off your torch and give the nail about 45 seconds to cool down enough to start dabbing.
    4. Now, take your dabber and put the concentrate into the nail, making sure to swirl it around in a circular motion as the nail vaporizes the concentrate. Inhale as you do this to begin pulling the vapor through the dab rig.
    5. That’s it! If you feel like you want more, repeat the process to vaporize more concentrates.

    Dab Tools

    The following items listed below are tools for dabbing that make it easier. Depending on your own needs, you may need certain tools and you may find that you will never encounter other tools. It is important to understand all of the options you have at your disposal to continuously improve your dabbing sessions. 

    Dab Nail

    The dab nail is the piece on the dab rig where you load your oil or wax concentrates so that they can be vaporized and pulled into the rig. The best way to describe this piece is to compare it to the bowl that is fitted in a bong. Unless the dab nail is electric, these pieces of equipment that are heated up with a propane or butane torch. Once the dab nail has been properly heated, the wax concentrates are loaded into the nail and vaporized.

    Dab Banger

    A dab banger is a type of dab nail that features a circular dish. It has an extended depth and higher walls in order to hold wax concentrates during the dabbing process. Bangers are typically made of materials from quartz, titanium, and ceramic. They are designed to withstand the high temperatures and retain heat so that you can effectively vaporize your concentrates.


    With traditional dabbing methods, users are required to use a propane or butane torch on their dab nails. With an e-nail, a separate unit heats up the e-nail to a certain temperature. This makes the process much more efficient and ridding of some of the tools that often take up time and don’t allow for consistent vape sessions.


    dabber tool is a tool that helps users place concentrates into their dab nail while avoiding the heat of the nail. This makes sure that all of the concentrates are effectively vaporized. Dabbers are typically made out of metal or glass. They have a pointed tip that allows users to scoop up their desired amount of concentrate and place them onto the surface of the nail.


    Rig Materials

    The best materials used on dabbing rigs are quartz, glass or silicone. These 3 are the best to use because quartz and glass are inert and silicone is portable. 


    Although quartz and glass are not the same, they share similar features. They are both very easy to clean and give the wax an untouched taste. Of course it depends on how well you keep it clean. Quartz is a little bit thicker than glass is so it's a more ideal rig material.


    Silicone is great when you want to make it portable. It easily folds and collapses without any hassle. It is also shatter or break proof. You never have to worry about breaking the actual rig itself because it's unbreakable. You can also put it in the freezer before you use it to make sure you're getting cold vapor.

    Besides the most important pieces mentioned above that are absolutely required for dabbing, there are also other materials that are important to the dabbing session. They could be used to further improve the quality of your session. For example, one tool not mentioned in the previous list is a torch, which is necessary if you don’t own an e-nail. Another tool that is not necessary but could greatly improve your dab sessions is known as a carb cap, which maximizes airflow into the banger.

    Overall, it’s important to do your research into what you might need for your dab rig to make sure that you are getting the most out of this device.

    Top 3 Dab Rigs

    Dabbing is an extremely popular form of enjoying THC. As such, there are a variety of dab rigs on the market that are designed to meet this growing demand. However, not all dab rigs are made to produce enjoyable dabbing sessions each time. What do we recommend? Take a look at our top 3 dab rigs below!

    The Hammerhead Double Hammerhead Perc Recycler

    The Hammerhead Double Hammerhead Perc Recycler is an excellent dab rig that satisfies the needs of both those who enjoy larger rigs and those who want a high-quality dabbing experience each time. With a double-ended incline percolator (which is also referred to as a hammerhead percolator) and a second chamber that helps to filter and recycle the water and vapor, you are guaranteed to want to keep going back for dabs.

    The Pakku Puck Rig With a Showerhead Percolator

    If you’re looking for a dab rig that is more compact but still large enough to handle massive dabs, you might want to look into the Pakku Puck Rig that features a showerhead percolator. The Pakku Puck Rig features a large body that truly filters the concentrate vapors and gives users a superior flavor experience. Although it may not come packed with features like many of its competitors, the Pakku Puck Rig is highly-recommended and will give you the ability to enjoy your dab each and every time.

    The Ill Glass Smuggler

    If the previous two mentions were still too large for you and you are looking for an offering that is a bit more portable, you should take a look at the Ill Glass Smuggler. Featuring a stunning, detailed body that contains a flux finger percolator that provides 24 point diffusion, this piece not only looks amazing but functions great for a portable piece. If you need something on the go but you don’t want to sacrifice quality, this piece will give you everything you need.

      Choosing a dab rig can be difficult enough and the challenge is only more difficult if you’re not sure what you should be looking for. Using the information above, you will not only know what a dab rig is but all of the components that go into its production, how it is used, and some of the best dab rigs that are currently on the market. Now, you can figure out exactly what type of rig you need so that you can start smoking concentrates effectively today.

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