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This is going to sound like an obvious tip but it needs to be stated – be extremely careful when using a dab rig. Whenever flame is involved, especially around glass and smoking, it’s always a good idea to exert caution. However, throw a blow torch into the mix and things really begin to heat up. Given that fact, and the other working parts involved with a dab rig, just make sure to keep a stable surface to dab on. Also, make sure to be careful given the potency of the wax – it’s much stronger than dry herb and can produce coughing fits and quicker, stronger effects.
While this is not going to look the coolest, safety is paramount when using such hot materials (not to mention severe burns aren’t a good look either). Oven mitts will help to render some heat resistance to the smoke sesh while still allowing enough dexterity to not get in the way of a good smoke or two. However, make sure to find one that, while insulated well, also allows good grip and freedom of movement. Nothing is worse than dropping an expensive piece of glass because it couldn’t be held well enough (as opposed to forgetting it’s piping hot and burning oneself and dropping it that way).
Make sure to pay attention to the specific type of nail that’s being used. While there are off course general design commonalities, the materials a nail can be made of can range from glass to quartz. This will affect the warming up and cooling down time of the nail itself. A titanium composite or metal nail will heat up more quickly and cool faster than a ceramic nail. This means that a ceramic nail needs to be handled with care long and more carefully warmed up. Whereas a steel nail is likely going to heat very quickly but not remain as hot as long and can be picked up or stored more quickly. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and one should be mindful of them all.
This is going to be a no-brainer – if one removes the blowtorch element from the dabbing process than the whole procedure becomes significantly safer. This comes with a tradeoff in price, however, the safety gains certainly pay dividends immediately. Often, a barrier to dabbing with a rig is simply the fear of the blowtorch. This is understandable given the flammable (and even explosive) nature of such things. Consider upgrading to a battery-operated e-nail to bring the 21st century to a dab rig.
Being indestructible is an undeniable advantage to silicone over glass. Glass will likely continue to remain a cult classic favorite but there is certainly something to be said about an unbreakable, affordable silicone rig. Consider purchasing one of these if keeping balance or not misplacing or knocking a silicone rig seems a high priority concern. Not to mention that the silicone itself is much easier to grip than smooth glass. Finally, silicone often has a more favorable weight than does a glass rig. Given the lighter weight and grip, the likelihood of dropping a silicone rig goes down exponentially reducing messes. A silicone rig is a worthwhile investment for any dabber.
Dab rigs come equipped with all sorts of wonderful additions and attributes to make the dabbing experience smoother, richer, etc. Percolators will help ensure a powerful, smooth hit by infusing more of the smoke with water. This is especially useful given that wax is often reported to have a harder ‘kick’ than dry herb or oil. Other features can include an ice catcher which will also have a cooling, smoothening effect on dabbing. Ice catchers by their very nature allow someone to place ice within the rig setup to have the smoke flow over. When investing in a quality rig, consider some good additions to tailor the experience to any specific preferences.
There is no rush when it comes to enjoying herb and other concentrates made from it. This is particularly true with something as powerful and potentially confusing as wax. To a beginner, there are a lot of variables to keep track of and this can be prohibitively difficult. Not to mention that a rig is often more expensive than a simple chillum or bowl. Make sure to do research and really figure out what will work best with whatever preferences, needs that need to be met.
Reclaim is essentially the stickier, harder wax cousin to resin from dry herb. This stuff is a reconstituted material made out of wax that has fallen through into the main part of the rig from the nail or simply has slowly accumulated over time. This needs to be cleaned out to ensure a better dabbing experience. The good news is that anyone can collect it from the rig with a dabbing tool or other useful scraping device and re-dab it on the nail. Essentially, recycling the reclaim back up. It’s certainly worth a try if its clean enough or there’s no opposition to it from anyone in the group.
Especially now, dab rigs are not the only option for dabbing wax. Wax pens, aka dab pens are both vape pens that specialize in wax concentrates. These are often seen as more convenient, more discrete, and less expensive options to a full dab rig. Particularly given the lighter weight, less dangerous vaping mechanism (battery powered/heated coils), and the more convenient medium with an easier learning curve. However, remember that dab rigs will always provide the bigger, harder hits. Another option, similar to a dab rig, but easier to handle, is the nectar collector for wax – it is a great dab tool that is easy to enjoy, even on the go if you go with the silicone nectar collector option. Ultimately, when dabbing without a rig, there are many options to choose from, and it all comes down to each person’s preferences.