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No dab rig, no problem. Dabbing has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, but if you are just jumping into the world of dabbing, you may not want to make a large investment into a dab rig.
There are many other ways to dab wax and shatter extracts. Nectar collectors, water pipes, and bubblers can all be used for dabbing. There is also the alternative of using vape style devices to dab. This includes wax (or dab) pens, box mod vapes, dab rig vaporizers, and dipstick vapes. We have organized this article by device so if you just want to find out how to dab using a specific type of device, you can skip to that section.
Nectar collectors have all the benefits of a dab rig but are handheld, making them easier to use and much more portable. There is not even a need to have a dabber tool as you can simply dip the nectar collector tip into a wax jar to start dabbing. To use the nectar collector, just heat the metal or ceramic tip with a blowtorch style lighter (unless it is an E-nectar collector), and when the tip is hot to your liking, carefully dip it into the wax and inhale. Nectar collectors are perfect for those just getting into dabbing or want more of a traditional dab experience rather than a wax vape, but also want something that is easier to use and handle than an oil rig.
Some good examples of nectar collectors are the mini silicone nectar collectors as well as the standard glass nectar collector with a titanium tip. The glass is perfect for glass enthusiasts who love the feel and purity that glass provides. The silicone nectar collector is made from food grade, high heat resistant silicone so it provides just as clean of flavor as glass and has the added benefit of being much more durable.
A water pipe (or bong) is very similar to a dab rig. The main difference is the circumference of the tube area that extends from the base of the bong or rig to the top where the mouthpiece. This is the part above the water chamber and is basically the smoke pathway. The mouthpiece on a dab rig is often much skinnier than a bong as you are not producing as much smoke when inhaling concentrates than you would with flower.
If you decide to use a bong, having a wider mouthpiece will not affect the quality of your dabbing experience much, it is just not as efficient as a dab rig because there is slightly more air within the air pathway. The only other change you will need when using a bong to dab wax, is a dab nail versus the usual bong bowl piece. Most quality glass water pipes are glass-on-glass. This means the downstem, or piece that connects the bowl piece to the chamber, is made of glass and so is the bowl piece. There are two standard sizes of glass-on-glass downstems so just make sure you get a dab nail that matches your downstem.
It is quite possible to dab using just a standard bong bowl piece as well. Just stick a dab to the inside of the bowl piece and use a blowtorch style lighter or electronic ceramic heating element to vaporize or burn the wax. Many people also like to place a small bit of ground flower in the bottom of their bowl piece and top it with a dab. The first rip will melt the wax into the remaining flower, creating a potent and flavorful cocktail.
Most small bubblers are not really designed for concentrates but again, it is possible to either top a small bowl of flower with a dab or stick a dab to the side of the bowl and heat it the same way as mentioned above. Also, some larger, bubbler pipes use a glass-on-glass bong bowl, so if that is the case, you can just replace the bong bowl with a dab nail and use the bubbler just like a dab rig.
There are many vaporizers designed specifically for wax. The more powerful wax vaporizers are often referred to as dab pens. Yocan is one of the leading brands in dab pens and offers wax vapes that use up to four coils to vaporize wax or shatter. These quad coil dab pens do a solid job of vaping wax and provide hits comparable to those of a dab rig.
One of the added benefits of wax pens versus dab rigs is the obvious ease of use, especially when you are out and about. They slip easily into a small pocket or purse and many fit in the palm of your hand. Many dab pens also include an attached dab jar so you can carry extra wax inside the pen.
Many wax pens have no temperature or voltage settings and you simply turn the pen on, load a small dab directly onto the coils and hold down the power button to vaporize the wax. However, some wax vapes have variable voltage settings so you can choose whether to vape your wax at a low, medium or high temperature. Many dabbers prefer to dab at high temperatures to get the full effect of the concentrate. However, vaping at a lower temperature can provide smoother, more flavorful vapor.
Yocan pens are very popular, with the Pandon and Evolve Plus XL being the quad coil heavy hitters. If you want something smaller and more versatile, wax pens like the SteamCloud Mini 2.0 are super convenient and discreet – it can also be used with the popular oil cartridges. While the Yocan pens are mostly single voltage, the Mini 2.0 offers variable voltage for more control over the vapor temperature.
Box mods are the most powerful, portable vapes, and can provide even more powerful rips than a quad coil dab pen. Box mod vapes are usually used for vaping e liquid or e juice, and they are popularly seen producing massive vapor clouds and even vape tricks. But from that popularity has spawned the creation of wax atomizers that can be attached and used to vape wax, and offering an experience some would say is like using a mini dab rig. Box mod vapes can often be turned up to a high power (wattage), and equipped with vape tanks that can handle high power, but always make sure you do not exceed the maximum wattage listed on the wax atomizer. Setting a box mod above the recommended setting can burn out the atomizer, resulting in poor flavor and eventually a dead atomizer. Also, these atomizers are tested for safety at their listed wattages so you could put yourself at a health risk if you exceed these settings.
The SteamCloud Box Mod Vape is a popular model due to its size and power. It will fit in the palm of the smallest hand, yet it packs the power to deliver the most powerful dabs from a vaporizer device.
These are basically a dab rig, but they are also a vaporizer. Imagine a desktop vape but it is designed for dabbing, so it looks like a dab rig. They do a great job producing massive dabs but are not nearly as portable as other wax pens. One example of a high-end dab rig vaporizer would be the Dr. Dabber SWITCH.
Another route is using an electronic dab nail such as the Yocan Torch. E-Nails can be equipped to a standard dab rig so that you can have an official dab experience, but have the ease of electronics and the added safety without having to use a blowtorch. This essentially converts any dab rig into a dab rig vaporizer.
Using a “dab rig vaporizer” may not be the standard oil rig with dab nail and blowtorch, but they still provide a true dab rig experience with the ease of vaping, all designed for the true dab connoisseur.
Dipstick vapes are basically the electronic version of nectar collector, but even easier to use. Just like a nectar collector, you can dip the tip of the vape directly into wax concentrates, whether in a dab container or something else. However, unlike a standard nectar collector, with a dipstick vape, you just press the power button to heat the tip, versus using a blow torch. So press the button, the hot tip heats, and you can dip it into the wax at any point. At the other end of a dipstick vape is the mouthpiece where you take the puff from.
A good example of a dipstick vape is the Boundless CF 710. Since you are dabbing directly out of the wax jar, no wax is ever wasted and you will not be left with sticky fingers or lost residue elsewhere like on a dabber tool. These are some of the most convenient dab tools available.
As dabbing gains popularity, it is easy to find some dab rigs and other devices in local vape shops. However, you can find the best selection online at sites like NYVAPESHOP.COM. As specialists in the vaporizer industry, we provide all the information you need about dabbing, vaping, smoking, and anything else related. Just check out the blog, vape shop dictionary, and reach out directly if you still have any questions.