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How to use a Dab Rig

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Tips, Instructional

Rig Introduction

Dab rigs are one of the main tools used for taking wax or concentrate dabs. These can come in the form of either a small pipe, water pipe, or bong. The main components of the dab rig include the body of it that normally contains the stem and chamber section that may or may not hold water. Dab rigs are very popular for dabbing wax concentrates and are considered to be more pure and clean, and also do not give off as harsh of an odor when smoked. Many believe dabs provide a much more potent, tasty experience. 

The entire dab rig consists of multiple pieces put together. These pieces include the rig or chamber, the nail, dab tool, wax, and blowtorch. The nail is normally attached to the end of the stem of the rig, and is made of either glass, quartz, titanium, or ceramic. This is where the wax that is on the tip of the dabber tool is placed in order to burn the wax and take the hit. Before you take the dab, you must heat the nail to a temperature well suited for the wax you are using, something you should look up or talk to your budtender about. There are many types of rigs, ranging from glass to silicone, and which you choose depends on your personal preferences.

Dab Rigs with lego containers on Dab Mat

Preparing the Rig for Dabbing

Since there are high temperatures involved with taking dabs, it is important to be prepared for the hits you will be taking. This includes making sure your nail fits correctly onto your rig, your blowtorch is loaded and ready (or electronic nail if you have one), and the wax is placed on the tip of a dab tool. You can make sure your nail is clean hit after hit by heating up with your torch until it is red hot, burning off any stains or debris that may be clogging your hits. Make sure the material of the area you are heating is able to handle the high temperatures, as some nails only can take high temperatures towards the end of the tool.

Heating the Domeless nail

How you heat up your rig depends on whether or not you are using a regular nail or an e-nail. Regular nails require external heat to be applied in the shape of a blowtorch of some kind. E nails can be manually set to your favorite dabbing temperature, ensuring that each hit is just right. If you have a new e-nail, simply set it to a good temperature, let it heat up, and dab whenever you please. In both cases, it is best to reach a temperature below red-hot that will not be too harsh on your throat. Thicker quartz nails hold heat much better and if heated to the point of being red hot, they take about 30 seconds to return to a comfortable dabbing temperature, which is longer than other materials. Be wary of the size of your nail and how long you are giving it to cool. Thinner nails heat faster and cool quicker, and thicker nails retain heat longer and can take a little longer to heat.

applying-wax-dabber-to-quartz-domeless-nail

Applying the wax

Once the nail is heated to the temperature of your liking, stop applying heat and use the dab tool to bring the wax in contact with the Domeless nail.  If you want the heat to come down a bit, wait some time for the heat to dissipate, but no longer than 15 seconds unless your nail is thick quartz.  Once applied, the wax turns to vapor immediately.

While there are many tips and tricks you are bound to hear from fellow dabbers, the process itself is straightforward. Your dabber will have some sort of end piece; a point, shovel, ballpoint, etc, and this is where you want your concentrate to stick. When handling shatter, it is important to be careful and precise as being forceful and pressing too hard can send your precious glass flying across the room.

Once the wax has been scooped up with the dab tool, or the dabber, you should heat your nail (based on the material of your nail this time will vary). Once the nail reaches the desired temperature and while inhaling, apply the dabber tipped with wax to the inside of the nail in a circular motion and ensure all of the wax melts into the nail. You should see the wax completely melt into the nail from your dabber. Once all of the wax is off of the dabber, remove the dabber and cover the nail with a carb cap if applicable, and continue to hit until all of the smoke is cleared. Be careful to let the tip of the dabber and nail cool before touching once you finish the dab. 

Hands Using a Carb Cap with Domeless Nail

Using a Carb Cap

A carb cap is used to save vapors from flying away, plus it can allow you to vape at a constant, ideal heat for a smooth dabbing experience.  Carb caps are used to cover the dab you just took and ensure all of the wax is burned properly and makes it into the hit. When left to the open air for too long, the wax can become lost to the atmosphere and not make it down the stem into the main chamber.  When all of the wax melts off of the dab tool, put the tool down and seal the top of the Domeless nail with the carb cap. This will ensure that your hits encompass all of the wax on the dabber.

Carb Cap Dabber

This style of dabber can come in any available material, shape, or size. The great thing abou this product is that it has a carb cap integrated into the design, a piece used to cover the domeless nail and capture all of the vapors while taking a dab. Instead of reaching for and exchanging the dabber for a carb cap mid-hit, you can conveniently finish off your dabs like a pro with a carb cap and dabber hybrid. Titanium carb cap dabbers normally just have a circular appendage attached at the bottom that can screw on and off, while glass and ceramic carb dabbers have the caps directly attached to the main piece. By adding a carb cap dabber to your repertoire, you can enjoy your dabs to the fullest extent.

exhaling-glass-dab-rig-hit

Clearing the Oil Rig

In order to clear the rig and take your hit, simply pull all of the smoke through. The nail is much too hot to pull, and is not to be touched at any point in this process. Clearing a dab normally requires much more lung capacity, as dab hits are known to be much larger and heavy handed than pipe or bong bowls. Make sure to never hit wax unless the temperature is right to do so, as this can result in very overly hot smoke.

Dabbing Tips

Utilizing the Dab Tool – most popularly used for applying wax to dab rigs and vape pens, it can also act as a tool for cleaning and an all-purpose smoking accessory.  Dabbers can scrape and clear out dry herb vape heating chambers, bong bowls, and glass pipes.  Scrape away resin in hard to reach areas or mix a half smoke bowl pack, plus so much more.

Use a Carb Cap -  a carb cap will provide the best environment for smooth vaping plus allow you to consume the entire dab versus letting the vapors drift away into the air.

Do Not Over Apply Wax – when applied to the hot nail it will go up in vapors quickly, so only use what you can take, and always start small until you are acquainted with the dabbing process.

Dab Containers & Tools Use a non-stick dab container and a dab tool for the best application and storage of wax.  Wax is sticky and any other way will lead wax being lost and left on the surface of accessories not fit for dabbing.

Dab Rigs vs Wax Pens

Why make the switch from a dab rig to a vape pen or vice versa?  Well we can at least provide information to help you make the best decision.

Dab rigs are large, require care when transporting, need multiple accessories, and are normally pinned to one location. While they do allow for bigger hits and a better home option, dab pens allow you to take your dabbing on the go with portability and a more clean and precise vape hit whenever you want. The new technologies and innovations in dab pens are making them easier to use and more discreet than ever, making their use in public convenient and easy. While the only complaint of dab pens was historically their inability to have sufficient power, new models do not lack in this category at all, having batteries that can last for days. Dab rigs are hazardous and can be messy, and there is no better way to maintain your vibes all day than by using a discrete and customizable dab pen as an accessory to your home dab rig.

by Greg H.
03/05/18 9:00AM
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