Dab Rigs

Dab rigs are booming in cannabis culture with many enthusiasts exploring different methods of consumption.

One of the most popular tool within modern cannabis culture is the dab rig. These specialized pieces of glassware enable users to vaporize concentrates and get an intense, flavorful hit. With the number of dab rigs on the market, it's challenging to determine which one is right for you. That's why Cheef Kit has put together this guide to help you understand what dab rigs are and how they work.

What is a Dab Rig?

A dab rig is an apparatus to vaporize concentrates like wax, shatter, and live resin for inhalation.

It consists of a water chamber and a glass stem that connects the water chamber to a nail (heated surface) or banger (a bucket-shaped device). Dab rigs use high temperatures to vaporize concentrates, allowing users to get more intense effects from smaller hits than they could get from smoking flower alone.

Why Are Dab Rigs Different From Bongs?

The crucial difference between a bong and a dab rig is the material they are used for when consuming. A bong is designed explicitly for smoking flowers, while a dab rig is meant to consume concentrates. As such, dab rigs are usually smaller than bongs since smoking wax is a different process than herbs.

Dab rigs also have a nail or banger, a heated surface tool used to vaporize the concentrate. It's vital to note these aren't interchangeable—you shouldn't use a standard glass bong for dabbing. Your experience will be tainted if using the wrong device and might not be as enjoyable if done the correct way. However, there are hybrid pieces that allow you to switch between smoking flower and dabbing.

Anatomy of a Dab Rig

A dab rig typically consists of three principal components: the insert, base, and mouthpiece. These components are broken down below along with a few other details on the diagram.

Insert/ Downstem

This part of your rig connects the percolator to the nail/banger. Generally, inserts are made of glass, but silicone ones are becoming increasingly popular. There are different sizes—10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. The insert is connected to the base of body of the glass with a downstem.

Base/ Chamber

The base of the glass is the feet of the rig which the chamber is built on. The chamber is the water-filled vessel that cools and filters the vapor before you inhale. Chambers come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small mini rigs to larger beaker type designs. Some chambers also have percolators that add additional filtration for smoother hits.

Mouthpiece/ Neck

This is the part you put your lips on to inhale the vapor. Mouthpieces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, straight or bent. The neck is what guides the smoke from the chamber out the mouthpiece.

Choosing the right dab rig can be challenging. Keep reading to learn more about dabbing and what Cheef Kit offers. If you’re new to the process, consider purchasing a dab rig kit.

How Do Dab Rigs Work?

Here's a step-by-step guide to dabbing:

  • Fill the base with water, ensuring it covers the stem and or the percolator if your piece has one. This will help filter and cool the vapor before inhalation.
  • Heat the nail/banger using a torch or other heating source until it reaches optimal temperature (usually around 350-440°F). Going higher than 450 degrees will risk burning your wax and making your hit harsh. Doing the cough dance with a banger full of wax is wasteful.
  • Apply the concentrate directly to the nail/banger and use a dab tool to spread it out evenly.
  • Place the carb cap over the nail/banger and inhale through the stem while taking short, gentle puffs.
  • After dabbing, put the dabber away and use a damp cloth to clean the nail/banger.

  • Required Tools for Dabbing

    In addition to a dab rig, there are some tools you'll need for optimal dabbing sessions:

    Dab Nail

    A nail is a small essential tool that is produced in ceramic, metal, and quartz with a flat surface that is heated and used to vaporize concentrate. Dab nails are more commonly referred as bangers in modern day and quartz is the best option on the market.

    Shop Quartz Bangers

    Carb Cap

    A carb cap is a piece of glass, metal, ceramic, or quartz that you place over the nail/banger while dabbing. This helps trap heat and create more flavorful vapor. A carb cap also helps regulate airflow and enables the user to maximize the consumption of their wax.

    Shop Carb Caps

    Dab Tool

    A dab tool is used to scoop concentrate onto the nail/banger before inhaling. Dab tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The most commonly used materials are metal and glass. Metal dab tools are more durable and less likely to break. They are also more difficult to clean and more limited in selection. Glass dab tools can be found in endless designs and themes all while being easy to clean.

    Shop Dab Tools


    Another important tool. You'll need one to heat the nail/banger, but it should be done with caution. Make sure you check the temperature of the nail/banger before dabbing, and never leave a torch unattended. It is important to have a torch with a strong enough flame to thoroughly heat your banger. Weak torches often lack the power to heat your nail all the way which leaves you dry if you run out of butane.

    Shop Torches

    Facts to Consider When Purchasing a Dab Rig Online

    When purchasing dab rigs online, we make it easy and do it better than anticipated. Pick a design from our ever growing selection of mini dab rigs, nectar collectors, silicone dab rigs, and recycler dab rigs.

    Stationary or Portable?

    If you only take dabs at home then you can consider a larger dab rig setup with more needed specific accessories. You can add all the quirks and features that can be paired with your rig such as a reclaimer without worrying about losing or breaking those precious tools. If you dab on the go, you should consider the size of a dab rig before you checkout. A mini dab rig will be essential when heading to the beach or catching the trails with your stoner circle.

    It is also very important to consider a nectar collector when a dab rig is too much to run off into an adventure with. A nectar collector does what a dab rig does but on a smaller scale without many parts such as a carb cap or the need of a dab tool. You can easily take them apart, pack them away, and continue rocking out!

    Flavor Or Durability

    If you savor the flavor of each dab, then you should be only considering a glass dab rig. Glass dab rigs are blown at high temperatures to achieve “WOWY” designs. They are combined with multiple percolators that clean out the harshness of each hit but they risk breaking. Sometimes when you take a hit larger than your lungs can handle causing you to cough, kick, and knock your rig down.

    Consider a silicone dab rig if you need a water pipe that is durable and more affordable than its glass counterpart. This durability comes at a cost since the silicone will interfere with the flavor profile of your wax.

    What is a Recycler Rig?

    Recycler rigs are dab rigs that use two chambers to filter and cool the vapor before inhalation. They consist of an inner chamber, where the concentrate is heated and vaporized, and an outer chamber, which serves as a reservoir for water. As the vapor enters the outer chamber, it is cooled and filtered before being drawn back into the inner chamber.

    A recycler rig is more expensive but comes with excellent benefits—they produce cooler, smoother vapor and can be easier to clean. Recyclers also speed up the travel of your smoke so it makes it out your mouthpiece before getting yucky and stale.

    Dab Rig FAQ

    Q: How do I clean my dab rig?

    A: Cleaning your dab rig is easy and can be done with simple household items like rubbing alcohol, salt, and hot water. Start by filling the rig's base with warm water and adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Swirl the water around and then rinse with hot water. Finally, sprinkle a few pinches of salt into the rig and swish it to keep it clean between uses.

    Q: Do I need a carb cap?

    A: Yes, a carb cap is an essential accessory for dabbing as it helps trap heat and create more flavorful vapor. Carb caps come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, so you can find one that fits your rig perfectly.

    Q: How much water should I put in my base?

    A: How much water you need in your base will depend on the size of your rig. Generally, you should fill the base to just below the joint of your dab rig, as this will ensure an optimal amount of filtration. You may need to fill the base more if you have a percolator with multiple chambers.

    Q: Is it better to buy a dab rig online?

    A: Buying a dab rig online is often more convenient, as you can browse a wide selection of products and get the best price. With Cheef Kit, you can count on quality, authenticity, and excellent customer service.

    With the right equipment and knowledge, dabbing can be an enjoyable experience. Cheef Kit has all the dab rigs and accessories you need to get started with confidence. Shop our selection today!

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