Dab Rigs

Dab Rigs – A Beginner’s Guide

What is dabbing?

Dabbing refers to putting a small amount of concentrates (the plant or herb you want to smoke) onto your rig, which then produces a vapor. First, you need to heat up your nail with a torch (you will need a good quality torch). Once the torch is hot, you will need to apply your concentrate. Soon, the vapor will materialize so you should, at this point, place your mouth over the mouthpiece. You should inhale the vapor to the level you are comfortable with. It is recommended to take it easy in the beginning since the highs from dabbing are more potent.

What is a dab rig?

A dab rig is any device that uses a hot piece of metal, glass, ceramic or quartz to instantly vaporize concentrated plant extracts. It is called dab because the material you use is “dabbed” onto a heated nail. Contained within a glass chamber, the nail is heated till it glows a bit. After this, the dab is added, vapor is produced in the chamber and the user then inhales it. This is a far more eloquent method compared to pipes and bongs, since it gets more herbs in your body, and thus is so effective.

Why use a dab rig?

Dab rigs have recently become very affordable and the taste from them is vastly different from smoking or vaping. This is because the dab is vaporized instantly, and at high temperatures. Other than this, the hit from dabbing is immediate since the dab nail turns all of your concentrate into vapor which is immediately transferred to your bloodstream using your lungs.

Different nail types:

  • Glass: These are cheap and easy to produce. However, they break very easily and are not as good as metals at retaining heat. In the long run, a metal nail is a preferable choice.
  • Quartz: Even though quartz is tougher than glass and difficult to overheat, it does not retain heat so well, thus is not an ideal choice.
  • E-Nails: These are the modern way of using a dab rig. They are heated up by the battery in the machine and are capable of reaching specific temperature quickly. This is why they let you have some control and are a good choice.
  • Ceramic: This is better than glass since it holds heat well.
  • Titanium: This here, is the ideal material for the dab rig. It has the best heat retaining property, and is very tough.

How to dab

  1. Aim the flame from your torch to the nail until it glows red.
  2. Let the nail cool a little. 10 seconds for titanium and 45 seconds for quartz.
  3. Dab a small amount of the concentrate onto the nail.


Remember, you are dealing with a very hot metal and flames. This why it is extremely important to be safe. You should use your dab rig while sitting, and have a fire blanket and extinguisher nearby, just in case. Better be safe than sorry. Always ensure that the entire dab rig is cool before you proceed to touch any part of the nail. Also, turn off the flame before taking a hit and make sure you keep your rig clean since it can catch fire.

What to look for:

Well, what exactly should be looking for? If you are serious about dabbing, there are some things you need to consider before buying yourself a dab rig.

  • Price: The higher the price, the better the quality. A cheap dab rig might break whilst being used, and thus cause more damage than good.
  • Design:  Do you prefer a simple dab rig, or do you want an expert level one? E-nail or manual heating? The choice is yours.
  • Nail Type: Every material will give you different effects and is used a bit differently.

Pros and Cons of dab rigs

They are far safer to use compared to home-made dabs since you will be dealing with fire and heat. The issue is that a cheap dab rig might not perform as you want it to. The nail may not heat up properly or get too heated. This is why, it is a better idea to invest in a good quality dab.

Where to get reliable dab gear from?

Head down to Uncle Stu’s Smoke & Vape Shop and buy your favorite dab gear. They stock a wide variety of dabs and have all dabbing gear available in their shops, from different types of dabs to nails. You can find the shops in their locations in Romeoville, South Elgin, Lake Zurich and Carol Stream.

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