Posted by JHanPixel on May 1st 2023
Dabbing has become a very popular way for consumers to enjoy cannabis concentrates. The fast and efficient way for users to dose gives you a more intense and longer lasting effect compared to traditional methods of smoking. But before you can take your first dab you need the right dab rig. There are literally thousands of styles of dab rigs out there, so which one is the right one for your? We'll go over some key factors in choosing the perfect dab rig for your needs.
Size & Portability
Dab rigs are usually smaller than bong water pipes, and for good reason. Where traditional bongs are larger so they can hold more volume so smokers can milk and store a large amount of smoke before snapping, or clearing it all at once with a big rip. Dab rigs on the other hand are mean to be drawn with a consistent breath, there is no build up of vapor inside the chamber. In fact if you have too much build up of vapor inside the rig, it can actually start to cool down and form back into a solid. If you have ever seen a "dirty" dab rig before that is all just reclaimed vapor that has condensed back into a solid and now is either floating in the water or stuck to the wall. What a waste! So when picking the perfect dab rig for you make sure you get something that you can clear more than 2-3 times with one breath. If you have lower lung capacity then you may want to get a smaller piece for the best results.
The smaller the piece is also makes it more portable so if you plan to be dabbing on the go and smaller piece will come in clutch, but if you plan to mainly keep it at home you have more options and can pick something a little more intricate.
Joint Size & Angle
Dab rigs come in every joint size and angle out there, but they offer different benefits and features so which is right for you? First lets talk angles, the joints come in 2 standard angles 90 degree (straight up) or 45 degree (slanted). The 90 degree angle is meant for dab rigs with a wider base. They usually are meant to sit on a table or counter and are not meant to be held while dabbing. This allows the user to have both hands free to use dabbers, carb caps and torches to their preference. The slanted angle or the 45 degree are usually on smaller rigs with slimmer or more rounded bases and can either be leaned backwards or held in the hand on the go. Both angles gets full support from the accessories market and most all bangers are available in both angles.
Next is joint size, there are 6 sizes generally available 10mm, 14.4mm and 18.8mm in both male and female joint sizes. Finding a glass dab rig in 18mm joint size will be rare as that would mean the body would have to be rather large to need such a big gauge joint size. This size is usually reserved for large glass bongs for flower. As mentioned earlier dab rigs are usually on the smaller size so 14mm and 10mm is much more commonly used. 10mm is more suited for micro dosing and dab rigs with a very small foot print. Think tennis ball size or smaller. The drawback of the 10mm is that if you try to take a large dab out of a 10mm nail, you may end up flooding it or causing it to clog prematurely so if you like to take larger dabs then the 10mm may not be for you. Which leaves the 14mm, the defact-o industry standard. 90% of the dab rigs you will see on the market will be 14mm and more specifically 14mm female, which will require a 14mm male joint accessory.
Percs & Filtration
Which dope perc should you get for your dab rig? Well as mentioned earlier dab rigs and bongs function differently. On a bong you would want some massive diffusion and filtration to make the smoke more clean and smooth, but on a dab rig that's the opposite of what you want. Less is more on a dab rig, remember the more you cold down your vapor the more it will condense and turn back into a solid. You can get a “smoother” vapor but you will end up wasting allot of your dab. So depending on how you prefer to consume your dab if you are looking to micro dose then you want the bare minimum filtration. A simple popped hole stem will be more than enough. If you plan to take gram dabs? You want something that can diffuse all that vapor like a honeycomb or a gridded showerhead perc. As you filter the vapor more you also reduce the flavors in your vapor, so if you enjoy the taste of your wax you may want to opt for a lower filtration perc.
Material, its not all just glass?
While its true most of the dab rigs out there are made of glass, more specifically borosilicate glass (pyrex), there are also dab rigs made from acrylic, metal, silicone and soda lime glass (soft glass).
If you are taking the time to research this, then honestly glass is the way to go, borosilicate glass has several benefits over the rest of the options. Metals and plastics all leech and effect the taste of the vapor. (Ever drink soda from a metal can vs a glass bottle?) Durability over softglass, function over pretty much all of them and also complexity. Glass by far offers the most options and complex chambers, shapes, and percs. So if you want a dab rig that will last and that you will continue to enjoy, the choice is clear.
Brand & Value
Finally there is which brand of dab rig do you go with. When picking which brand to go with here are some things to consider. Build quality, reputation, import or domestic?, and value. Remember high price doesn't always mean high quality and low price doesn't always mean low quality. Make sure you are getting a good value for your dab rig by researching and checking reviews.
Choosing the perfect dab rig is not so complicated after all but it is an important step in your dabbing journey. All the factors we covered will effect the performance and reliability of your dab rig so take your time and pick wisely and you will be rewarded every time you grab the torch.