Guide to Dab Rig Basics

Dab Rigs -

Guide to Dab Rig Basics


Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

Getting to know a new hobby can be quite a bit of work. But with dabbing, there's no pressure. You learn as you go, finding what works for you along the way. That's the beauty of it!

 Still, there are some things worth knowing, at least to get you through the beginning stages of your dabbing journey. Read through our guide to dab rig basics. In no time, you'll be privy to the ins and outs of your new favorite cannabis instrument.


What Is a Dab Rig?

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

If you've made your way to this page in the first place, you probably have some familiarity with a dab rig. Nonetheless, here's the lowdown.

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

A glass dab rig is an instrument that allows you to enjoy oils and concentrates. This is not just any old herb, but rather a smooth, flavorful and oftentimes potent ingredient. In order to consume this form of cannabis, you need to have a dabbing device, and a glass rig is the most straightforward option there is. 

So, How Does It All Work?


A dab rig functions in a way that's unique from its traditional water pipe counterparts. While the process varies depending on what kind of rig you have, some of the steps remain the same. 

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

A 90-degree joint, glass vapor slide and dabbing nail all work in conjunction with one another to preserve the vapor and flavor of the concentrate. Percolators, recyclers and other devices are often present to help filter the smoke, leaving you with a cool, comfortable inhalation that preserves the personality of the oil itself.

What makes dabbing devices suitable for concentrates is the presence of a male joint. While flower-friendly pipes feature female addendums, dab rigs contain male ones suited for the practice.


When Did the Dab Rig Come Into the Cannabis Picture?

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

As you may well know, dabbing wasn't always a common occurrence. It wasn't until 2006 that legitimate setups came into play. Thanks to Lucy Carson and Hashmasta Kut—who developed dabbing on their own and popularized it via the Toke City forum—the process took off, ultimately flourishing into the bustling industry it is today.


Common Types of Dab Rigs

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

Consider the term dab rig to be a species, with various breeds within the group. Here are a few common kinds of rigs you'll encounter as you venture into the world of dabbing.


  • Banger Hanger - This is the premium beginner choice. Its body is sturdy yet simple, with just enough water to filter the vapor.
  • Recycler - This kind of rig features a continuous water stream, which acts as a way to cool down the vapor.
  • Conversion - This is a separate piece that's adapted for concentrates. You can throw it on a regular bong to transform it into an oil endeavor.


Breaking Down the Dab Rig, Piece by Piece

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

By now, you understand how a dab device works. Still, we want to lay out the components of a rig, if only to keep any confusion at bay when the time comes to torch up.


  • Nail - Without a nail, your dabbing experience will surely be cut short. The material of the nail can be quartz, titanium glass or ceramic, each of which features its own pros and cons.
  • Dabber - This piece is what you use to transfer concentrate to the rig itself, in preparation for inhalation. It's a small and separate piece, but crucial nonetheless. You can always find nails that are creatively designed, too!
  • Butane Torch Lighter - Yet another separate piece, the torch lighter allows you to heat the concentrate up enough for it to vaporize. Without it, you've got wax or oil that you can't do a thing with!
  • Dome - Not all nails come with a dome, but beginners may want to get themselves one. This piece helps to protect your hand from extremely high temperatures when the nail heats up.
  • Percolator - Many rigs come with one or more percolators. These water chambers help filter the smoke, cooling it down before it reaches your mouth and lungs. For beginners who may not be used to the intensity of concentrate vapor, percs can be a lifesaver.


Other accessories include a carb cab, dab pad and maybe even an electronic nail if you're feeling fancy. With the world of dabbing flourishing so wonderfully, your options for amenities are limitless.


5 Steps to Dabbing

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

Dabbing is not a complicated process. Once you master these five steps, you'll be en route to identifying as a dab connoisseur, and no one can stop you then!


  1. Use the butane torch lighter to heat up the nail. You'll want it to be sufficiently hot, the level of which varies depending on the material of your nail.
  2. Believe it or not, the next step entails letting the nail cool down slightly. Do your best to stay within the 300-400 degree Fahrenheit range. You could be waiting anywhere from a few seconds to a minute.
  3. It's time to get the dab on the nail! Once you do so, inhale slowly over a longer period of time. You definitely don't want to rush this, or you'll be coughing up a storm and you won't have made the most of your concentrate.
  4. If you have a carb cab, now is the time to use it. This piece allows you to fully vaporize the concentrate as you continue to inhale.
  5. And, of course, exhale! Don't bother holding your breath, as there's no need whatsoever.


Voila! After following these five steps, you'll have completed the dabbing process like a pro. Once you've got it down pat, who will you share your wealth of knowledge with next?


Keep Calm and Dab On

Guide to Dab Rig Basics | Dabbing 101 | Puffing Bird Wiki

Whether to know your stuff at the next get together, or just for your own sake, staying up to date on all things dabbing is a great way to perfect the art. It makes your experience more enjoyable and gives you room to learn new things beyond the basics.


Dabbing will always be there for you, so it's only right that you brush up on the facts along the way. To learn about the bits and pieces of a dabbing instrument, the lingo to go along and so much more, this guide to dab rig basics has got you covered.


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