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The Best Dab Rig for You

January 25, 2016

How to Choose the Best Dab Rig for You

Dabbing is evolving fast, and it seems like every other day there’s a new tool, technique, or technology. One day it’s nothing but titanium nails, torches, and BHO; the next it’s quartz bangers, e-nails, and rosin. Its rapid evolution can be a lot to keep up with, and if you’re like me, you probably switch up how you dab depending on what the situation calls for, and how much you’re willing to spend on your dab set-up.

When a friend visits and wants to socialize over fresh-squeezed rosin, my preferences are much different than when I get home from a long day and prefer to have everything set up and ready for me to unwind. And when I’m dabbing on the go, I need a rig that’s portable and efficient while still providing the full dabbing experience. After many personal trials and tests, I’ve nailed down my favorite ways to dab and the tools needed to get the most out of every drop of oil.

Find Dab and Oil Rigs at Leafly

Daily Rigs for Regular Dabbing

Cannabis concentrate "dabbing" tools: electric nail, enail, concentrate container, and glass dab rig

The daily driver is your go-to piece, so it should be functional, sturdy, and easy to clean. The key to this setup for me is the electric nail, or “e-nail.” I use the MiniNail because it’s small, offers precise temperature control, and doesn’t require the use of a torch. It’s always hot and ready when I want to dab or pass one to a friend. This is one of the more affordable options, but keep in mind, it’s less than portable, and better for daily at-home use.

This setup is perfect for high-volume dabs in social settings or for dialing in your preferred settings for low-temperature dabs, without breaking the bank. The only downside is that you’re limited by the cable length and the need for electrical power.

Quartz Buckets for the Dab Connoisseur

Cannabis concentrate "dabbing" tools: small blow torch, concentrate container, and glass dab rig

A setup like this is perfect for getting the smoothest, most flavorful dab. When it comes to flavor, I prefer quartz buckets known as bangers because they don’t interfere with the natural terpene profile of the saps and shatters that I dab. The deep bucket can handle large amounts of concentrate without a mess, and the clear aesthetic is much cleaner on artistic glass and heady rigs.

The one drawback to this setup is that it uses a torch. While there are some attachments that will allow you to use an electric nail with your quartz bucket, I’ve found that the cord attachments can cause some chaos. So I stick with my STOK R-Series double-barrel torch. It has two side-by-side barrels that help heat the bucket quickly and evenly.

E-Rigs for the Dabber on the Go

Cannabis concentrate Dr. Dabber Boost E-Rig

I’ve found it difficult when I’m traveling to achieve the same functionality I get from my daily-driver setup. Concentrate pens, even ones with percolator attachments, just don’t quite hit the mark. Luckily, new technologies marry the portability of concentrate pens with the capabilities of standard dab rigs. The result is electric oil rigs, or e-rigs. I use the Boost from Dr. Dabber because it offers the portable performance that I’m looking for. With just a few clicks of the power button, the nail is hot and ready in about 30 seconds, and the battery lasts a solid 40 to 50 dabs before it needs to be recharged.

The only shortcoming of e-rigs currently on the market is the size of the nails and the vapor chambers, which make it difficult to take more than a small dab at a time. It’s an understandable tradeoff given the mobility of e-rigs, and I expect this feature to evolve as the technology improves.

Related

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Dabbing?

Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to the ideal way to dab. What’s yours? Share your dab setup in the comments and let everyone else know your favorite way to take the best dab.

Will Hyde's Bio Image

Will Hyde

Will is a cannabis expert and co-host of Leafly's "What Are you Smoking" podcast. He's a cultivator and former budtender who loves complex hybrids with piney and gassy terpene profiles. Follow him on Instagram at @the.avid.dabber

View Will Hyde's articles

8 part series

  • Smitty

    I dab off that kiln atomizer. Ive been more than happy with it for a portable setup

  • GradientGlass.com

    Nice article, thanks. Checkout our collection of glass bubblers at – https://www.gradientglass.com/collections/glass-bubblers

  • Great article. Please do checkout cheap dab rigs and glass bongs at https://dabrigdeals.com/ – we makes it easy for shoppers to find and share the best dab rig & oil rig deals and coupons

  • Ryan V

    I love the BOOST by Dr. DABBER. Got my rig a few months back and it actually became my go to piece, as the health concerns with constantly heating a nail with hydrocarbons that leave behind potentially dangerous materials really bothers me, so im all about electric now, and the BOOST is electricly heated and still uses quartz and ceramic nails along with titanium. I got a couple extra batteries as they are very inexpensive along with a charger and rotate 3 batteries through, so when a battery needs charging i can continue to dab and never find myself unable to medicate. The Low-Heat technology is spot on, and I’ve had the privilege of testing multiple E-rigs of the same design as they’ve quickly become popular and none compared to the BOOST, especially the generics. A couple of name brands did better, but still didnt have the same spot on heat everytime and definatly couldn’t compare to the BOOST. BOOST is a lil more expensive than the other brands but you get what you pay for. And I can personally atest that if ANYTHING isn’t working right, Dr. DABBER will replace any parts no questions asked, and theyre customer support is top notch. They take the extra step to make sure their customers are happy. JUST REMEMBER TO REGISTER YOUR PRODUCT.

    • AK

      seconded.

    • Leonid Barchai

      you do know electricity flowing causes magnetic fields right? and that theres a reason high voltage power lines never have homes built below them… your not wrong, its just funny to focus on the micro scale dangers of hydrocarbons, while basically going out of your way to pretend no such dangers exist just as well with electrical heating as does with combustion… they totally do, and not knowing them is like saying “ignorance will shield me!”, personally i think both are safe, and i dont see how heating a banger gets any hydrocarbons into the parts of the quartz my wax ever touches, in fact the only way i can even imagine the micro dangers of hydrocarbons being an issue, is if you put your wax into a cold nail, and then try to heat and breathe in at the same time… in the heat first, inhale last process of dabbing I just dont get how the things at question ever become relevantly applicable… imho combustion or resistance heating are equally safe in regards to use of a banger, but meh, to each their own… i know tons of ppl with ocd that do all sorts of rituals and believe the world will end as they know it if they try it any other way, not saying your doing that, but I think we all have our own way of doing things we prolly prefer, i just think ppl tend to try to use science too often to justify what in the end is personal preferance, when choice and logic arent always in parallel

    • Brandon Keating

      Check the top of the rig. Paint/powder coating is seriously a concern considering the taste appears to be in the vaping.

    • I love the Boost!

  • I reviewed the MiniNail and did a video for it if you’re interested in seeing it in action: https://www.vapecritic.com/mininail/

  • Lynnb029

    u learn something everyday….never heard of this

  • George G

    I’m a vaper so I already owned quite a few “mods” or devices. A company called HERBTRONIX makes a wax atomizer for concentrates called the ROKKAKU. It’s AMAZING! It uses quartz or ceramic disposible coils and works on any of my vape mods. its made in the usa too and has a lifetime warranty. thezfo dot com sold me mine but I think they can be found in most high end stores or vape shops that stock high end equipment. its definitely not your average dab pen or rig. it has adjustable airflow, a coil lock, and it;s made of stainless and has custom sleeves.

  • Conner Goertzen

    RCC Tools is hands-down the best American assembled e-nail for the money. What other US-based company offers a controller that has a design as unique as a fingerprint, allows you to choose your design, and offers a decent warranty on the controller? These other guys simply pay the manufacturer to print their half-baked logo on their units, claim authority, and call it a day…kinda sad.

  • DreamSmoker

    Having a Hot Tnail with Coil is the best way for home use.. You can pick a favorite Glass Pipe and Vape.. Keep it on all day as well..
    But sometimes you need something for the Road… I have yet to find any Portable Rig or Pipe that will do the Job without Oil traveling everywhere but into your Lungs… I use one because I have to… No where near as good as a Home Tnail Rig…

  • My on-the-go setup is the Boost. I’ve been using it daily for the past 6 months and really like it. They have had complaints on the ceramic heating element coming undone, so I’d suggest connecting your prefered nail and not messing with it after that. The carb cap will get sticky and pick up tiny pieces of the case’s cushioning, but I’ve found that if you take one of the tops off the silicone containers they give you, it holds the carb cap securely in the case and protects it from getting nasty. The dabbing tool will also get funky, so if you use it you might want to keep a rag with the kit to clean your dabber with. I’ve found that concentrates that come in syringes work great with this. I peeled back the top quarter of cushioning from the case and stick my 1/2 gram syringes there. I’ll just squirt a couple of drops on the nail while it’s still cool, carb cap, and then turn the unit on high. Not only is this much easier and cleaner than traditional dabbing, but the cold nail gets hotter faster when it has been heated with the cap on. The cold nail not getting hot enough on its first cycle is a small gripe of mine with the boost, and the capping method helps. Dr. Dabber claims 60 uses per battery…I have 2 batts in my setup and get around 10-15 smoke sessions per battery. I dab around .1 per sesh, and it takes 2 high heating cycles for most of the oil to get vaped. My stoner math tells me I’m getting at the very minimum a gram of dabs per battery. I’m totally satisfied with that. I’d invest in a cheap wall adapter for the USB charging cord, as the kit doesn’t come with one. The one I bought fits snugly with the cord in the spot their dumb keychain came in. Speaking of which, if Dr. Dabber wants to waste money on a keychain for their kits, at least make the keychain double as a carb cap or something cool. I threw mine away. All in all, the Boost is a solid setup if you want to smoke wax on the go but think the pens are pussy.

  • Lee Pierce

    got all em an bunch heady glass

  • Kevin Albritton

    I want to get into dabbing but it’s a little intimidating to get the full set up, I just want the “nectar collector” setup, does anyone know what it’s actually called? U just torch the end of a glass tooter and suck up the concentrate in a glass dish… Pretty simple.

  • Bobby Gaines

    I want to try dabs again I have in the past few times I’m trying to get more information I wanted to see what kind of rig I should get less than $100

  • Sir Fatty

    I say if you need to spend $50 on a torch you should get the Bernzomatic TS8000, $40 for the Torch and and $12 for the tank, and a tank will easily outlast any can of butane and this torch will cut your heat up time in half! I have been using the tank for over a year, I use it for dabs and starting fires in the fire place.

    Here is a link for anyone interested:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019CQL60/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • Michael

    i like 710 Life enail and their 710Life so far so good! https://420life.com

  • As with any head gear, I respectfully encourage everyone to deal with their local Headshop and avoid buying on-line. You’ll be happier dealing with your local expert and they’ll be glad to order anything you want.
    Your local shopkeeper works hard to be in business and earn your trust. Keep lazy dropshippers and large corporate out of the industry.

  • Andiar Rohnds

    dabbing makes you very very gay though

  • Dano_FL

    What the hell is “dabbing”? Is it just a term for how one ingests the substance, or is it a specific method? Newbie, as if i had to tell you.

    • Jonseyfire

      It is specific term for the product you are smoking. Which is wax. So you take a little dab” will do ya. Lol