A concentrate rig, also known as a "dab rig", is a specific type of water pipe used for enjoying oils, concentrates, or extracts. The rise of the rig started when smokers realized that it was insufficient to smoke concentrate out of conventional pipes, so they looked for a better way. It wasn't until Hash Master Kut and GGirl introduced the first "dab rigs" in 2006 - the Swing Sets. This pushed forward the evolution in dabbing technology.
As the popularity of using concentrates continues to grow, dab rigs have grown exceedingly advanced, making it more convenient to enjoy different consistencies of concentrates. Modern concentrate rigs are smaller than what they used to be, allowing dab rigs to be able to take up space in a variety of areas without being the "center of attention" during a get together or session.
How Do Dab Rigs Work?
Concentrate rigs offer highly concentrated draws that are tamed through moisture-conditioning for a smoother inhale. Oftentimes with a glass dab rig, a nail is heated by a torch, after which a dabber tool is used to place a bit of wax on the heated element. The user inhales as the wax is vaporized. The pressure of the inhalation pulls a highly potent and dense cloud through the water chamber of the dab rig. The vapor attaches to moisture as it bubbles up from the water to travel up the mouthpiece and into the lungs.
Choosing A Glass, Silicone, or Electric Concentrate Rig
When you're choosing a dab rig, you should also consider the different materials and whether you want to use a torch or prefer an electric rig. Let's take a look at each kind:
Glass Dab Rig: this rig is the most popular and lures enthusiasts because they're customizable. And the fact that they look amazing thanks to the creativity of glassblowers. Glass also doesn't pollute the flavor of your concentrates, so you get clean and aromatic draws. The Higher Standards Heavy Duty Rig is a concentration rig that's engineered with borosilicate glass. It was handcrafted for optimal flavor transfer.
Silicone Dab Rig: these rigs are perfect if you like strong hits with the flexibility of taking it on the go without the fear of breaking. The EYCE Spark Proteck Glass Rig has the best of both worlds. Not only is it made from borosilicate glass, but it's encased in a silicone exterior for added protection. As a bonus, it has LED lighting effects to spark your sessions.
Electric Dab Rig: if you're looking for an option to dab without a torch to heat your nail, an electric dab rig is for you. An electric dab rig uses a coil instead of a nail to automatically heat up to your ideal temperature. The Dr. Dabber SWITCH is a great piece because it comes with 25 heat settings, delivers fast and consistent flavor, and its self-cleaning mode burns away residue.
What Size Dab Rig Should I Use?
When it comes to choosing the best dab rigs, size matters. Small concentrate rigs have tighter passages and chambers, forming a more direct, drag-free pathway for vapor to travel down. This straight blast to the lungs ensures that vapor has little time to dissipate. Instead, a dense, powerful rip is delivered. Mini dab rigs like those offered by MJ Arsenal deliver very concentrated draws due to the lack of area for the vapor to take up before you inhale.
A smaller chamber is also conducive to potent, flavor-rich draws. Vapor will attach to moisture for a smoother hit, but the flavor won't get diluted by too much water filtration. In general, concentrate rigs range between 6" and 9" with chambers sized perfectly for concentrates. That said, larger dab rigs exist, sometimes featuring a purposefully compressed chamber to deliver better dabs despite their bigger sizes.
How To Use A Dab Rig
Concentrate rigs offer highly concentrated draws that are tamed through moisture-conditioning for a smoother inhale. Oftentimes with a glass dab rig, a nail is heated by a torch, after which a dabber tool is used to place a bit of wax on the heated element. Here’s a step-by-step process:
Start by adding water to the dab rig chamber. You'll know if you added the right amount by blowing into the down steam and seeing the water bubble.
Grab your torch and heat the banger so it's hot enough to vaporize the concentrate but doesn't burn it upon contact. An ideal range is around 350°F and 400°F. Wait at least 10 second before you take a draw. Some users prefer to wait around 20-30 seconds to maximize your concentrate’s flavors.
Then, use your dabber tool to get some of your preferred concentrate.
This is the fun and easy part: apply the concentrate directly onto the banger and start to inhale slowly. The pressure of the inhalation pulls a highly potent and dense cloud through the water chamber of the dab rig. Keep rotating the dabber to avoid any oil sticking on the dabber tool.
How To Clean Your Concentrate Rig
Everyone wants the ultimate smoking experience, so keeping your dab rig clean is the key to great tasting hits. If you need advice on how to take care of your concentrate rig, check out our guide on how to clean a dab rig here.
You can use everyday household items to start cleaning your concentrate rig, such as isopropyl alcohol, rock salt, pipe cleaners, or cotton swabs. But if you're looking for convenience, Vapor.com has the all-in-one Higher Standards Supreme Clean Kit featuring innovative supplies that will give your rig a sparkling and fresh transformation.