The fast paced American lifestyle.
We want it quick, we want it easy and we want it hassle free.
Well, there is nothing more hassle-free in the world of bongs than a dab rig.
What is a dab rig?
Dab rigs, also known as oil rigs (no, not that kind) or wax rigs are bongs that are designed specifically for the purpose of using wax concentrates or “dabs”.
How are dab rigs different than water pipes?
Unlike water pipes, that employ bowls and can be used to smoke dry herbs, dab rigs are specifically designed to enjoy the concentrated waxes. Now you might be thinking - “Surely I can use wax with my water pipes.” and you are right (partly). Just like you don’t mix your work shoes and grocery shopping shoes, similarly using a water pipe for dabbing makes it a little messy. Why?
Firstly, water pipes are designed to filter out the unwanted particles in your drag before it is inhaled. This is one of the reasons why the water pipes are bigger than dab rigs. However, as your “friend” might have often pointed out to make you feel good, bigger is not always better (at least in this case). Wax concentrate that goes through a water pipe tends to lose quite a lot of its flavor and therefore, the dab rigs are smaller than the water pipes. Another reason why dab rigs tend not to have as many percolators as a water pipe. Mixing the two can lead to an unpleasant taste profile and make your bongs dirty. Ew!
Parts of a Dab rig - <<Image needed>>
Just like every great work of art, the beauty and efficacy of dab rigs can be described as a sum of its parts:-
(From the top down)
Mouthpiece - It goes without saying that this is the point where the man/woman meets the “machine”. A good mouthpiece, just like a good friendship or a terrible relationship, will fit just right and form an airtight seal with no wiggle room.
Joints - This is the location where the nail links to the body of the rig. In the market, these are spoken in terms of “joint size” and “joint gender” mainly to identify which nails and rigs fit together.
Diffuser/percolator - Generally located in the base of the rig, this area contains water to cool down the drag and make it a smoother draw. Talking about diffusion and percolators, it is informative to mention another class of rigs called the recycler rigs.
While dab rigs might be small in design to avoid over-filtration and in-turn any loss in taste, a recycler rig flips this idea on its head( or mouth piece, if you wanna be too literal about it) by housing carefully placed water chambers that create a feedback loop, re-filtering the same vapor several times without losing potency and flavor.
Dabbing tools -
Mankind has utilized tools since time immemorial to make their lives easier. Dabbing is no exception -
Nail - The “crown” of any dab rig, the nail does the most important job of them all - holding the dab. The concentrate is generally heated using a dab torch which creates an even temperature to properly heat the wax.
Carb cap - The carb cap contains the vapors inside the nail, thereby taking advantage of low temperature dabbing.The goal here is to extract every bit of the dab (so PRECIOUS!).
Commonly, dabbers use the old-fashioned quartz banger nail, which heats evenly. However, even smoking has not been left untouched by the technological revolution and there are some e-nail solutions available for the tech savvy and early adopters amongst us.
Dabber - This tool is used for transferring the dab onto the nail. While it might seem silly to have a tool for such a mundane task, smoking is about experience and some tokers wants to make it special ritual from start till the end.
Whether you are a casual toker who likes to waste no time getting to it or a religious user who likes the ritual of it, there is something for everyone.