What You Need to Know About Dab Rigs

Dabbing can be a lot of fun, but only if you have all the right equipment. Because dabbing involves vaporizing cannabis concentrates, conventional bongs, bowls and pipes won’t cut it. In other words, you’re not smoking marijuana buds so you can’t get down like you are. Cannabis concentrates require a well-made dab rig.

Dab rigs are not complicated machines; they’re simplified smoking gadgets that work in tandem with the natural properties of the substance inside. These specialized glass bong-like devices are designed for consuming cannabis concentrates only – things like shatter, oil, wax and live resin. While you can technically put buds or keif into a dab rig, it’s not recommended. At WEEDS in Yaletown you can find a great selection of dab rigs, bongs and other glassware that will please even the pickiest cannabis consumer.

How Do Dab Rigs Work?

Glass Dab Rig with a titanium nail and some shatter.

Glass Dab Rig with a titanium nail

Your favorite rig works hard to catch you a buzz or relieve your medical symptoms. It does this by adequately heating the cannabis concentrate to a point where it becomes vapor. High-quality rigs are made from a wide variety of temperature-sensitive materials, with their heating surface constructed out of things like glass, titanium or even quartz crystal. The material with which any dab rig is made determines its efficacy and durability.

TIP: Titanium rigs are nearly impossible to break but they’re relatively expensive. On the other hand, quartz rigs break easily but are considerably more affordable.

What Are the 3 Main Types of Dab Rigs?

While dab rigs themselves are not complicated mechanisms, some people find it difficult to understand the differences between models. However, a short lesson on their intended purposes should make things a little clearer. The most common dab rig types include:


Skillets are old-school versions of our new-school dab rigs. They typically feature a pad that gets heated up with an external torch. Once the correct temperature is met, a small piece of shatter is then placed on the heated pad to produce vapor. That vapor gets inhaled through a glass straw or tube. Timing is of the essence with this one.


Skullfish Glass Dab Rig

A Borosilicate Glass Dab Rig from Skullfish Glass

Nails are a newer form of dab rig that gained popularity quickly. Far more sophisticated than skillets, nails are designed to fit inside the downtube or straw of a bong-like rig. Although still requiring an external heat source, nails are considered superior to skillet dab rigs. However, these models have had to move aside for what has become to most popular vaping option: the banger.


Bangers are arguably the sexiest and most convenient way to dab THC concentrates. Made from a variety of durable materials, banger-style dab rigs have replaced the nails and skillets that were once in the hands of many medicinal and recreational users. Albeit still requiring an outside heat source, bangers are easier to use in groups or for those with mobility problems.

Are There Any Accessories?

Some dab rigs come with specialized utensils, colloquially called “dabbers.” However, that’s not always the case. In any event, a simple crochet hook or set of tweezers should suffice in place of expensive accessories.

Special Considerations

If possible, use a dab rig that’s made out of borosilicate glass. Furthermore, keep the temperature of the nail or banger between 650- and 700-degrees Fahrenheit for best results and to avoid wasting your stash.

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