With so many different types of dab rigs available on the market, how do you know which dab rig is right for you?

Finding the right rig can make all the difference when smoking cannabis concentrate.

The dab rig you choose will have a direct impact on your dabbing experience.

So with that being said, I want to walk you through the basics of what a dab rig actually is and the several types of dab rigs and what makes each one special.

What is a Dab Rig?

A dab rig is a type of water pipe used for consuming cannabis concentrates, also known as dabs.

It is sometimes referred to as an oil rig because you use it to consume cannabis oil.

What Are The Different Types of Dab Rigs?

There are several types of dab rigs, including traditional glass rigs, mini rigs, silicone rigs, recycler rigs, nectar collectors (also known as dab straws or honey straws), and e-rigs.

Traditional Glass Dab Rigs

Traditional glass rigs are the classic choice for many dab enthusiasts.

They are typically made from thick borosilicate glass, making them durable and able to withstand high temperatures.

These rigs often resemble a bong and can come in a variety of colors and designs.

types of dab rigs traditional glass dab rig

Traditional Glass Dab Rig Example


  • Durable and heat-resistant.
  • Wide variety of designs and colors.


  • Can be fragile and prone to breakage.
  • Not as portable as other options.

Mini Dab Rigs

A mini dab rig is the smaller version of traditional full-sized dab rigs.

Mini dab rigs are typically under 7” in height and are made of thick borosilicate glass or silicone.

They offer all the functionality of full-sized dab rigs but in a compact size, making them more portable.

types of dab rigs mini dab rig silicone

Mini Dab Rig Example


  • Portable and easy to conceal.
  • Full functionality in a smaller package.


  • Smaller size may limit the dabbing experience.
  • Not as durable as larger rigs.

Silicone Dab Rigs

Silicone rigs are a great choice for those who are prone to accidents.

A silicone dab rig is made of flexible material and is nearly indestructible while being easy to clean.

This also makes silicone dab rigs an easy choice if you like to dab on the go.

eyce silicone dab rig types of dab rigs

Silicone Dab Rig Example



  • May not offer the same quality of dabbing experience as glass rigs.
  • Some users may not like the feel of silicone.

Recycler Dab Rigs

Recycler rigs are designed with percolators that filter out toxins and carcinogens more thoroughly.

They recycle the smoke through two or more chambers, providing a smoother hit.

Recycler dab rigs are popular for those who want the best water filtration when smoking cannabis concentrate.

recycler dab rig

Recycler Dab Rig Example


  • Provides a smoother hit.
  • Filters out toxins and carcinogens effectively.


  • Can be more complex and harder to clean.
  • May be more expensive than other types of rigs.

Honey Straw

Also known as dab straws or nectar collectors, honey straws are different from other types of rigs.

A dab straw is a tube made of glass or other material and is easy to use and portable.

Instead of heating up a banger or nail, the heating element is the tip of the straw.

You heat the dab straws tip to the desired temperature then inhale thru the opposite side while making contact with your dab concentrate.

types of dab rigs dab straw

Dab Straw Example


  • Easy to use and portable.
  • Good for sharing with friends.


  • Not as durable as other types of rigs.
  • The dabbing experience may differ from traditional rigs.

Electric Dab Rigs (e-rigs)

E-rigs are heated electronically and do not require a torch.

They are rechargeable and come with various accessories, making them one of the most convenient dabbing methods.

While an electric dab rig is typically more expensive than your traditional glass dab rig, it comes with the benefit of precise temperature control.

With all the advancements the electric dab rig has had over the past few years, it is not a surprise is becoming the most popular device for dab consumption.

It is especially convenient for those with disabilities as an electric dab rig will always be the right temperature with little to no effort.

Puffco Peak Pro best electric dab rig

Electric Dab Rig Example


  • Convenient and easy to use.
  • No need for a torch or other dab tools.
  • More portable than a mini dab rig.


  • Can be more expensive than other types of rigs.
  • May require regular charging.

Check out my list of the best electric dab rigs.

Adapting Accessories

For those who already own a bong for dry herbs, there are accessories like dab nails and bangers that can adapt the water pipe to accommodate dabs, essentially turning your bong into a dab rig.


  • Saves money by using existing equipment.
  • Allows for versatility in consumption methods.


  • May not provide the same quality of dabbing experience as a dedicated rig.
  • Requires additional accessories.

What to Consider When Choosing A Dab Rig?

When choosing a dab rig, there are several factors to consider:

  • Cost: Dab rigs can range from affordable to expensive works of art. It’s important to set a budget and find a rig that offers the best value for your money.
  • Versatility: Some dab rigs can be used to smoke concentrates and flowers, which can be a good investment if you want to limit the amount of equipment you need to buy.
  • Ease of Use: There are manual and electric dab rigs. Manual rigs require a heat source like a butane torch, while electric rigs have a built-in heating element. Depending on your comfort level and preferences, one may be more convenient than the other.
  • Material: Dab rigs can be made from various materials, including glass, silicone, and electric dab rigs are usually plastic. The material can affect the rig’s durability, heat resistance, and the flavor of the vapor.
  • Size: The size of the rig can affect its portability and the dabbing experience. Mini rigs are easy to carry around, while larger rigs may offer a more immersive experience.
  • Design: Some people prefer a classic design like a traditional glass rig, while others might prefer the unique appearance of a recycler rig or the modern convenience of an e-rig.
  • Maintenance: Consider how easy it is to clean and maintain the rig. Some materials and designs are easier to clean than others.
  • Accessories: Some rigs come with accessories or can be adapted with accessories to enhance the dabbing experience.
  • Portability: If you plan to use your rig on the go, consider a smaller, more durable option like a mini rig or a silicone rig.
  • Durability: Materials like silicone and thick borosilicate glass tend to be more durable and less prone to breakage.

What are the Components of a Dab Rig?

typical dab rig setup how to use a dab rig

Dab Rig

To take a dab, you need a dab rig. You can choose from any one of the types of dab rigs mentioned above.

Butane Torch

You use a torch to heat up your dab nail.

Dab Nail (or banger)

You can choose any type of dab nail:

  • titanium nails
  • ceramic nails
  • quartz nails

Carb Cap

The carb cap is there to help direct airflow and keep your vapor from escaping the dab nail before you inhale it all.

Dabber Tip (or dab tool)

You use a dab tool to pick up and place your dab concentrate on the dab nail.

Cotton Swab

You use cotton swabs to clean up your dab nail after each use.

Timer or Stop Watch

The stop watch is used to time your dab so you reach the right temperature.

If you don’t have a timer, just wait for the dab nail to get red hot before letting it cool down.

E-Nail (optional)

If you rather not use a torch you have the option of using an e-rig which can help you reach your preferred dabbing temperature without any guesswork.

How Do You Use A Dab Rig

Prior to taking your first dab, check out my guide on how to season a quartz nail.

This is an important step to having the best dabbing experience and getting the most out of your quartz banger or dab nail.

how to dab example of someone dabbing

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dab using a dab rig:

  1. Prepare Your Dab: Start by taking a small amount of cannabis concentrate with your dabber. Remember, concentrates can be very potent, so it’s best to start small.
  2. Heat the Nail: Using your torch, heat the nail for about 30 seconds. Use your timer so you do not overheat it as this can degrade your dabs and create a harsh vapor.
  3. Let the Dab Nail Cool: After heating the dab nail, let it cool for about 20-30 seconds. The ideal temperature for dabbing is around 350-400°F (175-205°C). This ensures optimal flavor and potency.
  4. Apply Your Dab: Once the dab nail has cooled, apply your concentrate to the nail using your dabber. The concentrate should immediately begin to vaporize.
  5. Inhale the Vapor: As soon as you apply the concentrate, start inhaling the vapor. It’s best to inhale slowly and steadily to get the most out of your dab.
  6. Use the Carb Cap: After applying the concentrate, place the carb cap over the nail. This will trap the heat and help to vaporize the concentrate more efficiently.
  7. Clean the Dab Nail: After each dab, clean the nail to ensure optimal flavor for your next dab. You can do this by wiping the nail with a cotton swab. Never touch a hot nail with your hands, always wait for the nail to cool.

Disclaimer: Dabbing can be dangerous if not done properly. The nails or bangers used for dabbing can get very hot, and there is a risk of burns if they are not handled carefully.

FAQs About The Types Of Dab Rigs

What is Dabs Slang For?

Dabs is slang for “cannabis concentrates” while dabbing is a term used when you are vaporizing cannabis concentrates.

What is the Legal Name For a Dab Rig?

The legal name for dab rigs is “dab bongs” or “dab water pipes”.

Are Dabs Stronger Than a Vape?

Technically, dabs from a dab rig and a vape would be the same potency however you consume more dab vapor when you inhale it thru a traditional dab rig.

This may cause you to get higher because of how much more vapor you inhale when you use dab rigs.

What is The Best Type of Dab Rig?

The best type of dab rig depends on your personal preferences and needs.

If you value durability and a classic dabbing experience, a traditional glass rig might be best for you.

If you want something portable, consider a mini rig or a dab straw.

If you prefer a smoother hit, a recycler rig could be a good choice.

For convenience and ease of use, you might prefer an e-rig or dab pen.

Why Are Some Dab Rigs So Expensive?

Some dab rigs are more expensive because of the complex designs, craftsmanship, and advanced functionality they have.

A cheaper rig will have the most basic functionality and are typically someone’s first dab rig.

Once you get a better appreciation for the dabbing experience you get with high-end dab rigs you’ll end up spending a lot more.

types of dab rigs heady glass dab rig

Heady Glass Dab Rig Example

Dab rigs can cost anywhere from $50 to $10,000 and more.

Some dab rigs are so expensive and detailed that they are looked at as pieces of art and are displayed in galleries for others to appreciate.

These expensive dab rigs are called “heady glass dab rigs” by glass enthusiasts in the cannabis community.

Can I Use My Bong as a Dab Rig?

Yes, with the right accessories, you can adapt your bong to accommodate dabs.

A piece called a dab nail can be attached to the bowl area of the bong, turning it into a dab rig.

Is A Dab Rig Healthier Than A Bong?

Technically, a dab rig is healthier than a bong because you smoke dabs which are vaporized as opposed to the cannabis plant with combustion.

What is a Recycler Rig?

A recycler dab rig is a type of dab rig designed with percolators that filter out toxins and carcinogens more thoroughly.

They recycle the smoke through two or more chambers, providing a smoother hit.

What is an E-Rig?

An e-rig, or electronic rig, is a type of dab rig that is heated electronically, eliminating the need for a butane torch.

They are typically rechargeable and come with various accessories.