Dab Pen vs Dab Rig, What Should you Choose?
Are you thinking about upgrading your dab kit or dabbing for the first time? Want to know more about dab pens vs. dab rigs?
Dabbing has become increasingly popular over the last few years, with many of us switching up smoking for a much smoother, new way to get high. Chances are, if you’re a seasoned smoker, dabs have been something you’ve been experimenting with for a couple of years now.
But what about investing in your own dab setup?
Dabs are often seen as a much healthier way to indulge in the good herb, with the cannabis concentrate being vaporized rather than burned.
A lot of different studies have shown that tobacco smoking does a lot more damage than smoking marijuana – however, it’s not risk-free when any kind of smoke is involved.
We all have that friend with a great dab rig or pen that we love hitting when we get together – but when it’s time to buy your own? Where do you even begin?
There are plenty of dab pens, dab rigs, and e-rig setups on the market, but how do you know which product is the right choice for you and your needs?
What Is a Dab Pen?
A dab pen is quite simply an electric cigarette-style vape that comes prefilled or empty and ready to be filled with the concentrate of your choice.
Simple to use, they will either be pre-charged with a certain number of “puffs” inside – or they will be rechargeable.
Rather than dealing with rolling, cleaning, and setting up bong/rigs, you can just put the pen to your lips and inhale (with or without the use of a button, depending on the design or brand).
Most commonly, dab pens are sold prefilled and are one of the quickest, cleanest, and often cheapest ways to get high. But if you’re into making your own concentrates or have a great supplier, a wax pen might be more up your street.
With a much stronger battery than a traditional vape pen, a wax pen – one you fill yourself – will get a lot hotter to vaporize the wax.
Wax pens can reach up to 700F and usually have a temperature range, allowing you to select the temperature that works best for the product you want to vape.
A good wax pen will vaporize wax, crumble, budder, rosin, and shatter – a great, portable tool for dabbing on the go.
What Is a Dab Rig?
Most dab rigs require a torch to heat the nail (where you place the wax), but recently e-rigs are becoming increasingly popular, with bigger and better models appearing on the market every week.
Unlike a dab pen, dab rigs are a lot less portable and come with plenty of different accessories. The three main components are the nail, the glass piece, and the torch (torches are almost always sold separately).
The rig itself is made up of a mouthpiece, the percolator, and the water chamber. On top of these parts, some dabbing enthusiasts might treat themselves to other accessories to enhance and make more pleasurable, the dabbing experience as a whole.
Carb caps, for example, work like a “lid” for the nail (or banger) on your dab rig, meaning you can seal the dab inside the bucket – making sure you waste no vapor at all.
If you’re conscious of wasting your dabs, a reclaim catcher can be used to catch any run-off of essential oils or concentrates for you to use later – meaning you won’t waste a drop!
Dab Rigs work by superheating the bucket on the nail (or banger) of your rig, and using a dabber to drop your concentrate into the bucket.
When the concentrate contacts the superheated glass, it instantly vaporizes, traveling through the downstem into a water-filled glass chamber, before passing through the percolator and towards the mouthpiece where you can inhale the sweet vapor of the good herb.
Similarities Between Dab Pens and Dab Rigs
Both dab pens and dab rigs work in the same manner of superheating wax, or other marijuana concentrates, to produce a vapor that gets you high – much like smoking a joint.
Both are considered healthier than smoking, as nothing is “burned” during the process – making both a popular choice for the health-conscious stoner community.
Using concentrates – whether you opt for a wax pen, or a dab vape, will provide a considerable amount of cleanup thanks to the sticky nature of concentrates, so both methods require a little more work than rolling a joint, but not much more than cleaning out your neglected bong.
Pens and rigs come in all shapes and sizes, with different designs and temperatures for different types of concentrate, and different size hits. With such a huge range on the market, you can find good examples of both without breaking the bank.
Differences Between Dab Pens and Dab Rigs
The biggest difference between dab pens and dab rigs is probably portability. A pen is discreet, it fits in your pocket, and you can take it almost anywhere – as rigs are usually bigger, bulky, and mostly made of glass with fragile components.
That said, the more pens and rigs grow in popularity, some rigs are getting smaller and therefore more portable.
If you’re clumsy, forgetful, or just a bit of a dunce once you’ve had a smoke (there’s one in every friendship group) – the idea of playing with fire can be somewhat overwhelming.
Another huge difference between rigs and pens is the difference between having to use a torch or not – and the risks that dabbing can contain.
However, as the market continues to move forward, there are plenty of e-needles that heat electronically, and plenty of pens builds that also risk burns.
Finally, dab rigs are built to last (if you don’t knock them over, of course), well as most pens require an entire replacement (disposable prefilled carts for example) or need parts replaced often – such as coils or batteries.
While pens are seen as more portable and durable, if you drop one – the glass parts are as easily breakable as a rig, and it doesn’t take much for them to shatter.
Should You Buy a Dab Rig or a Dab Pen?
Essentially, whether you choose a dab rig or a dab pen, comes down to you and your own personal preference.
If you find you’re always on the move and want a convenient vaping device that is discrete, requires minimal to no cleanup, and literally heats up at the touch of a button – a dab pen is probably the better choice for you.
If you’re ready to brave the blow torch, you’re into making your own concentrates, or you have a reliable source – a dab rig might be your preferred setup.
While a rig can take a whole lot longer to heat up, set up, and clean up – the effort is worth it, with dab rigs being one of the fastest ways to get high (providing your concentrate isn’t sh*t, of course).
If you’re still undecided and don’t want the work of a dab rig, or the simplicity of a preloaded dab pen, a good compromise is a reusable wax pen.
With controllable temperatures, a wax pen is portable, rechargeable, relatively easy to clean, and gets similar results to a dab rig – but is more discreet and has a lower risk of burning your eyebrows off with careless use of a torch!
Remember, before you engage in dabbing or smoking of any kind, check your local state laws to make sure you have permission to do so. As always, when using a torch or any heated element, be aware of your surroundings and ensure everything is turned off and cooled down before being left unattended.