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E Rigs vs. Traditional Rigs: Which is Right for You?

E Rigs vs. Traditional Rigs: Which One is Right for You?

Dabbing is one of the most preferred methods to ingest or inhale concentrated forms of cannabis and unlock a more flavorful experience.

Unlike smoking flower, which requires consuming a significant amount of plant material to get high, dabbing allows savvy cannabis consumers to concentrate the potency and flavor into a single "dab." This tiny amount, vaporized using specialized pipe-like equipment called dab rigs, delivers a more immediate and intense high.

However, similar to bongs, the type of equipment used for dabbing can greatly impact your experience. Two critical dabbing equipment that are frequently used for vaping cannabis concentrates are electronic portable dab rigs (aka e-rigs) and traditional rigs. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of e-rigs and traditional rigs, and discuss their benefits, limitations, and nuances. Stick around to learn more!

  • What are e-rigs
  • What are traditional rigs
  • Comparison of e-rigs and traditional rigs
  • Choosing the right dab rig for you
  • FAQS about e-rigs and traditional rigs

Before we dive right into exploring their unique advantages and limitations, let's first understand what they are and how they work.

What are E-Rigs? 

We are sure you have already guessed what e-rigs are just from the name - e-rigs are specialized portable equipment that features electronic heating elements and advanced temperature control mechanisms for dabbing.

These devices allow users to dab heating the nail or optimizing temperature manually. This means that once your dab is on the nail, you don't have to worry about overheating or underheating. All you need to do is plug the e-rig into the power source, relax, and enjoy a good high. So, what components compose the best e-rigs? Let's have a look at them.

Components of E-Rigs

  • Heating Element: Inside an electronic portable dab rig, you will find the heart of the rig, the heating element. The heating element typically vaporizes the concentrates on the banger and nail. Now, it is essential to note that heating elements are available in various options, including ceramic, quartz, and titanium. They all have unique benefits, including heat retention, durability, and clean vapor production. It's best to choose an option that best suits your specific needs.
  • Water Filtration System: Let's be frank! There is no better feeling than enjoying a cool and well-moisturized vapor when dabbing. The water filtration system is responsible for that. With a water chamber, percolator, and mouthpiece, all the impurities are filtered, ensuring users get a cool and clean-tasting experience.
  • Temperature Control System: With the best electrical dab rigs, you can toss that blowing torch away. These devices feature a temperature control system that ensures you optimized temperature during your dabbing experience.
  • Power source: For an electric dab rig to function, you must ensure the built-in batteries are well charged. That said, you need to have access to a power source if you plan on using the e-rigs.

Advantages of E-Rigs 

  • Consistent Temperature Control: If you have ever used a traditional dab rig before, you can attest that controlling temperature proves to be a challenge. You must keep using the blowing torch to maintain the perfect temperatures. However, with the best electronic dab rigs, you don't have to go through the tedious work of using a torch. Once the rig is plugged into a power source, the temperature remains constant, offering users a more relaxed smoking experience.
  • Easily Portable and Versatile: Most head shops online offer a wide range of electrical dabs rigs in different sizes and styles. If you need an easily portable and discrete rig to keep you entertained while on the move, you can trust that e-rigs will deliver. They offer portability and convenience without compromising on performance.
  • Clean Tasting vapor: Unlike traditional rigs, which ruin the quality of the vapor while dabbing, electrical portable dab rigs provide efficient vaporization, maximizing the potency and flavor of your dabs. This is because e-rigs heat up quickly and evenly without overheating.

Disadvantages of E-Rigs

  • Power Dependency: As mentioned earlier, e-rigs rely on power for functionality. This means if the battery life dies without access to a power source, you cannot leverage the benefits of the rig. For anyone going for outdoor excursions or camping adventures, an electric rig may not be the perfect equipment.
  • High Upfront Costs: This goes even without saying that the best e- rigs will often cost more than traditional rigs due to their specialized features, including integrated heating and temperature control elements.

What are Traditional Rigs

Traditional dab rigs are the complete opposite of electrical portable dab rigs. In this classic way of consuming cannabis, everything has to be done manually, from heating to controlling the temperatures for smoking wax, shatter, rosin, and similar concentrates. It’s more of a step-by-step procedure, and more often than not, can be tricky for users who are new to the world of concentrates.

That said, let's look at the components of a traditional rig to understand better how these smoking devices operate.

Components of Traditional Rigs

  • Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece is similar to that found in a water bong. It is typically made of glass and comes attached or a separate piece. They allow users to inhale the vaporized concentrates, delivering potent effects.
  • The Chamber: The chamber or perhaps the base is a large part of a traditional dab rig. It stores the water needed for maximum filtration. Some of the best electric rigs also feature water chambers with added filters providing different layers of filtration and cooling.
  • The Banger/ Nail: This is the part where you load your concentrates and heat them with a blowing torch for vaporization. The nail or banger comes in a variety of materials, including quartz, glass, ceramic, and titanium. 
  • Cap: The last thing you want is for your concentrates to evaporate into the airway before you get a taste of it. With a cap, you can cover the concentrate on the nail, trapping all the vapor. 
  • Blowing torch: As mentioned earlier, you must preheat the concentrates manually to inhale the clean vapor. Heating the nail requires more heat than what a typical lighter offers. A blowing torch provides the desired heat for proper vaporization. Most blowing torches typically use butane or propane.

Advantages of Traditional Rigs

  • Customizability: Traditional rigs make the perfect fit if you enjoy owning unique and stylish smoking accessories. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, allowing users to personalize their set-ups.
  • Reliability: While traditional dab rigs may not offer the convenience of e-rigs, they offer reliability. You don't require charging; they are less prone to malfunctions, promising consistent performance.
  • Cost Effectiveness: If you are going for traditional rigs, you can expect to save a few coins. Traditional dab rigs are less expensive than electronic components, making them perfect for anyone on a budget.

Disadvantages of Traditional Dab Rigs 

  • Heat Control: Frankly, achieving the right temperature with a torch is very challenging. One minute, you have the required temperature; the next minute, your nail overheats and burns the concentrate. This may not be ideal for newbies as it can alter the quality of the dab.
  • Less portable: If you are hunting for a rig that will get you covered while on the move, buying yourself a traditional rig is a deal breaker. The blowing torch and other accessories are bulky, making it disadvantageous to carry around.

Comparing E-Rigs and Traditional Rigs  

Performance and User Experience

Most electronic portable dab rigs offer ease of use when it comes to operating. First, the devices are powered by technology, which means everything is automatic. Second, the devices have adjustable temperature settings, ensuring users have more control over the heating process.

Traditional dab rigs prove to be rather challenging to operate. Users usually require a lot of practice to ensure they are to ensure they maintain the correct temperatures. A slight temperature change can ruin the entire experience. 

Cost and Value

No questions asked; most of the best e-rigs come with a hefty price tag; however, they offer many benefits compared to traditional dab rigs. With an e-rig, you won't need to use a torch anymore; the well-integrated heating and temperature control system manages everything. Moreover, they are portable, meaning you can use them anywhere.

On the other hand, traditional rigs are much more affordable; however, you may not have a smooth experience, especially if you don't know how to maintain the right temperatures.

Portability and Convenience

If you are considering a traditional dab rig, you must be willing to compromise on portability. Traditional dab rigs are a bit heavy, making it difficult for users to carry around. Plus, let's not forget to mention the blowing torch and other smoking accessories you will need to complete the process.

E-rigs, on the other hand, are easily portable. All you need to worry about is where to find a power source. Once you can access a power supply, you can relax and enjoy your dabbing experience without going through the tedious work of maintaining the right temperatures.

Maintenance and Durability

Keeping e-rigs in good working condition involves regular Maintenance of the battery, cleaning the atomizer, and ensuring all electronic parts function correctly. However, electronic-portable rigs are often easy to clean and sometimes dishwasher-safe when it comes to cleaning. Traditional dab rigs require regular Maintenance to keep them in good condition. You will need to clean the nail to prevent residue buildup.

When it comes to durability, traditional dab rigs offer a longer lifespan, given they are built of quality materials like glass, quartz, or titanium. E-rigs are more fragile and vulnerable to damage from drops and mishandling due to the inclusion of electrical parts.

Choosing the Right Rig For You

Understanding your specific needs goes a long way when selecting the right one. Both e-rigs and traditional rigs are fantastic choices, and it's up to you to choose one that fits your unique needs. To help you make an informed decision, let's identify which type of rig suits a different user's profile.


If you are just starting the dabbing method, we recommend you get yourself the best electronic dab rig. Traditional rigs come with a lot of hassles. First, you must maintain a standard temperature of 450 ℉-600 for the best dabbing experience. Second, you have to use a blowing torch, which can be a bit risky for a first-timer. E-Rigs are pretty easy to use. The blowing torch and the nail are out of the equation, making them safer for all-around use.

Experienced Users

Experienced users have the benefit of choosing between e-rigs and traditional rigs. If you are into the dabbing rituals, you can consider getting yourself a conventional rig. For anyone looking for easy usability and convenience, an electronic portable dab rig will make a perfect fit. You will need to assess your individual preferences to make an excellent choice.

Frequent Travelers

For frequent travelers, electronic rigs (e-rigs) are typically the best choice due to their portability and convenience. E-rigs are compact and battery-operated, eliminating the need for a bulky torch making them easy to pack and use on the go. Their all-in-one design ensures a quick set-up and consistent performance, perfect for travelers who need a reliable, hassle-free dabbing experience. 

FAQs About E Rigs and Traditional Rigs

What is an E-Rig, and how does it differ from a traditional rig?

E-rigs, or perhaps dab electronic rigs, basically perform the same function as a traditional rig; the only difference is that they utilize a battery, coil, and atomizers to melt the concentrates. Instead of using a blowing torch to heat the nail, you just need to plug the rig into the power source and activate the heating elements.

What are the main advantages of using an E-Rig over a traditional rig?

Temperature control: With the best e-rig, users can dab at varying temperatures to get the potent effects of the concentrates. This means that you have a wide range of temperatures to choose from. You can stick within a range of 450-600 for higher cloud production or 600-900 for thicker clouds.

Portability and convenience: As mentioned earlier, electronic dab rigs are quite easy to carry around. They are lightweight, making them the perfect fit for frequent travelers.

How do the costs compare E-Rigs and traditional rigs, including initial investment and ongoing expenses?

E-rigs typically involve a higher initial investment due to their advanced technology, with prices ranging from $100 to $500. Ongoing expenses include battery replacements and Maintenance of electronic components. Traditional rigs are generally more affordable upfront, costing between $50 and $200, but require frequent purchases of butane for torches and periodic replacement of nails or bangers. Overall, e-rigs have higher initial costs but potentially lower long-term maintenance expenses.

What maintenance is required for E-Rigs versus traditional rigs?

Maintaining the best e-rigs involves regular cleaning, battery care, and occasional part replacements like atomizers. Traditional rigs need frequent cleaning of the nail or banger, torch upkeep, and periodic replacement of glass parts. Both require attention, but e-rigs focus more on electronics, while traditional rigs need more manual cleaning and torch management.

What power source do E-Rigs use, and how does this impact their performance compared to traditional rigs?

Electronic portable dab rigs use rechargeable batteries, providing consistent and precise temperature control for optimal performance. This enhances the dabbing experience with reliable heating and ease of use. In contrast, traditional rigs rely on butane torches, which can be less consistent and require more manual effort to achieve the desired temperature.

As you have seen, electronic portable dab rigs and traditional dab rigs offer unique benefits and limitations, thus choosing between the two can be a bit difficult. Nevertheless, it's totally up to you to make a choice based on your personal preferences. Now, if you have already decided which rig to get for an enhanced dabbing experience, trust Badass Glass to find the best selection of e-rigs and traditional rigs. We are the top supplier of quality and affordable smoking devices; visit our website to explore our vast collections.
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