Parts of a Dab Rig Explained (With Pictures)
If you’ve never used a dab rig before, it can seem intimidating or confusing even to many veteran smokers.
Whether you’re making the transition from a bong to a dab rig or exploring concentrates for the first time, learning the parts of a dab rig is a hefty task.
We’ll be breaking down each piece and what its purpose is for anyone fresh to dabbing.
Dab Rig Parts Explained
Bongs typically only have a few parts – a stem, bowl and the bong itself – but dab rigs are a bit more complex.
Take a look below for the name's and a brief explanation of every piece you’ll find on a dab rig.
Just like a bong, every dab rig will have a mouthpiece that you’ll be inhaling from.
You’ll want your lips to create a seal while allowing enough space to draw steadily causing the water in the chamber to bubble and bring the vapor into your lungs.
Nail / Banger
The dab nail or banger is one of the most important parts of a dab rig to know.
Much like a bong bowl, this is where your concentrates are placed and heated.
They come in a variety of materials but most often are made of glass, quartz, titanium or ceramic. Tech nerds will love electronic versions of these, often called e-nails, since they can be set to heat up on their own.
Dab rigs require extremely high temperatures, and domes are a great safety piece to stop someone from burning themselves.
The dome goes over the nail once it has been heated and prevents the vapor from escaping and being wasted.
If you’re familiar with bongs, the downstem of a dab rig is no different. This is the piece that connects the parts of a dab rig together essentially. It gets inserted into the piece's base, and the nail goes into the other end.
When you inhale through the mouthpiece, the downstem is what makes the water bubble.
Base / Chamber
The base or chamber of a dab rig is the main and largest part. This is where you’ll be pouring water into, and is the section that the concentrate vapor passes through before hitting your lungs.
Depending on the type of dab rig you have, they come in a wide range of shapes, colors and sizes to match whatever your aesthetic is.
Compared to most bongs, these bases are much smaller. They’re designed to hold a lot less water, but the smaller size has a purpose.
With less space for the vapor to travel through, your hits will be more potent and more flavor comes through each hit.
Not every dab rig will have a percolator, but some of the best rigs do. These are essentially extra filters built into the piece to create a smoother and more flavorful hit.
They come in different shapes and sizes and some rigs will have multiple percolators built in.
If you’re purchasing your first-ever dab rig, keep in mind how much effort you want to put into cleaning your accessories since percolators add an extra layer to clean.
These extra tips will help with choosing your dab rig.
Dab Tools and Accessories
Dab rigs have a few extra tools and accessories you’ll need beyond the standard equipment everyone has in their stash box.
Some of the tools are necessary, while others are nice to have to make the process a bit more enjoyable and simple.
Carb caps are designed to make the flavors of your products come through cleaner when you’re inhaling.
After you’ve heated the nail and placed the concentrate into it, the carb cap goes on top of the nail like a lid sealing everything in.
They improve the airflow of the heat and give a noticeably different inhale with smoother vapor and more prominent tastes coming through.
Carb caps are also a great way to personalize your piece. A lot of dab rigs go for a simple aesthetic with clear glass and a lack of fancy designs, but carb caps can come with some wild designs, so find the one that captures your personality the best.
They come in different sizes too, so make sure you pick the right one to match the other parts of a dab rig that you have.
While not necessary, a dab mat does make using a rig much easier. These are typically made of silicone and are designed to make sure your dab rig won’t slip around while you’re using it.
It’s also a convenient spot to rest your tools nearby and keep any mess from spreading all over your sesh space.
Dab Tools (dabbers)
Dab tools are used to scoop whichever concentrate you choose into the nail after it’s been heated to the right temperature.
They look like long metal rods with a spoon-like end piece for scooping, and you can find them in a ton of colors and materials like stainless steel, glass, ceramic, quartz or titanium.
You can’t just use your fingers and place concentrates into it due to the high temperatures needed for dabs, and concentrates should be stirred in the nail to make sure every little bit is inhaled.
Remember, concentrates can be pricy, and you don’t want any wasted by getting it stuck in the nail!
The majority of concentrates require much higher temperatures to be used properly that a normal lighter can’t reach.
You aren’t smoking when using a dab rig, you’re vaporizing, and a torch lighter is what makes that possible.
Dab torches heat the nail before you place your concentrate on it. Bangers need to be heated to extremely high temperatures but keep in mind safety when using a torch lighter.
The flame should be pointed away from yourself and any nearby flammable objects, plus you’ll want it away from the other parts of a dab rig so it doesn’t crack from the heat.