Anatomy of a Dab Rig

If you haven’t tried it yourself, you certainly must have at least heard of dabbing. We aren’t talking about the dance move, although you’re probably also familiar with that popular trend. We’re talking about a technique of consuming cannabis that involves vaporizing a small amount of concentrated extract, referred to as a “dab.”  There are multiple types of cannabis extract or concentrate that can be dabbed. If you’re not sure what some of the best options are, talk to us! We’re happy to help you get started. 

For many cannabis users, dabbing may seem a bit unfamiliar or complicated. Although a dab rig looks like a bong, there are some significant differences. Let’s start with the basics and get familiar with the equipment:




Nail or Banger

The nail or banger is where the concentrate is placed after it’s been pre-heated using a small butane torch. It can be made of a variety of different materials including glass, ceramic, quartz, or titanium. Some nails are even electronic, referred to as an “e-nail.” The nail or

banger is heated to a temperature high enough to evaporate a dab of concentrate. That temperature is likely between 450 & 700 degrees but varies based on user preference and nail’s material.

Glass Dome

This piece fits over the top of the nail once the nail is heated. In addition to preventing the loss of concentrate vapor, it also protects your fingers from accidental burns.


This piece is a corridor for air and vapor to pass as it’s pulled into the chamber. It has a 90-degree bend, holding the nail vertically upright at the top while the other end attaches close to the bottom of the base.


The vapor from the heated concentrate passes through this water-filled chamber and up through the mouthpiece as you inhale. Some dab rigs have one or more filters inside of the chamber. The chamber of a dab rig is designed to hold much less water than a bong. The base is smaller and does not flare.

Mouth Piece

A seal is created by pressing your mouth up against this piece. Part your lips just enough to draw air steadily in causing the water in the chamber to bubble as the inhaled air is replaced through the downstem, bringing the vapor with it. This should feel familiar if you’ve ever used a bong.


Additional Tools

A small butane torch

The torch is used to heat the nail. When using the torch, aim away from both yourself and the rest of the rig to prevent it from overheating and cracking. If this is the part of dabbing that turns you off, consider using an e-nail instead. You won’t have to deal with any open flames or guess-work about when you’ve achieved the right temperature.



A “dabber or wand

Typically made from glass or metal, this is a tool designed to help you transfer a small amount of concentrate onto the heated nail. It’s far too sticky to handle with your finger, not to mention you’d never want to put your fingers that close to the heated nail, so don’t even try! These are inexpensive and a tool you’ll definitely want to have on hand if you plan to dab.



Can’t picture all of this in action, see how it’s done!

Like bongs, there are many different styles and attachments for dab rigs. To learn about the pros and cons of the different nail materials or add-on pieces, talk to one of us, we’d love to help!