Purchasing your First Dab Rig

The world of dabbing in the marijuana industry has blown its top off. After hitting your friends oil rig week after week, I’m sure you want to get your own ASAP.

But with so many pieces and names, it can get a bit hard when you just want a simple glass piece to dab on. Even if it doesn’t cost a fortune, everyone should be able to have their own oil rig.

In this article I’ll help you become familiar with all the terms and knowledge you need to pick the right oil rig. Hope you enjoy!

 shatter concentrate

Dabbing 101

The three things that you will need to get started is: an oil rig, a nail, and a torch.

Dabbing is really more like vaping in the sense that you don’t want to burn your concentrate.

When choosing your first oil rig, you’re going to want to buy a smaller one with the least amount of percolators. Unlike water pipes for smoking dry herb, you don’t want your vapor to cool off too much.

This can cause reclaim to build inside your oil rig, making it look messy and clog up easier. Most of the things you would look for in a bong would not be ideal for dabbing.

Choosing your Nail

When it comes to picking your nail, you really only have two solid options: quartz bangers and titanium nails. Ceramic nails break eventually due to all the heating and cooling.

Glass nails are not recommended since they don’t hold heat well and have the possibility of cracking while your are heating it.

When heated correctly, your nail should reach a temperature between three and four hundred degrees. You want to vaporize your concentrate not burn it. The four common materials made when producing nails are as follows: quartz, glass, titanium, and ceramic.

While everyone has their personal preference, these four materials are known to be used for dabbing concentrates. Even though different materials each have their own heat up time, they all can be used to vaporize concentrates.

Titanium Nail vs. Quartz Banger

Quartz nails are almost impossible to overheat, though if you let it cool down too much you end up with a puddle of unused material in your dish. Titanium nails are easier to gauge in temperature until you become more comfortable with the torch.

Don’t stress out if you lose a dab the first couple of times, sooner or later dabbing it will become a habit.

As stated before, it all comes down to what you can afford. Quartz is cheaper to manufacturer than titanium, one reason many people choose to start with quartz. Some say titanium stays hot longer and is almost impossible to crack.

Just be careful  not to overheat the nail which can cause you to burn your concentrate, leaving you with a harsh throat hit. When choosing your oil rig, you want to pick one with minimal water diffusion.


When buying a torch, make sure to purchase one that is meant to hold butane. Most smoke shops carry torches and butane, but if you live somewhere where there are none then Bed Bath & Beyond has a couple of cheap torches you can use.

Also make sure your piece gives you room to torch your nail comfortably.

Using a drop down might help to avoid getting the glass joint on the dab rig too hot. This can cause it to crack the whole oil rig. The next upgrade after a torch would be investing in an e-nail, or even a wax pen for when you’re on the go.

Dome or Domeless Nail?

A domed titanium nail is optimal for your first oil rig. These nails can get extremely hot, so having a dome over it prevents any accidents from happening, such as you touching the nail accidentally or having the nail fall on your carpet. A smaller nails also means less butane is needed to heat it up.


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