The concept of using a dab rig or oil rig has been gaining more and more traction as the hobby heats up. But if you’ve never used one before, it can be confusing and even dangerous to use a dab rig or dab pipe without fully knowing and understanding the right way. Today, we’ll take you through the basics of how to use a dab rig and break down the process into nine easy-to-follow steps. We'll help you get your dab rig set up properly. Let’s get started.
What Is a Dab Rig?
First things first: What is a dab rig? A dab rig (also known as an oil rig or dab pipe) is very similar in appearance and design to a glass water pipe. However, dab rigs are designed specifically for the consumption of oils.
What Will I Need for a Good Dab Rig Setup?
Looking for that ideal dab rig setup? The following are just a few things you'll need to make sure you have your dab rig set up correctly every time.
- Dab rig
- Dabber (wand)
- Rag or alcohol swab
- Dab nail
- Hand torch
- Bowl of water
- Oil concentrate
How To Use A Dab Rig
Now that you have everything you need for an ideal dab rig setup, let's go over the simple steps of using your new dab rig.
Step 1: Water The Chamber
Begin by adding water to the chamber of your dab rig. Try blowing into the dab rig downstem to ensure that you’re able to make the water bubble. If water begins to splash up into your mouth, pour some out.
Step 2: Season Your Dab Nail
You’ll always want to season quartz nails or titanium dab nails. Brand-new nails are made of fresh materials that contain trace elements of a multitude of natural minerals (metals). When heated, the dab nail’s pores will leach out these metals. So, a nail left unseasoned can emit an unpleasant metal taste into the vapors you’re about to inhale. Seasoning a dab nail helps to fill the pores with carbon from burnt oils, therefore stopping the leaching.
To season, place the dab nail in the rig and heat it with your dab torch until you start to see the nail turn red. Then, use your dabber to apply essential oil concentrate over the dab nail’s head. Once the dab rig nail is fully coated, use tongs to remove it and place it into a bowl of water. Repeat this process at least three times before using your new dab nail for the first time.
Step 3: Prep Your Dab
Take your dabber (also known as a wand) and pick up a small amount of herbal concentrate. Remember, a little goes a long way with this method of consumption. Set this aside for a minute.
Step 4: Heat the Dab Rig Nail
Now, take your hand torch and heat up the dab nail, making sure that the flame is pointed away from the dab rig at all times. Otherwise, the heat may crack the glass. Heat until the nail is red hot. Once the nail stops glowing, wait for about 45 seconds.
Step 5: Continue To Wait
We wait until the nail is entirely red hot in order to ensure a reliable starting point for our timing. Once the nail is no longer red hot, it signifies that a certain temperature has been reached in which we can consistently count down in order to get the same optimal temperature every time. The exact amount of time you’ll need to wait will vary depending on your preference, oil rig and nail. Feel free to experiment the first time and you’ll hone the wait time the more you practice. You should always wait at least 10 seconds. Some users find that they’ll get better dabs if they wait 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
Step 6: Place Oil on the Dab Nail
After your nail has cooled slightly, pick up your wand and place the oil around the nail. You’ll want to slowly rub the end of the wand containing the oil around the interior edges of the nail. While doing this, pull air through the chamber, making the water bubble as the vapors are produced.
Step 7: Inhale Through The Mouthpiece
You will see the vapors filling the glass as the concentrate melts. Inhale the flavorful herb as it comes out of the downstem. Continuously inhale until you no longer see vapor in the chamber of the dab rig.
Step 8: Exhale And Repeat
Once the vapor is clear, lower the rig and exhale. Continue to heat the dab nail and insert oil as many times as desired.
Step 9: Clean the Wand and Dab Nail
Take the hand torch and heat the end of the wand that touched the wax. It should only take a second of heat in order to melt away the residue. Then wipe clean with a rag or alcohol swab while the residue is still warm and easy to remove.
There are two popular ways to clean your dab rig nail so that it won’t harbor any sticky residue film:
- Option 1: Heat your nail with the torch until all residue is eliminated.
- Option 2 (Quartz Only): This method is to be used only for low-temperature dabs. Immediately after inhaling, take a Q-tip and dip it into Isopropyl alcohol. Use it to clean the inside of your banger. Then use the other side of the Q-tip to wipe the banger dry. This is a very popular method that will ensure the longevity of your quartz nail, maximizing flavor as well.
With time and practice, you’ll get better and truly hone your skills until these steps become almost second nature.