What is a Dab Rig and How to Use it?

A dab rig is also known as an oil rig. It serves the primary purpose of smoking rosin, CO2 oil, glass, shatter butane hash oil (BHO), and other concentrates of cannabis.

The dab rig is specially made out of glass. The main part of the rig will look like any other bong and the skillet (made out of titanium, quartz, or glass) will hold the heated dab concentrate.

The skillet or nail should be made out of a substance that has strong thermal stability because of the high temperature that is needed to vaporize cannabis concentrates. The concentrate can be placed on the dab nail using a dabber.

A butane torch is used to heat the dab concentrate on the dab rig nail, allowing the user to inhale the vapor released by the dab rig’s mouthpiece. The dab rig should be able to withstand dangerously high temperatures in excess of 400 degrees Celsius so that instead of combusting, it merely vaporizes.

How to Use the Dab Rig

One of the most recurrent issues faced by beginners according to the online blogs and marketplaces such as Smokesmith Gear is the proper use of dab rigs. Keeping this in mind, here we describe its proper use in a few steps.

Watering the Chamber

Start by adding water to the dab rig’s chamber. You should blow into the downstep to stimulate water bubbles. If the force of your breath is causing the water droplets to splash up and into your mouth, pour some of the water out.

Seasoning the Nail

The skillet should be made out of titanium or quartz for ideal results. Your first step should be to season the nail. This is because brand new nails are manufactured with fresh materials that might contain trace elements of natural minerals. When they are heated to exceedingly high temperatures, the dab nail’s pores will expose some of these metals. This will make for an unpleasant smell and taste, making for a bitter first experience.

Seasoning fills up those pores with carbon burnt off from the oils. This halts the leaching process in its tracks. For seasoning, heat the nail in the rig with your hand torch, and once it starts turning red, use the dabber to apply essential oil concentrates over the nail’s head. Once the nail is fully coated, remove the nail and cover it with water. Repeat this process a few times before you use the new nail.

Preparing the Dab

To prepare the dabber, pick a small amount of concentrate.

Heating the Nail

Use your hand torch to heat the nail. Make sure that the flame is pointed away from the dab rig to prevent cracking the glass. Heat until the nail becomes red hot. Set it aside and wait for one minute.

Waiting

You should wait until the red hot nail reaches a certain cooling point. Once it is no longer red, it will have reached the temperature needed for a consistent smoking experience. For your particular nail, you will have to count down a few times to get the optimum temperature. This time can vary based on your oil rig, skillet, and personal taste. 

You should experiment with the timings until you get it just right. Some users put down the ideal time at 10 to 30 seconds before moving on to the next step. 

Placing the Oil on the Nail

After you have determined that the nail has reached the optimum temperature, pick up your dabber and place the oil on the nail. Slowly rub the end of the dabber around the nail’s interior edges.

Inhaling With the Mouthpiece

If done right, you will see vapor filling inside the glass as the oil concentrates begin to melt against the high temperatures. Now, simply inhale the herb as it escapes out of the downstem. You should ideally inhale until you no longer see vapor in the chamber.

Exhale and Inhale

Once the vapor is out of the chamber, lower the dab rig and exhale. Continue to heat the nail and insert the oil as many times as needed.

Cleaning the Dabber and Skillet

Use your hand torch and heat the end of the dabber that touched the oil. In just a few seconds, the residue will have melted away. Wipe any remaining residue with an alcohol swab. You can also take a Q-tip dipped into a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Use it to clean the inside of your bong. Next, use the other side of the Q-tip to wipe it dry. This method will ensure that your skillet will live for a longer time and that you get maximum flavor from your oil concentrates.