5 Dab Essentials Every Serious Dabber Should Have
If you’re new to or just started experimenting with cannabis concentrates, getting your dab setup together can feel a little overwhelming. So we put together a simple, straight-forward guide to dab rigs, nails, and what the heck else you need to get dabbing.
You won’t get very far without this key element. The dab rig is basically just a modified water pipe a.k.a a bong. Instead of a connector for your usual glass bowl, you’ll have either a male or female glass joint which holds the nail (more on that later).
Some important qualities to consider when choosing a rig are function, water volume, portability and durability. Smaller rigs that hold less water will deliver a more direct hit with tons of flavor. While larger rigs with higher water volume tend to give smoother hits, it’s at the expense of retaining flavor.
There are two main types of nails: domeless titanium nails and quartz nails. Truth be told, there’s still debate in the concentrate community about which is superior for dabbing. Many people swear by quartz as the best choice for flavor. An alternative to both of those options is the e-nail, which is recommended for those who are more seasoned.
Just like choosing the right utensil at the dinner table, pairing the right dabber with the right kind of concentrate and nail is important. Most dabber tools are made out of glass, quartz, titanium or ceramic since these materials can touch the hot nail without getting damaged. Depending on what you’re into, you’ll want different dab tools.
Live resin oils, CO2 distillates, and any wax that crumbles or sugars up is easier to scoop, so opt for a much wider, spoon or paddle-shaped shaped dabber. If you primarily dab shatter or oils, needlepoint and ballpoint tools work very well.
Shatters are notoriously tricky to dab because of their brittle consistencies. Being able to control a clean break with a precise tool will change your dab game.
This is essential if you want to maximize flavor when you dab. A lot of peeps lose out on precious liquid gold due to either an under-heated nail (which leads to slow burning concentrate that can’t be fully inhaled) or an overheated nail (which leads to fast burning concentrate that immediately vaporizes and dirties the nail).
Having a good carb cap compensates for any dabbing errors. It covers the nail and collects any rising vapor. After heating up the nail, the carb cap allows you to let it cool more than you would be able to otherwise. This means you can dab at 550-600 degrees instead of at 700+, which allows you to capture more of the volatile terpenes, which would be lost at higher temps.
You use a butane torch to heat the nail so it can vaporize your concentrate. A good torch needs to have a sure grip because you’ll want to be able to make controlled rotations around your nail in order to heat it evenly.
Torches work well at heating nails but they’re not great at keeping a consistent temperature. So another option is the e-nail. E-nails are electronically powered vape systems that use heating elements to turn wax or oil concentrate into vapor. They fit on glass rigs and water pipes, so they’re kind of like mod pieces. The key advantages of an e-nail over a torch are even heating and temperature control.
Now, Get to Dabbing!
Whether you’re looking to go the cheapest, easiest possible road to dabs or take the longer, scenic route, there is an answer for everyone. Dabbing is as personal and customizable as the cannabis experience gets, so definitely have fun with it and experiment. You’ll for sure find a combination that meets your needs.