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If you want to start dabbing, then you’ll need a high-quality dab device. While this may sound obvious, people have many misconceptions about what makes a dab device different from other weed-related items. Indeed, some new customers mistakenly think there’s no big difference between a standard glass bong and a dab rig.

Dab rigs may be similar to water pipes, but new customers shouldn’t conflate these items. If you’re solely interested in dabbing concentrates, you need to ensure you have the right tools for the job.


So, What Makes A Dab Device Different? 

At first glance, a dab device looks like a smaller glass bong—and, in some respects, it is. However, as you look closer at this device, you’ll notice it doesn’t have a bowl attachment. In place of a standard bowl, you’ll see a thin accessory that looks like a nail.

This thin nail helps distinguish the dab rig from a glass bong. A dab rig’s nail provides the optimal surface for sticky concentrates rather than dry herbs. 

Traditionally, dabbers heat the nail with a blowtorch, wait a few seconds, and place a bit of concentrate on the nail. The intense heat from the nail instantly produces vapor, which dabbers can inhale through the mouthpiece. 

How Do You Choose A “Good” Dab Device? Look To The Nail!

Now that you know how to distinguish dab devices from bongs, you may be curious about how to choose the “best” unit. Since nails are crucial to the dabbing experience, pro dabbers are often most interested in this feature. 

Generally speaking, nails made with titanium are the preferred choice. Although these nails could be pricier, they have the best durability and heat retention. Indeed, heat retention is so good on titanium nails that you could easily overshoot the temp and burn your concentrate. Usually, you don’t need more than 20 seconds to heat a titanium nail with a blowtorch.

Quartz is another good material for nails, but it doesn’t have the same high heat retention of titanium models. Still, quartz is usually cheaper than titanium and has a similarly durable construction.

Glass and ceramic nails also work OK, but they are both easy to break. Even if you’re extremely careful, you will likely bust these accessories within a few years. On the plus side, glass and ceramic are easy to clean and tend to be the least expensive options. 

After establishing your nail’s material, you should consider how easy it is to disassemble your rig for cleaning. While size doesn’t play a massive influence on your rig’s performance, it may be a significant feature if you’re concerned about portability, shareability, and discretion. 

As a final note, please remember many hi-tech dab kits are hitting the market, and you could now find “e-nails” that automatically heat up to your desired temperature. Some companies have also begun manufacturing portable e-rigs that make dabbing more convenient and customizable. 

Whether you go with a traditional dab rig or a new e-rig device, you’ve got to weigh each unit’s features against your preferences and budget. Since dabbing is a long-term investment, it pays to inspect each dab device before making a significant purchase.