Finding the perfect dab rig is nearly impossible. You have to know yourself and what you need before you know what your perfect rig may look like.
Dabbing has changed over the years. No longer are titanium nails in fashion, and people are ditching their dome & nail rigs for quartz bangers. In 2021, we’ve seen the best become better as home pieces become more modular and portable - even if no one has gone anywhere for the past year.
If you’re over the age of 21 years in a legal / medical state, you are free to enjoy many varieties of concentrates.
There are many flavors and kinds of dabs, from BHO to Rick Simpson Oil to Ice wax to Crumble to Full Melt Shatter.
Personally, I prefer Co2 extractions over butane extractions due to the improved terpene profiles. These are much better for low temp dabs, where the flavor of the dab really shines.
One important thing to note is that cannabis extraction starts with the source material- while higher end concentrates are usually made with bud, trim is common in lower grade tiers and will often be a darker color.
Whatever the method of extraction or the types of concentrates in general, getting the right dab rig kit is actually one of the more important factors towards a high quality experience.
Rather than standard water pipes, dab rigs are designed specifically to heat your dabs to the ideal temperature. I often see people throwing crumble on top of bowls- this is a complete and budder waste.
When picking out a new setup, it’s always important to start with the piece first. What’s your price point? Do you want a daily driver? Do you want a mini rig for portability? Luckily, you have a lot of options to meet your needs.
The classic: 8" Slyme Tree Perc Dab Rig
Slyme is my girl-next-door of pieces. There’s something so sentimental about a water pipe like this- it blurs the line between artsy glass and a scientific piece. This small dab rig is excellent decor for any stoner sanctuary.
The jack of all trades: OOZE
Take it or leave it, these 4-in-1 rigs are their own thing. And we love it.
A complete oddball versus the rest of the water pipe market, OOZE’s 4-in-1 pieces often make their first impression with their strange shapes and 'gooey' aesthetic.
While occasionally seen as toyish, what users often come to find is, Ooze just destroys the competition in terms of usability. These are pieces that work as both a rig and a bong, with a quartz banger, a bowl for flower, and a nectar collector each with their own slot in the silicone stand.
My favorite is the Ozone. The size is perfect for me to use when I am out and about, and it is my personal favorite.
There are several shapes available, and each one has turned out to be a different experience for me every time. Being made of borosilicate glass and silicone, they can take quite a bit of fall damage, as well.
Style points: Stache RIO
To say I am impressed with this Stache product is an understatement. Despite being possibly the sleekest piece I have ever seen, there is a butane torch built-in that heats the banger so you don’t have to. With the addition of the included carrying case, this is one of the most portable rigs on the market.
A square water chamber, while an odd choice on paper, makes this pipe incredibly portable- and in practice, the RIO pulls it off.
While there may be a bit of a sticker shock at first, there’s good news in a worst case scenario- Stache offers each component of the piece individually.
Now you can tell your friends “if you break it, replace it”, and they will actually have a way to replace it. Good thing the thick glass is very tricky to break in the first place!
The best scientific glass: Bio Glass METRIX V2 Capsule
“Inner Matrix Percolator” sounds like a scientific mouthful. Hit it, and you will find that it is a scientific mouthful in the best way.
This behemoth has one of the coolest downstems I’ve ever seen, and with a female joint, it’s perfect for quartz bangers and titanium nails alike- whatever the heating element, you’ve got an amazing dab waiting.
I cannot stress enough how incredible the water filtration is with this piece. BIO Glass is a leader in scientific glass, and the Metrix is a true testament to that. It’s just… Quality. Rips like a Ferrari, and damn if it isn’t pretty like one, too.
Nails and bangers
If you’re purchasing a new nail or banger, it’s important to know what will fit your rig. Pay attention to the joint size, and the gender of your joint.
Female rigs will only fit with male joints, and vice versa. If you can’t find the attachment you want in the right gender for your piece, there are adapters available for most joint sizes. However, most modern bangers come in both male and female joint variants.
Since I work with bongs and rigs for a living, I happen to have a ton of these at work... So here are my favorites, sitting on my desk.
The New Classic: 90 Degree Core Quartz Banger | 14mm Female Joint - 25mm Bucket
If you buy a new rig in 2021, you are likely to get a 90 degree quartz banger with it by default. While you would often see a dome and nail setup in 2014, quartz has become the new standard for dabbing. If you want to upgrade your dab rig, this is a solid, simple choice for most applications.
The Best Seller: Quartz Honey Bucket
A combination of older-style Dome + Nail setups and newer school bangers. Instead of sucking concentrate vapor through a hole in the banger's stem, Honey Buckets utilize the vacuum qualities of a dome to vortex the smoke into the rig, giving users more airflow. Because domes suck so much air in, these will often be easier to manage for beginners once they gut used to the unusual design.
An efficient choice: Trough Bangers
If you want less reclaim and longer “heat windows”, get a trough banger. These are rotated horizontally to improve vaporization efficiency- more surface area means there is more space for your dab to spread out over the heating element.
For the “professional”- BIO E-nail by EZ Vape
Instead of reheating with a torch over and over, an E-nail heats the nail with electricity, keeping it at a consistent temperature with no downtime. While they can be on the pricey side, E-nails are worth every penny as controlled temperatures will stop your nail from cooling down, saving you money on concentrates like wax oil and shatter.
Tools and Accessories
Coronavirus Safety: The Original Silicone MouthPeace
Germophobia hit a new high in 2020 for obvious reasons. With COVID-19 Delta Variant concerns rising, it is important to use a personal mouthpiece in any multi-participant sesh.
The best toolkit: 7 Piece Dabber Tool Kit
Since concentrates come in many different varieties, it is helpful to keep a variety of dab tools in your stash box. This kit comes with pickers, scrapers, spatulas, cutters, and scrubbers- with a cleaner included for often-needed reclaim cleaning.
After a while, you’re going to see a decline in your rig’s water quality, especially if you rarely change it. I have found it doesn’t take long before I start to taste burnt rubber and plant materials. Nasty.
Kryptonite accounts for the entirety of my bong cleaning arsenal. Specifically made for glass water pipes, Kryptonite is fragrance and streak-free… and the only cleaner approved for bongs and rigs by the Colorado Health and Safety Board. That’s impressive.
There are a lot of ways to get high nowdays- that's coming from the proud owner of a ceramic pipe shaped like a can. But there's something so special about a nice rig and a puck of concentrates that just gets me. I hope you liked these recommendations. If you want more, sign up for the High Life Goods newsletter below and we'll send you more articles and discounts!