The Ins and Outs of Dab Instruments


Dabbing has taken the cannabis world by storm lately. The explosive reputation of concentrates has launched not solely a brand new technique for consuming cannabis, but in addition a wholly new tradition, vocabulary, and a spread of specialised instruments and parts. This text provides you with an in depth breakdown of the instruments wanted to dab like a professional and benefit from your encounter with cannabis concentrates.


Except for the rig itself, nails are probably the most important a part of the dabbing expertise. A nail is actually a shallow dish that slides into the downstem of your dab rig, and is the element to which you apply warmth and onto which you’ll drop and vaporize your concentrates.

There are two predominant sorts of dab nails you should utilize with a dab rig:

Nails with Dome 

These nails require using an extra piece known as a dome, which slides excessive of a heated nail to assist evenly distribute warmth and retain vapor.

Whenever you use a nail and dome, you warmth the nail to the specified temperature, slide the dome excessive of the nail, drop your focus onto the new nail, and pull within the vapor.

(Photograph through Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Domeless Nails 

Simply because the title signifies, domeless nails don’t require using a dome. As a substitute, they function a bigger dish and a gap within the heart by means of which the vapor travels into the rig.

At this time, many dabbers desire utilizing domeless nails, for the reason that bigger dishes enable them to hit bigger dabs. Utilizing a domeless nail additionally tends to be a bit less complicated than the method of heating a nail after which sliding a dome down over it.

Within the absence of a dome, it’s now quite common to make use of a carb cap with a domeless nail. A carb cap rests on high of the nail whereas the focus is effervescent and vaporizing, and is lifted off the nail while you’re able to clear the vapor. This creates a small chamber of warmth that permits you to dab successfully at decrease temperatures for a cleaner style.

The fabric of the dab nail is one other important issue to contemplate. Listed here are the first choices at the moment accessible to pay attention customers:  

Titanium Nails 

Titanium nails are steel, which implies they warmth rapidly and retain warmth effectively. They’re additionally very sturdy and exhausting to interrupt. Nevertheless, after prolonged use, you might even see titanium oxide buildups, which may impair the efficiency of your nail. Moreover, titanium nails are generally not medical- or food-grade merchandise, which implies there’s all the time the likelihood that the nail may leach dangerous contaminants at excessive temperatures. That is why, for those who resolve to take the titanium route, many seasoned stoners customers stress the significance of utilizing a dab nail made from medical-grade 2 titanium. Ceramic nails 

Ceramic nails take the longest to warmth up, however as soon as they’re on the desired temperature, they have a tendency to retain warmth higher than different sorts of nails. Sadly, cracks or breakage are extra widespread with a ceramic nail as a result of materials’s inherent fragility. As a result of they’re medical- and food-grade merchandise, ceramic nails get rid of any considerations about dangerous contaminants leaching into your weed vapor.

Quartz nails 

Quartz nails, usually known as quartz bangers, warmth up rapidly however are inclined to lose warmth rapidly, too. For that purpose, it’s finest to make use of a carb cap along with your quartz nail. Like ceramic, quartz nails don’t leach dangerous contaminants and are very protected to make use of. 

Glass nails 

Glass nails are usually the least sturdy, as they will crack and even shatter on the excessive temperatures wanted for dabbing. Nevertheless, glass nails are normally probably the most reasonably priced choice, they maintain warmth comparatively effectively, and are straightforward to make use of. However for those who dab continuously, be ready to exchange a glass nail in some unspecified time in the future when it breaks.

(Photograph through Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)


Many dab rigs embrace a percolator, sometimes called a “perc.” Additionally present in most bongs, these parts elevate the efficiency of your water pipe by creating tons of effervescent motion that results in water filtration. There are such a lot of kinds of percolators in the marketplace immediately, together with:


  • Disk percs consult with any type of disk-shaped percolator with a community of openings designed to create bubbles. Given their comparatively compact form and dimension, it’s straightforward to stack a number of disk percs right into a single rig, permitting you to customise your piece.
  • Tree percs function a lot of separate arms, every with an array of small holes or slits. The quite a few arms and  holes create tons of bubbles, which interprets into tons of filtration.
  • Bathe head percs sit on the backside of the downstem, submerged within the water chamber.  Designed within the form of a hoop, this kind of perc features a sequence of small openings, similar to a bathe head. When vapor passes by means of these holes, they immediately create 1000’s of tiny bubbles for elevated filtration.
  • Frit disk percs are made by bonding collectively a bunch of small glass particles right into a disk-like form. This course of leaves behind quite a few tiny openings all through the disk, and these little openings create huge effervescent motion — arguably extra effervescent than every other sort of perc. The one draw back is that pulling by means of all these little holes requires some severe lung effort they usually can simply grow to be plugged by leftover reclaim.
  • Honeycomb percs function holes reduce in the identical construction as a honeycomb and have a tendency to provide extra bubbles than customary disk percolators.
  • Inline/Stemline percs work lots like customary downstem percs, however as a substitute of sitting at a downward slanted angle, an inline or stemline perc sits horizontally throughout the water chamber. Which means that all holes within the perc are on the similar stage within the water, moderately than some being increased up than others, thereby making certain a extra even filtration course of.
  • Helix designs are percs organized into a number of arms that are inclined to twist or wrap round one another contained in the water chamber.
(Photograph through Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Warmth Supply

There are two major methods to warmth your nail: manually utilizing a blowtorch or electrically utilizing an e-nail.

In terms of utilizing a blowtorch, many advocate steering away from propane torches and choosing a butane torch as a substitute. The high quality of the gasoline is among the commonest causes folks give for selecting butane. And whereas propane is a much less refined gasoline, specialists truly report that dabbing with propane is not considerably extra harmful than dabbing with butane, because you’re heating the nail earlier than inhaling something as a substitute of inhaling straight off the flame.

With that mentioned, propane can generally warmth nails too intensely, doubtlessly damaging the nail.

Except for deciding between butane and propane, you can even choose from full-sized blowtorches or mini-torches. Usually, full-sized torches are a bit extra cumbersome and troublesome to make use of — particularly while you’re feeling the results of a deep dab session.

Lastly, if you wish to keep away from the trouble of manually heating your nail, you possibly can go together with an e-nail vaporizer. These units usually have a digital interface that permits you to enter exact temperatures , whereas additionally displaying the present temperature of your nail. 


Dabbers are easy instruments used to scoop out a dab of focus after which drop it onto the heated nail. You may get dabbers made out of steel or glass. Each are equally efficient, however do not forget that for those who go away a steel dabber on a scorching nail for too lengthy, it should additionally get scorching, so watch out when dealing with.

At this time, the most well-liked dabbers come as a mixture device with a carb cap on one finish, and an prolonged deal with with a scooper on the opposite finish.

Cleansing Instruments

To maintain your dab rig acting at peak ranges, and to make sure the absolute best dabbing expertise, it’s vital to consistently hold your gear clear. On the minimal, you’ll in all probability want the next cleansing instruments for a conventional dab rig:

  • Cotton swabs to wipe out your nail. Give it a fast swipe after every dab.
  • Cleansing wipes for all glass parts.
  • Pipe cleaners to wash the downstem and different glass cylindrical parts.
  • Cleansing answer to your water pipe and percolator — you should utilize both an answer formulated particularly for water pipes or go together with extra makeshift choices equivalent to isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or tea tree oil blended with salt.

Past these primary cleansing instruments, you can even buy extra specialised dab rig cleansing kits that include particular cleansing instruments designed for every element.

(Photograph through Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Storage Gear

With so many separate parts, dab rigs require some particular storage tools. And whereas there’s a seemingly limitless array of storage choices and new merchandise hitting the market on a regular basis, there are just a few necessities that each focus shopper ought to have.

In terms of storing your glass items, it’s usually finest to search for a sturdy case with loads of padding and individualized area for every fragile element. These kinds of instances additionally make it very straightforward to move your rig. Together with a lid that snaps shut tightly and securely, you can even go for the added safety of a lockable storage case.

For storing your concentrates, go together with both silicone or glass storage jars particularly designed for dabs. Concentrates received’t follow containers made out of those supplies, making it clear, handy, and straightforward to scoop out dabs when it comes time to devour them. 

Moreover, many focus jars will be saved inside odor-proof storage packing containers. These are a superb addition to a dab storage equipment, as they provide you a neat, discreet, and arranged place to retailer your concentrates in a single location. As a bonus, many storage packing containers additionally embrace holders for storing dabbers and dabber/carb cap mixture instruments.

Dab Equipment

The recognition of dabbing has given technique to a brand new area of interest trade of dab equipment. And whereas there are quite a few extremely specialised equipment in the marketplace, among the most useful and vital embrace:

Oil reclaimers 

A reclaimer is a glass attachment that matches between the nail and the water chamber, the place it collects any runoff focus, in addition to any focus that condenses out of the vapor. After sufficient reclaim oil builds up, you possibly can both scrape it out or apply some light warmth, soften it, and let it drip out.

Both means, lab exams have discovered that reclaim oil could be very potent, usually containing between 40% to 50%, THC in addition to excessive ranges of a minimum of 4 different cannabinoids. Moreover, as a result of reclaim has already been heated, it’s totally decarboxylated, making it a superb ingredient for cooking or baking functions.

Dabbing multi-tools 

There are a selection of multi-tools in the marketplace, all comparatively much like each other. Usually, they embrace a lot of dabbers and scrapers, probably a small carb cap, cleansing instruments, and different useful devices like tiny flashlights, scissors, and tamping instruments. Having an excellent multi-tool readily available could make the method of dabbing a bit extra handy and streamlined.

(Photograph through Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Dab mats 

Dab mats may not appear to be a obligatory addition to the device equipment, however they really make a notable distinction. Most dab mats are made out of silicone, providing you with a slip-proof place to arrange your rig and making it very straightforward to wash if any concentrates or different substances drip onto the mat. 

As you grow to be a extra skilled dabber, and as you determine your most well-liked dabbing setup, you can begin searching round for extra specialised equipment to personalize your expertise additional.

Different Methods to Eat Concentrates

Utilizing a full-sized dab rig isn’t the one technique to get pleasure from cannabis concentrates.

You can too hit dabs utilizing a nectar collector, dab straw, or honey collector. These are comparatively easy units consisting of a quartz or titanium tip; a physique made out of glass or silicone, which can embrace a small water chamber, percolator, or reclaimer; and a cylindrical mouthpiece made out of glass or silicone. After heating the tip, you slowly drag it throughout a dab, inhaling the vapor as you set the machine in movement.

Equally, vape pens are one other extremely widespread focus consumption different to full-size dab rigs. Most fashions embrace a small glass cartridge full of cannabis oil and a heating ingredient made out of both steel or ceramic. The cartridge then screws onto a battery, which gives energy to the heating ingredient and means that you can vaporize and inhale the oil.

Each nectar collectors and vape pens are famous for his or her ease of use and portability. Vape pens particularly have quickly grow to be a mainstay in cannabis tradition, as they’re extremely discreet, clear, and straightforward to hold and use — all whereas delivering a potent product.


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