Dab Rigs for Beginners

Dabbing is an increasingly popular way of enjoying cannabis products. Dabbing is more complex than smoking flower, but with a bit of guidance, it is just as accessible. If you are ready to purchase your first rig but unsure where to start, arm yourself with information. 

Dab Rigs for Beginners Dab Rigs 101

There are two primary types of dab rigs — electric and traditional. 


  • Tabletop/Desktop: The party e-rig. Gains power through recharging. Its larger size means more dab for bigger hits. Controllable temps mean better flavor and adjustable highs. Quality models can be expensive. They best work with flower or concentrates. 
  • Portable/Nectar Collectors: Portable, sharable, simple. They are tube-shaped, sometimes used vertically, and often have a built-in battery. These use concentrates. Coils often need replacing; batteries tend to last longer than pens. 
  • Pen/E-nail Bubbler: Portable and easy to use with a built-in battery. They tend to require oil cartridges and are the most prone to battery burn-out. 


  • Traditional Rig: These resemble a water bong, usually made of glass or silicone. The banger/nail is a separate purchase. 
  • Nectar Collector: These are tubes that you use to inhale heated concentrate safely. They have a quartz, titanium, or another heat-resistant material tip that takes the place of a banger. They come with a silicone nectar collector to hold the dab. Heat the tip, insert the heated tip into the concentrate, and inhale through the tube. 

The Dab Banger or Nail

The “bowl” of a dab rig. There are a variety of types. The most crucial consideration is material, but there are a wide variety of choices. 

Size: Since there are different sizes, ensure your nail fits your dab rig’s receiver.  


  • Angled v. Flat: Angled bangers direct vapors toward the rig, but flat-topped bangers are easier to use and don’t require holding a carb cap in place. 
  • Opaque v. Clear Bottom: Opaque bottoms provide longer heat retention and heat up faster.
  • Insulated: Holds heat longer, especially with a carb cab, and can hold larger hits.
  • Cadmium Core: Changes color when it hits a max temp and when it cools to make it easier to time hits. 
  • Quartz-Core: These have a hunk of quartz inside the center of the banger. They use a special carb cap and retain heat for a long time. With these, you can take larger dabs at a lower temp. 

Best choice for a beginner who wants a traditional banger? A clear quartz flat-top banger with a thick bottom. 


  • Glass: Can shatter with temperature shock. 
  • Quartz: Easy to see through and able to tank heavy temperatures. 
  • Titanium: Most durable, harder to see through. 
  • Ceramic: Uncommon, but temperature durable. 

The best choice for a beginner is quartz. It’s durable, easy to use, accessible, and affordable. 


If you want to use a traditional dab rig, make sure you pick up the following accessories. 

  • A butane torch 
  • A silicone dab mat – To protect surfaces from heat and sticky messes. 
  • A dab stick/dabber – To pick up and move the dab from the container to the rig. Look for heat-resistant material; cheaper ones are plated. 
  • A carb cap – To keep the vapor contained until you inhale and adjust airflow.