Dab Pen vs Dab Rig The Complete Guide

06/12/2024
LOOKAH

Dab Pen vs Dab Rig The Complete Guide

As the market develops, so new devices have become available.

Fresh brands enter the vape market regularly, which leads to greater innovation.

For newcomers to the world of vaping, there is plenty of jargon to come to grips with.

This article is about the art of dabbing and in particular the dab pen and dab rig – what are they, and what is dabbing?

Let’s not waste any more time!

What Is a Dab Rig?

dab rig

Dab rigs are extremely popular glass setups that allow someone to smoke wax concentrates.

Essentially, it is a glass bong but for wax.

Dab rigs had a chamber for water, a mouthpiece, and a "bowl" or "nail" to place the wax and apply heat to it.

Some fancier dab rigs would also come equipped with additional features such as percolators much like a bong and they would function, ultimately, for the same purposes.

Often, the heat source was a blowtorch or some other item that would be able to superheat a "domeless nail" that wax was then applied to begin to "vaporize".

This was often done with a dabbing tool used to manipulate the wax to avoid getting sticky fingers.

In this way dab rigs were certainly more technical than an average bong.

What Is a Dab Pen?

deb pen

A dab pen is essentially a vaporizer that uses wax.

It performs all of the functions of a dab rig (i.e. vaporizes wax) in a different format and manner.

In a dab pen, the three essential parts are the mouthpiece, the battery, and a heating chamber.

The battery functions as the new heat source by electrically charging, and thereby heating, coils that sit within the heating chamber.

These coils then begin to interact with the wax and slowly vaporize it in a similar manner that a heated dabbing nail would contact the wax and begin to vaporize it.

Dab pens come in all different shapes and sizes and have a variety of features available to appeal to anybody.

Similarities Between a Dab Rig And Dab Pen

1. Functionality

Both dab rigs and dab pens serve the same primary function, which is to vaporize cannabis concentrates for consumption. 

2. Flavor and Potency 

While the experience may differ, both devices aim to provide a potent and flavorful experience to the user, although dab rigs are often noted for allowing a fuller flavor profile.

3. Customization

Dab rigs offer a high level of customization in terms of temperature control and the amount of concentrate used, and while dab pens may have less flexibility in this regard, they still provide some level of user control over the vaping experience. 

4. Portable Use

Although dab rigs are generally less portable due to their size and the need for additional equipment, some modern designs of dab rigs are becoming more compact, making them more suitable for portable use. Dab pens, on the other hand, are inherently portable and discreet.

Differences Between Dab Pen And Dab Rig

1. Portability

A dab pen is going to be far more portable than even the smallest dab rigs.

Not only is there a substantial size difference but the dab rig requires more and larger equipment to operate.

In addition, the dab rig needs to be filled with water to avoid spillage in transit.

2. Discretion

A dab pen is going to be much more discrete.

Not only is it quieter (imagine the sound a bong makes – rigs are similar) but there is no need for a blowtorch or smoke.

There is also the size difference that makes a dab pen more discrete.

3. Dab Nails Versus Wax Coils 

A dabbing nail is going to be made of a bunch of different possible materials such as glass, quartz, titanium, ceramic, etc.

This is to ensure that the nail will not melt or shatter when it gets hot.

A dab pen's wax atomizer will be made primarily of quartz or ceramic for much the same reason.

Keep in mind that these materials will have different heating and cooling times.

For example, titanium and quartz will likely heat faster than ceramic.

However, ceramic will take longer to cool down.

Some dab pens have wick coils instead of quartz or ceramic and these are often used for more liquid-like waxes and found in older dab pen models.

4. Ease Of Use

Certainly, a dab pen appears to be much easier to use than a dab rig.

Between the different heating mechanisms, size differences, and requirements to operate (battery power v. blow torch and water) there is certainly a steeper learning curve for the dab rig.

5. Puff Size

Nothing will compare to the hits possible from the dab rig.

Imagine trying to compare any other device to the sheer power of a bong for dry herbs.

This is essentially the same comparison in the wax world.

Not even the most powerful and expensive dab pens will produce a puff comparable to a powerful dab rig.

6. Glass Rigs Are Fragile

Remembering that glass is breakable can sometimes prove harder than it seems at first glass.

Dab pens are not indestructible, but dropping one on the floor is not likely to cause it to shatter.

Even the hardiest glass models of dab rigs are in danger.

7. Electricity Dependent

Dab rigs, however, do not rely on electricity whereas a dab pen does.

Which one should I buy?

how to choose

If you have the idea of traveling, then the dab pen may be more suitable for you and more convenient to carry.

However, if you want a bigger hit, I’d recommend going for the dab rig, which produces the strongest hit and the biggest cloud on the exhale.

I hope this article can give some help to novices so that they can clearly understand the advantages and disadvantages of dab pen and dab rig, and make a more suitable choice for them.

Different Kinds of Concentrates

Extracts and concentrates come in all shapes and sizes. 

If you are thinking of getting into dab pens, dab rigs, or both, you should know what you’re looking at when the time comes to make a purchase. 

Let’s go over some of the most popular.

Shatter – Shatter is a concentrate with a brittle texture and a thin, glassy consistency.

It is a golden or amber color. 

Budder – Budder (sometimes called badder) is a golden concentrate with a smooth, light consistency that is easy to apply to a rig.

Crumble – A cakey or fudge-like concentrate known for its potency.

Crumble comes in a variety of colors ranging from yellow to light brown.

Rosin – A concentrate made by extracting cannabinoids through heat and pressure, rosin can be dabbed, baked, smoked, or vaped when prepared properly.

Live Resin – Live resin is a concentrate that uses a solvent to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes of flash-frozen “live” plants.

It is a golden color and can be made into a liquid viscous enough to be vaped in a pen.

These are some, but not all the concentrates available today.

You can read our full article on the different kinds of dabs if you want a more in-depth look at these and more.