If you have never dabbed before, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. From the dab rig itself to the type of nail—dabbing cannabis concentrates are not as simple as smoking a joint or eating an edible.

Do not worry, dabbing is quite easy once you get the hang of it, and you only need a few core tools.

With that said, let us look at all the equipment you will need to start dabbing today!

Dab Rigs

Dab rigs are a type of glass water pipe, which puts them in the same category as bongs. A classic dab rig can be used to smoke any kind of cannabis concentrate, from shatter, live resin, budder, rosin, terp sauce, and more!

Anatomy of a Dab Rig

If you have smoked a bong before, you are already familiar with the mouthpiece, chamber, and down stem, but here is a quick overview to refresh your memory.

Much like a bong, the mouthpiece is where you inhale, and the base/chamber is filled with some water (you need enough water that it bubbles when you inhale from the mouthpiece, but not so much that the water hits your mouth). Experienced tip for you; keep your bong water clean!

Dab rigs and bongs both have a down stem, too— but that is where the similarities between them end.


Dab rigs use a nail, which attaches to the down stem. Nails are essential to dabbing because the nails are the surface that you ‘dab’ the concentrate onto.

There are several types of nails, including nails that need a dome, dome-less nails, and bangers. There are also e-nails that do not require a torch because they heat up electronically to a temperature that you set via the dial on most rigs.

Nails are made from a variety of materials, and the most common are glass, titanium, quartz, or ceramic.

Here is a quick rundown on nail materials:

  • Quartz nails are considered the best for taste and are preferred by most connoisseurs

  • Titanium nails are the most durable

  • Ceramic nails are great for lower temperature dabs (and more durable than quartz)

  • Glass nails are the cheapest but also prone to breakage

Amongst the dab connoisseurs, quartz is considered the best quality material for a dab nail, and many prefer using a banger because they hold the dab better than regular nails.


You cannot use your everyday BIC lighter for dabbing as it will not get the nail hot enough to dab properly. That is where the blowtorch comes in Sally!

Also known as a ‘dab torch,’ or simply ‘torch,’ these blowtorches use butane gas to create extreme heat, and a concentrated flame that can reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius!


A dabber, also known as a dab tool, is a long, hand-held utensil with a flat end that is usually made from metal. In other words, the dabber is what you use to scoop up your concentrate and apply it to the nail.

Dabbers are typically made of metal, although there are glass varieties available as well.

Carb Caps

While carb caps are not exactly necessary to dab, they are highly recommended. A carb cap sits on top of your nail as you dab, and it helps keep the heat in while at the same time regulating the airflow, which in turn makes for a smoother, tastier, and thicker dab.

How Dabbing Works

You heat the nail to an elevated temperature with a blowtorch. Once the nail is hot enough, you “dab” your concentrate onto the nail head using your dabbing tool. As you inhale, the resulting vapor passes through the dab rig, where it bubbles through the water chamber and flows into the mouthpiece.

For more in-depth information on dabbing, check out our blog article:


Cannabis Concentrates 101: What is Dabbing: https://budmail.com/what-is-dabbing/

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