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Welcome back for Part 2 of CannaSavvy’s guide to different smoking devices. If you missed Part 1, we talked about various devices you can use to smoke your cannabis flower. Bongs, pipes, and one hitters all have their pros and cons depending on the experience you are looking for. In this issue, we will focus on different types or concentrate rigs and accessories that are used for smoking cannabis concentrates and extracts.

Let’s go!

Concentrate (Dab) Rigs


Dab rigs are designed for vaporizing cannabis extracts and concentrates. They can also be referred to as a vaporizer rigs, and oil rigs. Just like a bong, dab rigs filter cannabis vapour through a chamber of water at the base of the device. Dab rigs are typically smaller than bongs with a smaller chamber that produced less drag. This allows vapour to travel to the lungs quicker. Instead of using a glass bowl that you pack full of flower, a dab rig requires a “bowl” called a Nail.


Nails can be made out of glass, quartz, ceramic, or titanium. You drop or “dab” your concentrates into a heated nail using a dabber tool. Instead of a typical Bic lighter, you use a torch ( refillable butane) lighter to heat up your nail to a higher temperature which concentrates vaporize the best at. Just like how you use a carb to build up smoke in a bong or pipe, you use a glass accessory called a “carb cap” to build up more vapour in your dab rig.


Expand your selection with Concentrates

Now is the best time to start getting into concentrates. It may seem a bit intimidating to adapt to a different technique to smoke, but in return you open a new world of extracts and concentrates that have strong, streamlined effects and heavy terpene flavour profiles. The essential steps are simple: heat the nail with a torch, place a dab of concentrate in the nail, and inhale the resulting vapour with help from a carb cap. JUST DON’T GRAB THE HOT NAIL like you would with a bong bowl, you WILL BURN your fingers.

Dab Rigs with concentrates vs Water Pipes with flower:


Since Concentrates have hit the legal market in Canada, dab rigs have made a significant impact on the glass industry. The designs and shapes of an oil rig are catered to the different needs of the dabber. As a result, rigs are intended to look and work a bit different than regular water bongs and pipes. .

Concentrates contain terpenes, which are highly aromatic compounds that determine the smell of many plants and herbs. Terpenes are responsible for flavours and aromas that are present in different strains of cannabis and concentrates (like pine, citrus, lavender, pepper, etc).

The difference between taking bong hits and taking dabs is about shifting your focus away from diffusion and towards flavour. With concentrates, the terpenes are more pronounced compared to flowers and dabbing tends to have a more potent effect than smoking flower.

When selecting a dab rig, you will see that they’re much smaller, have smaller water chambers ,and strait forward percs. Elaborate looking percs and larger water chambers actually dilutes your vapour and robs you of the full flavour of your concentrate. Concentrates call for a drag-free smoke, and require condensed chambers to easily send the vapour directly to your lungs.

When smoking flowers, the goal is to get a smooth, cool, and diffused toke. To achieve this, users have many options like Ice catchers, built in percs, and attachable ash catchers. Each pass through water and a percolator will diffuse and cool your smoke, making it more comfortable to inhale into your lungs.

However, for smoking concentrates, the approach is focused on terpenes and flavour. If you pass a dab through large water chambers with complicated percs and additional ash catchers, you defuse away your flavour. Also, by having a larger piece, it can be difficult to clear your concentrated vapour in just one breath. Leaving vapour inside your piece will result in stale tasting vapour that won’t be very terpy.

For taking dabs the goal is to cool down the vapour, not filter and diffuse it a lot. This is because most of the diffusion and filtering happens in the extraction process of the concentrate. You want to inhale the full quality of your concentrates, so a dab rig’s function is mostly to cool down the hot vapour by passing it through air and water.  If you still want a smooth and flavourful dab, there are some designs that include simpler percs and recycling tubes that adds to your smoothness without taking away much from flavour. Many concentrate users look for a dab rig with minimal diffusion, since it means less drag and a smoother dabbing experience.

So remember with concentrates, the rule of thumb is: drag- free smoke, and flavour over diffusion .

Types of Glass Dab Rigs


Glass dab rigs

Glass dab rigs are the standard type of rig. They come in various shapes and designs and sizes range from 6” to over 12” tall. Usually they’re made from borosilicate glass, which is designed to be stronger and more heat resistant. Glass dab rigs are a great place to start when looking to start smoking concentrates.


  • Easy to add accessories.

  • Durable and made from thicker glass

  • A lot of variety for selection

  • Best value for what you pay for


  • Requires a thorough cleaning if you dab often


Miniature Dab Rigs

Mini Dab Rigs are just smaller versions of dab rigs. They are sized a bit smaller around 7” or under. Like above, they are also usually made of, thick borosilicate glass.

A smaller dab rig can still pack a big hit without losing smoothness for convenience. Try provide a great way to smoke dabs on the go. The designs tend to be a bit more intricate, with more curves in the pipes for cooling, and additional percolators for filtration. The added percolation can even make some mini rigs even smoother than traditional ones at a lower price point.


  • Can be a cheaper alternative

  • It still fits accessories well

  • Portable

  • More percolation

  • Smooth hitting


  • Can be difficult to clean

  • More filtration will cost you some flavour


Recycler Dab Rigs

A recycler is a special type of dab rig, designed to give smokers the smoothest way to experience dabs. What’s interesting to dabbers, is that the recycler rig combines the smoothness of a bong hit with the flavour and potency of a dab. With the addition of some extra filtration, recycler hits are cleaner.

Recycler rigs get their name from the loop inside the piece, which causes the vapour to recycle during each hit. They are higher quality pieces with unique and aesthetic designs that stand out as a piece of art in your collection. The designs are both beautiful and functional as they recycle the vapour through the percolator and tubes multiple times before it reaches your lungs.

Most are rather large, usually over 8” tall, and have excellent craftsmanship. As a result, they usually are more expensive than traditional dab rigs. Overall, the recycler rig improves the smoothness of a dab, but also delivers the terpy flavours that are expected from the dabbing community.


  • Can be difficult to clean

  • Expensive

  • Not as portable as simpler dab rigs

Pros :

  • Smoothest dabbing experience

  • Beautiful customized designs

  • Thick and durable glass

  • Great as a centre piece

Nails and Carb Caps:


Nails (Banger Bowls)

Nails are a critical component to dabbing. They are essentially a shallow dish that you heat to temperatures high enough to vaporize cannabis concentrates. Nails are made out of titanium, quartz, and glass. Typically, they come in either 45-degree or 90-degree designs, so that they can match the style of your rig and the dish can sit at an up right angle.

Carb Caps

Carb caps have become an essential accessories paired with a banger nail because they allow the user to dab at lower temperatures and hold vapour in the nail for a longer time. After heating the nail and dropping a dab of concentrate, simply rest your carb cap over the top of the nail. This creates an enclosed chamber of hot air to retain and distribute heat for a more even dab, which is especially useful at lower temperatures. Carb caps are made out of a few different materials, including glass and titanium.

Types of Nails:

Banger: Banger nails have quickly become a popular nail for dabbing due to its large dabbing surface. It’s more efficient and extends the nail away from the user’s face. A banger nail looks similar to a swan neck probably because of the way it extends out like a curve. They are a great option for newbies in dabbing because of their ease of use and low price. Banger nails, are often made out of quartz and glass.

Quarts Nails: These nails are also referred to as quartz bangers. Quartz nails heat up rapidly but also lose heat relatively fast. Like ceramic nails, quartz nails are known for being very clean and not leaching contaminants.

Glass Nails: In general, glass nails heat quickly and hold heat well. Typically made of borosilicate glass, these nails are also typically the cheapest to buy. However, glass nails are the most prone to breaking and can sometimes shatter at very high temperatures.


Know your Nails!

Depending on which dab rig you own, it could require a specific banger nail for your downstem and rest at the appropriate angle. Before you buy a replacement banger, you should know the different varieties so that you walk away with something that will compliment and work with you rig.

The image to the left shows three banger nails:

  • The first is a male banger joint at a 45 degree angle

  • The second is a male banger joint at a 90 degree angle

  • The third is a female banger joint at a 90 degree angle


Male Banger

Here is a demonstration of a male banger joint sliding into the rig’s female downstem. The downstem comes out and up at a 90 degree angle so we use a 90 degree angled male banger nail to slide in.

Female Banger

Here is a demonstration of a female banger joint sliding over top of the rig’s male downstem. The downstem comes out and up at a 90 degree angle so we use a 90 degree angled female banger nail to slide over top.


Different Designs

Here are two different male banger nail designs at both a 90 degree and 45 degree angle.


The angle of your downstem will be the same angle you will need for your banger nail:

  • The bong on the left side has a downstem that comes out and up at a 45 degree angle, so we use a 45 degree angled male banger nail to slide in.

  • The bong on the right side has a downstem that comes out and up at a 90 degree angle, so we use a 90 degree angled male banger nail to slide in.

Modify Your Bong into a Dab Rig

When buying a dab rig, you will notice that it they usually cost more money than an bong. If you have some glass pieces at home, you could try turning your bong into a dab rig. While it’s not the most ideal option, it is technically possible to transform a regular bong into a workable dab rig. The important thing is making sure you find a nail that fits into the downstem of your bong. It can be tricky because most bongs use a downstem placed at a 45-degree angle, which is very different from a dab rig’s usual 90-degree angle.


A quick alternative is to transform a bong into a dab rig.

Here we are swapping out a glass bowl for a male banger nail. This bong has a small enough water chamber to produce a low amount of drag and could to be a good piece for dabbing. Remember, we want a cooling process whenever we dab and should always use water in the devices to prevent you from burning your lungs


Swapping out a glass bowl for a 45° angled Banger

Here we are again swapping out a glass bowl for a male banger nail, but this one at a 45 degree angle. This bong has a larger water chamber which produces a larger amount of drag, but will still get the job done and cool down your concentrate. You don’t need to buy a whole new rig, but you do lose out on the full rich terpene profiles and flavours that a crafted dab rig provides.

Dab Accessories:


When stepping into the world of concentrates, you will quickly notice there are a few different tools required to help you dab properly. Just like how there are accessories to help you out with when smoking flower, smoking concentrates requires the following essential tools:

  • A dabber

  • A carb cap

  • A quartz, titanium, glass, or ceramic nail

  • A butane torch

  • A dab mat

  • Cotton swabs

A dabber tool is used to safely and accurately place your concentrates inside of your flaming hot banger nail.

A dab mat provides a rubber like surface that acts as a soft placemat to set your rig on. It also acts as a non slip surface to keep your rig sturdy and still. When heating nails at high temperatures, you want a secured rig to prevent it from getting knocked over and possibly burning your skin.

Cleaning tips: If you are using a quartz nail, wipe the inside of the nail with a cotton swab to remove any residual oil. This helps keep the nail clean, provides a more flavourful dab, and extends the life of your nail. If neglected, your banger bowl can create unwanted build up of residue that negatively effects the taste and cleanliness of any new dab you take. You can also shorten the life of a banger bowl if its improperly heated. This is called chazzing.



Chazzing happens when the banger is torched on the bottom or the sides at an excessive amount of heat over a long period of time. This causes your banger to be too hot and develop a black sooty layer on the inside of the nail. A chazzed quarts banger is the effect caused by poor control of temperature when you heat up your banger and take your dabs. Either the concentrate will heat up too quickly, leaving a charred residue, or the residue from the previous dab can harden if it was not cleaned out..

Cracking a banger is also possible if heated with a torch for too long. Monitoring your temperatures and cleaning your nails regularly, will extend the life of your bangers and keep giving you the best tasting experience with concentrates.

Thanks again for visiting out Stay Savvy Series! Make sure to return weekly to see more informative articles and video tutorials. As always, Stay Safe and Stay Savvy.