Dab Rig

How to Dab with Dab Tools: A Closer Look

, by Chad Hirano, 7 min reading time

Are you wondering how you should go about dabbing with dab tools?

Dabbing With Dab Tools

Dabbing has been around for decades, yet it has only become more common in the past few years. Doing a dab delivers a potent hit which makes getting high more effective.

Are you new to dabbing or just trying to perfect the dabs you're already doing? Let's take a closer look at all of the dab tools that you will need, and you can decide from there which is the best route for you.

Dab Tools

There are many tools and accessories you can use for dabbing or to perfect your dabbing experience. There are a lot of variables when it comes to dabs, and perfecting the method to your liking can provide a better experience. Let’s go over some of the tools used for dabs, other than the dab rig itself and the bangers, nails, or terp slurpers.

Dabber: Often referred to as a dab tool, a dabber is a tool used to pick up concentrates. Concentrates, or dabs, come in different forms and consistencies; thus creating a need for different types of dabbers. These tools can feature a pointed tip, a shovel tip, flat knife tip, wide flat tip, ball tip, etc. Dabbers are usually made from glass, stainless steel, or titanium for cleanliness and heat resistance. These dab tools can be found in a single solid piece shaped like a thin pen, or with a screwdriver-like handle.

Terp Timer: A type of thermometer used to measure the temperature of the banger in real time. Dabs are typically vaporized at between 400 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want a low temp dab if you’re looking for a gentle hit with a lot of flavor, or you may want a high temp dab for a monster rip or larger dab. Either way, a terp timer will help you dab at the right temperature every time. Terp timers use either an infrared thermometer, like that found on the Octave Terp Timer; or a touch thermometer like the Terpometer. Some terp timers feature the ability to set your desired temp and the device will notify you when it reaches the set temperature.

Dab Mat: A dab mat is a mat placed under your dab rig, usually made from silicone; that provides a sturdy, heat resistant, non-stick surface. Dab mats help keep your dab rig in place and create a safe work area for using a torch or E-nail, which can potentially be a fire hazard. Dab mats are also non-stick so if you drop any concentrates, you can simply pick it back up and not waste any. It may sound like a useless or silly thing to have for some people, but anyone who does dabs regularly knows how useful a dab mat truly is.

Torch Vs. E-Nail

A vital dab tool is the source of heat for heating your banger. The traditional method is a torch, whereas E-nails are growing in popularity. The differences between the two that may sway you one way or the other are cost, simplicity, accuracy, portability, and compatibility. Let’s take a look at both methods individually.

Dab Torch, Terp Timer, Dab Rig

Torch: A butane powered torch can provide high heat temperatures and is a low cost option for heating your nail or banger. By using a torch, you can quickly get your banger heated and ready for a dab. Traditionally you would heat your banger with a torch until it glows, and then allow it to cool for a set amount of time to reach a guesstimated temperature. By combining a torch with a terp timer, you can effectively dab at consistent temps for each sesh. Torches are also universal for dab rigs and can be used with all types of nails and bangers, including the popular terp slurpers. The pros on using a torch is the low cost, simplicity, portability, and compatibility. The cons are simplicity, accuracy, and the fact that they pose a larger fire risk. Now I know I listed simplicity as a pro and a con; that would be determined by each individual user and their understanding of the process for heating a banger.

Ispire Wand E-Nail, Dab Rig

E-Nail: Electric Nails are AC or DC powered units that heat a coil, which in turn heat the nail or banger. E-nails come in a variety of designs and types, with different functions and compatibility. The most common form of E-nail is a box that is plugged into an outlet, that then connects to a coil at the other end, which connects to the base of a nail or banger. Because the coil end is a rigid design, it can only be used with the most common nail/bangers or proprietary nail/bangers. The heat time and accuracy of this method depends on the manufacturer, and the nail/banger type and thickness.

Another type of E-nail is a battery operated device that either has a built-in banger or cup, or uses proprietary bangers. Because these devices run off a lithium battery, they use a proprietary system engineered to work in conjunction with one another. One such device is the Lookah Q7, which is an E-nail and banger in one. This particular device plugs directly into a 19mm or 14mm female joint on a dab rig, can be set at the desired temperature, and has a built-in quartz cup for your dab. Another example is The Wand by Ispire, which uses proprietary 14mm bangers, and an induction heating system. Both of these systems are highly portable and very easy to use.

Most E-nails allow the user to set the desired temperature, however some may be more accurate than others. The pros to using an E-nail is the cost, simplicity, accuracy, and portability. The cons would be cost, accuracy, and compatibility. While almost all E-nails will work on dab rigs with 14mm joints, the height of the rig and those with 10mm joints may not allow an E-nail to be used.


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