Dab Rig vs. Dab Pens

April 24, 2019 Dab Rigs

Dab Rig vs. Dab Pens

Getting your hits with concentrates is now becoming a trend in recreational smoking. They offer more flavor and have higher potency compared to herbs. Because of its popularity, manufacturers are coming with new designs almost every year to help you enjoy them.

Consumers are turning their attention to concentrates because of the absence of combusting materials. Concentrates are known to provide the purest flavor of your favorite strains. They are the extracted essences of herbs and flowers containing all the desirable elements that make smoking them enjoyable. Gone are the excess plant material and impurities that can interfere with the taste and experience of smoking herbs.

There are two ways to enjoy your concentrates: through a dab rig or a dab pen. We’ll talk about the differences between the two to help you decide which one to go for.

Hardware profiles

First on the market for consuming concentrates is the dab rig. It’s essentially a bong fitted with a nail instead of a bowl. The nail can be made of glass, quartz, ceramic, or titanium – all of which offer different smoking experiences. It’s called a dab rig because you only take a dab of your concentrate to get hit that you need.

Now, this is where things get hot. To get your hit from concentrates, you need to use a blow torch to heat up the nail. The moment you say torch, a lot of smokers will raise their hands and walk away. E-Nails answer the needs of those who wish to do dabs without the risk of singeing their skin. Just plug it in and you’re good to go. The problem is e-Nails make you dependent on an outlet. Where the outlet is, that’s where you can get your dabs.

UV Green Pulsar Showerhead Perc Mini Dab Rig 5.5″

Dab rigs are just like bongs that have nails or bangers to hold in your concentrates.

Next on the line of the dabbing evolution is the vape pen, or technically called dab pens. Instead of using a torch or high voltage boxes for dabs, you have a portable battery-operated unit that vaporizes your concentrates. You have a heating chamber that has either ceramic or quartz coils. Ceramic coils offer you the best flavor, while quartz coils are for cloud chasers. Just like vape pens, dab pens operate almost the same way. You load the concentrate inside the heating chamber, place put back the mouthpiece and turn it on. Unlike dab rigs, loading your concentrates may require a bit more dexterity, or you may risk ruining the coils.

Dabbing heat

You have a lot of flexibility for consuming your concentrates with a dab rig. Depending on how you want your dabs, you can go low-temp or high temp. Sometimes you can even go as high as 1000°F with your torch. Another reason why others turn away from dabbing is because of the learning curve of getting the temperature right with dab rigs. Some feel that their throat and lungs are burning because they used the nail when it was too hot. But once you get the sweet spot, the effects of a dab rig is twice as much from a pipe or a bong.

Because of the size, dab pens often heat up between 350°F -750°F. Dab pens are more beginner friendly compared to dab rigs because of the pre-set temperatures. Just key in a sequence of clicks on the power button and your dab pen will cycle through different temperature settings. There are no second guesses when you use your dab pen.

Ease of use

Dab rigs often require a bit of a setup. You need to have your torch and or your e-Nail ready before you use it. Depending on the material of the dab nail, it may take a while before the nail reaches the target temperature. When you’re using a torch, you need to cool down the nail for a minute or two before you use it. Otherwise, you can seriously burn your throat with hot vapor.

With dab pens, firing up is as easy as pressing the power button several times. Wait for a few seconds and you’re ready to vaporize.

dr dabber ghost dab pen kit

Dab pens are easy to switch on and use. No need to hone your instincts to know when it’s ready to vaporize

Dabbing safety

Some are concerned with the safety of dab rigs because of the high-temperature setting. When you heat the nail too high, you’ll notice some black stains on it. That’s combusted or burned concentrate, and that means there’s a risk of you inhaling benzene from your dabs.

Dab pens are believed to be safe because you don’t reach combustive heat levels. You only inhale vaporized concentrates. However, things are different if you have to use carrier oils, thinners or solvents to liquefy your concentrates.


There are small dab rigs and mini e-Nails that you can bring with you when you travel. However, no matter how small your rig can be, it can’t beat the portability of a dab pen. You can conceal a dab pen in your hand or pocket. It looks like an innocent pen that you can easily take it with you anywhere, and no one will notice.

Smoking experience

When it comes to potency of hits, a dab rig wins hands down. Not only can it go through various temperatures, but you can also consume a long snake dab in just one go. However, if you’re taking concentrates for medicinal purposes, dab pens are far more efficient.

Dab rigs and dab pens have their own unique advantages for helping you enjoy your favorite concentrates. Do you wish to do huge dabs, or prefer discreet vaping on demand? Choosing between the two boils down to what your goals are for enjoying your concentrates. If you have any questions on any of our dab rigs or dab pens, please feel free to ask in our comment section!


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