Whether you’re shopping for your first dab rig or your twentieth, it’s easy to get lost in the aesthetic and unique shapes of how many are available on the market today.
But it’s also important to remember that shape has a lot to do with the type of experience you’ll have when dabbing. A good rule of thumb is to remember that less air means more flavor, which is why choosing the right kind is an essential part of your smoking experience.
If you don’t know where to start, this guide will help you understand exactly how dab rigs came to be. Use this overview to learn about some of the most popular shaped rigs today, like the recycler rig, fab egg rig, and ball rig.
The Glass Dab Rig: A Reemerging Popularity
Using a dab rig (also known as an oil rig) is one of the most well-known ways to vaporize herb concentrates. However, you might be surprised to learn that it only came to light in recent years. Concentrated dabs first became popular in the 1970s—but then they disappeared for several decades. It was only in the early 2000s that they made their first comeback.
Dab concentrate is a highly potent substance that is thick and sticky, similar to honey or butter. By extracting the substance, smoking enthusiasts found that it’s easier to achieve a better and more potent experience if they vaporized the concentrate directly instead of smoking.
This extracting process led to the invention of the early prototype of today’s dab rigs. It made vaporizing the buttery concentrate easier, which, in turn, promised a more potent and flavorful taste. Fast forward to today, and you’ll see dab rigs being sold in any glass shop.
Why Dab Rigs?
Dab rigs work to vaporize the sticky concentrate—also known as dabs or wax—so that the user can control how much they smoke with a better flavor and overall potency. For that reason, many users prefer using dab rigs over traditional bowls or bongs, which use flower with less potent effects.
However, using the proper dab rig is also essential to the experience. Because the size and shape impact the quality and flavor, it’s necessary to know what size and shape you should use before making any investments.
Why Does the Shape Matter?
Because the goal is to get the best flavor possible, size and shape play essential roles in dab rigs work. For example, a smaller dab rig means less water, which means a richer flavor. For those who prefer extracting the most taste possible, a smaller dab rig is the way to go.
But aside from size, the shape can also play an important role in how your experience is. The form of your dab rig can impact the taste and flavor and how you receive the quality of the concentration. So before you begin shopping, take some time to look at some of the most common dab rig shapes to find which one is best for you.
#1: Recycler Rig
A recycler rig is a unique shape that functions through an innovative process of the two-chamber system. The two-chamber system allows for a cleaner and more rich experience because it “recycles” the water through a loop. A great example of a recycler rig is the Claude Mini Dab Rig.
Here’s how it works:
- After the user hits the dab rig, the smoke and water travel through the same tube. This cuts through the main chamber that contains the water, also known as a “reservoir.”
- Then, the smoke and water move through to the second chamber, through a separate tube, and then back into the reservoir.
- This process repeats until the vapor is pulled out by the user, which allows the user to control how many times the smoke and water get recycled for preferred potency.
Because the smoke is consistently traveling with the water, hits are cooled down a lot faster. The process allows the user to vaporize more significant amounts of concentrate in one sitting. Plus, since there is less air space, the smoke won’t get stale, and the taste will be more flavorful and apparent.
#2: Fab Egg Rig
Fab egg rigs are among the most popular dab rigs on the market. Also known as a Faberge egg rig, this unique shape gets its name from the limited series of jewel-encrusted eggs made by Russian jeweler, House of Fabergé.
These dab rigs are easily recognizable by their thick base and circular design. Depending on the size, these rigs can get elaborate, so they can cost upwards of $1,000. However, there are plenty of less expensive yet quality fab egg rigs, like the Infinity Mini Rig.
Here’s how it works: Like a recycler rig, fab egg rigs function to recycle your water. The difference lies in the fact that fab eggs have spherical chambers with hollow centers. This design allows the water to go through an internal chamber and then back into the percolation chamber.
If you watch as it’s in action, you’ll see that the water and vapor move through two layers of glass instead of cutting through the middle section, which offers limitless filtration to the user.
Fab egg rigs are a perfect combination of form and function without compromise. The circular shape in fab egg rigs is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but the compact body shape helps create drag-free smoke, which promises better potency and flavor.
#3: Ball Rig
Ball rigs are quickly emerging as a must-have item on people’s lists because of the unique ball design. The center ball can vary in size depending on the rig’s size and shape, but its purpose is to keep the water where it should be and keep hot vapors at bay so that they don’t reach the user’s mouth.
Here’s how it works:
- The ball rig—especially in mini dab rigs like the Atlas Mini Ball Rig—allows for maximum water filtration without getting into the ball rig’s airpath.
- This way, the hit stays dry, and no hot vapors or water residue comes into contact with the user’s mouth.
- Plus, the compact shape also brings maximum potency and flavor, which makes ball rigs a perfect rig for any user.
Although having a collection of differently shaped rigs is aesthetically satisfying, there’s also a good purpose behind investing in different shapes. Depending on the types you get, you could have an entirely different experience in potency and flavor capacity. Additionally, the shape can offer a more comfortable hit with rigs that filter vapor and water cleanly.
Whether you’re looking for a recycler, a fab egg, or a ball rig, you can’t go wrong with opting for their mini versions. Mini dab rigs are more compact—and less air means more flavor. Check out some of the best quality dab rigs at MJ Arsenal, where you can find a variety of shapes for your dabbing pleasure.