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WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

Comparing Dab Pens vs Dab Rigs: What’s the Difference?

Cannabis consumption has become an increasingly popular way to manage physical and mental ailments – but various devices and extractions can be used for these purposes. Dabbing is the act of vaporizing substances such as cannabis wax concentrate or shatter, using either a dab pen or dab rig.

Both dab pens and dab rigs offer a range of benefits, including flavorful smoke, potent effects, and even potential health advantages. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

In this article, we explore the similarities and differences between dab pens and dab rigs, highlighting their respective benefits and drawbacks. We also look at alternatives to dabbing, and the questions you should ask yourself before deciding which method of consumption is best suited to your individual needs.


  • Dabbing is the act of consuming cannabis wax concentrate with an increased concentration of THC, and offers users an intense flavor and potent experience with added health benefits.
  • Dab pens and dab rigs both offer a healthier alternative to smoking cannabis concentrates, with their own unique benefits such as portability and temperature control.
  • Alternatives to dabbing include smoking joints, vaping dry herb cannabis with a pen, and vaping cannabis oil, which offer convenience and simplicity without the need for additional equipment.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabbing is the act of consuming cannabis wax concentrate. Cannabis wax concentrate is a highly concentrated form of cannabis, with a THC content that can reach up to 80%, making it more powerful than other methods of consuming cannabis.

Dabbing differs from other methods of consuming cannabis, such as smoking or vaping, as it involves the inhalation of highly concentrated cannabinoids. In addition, dab pens and dab rigs are two distinct tools used to dab cannabis.

While dab pens are convenient and employ convective heating to transform the concentrate into vapor, dab rigs are stationary and utilize conduction heating to vaporize the concentrate.

What are the Benefits of Dabbing?

Dabbing is known to provide a more concentrated dose of the desired substance, leading to a more potent experience and stronger effects than smoking or vaping. Dabbing is renowned for providing a more intense flavor than smoking or vaping, as the best vaporizers for dabbing deliver a clean burn that preserves the full flavor of the concentrate.

Additionally, dabbing is a preferable option to smoking as it does not involve combustion and does not emit hazardous chemicals such as benzene. The use of convective heat eliminates the possibility of combustion and carbonization, thus avoiding the release of hazardous substances. This additional safety feature of convective heat is one of the reasons why vape pens are increasingly being used in the medical field.

Ultimately, dabbing offers many advantages over smoking or vaping cannabis, namely in terms of potency, flavor, and health. By allowing users to experience a more condensed and intense dose, dabbing provides a more potent and flavorful experience than traditional smoking or vaping. Furthermore, the use of convective heat eliminates the possibility of combustion and carbonization, thus avoiding the release of harmful chemicals.

With these advantages, it is no wonder that dabbing has become increasingly popular among cannabis enthusiasts.

What Is a Dab Pen?

What Is a Dab Pen?

A dab pen, also called a wax pen, is an electric vape pen designed specifically for vaping cannabis concentrates such as wax, budder, sauce, and shatter. Dab pens provide an easy, cost-effective, and clean way to experience the effects of cannabis. They are highly portable, making them ideal for those who wish to enjoy cannabis on the go.

Dab pens operate by heating the coil to vaporize the wax concentrate in the heating chamber, thereby producing a cloud of cannabis vapor that can be inhaled without combustion. Dab pens are capable of heating concentrates at higher temperatures than standard vape pens with a 510 thread battery, providing a more intense experience.

Additionally, wax pens are refillable, feature a more powerful battery, and offer a wider temperature range, making them a more suitable choice for those who are looking for a more custom experience.

What Is a Dab Rig?

What Is a Dab Rig?

A dab rig is a device used to vaporize cannabis concentrates. It typically consists of a mouthpiece, percolator, water chamber, nail, and in some cases, a carb cap.

The dab, or wax concentrate, must be placed into the nail and heated manually, typically with a blow torch, until it vaporizes. The advantages of utilizing a dab rig include producing a more powerful and concentrated vapor cloud, while the disadvantages include being less portable and necessitating a blow torch to heat the nail.

The purpose of a carb cap is to serve as a “lid” for the nail (or banger) on your dab rig, allowing you to seal the dab within the bucket and ensure that no vapor is wasted.

Similarities Between Dab Pens and Dab Rigs

Dab pens and dab rigs are both useful for consuming cannabis concentrates, and both offer potential health advantages over smoking. Both dab pens and dab rigs provide an effective way to vaporize cannabis concentrates, making them a healthier alternative to smoking. Furthermore, they both come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit individual preferences.

Dab pens typically resemble a standard vape pen and are generally more portable than dab rigs. The dab pen’s atomizer heats the concentrate and the user inhales the vapor through the mouthpiece. On the other hand, dab rigs require a nail to be heated with a torch before the user inhales the vapor through a mouthpiece. Both dab pens and dab rigs provide the user with control over the temperature, allowing them to adjust it to their personal preference. This allows the user to get the most out of their concentrates, as different temperatures can bring out different flavors and aromas.

Although dab pens and dab rigs have certain differences, they both provide users with an effective way to consume cannabis concentrates. With many users opting for a combination of both dab pens and dab rigs, they can reap the benefits of both devices. Dab pens are more portable and discreet, while dab rigs offer more control over the temperature, allowing for more customizability and flavor.

Differences Between Dab Pens and Dab Rigs

Dab pens offer greater portability and discretion compared to dab rigs, however rigs are constructed to be more durable and considered to be a safer option. Dab pens offer greater portability than dab rigs, however they require frequent replacement of components. On the other hand, dab rigs are designed to be more durable than dab pens. When engaging in dabbing, one must exercise caution due to the use of a torch and the potential for burns.

A vape pen typically uses cannabis flower or oil for vaporizing. On the other hand, dab pens are designed to heat up wax or shatter. The biggest difference between dab pens and dab rigs lies in the size and portability of the device. Dab pens are small and lightweight, making them perfect for taking on the go. On the other hand, dab rigs are significantly larger and require a more permanent setup. Additionally, dab rigs require the use of a torch to heat the nail, something that is not necessary with a dab pen. Dab pens also offer a wider temperature range and can produce a stronger hit than a standard vape pen.

In terms of the substances used, dab pens typically employ cannabis flower or oil, while dab rigs usually use wax or shatter. Furthermore, most vape pens cannot accommodate wax, so those who prefer to use that substance will need to use a traditional dab rig.

Alternative to Dabbing - Smoking a Joint

Alternatives to Dabbing

Other options for consuming cannabis besides dabbing include smoking joints, vaping dry herb cannabis with a pen, and vaping cannabis oil. Smoking joints is a viable alternative to dabbing as it is a traditional method of consuming cannabis that does not require any additional equipment. Vaping dry herb cannabis with a pen can be an alternative to dabbing as it eliminates the need for a dab rig or torch to consume cannabis. Vaping cannabis oil is a viable substitute to dabbing as it enables the consumption of concentrated cannabis without requiring a dab rig or torch.

In comparison to dabbing, smoking joints does not require any special equipment, making it a simpler and less expensive option. Additionally, it is a popular method of cannabis consumption due to its simplicity and convenience. Vaping dry herb cannabis with a pen is another viable option as it allows users to consume cannabis without the need for a dab rig or torch. Vaping cannabis oil is also a preferred method as it enables users to consume concentrates without the use of a blow torch or dab rig.


In summary, dabbing is the popular method of consuming cannabis wax concentrate, which offers users an incredibly intense flavor and potent experience. Depending on what type of cannabis product they’re using and their preference, there are two primary ways to dab – with a dab pen or with a dab rig. While both offer numerous benefits, dab pens tend to be more portable and discreet than dab rigs for those looking for a convenient vaporizing experience.

Lastly, there are alternative methods to dabbing, including smoking joints and vaping dry herb or cannabis oil, each of which carry their own individual sets of advantages and disadvantages. Before deciding what makes the most sense for your needs and lifestyle, individuals should carefully consider all of the information provided in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dab pens better than dab rigs?

Both dab pens and dab rigs have unique advantages and disadvantages. Dab pens are more discreet and require less maintenance, making them preferable for those who value portability and convenience.

However, many experienced dabbers prefer dab rigs as they provide bigger and tastier hits though they do require more coordination to use. Ultimately, the choice comes down to individual preference.

Is a dab rig the same as a dab pen?

No, a dab rig is not the same as a dab pen. A dab pen is battery operated and portable, while on the other hand, dab rigs are less mobile and require accessories such as nails and torches to operate.

Additionally, dab rigs consist of three components that together form the structure of the rig, making it distinct from a dab pen.

Are dab pens as strong as dabs?

Dab pens are generally accepted to be more powerful than dabs, with a greater intensity and potency. However, the strength of each method varies from user to user, making it difficult to make a generalised statement about the comparative strength of dab pens versus dabs.

What are the disadvantages of dab pens?

Dab pens have the potential to be quite harmful to users due to the potentially hazardous ingredients and additives that come in many products. Additionally, long-term use of dab pens can lead to higher nicotine tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and even lung illnesses.

Consequently, using these products should be done with caution.

Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of our vaping site, brings a decade of expertise in vaping, CBD, and cannabis. His comprehensive knowledge and editorial rigor ensure high-quality, accurate content, positioning us as a trusted resource in the community.
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