Dab Pens vs Dab Rigs

Concentrates have become a favorite cannabis product for many smokers because of the high potency they contain. Anyone who has had a taste of marijuana wax and oil would never want to go back to smoking weed, all thanks to the higher amount of THC and CBD found in them compared to herbs. In fact, dabbing is the new way to go in the smoking industry, and more smokers are joining the train every day.

In case you don’t already know, dabbing is simply the act of vaporizing concentrated cannabis such as wax, hash, oils, shatter, etc. with a special tool. Dabbing gets more fun when you use the right device, and thanks to the numerous products on the market, you can easily pick a tool that fits your lifestyle.

Two of the most popular dabbing tools, however, are dab pens and dab rigs. Although both have their benefits, many people get stuck deciding whether to go for a dab pen or a water pipe.

This guide will give you a clear understanding of what they are, their benefits, as well as their downsides. This will help you know which one best suits your personality and needs.

What are Dab Pens?

Dab pens are electronic devices shaped like a regular office pen and designed for vaping concentrates and wax. They look and work almost like dry herb vape pens. The only difference is that dab pens are specifically for vaping marijuana extracts. 

Wax pens are perfect if you want to vape on the go while completely staying under the radar. They are so sleek and small that you can conceal them in your palm or pocket without worries.

Dab pens are typically powered by rechargeable batteries and they feature an atomizer, control buttons, and a mouthpiece for inhaling vapors. The atomizer is the heating element in the device and it can be made from several materials such as quartz, ceramics, and titanium.



A dab pen is the king of discreteness when it comes to smoking in public places. Smoking marijuana in public can generally stir up anger and judgemental eyes from people around. But using a dab pen instead would save you from such embarrassment because you can hide the pen in your hands and take quick draws at a lower temperature, and luckily it doesn’t produce a nasty smell. Nobody would know what you are up to.


Dab pens are built with durable materials. They can survive a few drops, unlike glass rigs. This is particularly good for those who are always busy with some form of manual or heavy duty tasks. This makes purchasing a decent dab pen a good investment as you would save money in the long run.

Easy and Quick to Use

Dab pens are very easy to use and require no technical knowledge. You just need to know how to turn on the device, scoop some wax into your coils, and select a preferred temperature. The heating time is super fast, and you can start dabbing in no time.

Temperature Controlled

With a dab pen, you no longer have to worry about heating your concentrates above the ideal temperature. You can adjust the temperature of your wax pen to whatever temperature you feel is best for your dabs. This feature also enables you to experiment with dabbing your wax at different temperatures.


Wax pens come with better warranty policies when compared with their rig counterparts. These policies ensure that you don’t keep replacing your pen with a new one or spending money to repair the old one within the warranty period.



Considering that dab pens are electrical devices, they come as a disadvantage for many. Some people are thrilled and used to having to light their dabbing tool with a torch. They feel they will enjoy it better this way. If you are one of those who think this way, then a dab pen might not be for you.

There have also been cases of vape battery explosions, which have made many people wary of using a vape pen, even though some of these explosions are sometimes caused by lack of care when charging these devices.

Requires Charging

Dab pens are useless when their batteries are drained. You would need to recharge the cell before you can use your dab pen again. This means that it would be difficult to use your pen regularly if you don’t have access to electricity.

What are Dab Rigs?

A dab rig is a water pipe used to dab concentrates. Rigs are simply the best way to enjoy wax concentrates, thanks to their water filtration system that helps to deliver cool vapors.

Unlike dab pens, rigs don’t work with batteries; instead, they work with torches and nails. The torch acts as the heat source while the nail is the part of the rig that is heated with the torch. The nail is also where you place your dabs. 

Nails are made or different materials such as quartz, titanium, glass, and ceramic. Each of these has a distinct taste, benefits, and setbacks.


Stronger Hits

Nothing beats using a dab rig. It’s a whole different and crazy experience. Wax already produce a stronger effect compared to flowers and using them in a rig gives you twice the amount of strength and effect you need.

Cool Vapor

Since rigs have a water filtration system, you get to experience only smooth and cool vapors when dabbing. There is no chance of burning your throat and lungs from extremely hot vapors.


Glass is Easier to Break

Although you can get a rig with thick glass, glasses are fragile materials that can shatter in the twinkle of an eye if not handled properly. This is where dab pens beat rigs. If you are not a careful person or you have kids around, then buying a dab rig may not be the best option for you because you might end up buying lots of rigs every month.

No Good Warranty

The manufacturers or companies that sell rigs don’t really offer a standard warranty on their products. Once any part of your glass gets cracked, you should consider replacing it immediately. It is not like the pen where you can replace some of its components if they become faulty.

Requires Being Careful

This is no brainer. Every glass piece requires extreme care if you want it to last long. You have to be cautious with how you place it, where you keep it, who touches it, and a whole lot of other things. One silly mistake could ruin your rig.

Longer Process

The entire process of dabbing with a rig takes longer when compared to using a pen. You have to wait for a while for the nail to first get heated, before placing your wax slowing on the nail, and then finally taking draws from the mouthpiece. It could be frustrating, especially when you are using a glass nail. Glass nails take time to heat up, unlike other types of nails.

Not Portable

Rigs are not as compact as dab pens, and they cannot be used while on the go. In fact, they are not designed for mobility. You can only enjoy using a dab pipe at home and maybe during a social gathering with friends (using it with many friends would increase the chances of breakage).

You Could Burn Yourself

You face the risk of burning yourself with the torch or hot nail, so you have to be extremely careful when handling your torch. Try not to use the lighter while walking and do not point the flame at your friends. Most importantly, don’t use your torch close to highly flammable materials or areas.

Final Thoughts

Both dab rigs and dab pens are great tools for dabbing wax concentrates and oils. If vaping on the go is your priority, then a wax pen is the answer for you, but if you want to have the greatest dabbing experience right from the comfort of your home, then go for a high-quality rig. However, if and only if you have enough money to invest in dabbing tools, then you should consider getting both.