Dab Pen (Vaping) vs. Dab Rig (Dabbing): Difference & Similarities

Posted by Vaporizer Chief on 8th Jun 2021

If you’re a vape enthusiast or a cannabiseur, you may have noticed that there are products on the market that are made specifically for vaping while others may indicate other uses by using the term “dab”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, dabbing is vaporization of wax concentrates through a dab pen or a dab rig. To gain a better understanding of the differences between vaping and dabbing, here is a guide explaining the difference between the two methods. Here is what you need to be on the lookout for when it comes to dabbing equipment.

The Differences Between Vaping and Dabbing

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the major differences between the two vaping methods.

Importance of Temperature

Most vaporizers that handle oils and dry herbs don’t have to work with intense heat in order to vaporize substances. This is because both oils and herbs have active ingredients that evaporate rather easily. Wax concentrates, however, are much more dense and require higher temperatures in order to begin the vaporization process. The temperature jumps between normal vaping and dabbing are massive. It is important to note whether or not your desired vape is capable of reaching these temperatures.

Perfect Vaporizer Temperature Guide


Vaping and dabbing are two entirely different experiences. Although vaping is more discreet than smoking. It definitely doesn’t leave as much of a smell than it would when vaping different herbs. You will often have to use less with a vape than you would if you're dabbing wax with an oil rig. You can vape more without having to think about usage.


Dabbing and vaping both have their own benefits but vaping tends to be favored with benefits. The main aspect is health that most people worry about. The temperature on the vape coil can be adjusted from the battery. This helps making sure you're not inhaling too hot vapor. Dabbing from a rig can be tricky to know what the temperature is. You can heat it up and the length or distance you keep the torch from the nail can change the temperature by a lot. Vaping also makes everything easier. Rather than heat up a nail and wait, just load up the dab pen and take a draw.

However, dabbing is a much more powerful alternative to vaping. Lastly, dabbing from a rig produces large and flavorful clouds. Many stoners prefer that over small vapor.

Ease of Use

Vaping is consider much easier than dabbing for obvious reasons. For one, you don't have to heat up any nails or find your torch. Heating it up takes some more time and you won't even know what temperature the nail is heated up too. If it's too hot, the dab rig can produce smoke rather than vapor. If it's too little, you will be wasting some of the wax concentrate.

With dabbing rigs, waxes are much easier to work. All you will have to do in order to use your oil rig is to scoop the wax onto the nail. You also don't have to worry about burning any coils.

Dab Pen

One of the most popular devices used to vape wax concentrates is known as a dab pen. It is an electronic device that has similar parts to a dry herb vaporizer. The battery connects to the atomizer with a mouthpiece. The atomizers come in ceramic, titanium and quartz. Temperature ranges are either in volts or temperature.

Dr. Dabber Boost eRig Side



Dab pens are extremely discreet. Due to the wax concentrate materials, they reduce the smell and the mess that comes with smoking marijuana. In addition, you will only have to vape your wax concentrates for a small amount of time in order to get the high that you are looking for.

Affordable Prices

Dab vape pens, despite their setup and capabilities, are often very affordable for the average vaper. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly dab option, you won’t have to look very far.

Lower Heat

Temperatures are often intense and reached quickly. The overall heat quality is lower to make sure that you get the most out of your dabbing sessions but enough to vaporize all the wax. The longer it is allowed to melt at a lower heat, the better the vapor quality.

Easy to Be Portable

Dab pens are extremely portable devices. Featuring a long and thin body that is cylindrical in shape, wax pens are aptly named for resembling pens. This means that you can take them absolutely anywhere without having to worry about it weighing you down. It doesn't even take up too much space in whatever place you choose to hold it.


Wax vaporizer are usually covered by more extensive warranties than any rig. This will ensure that you won’t have to keep going out and buying a new device each time yours stops working.

Easy to Use

Compared to other vaporizer devices or smoking accessories,wax vape pens are fairly easy to use. All you have to do is remove the mouthpiece from the body to reveal the atomizer within the device. Load your wax into the body, replace the mouthpiece, and activate your device in order to begin your vape session.

boundless cf 710 atomizer dab black


There is only one disadvantage that comes with using a dab pen and that is the fact that you may need to replace the coils within your device. This depends on what your coils are made out of and how often they are designed to be used. Your coils may last for quite a while or they may breakdown when exposed to extreme temperatures and long sessions. Keep this in mind when you are searching for a dab pen.

What to Look for in a Dab Pen

What is featured on your dab pen is important when it comes to getting the best session during each usage. Here are some of the features that you should be looking for on your desired unit.

Temperature Settings

Much like herbs, different temperatures react with your wax concentrates to produce different flavor profiles. To get the most out of these different flavor experiences, you should look for a wax vaporizer pen that gives you the ability to control your temperature. In the beginning, experiment with different heat levels and try to notice their effects.

Different Coils (Ceramic, Titanium, Quartz)

Just about all dab pens use ceramic, titanium or quartz. You should choose a device that gives you multiple coils with different materials that you can choose from. This will let you experiment with different materials to see which one works best for your dabbing needs.

Since coils are known to break if used frequently and exposed to high temperatures, its important that your device comes with extra coil. If not, make sure your vape does have extra replacement coils.

Best 3 Dab Pens

With all this in mind, let’s go through some of the best dab pens that are currently on the market.

Vivant DaBox

The Vivant DaBox (No, we’ll never get over the pun in that name.) is a powerful handheld wax vaporizer that doesn’t necessarily qualify as a vape pen but still deserves recognition in the dabbing world. Although the outside of this device is a little underwhelming, the dabbing components within the box are legendary. Featuring things such as powerful dual quartz coils, a flip door loading mechanism for ease-of-use, a glass vapor path and mouthpiece to protect the flavors of your wax concentrates, and a quick charge battery, you really can’t get much more bang for your buck with this affordable wax vaporizer.

vivant dabox vaporizer accessories box

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KandyPens Prism Plus

The KandyPens Prism Plus dab pen is the perfect option for those who value high-quality dabbing sessions. Built with performance in mind, this pen offers the user two glass mouthpieces to protect flavor profiles, two atomizers to choose from (one being a ceramic coilless atomizer and the other being a dual quartz rod atomizer), and a handsome design that is made to last. If you want easy, portable, quality dabbing, definitely take a look at the KandyPens Prism Plus.

kandypens prism plus vaporizer black and white

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Puffco Pro 2

With a design that looks like it came straight out of space and futuristic features to match, the Puffco Pro 2 dab pen is the perfect product for anyone who loves to engage in dab sessions with friends. Featuring design elements such as a ceramic coil that is wrapped with a titanium coil, a magnetic attachment system that contains a built-in silicone splash guard, and an extended battery life with a special mode that is designed for group vape sessions, the Puffco Pro 2 is definitely a stand out product. If you need a durable pen that can be used quite a bit, take a look at the Puffco Pro 2 dab pen.


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Dab Rig

Now that we’ve covered the portable dab pen, let’s talk about a dab rig. A dab rig is a water pipe or water bong that is used to smoke wax from. Using a heat torch, you heat up the nail and dab some wax on it. An oil rig is usually made from glass.


Intense Experience

A dab rig is essentially a bong that handles wax concentrates. Bongs are known to produce a more intense effects and wax concentrates are much stronger than flowers.

dab rig & oil rig


Uses More Wax

Because of the high temperatures and components on a dab rig, it goes through wax a lot faster than a dab pen will. This means that you are going to be wasting a lot more wax and spending more money in the long run when you are using a dab rig.

Higher Heat That You Can’t Control

Unfortunately, dab rigs do not come with precision temperature control. All you do is heat up the nail that is used to vaporize the wax and start dabbing. This means that you don’t have the ability to experiment with different temperatures and cannot experience the different flavor profiles that your wax concentrates have to offer.

Requires Experience

As we stated above, the dab pen is a device that is simple for anyone of any experience level to use. A dab rig, however, does not come with the protection or the same type of ease-of-use that a dab pen does. You are going to have to be much more careful and are going to have to learn the techniques that come with using a dab rig before you are ready to begin dabbing with this device.

Requires More Tools

A dab pen comes all put together. All you have to do is assemble it and load your wax into the atomizer. It’s super easy. A dab rig, however, requires a large collection of different tools in order to use it properly. This means that it takes a lot of time and money to use a dab rig and is not recommended for someone who is just starting out with dabs.

More Expensive

Dab rigs could definitely be considered elite products in the dabbing world. These devices are quite huge and because of this, are quite costly. If you are looking for budget-friendly options for dabbing, the dab rig is not a device that you are probably going to want to start out with.

There you have it! Hopefully this guide has explained to you more about what dabbing is, how it differs from vaping with other substances, and what type of equipment you should look for when you begin your dabbing journey. If you weren’t able to find the type of dabbing advice or products that you were looking for here, take a look at some of the other content and products around our website to better educate yourself about what you will need when you begin vaping wax concentrates. The world of dabbing awaits!