Dabbing 102: How To Shop For Your First Set Up

Before I started dabbing I found it a bit intimidating and a bit confusing. There were so many more parts to it than a bong, heat up heat down cleaning lalala. It was a bit overwhelming.

After a year or so, I still consider myself a newbie. 

I asked for help to put together this guide in the hopes it helps anyone who wants to get started with their own setup but feels like I did. I know you can always ask someone but sometimes if you don't know about it, you don't know the right questions to ask about it. If that makes sense? 

If you’re suuuper new & need a 101 on Dabbing check out our previous article here. 


So where do you start with someone who's completely new & would like to furnish themselves with a rig setup.

Disclaimer: this information is written as a real basic & general guide with brand spanking new dabbers in mind who are looking to purchase a basic, low cost setup just to get themselves going. 

For a basic setup you'll need a rig, banger, carb cap, dab tool, torch, timer, cotton swabs or iso bath for cleaning. 

First to consider is the Rig. Where will you dab?

Will you be at home? Sitting down or at a desk? Out & about, in a car & on the go? For at home 'Desktop/Table-top dabbers’ its recommended that something designed to sit on a table top if you prefer to lean over to use rather than pick up. Rigs designed for the desktop tend to be bigger and heavier. If you're of a clumsy disposition, heavier rigs with a wider base to keep on the tabletop are ideal. (*clumsy dabbers best friend is a silicone matt).  

Handheld dabbers? Those who prefer to hold the rig up to their face rather than come down to kiss the rig  then something a bit smaller, lighter is recommended. Easier to pack away & transport.

The next question regarding the Rig would be how hard would you be inhaling on it? Do you toot hard or gentle & delicate? Think about how to toot your bong/pipe/blunt. Do you chuff like a train or do you go low and slow?

If you're a hard toker a larger rig would be preferable to prevent sucking down the rig water. As a rule, Rigs for a hard chuff tend to have a 14mm mouthpiece/pipe. This doesn't just refer to the banger hanger aka the hole for the banger, but to the spaces/pipe running throughout the rig so there's more air flowing through. 

Smoother and gentler tokers we recommend smaller rigs so will have less air flow.

Last question to consider when purchasing a Rig is of course your budget. If you are brand spanking new you would want to consider something not so pricey incase you don't get on with dabbing/breaking it while you're learning. 

BeltaBongs has rigs starting from £35 that are ideal for newbies. 

Before we move on, make a mental note of what type of banger hole is on the rig. is it male or female? And what size banger you need. the most are 14mm but 10mm and 18mm is sometimes used. 

Onto the Banger. For your first we recommend sticking to the lower end of the price range. While you're still learning you are getting familiar temperatures and are likely to ‘chaz’ the banger. This means stain the banger from using too higher temps or not cleaning it well enough, it turns grey & cloudy. Plus accidents happen! Always make sure it is Quartz glass. It is designed to take the high temperatures it takes to create the vapour from extracts. 

We recommends a bucket banger or a slurper as a first banger.

Terp Slurper Banger from BeltaBongs

When you're first starting you really won't be dabbing big dabs but little crumbs so slurpers are great for that, minimum extract with maximum flavour. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need all the pearls to accompany it. They were originally used by themselves, pearls & pills were created later. They require a stopper cap or a marble. (see image above)

Bucket bangers have a lot of surface area so are good for big globs. It holds a bit more heat on the bottom so you can take the dab for longer. Bucket bangers take a bubble cap or a spinner cap. These allow the extract to move around more without burning it. (see image above)

 The next thing to consider is cleaning? How would you prefer to clean the banger? 

Would you prefer to Iso dunk the banger or use cotton swabs

With Bucket bangers you can get away with just swabs but terp slurpers will need a dunk. Some people prefer not to have an iso bath on hand in their home but when an ISO bath your banger can be thoroughly cleaned with a quick dunk & swish. If you do this while its still warm the iso evaporates off the banger so its ready for your next hit quicker than if you were to dunk when its cold. Everything ends up so much less sticky, dab tools would end up covered in sticky fluff. Salsa jars tend to be ideal shape for most standard bangers. (Thanks Bearded Pharaoh of Ankh Tomb for this handy tidbit)

We does not recommend slanted bangers, they aren't very good. The thick walls take alot heat, there's no room for the extracts to move & it sits in one place so it ends up burning. It's old tek, we’ve learnt from these and evolved. But on the other hand, each to their own. You may prefer a little & hot dab!

Torch. DO NOT BUY ONE OF THOSE TINY TORCH LIGHTERS. A torch light will NOT cut it. These you can get from kitchen departments for brulee-ing. You can find butane blow torches from £12+. Shop around to find one to suit your budget.

Not crucial but very handy & a big help especially if you're clumsy: non slip heat proof silicone mats. Sticky stuff doesn't stick to it. The hot stuff doesn't burn it. And the fragile stuff is less likely to be knocked over. Should you knock it over, the silicone can cushion the fall.

Dab Tool. These don't need to  be fancy. I have seen sets of nail tools used as dab tools. As long as they are good quality stainless steel. The one pictured is available from Glassworks710 for £7

Timer. For heat up and cool down a timer is handy. Of course you can use the timer on your phone but a separate timer to be kept on your dab station or in your dabbing kit can be very handy at the best of times. This lil pink & green number was £3.49 on ebay.

If you’re choosing to Shop Online check out BeltaBongs website. You can find everything you need to get set up as well as products for more experienced dabbers. They also stock a wide range of bongs, pies and other glassware

You can get 10% off with my affiliate code. Just use BUDDYMARY at checkout. That covers EVERYTHING on their website. All sales using this code sends a lil 10% commission to myself. 

Go & check out your local headshop. Dabbing is slowly becoming more and more popular. Most and more headshops are stocking even the most basic rigs & bangers. 

I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read. If you have any feedback please leave a comment or don't hesitate to contact me via email or on my socials. BeltaBongs will also be happy to help with any questions you may have when shopping for your first set up.

GravLabs Slush Cup Pocket Bubbler from Beltabongs

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